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Catriona by Robert Louis Stevenson

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interest and of indulgence. The difficulty is here. There is one
point in which we pull two ways. You are trying to hang James
Stewart, I am trying to save him. In so far as my riding with you
would better your lordship's defence, I am at your lordships
orders; but in so far as it would help to hang James Stewart, you
see me at a stick."

I thought he swore to himself. "You should certainly be called;
the Bar is the true scene for your talents," says he, bitterly, and
then fell a while silent. "I will tell you," he presently resumed,
"there is no question of James Stewart, for or against, James is a
dead man; his life is given and taken--bought (if you like it
better) and sold; no memorial can help--no defalcation of a
faithful Mr. David hurt him. Blow high, blow low, there will be no
pardon for James Stewart: and take that for said! The question is
now of myself: am I to stand or fall? and I do not deny to you
that I am in some danger. But will Mr. David Balfour consider why?
It is not because I pushed the case unduly against James; for that,
I am sure of condonation. And it is not because I have sequestered
Mr. David on a rock, though it will pass under that colour; but
because I did not take the ready and plain path, to which I was
pressed repeatedly, and send Mr. David to his grave or to the
gallows. Hence the scandal--hence this damned memorial," striking
the paper on his leg. "My tenderness for you has brought me in
this difficulty. I wish to know if your tenderness to your own
conscience is too great to let you help me out of it."

No doubt but there was much of the truth in what he said; if James
was past helping, whom was it more natural that I should turn to
help than just the man before me, who had helped myself so often,
and was even now setting me a pattern of patience? I was besides
not only weary, but beginning to be ashamed, of my perpetual
attitude of suspicion and refusal

"If you will name the time and place, I will be punctually ready to
attend your lordship," said I.

He shook hands with me. "And I think my misses have some news for
you," says he, dismissing me.

I came away, vastly pleased to have my peace made, yet a little
concerned in conscience; nor could I help wondering, as I went
back, whether, perhaps, I had not been a scruple too good-natured.
But there was the fact, that this was a man that might have been my
father, an able man, a great dignitary, and one that, in the hour
of my need, had reached a hand to my assistance. I was in the
better humour to enjoy the remainder of that evening, which I
passed with the advocates, in excellent company no doubt, but
perhaps with rather more than a sufficiency of punch: for though I
went early to bed I have no clear mind of how I got there.


On the morrow, from the justices' private room, where none could
see me, I heard the verdict given in and judgment rendered upon
James. The Duke's words I am quite sure I have correctly; and
since that famous passage has been made a subject of dispute, I may
as well commemorate my version. Having referred to the year '45,
the chief of the Campbells, sitting as Justice-General upon the
bench, thus addressed the unfortunate Stewart before him: "If you
had been successful in that rebellion, you might have been giving
the law where you have now received the judgment of it; we, who are
this day your judges, might have been tried before one of your mock
courts of judicature; and then you might have been satiated with
the blood of any name or clan to which you had an aversion."

"This is to let the cat out of the bag, indeed," thought I. And
that was the general impression. It was extraordinary how the
young advocate lads took hold and made a mock of this speech, and
how scarce a meal passed but what someone would get in the words:
"And then you might have been satiated." Many songs were made in
time for the hour's diversion, and are near all forgot. I remember
one began:

"What do ye want the bluid of, bluid of?
Is it a name, or is it a clan,
Or is it an aefauld Hielandman,
That ye want the bluid of, bluid of?"

Another went to my old favourite air, The House of Airlie, and
began thus:

"It fell on a day when Argyle was on the bench,
That they served him a Stewart for his denner."

And one of the verses ran:

"Then up and spak' the Duke, and flyted on his cook,
I regard it as a sensible aspersion,
That I would sup ava', an' satiate my maw,
With the bluid of ony clan of my aversion."

James was as fairly murdered as though the Duke had got a fowling-
piece and stalked him. So much of course I knew: but others knew
not so much, and were more affected by the items of scandal that
came to light in the progress of the cause. One of the chief was
certainly this sally of the justice's. It was run hard by another
of a juryman, who had struck into the midst of Coulston's speech
for the defence with a "Pray, sir, cut it short, we are quite
weary," which seemed the very excess of impudence and simplicity.
But some of my new lawyer friends were still more staggered with an
innovation that had disgraced and even vitiated the proceedings.
One witness was never called. His name, indeed, was printed, where
it may still be seen on the fourth page of the list: "James
Drummond, alias Macgregor, alias James More, late tenant in
Inveronachile"; and his precognition had been taken, as the manner
is, in writing. He had remembered or invented (God help him)
matter which was lead in James Stewart's shoes, and I saw was like
to prove wings to his own. This testimony it was highly desirable
to bring to the notice of the jury, without exposing the man
himself to the perils of cross-examination; and the way it was
brought about was a matter of surprise to all. For the paper was
handed round (like a curiosity) in court; passed through the jury-
box, where it did its work; and disappeared again (as though by
accident) before it reached the counsel for the prisoner. This was
counted a most insidious device; and that the name of James More
should be mingled up with it filled me with shame for Catriona and
concern for myself.

The following day, Prestongrange and I, with a considerable
company, set out for Glasgow, where (to my impatience) we continued
to linger some time in a mixture of pleasure and affairs. I lodged
with my lord, with whom I was encouraged to familiarity; had my
place at entertainments; was presented to the chief guests; and
altogether made more of than I thought accorded either with my
parts or station; so that, on strangers being present, I would
often blush for Prestongrange. It must be owned the view I had
taken of the world in these last months was fit to cast a gloom
upon my character. I had met many men, some of them leaders in
Israel whether by their birth or talents; and who among them all
had shown clean hands? As for the Browns and Millers, I had seen
their self-seeking, I could never again respect them.
Prestongrange was the best yet; he had saved me, spared me rather,
when others had it in their minds to murder me outright; but the
blood of James lay at his door; and I thought his present
dissimulation with myself a thing below pardon. That he should
affect to find pleasure in my discourse almost surprised me out of
my patience. I would sit and watch him with a kind of a slow fire
of anger in my bowels. "Ah, friend, friend," I would think to
myself, "if you were but through with this affair of the memorial,
would you not kick me in the streets?" Here I did him, as events
have proved, the most grave injustice; and I think he was at once
far more sincere, and a far more artful performer, than I supposed.

But I had some warrant for my incredulity in the behaviour of that
court of young advocates that hung about in the hope of patronage.
The sudden favour of a lad not previously heard of troubled them at
first out of measure; but two days were not gone by before I found
myself surrounded with flattery and attention. I was the same
young man, and neither better nor bonnier, that they had rejected a
month before; and now there was no civility too fine for me! The
same, do I say? It was not so; and the by-name by which I went
behind my back confirmed it. Seeing me so firm with the Advocate,
and persuaded that I was to fly high and far, they had taken a word
from the golfing green, and called me THE TEE'D BALL. {14} I was
told I was now "one of themselves"; I was to taste of their soft
lining, who had already made my own experience of the roughness of
the outer husk; and one, to whom I had been presented in Hope Park,
was so aspired as even to remind me of that meeting. I told him I
had not the pleasure of remembering it.

"Why" says he, "it was Miss Grant herself presented me! My name is

"It may very well be, sir," said I; "but I have kept no mind of

At which he desisted; and in the midst of the disgust that commonly
overflowed my spirits I had a glisk of pleasure.

But I have not patience to dwell upon that time at length. When I
was in company with these young politics I was borne down with
shame for myself and my own plain ways, and scorn for them and
their duplicity. Of the two evils, I thought Prestongrange to be
the least; and while I was always as stiff as buckram to the young
bloods, I made rather a dissimulation of my hard feelings towards
the Advocate, and was (in old Mr. Campbell's word) "soople to the
laird." Himself commented on the difference, and bid me be more of
my age, and make friends with my young comrades.

I told him I was slow of making friends.

"I will take the word back," said he. "But there is such a thing
as FAIR GUDE S'EN AND FAIR GUDE DAY, Mr. David. These are the same
young men with whom you are to pass your days and get through life:
your backwardness has a look of arrogance; and unless you can
assume a little more lightness of manner, I fear you will meet
difficulties in the path."

"It will be an ill job to make a silk purse of a sow's ear," said

On the morning of October 1st I was awakened by the clattering in
of an express; and getting to my window almost before he had
dismounted, I saw the messenger had ridden hard. Somewhile after I
was called to Prestongrange, where he was sitting in his bedgown
and nightcap, with his letters round him.

"Mr. David," add he, "I have a piece of news for you. It concerns
some friends of yours, of whom I sometimes think you are a little
ashamed, for you have never referred to their existence."

I suppose I blushed.

"See you understand, since you make the answering signal," said he.
"And I must compliment you on your excellent taste in beauty. But
do you know, Mr. David? this seems to me a very enterprising lass.
She crops up from every side. The Government of Scotland appears
unable to proceed for Mistress Katrine Drummond, which was somewhat
the case (no great while back) with a certain Mr. David Balfour.
Should not these make a good match? Her first intromission in
politics--but I must not tell you that story, the authorities have
decided you are to hear it otherwise and from a livelier narrator.
This new example is more serious, however; and I am afraid I must
alarm you with the intelligence that she is now in prison."

I cried out.

"Yes," said he, "the little lady is in prison. But I would not
have you to despair. Unless you (with your friends and memorials)
shall procure my downfall, she is to suffer nothing."

"But what has she done? What is her offence?" I cried.

"It might be almost construed a high treason," he returned, "for
she has broke the king's Castle of Edinburgh."

"The lady is much my friend," I said. "I know you would not mock
me if the thing were serious."

"And yet it is serious in a sense," said he; "for this rogue of a
Katrine--or Cateran, as we may call her--has set adrift again upon
the world that very doubtful character, her papa."

