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Corporal Cameron by Ralph Connor

Part 2 out of 9

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Mr. Rae's first care was to see Mr. Dunn. This case was getting
rather more trying to Mr. Rae's nerves than he cared to acknowledge.
For a second time he had been humiliated, and humiliation was an
experience to which Mr. Rae was not accustomed. It was in a
distinctly wrathful frame of mind that he called upon Mr. Dunn, and
the first quarter of an hour of his interview he spent in dilating
upon his own folly in having allowed Captain Cameron to accompany
him on his visit to Sir Archibald.

"In forty years I never remember having made such an error, Sir.
This was an occasion for diplomacy. We should have taken time. We
should have discovered his weak spots; every man has them. Now it
is too late. The only thing left for us is fight, and the best we
can hope for is a verdict of NOT PROVEN, and that leaves a stigma."

"It is terrible," said Mr. Dunn, "and I believe he is innocent.
Have you thought of Potts, Sir?"

"I have had Potts before me," said Mr. Rae, "and I may safely say
that though he strikes me as being a man of unusual cleverness, we
can do nothing with Mr. Potts. Of course," added Mr. Rae hastily,
"this is not to say we shall not make use of Mr. Potts in the
trial, but Mr. Potts can show from his books debts amounting to
nearly sixty pounds. He frankly acknowledges the pleasantry in
suggesting the raising of the five-pound cheque to fifty pounds,
but of the act itself he professes entire ignorance. I frankly own
to you, Sir," continued Mr. Rae, folding his ear into a horn after
his manner when in perplexity, "that this case puzzles me. I must
not take your time," he said, shaking Mr. Dunn warmly by the hand.
"One thing more I must ask you, however, and that is, keep in touch
with young Cameron. I have pledged my honour to produce him when
wanted. Furthermore, keep him--ah--in good condition; cheer him
up; nerve him up; much depends upon his manner."

Gravely Mr. Dunn accepted the trust, though whether he could fulfil
it he doubted. "Keep him cheerful," said Mr. Dunn to himself, as
the door closed upon Mr. Rae. "Nice easy job, too, under the
circumstances. Let's see, what is there on? By Jove, if I could
only bring him!" There flashed into Mr. Dunn's mind the fact that
he was due that evening at a party for students, given by one of
the professors, belated beyond the period proper to such functions
by one of those domestic felicities which claim right of way over
all other human events. At this party Cameron was also due. It
was hardly likely, however, that he would attend. But to Dunn's
amazement he found Cameron, with a desperate jollity such as a man
might feel the night before his execution, eager to go.

"I'm going," he cried, in answer to Dunn's somewhat timid
suggestion. "They'll all be there, old man, and I shall make my
exit with much eclat, with pipe and dance and all the rest of it."

"Exit, be blowed!" said Dunn impatiently. "Let's cut all this
nonsense out. We're going into a fight for all there's in us. Why
should a fellow throw up the sponge after the first round?"

"Fight!" said Cameron gloomily. "Did old Rae say so?"

"Most decidedly."

"And what defence does he suggest?"

"Defence? Innocence, of course."

"Would to God I could back him up!" groaned Cameron.

Dunn gazed at him in dismay. "And can you not? You do not mean to
tell me you are guilty?"

"Oh, I wish to heaven I knew!" cried Cameron wildly. "But there,
let it go. Let the lawyers and the judge puzzle it out. 'Guilty
or not guilty?' 'Hanged if I know, my lord. Looks like guilty,
but don't see very well how I can be.' That will bother old Rae
some; it would bother Old Nick himself. 'Did you forge this note?'
'My lord, my present ego recognizes no intent to forge; my alter
ego in vino may have done so. Of that, however, I know nothing; it
lies in that mysterious region of the subconscious.' 'Are you,
then, guilty?' 'Guilt, my lord, lies in intent. Intent is the
soul of crime.' It will be an interesting point for Mr. Rae and
his lordship."

"Look here, old chap," asked Dunn suddenly, "what of Potts in this

"Potts! Oh, hang it, Dunn, I can't drag Potts into this. It would
be altogether too low-down to throw suspicion upon a man without
the slightest ground. Potts is not exactly a lofty-souled
creature. In fact, he is pronouncedly a bounder, though I confess
I did borrow money of him; but I'd borrow money of the devil when
I'm in certain moods. A man may be a bounder, however, without
being a criminal. No, I have thought this thing out as far as I
can, and I've made my mind up that I've got to face it myself.
I've been a fool, ah, such a fool!" A shudder shook his frame.
"Oh, Dunn, old man, I don't mind for myself, I can go out easily
enough, but it's my little sister! It will break her heart, and
she has no one else; she will have to bear it all alone."

"What do you mean, Cameron?" asked Dunn sharply.

Cameron sprang to his feet. "Let it go," he cried. "Let it go for
to-night, anyway." He seized a decanter which stood all too ready
to his hand, but Dunn interposed.

"Listen to me, old man," he said, in a voice of grave and earnest
sadness, while he pushed Cameron back into a chair. "We have a
desperately hard game before us, you and I,--this is my game, too,--
and we must be fit; so, Cameron, I want your word that you will
play up for all that's in you; that you will cut this thing out,"
pointing to the decanter, "and will keep fit to the last fighting
minute. I am asking you this, Cameron. You owe it to yourself,
you owe it to me, you owe it to your sister."

For some moments Cameron sat gazing straight before him, his face
showing the agony in his soul. "As God's above, I do! I owe it
to you, Dunn, and to her, and to the memory of my--" But his
quivering lips could not utter the word; and there was no need, for
they both knew that his heart was far away in the little mound that
lay in the shadow of the church tower in the Cuagh Oir. The lad
rose to his feet, and stretching out his hand to Dunn cried,
"There's my hand and my honour as a Highlander, and until the last
fighting moment I'll be fit."

At the party that night none was gayer than young Cameron. The shy
reserve that usually marked him was thrust aside. His fine, lithe
figure, set off by his Highland costume, drew all eyes in admiration,
and whether in the proud march of the piper, or in the wild abandon
of the Highland Fling, he seemed to all the very beau ideal of a
gallant Highland gentleman.

Dunn stood in the circle gathered to admire, watching Cameron's
performance of that graceful and intricate Highland dance, all
unconscious of a pair of bright blue eyes fastened on his face that
reflected so manifestly the grief and pain in his heart.

"And wherefore this gloom?" said a gay voice at his side. It was
Miss Bessie Brodie.

Poor Dunn! He was not skilled in the fine art of social deception.
He could only gaze stupidly and with blinking eyes upon his
questioner, devoutly hoping meanwhile that the tears would not

"Splendid Highlander, isn't he?" exclaimed Miss Bessie, hastily
withdrawing her eyes from his face, for she was much too fine a
lady to let him see her surprise.

"What?" exclaimed Dunn. "I don't know. I mean--yes, awfully--oh,
confound the thing, it's a beastly shame!"

Thereupon Miss Bessie turned her big blue eyes slowly upon him.
"Meaning what?" she said quietly.

"Oh, I beg pardon. I'm just a fool. Oh, hang it all!" Dunn could
not recover his composure. He backed out of the circle of admirers
into a darker corner.

"Fool?" said Miss Brodie, stepping back with him. "And why, pray?
Can I know? I suppose it's Cameron again," she continued. "Oh, I
know all about you and your mothering of him."

"Mothering!" said Dunn bitterly. "That is just what he needs, by
Jove. His mother has been dead these five years, and that's been
the ruin of him."

The cheers from Cameron's admirers broke in upon Dunn's speech.
"Oh, it's too ghastly," he muttered.

"Is it really so bad? Can't I help?" cried Miss Brodie. "You know
I've had some experience with boys."

As Dunn looked into her honest, kindly eyes he hesitated. Should
he tell her? He was in sore need of counsel, and besides he was at
the limit of his self-control. "I say," he said, staring at her,
while his lips quivered, "I'd like awfully to tell you, but I know
if I ever begin I shall just burst into tears before this gaping

"Tears!" exclaimed Miss Bessie. "Not you! And if you did it
wouldn't hurt either them or you. An International captain
possesses this advantage over other mortals: that he may burst into
tears or anything else without losing caste, whereas if I should do
any such thing-- But come, let's get somewhere and talk it over.
Now, then," said Miss Brodie as they found a quiet corner, "first
of all, ought I to know?"

"You'll know, all Edinburgh will know time day after to-morrow,"
said Dunn.

"All right, then, it can't do any harm for me to know to-night. It
possibly may do good."

"It will do me good, anyway," said Dunn, "for I have reached my

Then Dunn told her, and while she listened she grew grave and
anxious. "But surely it can be arranged!" she exclaimed, after he
had finished.

"No, Mr. Rae has tried everything. The Bank is bound to pursue it
to the bitter end. It is apparently a part of its policy."

"What Bank?"

"The Bank of Scotland."

"Why, that's my uncle's Bank! I mean, he is the Chairman of the
Board of Directors, and the Bank is the apple of his eye; or one of
them, I mean--I'm the other."

"Oh, both, I fancy," said Dunn, rather pleased with his own

"But come, this is serious," said Miss Brodie. "The Bank, you
know, or you don't know, is my uncle's weak spot."

Mr. Rae's words flashed across Dunn's mind: "We ought to have
found his weak spots."

"He says," continued Miss Brodie with a smile--"you know he's an
old dear!--I divide his heart with the Bank, that I have the left
lobe. Isn't that the bigger one? So the Bank and I are his weak
spots; unless it is his Wiltshires--he is devoted to Wiltshires."


"Pigs. There are times when I feel myself distinctly second to
them. Are you sure my uncle knows all about Cameron?"

