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-III. DROPPED HE ONE OP HEK CURTSEYS, WHICH WERE EXTRAORDINARY 
TAKING " 

1/'. 314.) 



DAVID BALFOUP 



filcmoire of tjts vlbncnturcs at gomt 
anb 3broab 



<thc <$ccoi)ii Part: J« ic7»ic7i tun tset forth his Misfortunes ancnt tin Apim.n 
Murder; his Troubles uHtii L<>r< I Advocate Grant ; Gaptitotiy on the 
Bass Rock ; Journey into Holland and France; and singular Rela- 
tions with James More Drummond <t MacGrrgor, a 8onof tin 
notorious Hob Roy, 'and his Daughter Catkiona 



92£ttttett ftp ^tmself 

AND NOW SET FORTH RT 

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON 



NEW FORK 
CHARLES SOEIBNEE'S SONS 

1895 

[All rights reserved] 




Copyright, 1893, by 
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS 



J ..•*•• • * 



Press of .1. J. Little & Co 
Astor Place, New York 



$2> 



IZ\ 



DEDICATION 

CHARLES BAXTER, Writer to the Signet. 

My dear Charles, 

It is the fate of sequels to disappoint those who 
have waited for them ; and, my David having been left 
to kick his heels for more than a lustre in the British 
Linen Company's office, must expect his late reappear- 
ance to be greeted with hoots, if not with missiles. Yet, 
when I remember the days of our explorations. 1 am 
not without hope. There should be left in our native 
city some seed of the elect ; some long-legged, hot- 
headed youth must repeat to-day our dreams and wan- 
derings of so many years ago ; he will relish the pleasure, 
which should have been ours, to follow among named 
streets and numbered houses the country walks of David 
Balfour, to identify Dean, and Silvermills, and Broughton, 
and Hope Park and Pilrig, and poor old Lochend -if it 
still be standing, and the Eiggafc Whins — if there be 
any of them left ; or to push (on a long holiday) bo far 
afield as Gillane or the Bass. So, perhaps, his eye shall 
be opened to behold the series of the generations, and be 






VI DEDICATION 

shall weigh with surprise his momentous and nugatory 

gift of life. 

You are still — as when first I saw, as when I last 

addressed you — in the venerable city which I must always 

think of as my home. And I have come so far ; and 

the sights and thoughts of my youth pursue me ; and I 

see like a vision the youth of my father, and of his 

father, and the whole stream of lives flowing down there, 

far in the north, with the sound of laughter and tears, 

to cast me out in the end, as by a sudden freshet, on 

these ultimate islands. And I admire and bow my head 

before the romance of destiny. 

R. L. S. 

Vailima, 
Upolu, 
Samoa, 

1802. 



CONTENTS 



PAOE 

Dedication v 

Summary of " Kidnapped ' 7 xi 



Part I 

THE LORD ADVOCA TE 

CHAPTER I 
A Beggar on Horseback 1 

CHAPTER II 
The Highland Writer U 

CHAPTER III 

I GO TO PlLRIG 27 

CHAPTER IV 
Lord Advocate Prestongrange 88 

CHAPTER V 

In the Advocate's Bouse , 64 

CHAPTEB VI 

Umqhile the Master of Lovat 64 



Vlll CONTENTS 

CHAPTER VII 

PAGE 

I make a Fault in Honour 74 

CHAPTER VIII 
The Bravo 90 

CHAPTER IX 
The Heather on Fire 103 

CHAPTER X 
The Red-headed Man 114 

CHAPTER XI 
The Wood by Silvermills 128 

CHAPTER XII 
Ox the March again with Alan 138 

CHAPTER XIII 
GiLLANi: Sands 151 

CHAPTER XIV 
The Bass 164 

CHAPTER XV 
Black Andiks Tale of Tod Lapraik 176 

CHAPTER XVI 
The Missing Witness 193 

CHAPTER XVII 
Tin Memorial 206 



CONTENTS l x 

CHAPTER XVII I 

PA0I 

THB Tee'd Bali 22 I 

CHAPTER XIX 

I am much in Tin: Hands op the Ladies 

CHAPTER XX 

I CONTINUE TO HOVE IN GOOD SOCIETY 352 

Part II 
FATHER AND DAUGHTER 

CHAPTER XXI 

The Voyage into Holland 267 

CHAPTER XXII 

I I ELYOETSLUYS 

CHAPTER XXIII 
Travels in Holland 395 

CHAPTER XXIV 
Pull Story op a Copy op Beineccius 310 

CHAPTER XXV 

The Return of Jambs More 

CHAPTER XXVI 
The Threesome 

CHAPTER XXVII 
A Twosome 



X CONTEXTS 

CHAPTER XXVII 1 

PAGE 

In which I am Left A lone 357 

CHAPTER XXIX 
We meet in Dunkirk 371 

CHAPTER XXX 
TnE Letter from the Ship 382 

CHAPTER XXXI 
Conclusion 402 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



"She Dropped Me One of her Curtseys which were Extraor- 
dinary Taking," IhvntbpUct 

km ing page 
"All the while the Three op Them Sought in their Pockets."' 6 

"•What did They SUFFER FOB ? ' I Asked," 30 

" ' And See here ! ' He Cried, with a Formidable Shrill Voice. 

. . . 'It is the Warrant for your Arrest, 1 " ... 70 

'■'Tit You effer Hear where Alan Grigor Fand the Tangb 

Said He," 96 

'•'Saxpence had better Take his Broth with Us, Cathine." 

Says She," 116 

"'The Goodman Brought Mb my Meat and a Drop Brandy. 

AM) A < ANDLE-DOWP TO EAT IT BY, ABOUT ElEEYEN, 1 S.\ID 

He," 140 

"With that I Turned my Back upon the Sea and Faced the 

Sand-IIh.i.>." 160 

"'There He Sat, a Muckle Fat, White Hash OB a Man mm: 

Creish,' " 182 

"'There is Nothing here to be Viewed kit Naked Caxfbbli 

Spite and Scurvy Capmbell Intrigue,' " 810 

'•'Down She Went upon her Knees to Ilm," " .... 948 

"All Edinburgh and the Pentland IIii.l- GLUTTED ABOVE BCl 

« 
"Up She Stood on the BULWARKS and SELD B1 \ BTAY," 

"•You Tell Me Shi: i- HEBE? 1 Said Hi: a«.\iv" .... 

• Keep Back. Davie ! ABE Yb Daft ? ' " 

"Whom You were Awakened out of your Beds and Bbodoht 

down to the Dining-Hall to be Presented to," . . . 404 



SUMMARY 

OF THE 

EARLIER ADVENTURES OF DAVID BALFOUR 
AS SET FORTH IN "KIDNAPPED." 

Alexander and Ebenezer Balfour, brothers of the house of 
Shaws, near Cramond, in the Foresl of El i rick, being in love 
with the same lady, and she preferring the elder brother, Alex- 
ander, it was agreed between them that Alexander should take 
the lady and Ebenezer. as amends for his disappointment, the 
estate of Shaws. Alexander and his wife removed to Essendean, 
where they lived obscurely — Alexander in the character of village 
schoolmaster — and where an only son was born to them — namely, 
David Balfour, the hero of this history. David, broughl up in 
ignorance of the family affairs and his own claim on the estates, 
and losing both parents before he was eighteen, was Left with no 
other fortune than a scaled letter from his father addressed to his 
uncle Ebenezer. Proceeding to deliver this, he f"imd Ebenezer 
living childless ami a miser at Shaws, who received him ill, and 
after vainly endeavouring to compass his death, had him tre- 
panned on board the brig Covenant, Captain Hoseason, bound to 
Carolina, to the end that he might be sold to labour in the planta- 
tions. But early in the voyage, the Covenant running through 
the Minch. -truck and scut to the bottom an open boat, from 
which there saved himself and came on hoard one Alan Breck 
Stewart, a Highland gentleman banished in the '45, and now 
engaged in smuggling rent- from his clan-men. the Appin 
Stewart-, to their chief Ardshiel, living in exile in Prance. II 
son and his crew, learning that Alan had u r "M about him, 