Here was one of my previsions justified: James More was once again
at liberty. He had lent his men to keep me a prisoner; he had
volunteered his testimony in the Appin case, and the same (no
matter by what subterfuge) had been employed to influence the jury.
Now came his reward, and he was free. It might please the
authorities to give to it the colour of an escape; but I knew
better--I knew it must be the fulfilment of a bargain. The same
course of thought relieved me of the least alarm for Catriona. She
might be thought to have broke prison for her father; she might
have believed so herself. But the chief hand in the whole business
was that of Prestongrange; and I was sure, so far from letting her
come to punishment, he would not suffer her to be even tried.
Whereupon thus came out of me the not very politic ejaculation:

"Ah! I was expecting that!"

"You have at times a great deal of discretion, too!" says

"And what is my lord pleased to mean by that?" I asked.

"I was just marvelling", he replied, "that being so clever as to
draw these inferences, you should not be clever enough to keep them
to yourself. But I think you would like to hear the details of the
affair. I have received two versions: and the least official is
the more full and far the more entertaining, being from the lively
pen of my eldest daughter. 'Here is all the town bizzing with a
fine piece of work,' she writes, 'and what would make the thing
more noted (if it were only known) the malefactor is a protegee of
his lordship my papa. I am sure your heart is too much in your
duty (if it were nothing else) to have forgotten Grey Eyes. What
does she do, but get a broad hat with the flaps open, a long hairy-
like man's greatcoat, and a big gravatt; kilt her coats up to GUDE
KENS WHAUR, clap two pair of boot-hose upon her legs, take a pair
of CLOUTED BROGUES {15} in her hand, and off to the Castle! Here
she gives herself out to be a soutar {16} in the employ of James
More, and gets admitted to his cell, the lieutenant (who seems to
have been full of pleasantry) making sport among his soldiers of
the soutar's greatcoat. Presently they hear disputation and the
sound of blows inside. Out flies the cobbler, his coat flying, the
flaps of his hat beat about his face, and the lieutenant and his
soldiers mock at him as he runs off. They laughed no so hearty the
next time they had occasion to visit the cell and found nobody but
a tall, pretty, grey-eyed lass in the female habit! As for the
cobbler, he was 'over the hills ayout Dumblane,' and it's thought
that poor Scotland will have to console herself without him. I
drank Catriona's health this night in public.

Indeed, the whole town admires her; and I think the beaux would
wear bits of her garters in their button-holes if they could only
get them. I would have gone to visit her in prison too, only I
remembered in time I was papa's daughter; so I wrote her a billet
instead, which I entrusted to the faithful Doig, and I hope you
will admit I can be political when I please. The same faithful
gomeral is to despatch this letter by the express along with those
of the wiseacres, so that you may hear Tom Fool in company with
Solomon. Talking of GOMERALS, do tell DAUVIT BALFOUR. I would I
could see the face of him at the thought of a long-legged lass in
such a predicament; to say nothing of the levities of your
affectionate daughter, and his respectful friend.' So my rascal
signs herself!" continued Prestongrange. "And you see, Mr. David,
it is quite true what I tell you, that my daughters regard you with
the most affectionate playfulness."

"The gomeral is much obliged," said I.

"And was not this prettily done!" he went on. "Is not this
Highland maid a piece of a heroine?"

"I was always sure she had a great heart," said I. "And I wager
she guessed nothing . . . But I beg your pardon, this is to tread
upon forbidden subjects."

"I will go bail she did not," he returned, quite openly. "I will
go bail she thought she was flying straight into King George's

Remembrance of Catriona and the thought of her lying in captivity,
moved me strangely. I could see that even Prestongrange admired,
and could not withhold his lips from smiling when he considered her
behaviour. As for Miss Grant, for all her ill habit of mockery,
her admiration shone out plain. A kind of a heat came on me.

"I am not your lordship's daughter. . . " I began.

"That I know of!" he put in, smiling.

"I speak like a fool," said I; "or rather I began wrong. It would
doubtless be unwise in Mistress Grant to go to her in prison; but
for me, I think I would look like a half-hearted friend if I did
not fly there instantly."

"So-ho, Mr. David," says he; "I thought that you and I were in a

"My lord," I said, "when I made that bargain I was a good deal
affected by your goodness, but I'll never can deny that I was moved
besides by my own interest. There was self-seeking in my heart,
and I think shame of it now. It may be for your lordship's safety
to say this fashious Davie Balfour is your friend and housemate.
Say it then; I'll never contradict you. But as for your patronage,
I give it all back. I ask but the one thing--let me go, and give
me a pass to see her in her prison."

He looked at me with a hard eye. "You put the cart before the
horse, I think," says he. "That which I had given was a portion of
my liking, which your thankless nature does not seem to have
remarked. But for my patronage, it is not given, nor (to be exact)
is it yet offered." He paused a bit. "And I warn you, you do not
know yourself," he added. "Youth is a hasty season; you will think
better of all this before a year."

"Well, and I would like to be that kind of youth!" I cried. "I
have seen too much of the other party in these young advocates that
fawn upon your lordship and are even at the pains to fawn on me.
And I have seen it in the old ones also. They are all for by-ends,
the whole clan of them! It's this that makes me seem to misdoubt
your lordship's liking. Why would I think that you would like me?
But ye told me yourself ye had an interest!"

I stopped at this, confounded that I had run so far; he was
observing me with an unfathomable face.

"My lord, I ask your pardon," I resumed. "I have nothing in my
chafts but a rough country tongue. I think it would be only
decent-like if I would go to see my friend in her captivity; but
I'm owing you my life--I'll never forget that; and if it's for your
lordship's good, here I'll stay. That's barely gratitude."

"This might have been reached in fewer words," says Prestongrange
grimly. "It is easy, and it is at times gracious, to say a plain
Scots 'ay'."

"Ah, but, my lord, I think ye take me not yet entirely!" cried I.
"For YOUR sake, for my life-safe, and the kindness that ye say ye
bear to me--for these, I'll consent; but not for any good that
might be coming to myself. If I stand aside when this young maid
is in her trial, it's a thing I will be noways advantaged by; I
will lose by it, I will never gain. I would rather make a
shipwreck wholly than to build on that foundation."

He was a minute serious, then smiled. "You mind me of the man with
the long nose," said he; "was you to see the moon by a telescope
you would see David Balfour there! But you shall have your way of
it. I will ask at you one service, and then set you free: My
clerks are overdriven; be so good as copy me these few pages, and
when that is done, I shall bid you God speed! I would never charge
myself with Mr. David's conscience; and if you could cast some part
of it (as you went by) in a moss hag, you would find yourself to
ride much easier without it."

"Perhaps not just entirely in the same direction though, my lord!"
says I.

"And you shall have the last word, too!" cries he gaily.

Indeed, he had some cause for gaiety, having now found the means to
gain his purpose. To lessen the weight of the memorial, or to have
a readier answer at his hand, he desired I should appear publicly
in the character of his intimate. But if I were to appear with the
same publicity as a visitor to Catriona in her prison the world
would scarce stint to draw conclusions, and the true nature of
James More's escape must become evident to all. This was the
little problem I had to set him of a sudden, and to which he had so
briskly found an answer. I was to be tethered in Glasgow by that
job of copying, which in mere outward decency I could not well
refuse; and during these hours of employment Catriona was privately
got rid of. I think shame to write of this man that loaded me with
so many goodnesses. He was kind to me as any father, yet I ever
thought him as false as a cracked bell.


The copying was a weary business, the more so as I perceived very
early there was no sort of urgency in the matters treated, and
began very early to consider my employment a pretext. I had no
sooner finished than I got to horse, used what remained of daylight
to the best purpose, and being at last fairly benighted, slept in a
house by Almond-Water side. I was in the saddle again before the
day, and the Edinburgh booths were just opening when I clattered in
by the West Bow and drew up a smoking horse at my lord Advocate's
door. I had a written word for Doig, my lord's private hand that
was thought to be in all his secrets--a worthy little plain man,
all fat and snuff and self-sufficiency. Him I found already at his
desk and already bedabbled with maccabaw, in the same anteroom
where I rencountered with James More. He read the note
scrupulously through like a chapter in his Bible.

"H'm," says he; "ye come a wee thing ahint-hand, Mr. Balfour. The
bird's flaen--we hae letten her out."

"Miss Drummond is set free?" I cried.

"Achy!" said he. "What would we keep her for, ye ken? To hae made
a steer about the bairn would has pleased naebody."

"And where'll she be now?" says I.

"Gude kens!" says Doig, with a shrug.

"She'll have gone home to Lady Allardyce, I'm thinking," said I.

"That'll be it," said he.

"Then I'll gang there straight," says I.

"But ye'll be for a bite or ye go?" said he.

"Neither bite nor sup," said I. "I had a good wauch of milk in by

"Aweel, aweel," says Doig. "But ye'll can leave your horse here
and your bags, for it seems we're to have your up-put."

"Na, na", said I. "Tamson's mear {17} would never be the thing for
me this day of all days."

Doig speaking somewhat broad, I had been led by imitation into an
accent much more countrified than I was usually careful to affect a
good deal broader, indeed, than I have written it down; and I was
the more ashamed when another voice joined in behind me with a
scrap of a ballad:

"Gae saddle me the bonny black,
Gae saddle sune and mak' him ready
For I will down the Gatehope-slack,
And a' to see my bonny leddy."

The young lady, when I turned to her, stood in a morning gown, and
her hands muffled in the same, as if to hold me at a distance. Yet
I could not but think there was kindness in the eye with which she
saw me.

"My best respects to you, Mistress Grant," said I, bowing.

"The like to yourself, Mr. David," she replied with a deep
courtesy. "And I beg to remind you of an old musty saw, that meat
and mass never hindered man. The mass I cannot afford you, for we
are all good Protestants. But the meat I press on your attention.
And I would not wonder but I could find something for your private
ear that would be worth the stopping for."

"Mistress Grant," said I, "I believe I am already your debtor for
some merry words--and I think they were kind too--on a piece of
unsigned paper."

"Unsigned paper?" says she, and made a droll face, which was
likewise wondrous beautiful, as of one trying to remember.