"Well, Mr. Rae and Captain Cameron--that's young Cameron's father--
went out to his place--"

"Ah, that was a mistake," said Miss Brodie. "He hates people
following him to the country. Well, what happened?"

"Mr. Rae feels that it was rather a mistake that Captain Cameron
went along."

"Why so? He is his father, isn't he?"

"Yes, he is, though I'm bound to say he's rather queer for a
father." Whereupon Dunn gave her an account of his interview in
Mr. Rae's office.

Miss Brodie was indignant. "What a shame! And what a fool! Why,
he is ten times more fool than his son; for mark you, his son is
undoubtedly a fool, and a selfish fool at that. I can't bear a
young fool who sacrifices not simply his own life, but the
interests of all who care for him, for some little pet selfishness
of his own. But this father of his seems to be even worse than the
son. Family name indeed! And I venture to say he expatiated upon
the glory of his family name to my uncle. If there's one thing
that my uncle goes quite mad about it is this affectation of
superiority on the ground of the colour of a man's blood! No
wonder he refused to withdraw the prosecution! What could Mr. Rae
have been thinking about? What fools men are!"

"Quite true," murmured Mr. Dunn.

"Some men, I mean," cried Miss Brodie hastily. "I wish to heaven I
had seen my uncle first!"

"I suppose it's too late now," said Dunn, with a kind of gloomy

"Yes, I fear so," said Miss Brodie. "You see when my uncle makes
up his mind he appears to have some religious scruples against
changing it."

"It was a ghastly mistake," said Dunn bitterly.

"Look here, Mr. Dunn," said Miss Brodie, turning upon him suddenly,
"I want your straight opinion. Do you think this young man

They were both looking at Cameron, at that moment the centre of a
group of open admirers, his boyish face all aglow with animation.
For the time being it seemed as if he had forgotten the terrible
catastrophe overhanging him.

"If I hadn't known Cameron for three years," replied Dunn slowly,
"I would say offhand that this thing would be impossible to him;
but you see you never know what a man in drink will do. Cameron
can carry a bottle of Scotch without a stagger, but of course it
knocks his head all to pieces. I mean, he is quite incapable of
anything like clear thought."

"It is truly terrible," said Miss Brodie. "I wish I had known
yesterday, but those men have spoilt it all. But here's 'Lily'
Laughton," she continued hurriedly, "coming for his dance." As she
spoke a youth of willowy figure, languishing dark eyes and ladylike
manner drew near.

"Well, here you are at last! What a hunt I have had! I am quite
exhausted, I assure you," cried the youth, fanning himself with his
handkerchief. "And though you have quite forgotten it, this is our
dance. What can you two have been talking about? But why ask?
There is only one theme upon which you could become so terrifically

"And what is that, pray? Browning?" inquired Miss Brodie sweetly.

"Dear Miss Brodie, if you only would, but--ugh!--" here "Lily"
shuddered, "I can in fancy picture the gory scene in which you have
been revelling for the last hour!" And "Lily's" handsome face and
languid, liquid eyes indicated his horror. It was "Lily's"
constant declaration that he "positively loathed" football,
although his persistent attendance at all the great matches rather
belied this declaration. "It is the one thing in you, Miss Bessie,
that I deplore, 'the fly in the pot--' no, 'the flaw--' ah, that's
better--'the flaw in the matchless pearl.'"

"How sweet of you," murmured Miss Brodie.

"Yes, indeed," continued "Lily," wreathing his tapering fingers,
"it is your devotion to those so-called athletic games,--games! ye
gods!--the chief qualifications for excellence in which appear to
be brute strength and a blood-thirsty disposition; as witness Dunn
there. I was positively horrified last International. There he
was, our own quiet, domestic, gentle Dunn, raging through that
howling mob of savages like a bloody Bengal tiger.--Rather apt,
that!--A truly awful and degrading exhibition!"

"Ah, perfectly lovely!" murmured Miss Brodie ecstatically. "I can
see him yet."

"Miss Brodie, how can you!" exclaimed "Lily," casting up his eyes
in horror towards heaven. "But it was ever thus! In ancient days
upon the bloody sands of the arena, fair ladies were wont to gaze
with unrelenting eyes and thumbs turned down--or up, was it--?"

"Excellent! But how clever of them to gaze with their thumbs in
that way!"

"Please don't interrupt," said "Lily" severely; "I have just
'struck my gait,' as that barbaric young Colonial, Martin, another
of your bloody, brawny band, would say. And here you sit,
unblushing, glorying in their disgusting deeds and making love open
and unabashed to their captain!"

"Go away, 'Lily' or I'll hurt you," cried Dunn, his face a
brilliant crimson. "Come, get out!"

"But don't be uplifted," continued "Lily," ignoring him, "you are
not the first. By no means! It is always the last International
captain, and has been to my certain knowledge for the last ten

"Ten years!" exclaimed Miss Brodie in horrified accents. "You
monster! If you have no regard for my character you might at least
respect my age."

"Age! Dear Miss Brodie," ejaculated "Lily," "who could ever
associate age with your perennial youth?"

"Perennial! Wretch! If there is anything I am sensitive about,
really sensitive about, it is my age! Mr. Dunn, I beseech you,
save me from further insult! Dear 'Lily,' run away now. You are
much too tired to dance, and besides there is Mrs. Craig-Urquhart
waiting to talk your beloved Wagner-Tennyson theory; or what is the
exact combination? Mendelssohn-Browning, is it?"

"Oh, Miss Bessie!" cried "Lily" in a shocked voice. "how can you?
Mendelssohn-Browning! How awful! Do have some regard for the

"Mr. Dunn, I implore you, save me! I can bear no more. There! A
merciful providence has accomplished my deliverance. They are
going. Good-night, 'Lily.' Run away now. I want a word with Mr.

"Oh, heartless cruelty!" exclaimed "Lily," in an agonised voice.
"But what can you expect from such associations?" And he hastened
away to have a last word with Mrs. Craig-Urquhart, who was swimming
languidly by.

Miss Brodie turned eagerly to Dunn. "I'd like to help you
awfully," she said; "indeed I must try. I have very little hope.
My uncle is so strong when he is once set, and he is so funny about
that Bank. But a boy is worth more than a Bank, if he IS a fool;
besides, there is his sister. Good-night. Thanks for letting me
help. I have little hope, but to-morrow I shall see Sir Archibald,
and--and his pigs."

It was still in the early forenoon of the following day when Miss
Brodie greeted her uncle as he was about to start upon his round of
the pastures and pens where the Wiltshires of various ages and
sizes and sexes were kept. With the utmost enthusiasm Miss Brodie
entered into his admiration of them all, from the lordly prize
tusker to the great mother lying broadside on in grunting and
supreme content, every grunt eloquent of happiness and maternal
love and pride, to allow her week-old brood to prod and punch her
luxuriant dugs for their breakfast.

By the time they had made their rounds Sir Archibald had arrived at
his most comfortable and complacent mood. He loved his niece. He
loved her for the sake of his dead brother, and as she grew in
years, he came to love her for herself. Her sturdy independent
fearlessness, her sound sense, her honest heart, and chiefly, if it
must be told, her whole-souled devotion to himself, made for her a
great space in his heart. And besides all this, they were both
interested to the point of devotion in pigs. As he watched his
niece handling the little sucklings with tender care, and listened
to her appraising their varying merits with a discriminating
judgment, his heart filled up with pride in her many accomplishments
and capabilities.

"Isn't she happy, Uncle?" she exclaimed, lifting her brown, sunny
face to him.

"Ay, lassie," replied Sir Archibald, lapsing into the kindly "braid
Scots," "I ken fine how she feels."

"She's just perfectly happy," said his niece, "and awfully useful
and good. She is just like you, Uncle."

"What? Oh, thank you, I'm extremely flattered, I assure you."

"Uncle, you know what I mean! Useful and good. Here you are in
this lovely home--how lovely it is on a warm, shiny day like this!--
safe from cares and worries, where people can't get at you, and

"Ah, I don't know about that," replied her uncle, shaking his head
with a frown. "Some people have neither sense nor manners. Only
yesterday I was pestered by a fellow who annoyed me, seriously
annoyed me, interfering in affairs which he knew nothing of,--
actually the affairs of the Bank!--prating about his family name,
and all the rest of it. Family name!" Here, it must be confessed,
Sir Archibald distinctly snorted, quite in a manner calculated to
excite the envy of any of his Wiltshires.

"I know, Uncle. He is a fool, a conceited fool, and a selfish

"You know him?" inquired her uncle in a tone of surprise.

"No, I have no personal acquaintance with him, I'm glad to say, but
I know about him, and I know that he came with Mr. Rae, the

"Ah, yes! Thoroughly respectable man, Mr. Rae."

"Yes, Mr. Rae is all right; but Captain Cameron--oh, I can't bear
him! He came to talk to you about his son, and I venture to say he
took most of the time in talking about himself."

"Exactly so! But how--?"

"And, Uncle, I want to talk to you about that matter, about young
Cameron." For just a moment Miss Brodie's courage faltered as she
observed her uncle's figure stiffen. "I want you to know the
rights of the case."

"Now, now, my dear, don't you go--ah--"

"I know, Uncle, you were going to say 'interfering,' only you
remember in time that your niece never interferes. Isn't that
true, Sir?"

"Yes, yes! I suppose so; that is, certainly."

"Now I am interested in this young Cameron, and I want you to get
the right view of his case, which neither your lawyer nor your
manager nor that fool father of his can give you. I know that if
you see this case as I see it you will do--ah--exactly what is
right; you always do."