XIV EARLIER ADVENTURES OF DAVID BALFOUR 

spired to rob and murder him ; but David, being made privy to 
the plot, put Alan on his guard and promised to stand by him. 
Favoured by the shelter of the round-house, and by Alan's cour- 
age and skill of fence, the two got the better of their assailants in 
the attack which followed, killing or maiming more than half of 
them ; whereby Captain Hoseason was disabled from prosecuting 
his voyage, and came to terms with Alan, agreeing to land him 
on a part of the coast \aSence he might best make his way to his 
own country of Appin. But in attempting this the Covenant took 
ground and sank off the coast of Mull. Those on board saved 
themselves as they best could — David separately, being first cast 
on the Isle of Earraid, and thence making his way across Mull, 
where he learned that Alan had passed before, leaving word that 
David should follow and rejoin him in his own country at the house 
of his kinsman, James Stewart of the Glen. On his way to keep 
this tryst, David found himself in Appin on the same day when 
the King's Factor, Colin Roy Campbell, of Glenure, came with a 
force of red-coats to drive out the tenants from the forfeited 
estates of Ardshiel, and was present when Glenure was slain upon 
the roadside by a shot out of a neighbouring wood. Suspected of 
complicity at the moment when he was in the act of giving chase 
to the unknown murderer, David betook himself to flight, and 
was quickly joined by Alan Breck, who, though he had not fired 
the shot, was lurking not far off. The two now lived the life of 
hunted men upon the moors, the outcry on account of the mur- 
der being very great, and its guilt being declared to rest on James 
Stewart of the Glens, the already outlawed Alan Breck, and a lad 
unknown — being no other than David Balfour, for whose appre- 
hension blood-money was offered and the country scoured by sol- 
diery. At last, after many and hard adventures, David and Alan 
made their way by Balquhidder down to the Highland Line and 
the Forth ; which, however, they dared not cross for fear of 
arrest, until an innkeeper's daughter, Alison Hastie, was pre- 
vailed on to row them over to the Lothian shore under cover of 
night. Here, Alan again going into hiding, David declared him- 
self to M. Kankeillor, of Qucensferrv. lawyer and lately agent to 
the Shavvs estate, who promptly took up his cause and contrived a 
plan whereby, with the help of Alan, Ebenezer Balfour was com- 



EARLIEB ADVENTURES OF DAVID BALFOUR w 

pelled to recognise his nephew's title as heir to the estate, and in 
the meantime to make him a suitable allowance from its income. 

David Balfour, having thus come to his own, proposes • 
and complete his education at the University of Leyden, bu1 
must first satisfy the claims of friendship by helping Alan out of 
Scotland : and of conscience by testifying to the innocem 
•lames Stewart of the Glens, now a prisoner, awaiting his trial 
for the Appin murder. 



David Balfour 



\Mxt I 

THE LORD ADVOCATE 



CHAPTER I 

A BEGGAR OX HORSEBACK 

The 25th day of August, 1751, about two in the 
afternoon, I, David Balfour, came forth of the British 
Linen Company, a porter attending me with a bag of 
money, and some of the chief of these merchants bowing 
me from their doors. Two days before, and even so 
late as yestermorning, I was like a beggarman by tin 1 
wayside, clad in rags, brought down to my last shilling. 
my companion a condemned traitor, a price eel on my 
own head for a crime with the news of which the coun- 
try rang. To-day I was served heir to my position in 
life, a landed laird, a bank porter by me carrying my 
gold, recommendations in my pocket, and (in the words 
of the saying) the ball directly at my foot. 

There were two circumstances thai Berved me as bal- 
last to so much sail. The firsl was the very difficult 



'2 ' *' DAVID BALFOUR 

and deadly business I had still to handle ; the second, 
the place that I was in. The tall, black city, aud the 
numbers and movement and noise of so many folk, 
made a new world for me, after the moorland braes, the 
sea-sands, "and the still country-sides that I had fre- 
quented up to then. The throng of the citizens in 
particular abashed me. Rankeillor's son was short and 
small in the girth ; his clothes scarce held on me ; and 
it was plain I was ill qualified to strut in the front of a 
bank-porter. It was plain, if I did so, I should but set 
folk laughing, and (what was worse in my case) set 
them asking questions. So that I behooved to come by 
some clothes of my own, and in the meanwhile to walk 
by the porter's side, and put my hand on his arm as 
though we were a pair of friends. 

At a merchant's in the Luckenbooths, I had myself 
fitted out : none too fine, for I had no idea to appear 
like a beggar on horseback ; but comely and responsi- 
ble, so that servants should respect me. Thence to an 
armourer's, where I got a plain sword, to suit with 
my degree in life. I felt safer with the weapon, though 
(for one so ignorant of defence) it might be called an 
added danger. The porter, who was naturally a man of 
some experience, judged my accoutrement to be well 
chosen. 

"Naething kenspeckle," * said he, "plain, daCent 
claes. As for the rapier, nae doubt it sits wi' your 
* Conspicuous. 






DAVID BALK' Ml; 3 

degree ; bnl an I had been you, I would hae waired my 
siller better-gates than that/' And proposed I Bhonld 
buy winter-hosen from a wife in the Cowgate-back, 
that was a cousin of his own, and made them " extraor- 
dinar endurable.'' 

But I had other matters on my hand more pressing. 
Here I was in this old, black city, which was for all the 
world like a rabbit-warren, not only by the number of 
its indwellcrs, but the complication of its passages and 
holes. It was indeed a place where no stranger had a 
chance to find a friend, let be another stranger. Sup- 
pose him even to hit on the right close, people dwelt so 
thronged in these tall houses, he might very well Beek a 
day before he chanced on the right door. The ordinary 
course was to hire a lad they called a caddie, \\h<> was 
like a guide or pilot, led you where you had occasion, 
and (your errands being done) brought you again where 
\<>u were lodging. But these caddies, being always em- 
ployed in the same sort of services, and having it for 
obligation to be well informed of every house and person 
in the city, had grown to form a brotherhood of spi< - ; 
and I knew from tales of Mr. Campbell's how fchey <<'ni- 
nmnicated one with another, what a. rap 1 <>!' curiosity 
they conceived as to their employer's business, and how 
they were like eyes and fingers to the police. It would 
be a piece of little wisdom, the way I was DOW placed, 
to tack such a ferret to my tails. I had three visits to 
make, all immediately needful: to my kinsman Mr. 



4 DAVID BALFOUR 

Balfour of Pilrig, to Stewart the Writer that was 
Appin's agent, aud to William Grant Esquire of Pres- 
tongrange, Lord Advocate of Scotland. Mr. Balfour's 
was a non-committal visit ; and besides (Pilrig being 
in the country) I made bold to find way to it myself, 
with the help of my two legs and a Scots tongue. But 
the rest were in a different case. Not only was the visit 
to Appin's agent, in the midst of the cry about the 
Appin murder, dangerous in itself, but it was highly 
inconsistent with the other. I was like to have a bad 
enough time of it with my Lord Advocate Grant, the 
best of ways ; but to go to him hot-foot from Appin's 
agent, was little likely to mend my own affairs, and 
might prove the mere ruin of friend Alan's. The whole 
thing, besides, gave me a look of running with the 
hare and hunting with the hounds that was little to 
my fancy. I determined, therefore, to be done at, once 
with Mr. Stewart and the whole Jacobitical side of my 
business, and to profit for that purpose by the guidance 
of the porter at my side. But it chanced I had scarce 
given him the address, when there came a sprinkle of 
rain — nothing to hurt, only for my new clothes — and 
we took shelter under a pend at the head of a close 
or alley. 

Being strange to what I saw, I stepped a little farther 
in. The narrow paved way descended swiftly. Pro- 
digious tall houses sprang upon each side and bulged 
out, one story beyond another, as they rose. At the top 



DAVID BALFOUB 

oiilv a ribbon of sky Bhowed in. By what I could spv 
in the windows, and by the respectable persona thai 

passed out and in, I saw the houses to be very well 
occupied; and the whole appearance of the place in- 
terested me like a tale. 

I was still gazing, when there came a sudden brisk 
tramp of feet in time and clash of steel behind me. 
Turning quickly, I was aware of a party of armed sol- 
diers, and, in their midst, a tall man in a great-coat. 
He walked with a stoop that was like a piece of 
courtesy, genteel and insinuating : he waved his hands 
plausibly as he went, and his face was sly and hand- 
some. I thought his eye took me in, but could nol 
meet it. This procession went by to a door in the cl 
which a serving-man in a fine livery set open : and two 
of the soldier-lads carried the prisoner within, the rest 
lingering with their firelocks by the door. 

There can nothing pass in the streets of a city 
without some following of idle folk and children. It 
was so now; but the more part melted away incontinent 
until but three were left. One was a girl ; -he un- 
dressed like a lady, and had a Bcreen of the Drnmmond 
colours on her head ; but her comrades or (I should 
say) followers were ragged gillies, bucL as 1 had -ecu 
the matches of by the dozen in my Bighland journey. 
They all spoke together earnestly in Gaelic, tie' sound 
of which was pleasant in my ears for the sake of Alan : 
and though the rain was h\ again, and my porter 



6 DAVID BALFOUR 

plucked at me to be going, I even drew nearer where 
they were, to listen. The lady scolded sharply, the 
others making apologies and cringeing before her, so 
that I made sure she was come of a chiefs house. All 
the while the three of them sought in their pockets, 
and by what I could make out, they had the matter of 
half a farthing amoug the party ; which made me smile 
a little to see all Highland folk alike for fine obeisances 
and empty sporrans. 

It chanced the girl turned suddenly about, so that I 
saw her face for the first time. There is no greater 
wonder than the way the face of a young woman fits in 
a man's mind, and stays there, and he could never tell 
you why ; it just seems it was the thing he wanted. 
She had wonderful bright eyes like stars, and I dare- 
say the eyes had a part in it ; but what I remember the 
most clearly was the way her lips were a trifle open as 
she turned. And whatever was the cause, I stood there 
staring like a fool. On her side, as she had not known 
there was anyone so near, she looked at me a little 
longer, and perhaps with more surprise, than was en- 
tirely civil. 