"Or else I am the more deceived," I went on. "But to be sure, we
shall have the time to speak of these, since your father is so good
as to make me for a while your inmate; and the GOMERAL begs you at
this time only for the favour of his liberty,"

"You give yourself hard names," said she.

"Mr. Doig and I would be blythe to take harder at your clever pen,"
says I.

"Once more I have to admire the discretion of all men-folk," she
replied. "But if you will not eat, off with you at once; you will
be back the sooner, for you go on a fool's errand. Off with you,
Mr. David," she continued, opening the door.

"He has lowpen on his bonny grey,
He rade the richt gate and the ready
I trow he would neither stint nor stay,
For he was seeking his bonny leddy."

I did not wait to be twice bidden, and did justice to Miss Grant's
citation on the way to Dean.

Old Lady Allardyce walked there alone in the garden, in her hat and
mutch, and having a silver-mounted staff of some black wood to lean
upon. As I alighted from my horse, and drew near to her with
CONGEES, I could see the blood come in her face, and her head fling
into the air like what I had conceived of empresses.

"What brings you to my poor door?" she cried, speaking high through
her nose. "I cannot bar it. The males of my house are dead and
buried; I have neither son nor husband to stand in the gate for me;
any beggar can pluck me by the baird {18}--and a baird there is,
and that's the worst of it yet?" she added partly to herself.

I was extremely put out at this reception, and the last remark,
which seemed like a daft wife's, left me near hand speechless.

"I see I have fallen under your displeasure, ma'am," said I. "Yet
I will still be so bold as ask after Mistress Drummond."

She considered me with a burning eye, her lips pressed close
together into twenty creases, her hand shaking on her staff. "This
cows all!" she cried. "Ye come to me to speir for her? Would God
I knew!"

"She is not here?" I cried.

She threw up her chin and made a step and a cry at me, so that I
fell back incontinent.

"Out upon your leeing throat!" she cried. "What! ye come and speir
at me! She's in jyle, whaur ye took her to--that's all there is to
it. And of a' the beings ever I beheld in breeks, to think it
should be to you! Ye timmer scoun'rel, if I had a male left to my
name I would have your jaicket dustit till ye raired."

I thought it not good to delay longer in that place, because I
remarked her passion to be rising. As I turned to the horse-post
she even followed me; and I make no shame to confess that I rode
away with the one stirrup on and scrambling for the other.

As I knew no other quarter where I could push my inquiries, there
was nothing left me but to return to the Advocate's. I was well
received by the four ladies, who were now in company together, and
must give the news of Prestongrange and what word went in the west
country, at the most inordinate length and with great weariness to
myself; while all the time that young lady, with whom I so much
desired to be alone again, observed me quizzically and seemed to
find pleasure in the sight of my impatience. At last, after I had
endured a meal with them, and was come very near the point of
appealing for an interview before her aunt, she went and stood by
the music-case, and picking out a tune, sang to it on a high key--
"He that will not when he may, When he will he shall have nay."
But this was the end of her rigours, and presently, after making
some excuse of which I have no mind, she carried me away in private
to her father's library. I should not fail to say she was dressed
to the nines, and appeared extraordinary handsome.

"Now, Mr. David, sit ye down here and let us have a two-handed
crack," said she. "For I have much to tell you, and it appears
besides that I have been grossly unjust to your good taste."

"In what manner, Mistress Grant?" I asked. "I trust I have never
seemed to fail in due respect."

"I will be your surety, Mr, David," said she. "Your respect,
whether to yourself or your poor neighbours, has been always and
most fortunately beyond imitation. But that is by the question.
You got a note from me?" she asked.

"I was so bold as to suppose so upon inference," said I, "and it
was kindly thought upon."

"It must have prodigiously surprised you," said she. "But let us
begin with the beginning. You have not perhaps forgot a day when
you were so kind as to escort three very tedious misses to Hope
Park? I have the less cause to forget it myself, because you was
so particular obliging as to introduce me to some of the principles
of the Latin grammar, a thing which wrote itself profoundly on my

"I fear I was sadly pedantical," said I, overcome with confusion at
the memory. "You are only to consider I am quite unused with the
society of ladies."

"I will say the less about the grammar then," she replied. "But
how came you to desert your charge? 'He has thrown her out,
overboard, his ain dear Annie!'" she hummed; "and his ain dear
Annie and her two sisters had to taigle home by theirselves like a
string of green geese! It seems you returned to my papa's, where
you showed yourself excessively martial, and then on to realms
unknown, with an eye (it appears) to the Bass Rock; solan geese
being perhaps more to your mind than bonny lasses."

Through all this raillery there was something indulgent in the
lady's eye which made me suppose there might be better coming.

"You take a pleasure to torment me," said I, "and I make a very
feckless plaything; but let me ask you to be more merciful. At
this time there is but the one thing that I care to hear of, and
that will be news of Catriona."

"Do you call her by that name to her face, Mr. Balfour?" she asked.

"In troth, and I am not very sure," I stammered.

"I would not do so in any case to strangers," said Miss Grant.
"And why are you so much immersed in the affairs of this young

"I heard she was in prison," said I.

"Well, and now you hear that she is out of it," she replied, "and
what more would you have? She has no need of any further

"I may have the greater need of her, ma'am," said I.

"Come, this is better!" says Miss Grant. "But look me fairly in
the face; am I not bonnier than she?"

"I would be the last to be denying it," said I. "There is not your
marrow in all Scotland."

"Well, here you have the pick of the two at your hand, and must
needs speak of the other," said she. "This is never the way to
please the ladies, Mr. Balfour."

"But, mistress," said I, "there are surely other things besides
mere beauty."

"By which I am to understand that I am no better than I should be,
perhaps?" she asked.

"By which you will please understand that I am like the cock in the
midden in the fable book," said I. "I see the braw jewel--and I
like fine to see it too--but I have more need of the pickle corn."

"Bravissimo!" she cried. "There is a word well said at last, and I
will reward you for it with my story. That same night of your
desertion I came late from a friend's house--where I was
excessively admired, whatever you may think of it--and what should
I hear but that a lass in a tartan screen desired to speak with me?
She had been there an hour or better, said the servant-lass, and
she grat in to herself as she sat waiting. I went to her direct;
she rose as I came in, and I knew her at a look. 'Grey Eyes!' says
I to myself, but was more wise than to let on. YOU WILL BE MISS
GRANT AT LAST? she says, rising and looking at me hard and pitiful.
IN THESE TEARS UPON YOUR BONNY FACE. And at that I was so weak-
minded as to kiss her, which is what you would like to do dearly,
and I wager will never find the courage of. I say it was weak-
minded of me, for I knew no more of her than the outside; but it
was the wisest stroke I could have hit upon. She is a very
staunch, brave nature, but I think she has been little used with
tenderness; and at that caress (though to say the truth, it was but
lightly given) her heart went out to me. I will never betray the
secrets of my sex, Mr. Davie; I will never tell you the way she
turned me round her thumb, because it is the same she will use to
twist yourself. Ay, it is a fine lass! She is as clean as hill
well water."

"She is e'en't!" I cried.

"Well, then, she told me her concerns," pursued Miss Grant, "and in
what a swither she was in about her papa, and what a taking about
yourself, with very little cause, and in what a perplexity she had
found herself after you was gone away. AND THEN I MINDED AT LONG
forgave yourself, Mr. Davie. When you was in my society, you
seemed upon hot iron: by all marks, if ever I saw a young man that
wanted to be gone, it was yourself, and I and my two sisters were
the ladies you were so desirous to be gone from; and now it
appeared you had given me some notice in the by-going, and was so
kind as to comment on my attractions! From that hour you may date
our friendship, and I began to think with tenderness upon the Latin

"You will have many hours to rally me in," said I; "and I think
besides you do yourself injustice. I think it was Catriona turned
your heart in my direction. She is too simple to perceive as you
do the stiffness of her friend."

"I would not like to wager upon that, Mr. David," said she. "The
lasses have clear eyes. But at least she is your friend entirely,
as I was to see. I carried her in to his lordship my papa; and his
Advocacy being in a favourable stage of claret, was so good as to
receive the pair of us. HERE IS GREY EYES THAT YOU HAVE BEEN
YOUR FEET--making a papistical reservation of myself. She suited
her action to my words: down she went upon her knees to him--I
would not like to swear but he saw two of her, which doubtless made
her appeal the more irresistible, for you are all a pack of
Mahomedans--told him what had passed that night, and how she had
withheld her father's man from following of you, and what a case
she was in about her father, and what a flutter for yourself; and
begged with weeping for the lives of both of you (neither of which
was in the slightest danger), till I vow I was proud of my sex
because it was done so pretty, and ashamed for it because of the
smallness of the occasion. She had not gone far, I assure you,
before the Advocate was wholly sober, to see his inmost politics
ravelled out by a young lass and discovered to the most unruly of
his daughters. But we took him in hand, the pair of us, and
brought that matter straight. Properly managed--and that means
managed by me--there is no one to compare with my papa."

"He has been a good man to me," said I.

"Well, he was a good man to Katrine, and I was there to see to it,"
said she.

"And she pled for me?" say I.

"She did that, and very movingly," said Miss Grant. "I would not
like to tell you what she said--I find you vain enough already."

"God reward her for it!" cried I.

"With Mr. David Balfour, I suppose?" says she.

"You do me too much injustice at the last!" I cried. "I would
tremble to think of her in such hard hands. Do you think I would
presume, because she begged my life? She would do that for a new
whelped puppy! I have had more than that to set me up, if you but
ken'd. She kissed that hand of mine. Ay, but she did. And why?
because she thought I was playing a brave part and might be going
to my death. It was not for my sake--but I need not be telling
that to you, that cannot look at me without laughter. It was for
the love of what she thought was bravery. I believe there is none
but me and poor Prince Charlie had that honour done them. Was this
not to make a god of me? and do you not think my heart would quake
when I remember it?"

"I do laugh at you a good deal, and a good deal more than is quite
civil," said she; "but I will tell you one thing: if you speak to
her like that, you have some glimmerings of a chance."

