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"Dooms hard!" cries he. "And that's what makes me think so much of

ye--you that's no Stewart--to stick your head so deep in Stewart

business. And for what, I do not know: unless it was the sense of


"I hope it will be that," said I.

"Well," says he, "it's a grand quality. But here is my clerk back;

and, by your leave, we'll pick a bit of dinner, all the three of

us. When that's done, I'll give you the direction of a very decent

man, that'll be very fain to have you for a lodger. And I'll fill

your pockets to ye, forbye, out of your ain bag. For this

business'll not be near as dear as ye suppose--not even the ship

part of it."

I made him a sign that his clerk was within hearing.

"Hoot, ye neednae mind for Robbie," cries he. "A Stewart, too,

puir deevil! and has smuggled out more French recruits and

trafficking Papists than what he has hairs upon his face. Why,

it's Robin that manages that branch of my affairs. Who will we

have now, Rob, for across the water!"

"There'll be Andie Scougal, in the Thristle," replied Rob. "I saw

Hoseason the other day, but it seems he's wanting the ship. Then

there'll be Tam Stobo; but I'm none so sure of Tam. I've seen him

colloguing with some gey queer acquaintances; and if was anybody

important, I would give Tam the go-by."

"The head's worth two hundred pounds, Robin," said Stewart.

"Gosh, that'll no be Alan Breck!" cried the clerk.

"Just Alan," said his master.

"Weary winds! that's sayrious," cried Robin. "I'll try Andie,

then; Andie'll be the best."

"It seems it's quite a big business," I observed.

"Mr. Balfour, there's no end to it," said Stewart.

"There was a name your clerk mentioned," I went on: "Hoseason.

That must be my man, I think: Hoseason, of the brig Covenant.

Would you set your trust on him?"

"He didnae behave very well to you and Alan," said Mr. Stewart;

"but my mind of the man in general is rather otherwise. If he had

taken Alan on board his ship on an agreement, it's my notion he

would have proved a just dealer. How say ye, Rob?"

"No more honest skipper in the trade than Eli," said the clerk. "I

would lippen to {5} Eli's word--ay, if it was the Chevalier, or

Appin himsel'," he added.

"And it was him that brought the doctor, wasnae't?" asked the


"He was the very man," said the clerk.

"And I think he took the doctor back?" says Stewart.

"Ay, with his sporran full!" cried Robin. "And Eli kent of that!"


"Well, it seems it's hard to ken folk rightly," said I.

"That was just what I forgot when ye came in, Mr. Balfour!" says

the Writer.


The next morning, I was no sooner awake in my new lodging than I

was up and into my new clothes; and no sooner the breakfast

swallowed, than I was forth on my adventurers. Alan, I could hope,

was fended for; James was like to be a more difficult affair, and I

could not but think that enterprise might cost me dear, even as

everybody said to whom I had opened my opinion. It seemed I was

come to the top of the mountain only to cast myself down; that I

had clambered up, through so many and hard trials, to be rich, to

be recognised, to wear city clothes and a sword to my side, all to

commit mere suicide at the last end of it, and the worst kind of

suicide, besides, which is to get hanged at the King's charges.

What was I doing it for? I asked, as I went down the high Street

and out north by Leith Wynd. First I said it was to save James

Stewart; and no doubt the memory of his distress, and his wife's

cries, and a word or so I had let drop on that occasion worked upon

me strongly. At the same time I reflected that it was (or ought to

be) the most indifferent matter to my father's son, whether James

died in his bed or from a scaffold. He was Alan's cousin, to be

sure; but s

Robert Louis Stevenson
Classic Literature Library

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