It went through my country head she might be won- 
dering at my new clothes ; with that, I blushed to my 
hair, and at the sight of my colouring it's to be sup- 
posed she drew her own conclusions, for she moved her 
gillies farther down the close, and they fell again to 
this dispute where I could hear no more of it. 




Al.l. TIIK wiui.K THB THREE OF THEM BOUGHT in THEIR PI* 



DAVID BALF01 I: 7 

I had often admired a lassie before then, if Bcarce so 

sudden and strong ; and it was rather my disposition to 
withdraw than to come forward, for I was conch m fear 
of mockery from the womenkind. You would have 
thought I had now all the more reason to pursue my 
common practice, since I had met this young lady in 
the city street, seemingly following a prisoner, and 
accompanied with two very ragged, indecent-like High- 
land men. But there was here a different ingredient ; 
it was plain the girl thought I had been prying in her 
secrets ; and with my new clothes and sword, and at 
the top of my new fortunes, this was more than I could 
swallow. The beggar on horseback could not bear to 
be thrust down so low, or at the least of it, not by this 
young lady. 

I followed, accordingly, and took off my new hat to 
her, the best that I was able. 

"Madam/' said I, " I think it only fair to myself to 
let you understand I have no Gaelic. It is true I was 
listening, for I have friends of my own across the 
Highland line, and the sound of that tongue comi - 
friendly ; but for your private affairs, if you had 
spoken Greek, I might have had more guess at them." 

She made me a little, distant curtsey. " There is do 
harm done," said she, with a pretty accent, most like 
the English (but more agreeable). " A cat may look at 
a king." 

"I do not mean to offend," said I. " 1 have no skill 



8 DAVID BALFOUR 

of city manners ; I never before this day set foot inside 
the doors of Edinburgh. Take me for a country lad — 
it's what I am ; and I would rather I told you than you 
found it out." 

"Indeed, it will be a very unusual thing for strangers 
to be speaking to each other on the causeway," she re- 
plied. "But if you are landward* bred it will be 
different. I am as landward as yourself ; I am High- 
land as you see, and think myself the farther from my 
home/' 

" It is not yet a week since I passed the line," said I. 
"Less than a week ago I was on the Braes of Bal- 
whidder." 

" Balwhither ? " she cries; "come ye from Bal- 
whither ? The name of it makes all there is of me 
rejoice. You will not have been long there, and not 
known some of our friends or family ? " 

"I lived with a very honest, kind man called Duncan 
Dhu Maclaren," I replied. 

" Well I know Duncan, and you give him the true 
name!" she said; "and if he is an honest man, his 
wife is honest indeed." 

"Ay," said I, "they are fine people, and the place is 
a bonny place." 

" Where in the great world is such another ? " she 
cries; "1 am loving the smell of that place and the 
roots that grew there." 

* Country. 






DAVID BALFOUR 9 

I was infinitely taken with the spirit of the maid. 
" I could be wishing I had brought you a spray of thai 

heather," says I. ''And though I did ill to .-peak 
with you at the first, now it seems we have common 
acquaintance, I make it my petition you will not forgel 
me. David Balfour is the name I am known by. This 
is my lucky day when I have just come into a landed 
estate and am not very long out of a deadly peril. I 
wish you would keep my name in mind for the sake 
of Balquidder," said I, "and I will yours for the sake of 
my lucky day," 

"My name is not spoken,' 7 she replied, with a great 
deal of haughtiness. " More than a hundred years it 
has not gone upon men's tongues, save for a blink. I 
am nameless like the Folk of Peace.* Catriona Drum- 
mond is the one I use." 

Now indeed I knew where I was standing. In all 
broad Scotland there was but the one name proscribed, 
and that was the name of the Macgregors. Yet so far 
from fleeing this undesirable acquaintancy, 1 plunged 
the deeper in. 

"I have been sitting with one who was in the same 
case with yourself," said I, "and I think he will be 
one of your friends. They called him Robin Oig." 

"Did ye so?" cries she. "Ye met Rob?" 

"I passed the night with him," said I. 

"He is a fowl of the night," said she. 
* The Fairies. 



10 DAVID BALFOUR 

" There was a set of pipes there/' I went on, "so 
you may judge if the time passed." 

" You should be uo enemy, at all events/' said she. 
" That was his brother there a moment since, with the 
red soldiers round him. It is him that I call father." 

" Is it so ? " cried I. " Are you a daughter of James 
More's ? * 

"All the daughter that he has," says she: "the 
daughter of a prisoner ; that I should forget it so, 
even for one hour, to talk with strangers ! " 

Here one of the gillies addressed her in what he had 
of English, to know what "she" (meaning by that him- 
self) was to do about " ta sneeshin." I took some 
note of him for a short, bandy-legged, red-haired, big- 
headed man, that I was to know more of to my cost. 

" There can be none the day, Neil/' she replied. 
"How will you get ' sneeshin/ wanting siller ? Itjvill 
teach you another time to be more careful ; and I think 
James More will not be very well pleased with Neil of 
the Tom." 

" Miss Drummond," I said, " I told you I was in my 
lucky day. Here I am, and a bank-porter at my tail. 
And remember I have had the hospitality of your own 
country of Balwhidder." 

" It was not one of my people gave it," said she. 

"Ah, well," said I, "but I am owing your uncle at 
least for some springs upon the pipes. Besides which, 
I have offered myself to be your friend, and you have 



DAVID BALF01 R 11 

been so forgetful thai you did nol refuse me in the 

proper time." 

" If it had been a great Bam, it might have done you 

honour," said she. "But I will tell you what this is. 
James More lies shackled in prison ; but this time past, 
they will be bringing him down here daily to the Advo- 
cate's. ..." 

" The Advocate's ? " I cried. " Is that . . . ? " 

" It is the bouse of the Lord Advocate, Grant of Pres- 
tongrange," said she. "There they bring my father 
one time and another, for what purpose I have no 
thought in my mind ; but it seems there is some hope 
dawned for him. All this same time they will not let 
me be seeing him, nor yet him write ; and we wait upon 
the King's street to catch him ; and now we give him 
his snuff as he goes by, and now something else. And 
here is this son of trouble, Neil, son of Duncan, has 
lost my fourpenny-piece that was to buy that snuff, and 
James More must go wanting, and will think his 
daughter has forgotten him." 

I took sixpence from my pocket, gave it to Neil, and 
bade him go about his errand. Then to her, " Thai 
sixpence came with me by Balwhidder," said I. 

'•Ah!" she said, "you are a friend to the An- 
gara ! " 

" I would not like to deceive you either ," said I. "1 
know very little of the Gregara and less of James Afore 
and his doings ; but since the while I have been stand- 



12 DAVID BALFOUR 

ing 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 stop ? " 

" 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 be so bold as come 
seeking my sixpence for myself." 

" Will I can trust you for that ? " she asked. 

" You 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 






DAVIE BALFOUB L3 

more backward. I think it was the bank porter thai 

put me from this ungallant train of thought. 

" I thouchl ye had been a lad of some kind <>' sense," 
he began, shooting out his lips. "Ye're no likely to 
gang far this gate. A fule and his siller's Bhune 
parted. Eh, but ye're a green callant ! " he cried, 
"an' a veecious, tae ! Cleikin' up wi' baubee joes ! " 

"If you dare to speak of the young lady ..." I 
began. 

" Leddy ! " he cried. "Hand us and safe us, w hat- 
ten leddy ? Ca 5 thou a leddy ? The touirs fu' o' them. 
[.eddies ! Man, it's weel seen ye're no very acqnant in 
Embro' ! " 

A clap of anger took me. 

" Here," said I, " lead me where I told yon, and keep 
your foul mouth shut ! n 

He did not wholly obey me, for though he no more 
addressed me directly, he sang at me as he went in a 
very impudent manner of innuendo, and with an ex- 
ceedingly ill voice and ear — 

•• As Mally Lee cam doun the street, her capuchin did flee, 
She cuisl a look ahinl her t<> see her negligee, 
And we're a' gaun east and wast, we're a' gaun ftjee, 
We're a' gaun east and vrasl courtin' Mally I 



CHAPTER II 

THE HIGHLAND WRITER 

Mr. Charles Stewart the Writer dwelt at the top 
of the longest stair that ever mason set a hand to ; fif- 
teen 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 packing. 

" Awa' east and wast 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 cham- 
ber, which opened from it, a little brisk man sat poring 
on a deed, from which he scarce raised his eyes upon 
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 pos- 
ture to overhear what should pass between us. 

I asked if he was Mr. Charles Stewart the Writer. 

"The same," says he; "and if the question is 
equally fair, who may you be yourself?'' 