"Me?" I cried, "I would never dare. I can speak to you, Miss
Grant, because it's a matter of indifference what ye think of me.
But her? no fear!" said I.

"I think you have the largest feet in all broad Scotland," says

"Troth they are no very small," said I, looking down.

"Ah, poor Catriona!" cries Miss Grant.

And I could but stare upon her; for though I now see very well what
she was driving at (and perhaps some justification for the same), I
was never swift at the uptake in such flimsy talk.

"Ah well, Mr. David," she said, "it goes sore against my
conscience, but I see I shall have to be your speaking board. She
shall know you came to her straight upon the news of her
imprisonment; she shall know you would not pause to eat; and of our
conversation she shall hear just so much as I think convenient for
a maid of her age and inexperience. Believe me, you will be in
that way much better served than you could serve yourself, for I
will keep the big feet out of the platter."

"You know where she is, then?" I exclaimed.

"That I do, Mr. David, and will never tell," said she.

"Why that?" I asked.

"Well," she said, "I am a good friend, as you will soon discover;
and the chief of those that I am friend to is my papa. I assure
you, you will never heat nor melt me out of that, so you may spare
me your sheep's eyes; and adieu to your David-Balfourship for the

"But there is yet one thing more," I cried. "There is one thing
that must be stopped, being mere ruin to herself, and to me too."

"Well," she said, "be brief; I have spent half the day on you

"My Lady Allardyce believes," I began--"she supposes--she thinks
that I abducted her."

The colour came into Miss Grant's face, so that at first I was
quite abashed to find her ear so delicate, till I bethought me she
was struggling rather with mirth, a notion in which I was
altogether confirmed by the shaking of her voice as she replied -

"I will take up the defence of your reputation," she said. "You
may leave it in my hands."

And with that she withdrew out of the library.


For about exactly two months I remained a guest in Prestongrange's
family, where I bettered my acquaintance with the bench, the bar,
and the flower of Edinburgh company. You are not to suppose my
education was neglected; on the contrary, I was kept extremely
busy. I studied the French, so as to be more prepared to go to
Leyden; I set myself to the fencing, and wrought hard, sometimes
three hours in the day, with notable advancement; at the suggestion
of my cousin, Pilrig, who was an apt musician, I was put to a
singing class; and by the orders of my Miss Grant, to one for the
dancing, at which I must say I proved far from ornamental.
However, all were good enough to say it gave me an address a little
more genteel; and there is no question but I learned to manage my
coat skirts and sword with more dexterity, and to stand in a room
as though the same belonged to me. My clothes themselves were all
earnestly re-ordered; and the most trifling circumstance, such as
where I should tie my hair, or the colour of my ribbon, debated
among the three misses like a thing of weight. One way with
another, no doubt I was a good deal improved to look at, and
acquired a bit of modest air that would have surprised the good
folks at Essendean.

The two younger misses were very willing to discuss a point of my
habiliment, because that was in the line of their chief thoughts.
I cannot say that they appeared any other way conscious of my
presence; and though always more than civil, with a kind of
heartless cordiality, could not hide how much I wearied them. As
for the aunt, she was a wonderful still woman; and I think she gave
me much the same attention as she gave the rest of the family,
which was little enough. The eldest daughter and the Advocate
himself were thus my principal friends, and our familiarity was
much increased by a pleasure that we took in common. Before the
court met we spent a day or two at the house of Grange, living very
nobly with an open table, and here it was that we three began to
ride out together in the fields, a practice afterwards maintained
in Edinburgh, so far as the Advocate's continual affairs permitted.
When we were put in a good frame by the briskness of the exercise,
the difficulties of the way, or the accidents of bad weather, my
shyness wore entirely off; we forgot that we were strangers, and
speech not being required, it flowed the more naturally on. Then
it was that they had my story from me, bit by bit, from the time
that I left Essendean, with my voyage and battle in the Covenant,
wanderings in the heather, etc.; and from the interest they found
in my adventures sprung the circumstance of a jaunt we made a
little later on, on a day when the courts were not sitting, and of
which I will tell a trifle more at length.

We took horse early, and passed first by the house of Shaws, where
it stood smokeless in a great field of white frost, for it was yet
early in the day. Here Prestongrange alighted down, gave me his
horse, an proceeded alone to visit my uncle. My heart, I remember,
swelled up bitter within me at the sight of that bare house and the
thought of the old miser sitting chittering within in the cold

"There is my home," said I; "and my family."

"Poor David Balfour!" said Miss Grant.

What passed during the visit I have never heard; but it would
doubtless not be very agreeable to Ebenezer, for when the Advocate
came forth again his face was dark.

"I think you will soon be the laird indeed, Mr. Davie," says he,
turning half about with the one foot in the stirrup.

"I will never pretend sorrow," said I; and, to say the truth,
during his absence Miss Grant and I had been embellishing the place
in fancy with plantations, parterres, and a terrace--much as I have
since carried out in fact.

Thence we pushed to the Queensferry, where Rankeillor gave us a
good welcome, being indeed out of the body to receive so great a
visitor. Here the Advocate was so unaffectedly good as to go quite
fully over my affairs, sitting perhaps two hours with the Writer in
his study, and expressing (I was told) a great esteem for myself
and concern for my fortunes. To while this time, Miss Grant and I
and young Rankeillor took boat and passed the Hope to Limekilns.
Rankeillor made himself very ridiculous (and, I thought, offensive)
with his admiration for the young lady, and to my wonder (only it
is so common a weakness of her sex) she seemed, if anything, to be
a little gratified. One use it had: for when we were come to the
other side, she laid her commands on him to mind the boat, while
she and I passed a little further to the alehouse. This was her
own thought, for she had been taken with my account of Alison
Hastie, and desired to see the lass herself. We found her once
more alone--indeed, I believe her father wrought all day in the
fields--and she curtsied dutifully to the gentry-folk and the
beautiful young lady in the riding-coat.

"Is this all the welcome I am to get?" said I, holding out my hand.
"And have you no more memory of old friends?"

"Keep me! wha's this of it?" she cried, and then, "God's truth,
it's the tautit {19} laddie!"

"The very same," says

"Mony's the time I've thocht upon you and your freen, and blythe am
I to see in your braws," {20} she cried. "Though I kent ye were
come to your ain folk by the grand present that ye sent me and that
I thank ye for with a' my heart."

"There," said Miss Grant to me, "run out by with ye, like a guid
bairn. I didnae come here to stand and haud a candle; it's her and
me that are to crack."

I suppose she stayed ten minutes in the house, but when she came
forth I observed two things--that her eyes were reddened, and a
silver brooch was gone out of her bosom. This very much affected

"I never saw you so well adorned," said I.

"O Davie man, dinna be a pompous gowk!" said she, and was more than
usually sharp to me the remainder of the day.

About candlelight we came home from this excursion.

For a good while I heard nothing further of Catriona--my Miss Grant
remaining quite impenetrable, and stopping my mouth with
pleasantries. At last, one day that she returned from walking and
found me alone in the parlour over my French, I thought there was
something unusual in her looks; the colour heightened, the eyes
sparkling high, and a bit of a smile continually bitten in as she
regarded me. She seemed indeed like the very spirit of mischief,
and, walking briskly in the room, had soon involved me in a kind of
quarrel over nothing and (at the least) with nothing intended on my
side. I was like Christian in the slough--the more I tried to
clamber out upon the side, the deeper I became involved; until at
last I heard her declare, with a great deal of passion, that she
would take that answer from the hands of none, and I must down upon
my knees for pardon.

The causelessness of all this fuff stirred my own bile. "I have
said nothing you can properly object to," said I, "and as for my
knees, that is an attitude I keep for God."

"And as a goddess I am to be served!" she cried, shaking her brown
locks at me and with a bright colour. "Every man that comes within
waft of my petticoats shall use me so!"

"I will go so far as ask your pardon for the fashion's sake,
although I vow I know not why," I replied. "But for these play-
acting postures, you can go to others."

"O Davie!" she said. "Not if I was to beg you?"

I bethought me I was fighting with a woman, which is the same as to
say a child, and that upon a point entirely formal.

"I think it a bairnly thing," I said, "not worthy in you to ask, or
me to render. Yet I will not refuse you, neither," said I; "and
the stain, if there be any, rests with yourself." And at that I
kneeled fairly down.

"There!" she cried. "There is the proper station, there is where I
have been manoeuvring to bring you." And then, suddenly, "Kep,"
{21} said she, flung me a folded billet, and ran from the apartment

The billet had neither place nor date. "Dear Mr. David," it began,
"I get your news continually by my cousin, Miss Grant, and it is a
pleisand hearing. I am very well, in a good place, among good
folk, but necessitated to be quite private, though I am hoping that
at long last we may meet again. All your friendships have been
told me by my loving cousin, who loves us both. She bids me to
send you this writing, and oversees the same. I will be asking you
to do all her commands, and rest your affectionate friend, Catriona
Macgregor-Drummond. P.S.--Will you not see my cousin, Allardyce?"

I think it not the least brave of my campaigns (as the soldiers
say) that I should have done as I was here bidden and gone
forthright to the house by Dean. But the old lady was now entirely
changed and supple as a glove. By what means Miss Grant had
brought this round I could never guess; I am sure, at least, she
dared not to appear openly in the affair, for her papa was
compromised in it pretty deep. It was he, indeed, who had
persuaded Catriona to leave, or rather, not to return, to her
cousin's, placing her instead with a family of Gregorys--decent
people, quite at the Advocate's disposition, and in whom she might
have the more confidence because they were of his own clan and
family. These kept her private till all was ripe, heated and
helped her to attempt her father's rescue, and after she was
discharged from prison received her again into the same secrecy.
Thus Prestongrange obtained and used his instrument; nor did there
leak out the smallest word of his acquaintance with the daughter of
James More. There was some whispering, of course, upon the escape
of that discredited person; but the Government replied by a show of
rigour, one of the cell porters was flogged, the lieutenant of the
guard (my poor friend, Duncansby) was broken of his rank, and as
for Catriona, all men were well enough pleased that her fault
should be passed by in silence.