Miss Brodie's voice had assumed its most reasonable and business-
like tone. Sir Archibald was impressed, and annoyed because he was

"Look here, Bessie," he said, in as impatient a tone as he ever
adopted with his niece, "you know how I hate being pestered with
business affairs out here."

"I know quite well, Uncle, and I regret it awfully, but I know,
too, that you are a man of honour, and that you stand for fair
play. But that young man is to be arrested to-day, and you know
what that will mean for a young fellow with his way to make."

Her appeal was not without its effect. Sir Archibald set himself
to give her serious attention. "Let us have it, then," he said.
briefly. "What do you know of the young man?"

"This first of all: that he has a selfish, conceited prig for a

With which beginning Sir Archibald most heartily agreed. "But how
do you know?"

"Now, let me tell you about him." And Miss Brodie proceeded to
describe the scene between father and son in Mr. Rae's office, with
vigorous and illuminating comments. "And just think, the man in
the company who was first to condemn the young chap was his own
father. Would you do that? You'd stand for him against the whole
world, even if he were wrong."

"Steady, steady, lass!"

"You would," repeated Miss Bessie, with indignant emphasis. "Would
you chuck me over if I were disgraced and all the world hounding
me? Would you?"

"No, by God!" said Sir Archibald in a sudden tempest of emotion,
and Miss Bessie smiled lovingly upon him.

"Well, that's the kind of a father he has. Now about the young
fellow himself: He's just a first-class fool, like most young
fellows. You know how they are, Uncle."

Sir Archibald held up his hand. "Don't make any such assumptions."

"Oh, I know you, and when you were a boy you were just as gay and
foolish as the rest of them."

Her arch, accusing smile suddenly cast a rich glow of warm colour
over the long, grey road of Sir Archibald's youth of self-denial
and struggle. The mild indulgences of his early years, under the
transforming influence of that same arch and accusing smile, took
on for Sir Archibald such an aspect of wild and hilarious gaiety as
to impart a tone of hesitation to his voice while he deprecated his
niece's charge.

"What, I? Nonsense! What do you know about it? Well, well, we
have all had our day, I suppose!"

"Aha! I know you, and I should love to have known you when you were
young Cameron's age. Though I'm quite sure you were never such a
fool as he. You always knew how to take care of yourself."

Her uncle shook his head as if to indicate that the less said about
those gay young days the better.

"Now what do you think this young fool does? Gets drinking, and
gets so muddled up in all his money matters--he's a Highlander, you
know, and Dunn, Mr. Dunn says--"


"Yes, Mr. Dunn, the great International captain, you know! Mr.
Dunn says he can take a whole bottle of Scotch--"

"What, Dunn?"

"No, no; you know perfectly well, Uncle! This young Cameron can
take a whole bottle of Scotch and walk a crack, but his head gets
awfully muddled."

"Shouldn't be surprised!"

"And Mr. Dunn had a terrible time keeping him fit for the
International. You know he was Dunn's half-back. Yes," cried his
niece with enthusiasm, suddenly remembering a tradition that in his
youth Sir Archibald had been a famous quarter, his one indulgence,
"a glorious half-back, too! You must remember in the match with
England last fall the brilliant work of the half-back. Everybody
went mad about him. That was young Cameron!"

"You don't tell me! The left-half in the English International
last fall?"

"Yes, indeed! Oh, he's wonderful! But he has to be watched, you
know, and the young fool lost us the last--" Miss Bessie abruptly
checked herself. "But never mind! Well, after the season, you
know, he got going loose, and this is the result. Owed money
everywhere, and with the true Highland incapacity for business, and
the true Highland capacity for trusting people--"

"Huh!" grunted Sir Archibald in disapproval.

"--When his head is in a muddled condition he does something or
other to a cheque--or doesn't do it, nobody knows--and there he is
in this awful fix. Personally, I don't believe he is guilty of the

"And why, pray?"

"Why? Well, Mr. Dunn, his captain, who has known him for years,
says it is quite impossible; and then the young man himself doesn't
deny it."

"What? Does NOT deny it?"

"Exactly! Like a perfectly straightforward gentleman,--and I think
it's awfully fine of him,--though he has a perfectly good chance to
put the thing on a--a fellow Potts, quite a doubtful character, he
simply says, 'I know nothing about it. That looks like my
signature. I can't remember doing this, don't know how I could
have, but don't know a thing about it.' There you are, Uncle! And
Mr. Dunn says he is quite incapable of it."

"Mr. Dunn, eh? It seems you build somewhat broadly upon Mr. Dunn."

The brown on Miss Bessie's check deepened slightly. "Well, Mr.
Dunn is a splendid judge of men."

"Ah; and of young ladies, also, I imagine," said Sir Archibald,
pinching her cheek.

It may have been the pinch, but the flush on her cheek grew
distinctly brighter. "Don't be ridiculous, Uncle! He's just a
boy, a perfectly splendid boy, and glorious in his game, but a mere
boy, and--well, you know, I've arrived at the age of discretion."

"Quite true!" mused her uncle. "Thirty last birthday, was it? How
time does--!"

"Oh, you perfectly horrid uncle! Thirty indeed! Are you not
ashamed to add to the already intolerable burden of my years?
Thirty! No, Sir, not by five good years at least! There now,
you've made me tell my age! You ought to blush for shame."

Her uncle patted her firm, round cheek. "Never a blush, my dear!
You bear even your advanced age with quite sufficient ease and
grace. But now about this young Cameron," he continued, assuming a
sternly judicial tone.

"All I ask for him is a chance," said his niece earnestly.

"A chance? Why he will get every chance the law allows to clear

"There you are!" exclaimed Miss Bessie, in a despairing tone.
"That's the way the lawyers and your manager talk. They coolly and
without a qualm get him arrested, this young boy who has never in
all his life shown any sign of criminal tendency. These horrid
lawyers display their dreadful astuteness and ability in catching a
lad who never tries to run away, and your manager pleads the rules
of the Bank. The rules! Fancy rules against a young boy's whole

Her uncle rather winced at this.

"And like a lot of sheep they follow each other in a circle; there
is absolutely no independence, no initiative. Why, they even went
so far as to suggest that you could do nothing, that you were bound
by rules and must follow like the rest of them; but I told them I
knew better."

"Ah!" said Sir Archibald in his most dignified manner. "I trust I
have a mind of my own, but--"

"Exactly! So I said to Mr. Dunn. 'Rules or no rules,' I said, 'my
uncle will do the fair thing.' And I know you will," cried Miss
Brodie triumphantly. "And if you look at it, there's a very big
chance that the boy never did the thing, and certainly if he did it
at all it was when he was quite incapable. Oh, I know quite well
what the lawyers say. They go by the law,--they've got to,--but
you--and--and--I go by the--the real facts of the case." Sir
Archibald coughed gently. "I mean to say--well you know, Uncle,
quite well, you can tell what a man is by--well, by his game."

"His game!"

"And by his eye."

"His eye! And his eye is--?"

"Now, Uncle, be sensible! I mean to say, if you could only see
him. Oh, I shall bring him to see you!" she cried, with a sudden

Sir Archibald held up a deprecating hand. "Do not, I beg."

"Well, Uncle, you can trust my judgment, you know you can. You
would trust me in--in--" For a moment Miss Brodie was at a loss;
then her eyes fell upon the grunting, comfortable old mother pig
with her industrious litter. "Well, don't I know good Wiltshires
when I see them?"

"Quite true," replied her uncle solemnly; "and therefore, men."

"Uncle, you're very nearly rude."

"I apologise," replied her uncle hastily. "But now, Bessie, my
dear girl, seriously, as to this case, you must understand that I
cannot interfere. The Bank--hem--the Bank is a great National--"

Miss Bessie saw that the Guards were being called upon. She
hastened to bring up her reserves. "I know, Uncle, I know! I
wouldn't for the world say a word against the Bank, but you see the
case against the lad is at least doubtful."

"I was going on to observe," resumed her uncle, judicially, "that
the Bank--"

"Don't misunderstand me, Uncle," cried his niece, realising that
she had reached a moment of crisis. "You know I would not for a
moment presume to interfere with the Bank, but"--here she deployed
her whole force,--"the lad's youth and folly; his previous good
character, guaranteed by Dunn, who knows men; his glorious game--no
man who wasn't straight could play such a game!--the large chance
of his innocence, the small chance of his guilt; the hide-bound
rigidity of lawyers and bank managers, dominated by mere rules and
routine, in contrast with the open-minded independence of her
uncle; the boy's utter helplessness; his own father having been
ready to believe the worst,--just think of it, Uncle, his own
father thinking of himself and of his family name--much he has ever
done for his family name!--and not of his own boy, and"--here Miss
Brodie's voice took a lower key--"and his mother died some five or
six years ago, when he was thirteen or fourteen, and I know, you
know, that is hard on a boy." In spite of herself, and to her
disgust, a tremor came into her voice and a rush of tears to her

Her uncle was smitten with dismay. Only on one terrible occasion
since she had emerged from her teens had he seen his niece in
tears. The memory of that terrible day swept over his soul.
Something desperate was doing. Hard as the little man was to the
world against which he had fought his way to his present position
of distinction, to his niece he was soft-hearted as a mother.
"There, there!" he exclaimed hastily. "We'll give the boy a
chance. No mother, eh? And a confounded prig for a father! No
wonder the boy goes all wrong!" Then with a sudden vehemence he
cried, striking one hand into the other, "No, by--! that is, we
will certainly give the lad the benefit of the doubt. Cheer up,
lassie! You've no need to look ashamed," for his niece was wiping
her eyes in manifest disgust; "indeed," he said, with a heavy
attempt at playfulness, "you are a most excellent diplomat."