" You never heard tell of my name nor of me 



DAVID BALFOUR 15 

either," said I, " but I bring you a token from a 

friend that yon know well. That you know weU," I 
repeated, lowering my voice, "but maybe are not jus! 
so keen to hear from at this present being. And the 
hits of business that I have to propone to yon are 
rather in the nature of being confidential. In short, I 
would like to think we were quite private." 

He rose without more words, casting down his paper 
like a man ill-pleased, sent forth his clerk of an errand, 
and shut to the house-door behind him. 

"Now, sir," said he, returning, "speak out your 
mind and fear nothing ; though before you begin," 
he cries out, " I tell you mine misgives me ! I tell 
you beforehand, ye're either a Stewart or a Stewart 
sent ye. A good name it is, and one it would ill- 
become my father's son to lightly. But I begin to grue 
at the sound of it." 

" My name is called Balfour," said I, "David Bal- 
four of Shaws. As for him that sent me, I will let 
his token speak." And I showed the silver button. 

"Put it in your pocket, sir !" cries he. " Ye need 
name no names. The deevil's buckie, I ken the button 
of him ! And de'il hae 't ! Where is be now ? " 

I told him I knew not where Alan was, but be had 
some sure place (or thought he had) about the uortfa 
side, where he was to lie until a ship was found Cor 
him ; and how and where he had appointed to be spoken 
with. 



16 DAVID BALFOUR 

" It's been always my opinion that I would hang in 
a tow for this family of mine/*' he cried, "and, dod ! I 
believe the day's come now ! Get a ship for him, quot' 
he ! And who's to pay for it ? The man's daft ! " 

"That is my part of the affair, Mr. Stewart/' said I. 
" Here is a bag of good money, and if more be wanted, 
more is to be had where it came from." 

"I needn't ask your politics," said he. 

"Ye need not," said I, smiling, "for I'm as big a 
Whig as grows." 

"Stop a bit, stop a bit," says Mr. Stewart. " What's 
all this ? A Whig ? Then why are you here with 
Alan's button ? and what kind of a black-foot traffic 
is this that I find ye out in, Mr. Whig ? Here is a for- 
feited rebel and an accused murderer, with two hundred 
pounds on his life, and ye ask me to meddle in his 
business, and then tell me ye're a Whig ! I have no 
mind of any such Whigs before, though I've kent 
plenty of them." 

" He's a forfeited rebel, the more's the pity," said I, 
" for the man's my friend. I can only wish he had 
been better guided. And an accused murderer, that he 
is too, for his misfortune ; but wrongfully accused." 

" I hear you say so," said Stewart. 

"More than you are to hear me say so, before long," 
said I. "Alan Breck is innocent, and so is James." 

"Oh !" says he, "the two cases hang together. If 
Alan is out, James can never be in." 



il 



DAVID BALFOUR 17 

Herenpon I told him briefly of my acquaintance with 

Alan, of the accident that bronght me presenl at the 
Appin mnrder, and tl.e various passages of our escape 
among the heather, and my recovery of my estate 
'•So, sir, you have now the whole train of these 
events," I went on, "and can see for yourself how I 
come to he so much mingled np with the affairs of 
your family and friends, which (for all of our sake.) 
I wish had been plainer and less bloodv. You can see 
for yourself, too, that I have certain pieces of business 
depending, which were scarcely tit to lay before a lawyer 
chosen at random. No more remainS) bllt to agk jf 
you wdl undertake my service?" 

"I have no. great mind to it ; but coming as you do 
with Alan's button, the choice is scarcely left me," said 
l>o. '-What are your instructions?" he added, and 
took up his jien. 

'The first point is to smuggle Alan forth of this 
country," said I, « bnt I need not be repeating that " 

" I am [ittle likely to forget it," said Stewart. 

"The next thing is the hit money I am owing to 
Cluny," I wont on. "It would he ill for me to find 
a conveyance, but that should he no stick to v..„ |, 
was two pounds five shillings and three-halfpence 
farthing sterling." 

He noted it. 

"Then,"8aidI,«there»saMr.Henderland,alicensed 

preacher and missionary in Ardgonr, thai I would like 

rS 



18 DAVID BALFOUR 

well to get some snuff into the hands of ; and as I dare- 
say you keep touch with your friends in Appin (so near 
by), it's a job you could doubtless overtake with the 
other." 

" How much snuff are we to say ? " he asked. 
" I was thinking of two pounds/' said I. 
"Two," saitf he. 

" Then there's the lass Alison Hastie, in Limekilns," 
said I. "Her that helped Alan and me across the 
Forth. I was thinking if I could get her a good Sun- 
day gown, such as she could wear with decency in her 
degree, it would be an ease to my conscience : for the 
mere truth is, we owe her our two lives. " 

" I am glad to see you are thrifty, Mr. Balfour/' says 
he, making his notes. 

"I would think shame to be otherwise the first day 
of my fortune," said I. " And now, if you will compute 
the outlay and your own proper charges, I would be 
glad to know if I could get some spending-money back. 
It's not that I grudge the whole of it to get Alan safe ; 
it's not that I lack more ; but having drawn so much 
the one day, I think it would have a very ill appearance 
if I was back again seeking, the next. Only be sure you 
have enough," I added, "for I am very undesirous to 
meet with you again." 

" Well, and I'm pleased to see you're cautious too," 
said the Writer. " But I think ye take a risk to lay so 
considerable a sum at my discretion." 



DAVID BALFOUR 19 

He said this with a plain sneer. 

"I'll have to run the hazard," I replied. " 0, 
and there's another service I would ask, and that's to 
direct me to a lodging, for I have no roof to my head. 
But it must be a lodging I may seem to have hit upon 
by accident,, for it would never do if the Lord Advocate 
were to get any jealousy of our acquaintance." 

" Ye may set your weary spirit at rest," said he. " I 
will never name your name, sir ; and it's my belief the 
Advocate is still so much to be sympathised with that 
he doesnae ken of your existence." 

I saw I had got to the wrong side of the man. 
' There's a braw day coming for him, then," said I, 
"for he'll have to learn of it on the deaf side of his 
head no later than to-morrow, when I call on him." 

"When ye call on him!" repeated Mr. Stewart. 
" Am I daft, or are you ? What takes ye near the 
Advocate ? " 

" 0, just to give myself up," said I. 
"Mr. Balfour,'' he cried, "are ye making a mock of 
me ? " 

" No, sir," said I, " though I think you have allowed 
yourself some such freedom with myself. But I give 
you to understand once and for all that I am in do 
jesting spirit." 

"Nor yet me." says Stewart. " And I give you to 
understand (if that's to be the word) that I like the 
looks of your behaviour less and less. You come here to 



20 DAVID BALFOUR 

me with all sorts of propositions, which will put me in a 
train of very doubtful acts and bring me among very 
undesirable persons this many a day to come. And 
then you tell me you're going straight out of my office 
to make your peace with the Advocate ! Alan's button 
here or Alan's button there, the four quarters of Alan 
wouldnae bribe me further in." 

" I would take it with a little more temper," said I, 
" and perhaps we can avoid what you object to. I can 
see no way for it but to give myself up, but perhaps 
you can see another ; and if you could, I could never 
deny but what I would be rather relieved. For I think 
my traffic with his lordship is little likely to agree with 
my health. There's just the one thing clear, that I 
have to give my evidence ; for I hope it'll save Alan's 
character (what's left of it), and James's neck, which 
is the more immediate." 

He was silent for a breathing-space, and then, "My 
man," said he, "you'll never be allowed to give such 
evidence." 

"We'll have to see about that," said I; "I'm stiff- 
necked when I like." 

"Ye muckle ass!" cried Stewart, "it's James they 
want ; James has got to hang — Alan too, if they could 
catch him — but James whatever ! Go near the Advo- 
cate with any such business, and you'll see ! he'll find a 
way to muzzle ye." 

" I think better of the Advocate than that," said I. 



. 



DAVID BALFOUR 21 

"The Advocate be damned !" cries he. u It's the 
Campbells, man ! You'll have the whole clanjamfry of 

them on your back ; and so will the Advocate too, poor 
body ! It's extraordinar ye cannot see where ye stand ! 
If there's no fair way to stop your gab, there's a foul 
one gaping. They can put ye in the dock, do ye no see 
that?" he cried, and stabbed me with one finger iu 
the leg. 

"Ay," said I, "I was told that same no further back 
than this morning by another lawyer."' 

"And who was he?" asked Stewart. "He spoke 
sense at least." 

I told I must be excused from naming him, for 
he was a decent stout old Whig, and had little mind 
to be mixed up in such affairs. 

"I think all the world seems to be mixed up in it !" 
cries Stewart. " But what said you ?" 

I told him what had passed between Rankcillor and 
myself before the house of Shaws. 

" Well, and so ye will hang !" said he. " Ye'll hang 
beside James Stewart. There's your fortune told." 

"I hope better of it yet than that," Baid I ; "but 1 
could never deny there was a risk." 