I could never induce Miss Grant to carry back an answer. "No," she
would say, when I persisted, "I am going to keep the big feet out
of the platter." This was the more hard to bear, as I was aware
she saw my little friend many times in the week, and carried her my
news whenever (as she said) I "had behaved myself." At last she
treated me to what she called an indulgence, and I thought rather
more of a banter. She was certainly a strong, almost a violent,
friend to all she liked, chief among whom was a certain frail old
gentlewoman, very blind and very witty, who dwelt on the top of a
tall land on a strait close, with a nest of linnets in a cage, and
thronged all day with visitors. Miss Grant was very fond to carry
me there and put me to entertain her friend with the narrative of
my misfortunes: and Miss Tibbie Ramsay (that was her name) was
particular kind, and told me a great deal that was worth knowledge
of old folks and past affairs in Scotland. I should say that from
her chamber window, and not three feet away, such is the straitness
of that close, it was possible to look into a barred loophole
lighting the stairway of the opposite house.

Here, upon some pretext, Miss Grant left me one day alone with Miss
Ramsay. I mind I thought that lady inattentive and like one
preoccupied. I was besides very uncomfortable, for the window,
contrary to custom, was left open and the day was cold. All at
once the voice of Miss Grant sounded in my ears as from a distance.

"Here, Shaws!" she cried, "keek out of the window and see what I
have broughten you."

I think it was the prettiest sight that ever I beheld. The well of
the close was all in clear shadow where a man could see distinctly,
the walls very black and dingy; and there from the barred loophole
I saw two faces smiling across at me--Miss Grant's and Catriona's.

"There!" says Miss Grant, "I wanted her to see you in your braws
like the lass of Limekilns. I wanted her to see what I could make
of you, when I buckled to the job in earnest!"

It came in my mind that she had been more than common particular
that day upon my dress; and I think that some of the same care had
been bestowed upon Catriona. For so merry and sensible a lady,
Miss Grant was certainly wonderful taken up with duds.

"Catriona!" was all I could get out.

As for her, she said nothing in the world, but only waved her hand
and smiled to me, and was suddenly carried away again from before
the loophole.

That vision was no sooner lost than I ran to the house door, where
I found I was locked in; thence back to Miss Ramsay, crying for the
key, but might as well have cried upon the castle rock. She had
passed her word, she said, and I must be a good lad. It was
impossible to burst the door, even if it had been mannerly; it was
impossible I should leap from the window, being seven storeys above
ground. All I could do was to crane over the close and watch for
their reappearance from the stair. It was little to see, being no
more than the tops of their two heads each on a ridiculous bobbin
of skirts, like to a pair of pincushions. Nor did Catriona so much
as look up for a farewell; being prevented (as I heard afterwards)
by Miss Grant, who told her folk were never seen to less advantage
than from above downward.

On the way home, as soon as I was set free, I upbraided Miss Grant
with her cruelty.

"I am sorry you was disappointed," says she demurely. "For my part
I was very pleased. You looked better than I dreaded; you looked--
if it will not make you vain--a mighty pretty young man when you
appeared in the window. You are to remember that she could not see
your feet," says she, with the manner of one reassuring me.

"O!" cried I, "leave my feet be--they are no bigger than my

"They are even smaller than some," said she, "but I speak in
parables like a Hebrew prophet."

"I marvel little they were sometimes stoned!" says I. "But, you
miserable girl, how could you do it? Why should you care to
tantalise me with a moment?"

"Love is like folk," says she; "it needs some kind of vivers." {22}

"Oh, Barbara, let me see her properly!" I pleaded. "YOU can--you
see her when you please; let me have half an hour."

"Who is it that is managing this love affair! You! Or me?" she
asked, and as I continued to press her with my instances, fell back
upon a deadly expedient: that of imitating the tones of my voice
when I called on Catriona by name; with which, indeed, she held me
in subjection for some days to follow.

There was never the least word heard of the memorial, or none by
me. Prestongrange and his grace the Lord President may have heard
of it (for what I know) on the deafest sides of their heads; they
kept it to themselves, at least--the public was none the wiser; and
in course of time, on November 8th, and in the midst of a
prodigious storm of wind and rain, poor James of the Glens was duly
hanged at Lettermore by Ballachulish.

So there was the final upshot of my politics! Innocent men have
perished before James, and are like to keep on perishing (in spite
of all our wisdom) till the end of time. And till the end of time
young folk (who are not yet used with the duplicity of life and
men) will struggle as I did, and make heroical resolves, and take
long risks; and the course of events will push them upon the one
side and go on like a marching army. James was hanged; and here
was I dwelling in the house of Prestongrange, and grateful to him
for his fatherly attention. He was hanged; and behold! when I met
Mr. Simon in the causeway, I was fain to pull off my beaver to him
like a good little boy before his dominie. He had been hanged by
fraud and violence, and the world wagged along, and there was not a
pennyweight of difference; and the villains of that horrid plot
were decent, kind, respectable fathers of families, who went to
kirk and took the sacrament!

But I had had my view of that detestable business they call
politics--I had seen it from behind, when it is all bones and
blackness; and I was cured for life of any temptations to take part
in it again. A plain, quiet, private path was that which I was
ambitious to walk in, when I might keep my head out of the way of
dangers and my conscience out of the road of temptation. For, upon
a retrospect, it appeared I had not done so grandly, after all; but
with the greatest possible amount of big speech and preparation,
had accomplished nothing.

The 25th of the same month a ship was advertised to sail from
Leith; and I was suddenly recommended to make up my mails for
Leyden. To Prestongrange I could, of course, say nothing; for I
had already been a long while sorning on his house and table. But
with his daughter I was more open, bewailing my fate that I should
be sent out of the country, and assuring her, unless she should
bring me to farewell with Catriona, I would refuse at the last

"Have I not given you my advice?" she asked.

"I know you have," said I, "and I know how much I am beholden to
you already, and that I am bidden to obey your orders. But you
must confess you are something too merry a lass at times to lippen
{23} to entirely."

"I will tell you, then," said she. "Be you on board by nine
o'clock forenoon; the ship does not sail before one; keep your boat
alongside; and if you are not pleased with my farewells when I
shall send them, you can come ashore again and seek Katrine for

Since I could make no more of her, I was fain to be content with

The day came round at last when she and I were to separate. We had
been extremely intimate and familiar; I was much in her debt; and
what way we were to part was a thing that put me from my sleep,
like the vails I was to give to the domestic servants. I knew she
considered me too backward, and rather desired to rise in her
opinion on that head. Besides which, after so much affection shown
and (I believe) felt upon both sides, it would have looked cold-
like to be anyways stiff. Accordingly, I got my courage up and my
words ready, and the last chance we were like to be alone, asked
pretty boldly to be allowed to salute her in farewell.

"You forget yourself strangely, Mr. Balfour," said she. "I cannot
call to mind that I have given you any right to presume on our

I stood before her like a stopped clock, and knew not what to
think, far less to say, when of a sudden she cast her arms about my
neck and kissed me with the best will in the world.

"You inimitable bairn?" she cried. "Did you think that I would let
us part like strangers? Because I can never keep my gravity at you
five minutes on end, you must not dream I do not love you very
well: I am all love and laughter, every time I cast an eye on you!
And now I will give you an advice to conclude your education, which
you will have need of before it's very long.

Never ASK womenfolk. They're bound to answer 'No'; God never made
the lass that could resist the temptation. It's supposed by
divines to be the curse of Eve: because she did not say it when
the devil offered her the apple, her daughters can say nothing

"Since I am so soon to lose my bonny professor," I began.

"This is gallant, indeed," says she curtseying.

"I would put the one question," I went on. "May I ask a lass to
marry to me?"

"You think you could not marry her without!" she asked. "Or else
get her to offer?"

"You see you cannot be serious," said I.

"I shall be very serious in one thing, David," said she: "I shall
always be your friend."

As I got to my horse the next morning, the four ladies were all at
that same window whence we had once looked down on Catriona, and
all cried farewell and waved their pocket napkins as I rode away.
One out of the four I knew was truly sorry; and at the thought of
that, and how I had come to the door three months ago for the first
time, sorrow and gratitude made a confusion in my mind.



The ship lay at a single anchor, well outside the pier of Leith, so
that all we passengers must come to it by the means of skiffs.
This was very little troublesome, for the reason that the day was a
flat calm, very frosty and cloudy, and with a low shifting fog upon
the water. The body of the vessel was thus quite hid as I drew
near, but the tall spars of her stood high and bright in a sunshine
like the flickering of a fire. She proved to be a very roomy,
commodious merchant, but somewhat blunt in the bows, and loaden
extraordinary deep with salt, salted salmon, and fine white linen
stockings for the Dutch. Upon my coming on board, the captain
welcomed me--one Sang (out of Lesmahago, I believe), a very hearty,
friendly tarpaulin of a man, but at the moment in rather of a
bustle. There had no other of the passengers yet appeared, so that
I was left to walk about upon the deck, viewing the prospect and
wondering a good deal what these farewells should be which I was

All Edinburgh and the Pentland Hills glinted above me in a kind of
smuisty brightness, now and again overcome with blots of cloud; of
Leith there was no more than the tops of chimneys visible, and on
the face of the water, where the haar {24} lay, nothing at all.
Out of this I was presently aware of a sound of oars pulling, and a
little after (as if out of the smoke of a fire) a boat issued.
There sat a grave man in the stern sheets, well muffled from the
cold, and by his side a tall, pretty, tender figure of a maid that
brought my heart to a stand. I had scarce the time to catch my
breath in, and be ready to meet her, as she stepped upon the deck,
smiling, and making my best bow, which was now vastly finer than
some months before, when first I made it to her ladyship. No doubt
we were both a good deal changed: she seemed to have shot up like
a young, comely tree. She had now a kind of pretty backwardness
that became her well as of one that regarded herself more highly
and was fairly woman; and for another thing, the hand of the same
magician had been at work upon the pair of us, and Miss Grant had
made us both BRAW, if she could make but the one BONNY.