"Diplomat, Uncle!" cried the girl, vehement indignation in her
voice and face. "Diplomat!" she cried again. "You don't mean that
I've not been quite sincere?"

"No, no, no; not in the least, my dear! But that you have put your
case with admirable force."

"Oh," said the girl with a breath of relief, "I just put it as I
feel it. And it is not a bit my putting it, Uncle, but it is just
that you are a dear and--well, a real sport; you love fair play."
The girl suddenly threw her strong, young arms about her uncle's
neck, drew him close to her, and kissed him almost as if she had
been his mother.

The little man was deeply touched, but with true Scotch horror of a
demonstration he cried, "Tut, tut, lassie, ye're makin' an auld
fule o' your uncle. Come now, be sensible!"

"Sensible!" echoed his niece, kissing him again. "That's my living
description among all my acquaintance. It is their gentle way of
reminding me that the ordinary feminine graces of sweetness and
general loveliness are denied me."

"And more fools they!" grunted her uncle. "You're worth the hale
caboodle o' them."

That same evening there were others who shared this opinion, and
none more enthusiastically than did Mr. Dunn, whom Miss Brodie
chanced to meet just as she turned out of the Waverly Station.

"Oh, Mr. Dunn," she cried, "how very fortunate!" Her face glowed
with excitement.

"For me; yes, indeed!" said Mr. Dunn, warmly greeting her.

"For me, for young Cameron, for us all," said Miss Brodie. "Oh,
Rob, is that you?" she continued, as her eye fell upon the
youngster standing with cap off waiting her recognition. "Look at
this!" she flashed a letter before Dunn's face. "What do you think
of that?"

Dunn took the letter. "It's to Sheratt," he said, with a puzzled

"Yes," cried Miss Brodie, mimicking his tone, "it's to Sheratt,
from Sir Archibald, and it means that Cameron is safe. The police
will never--"

"The police," cried Dunn, hastily, getting between young Rob and
her and glancing at his brother, who stood looking from one to the
other with a startled face.

"How stupid! The police are a truly wonderful body of men," she
went on with enthusiasm. "They look so splendid. I saw some of
them as I came along. But never mind them now. About this letter.
What's to do?"

Dunn glanced at his watch. "We need every minute." He stood a
moment or two thinking deeply while Miss Brodie chatted eagerly
with Rob, whose face retained its startled and anxious look.
"First to Mr. Rae's office. Come!" cried Mr. Dunn.

"But this letter ought to go."

"Yes, but first Mr. Rae's office." Mr. Dunn had assumed command.
His words shot out like bullets.

Miss Brodie glanced at him with a new admiration in her face. As a
rule she objected to being ordered about, but somehow it seemed
good to accept commands from this young man, whose usually genial
face was now set in such resolute lines.

"Here, Rob, you cut home and tell them not to wait dinner for me."

"All right, Jack!" But instead of tearing off as was his wont
whenever his brother gave command, Rob lingered. "Can't I wait a
bit, Jack, to see--to see if anything--?" Rob was striving hard to
keep his voice in command and his face steady. "It's Cameron,
Jack. I know!" He turned his back on Miss Brodie, unwilling that
she should see his lips quiver.

"What are you talking about?" said his brother sharply.

"Oh, it is all my stupid fault, Mr. Dunn," said Miss Brodie. "Let
him come along a bit with us. I say, youngster, you are much too
acute," she continued, as they went striding along together toward
Mr. Rae's office. "But will you believe me if I tell you something?
Will you? Straight now?"

The boy glanced up into her honest blue eyes, and nodded his head.

"Your friend Cameron is quite all right. He was in some
difficulty, but now he's quite all right. Do you believe me?"

The boy looked again steadily into her eyes. The anxious fear
passed out of his face, and once more he nodded; he knew he could
not keep his voice quite steady. But after a few paces he said to
his brother, "I think I'll go now, Jack." His mind was at rest;
his idol was safe.

"Oh, come along and protect me," cried Miss Brodie. "These lawyer
people terrify me."

The boy smiled a happy smile. "I'll go," he said resolutely.

"Thanks, awfully," said Miss Brodie. "I shall feel so much safer
with you in the waiting room."

It was a difficult matter to surprise Mr. Rae, and even more
difficult to extract from him any sign of surprise, but when Dunn,
leaving Miss Brodie and his brother in the anteroom, entered Mr.
Rae's private office and laid the letter for Mr. Sheratt before
him, remarking, "This letter is from Sir Archibald, and withdraws
the prosecution," Mr. Rae stood speechless, gazing now at the
letter in his hand, and now at Mr. Dunn's face.

"God bless my soul! This is unheard of. How came you by this,

"Miss Brodie--" began Dunn.

"Miss Brodie?"

"She is in the waiting room, Sir."

"Then, for heaven's sake, bring her in! Davie, Davie! Where is
that man now? Here, Davie, a message to Mr. Thomlinson."

Davie entered with deliberate composure.

"My compliments to Mr. Thomlinson, and ask if he would step over at
once. It is a matter of extreme urgency. Be quick!"

But Davie had his own mind as to the fitness of things. "Wad a
note no' be better, Sir? Wull not--?"

"Go, will you!" almost shouted Mr. Rae.

Davie was so startled at Mr. Rae's unusual vehemence that he seized
his cap and made for the door. "He'll no' come for the like o'
me," he said, pausing with the door-knob in his hand. "It's no'
respectable like tae--"

"Man, will ye no' be gone?" cried Mr. Rae, rising from his chair.

"I will that!" exclaimed Davie, banging the door after him. "But,"
he cried furiously, thrusting his head once more into the room, "if
he'll no' come it's no' faut o' mine." His voice rose higher and
higher, and ended in a wrathful scream as Mr. Rae, driven to
desperation, hurled a law book of some weight at his vanishing

"The de'il take ye! Ye'll be my deith yet."

The book went crashing against the door-frame just as Miss Brodie
was about to enter. "I say," she cried, darting back. "Heaven
protect me! Rob, save me!"

Rob sprang to her side. She stood for a moment gazing aghast at
Mr. Dunn, who gazed back at her in equal surprise. "Is this his
'usual'?" she inquired.

At that the door opened. "Ah, Mr. Dunn, this is Miss Brodie, I
suppose. Come in, come in!" Mr. Rae's manner was most bland.

Miss Brodie gave him her hand with some hesitation. "I'm very glad
to meet you, Mr. Rae, but is this quite the usual method? I mean
to say, I've heard of having advice hurled at one's head, but I
can't say that I ever was present at a demonstration of the

"Oh," said Mr. Rae, with bland and gallant courtesy, "the method,
my dear young lady, varies with the subject in hand."

"Ah, the subject!"

"And with the object in view."

"Oh, I see."

"But pray be seated. And now explain this most wonderful
phenomenon." He tapped the letter.

"Oh, that is quite simple," said Miss Brodie. "I set the case of
young Mr. Cameron before my uncle, and of course he at once saw
that the only thing to do was withdraw the prosecution."

Mr. Rae stood gazing steadily at her as if striving to take in the
meaning of her words, the while screwing up his ear most violently
till it stuck out like a horn upon the side of his shiny, bald
head. "Permit me to say, Miss Brodie," he said, with a deliberate
and measured emphasis, "that you must be a most extraordinary young
lady." At this point Mr. Rae's smile broke forth in all its glory.

"Oh, thank you, Mr. Rae," replied Miss Brodie, smiling responsively
at him. "You are most--" But Mr. Rae's smile had vanished.
"What! I beg your pardon!" Miss Brodie's smiling response was
abruptly arrested by finding herself gazing at a face whose grave
solemnity rebuked her smile as unwarranted levity.

"Not at all, not at all!" said Mr. Rae. "But now, there are
matters demanding immediate action. First, Mr. Sheratt must
receive and act upon this letter without delay." As he spoke he
was scribbling hastily a note. "Mr. Dunn, my young men have gone
for the day. Might I trouble you?"

"Most certainly," cried Mr. Dunn. "Is an answer wanted?"

"Bring him with you, if possible; indeed, bring him whether it is
possible or not. But wait, it is past the hour appointed. Already
the officer has gone for young Cameron. We must save him the
humiliation of arrest."

"Oh, could I not warn him?" cried Miss Brodie eagerly. "No," she
added, "Rob will go. He is in the waiting room now, poor little
chap. It will be a joy to him."

"It is just as well Rob should know nothing. He is awfully fond of
Cameron. It would break his heart," said Mr. Dunn.

"Oh, of course! Quite unnecessary that he should know anything.
We simply wish Cameron here at the earliest possible moment."

Dunn went with his young brother down the stairs and out to the
street. "Now, Rob, you are to go to Cameron's lodgings and tell
him that Mr. Rae wants him, and that I want him. Hold on,
youngster!" he cried, grabbing Rob by the collar, "do you
understand? It is very important that Cameron should get here as
quick as he possibly can, and--I say, Rob," the big brother's eyes
traveled over the darkening streets that led up into the old town,
"you're not afraid?"

"A wee bit," said Rob, tugging at the grasp on his collar; "but I
don't care if I am."

"Good boy!" cried his brother. "Good little brick! I wouldn't let
you go, but it's simply got to be done, old chap. Now fly!" He
held him just a moment longer to slap him on the back, then
released his hold. Dunn stood watching the little figure tearing
up the North Bridge. "Great little soul!" he muttered. "Now for
old Sheratt!"

He put his head down and began to bore through the crowd toward Mr.
Sheratt's house. When he had gone but a little distance he was
brought up short by a bang full in the stomach. "Why, what the

"Dod gast ye! Whaur are ye're een?" It was Davie, breathless and
furious from the impact. "Wad ye walk ower me, dang ye?" cried the
little man again. Davie was Free Kirk, and therefore limited in
the range of his vocabulary.

