I have Simon Fraser extremely
heavy on my stomach still."
"Ah!" she cried, "you will not be evening these two; and you should
bear in mind that Prestongrange and James More, my father, are of
the one blood."
"I never heard tell of that," said I.
"It is rather singular how little you are acquainted with," said
she. "One part may call themselves Grant, and one Macgregor, but
they are still of the same clan. They are all the sons of Alpin,
from whom, I think, our country has its name."
"What country is that?" I asked.
"My country and yours," said she
"This is my day for discovering I think," said I, "for I always
thought the name of it was Scotland."
"Scotland is the name of what you call Ireland," she replied. "But
the old ancient true name of this place that we have our foot-soles
on, and that our bones are made of, will be Alban. It was Alban
they called it when our forefathers will be fighting for it against
Rome and Alexander; and it is called so still in your own tongue
that you forget."
"Troth," said I, "and that I never learned!" For I lacked heart to
take her up about the Macedonian.
"But your fathers and mothers talked it, one generation with
another," said she. "And it was sung about the cradles before you
or me were ever dreamed of; and your name remembers it still. Ah,
if you could talk that language you would find me another girl.
The heart speaks in that tongue."
I had a meal with the two ladies, all very good, served in fine old
plate, and the wine excellent, for it seems that Mrs. Ogilvy was
rich. Our talk, too, was pleasant enough; but as soon as I saw the
sun decline sharply and the shadows to run out long, I rose to take
my leave. For my mind was now made up to say farewell to Alan; and
it was needful I should see the trysting wood, and reconnoitre it,
by daylight. Catriona came with me as far as to the garden gate.
"It is long till I see you now?" she asked.
"It is beyond my judging," I replied. "It will be long, it may be
"It may be so," said she. "And you are sorry?"
I bowed my head, looking upon her.
"So am I, at all events," said she. "I have seen you but a small
time, but I put you very high. You are true, you are brave; in
time I think you will be more of a man yet. I will be proud to
hear of that. If you should speed worse, if it will come to fall
as we are afraid--O well! think you have the one friend. Long
after you are dead and me an old wife, I will be telling the bairns
about David Balfour, and my tears running. I will be telling how
we parted, and what I said to you, and did to you. GOD GO WITH YOU
AND GUIDE YOU, PRAYS YOUR LITTLE FRIEND: so I said--I will be
telling them--and here is what I did."
She took up my hand and kissed it. This so surprised my spirits
that I cried out like one hurt. The colour came strong in her
face, and she looked at me and nodded.
"O yes, Mr. David," said she, "that is what I think of you. The
head goes with the lips."
I could read in her face high spirit, and a chivalry like a brave
child's; not anything besides. She kissed my hand, as she had
kissed Prince Charlie's, with a higher passion than the common kind
of clay has any sense of. Nothing before had taught me how deep I
was her lover, nor how far I had yet to climb to make her think of
me in such a character. Yet I could tell myself I had advanced
some way, and that her heart had beat and her blood flowed at
thoughts of me.
After that honour she had done me I could offer no more trivial
civility. It was even hard for me to speak; a certain lifting in
her voice had knocked directly at the door of my own tears.
"I praise God for your kindness, dear," said I. "Farewell, my
little friend!" giving her that name which she had given to
herself; with which I bowed and left her.
My way was down the glen of the Leith River, towards Stockbridge