The same cry, in words not very different, came from both of us,
that the other was come in compliment to say farewell, and then we
perceived in a flash we were to ship together.

"O, why will not Baby have been telling me!" she cried; and then
remembered a letter she had been given, on the condition of not
opening it till she was well on board. Within was an enclosure for
myself, and ran thus:

"DEAR DAVIE,--What do you think of my farewell? and what do you say
to your fellow passenger? Did you kiss, or did you ask? I was
about to have signed here, but that would leave the purport of my
question doubtful, and in my own case I KEN THE ANSWER. So fill up
here with good advice. Do not be too blate, {25} and for God's
sake do not try to be too forward; nothing acts you worse. I am

"Your affectionate friend and governess,

I wrote a word of answer and compliment on a leaf out of my
pocketbook, put it in with another scratch from Catriona, sealed
the whole with my new signet of the Balfour arms, and despatched it
by the hand of Prestongrange's servant that still waited in my

Then we had time to look upon each other more at leisure, which we
had not done for a piece of a minute before (upon a common impulse)
we shook hands again.

"Catriona?" said I. It seemed that was the first and last word of
my eloquence.

"You will be glad to see me again?" says she.

"And I think that is an idle word," said I. "We are too deep
friends to make speech upon such trifles."

"Is she not the girl of all the world?" she cried again. "I was
never knowing such a girl so honest and so beautiful."

"And yet she cared no more for Alpin than what she did for a kale-
stock," said I.

"Ah, she will say so indeed!" cries Catriona. "Yet it was for the
name and the gentle kind blood that she took me up and was so good
to me."

"Well, I will tell you why it was," said I. "There are all sorts
of people's faces in this world. There is Barbara's face, that
everyone must look at and admire, and think her a fine, brave,
merry girl. And then there is your face, which is quite different-
-I never knew how different till to-day. You cannot see yourself,
and that is why you do not understand; but it was for the love of
your face that she took you up and was so good to you. And
everybody in the world would do the same."

"Everybody?" says she.

"Every living soul?" said I.

"Ah, then, that will be why the soldiers at the castle took me up!"
she cried,

"Barbara has been teaching you to catch me," said I.

"She will have taught me more than that at all events. She will
have taught me a great deal about Mr. David--all the ill of him,
and a little that was not so ill either, now and then," she said,
smiling. "She will have told me all there was of Mr. David, only
just that he would sail upon this very same ship. And why it is
you go?"

I told her.

"Ah, well," said she, "we will be some days in company and then (I
suppose) good-bye for altogether! I go to meet my father at a
place of the name of Helvoetsluys, and from there to France, to be
exiles by the side of our chieftain."

I could say no more than just "O!" the name of James More always
drying up my very voice.

She was quick to perceive it, and to guess some portion of my

"There is one thing I must be saying first of all, Mr. David," said
she. "I think two of my kinsfolk have not behaved to you
altogether very well. And the one of them two is James More, my
father, and the other is the Laird of Prestongrange. Prestongrange
will have spoken by himself, or his daughter in the place of him.
But for James More, my father, I have this much to say: he lay
shackled in a prison; he is a plain honest soldier and a plain
Highland gentleman; what they would be after he would never be
guessing; but if he had understood it was to be some prejudice to a
young gentleman like yourself, he would have died first. And for
the sake of all your friendships, I will be asking you to pardon my
father and family for that same mistake."

"Catriona," said I, "what that mistake was I do not care to know.
I know but the one thing--that you went to Prestongrange and begged
my life upon your knees. O, I ken well enough it was for your
father that you went, but when you were there you pleaded for me
also. It is a thing I cannot speak of. There are two things I
cannot think of into myself: and the one is your good words when
you called yourself my little friend, and the other that you
pleaded for my life. Let us never speak more, we two, of pardon or

We stood after that silent, Catriona looking on the deck and I on
her; and before there was more speech, a little wind having sprung
up in the nor'-west, they began to shake out the sails and heave in
upon the anchor.

There were six passengers besides our two selves, which made of it
a full cabin. Three were solid merchants out of Leith, Kirkcaldy,
and Dundee, all engaged in the same adventure into High Germany.
One was a Hollander returning; the rest worthy merchants' wives, to
the charge of one of whom Catriona was recommended. Mrs. Gebbie
(for that was her name) was by great good fortune heavily
incommoded by the sea, and lay day and night on the broad of her
back. We were besides the only creatures at all young on board the
Rose, except a white-faced boy that did my old duty to attend upon
the table; and it came about that Catriona and I were left almost
entirely to ourselves. We had the next seats together at the
table, where I waited on her with extraordinary pleasure. On deck,
I made her a soft place with my cloak; and the weather being
singularly fine for that season, with bright frosty days and
nights, a steady, gentle wind, and scarce a sheet started all the
way through the North Sea, we sat there (only now and again walking
to and fro for warmth) from the first blink of the sun till eight
or nine at night under the clear stars. The merchants or Captain
Sang would sometimes glance and smile upon us, or pass a merry word
or two and give us the go-by again; but the most part of the time
they were deep in herring and chintzes and linen, or in
computations of the slowness of the passage, and left us to our own
concerns, which were very little important to any but ourselves.

At the first, we had a great deal to say, and thought ourselves
pretty witty; and I was at a little pains to be the beau, and she
(I believe) to play the young lady of experience. But soon we grew
plainer with each other. I laid aside my high, clipped English
(what little there was left of it) and forgot to make my Edinburgh
bows and scrapes; she, upon her side, fell into a sort of kind
familiarity; and we dwelt together like those of the same
household, only (upon my side) with a more deep emotion. About the
same time the bottom seemed to fall out of our conversation, and
neither one of us the less pleased. Whiles she would tell me old
wives' tales, of which she had a wonderful variety, many of them
from my friend red-headed Niel. She told them very pretty, and
they were pretty enough childish tales; but the pleasure to myself
was in the sound of her voice, and the thought that she was telling
and I listening. Whiles, again, we would sit entirely silent, not
communicating even with a look, and tasting pleasure enough in the
sweetness of that neighbourhood. I speak here only for myself. Of
what was in the maid's mind, I am not very sure that ever I asked
myself; and what was in my own, I was afraid to consider. I need
make no secret of it now, either to myself or to the reader; I was
fallen totally in love. She came between me and the sun. She had
grown suddenly taller, as I say, but with a wholesome growth; she
seemed all health, and lightness, and brave spirits; and I thought
she walked like a young deer, and stood like a birch upon the
mountains. It was enough for me to sit near by her on the deck;
and I declare I scarce spent two thoughts upon the future, and was
so well content with what I then enjoyed that I was never at the
pains to imagine any further step; unless perhaps that I would be
sometimes tempted to take her hand in mine and hold it there. But
I was too like a miser of what joys I had, and would venture
nothing on a hazard.

What we spoke was usually of ourselves or of each other, so that if
anyone had been at so much pains as overhear us, he must have
supposed us the most egotistical persons in the world. It befell
one day when we were at this practice, that we came on a discourse
of friends and friendship, and I think now that we were sailing
near the wind. We said what a fine thing friendship was, and how
little we had guessed of it, and how it made life a new thing, and
a thousand covered things of the same kind that will have been
said, since the foundation of the world, by young folk in the same
predicament. Then we remarked upon the strangeness of that
circumstance, that friends came together in the beginning as if
they were there for the first time, and yet each had been alive a
good while, losing time with other people.

"It is not much that I have done," said she, "and I could be
telling you the five-fifths of it in two-three words. It is only a
girl I am, and what can befall a girl, at all events? But I went
with the clan in the year '45. The men marched with swords and
fire-locks, and some of them in brigades in the same set of tartan;
they were not backward at the marching, I can tell you. And there
were gentlemen from the Low Country, with their tenants mounted and
trumpets to sound, and there was a grant skirling of war-pipes. I
rode on a little Highland horse on the right hand of my father,
James More, and of Glengyle himself. And here is one fine thing
that I remember, that Glengyle kissed me in the face, because (says
he) 'my kinswoman, you are the only lady of the clan that has come
out,' and me a little maid of maybe twelve years old! I saw Prince
Charlie too, and the blue eyes of him; he was pretty indeed! I had
his hand to kiss in front of the army. O, well, these were the
good days, but it is all like a dream that I have seen and then
awakened. It went what way you very well know; and these were the
worst days of all, when the red-coat soldiers were out, and my
father and uncles lay in the hill, and I was to be carrying them
their meat in the middle night, or at the short sight of day when
the cocks crow. Yes, I have walked in the night, many's the time,
and my heart great in me for terror of the darkness. It is a
strange thing I will never have been meddled with by a bogle; but
they say a maid goes safe. Next there was my uncle's marriage, and
that was a dreadful affair beyond all. Jean Kay was that woman's
name; and she had me in the room with her that night at Inversnaid,
the night we took her from her friends in the old, ancient manner.
She would and she wouldn't; she was for marrying Rob the one
minute, and the next she would be for none of him. I will never
have seen such a feckless creature of a woman; surely all there was
of her would tell her ay or no. Well, she was a widow; and I can
never be thinking a widow a good woman."

"Catriona!" says I, "how do you make out that?"

"I do not know," said she; "I am only telling you the seeming in my
heart. And then to marry a new man! Fy! But that was her; and
she was married again upon my Uncle Robin, and went with him awhile
to kirk and market; and then wearied, or else her friends got
claught of her and talked her round, or maybe she turned ashamed;
at the least of it, she ran away, and went back to her own folk,
and said we had held her in the lake, and I will never tell you all
what. I have never thought much of any females since that day.
And so in the end my father, James More, came to be cast in prison,
and you know the rest of it an well as me."

"And through all you had no friends?" said I.

"No," said she; "I have been pretty chief with two-three lasses on
the braes, but not to call it friends."