"Oh! That you, Davie? I'm sorry I didn't see you."

"A'm no' as big as a hoose, but a'm veesible." And Davie walked
wrathfully about his business.

"Oh, quite," acknowledged Dunn cheerfully, hurrying on; "and
tangible, as well."

"He's comin'," cried Davie over his shoulder; "but gar it had been
masel'," he added grudgingly, "catch me!"

But Dunn was too far on his way to make reply. Already his mind
was on the meeting of the lawyers in Mr. Rae's office, and
wondering what would come of it. On this subject he meditated
until he reached Mr. Sheratt's home. Twice he rang the bell, still

"By Jove, she is stunning! She's a wonder!" he exclaimed to
himself as he stood in Mr. Sheratt's drawing-room. "She's got 'em
all skinned a mile, as Martin would say." It is safe to affirm
that Mr. Dunn was not referring to the middle-aged and highly
respectable maid who had opened the door to him. It is equally
safe to affirm that this was the unanimous verdict of the three
men who, half an hour later, brought their deliberations to a
conclusion, frankly acknowledging to each other that what they had
one and all failed to achieve, the lady had accomplished.



"I say, you blessed Colonial, what's come over you?" Linklater was
obviously disturbed. He had just returned from a summer's yachting
through the Norway fjords, brown and bursting with life. The last
half-hour he had been pouring forth his experiences to his friend
Martin. These experiences were some of them exciting, some of them
of doubtful ethical quality, but all of them to Linklater at least
interesting. During the recital it was gradually borne in upon him
that his friend Martin was changed. Linklater, as the consciousness
of the change in his friend grew upon him, was prepared to resent
it. "What the deuce is the matter with you?" he enquired. "Are you

"Never better. I could at this present moment sit upon your fat
and florid carcass."

"Well, what then is wrong? I say, you haven't--it isn't a girl, is

"Nothing so lucky for a bloomin' Colonial in this land of wealth
and culture. If I only dared!"

"There's something," insisted Linklater; "but I've no doubt it will
develop. Meantime let us go out, and, in your own picturesque
vocabulary, let us 'hit the flowing bowl.'"

"No, Sir!" cried Martin emphatically. "No more! I am on the water
wagon, and have been all summer."

"I knew it was something," replied Linklater gloomily, "but I
didn't think it was quite so bad as that. No wonder you've had a
hard summer!"

"Best summer ever!" cried Martin. "I only wish I had started two
years ago when I came to this bibulous burgh."

"How came it? Religion?"

"No; just horse sense, and the old chief."

"Dunn!" exclaimed Linklater. "I always knew he was against that
sort of thing in training, but I didn't think he would carry it to
this length."

"Yes, Dunn! I say, old boy, I've no doubt you think you know him,
I thought so, too, but I've learned some this summer. Here's a
yarn, and it is impressive. Dunn had planned an extensive walking
tour in the Highlands; you know he came out of his exams awfully
fagged. Well, at this particular moment it happened that Balfour
Murray--you know the chap that has been running that settlement
joint in the Canongate for the last two years--proposes to Dunn
that he should spend a few weeks in leading the young hopefuls in
that interesting and uncleanly neighbourhood into paths of virtue
and higher citizenship by way of soccer and kindred athletic
stunts. Dunn in his innocence agrees, whereupon Balfour Murray
promptly develops a sharp attack of pneumonia, necessitating rest
and change of air, leaving the poor old chief in the deadly breach.
Of course, everybody knows what the chief would do in any deadly
breach affair. He gave up his Highland tour, shouldered the whole
Canongate business, organised the thing as never before, inveigled
all his friends into the same deadly breach, among the number your
humble servant, who at the time was fiercely endeavouring in the
last lap of the course to atone for a two years' loaf, organised a
champion team which has licked the spots off everything in sight,
and in short, has made the whole business a howling success; at the
cost, however, of all worldly delights, including his Highland tour
and the International."

"Oh, I say!" moaned Linklater. "It makes me quite ill to think of
the old chief going off this way."

Martin nodded sympathetically. "Kind of 'Days that are no more,'
'Lost leader' feeling, eh?"

"Exactly, exactly! Oh, it's rotten! And you, too! He's got you
on this same pious line."

"Look here," shouted Martin, with menace in his voice, "are you
classifying me with the old chief? Don't be a derned fool."

Linklater brightened perceptibly. "Now you're getting a little
natural," he said in a hopeful tone.

"Oh, I suppose you'd like to hear me string out a lot of damns."

"Well, it might help. I wouldn't feel quite so lonely. But don't

"I'd do it if I thought it would really increase your comfort,
though I know I'd feel like an infernal ass. I've got new light
upon this 'damning' business. I've come to regard it as the refuge
of the mentally inert, not to say imbecile, who have lost the
capacity for originality and force in speech. For me, I am cured."

"Ah!" said Linklater. "Dunn again, I suppose."

"Not a bit! Clear case of psychological reaction. After listening
to the Canongate experts I was immediately conscious of an
overwhelming and mortifying sense of inadequacy, of amateurishness;
hence I quit. Besides, of course, the chief is making rather a
point of uplifting the Canongate forms of speech."

Linklater gazed steadily at this friend, then said with mournful
deliberation, "You don't drink, you don't swear, you don't smoke--"

"Oh, that's your grouch, is it?" cried Martin. "Forgive me; here's
my pouch, old chap; or wait, here's something altogether finer than
anything you've been accustomed to. I was at old Kingston's last
night, and the old boy would have me load up with his finest. You
know I've been working with him this summer. Awfully fine for me!
Dunn got me on; or rather, his governor. There you are now! Smoke
that with reverence."

"Ah," sighed Linklater, as he drew in his first whiff, "there is
still something left to live for. Now tell me, what about

"Oh, Cameron! Cameron's all up a tree. The last time I saw him,
by Jove, I was glad it was in the open daylight and on a frequented
street. His face and manner suggested Roderick Dhu, The Black
Douglas, and all the rest of that interesting gang of cutthroats.
I can't bring myself to talk of Cameron. He's been the old chief's
relaxation during dog-days. It makes me hot to see Dunn with that

"Why, what's the trouble?"

"He tried him out in half a dozen positions, in every one of which
he proved a dead failure. The last was in Mr. Rae's office, a
lawyer, you know, Writer, to use your lucid and luminous speech.
That experiment proved the climax." At the memory of that
experience Martin laughed loud and long. "It was funny! Mr. Rae,
the cool, dignified, methodical, exact man of the law, struggling
to lick into shape this haughty Highland chieftain, who in his
heart scorned the whole silly business. The result, the complete
disorganisation of Mr. Rae's business, and total demoralisation of
Mr. Rae's office staff, who one and all swore allegiance to the
young chief. Finally, when Mr. Rae had reached the depths of
desperation, Cameron graciously deigned to inform his boss that he
found the office and its claims quite insupportable."

"Oh, it must have been funny. What happened?"

"What happened? You bet old Rae fell on his neck with tears of
joy, and sent him off with a handsome honorarium, as your gentle
speech has it. That was a fortnight ago. Then Dunn, in despair,
took Cameron off to his native haunts, and there he is to this day.
By the same token, this is the very afternoon that Dunn returns.
Let us go to meet him with cornets and cymbals! The unexpected
pleasure of your return made me quite forget. But won't he revel
in you, old boy!"

"I don't know about that," said Linklater gloomily. "I've a kind
of feeling that I've dropped out of this combination."

"What?" Then Martin fell upon him.

But if Martin's attempts to relieve his friend of melancholy
forebodings were not wholly successful, Dunn's shout of joy and his
double-handed shake as he grappled Linklater to him, drove from
that young man's heart the last lingering shade of doubt as to his
standing with his friends.

On his way home Dunn dropped into Martin's diggings for a "crack,"
and for an hour the three friends reviewed the summer's happenings,
each finding in the experience of the others as keen a joy as in
his own.

Linklater's holiday had been the most fruitful in exciting
incident. For two months he and his crew had dodged about among
quaint Norwegian harbours and in and out of fjords of wonderful
beauty. Storms they had weathered and calms they had endured; lazy
days they had spent, swimming, fishing, loafing; and wild days in
fighting gales and high-running seas that threatened to bury them
and their crew beneath their white-topped mountainous peaks.

"I say, that must have been great," cried Dunn with enthusiastic
delight in his friend's experiences.

"It sounds good, even in the telling," cried Martin, who had been
listening with envious ears. "Now my experiences are quite other.
One word describes them, grind, grind, grind, day in and day out,
in a gallant but futile attempt to justify the wisdom of my late
examiners in granting me my Triple."

"Don't listen to him, Linklater," said Dunn. "I happen to know
that he came through with banners flying and drums beating; and he
has turned into no end of a surgeon. I've heard old Kingston on

"But what about you, Dunn?" asked Linklater, with a kind of curious
uncertainty in his voice, as if dreading a tale of calamity.

"Oh, I've loafed about town a little, golfing a bit and slumming a
bit for a chap that got ill, and in spare moments looking after
Martin here."

"And the International?"

Dunn hesitated.

"Come on, old chap," said Martin, "take your medicine."

"Well," admitted Dunn, "I had to chuck it. But," he hastened to
add, "Nesbitt has got the thing in fine shape, though of course
lacking the two brilliant quarters of last year and the half--for
Cameron's out of it--it's rather rough on Nesbitt."

"Oh, I say! It's rotten, it's really ghastly! How could you do
it, Dunn?" said Linklater. "I could weep tears of blood."