"Risk!" says he, and then sat silent again. "I 
ought to thank you for your staunchness to my friends, 
to whom you show a very good spirit," he says, " if you 
have the strength to stand by it. But I warn you that 
you're wading deep. I wouldn't put myself in your 



22 DAVID BALFOUR 

place (me that's a Stewart born !) for all the Stewarts 
that ever there were since Noah. Risk ? ay, I take 
over-many, but to be tried in court before a Campbell 
jury and a Campbell judge, and that in a Campbell 
country and upon a Campbell quarrel — think what you 
like of me, Balfour, it's beyond me." 

" It's a different way of thinking, I suppose/' said I ; 
"I was brought up to this one by my father before 
me." 

" Glory to his bones ! he has left a decent son to his 
name," says he. " Yet I would not have you judge me 
over-sorely. My case is dooms hard. See, sir ! ye tell 
me ye're a Whig : I wonder what I am. No Whig to 
be sure ; I couldnae be just that. But — laigh in your 
ear, man — I'm maybe no very keen on the other side." 

" Is that a fact ?" cried I. " It's what I would think 
of a man of your intelligence." 

"Hut! none of your whillywhas !"* cries he. 
"There's intelligence upon both sides. But for my 
private part I have no particular desire to harm King 
George ; and as for King James, God bless him ! he 
does very well for me across the water. I'm a lawyer, 
ye see : fond of my books and my bottle, a good plea, 
a well-drawn deed, a crack in the Parliament House 
with other lawyer bodies, and perhaps a turn at the 
golf on a Saturday at e'en. Where do ye come in 
with your Hieland plaids and claymores?" 
* Flatteries. 



DAVID BALFOUR 23 

" Well," said I. "it's a fact ye have Little of the wild 
Highlandman." 

-'• Little ?" quoth he. "Nothing, man! And yet 
I'm Hieland born, and when the clan pipes, who but 
me has to dance ? The clan and the name, that goes 
by all. It's just what you said yourself ; my father 
learned it to me, and a bonny trade I have of it. 
Treason and traitors, and the smuggling of them out 
and in ; and the French recruiting, weary fall it ! and 
the smuggling through of the recruits ; and their pleas 
— a sorrow of their pleas ! Here have I been moving 
one for young Ardshiel, my cousin ; claimed the estate 
under the marriage contract — a forfeited estate ! I told 
them it was nonsense : muckle they cared ! And there 
was I cocking behind a vadvocate that liked the busi- 
ness as little as myself, for it was fair ruin to the pair 
of us — a black mark, disaffected, branded on our hur- 
dies, like folk's names upon their kye ! And what 
can I do ? I'm a Stewart, ye see, and must fend for 
my clan and family. Then no later by than yester- 
day there was one of our Stewart lads carried to the 
Castle. What for? I ken fine : Act of 1736 : recruit- 
ing for King Lewie. And you'll see, hell whistle me 
in to be his lawyer, and there'll be another black 
mark on my chara'ter ! I tell you fair: if I but kent 
the heid of a Hebrew word from the hardies of it, be 
dammed but I would fling the whole thing up and turn 
minister !" 



24 DAVID BALFOUR 

" It's rather a hard position, " said I. 

" 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 duty." 

" 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 '11 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 '11 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 hear- 
ing. 

" 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 Tarn Stobo ; 
but I'm none so sure of Tarn. I've seen him col- 
loguing with some gey queer acquaintances ; and if 



DAVID BALFOUR 25 

it was anybody important, I would give Tain 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 '11 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 * Eli's word— a y, if 
it was the Chevalier, or Appin himsel','' he added. 

" And it was him that brought the doctor, wasnae'1 ? " 
asked the master. 

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

"And I think he took the doctor hack?" sajfl 
Stewart. 



* Trust to. 



26 



DAVID BALFOUR 






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

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

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

* This must have reference to Dr. Cameron on his first visit. — 
D. B. 






CHAPTER III 

I GO TO PILRIG 

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 
adventures. 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 every- 
body 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 Kil 
charges. 

What was I doing it for ? I asked, as I went down 
the High Street and out north by Leith WvikI. 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 nrafi (or 
ought to be) the most indifferent matter to my father's 



28 DAVID BALFOUR 

son, whether James died in his bed or from a scaffold. 
He was Alan's cousin, to be sure ; but so far as regarded 
Alan, the best thing would be to lie low, and let the 
King, and his Grace of Argyll, and the corbie crows, 
pick the bones of his kinsman their own way. Nor 
could I forget that, while we were all in the pot together, 
James had shown no such particular anxiety whether 
for Alan or me. 

Next it came upon me I was acting for the sake of 
justice : and I thought that a fine word, and reasoned it 
out that (since we dwelt in polities, at some discomfort 
to each one of us) the main thing of all must still be jus- 
tice, and the death of any innocent man a wound upon 
the whole community. Next, again, it was the Accuser 
of the Brethren that gave me a turn of his argument ; 
bid me think shame for pretending myself concerned in 
these high matters, and told me I was but a prating 
vain child, who had spoken big words to Eankeillor 
and to Stewart, and held myself bound upon my vanity 
to make good that boastfulness. Nay, and he hit me 
with the other end of the stick ; for he accused me of a 
kind of artful cowardice, going about at the expense of 
a little risk to purchase greater safety. No doubt, until 
I had declared and cleared myself, I might any day 
encounter Mungo Campbell or the sheriff's officer, and 
be recognised, and dragged into the Appin murder by 
the heels ; and, no doubt, in case I could manage my 
declaration with success, I should breathe more free for 



DAVID BALFOUB 29 

over after. But when I looked this argument full in the 
face I could see nothing to be ashamed of. As for the 
rest, " Here are the two roads," I thought, ''and both 
go to the same place. It's unjust that James should 
hang if I can save him ; and it would be ridiculous in me 
to have talked so much and then do nothing. It's lu< iky 
for James of the Glens that I have boasted beforehand ; 
and none so unlucky for myself, because now I'm com- 
mitted to do right, I have the name of a gentleman 
and the means of one ; it would be a poor discovery that 
I was wanting in the essence. " And then I thought 
this was a Pagan spirit, and said a prayer in to myself, 
asking for what courage I might lack, and that I might 
go straight to my duty like a soldier to battle, and come 
off again scatheless as so many do. 

This train of reasoning brought me to a more resolved 
complexion ; though it was far from closing up my sense 
of the dangers that surrounded me, nor of how very apt 
I was (if I went on) to stumble on the ladder of the gal- 
lows. It was a plain, fair morning, but the wind in the 
east. The little chill of it sang in my blood, and gave 
me a feeling of the autumn, and the dead leaves, and 
dead folks' bodies in their graves. It seemed the devil 
was in it, if I was to die in that tide of my fortunes and 
for other folks' affairs. On the top of the Calton Hill, 
though it was not the customary time of year for thai 
diversion, some children were crying and running with 
their kites. These toys appeared very plain against the 



30 DAVID BALFOUR 

sky ; I remarked a great one soar on the wind to a high 
altitude and then plump among the whins ; and I 
thought to myself at sight of it, "There goes Davie/' 

My way lay over Mouter's Hill, and through an end 
of a clachan on the braeside among fields. There was a 
whirr of looms in it went from house to house ; bees 
bummed in the gardens ; the neighbours that I saw at 
the doorsteps talked in a strange tongue ; and I found 
out later that this was Picardy, a village where the 
French weavers wrought for the Linen Company. Here 
I got a fresh direction for Pilrig, my destination ; and a 
little beyond, on the wayside, came by a gibbet and two 
men hanged in chains. They were dipped in tar, as the 
manner is ; the wind span them, the chains clattered, 
and the birds hung about the uncanny jumping-jacks 
and cried. The sight coming on me suddenly, like an 
illustration of my fears, I could scarce be done with 
examining it and drinking in discomfort. And as I 
thus turned and turned about the gibbet, what should 
I strike on, but a weird old wife, that sat behind a leg of 
it, and nodded, and talked aloud to herself with becks 
and courtesies. 

"Who are these two, mother ? v I asked, and pointed 
to the corpses. 

"A blessing on your precious face!*' she cried. 
" Twa joes* o' mine : just twa o' my old joes, my hinny 
dear. " 



* Sweethearts. 




HAT DID illKV -I FFI.i: FOB ' I k.8KED 



DAVID BALFOUR 31 

"What did they suffer for?" I asked. 

"On, just for the guid cause," said she. " Af ten I 
spaed to them the way that it would end. Twa shillin' 
Scots ; no pickle mair ; and there are twa bonny cal- 
lants hingin' for 't ! They took it frae a wean * be- 
langed to Brotichton.'' 

"Ay ! " said I to myself, and not to the daft limmer, 
" and did they come to such a figure for so poor a busi- 
ness ? This is to lose all indeed.'' 

"Gie's your loof,f hinny," says she, " and let me 
spae your weird to ye." 

" No, mother," said I, <e I see far enough the way I 
am. It's an unco thing to see too far in front. " 

" I read it in your bree," she said. " There's a bonnie 
lassie that has bricht een, and there's a wee man in a 
braw coat, and a big man in a pouthered wig, and 
there's the shadow of the wuddy,J joe, that lies braid 
across your path. Gie's your loof, hinny, and let Auld 
Merren spae it to ye bonny." 