"Well, mine is a plain tale," said I. "I never had a friend to my
name till I met in with you."

"And that brave Mr. Stewart?" she asked.

"O, yes, I was forgetting him," I said. "But he in a man, and that
in very different."

"I would think so," said she. "O, yes, it is quite different."

"And then there was one other," said I. "I once thought I had a
friend, but it proved a disappointment."

She asked me who she was?

"It was a he, then," said I. "We were the two best lads at my
father's school, and we thought we loved each other dearly. Well,
the time came when he went to Glasgow to a merchant's house, that
was his second cousin once removed; and wrote me two-three times by
the carrier; and then he found new friends, and I might write till
I was tired, he took no notice. Eh, Catriona, it took me a long
while to forgive the world. There is not anything more bitter than
to lose a fancied friend."

Then she began to question me close upon his looks and character,
for we were each a great deal concerned in all that touched the
other; till at last, in a very evil hour, I minded of his letters
and went and fetched the bundle from the cabin.

"Here are his letters," said I, "and all the letters that ever I
got. That will be the last I'll can tell of myself; ye know the
lave {26} as well as I do."

"Will you let me read them, then?" says she.

I told her, IF SHE WOULD BE AT THE PAINS; and she bade me go away
and she would read them from the one end to the other. Now, in
this bundle that I gave her, there were packed together not only
all the letters of my false friend, but one or two of Mr.
Campbell's when he was in town at the Assembly, and to make a
complete roll of all that ever was written to me, Catriona's little
word, and the two I had received from Miss Grant, one when I was on
the Bass and one on board that ship. But of these last I had no
particular mind at the moment.

I was in that state of subjection to the thought of my friend that
it mattered not what I did, nor scarce whether I was in her
presence or out of it; I had caught her like some kind of a noble
fever that lived continually in my bosom, by night and by day, and
whether I was waking or asleep. So it befell that after I was come
into the fore-part of the ship where the broad bows splashed into
the billows, I was in no such hurry to return as you might fancy;
rather prolonged my absence like a variety in pleasure. I do not
think I am by nature much of an Epicurean: and there had come till
then so small a share of pleasure in my way that I might be excused
perhaps to dwell on it unduly.

When I returned to her again, I had a faint, painful impression as
of a buckle slipped, so coldly she returned the packet.

"You have read them?" said I; and I thought my voice sounded not
wholly natural, for I was turning in my mind for what could ail

"Did you mean me to read all?" she asked.

I told her "Yes," with a drooping voice.

"The last of them as well?" said she.

I knew where we were now; yet I would not lie to her either. "I
gave them all without afterthought," I said, "as I supposed that
you would read them. I see no harm in any."

"I will be differently made," said she. "I thank God I am
differently made. It was not a fit letter to be shown me. It was
not fit to be written."

"I think you are speaking of your own friend, Barbara Grant?" said

"There will not be anything as bitter as to lose a fancied friend,"
said she, quoting my own expression.

"I think it is sometimes the friendship that was fancied!" I cried.
"What kind of justice do you call this, to blame me for some words
that a tomfool of a madcap lass has written down upon a piece of
paper? You know yourself with what respect I have behaved--and
would do always."

"Yet you would show me that same letter!" says she. "I want no
such friends. I can be doing very well, Mr. Balfour, without her--
or you."

"This is your fine gratitude!" says I.

"I am very much obliged to you," said she. "I will be asking you
to take away your--letters." She seemed to choke upon the word, so
that it sounded like an oath.

"You shall never ask twice," said I; picked up that bundle, walked
a little way forward and cast them as far as possible into the sea.
For a very little more I could have cast myself after them.

The rest of the day I walked up and down raging. There were few
names so ill but what I gave her them in my own mind before the sun
went down. All that I had ever heard of Highland pride seemed
quite outdone; that a girl (scarce grown) should resent so trifling
an allusion, and that from her next friend, that she had near
wearied me with praising of! I had bitter, sharp, hard thoughts of
her, like an angry boy's. If I had kissed her indeed (I thought),
perhaps she would have taken it pretty well; and only because it
had been written down, and with a spice of jocularity, up she must
fuff in this ridiculous passion. It seemed to me there was a want
of penetration in the female sex, to make angels weep over the case
of the poor men.

We were side by side again at supper, and what a change was there!
She was like curdled milk to me; her face was like a wooden doll's;
I could have indifferently smitten her or grovelled at her feet,
but she gave me not the least occasion to do either. No sooner the
meal done than she betook herself to attend on Mrs. Gebbie, which I
think she had a little neglected heretofore. But she was to make
up for lost time, and in what remained of the passage was
extraordinary assiduous with the old lady, and on deck began to
make a great deal more than I thought wise of Captain Sang. Not
but what the Captain seemed a worthy, fatherly man; but I hated to
behold her in the least familiarity with anyone except myself.

Altogether, she was so quick to avoid me, and so constant to keep
herself surrounded with others, that I must watch a long while
before I could find my opportunity; and after it was found, I made
not much of it, as you are now to hear.

"I have no guess how I have offended," said I; "it should scarce be
beyond pardon, then. O, try if you can pardon me."

"I have no pardon to give," said she; and the words seemed to come
out of her throat like marbles. "I will be very much obliged for
all your friendships." And she made me an eighth part of a

But I had schooled myself beforehand to say more, and I was going
to say it too.

"There is one thing," said I. "If I have shocked your
particularity by the showing of that letter, it cannot touch Miss
Grant. She wrote not to you, but to a poor, common, ordinary lad,
who might have had more sense than show it. If you are to blame

"I will advise you to say no more about that girl, at all events!"
said Catriona. "It is her I will never look the road of, not if
she lay dying." She turned away from me, and suddenly back. "Will
you swear you will have no more to deal with her?" she cried.

"Indeed, and I will never be so unjust then," said I; "nor yet so

And now it was I that turned away.


The weather in the end considerably worsened; the wind sang in the
shrouds, the sea swelled higher, and the ship began to labour and
cry out among the billows. The song of the leadsman in the chains
was now scarce ceasing, for we thrid all the way among shoals.
About nine in the morning, in a burst of wintry sun between two
squalls of hail, I had my first look of Holland--a line of
windmills birling in the breeze. It was besides my first knowledge
of these daft-like contrivances, which gave me a near sense of
foreign travel and a new world and life. We came to an anchor
about half-past eleven, outside the harbour of Helvoetsluys, in a
place where the sea sometimes broke and the ship pitched
outrageously. You may be sure we were all on deck save Mrs.
Gebbie, some of us in cloaks, others mantled in the ship's
tarpaulins, all clinging on by ropes, and jesting the most like old
sailor-folk that we could imitate.

Presently a boat, that was backed like a partancrab, came gingerly
alongside, and the skipper of it hailed our master in the Dutch.
Thence Captain Sang turned, very troubled-like, to Catriona; and
the rest of us crowding about, the nature of the difficulty was
made plain to all. The Rose was bound to the port of Rotterdam,
whither the other passengers were in a great impatience to arrive,
in view of a conveyance due to leave that very evening in the
direction of the Upper Germany. This, with the present half-gale
of wind, the captain (if no time were lost) declared himself still
capable to save. Now James More had trysted in Helvoet with his
daughter, and the captain had engaged to call before the port and
place her (according to the custom) in a shore boat. There was the
boat, to be sure, and here was Catriona ready: but both our master
and the patroon of the boat scrupled at the risk, and the first was
in no humour to delay.

"Your father," said he, "would be gey an little pleased if we was
to break a leg to ye, Miss Drummond, let-a-be drowning of you.
Take my way of it," says he, "and come on-by with the rest of us
here to Rotterdam. Ye can get a passage down the Maes in a sailing
scoot as far as to the Brill, and thence on again, by a place in a
rattel-waggon, back to Helvoet."

But Catriona would hear of no change. She looked white-like as she
beheld the bursting of the sprays, the green seas that sometimes
poured upon the fore-castle, and the perpetual bounding and
swooping of the boat among the billows; but she stood firmly by her
father's orders. "My father, James More, will have arranged it
so," was her first word and her last. I thought it very idle and
indeed wanton in the girl to be so literal and stand opposite to so
much kind advice; but the fact is she had a very good reason, if
she would have told us. Sailing scoots and rattel-waggons are
excellent things; only the use of them must first be paid for, and
all she was possessed of in the world was just two shillings and a
penny halfpenny sterling. So it fell out that captain and
passengers, not knowing of her destitution--and she being too proud
to tell them--spoke in vain.

"But you ken nae French and nae Dutch neither," said one.

"It is very true," says she, "but since the year '46 there are so
many of the honest Scotch abroad that I will be doing very well. I
thank you."

There was a pretty country simplicity in this that made some laugh,
others looked the more sorry, and Mr. Gebbie fall outright in a
passion. I believe he knew it was his duty (his wife having
accepted charge of the girl) to have gone ashore with her and seen
her safe: nothing would have induced him to have done so, since it
must have involved the lose of his conveyance; and I think he made
it up to his conscience by the loudness of his voice. At least he
broke out upon Captain Sang, raging and saying the thing was a
disgrace; that it was mere death to try to leave the ship, and at
any event we could not cast down an innocent maid in a boatful of
nasty Holland fishers, and leave her to her fate. I was thinking
something of the same; took the mate upon one side, arranged with
him to send on my chests by track-scoot to an address I had in
Leyden, and stood up and signalled to the fishers.

"I will go ashore with the young lady, Captain Sang," said I. "It
is all one what way I go to Leyden;" and leaped at the same time
into the boat, which I managed not so elegantly but what I fell
with two of the fishers in the bilge.