To this Dunn made no reply. His disappointment was even yet too
keen for him to treat it lightly. "Anything else seemed quite
impossible," at length he said; "I had to chuck it."

"By the way," said Martin, "how's Cameron?"

Again Dunn paused. "I wish I could tell you. He's had hard luck
this summer. He somehow can't get hold of himself. In fact, I'm
quite worried about Cameron. I can't tell you chaps the whole
story, but last spring he had a really bad jolt."

"Well, what's he going to do?" Martin asked, somewhat impatiently.

"I wish I knew," replied Dunn gloomily. "There seems nothing he
can get here that's suitable. I'm afraid he will have to try the
Colonies; Canada for preference."

"Oh, I say, Dunn," exclaimed Martin, "it can't really be as bad as
all that?"

Dunn laughed. "I apologise, old chap. That was rather a bad
break, wasn't it? But all the same, to a Scotchman, and especially
to a Highlander, to leave home and friends and all that sort of
thing, you know--"

"No, he doesn't know," cried Linklater. "The barbarian! How could

"No, thank God," replied Martin fervently, "I don't know! To my
mind any man that has a chance to go to Canada on a good job ought
to call in his friends and neighbours to rejoice with him."

"But I say, that reminds me," said Dunn. "Mr. Rae is coming to
have a talk with my governor and me about this very thing to-morrow
night. I'd like awfully if you could drop in, Martin; and you,
too, Linklater."

Linklater declined. "My folks have something on, I fear."

Martin hesitated, protesting that there was "altogether too much
of this coddling business" in the matter of Cameron's future.
"Besides, my work is rather crowding me."

"Oh, my pious ancestors! Work!" exclaimed Linklater in disgust.
"At this season of the year! Come, Martin, this pose is unworthy
of you."

"If you could, old man," said Dunn earnestly, "we won't keep you
long. It would be a great help to us all."

"All right, I'll come," said Martin.

"There'll be no one there but Mr. Rae. We'll just have a smoke and
a chat."

But in this expectation Dunn was reckoning without his young
brother, Rob, who, ever since a certain momentous evening, had
entered into a covenant of comradeship with the young lady who had
figured so prominently in the deliverance of his beloved Cameron
from pending evil, and who during the summer had allowed no week to
pass without spending at least a part of a day with her. On this
particular evening, having obtained leave from his mother, the
young gentle man had succeeded in persuading his friend to accept
an invitation to dinner, assuring her that no one would be there
except Jack, who was to arrive home the day before.

The conclave of Cameron's friends found themselves, therefore,
unexpectedly reinforced by the presence of Miss Brodie, to the
unmingled joy of all of them, although in Martin's case his joy was
tinged with a certain fear, for he stood in awe of the young lady,
both because of her reputation for cleverness, and because of the
grand air which, when it pleased her, she could assume. Martin,
too, stood in wholesome awe of Doctor Dunn, whose quiet dignity and
old-time courtesy exercised a chastening influence upon the young
man's somewhat picturesque style of language and exuberance of
metaphor. But with Mrs. Dunn he felt quite at ease, for with that
gentle, kindly soul, her boys' friends were her friends and without
question she took them to her motherly heart.

Immediately upon Mr. Rae's arrival Cameron's future became the
subject of conversation, and it required only the briefest
discussion to arrive at the melancholy, inevitable conclusion that,
as Mr. Rae put it, "for a young man of his peculiar temperament,
training, and habits, Scotland was clearly impossible."

"But I have no doubt," continued that excellent adviser, "that in
Canada, where the demand for a high standard of efficiency is less
exacting, and where openings are more plentiful, the young man will
do very well indeed."

Martin took the lawyer up somewhat sharply. "In other words, I
understand you to mean that the man who is a failure in Scotland
may become a success in Canada."

"Exactly so. Would you not say so, Mr. Martin?"

"It depends entirely upon the cause of failure. If failure arises
from unfitness, his chances in Canada are infinitely less than in

"And why?" inquired Miss Brodie somewhat impatiently.

Martin hesitated. It was extremely difficult in the atmosphere of
that home to criticise one whom he knew to be considered as a
friend of the family.

"Why, pray?" repeated Miss Brodie.

"Well, of course," began Martin hesitatingly, "comparisons are
always odious."

"Oh, we can bear them." Miss Brodie's smile was slightly

"Well, then, speaking generally," said Martin, somewhat nettled by
her smile, "in this country there are heaps of chaps that simply
can't fall down because of the supports that surround them,
supports of custom, tradition, not to speak of their countless
friends, sisters, cousins, and aunts; if they're anyways half
decent they're kept a going; whereas if they are in a new country
and with few friends, they must stand alone or fall. Here the
crowd support them; there the crowd, eager to get on, shove them
aside or trample them down."

"Rather a ghastly picture that," said Miss Brodie.

"But true; that is, of the unfit. People haven't time to bother
with them; the game is too keen."

"Surely the picture is overdrawn," said Doctor Dunn.

"It may be, Sir," replied Martin, "but I have seen so many young
fellows who had been shipped out to Canada because they were
failures at home. I have seen them in very hard luck."

"And what about the fit?" inquired Miss Brodie.

"They get credit for every ounce that's in them."

"But that is so in Scotland as well."

"Pardon me, Miss Brodie, hardly. Here even strong men and fit men
have to wait half a lifetime for the chance that calls for all
that's in them. They must march in the procession and the pace is
leisurely. In Canada the chances come every day, and the man
that's ready jumps in and wins."

"Ah, I see!" exclaimed Miss Brodie. "There are more ladders by
which to climb."

"Yes," cried Martin, "and fewer men on them."

"But," argued Dunn, "there are other causes of failure in this
country. Many a young fellow, for instance, cannot get a congenial

"Yes," replied Martin quickly, "because you won't let him; your
caste law forbids. With us a man can do anything decent and no one
thinks the less of him."

"Ah, I see!" again cried Miss Brodie, more eagerly than before.
"Not only more ladders, but more kinds of ladders."

"Exactly," said Martin with an approving glance. "And he must not
be too long in the choosing."

"Then, Mr. Martin," said Mr. Rae, "what would you suggest for our
young friend?"

But this Martin refused to answer.

"Surely there are openings for a young fellow in Canada," said
Dunn. "Take a fellow like myself. What could I do?"

"You?" cried Martin, his eyes shining with loving enthusiasm.
"There are doors open on every business street in every town and
city in Canada for you, or for any fellow who has brain or brawn to
sell and who will take any kind of a job and stay with it."

"Well, what job, for instance?"

"What job?" cried Martin. "Heaps of them."

At this point a diversion was created by the entrance of "Lily"
Laughton. Both Martin and Dunn envied the easy grace of his
manner, his perfect self-possession, as he greeted each member of
the company. For each he had exactly the right word. Miss Brodie
he greeted with an exaggerated devotion, but when he shook hands
with Dunn there was no mistaking the genuine warmth of his

"Heard you were home, old chap, so I couldn't help dropping in. Of
course I knew that Mrs. Dunn would be sure to be here, and I more
than suspected that my dear Miss Brodie," here he swept her an
elaborate bow, "whom I discovered to be away from her own home,
might be found in this pleasant company."

"Yes, I fear that my devotion to her youngest boy is leading me
to overstep the bounds of even Mrs. Dunn's vast and generous

"Not a bit, my dear," replied Mrs. Dunn kindly. "You bring
sunshine with you, and you do us all good."

"Exactly my sentiments!" exclaimed "Lily" with enthusiasm. "But
what are you all doing? Just having a 'collyshog'?"

For a moment no one replied; then Dunn said, "We were just talking
about Cameron, who is thinking of going to Canada."

"To Canada of all places!" exclaimed "Lily" in tones of horrified
surprise. "How truly dreadful! But why should Cameron of all
beings exile himself in those remote and barbarous regions?"

"And why should he not?" cried Miss Brodie. "What is there for a
young man of spirit in Mr. Cameron's position in this country?"

"Why, my dear Miss Brodie, how can you ask? Just think of the
heaps of things, of perfectly delicious things, Cameron can do,--
the Highlands in summer, Edinburgh, London, in the season, a run to
the Continent! Just think of the wild possibility of a life of
unalloyed bliss!"

"Don't be silly!" said Miss Brodie. "We are talking seriously."

"Seriously! Why, my dear Miss Brodie, do you imagine--?"

"But what could he do for a life-work?" said Dunn. "A fellow must
have something to do."

"Oh, dear, I suppose so," said "Lily" with a sigh. "But surely he
could have some position in an office or something!"

"Exactly!" replied Miss Brodie. "How beautifully you put it! Now
Mr. Martin was just about to tell us of the things a man could do
in Canada when you interrupted."

"Awfully sorry, Martin. I apologise. Please go on. What do the
natives do in Canada?"

"Please don't pay any attention to him, Mr. Martin. I am extremely
interested. Now tell me, what are the openings for a young fellow
in Canada? You said the professions are all wide open."

It took a little persuasion to get Martin started again, so
disgusted was he with Laughton's references to his native country.
"Yes, Miss Brodie, the professions are all wide open, but of course
men must enter as they do here, but with a difference. Take law,
for instance: Knew a chap--went into an office at ten dollars a
month--didn't know a thing about it. In three months he was raised
to twenty dollars, and within a year to forty dollars. In three or
four years he had passed his exams, got a junior partnership worth
easily two thousand dollars a year. They wanted that chap, and
wanted him badly. But take business: That chap goes into a store

"A store?" inquired "Lily."

"Yes, a shop you call it here; say a drygoods--"

"Drygoods? What extraordinary terms these Colonials use!"