The two chance shots that seemed to point at Alan 
and the daughter of James More, struck me hard ; and 
I fled from the eldritch creature, casting her a baubee, 
which she continued to sit and play with under the 
moving shadows of the hanged. 

My way down the causeway of Leith Walk would 
have been more pleasant to me but for this encounter. 
The old rampart ran among fields, the like of them 
-Child. tPalm. J (fallows. 



6Z DAVID BALFOUR 

I had never seen for artfulness of agriculture ; 1 was 
pleased, besides, to be so far in the still countryside ; 
but the shackles of the gibbet clattered ir my head ; 
and the mops and mows of the old witch, and the 
thought of the dead men, hag-rode my spirits. To hang 
on a gallows, that seemed a hard case ; and whether a 
man came to hang there for two shillings Scots, or (as 
Mr. Stewart had it) from the sense of duty, once he was 
tarred and shackled and hung up, the difference seemed 
small. There might David Balfour hang, and other 
lads pass on their errands and think light of him ; and 
old daft limmers sit at leg-foot and spae their fort- 
unes ; and the clean genty maids go by, and look to 
the other side, and hold a nose. I saw them plain, and 
they had grey eyes, and their screens upon their heads 
were of the Drummond colours. 

I was thus in the poorest of spirits, though still pretty 
resolved, when I came in view of Pilrig, a pleasant 
gabled house set by the walkside among some brave 
young woods. The laird's horse was standing saddled 
at the door as I came up, but himself was in the study, 
where he received me in the midst of learned works and 
musical instruments, for he was not only a deep phi- 
losopher but much of a musician. He greeted me at 
first pretty well, and when he had read Rankeillor's let- 
ter, placed himself obligingly at my disposal. 

"And what is it, cousin David ?" says he — "since 
it appears that we are cousins — what is this that I can 



DAVID BALFOUR 33 

do for you? A word to Prestongrange? Doubtless 
that is easily given. But what should be the word?" 

'•Mr. Balfour," said I, "if I were to tell you my 
whole story the way it fell out, it's my opinion (and it 
was Rankeillor's before me) that you would be very 
little made up with it." 

M I am sorry to hear this of you, kinsman," says he. 

" I must not take that at your hands, Mr. Balfour," 
said I ; "I have nothing to my charge to make me 
sorry, or you for me, but just the common infirmities 
of mankind. ' The guilt of Adam's first sin, the want 
of original righteousness, and the corruption of my 
whole nature/ so much I must answer for, and I hope I 
have been taught where to look for help," I said : for I 
judged from the look of the man he would think the 
better of me if I knew my questions.* "But in the 
way of worldly honour I have no great stumble to re- 
proach myself with ; and my difficulties have befallen 
me very much against my will and (by all that I can 
see) without my fault. My trouble is to have become 
dipped in a political complication, which it is judged 
you would be blythe to avoid a knowledge of." 

" Why, very well, Mr. David," he replied, "I am 
pleased to see you are all that Bankeillor represented. 
And for what you say of political complications, you do 
me no more than justice. It is my study to be beyond 
suspicion, and indeed outside the field of it. The 
My Catechism. 



34 DAVID BALFOUR 

question is," says he, "how, if I am to know nothing 
of the matter, I can very well assist you ? " 

" Why, sir," said I, " I propose you should write to 
his lordship, that I am a youug man of reasonable good 
family and of good means : both of which I believe to 
be the case." 

"I have Rankeillor's word for it," said Mr. Balfour, 
" and I count that a warrandice against all deadly.'' 

" To which you might add (if you will take my word 
for so much) that I am a good churchman, loyal to 
King George, and so brought up," I went on. 

"None of which will do you any harm," said Mr. 
Balfour. 

" Then you might go on to say that I sought his 
lordship on a matter of great moment, connected with 
His Majesty's service and the administration of justice," 
I suggested. 

"As 1 am not to hear the matter," says the laird, "I 
will not take upon myself to qualify its weight. i Great 
moment' therefore falls, and ' moment ' along with it. 
For the rest, I might express myself much as you 
propose." 

"And then, sir," said I, and rubbed my neck a little 
with my thumb, " then I would be very desirous if you 
could slip in a word that might perhaps tell for my 
protection. " 

"Protection?" says he. "For your protection? 
Here is a phrase that somewhat dampens me. If the 






DAVID BALFOUR 35 

matter be so dangerous, I own I would be a little 
loath to move in it blindfold." 

"I believe I could indicate in two words where the 
thing sticks," said I. 

" Perhaps that would be the best,*' said he. 

"Well, it's the Appin murder/' said I. 

He held up both the hands. "Sirs! sirs!" cried 
he. 

I thought by the expression of his face and voice that 
I had lost my helper. 

" Let me explain . . ." I began. 

"I thank you kindly, I will hear no more of it," 
says he. "I decline in toto to hear more of it. For 
your name's sake and Rankeillor's, and perhaps a little 
for your own, I will do what I can to help you ; but I 
will hear no more upon the facts. And it is my first 
clear duty to warn you. These are deep waters, Mr. 
David, and you are a young man. Be cautious and 
think twice." 

"It is to be supposed I will have thought oftener 
than that, Mr. Balfour," said T, "and I will direct 
your attention again to Rankeillor's letter, where (I 
hope and believe) he has registered his approval of that 
which I design." 

"Well, well/' said he ; and then again, "Well, well ! 
I will do what I can for you." Therewith he t<»<>k a 
pen and paper, sat awhile in thought, and began to 
write with much consideration. "I understand that 



36 



DAVID BALFOUR 



Kankeillor approves of what 3011 have in mind ?" be 
asked presently. 

'•'After some discussion, sir, he bade me to go for- 
ward in God's name," said I. 

"That is the name to go in," said Mr. Balfour, and 
resumed his writing. Presently, he signed, re-read 
w r hat he had written, and addressed me again. " Xow 
here, Mr. David," said be, " is a letter of introduction, 
which I will seal without closing, and give into your 
hands open, as the form requires. But since I am act- 
ing in the dark, I will just read it to you, so that you 
may see if it will secure your end — 

"Pilrig, August 2Gth, 1751. 
" My Lord, — This is to bring to your notice ray namesake and 
cousin, David Balfour Esquire of Shaws, a young gentleman 
of unblemished descent and good estate. He has enjoyed besides 
the more valuable advantages of a godly training, and his polit- 
ical principles are all that your lordship can desire. I am not in 
Mr. Balfour's confidence, but I understand him to have a matter 
to declare, touching His Majesty's service and the administration 
of justice : purposes for which your lordship's zeal is known. 
I should add that the young gentleman's intention is known to 
and approved by some of his friends, who will watch with hope- 
ful anxiety the event of his success or failure.' 



"Whereupon/' continued Mr. Balfour, "I have 
subscribed myself with the usual compliments. You 
observe I have said 'some of your friends ; ' 1 hope you 
can justify my plural ?" 



DAVID BALFOUR 37 

" Perfectly, sir ; my purpose is known and approved 

by more than one,'' said I. "And your letter, which I 
take a pleasure to thank you for, is all I could have 
hoped." 

"It was all I could squeeze out," said he; "and 
from what I know of the matter you design to meddle 
in, I can only pray God that it may prove sufficient/' 



CHAPTER IV 

LORD ADVOCATE PRESTONGRANGE 

My kinsman kept me to a meal, "for the honour of 
the roof," he said ; and I believe I made the better 
speed on my return. I had no thought but to be done 
with the next stage, and have myself fully committed ; 
to a person circumstanced as I was, the appearance of 
closing a door on hesitation and temptation was itself 
extremely tempting ; and I was the more disappointed, 
when I came to Prestongrange's house, to be informed 
he was abroad. I believe it was true at the moment, 
and for some hours after ; and then I have no doubt 
the Advocate came home again, and enjoyed himself in 
a neighbouring chamber among friends, while perhaps 
the very fact of my arrival was forgotten. I would 
have gone away a dozen times, only for this strong 
drawing to have done with my declaration out of hand 
and be able to lay me down to sleep with a free con- 
science. At first I read, for the little cabinet where I 
was left contained a variety of books. But I fear I read 
with little profit ; and the weather falling cloudy, the 
dusk coming up earlier than usual, and my cabinet 






i 



DAVID BALFOL'R 39 

being lighted with but a loophole of a window, 1 was at 
last obliged to desist from this diversion (sueh as it 
was), and pass the rest of my time of waiting in a wit 
burthensome vacuity. The sound of people talking in a 
naer chamber, the pleasant note of a harpsichord, and 
once the voice of a lady singing, bore me a kind of 
company. 

I do not know the hour, but the darkness was 
long come, when the door of the cabinet opened, 
and I was aware, by the light behind him, of a 
tall figure of a man upon the threshold. I rose at 
once. 