From the boat the business appeared yet more precarious than from
the ship, she stood so high over us, swung down so swift, and
menaced us so perpetually with her plunging and passaging upon the
anchor cable. I began to think I had made a fool's bargain, that
it was merely impossible Catriona should be got on board to me, and
that I stood to be set ashore at Helvoet all by myself and with no
hope of any reward but the pleasure of embracing James More, if I
should want to. But this was to reckon without the lass's courage.
She had seen me leap with very little appearance (however much
reality) of hesitation; to be sure, she was not to be beat by her
discarded friend. Up she stood on the bulwarks and held by a stay,
the wind blowing in her petticoats, which made the enterprise more
dangerous, and gave us rather more of a view of her stockings than
would be thought genteel in cities. There was no minute lost, and
scarce time given for any to interfere if they had wished the same.
I stood up on the other side and spread my arms; the ship swung
down on us, the patroon humoured his boat nearer in than was
perhaps wholly safe, and Catriona leaped into the air. I was so
happy as to catch her, and the fishers readily supporting us,
escaped a fall. She held to me a moment very tight, breathing
quick and deep; thence (she still clinging to me with both hands)
we were passed aft to our places by the steersman; and Captain Sang
and all the crew and passengers cheering and crying farewell, the
boat was put about for shore.

As soon as Catriona came a little to herself she unhanded me
suddenly, but said no word. No more did I; and indeed the
whistling of the wind and the breaching of the sprays made it no
time for speech; and our crew not only toiled excessively but made
extremely little way, so that the Rose had got her anchor and was
off again before we had approached the harbour mouth.

We were no sooner in smooth water than the patroon, according to
their beastly Hollands custom, stopped his boat and required of us
our fares. Two guilders was the man's demand--between three and
four shillings English money--for each passenger. But at this
Catriona began to cry out with a vast deal of agitation. She had
asked of Captain Sang, she said, and the fare was but an English
shilling. "Do you think I will have come on board and not ask
first?" cries she. The patroon scolded back upon her in a lingo
where the oaths were English and the rest right Hollands; till at
last (seeing her near tears) I privately slipped in the rogue's
hand six shillings, whereupon he was obliging enough to receive
from her the other shilling without more complaint. No doubt I was
a good deal nettled and ashamed. I like to see folk thrifty, but
not with so much passion; and I daresay it would be rather coldly
that I asked her, as the boat moved on again for shore, where it
was that she was trysted with her father.

"He is to be inquired of at the house of one Sprott, an honest
Scotch merchant," says she; and then with the same breath, "I am
wishing to thank you very much--you are a brave friend to me."

"It will be time enough when I get you to your father," said I,
little thinking that I spoke so true. "I can tell him a fine tale
of a loyal daughter."

"O, I do not think I will be a loyal girl, at all events," she
cried, with a great deal of painfulness in the expression. "I do
not think my heart is true."

"Yet there are very few that would have made that leap, and all to
obey a father's orders," I observed.

"I cannot have you to be thinking of me so," she cried again.
"When you had done that same, how would I stop behind? And at all
events that was not all the reasons." Whereupon, with a burning
face, she told me the plain truth upon her poverty.

"Good guide us!" cried I, "what kind of daft-like proceeding is
this, to let yourself be launched on the continent of Europe with
an empty purse--I count it hardly decent--scant decent!" I cried.

"You forget James More, my father, is a poor gentleman," said she.
"He is a hunted exile."

"But I think not all your friends are hunted exiles," I exclaimed.
"And was this fair to them that care for you? Was it fair to me?
was it fair to Miss Grant that counselled you to go, and would be
driven fair horn-mad if she could hear of it? Was it even fair to
these Gregory folk that you were living with, and used you
lovingly? It's a blessing you have fallen in my hands! Suppose
your father hindered by an accident, what would become of you here,
and you your lee-lone in a strange place? The thought of the thing
frightens me," I said.

"I will have lied to all of them," she replied. "I will have told
them all that I had plenty. I told HER too. I could not be
lowering James More to them."

I found out later on that she must have lowered him in the very
dust, for the lie was originally the father's, not the daughter's,
and she thus obliged to persevere in it for the man's reputation.
But at the time I was ignorant of this, and the mere thought of her
destitution and the perils in which see must have fallen, had
ruffled me almost beyond reason.

"Well, well, well," said I, "you will have to learn more sense."

I left her mails for the moment in an inn upon the shore, where I
got a direction for Sprott's house in my new French, and we walked
there--it was some little way--beholding the place with wonder as
we went. Indeed, there was much for Scots folk to admire: canals
and trees being intermingled with the houses; the houses, each
within itself, of a brave red brick, the colour of a rose, with
steps and benches of blue marble at the cheek of every door, and
the whole town so clean you might have dined upon the causeway.
Sprott was within, upon his ledgers, in a low parlour, very neat
and clean, and set out with china and pictures, and a globe of the
earth in a brass frame. He was a big-chafted, ruddy, lusty man,
with a crooked hard look to him; and he made us not that much
civility as offer us a seat.

"Is James More Macgregor now in Helvoet, sir?" says I.

"I ken nobody by such a name," says he, impatient-like.

"Since you are so particular," says I, "I will amend my question,
and ask you where we are to find in Helvoet one James Drummond,
alias Macgregor, alias James More, late tenant in Inveronachile?"

"Sir," says he, "he may be in Hell for what I ken, and for my part
I wish he was."

"The young lady is that gentleman's daughter, sir," said I, "before
whom, I think you will agree with me, it is not very becoming to
discuss his character."

"I have nothing to make either with him, or her, or you!" cries he
in his gross voice.

"Under your favour, Mr. Sprott," said I, "this young lady is come
from Scotland seeking him, and by whatever mistake, was given the
name of your house for a direction. An error it seems to have
been, but I think this places both you and me--who am but her
fellow-traveller by accident--under a strong obligation to help our

"Will you ding me daft?" he cries. "I tell ye I ken naething and
care less either for him or his breed. I tell ye the man owes me

"That may very well be, sir," said I, who was now rather more angry
than himself. "At least, I owe you nothing; the young lady is
under my protection; and I am neither at all used with these
manners, nor in the least content with them."

As I said this, and without particularly thinking what I did, I
drew a step or two nearer to his table; thus striking, by mere good
fortune, on the only argument that could at all affect the man.
The blood left his lusty countenance.

"For the Lord's sake dinna be hasty, sir!" he cried. "I am truly
wishfu' no to be offensive. But ye ken, sir, I'm like a wheen
guid-natured, honest, canty auld fellows--my bark is waur nor my
bite. To hear me, ye micht whiles fancy I was a wee thing dour;
but na, na! it's a kind auld fallow at heart, Sandie Sprott! And
ye could never imagine the fyke and fash this man has been to me."

"Very good, sir," said I. "Then I will make that much freedom with
your kindness as trouble you for your last news of Mr. Drummond."

"You're welcome, sir!" said he. "As for the young leddy (my
respects to her!), he'll just have clean forgotten her. I ken the
man, ye see; I have lost siller by him ere now. He thinks of
naebody but just himsel'; clan, king, or dauchter, if he can get
his wameful, he would give them a' the go-by! ay, or his
correspondent either. For there is a sense in whilk I may be
nearly almost said to be his correspondent. The fact is, we are
employed thegether in a business affair, and I think it's like to
turn out a dear affair for Sandie Sprott. The man's as guid's my
pairtner, and I give ye my mere word I ken naething by where he is.
He micht be coming here to Helvoet; he micht come here the morn, he
michtnae come for a twalmouth; I would wonder at naething--or just
at the ae thing, and that's if he was to pay me my siller. Ye see
what way I stand with it; and it's clear I'm no very likely to
meddle up with the young leddy, as ye ca' her. She cannae stop
here, that's ae thing certain sure. Dod, sir, I'm a lone man! If
I was to tak her in, its highly possible the hellicat would try and
gar me marry her when he turned up."

"Enough of this talk," said I. "I will take the young leddy among
better friends. Give me, pen, ink, and paper, and I will leave
here for James More the address of my correspondent in Leyden. He
can inquire from me where he is to seek his daughter."

This word I wrote and sealed; which while I was doing, Sprott of
his own motion made a welcome offer, to charge himself with Miss
Drummond's mails, and even send a porter for them to the inn. I
advanced him to that effect a dollar or two to be a cover, and he
gave me an acknowledgment in writing of the sum.

Whereupon (I giving my arm to Catriona) we left the house of this
unpalatable rascal. She had said no word throughout, leaving me to
judge and speak in her place; I, upon my side, had been careful not
to embarrass her by a glance; and even now, although my heart still
glowed inside of me with shame and anger, I made it my affair to
seem quite easy.

"Now," said I, "let us get back to yon same inn where they can
speak the French, have a piece of dinner, and inquire for
conveyances to Rotterdam. I will never be easy till I have you
safe again in the hands of Mrs. Gebbie."

"I suppose it will have to be," said Catriona, "though whoever will
be pleased, I do not think it will be her. And I will remind you
this once again that I have but one shilling, and three baubees."

"And just this once again," said I, "I will remind you it was a
blessing that I came alongst with you."

"What else would I be thinking all this time?" says she, and I
thought weighed a little on my arm. "It is you that are the good
friend to me."


The rattel-waggon, which is a kind of a long waggon set with
benches, carried us in four hours of travel to the great city of
Rotterdam. It was long past dark by then, but the streets were
pretty brightly lighted and thronged with wild-like, outlandish
characters--bearded Hebrews, black men, and the hordes of
courtesans, most indecently adorned with finery and stopping seamen
by their very sleeves; the clash of talk about us made our heads to
whirl; and what was the most unexpected of all, we appeared to be
no more struck with all these foreigners than they with us. I made
the best face I could, for the lass's sake and my own credit; but
the truth is I felt like a lost sheep, and my heart beat in my
bosom with anxiety. Once or twice I inquired after the harbour or
the berth of the ship Rose: but either fell on some who spoke only
Hollands, or my own French failed me. Trying a street at a
venture, I came upon a lane of lighted houses, the doors and
windows thronged with wauf-like painted women; these jostled and
mocked upon us as we passed, and I was thankful we had nothing of
their language. A little after we issued forth upon an open place
along the harbour.

"We shall be doing now," cries I, as soon as I spied masts. "Let

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