"Oh, draper's shop," said Dunn impatiently. "Go on, Martin; don't
mind him."

"A draper's clerk!" echoed "Lily." "To sell tapes and things?"

"Yes," replied Martin stoutly; "or groceries."

"Do you by any chance mean that a University man, a gentleman,
takes a position in a grocer's shop to sell butter and cheese?"

"I mean just that," said Martin firmly.

"Oh, please!" said "Lily" with a violent shudder. "It is too

"There you are! You wouldn't demean yourself."

"Not I!" said "Lily" fervently.

"Or disgrace your friends. You want a gentleman's job. There are
not enough to go round in Canada."

"Oh, go on," said Miss Brodie impatiently. "'Lily,' we must ask
you to not interrupt. What happens? Does he stay there?"

"Not he!" said Martin. "From the small business he goes to bigger
business. First thing you know a man wants him for a big job and
off he goes. Meantime he saves his money, invests wisely. Soon he
is his own boss."

"That's fine!" cried Miss Brodie. "Go on, Mr. Martin. Start him
lower down."

"All right," said Martin, directing his attention solely to the
young lady. "Here's an actual case. A young fellow from Scotland
found himself strapped--"

"Strapped? What DOES he mean?" said "Lily" in an appealing voice.

"On the rocks."


"Dear me!" cried Miss Brodie impatiently. "You are terribly
lacking in imagination. Broke, he means."

"Oh, thanks!"

"Well, finds himself broke," said Martin; "gets a shovel, jumps
into a cellar--"

"And why a cellar, pray?" inquires "Lily" mildly. "To hide himself
from the public?"

"Not at all; they were digging a cellar preparatory to building a


"He jumps in, blisters his hands, breaks his back--but he stays
with the job. In a week the boss makes him timekeeper; in three
months he himself is boss of a small gang; the next year he is made
foreman at a hundred a month or so."

"A hundred a month?" cries "Lily" in astonishment. "Oh, Martin,
please! We are green, but a hundred pounds a month--!"

"Dollars," said Martin shortly. "Don't be an ass! I beg pardon,"
he added, turning to Mrs. Dunn, who was meantime greatly amused.

"A hundred dollars a month; that is--I am so weak in arithmetic--
twenty pounds, I understand. Go on, Martin; I'm waiting for the
carriage and pair."

"That's where you get left," said Martin. "No carriage and pair
for this chap yet awhile; overalls and slouch hat for the next five
years for him. Then he begins contracting on his own."

"I beg your pardon," says "Lily."

"I mean he begins taking jobs on his own."

"Great!" cried Miss Brodie.

"Or," continued Martin, now fairly started on a favourite theme,
"there are the railroads all shouting for men of experience,
whether in the construction department or in the operating

"Does anyone here happen to understand him?" inquires "Lily"

"Certainly," cried Miss Brodie; "all the intelligent people do. At
least, I've a kind of notion there are big things doing. I only
wish I were a man!"

"Oh, Miss Brodie, how can you?" cried "Lily." "Think of us in such
a contingency!"

"But," said Mr. Rae, "all of this is most interesting, extremely
interesting, Mr. Martin. Still, they cannot all arrive at these
exalted positions."

"No, Mr. Rae. I may have given that impression. I confess to a
little madness when I begin talking Canada."

"Ah!" exclaimed "Lily."

"But I said men of brawn and brains, you remember."

"And bounce, to perfect the alliteration," murmured "Lily."

"Yes, bounce, too," said Martin; "at least, he must never take
back-water; he must be ready to attempt anything, even the

"That's the splendid thing about it!" cried Miss Brodie. "You're
entirely on your own and you never say die!"

"Oh, my dear Miss Brodie," moaned "Lily" in piteous accents, "you
are so fearfully energetic! And then, it's all very splendid, but
just think of a--of a gentleman having to potter around among
butter and cheese, or mess about in muddy cellars! Ugh!
Positively GHAWSTLY! I would simply die."

"Oh, no, you wouldn't, 'Lily,'" said Martin kindly. "We have
afternoon teas and Browning Clubs, too, you must remember, and some
'cultchaw' and that sort of thing."

There was a joyous shout from Dunn.

"But, Mr. Martin," persisted Mr. Rae, whose mind was set in
arriving at a solution of the problem in hand, "I have understood
that agriculture was the chief pursuit in Canada."

"Farming! Yes, it is, but of course that means capital. Good land
in Ontario means seventy-five to a hundred dollars per acre, and a
man can't do with less than a hundred acres; besides, farming is
getting to be a science now-a-days, Sir."

"Ah, quite true! But to a young man bred on a farm in this

"Excuse me, Mr. Rae," replied Martin quickly, "there is no such
thing in Canada as a gentleman farmer. The farmer works with his

"Do you mean that he actually works?" inquired "Lily." "With the
plough and hoe, and that sort of thing?"

"Works all day long, as long as any of his men, and indeed longer."

"And does he actually live--? of course he doesn't eat with his
servants?" said "Lily" in a tone that deprecated the preposterous

"They all eat together in the big kitchen," replied Martin.

"How awful!" gasped "Lily."

"My father does," replied Martin, a little colour rising in his
cheek, "and my mother, and my brothers. They all eat with the men;
my sister, too, except when she waits on table."

"Fine!" exclaimed Miss Brodie. "And why not? 'Lily,' I'm afraid
you're horribly snobbish."

"Thank the Lord," said "Lily" devoutly, "I live in this beloved

"But, Mr. Martin, forgive my persistence, I understand there is
cheaper land in certain parts of Canada; in, say, ManitoBAW."

"Ah, yes, Sir, of course, lots of it; square miles of it!" cried
Martin with enthusiasm. "The very best out of doors, and cheap,
but I fancy there are some hardships in Manitoba."

"But I see by the public newspapers," continued Mr. Rae, "that
there is a very large movement in the way of emigration toward that

"Yes, there's a great boom on in Manitoba just now."

"Boom?" said "Lily." "And what exactly may that be in the

"I take it," said Mr. Rae, evidently determined not to allow the
conversation to get out of his hands, "you mean a great excitement
consequent upon the emigration and the natural rise in land

"Yes, Sir," cried Martin, "you've hit it exactly."

"Then would there not be opportunity to secure a considerable
amount of land at a low figure in that country?"

"Most certainly! But it's fair to say that success there means
work and hardship and privation. Of course it is always so in a
new country; it was so in Ontario. Why, the new settlers in
Manitoba don't know what hardships mean in comparison with those
that faced the early settlers in Ontario. My father, when a little
boy of ten years, went with his father into the solid forest; you
don't know what that means in this country, and no one can who has
not seen a solid mass of green reaching from the ground a hundred
feet high without a break in it except where the trail enters.
Into that solid forest in single file went my grandfather, his two
little boys, and one ox carrying a bag of flour, some pork and
stuff. By a mark on a tree they found the corner of their farm."
Martin paused.

"Do go on," said Miss Brodie. "Tell me the very first thing he

But Martin seemed to hesitate. "Well," he began slowly, "I've
often heard my father tell it. When they came to that tree with
the mark on it, grandfather said, 'Boys, we have reached our home.
Let us thank God.' He went up to a big spruce tree, drove his ax
in to the butt, then kneeled down with the two little boys beside
him, and I have heard my father say that when he looked away up
between the big trees and saw the bit of blue sky there, he thought
God was listening at that blue hole between the tree-tops." Martin
paused abruptly, and for a few moments silence held the group.
Then Doctor Dunn, clearing his throat, said with quiet emphasis:

"And he was right, my boy; make no doubt of that."

"Then?" inquired Miss Brodie softly. "If you don't mind."

Martin laughed. "Then they had grub, and that afternoon grandfather
cut the trees and the boys limbed them off, clearing the ground
where the first house stood. That night they slept in a little
brush hut that did them for a house until grandmother came two weeks

"What?" said Doctor Dunn. "Your grandmother went into the forest?"

"Yes, Sir," said Martin; "and two miles of solid black bush
stretched between her and the next woman."

"Why, of course, my dear," said Mrs. Dunn, taking part for the
first time in the conversation. "What else?"

They all laughed.

"Of course, Mother," said her eldest son, "that's what you would

"So would I, Mamma, wouldn't I?" whispered Rob, leaning towards

"Certainly, my dear," replied his mother; "I haven't the slightest

"And so would any woman worth her salt if she loved her husband,"
cried Miss Brodie with great emphasis.

"Why, why," cried Doctor Dunn, "it's the same old breed, Mother."

"But in Manitoba--?" began Mr. Rae, still clinging to the subject.

"Oh, in Manitoba there is no forest to cut. However, there are
other difficulties. Still, hundreds are crowding in, and any man
who has the courage and the nerve to stay with it can get on."

"And what did they do for schools?" said Mrs. Dunn, returning to
the theme that had so greatly interested her.

"There were no schools until father was too big to be spared to go
except for a few weeks in the winter."

"How big do you mean?"

"Say fifteen."

"Fifteen!" exclaimed Miss Brodie. "A mere infant!"

"Infant!" said Martin. "Not much! At fifteen my father was doing
a man's full work in the bush and on the farm, and when he grew to
be a man he cleared most of his own land, too. Why, when I was
eleven I drove my team all day on the farm."

"And how did you get your education, Mr. Martin?"

"Oh, they kept me at school pretty steadily, except in harvest and
hay time, until I was fourteen, and after that in the winter
months. When I was sixteen I got a teacher's certificate, and then
it was easy enough."

"And did you put yourself through college?" inquired Mr. Rae, both
interest and admiration in his voice, for now they were on ground
familiar in his own experience.