" Is anybody there ? " he asked. " Who is that ? " 

" I am bearer of a letter from the laird of Pilrig to 
the Lord Advocate,"' said I. 

" Have you been here long ?" he asked. 

" I would not like to hazard an estimate of how 
many hours," said I. 

" It is the first I hear of it," he replied, with a 
chuckle. "The lads must have forgotten you. Bui 
you are in the bit at last, for I am Prestongrange." 

So saying, he passed before me into the next room, 
whither (upon his sign) I followed him. and where he 
lit a candle and took his place before a business-table. 
It was a long room, of a good proportion, wholly lined 
with books. That small spark of light in a corner 
struck out the man's handsome person and strong 
face. He was flushed, his eye watered and sparkled, 



40 DAVID BALFOUR 

and before he sat down I observed him to sway back 
and forth. No doubt he had been supping liberally; 
but his mind and tongue were under full control. 

"Well, sir, sit ye down/' said he, "and let us see 
Pilrig's letter." 

He glanced it through in the beginning carelessly, 
looking up and bowing when he came to my name ; but 
at the last words I thought I observed his attention to 
redouble, and I made sure he read them twice. All this 
while you are to suppose my heart was beating, for I 
had now crossed my Rubicon and was come fairly on 
the field of battle. 

"I am pleased to make your acquaintance, Mr. Bal- 
four, " he said, when he had done. " Let me offer you 
a glass of claret." 

" Under your favour, my lord, I think it would scarce 
be fair on me," said I. " I have come here, as the let- 
ter will have mentioned, on a business of some gravity 
to myself ; and as I am little used with wine, I might 
be the sooner affected." 

"You shall be the judge," said he. "But if you 
will permit, I believe I will even have the bottle in 
myself." 

He touched a bell, and the footman came, as at a 
signal, bringing wine and glasses. 

"You are sure you will not join me?" asked the 
Advocate. "'Well, here is to our better acquaintance ! 
In what way can I serve you ? " 



DAVID BALFOUB 41 

"I should perhaps begin by telling you, my Lord, 
that I am hero at your own pressing invitation," 
said I. 

'•You have the advantage of me somewhere," said 
he, "for I profess I think I never heard of you before 
this evening." 

" Right, my lord ; the name is indeed new to you," 
said I. "And yet you have been for some time ex- 
tremely wishful to make my acquaintance, and have 
declared the same in public." 

"I wish you would afford me a clue,'' says he. "I 
am no Daniel.'' 

"It will perhaps serve for such,'' said I, "that if I 
was in a jesting humour — which is far from the case — 
I believe I might lay a claim on your lordship for two 
hundred pounds.'' 

"In what sense ?" he inquired. 

"In the sense of rewards offered for my person," 
said I. 

He thrust away his glass once and for all, and sat 
straight up in the chair where he had been previously 
lolling. " What am I to understand ?" said he. 

"A tall strong lad of about eighteen,' 9 1 quoted, 
"speaks like a Lowlander, and has no beard." 

"I recognise those words," said he, "which, if you 
have come here with any ill-judged intention of amus- 
ing yourself, are like to prove extremely prejudicial to 
your safety." 



42 DAVID BALFOUB 

"My purpose in this," I replied, "is just entirely as 
serious as life and death, and you have understood 
me perfectly. I am the boy who was speaking with 
Glenure when he was shot." 

"I can only suppose (seeing you here) that you claim 
to be innocent," said he. 

" The inference is clear," I said. " I am a very loyal 
subject to King George, but if I had anything to 
reproach myself with, I would have had more discretion 
than to walk into your den." 

"I am glad of that," said he. "This horrid crime, 
Mr. Balfour, is of a dye which cannot permit any 
clemency. Blood has been barbarously shed. It has 
been shed in direct opposition to his Majesty and our 
whole frame of laws, by those who are their known and 
public oppugnants. I take a very high sense of this. I 
will not deny that I consider the crime as directly 
personal to his Majesty." 

"And unfortunately, my lord," I added a little 
drily, "directly personal to another great personage 
who may be nameless." 

"If you mean anything by those words, I must tell 
you I consider them unfit for a good subject ; and were 
they spoke publicly I should make it my business to 
take note of them," said he. " You do not appear to 
me to recognise the gravity of your situation, or yon 
would be more careful not to pejorate the same by 
words which glance upon the purity of justice. Jus- 






DAVID BALFOUR 43 

tice, in this country, and in my poor hands, is do re- 
specter of persons.'' 

" You give me too great a share in my own speech, 
my lord," said I. "I did but repeat the common talk 
of the country, which I have heard everywhere, and 
from men of all opinions as I came along." 

"When you are come to more discretion you will 
understand such talk is not to be listened to, how much 
less repeated/' says the Advocate. "But I acquit you 
of an ill intention. That nobleman, whom we all 
honour and who has indeed been wounded in a near 
place by the late barbarity, sits too high to be reached 
by these aspersions. The Duke of Argyle — you see 
that I deal plainly with you — takes it to heart as I do, 
and as we are both bound to do by our judicial func- 
tions and the service of his Majesty ; and I could wish 
that all hands, in this ill age, were equally clean of 
family rancour. But from the accident that this is a 
Campbell who has fallen martyr to his duty — as who 
else but the Campbells have ever put themselves fore- 
most on that path ? I may say it, who am no Campbell 
— and that the chief of that great house happens (for 
all our advantages) to be the present head of the Col- 
lege of Justice, small minds and disaffected tongues are 
set agog in every changehouse in the country ; and I 
find a young gentleman like Mr. Balfour so ill-advised 
as to make himself their echo.'' So much he spoke 
with a very oratorical delivery, as if in court, and then 



44 DAVID BALFOUR 

declined again upon the manner of a gentleman. "All 
this apart," said he. "It now remains that I should 
learn what I am to do with you." 

" I had thought it was rather I that should learn the 
same from your lordship," said I. 

'•'Ay, true," says the Advocate. "But, you see, you 
come to me well recommended. There is a good, honest 
Whig name to this letter," says he, picking it up a 
moment from the table. "And — extra-judicially, Mr. 
Balfour — there is always the possibility of some arrange- 
ment. I tell you, and I tell you beforehand that you 
may be the more upon your guard, your fate lies with 
me singly. In such a matter (be it said with reverence) 
I am more powerful than the king's Majesty ; and 
should you please me — and of course satisfy my con- 
science — in what remains to be held of our interview, I 
tell you it may remain between ourselves." 

" Meaning how ?" I asked. 

"Why, I mean it thus, Mr. Balfour," said he, "that 
if you give satisfaction, no soul need know so much as 
that you visited my house ; and you may observe 'that 
1 do not even call my clerk." 

I saw what way he was driving. "I suppose it is 
needless anyone should bo informed upon my visit," 
said I, "though the precise nature of my gains by that 
I cannot see. I am not at all ashamed of coming here." 

"And have no cause to be," says he, encouragingly. 
" Nor yet (if you are careful) to fear the consequences." 



DAVID BALFOIK 1» 

a Mv lord,*' mid T. "speaking nnder your correc- 
tion. I am not very easy to be frightened. " 

"And I am sure I do not seek to frighten you," Bays 
he. "But to the interrogation ; and let me warn you 
to volunteer nothing beyond the questions I shall ask 
you. It may consist very immediately with your safi ty. 
I have a great discretion, it is true, but there are 
bounds to it." 

"I shall try to follow your lordship's advice,"' said I. 

He spread, a sheet of paper on the table and wrote a 
heading. " It appears you were present, by the way, 
in the wood of Lettermore at the moment of the fatal 
shot," he began. " Was this by accident ?" 

"By accident/' said I. 

'•'How came you in speech with Colin Campbell?" 
he asked. 

"I was inquiring my way of him to Ancharn," I 
replied. 

I observed he did not write this answer clown. 

'•H'm, true," said he, "I had forgotten that. And 
do you know, Mr. Balfour, I would dwell, if I were 
you, as little as might be on your relations with these 
Stewarts? It might be found to complicate our busi- 
ness. I am not yet inclined to regard these matters as 
essential.'' 

"I had thought, my lord, that all points of fad were 
equally material in such a case/' said I. 

"You forget we are now trying these Stewarts," lie 



46 DAVID BALFOUR 

replied, with great significance. "If we should ever 
come to be trying you, it will be very different ; and I 
shall press these very questions that I am now willing 
to glide upon. But to resume : I have it here in Mr. 
Mungo Campbell's precognition that you ran imme- 
diately up the brae. How came that ?" 

'•Not immediately, my lord, and the cause was my 
seeing of the murderer." 

" You saw him, then ?" 

" As plain as I see your lordship, though not so near 
hand." 

"You know him ?" 

" I should know him again." 

" In your pursuit you were not so fortunate, then, as 
to overtake him ?" 

"I was not." 

" Was he alone ? " 

"He was alone." 

" There was no one else in that neighbourhood ?" 

" Alan Breck Stewart was not far off, in a piece of a 
wood." 

