And here is this son of trouble, Neil, son of
Duncan, has lost my four-penny piece that was to buy that snuff,
and James More must go wanting, and will think his daughter has
I took sixpence from my pocket, gave it to Neil, and bade him go
about his errand. Then to her, "That sixpence came with me by
Balwhidder," said I.
"Ah!" she said, "you are a friend to the Gregara!"
"I would not like to deceive you, either," said I. "I know very
little of the Gregara and less of James More and his doings, but
since the while I have been standing in this close, I seem to know
something of yourself; and if you will just say 'a friend to Miss
Catriona' I will see you are the less cheated."
"The one cannot be without the other," said she.
"I will even try," said I.
"And what will you be thinking of myself!" she cried, "to be
holding my hand to the first stranger!"
"I am thinking nothing but that you are a good daughter," said I.
"I must not be without repaying it," she said; "where is it you
"To tell the truth, I am stopping nowhere yet," said I, "being not
full three hours in the city; but if you will give me your
direction, I will he no bold as come seeking my sixpence for
"Will I can trust you for that?" she asked.
"You need have little fear," said I.
"James More could not bear it else," said she. "I stop beyond the
village of Dean, on the north side of the water, with Mrs.
Drummond-Ogilvy of Allardyce, who is my near friend and will be
glad to thank you."
"You are to see me, then, so soon as what I have to do permits,"
said I; and, the remembrance of Alan rolling in again upon my mind,
I made haste to say farewell.
I could not but think, even as I did so, that we had made
extraordinary free upon short acquaintance, and that a really wise
young lady would have shown herself more backward. I think it was
the bank-porter that put me from this ungallant train of thought.
"I thoucht ye had been a lad of some kind o' sense," he began,
shooting out his lips. "Ye're no likely to gang far this gate. A
fule and his siller's shune parted. Eh, but ye're a green
callant!" he cried, "an' a veecious, tae! Cleikin' up wi'
"If you dare to speak of the young lady. . . " I began.
"Leddy!" he cried. "Haud us and safe us, whatten leddy? Ca' THON
a leddy? The toun's fu' o' them. Leddies! Man, its weel seen
ye're no very acquant in Embro!"
A clap of anger took me.
"Here," said I, "lead me where I told you, and keep your foul mouth
He did not wholly obey me, for, though he no more addressed me
directly, he very impudent sang at me as he went in a manner of
innuendo, and with an exceedingly ill voice and ear -
"As Mally Lee cam doun the street, her capuchin did flee,
She cuist a look ahint her to see her negligee.
And we're a' gaun east and wast, we're a' gann ajee,
We're a' gaun east and wast courtin' Mally Lee."
CHAPTER II--THE HIGHLAND WRITER
Mr. Charles Stewart the Writer dwelt at the top of the longest
stair ever mason set a hand to; fifteen flights of it, no less; and
when I had come to his door, and a clerk had opened it, and told me
his master was within, I had scarce breath enough to send my porter
"Awa' east and west wi' ye!" said I, took the money bag out of his
hands, and followed the clerk in.
The outer room was an office with the clerk's chair at a table
spread with law papers. In the inner chamber, which opened from
it, a little brisk man sat poring on a deed, from which he scarce
raised his eyes on my entrance; indeed, he still kept his finger in
the place, as though prepared to show me out and fall again to his
studies. This pleased me little enough; and what pleased me less,
I thought the clerk was in a good posture to overhear what should
pass between us.