"Why, yes, mostly. Father helped, I suspect more than he ought to,
but he was anxious for me to get through."

"Rob," cried Miss Brodie suddenly, "let's go! What do you say?
We'll get a big bit of that land in the West, and won't it be
splendid to build up our own estate and all that?"

Rob glanced from her into his mother's face. "I'd like it fine,
Mamma," he said in a low voice, slipping his hand into hers.

"But what about me, Rob?" said his mother, smiling tenderly down
into the eager face.

"Oh, I'd come back for you, Mamma."

"Hold on there, youngster," said his elder brother, "there are
others that might have something to say about that. But I say,
Martin," continued Dunn, "we hear a lot about the big ranches
further West."

"Yes, in Alberta, but I confess I don't know much about them. The
railways are just building and people are beginning to go in. But
ranching needs capital, too. It must be a great life! They
practically live in the saddle. It's a glorious country!"

"On the whole, then," said Mr. Rae, as if summing up the
discussion, "a young man has better opportunities of making his
fortune, so to speak, in the far West rather than in, say,

"I didn't speak of fortune, Mr. Rae,--fortune is a chance thing,
more or less,--but what I say is this, that any young man not
afraid of work, of any kind of work, and willing to stay with his
job, can make a living and get a home in any part of Canada, with a
bigger chance of fortune in the West."

"All I say, Mr. Rae, is this," said Miss Brodie emphatically, "that
I only wish I were a man with just such a chance as young Cameron!"

"Ah, my dear young lady, if all the young men were possessed of
your spirit, it would matter little where they went, for they would
achieve distinct success." As he spoke Mr. Rae's smile burst forth
in all its effulgent glory.

"Dear Mr. Rae, how very clever of you to discover that!" replied
Miss Brodie, smiling sweetly into Mr. Rae's radiant face. "And how
very sweet of you--ah, I beg your pardon; that is--" The
disconcerting rapidity with which Mr. Rae's smile gave place to an
appearance of grave, of even severe solemnity, threw Miss Brodie
quite "out of her stride," as Martin said afterward, and left her
floundering in a hopeless attempt to complete her compliment.

Her confusion was the occasion of unlimited joy to "Lily," who was
not unfamiliar with this facial phenomenon on the part of Mr. Rae.
"Oh, I say!" he cried to Dunn in a gale of smothered laughter, "how
does the dear man do it? It is really too lovely! I must learn
the trick of that. I have never seen anything quite so appallingly

Meantime Mr. Rae was blandly assisting Miss Brodie out of her
dilemma. "Not at all, Miss Brodie, not at all! But," he
continued, throwing his smile about the room, "I think, Doctor
Dunn, we have reason to congratulate ourselves upon not only a
pleasant but an extremely profitable evening--ah--as far as the
matter in hand is concerned. I hope to have further speech with
our young friend," bowing to Mr. Martin and bringing his smile to
bear upon that young gentleman.

"Oh, certainly," began Martin with ready geniality, "whenever you--
eh? What did you say, Sir? I didn't quite--"

But Mr. Rae was already bidding Mrs. Dunn goodnight, with a face of
preternatural gravity.

"What the deuce!" said Martin, turning to his friend Dunn. "Does
the old boy often go off at half-cock that way? He'll hurt himself
some time, sure."

"Isn't it awful?" said Dunn. "He's got me a few times that way,
too. But I say, old boy, we're awfully grateful to you for

"I feel like a fool," said Martin; "as if I'd been delivering a

"Don't think it," cried Miss Brodie, who had drawn near. "You've
been perfectly lovely, and I am so glad to have got to know you
better. For me, I am quite resolved to go to Canada."

"But do you think they can really spare us all, Miss Brodie?"
exclaimed "Lily" in an anxious voice. "For, of course, if you go
we must."

"No, 'Lily,' I'm quite sure they can't spare you. Just think, what
could the Browning-Wagner circle do? Besides, what could we do
with you when we were all working, for I can quite see that there
is no use going to Canada unless you mean to work?"

"You've got it, Miss Brodie," said Martin. "My lecture is not in
vain. There is no use going to Canada unless you mean to work and
to stay with the job till the cows come home."

"Till the cows come--?" gasped "Lily."

"Oh, never mind him, Mr. Martin! Come, 'Lily' dear, I'll explain
it to you on the way home. Good-night, Mr. Dunn; we've had a jolly
evening. And as for our friend Cameron, I've ceased to pity him;
on the contrary, I envy him his luck."



Once more the golden light of a sunny spring day was shining on the
sapphire loch at the bottom, and overflowing at the rim of the
Cuagh Oir. But for all its flowing gold, there was grief in the
Glen--grief deep and silent, like the quiet waters of the little
loch. It was seen in the grave faces of the men who gathered at
the "smiddy." It was heard in the cadence of the voices of the
women as they gathered to "kalie" (Ceilidh) in the little cottages
that fringed the loch's side, or dotted the heather-clad slopes.
It even checked the boisterous play of the bairns as they came in
from school. It lay like a cloud on the Cuagh, and heavy on the
hearts that made up the little hill-girt community of one hundred
souls, or more.

And the grief was this, that on the "morrow's morn" Mary Robertson's
son was departing from the Glen "neffer to return for effermore," as
Donald of the House farm put it, with a face gloomy as the loch on a
dark winter's day.

"A leaving" was ever an occasion of wailing to the Glen, and many
a leaving had the Glen known during the last fifty years. For
wherever the tartan waved, and the bonnie feathers danced for the
glory of the Empire, sons of the Glen were ever to be found; but
not for fifty years had the heart of the Glen known the luxury of a
single rallying centre for their pride and their love till the
"young chentleman," young Mr. Allan, began to go in and out among
them. And as he grew into manhood so grew their pride in him. And
as, from time to time, at the Great Games he began to win glory for
the Glen with his feats of skill and strength, and upon the pipes,
and in the dances, their pride in him grew until it passed all
limits. Had he not, the very year before he went to the college,
cut the comb of the "Cock of the North" from Glen Urquhart, in
running and jumping; and the very same year had he not wrested from
Callum Bheg, the pride of Athole, the coveted badge of Special
Distinction in Highland Dancing? Then later, when the schoolmaster
would read from the Inverness Courier to one group after another at
the post office and at the "smiddy" (it was only fear of the elder
MacPherson, that kept the master from reading it aloud at the kirk
door before the service) accounts of the "remarkable playing" of
Cameron, the brilliant young "half-back" of the Academy in
Edinburgh, the Glen settled down into an assured conviction that it
had reached the pinnacle of vicarious glory, and that in all
Scotland there was none to compare with their young "chieftain" as,
quite ignoring the Captain, they loved to call him.

And there was more than pride in him, for on his holidays he came
back to the Glen unspoiled by all his honours and achievements, and
went about among them "jist like ain o' their ain sels," accepting
their homage as his right, but giving them in return, according to
their various stations, due respect and honour, and their love grew
greater than their pride.

But the "morrow's morn" he was leaving the Glen, and, worse than
all, no one knew for why. A mystery hung over the cause of his
going, a mystery deepened by his own bearing during the past twelve
months, for all these months a heavy gloom had shrouded him, and
from all that had once been his delight and their glory he had
withdrawn. The challenge, indeed, from the men of Glen Urquhart
which he had accepted long ago, he refused not, but even the
overwhelming defeat which he had administered to his haughty
challengers, had apparently brought him no more than a passing
gleam of joy. The gloom remained unlifted and the cause the Glen
knew not, and no man of them would seek to know. Hence the grief
of the Glen was no common grief when the son of Mary Robertson, the
son of the House, the pride of the Glen, and the comrade and friend
of them all, was about to depart and never to return.

His last day in the Glen Allan spent making his painful way through
the cottages, leaving his farewell, and with each some slight gift
of remembrance. It was for him, indeed, a pilgrimage of woe. It
was not only that his heart roots were in the Glen and knit round
every stick and stone of it; it was not that he felt he was leaving
behind him a love and loyalty as deep and lasting as life itself.
It was that in tearing himself from them he could make no response
to the dumb appeal in the eyes that followed him with adoration and
fidelity: "Wherefore do you leave us at all?" and "Why do you make
no promise of return?" To that dumb appeal there was no answer
possible from one who carried on his heart for himself, and on his
life for some few others, and among these his own father, the
terrible brand of the criminal. It was this grim fact that stained
black the whole landscape of his consciousness, and that hung like
a pall of death over every living and delightsome thing in the
garden of his soul. While none could, without challenge, condemn
him, yet his own tongue refused to proclaim his innocence. Every
face he loved drove deeper into his heart his pain. The deathless
loyalty and unbounded pride of the Glen folk rebuked him, without
their knowing, for the dishonour he had done them. The Glen
itself, the hills, the purpling heather, the gleaming loch, how
dear to him he had never known till now, threw in his face a sad
and silent reproach. Small wonder that the Glen, that Scotland had
become intolerable to him. With this bitter burden on his heart it
was that young Mr. Allan went his way through the Glen making his
farewells, not daring to indulge the luxury of his grief, and with
never a word of return.

His sister, who knew all, and who would have carried--oh! how
gladly!--on her own heart, and for all her life long, that bitter
burden, pleaded to be allowed to go with him on what she knew full
well was a journey of sorrow and sore pain, but this he would not
permit. This sorrow and pain which were his own, he would share
with no one, and least of all with her upon whose life he had
already cast so dark a shadow. Hence she was at the house alone,
her father not having yet returned from an important meeting at a
neighbouring village, when a young man came to the door asking for
young Mr. Cameron.

"Who is it, Kirsty?" she inquired anxiously, a new fear at her
heart for her brother.

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