The Advocate laid his pen down. " I think we are 
playing at cross purposes," said he, "which you will 
find to prove a very ill amusement for yourself." 

" I content myself with following your lordship's 
advice, and answering what I am asked," said I. 

" Be so wise as to bethink yourself in time," said he. 
"I use you with the most anxious tenderness, which 



DAVID BALFOUB 47 

you scarce seem to appreciate, and which (unless you be 
more careful) may prove to be in vain." 

" I do appreciate your tenderness, but conceive it to 
be mistaken," I replied, with something of a falter, for 
I saw we were come to grips at last. " I am here to lay 
before you certain information, by which I shall con- 
vince you Alan had no hand whatever in the killing of 
Glenure." 

The Advocate appeared for a moment at a stick, 
sitting with pursed lips, and blinking his eyes upon 
me like an angry cat. " Mr. Balfour,'' he said at last, 
" I tell you pointedly you go an ill way for your own 
interests." 

" My lord," I said, " I am as free of the charge of 
considering my own interests in this matter as your 
lordship. As God judges me, I have but the one 
design, and that is to see justice executed and the 
innocent go clear. If in pursuit of that I come to 
fall under your lordship's displeasure, I must bear it 
as I may." 

At this he rose from his chair, lit a second candle, 
and for a while gazed upon me steadily. I was sur- 
prised to see a great change of gravity fallen upon bis 
face, and 1 could have almost thought he was a little 
pale. 

,f You are either very simple, or extremely the re- 
verse, aud I see that I must deal with you more con- 
fidentially," says he. ''This is a political case — ah. 



48 DAVID BALFOUR 

yes, Mr. Balfour ! whether we like it or no, the case 
is political — and I tremble when I think what issues 
may depend from it. To a political case, I need scarce 
tell a young man of your education, we approach with 
very different thoughts from one which is criminal 
only. Solus populi suprema lex is a maxim suscepti- 
ble of great abuse, but it has that force which we find 
elsewhere only in the laws of nature : I mean it has 
the force of necessity. I will open this out to you, if 
you will allow me, at more length. You would have 
me believe " 

'•Under your pardon, my lord, I would have you to 
believe nothing but that which I can prove," said I. 

"Tut! tut! young gentleman," says he, "be not so 
pragmatical, and suffer a man who might be your 
father (if it was nothing more) to employ his own im- 
perfect language, and express his own poor thoughts, 
even when they have the misfortune not to coincide 
with Mr. Balfour's. You would have me to believe 
Breck innocent. I would think this of little account, 
the more so as we cannot catch our man. But -the 
matter of Breck's innocence shoots beyond itself. 
Once admitted, it would destroy the whole presump- 
tions of our case against another and a very different 
criminal ; a man grown old in treason, already twice 
in arms against his king and already twice forgiven ; 
a fomenter of discontent, and (whoever may have fired 
the shot) the unmistakable original of the deed in 



DAVID BALFOUB 49 

question. I need not tell you that I mean James 
Stewart." 

"And I can just say plainly that the innocence of 
Alan and of James is what I am here to declare in 
private to your lordship, and what I am prepared 
to establish at the trial by my testimony,"' said I. 

" To which I can only answer by an equal plainness, 
Mr. Balfour/' said he, "that (in that case) your testi- 
mony will not be called by me, and I desire you to 
withhold it altogether. "■ 

"You are at the head of Justice in this country," 
I cried, '* and you propose to me a crime ! " 

"I am a man nursing with both hands the interests 
of this country," he replied, "and I press on you a 
political necessity. Patriotism is not always moral in 
the formal sense. You might be glad of it, I think : it 
is your own protection ; the facts are heavy against 
you ; and if I am still trying to except you from a very 
dangerous place, it is in part of course because I am 
not insensible to your honesty in coming here ; in part 
because of Pilrig's letter ; but in part, and in chief 
part, because I regard in this matter my political duty 
first and my judicial duty only second. For the same 
reason — I repeat it to you in the same frank words — I 
do not want your testimony." 

"I desire not to be thought to make a repartee, when 
I express only the plain sense of our position," said I. 
"But if your lordship has no need of my testimony, I 



50 DAVID BALFOUR 

believe the other side would be extremely blythe to 
get it." 

Prestongrange arose and began to pace to and fro in 
the room. "You are not so young," he said, "but 
what you must remember very clearly the year '45 and 
the shock that went about the country. I read in 
Pilrig's letter that you are sound in Kirk and State. 
Who saved them in that fatal year ? I do not refer 
to his Eoyal Highness and his ramrods, which were 
extremely useful in their day; but the country had 
been saved and the field won before ever Cumberland 
came upon Drummossie. Who saved it ? I repeat ; 
who saved the Protestant religion and the whole frame 
of our civil institutions ? The late Lord President 
Oulloden, for one ; he played a man's part, and small 
thanks he got for it — even as I, whom you see before 
you, straining every nerve iu the same service, look 
for no reward beyond the conscience of my duties 
done. After the President, who else ? You know 
the answer as well as I do ; 'tis partly a scandal, and 
you glanced at it yourself, and I reproved you for it, 
when you first came in. It was the Duke and the 
great clan of Campbell. Now here is a Campbell 
foully murdered, and that in the King's service. The 
Duke and I are Highlanders. But we are Highlanders 
civilised, and it is not so with the great mass of our 
clans and families. They have still savage virtues and 
defects. They are still barbarians, like these Stewarts ; 



DAVID BALFOUR 51 

only the Campbells were barbarians on the right side, 
and the Stewarts were barbarians on the wrong. Now 
be yon the judge. The Campbells expect vengeance. 
If they do not get it — if this man James escape — 
there will be trouble with the Campbells. That means 
disturbance in the Highlands, which are uneasy and 
very far from being disarmed : the disarming is a 
farce ..." 

" I can bear you out in that," said I. 

"Disturbance in the Highlands makes the hour of our 
old watchful enemy," pursued his lordship, holding 
out a finger as he paced ; " and I give you my word we 
may have a '45 again with the Campbells on the other 
side. To protect the life of this man Stewart — which 
is forfeit already on half-a-dozen different counts if not 
on this — do you propose to plunge your country in war, 
to jeopardise the faith of your fathers, and to expose 
the lives and fortunes of how many thousand innocent 
persons ? . . . These are considerations that weigh 
with me, and that I hope will weigh no less with your- 
self, Mi\ Balfour, as a lover of your country, good 
government, and religious truth." 

"You deal with me very frankly, and I thank you 
for it," said I. " I will try on my side to be no less 
honest. I believe your policy to be sound. I believe 
these deep duties may lie upon your lordship ; I 
believe you may have laid them on your conscience 
when you took the oaths of the high office which you 



52 DAVID BALFOUll 

hold. But for me, who am jusfc a plain man— or scarce 
a man yet — the plain duties must suffice. I can think 
but of two things, of a poor soul in the immediate and 
unjust danger of a shameful death, and of the cries and 
tears of his wife that still tingle in my head. I cannot 
see beyond, my lord. It's the way that I am made. 
If the country has to fall, it has to fall. And I pray 
God, if this be wilful blindness, that he may enlighten 
me before too late." 

He had heard me motionless, and stood so a while 
longer. 

" This is an unexpected obstacle," says he, aloud, but 
to himself. 

"And how is your lordship to dispose of me?" I 
asked. 

"If I wished," said he, "you know that you might 
sleep in gaol ? " 

" My lord," says I, " I have slept in worse places." 

" Well, my boy," said he, " there is one thing appears 
very plainly from our interview, that I may rely on your 
pledged word. Give me your honour that you will be 
w r holly secret, not only on what has passed to-night, 
but in the matter of the Appin case, and I let you go 
free." 

"1 will give it till to-morrow or any other near day 
that you may please to set," said I. " I would not be 
thought too wily; but if I gave the promise without 
qualification, your lordship would have attained his end." 



DAVID BALFOUR 53 

" I had no thought to entrap you/' said he. 

" I am sure of that/' said I. 

"Let me see," lie continued. "To-morrow is the 
Sabbath. Come to me on Monday by eight in the 
morning, and give me your promise until then.'' 

" Freely given, my lord," said I. " And with 
regard to what has fallen from yourself, I will give it 
for as long as it shall please God to spare your dayB." 

"You will observe," he said next, " that I have made 
no employment of menaces.'' 

"It was like your lordship's nobility," said I. "Yet 
I am not altogether so dull but what I can perceive the 
nature of those you have not uttered." 

"Well," said he, "good-night to you. May you 
sleep w r ell, for I think it is more than I am like to do." 

With that he sighed, took up a candle, and gave me 
his conveyance as far as the street door. 



CHAPTER V 

IN THE ADVOCATE'S HOUSE 

The next day, Sabbath, August 27th, I had the occa- 
sion I had long looked forward to, to hear some of the 
famous Edinburgh preachers, all well known to me 
already by the report of Mr. Campbell. Alas ! and I 
might just as well have been at Essendean, and sitting 
under Mr. Campbell's worthy self ! the turmoil of my 
thoughts, which dwelt continually on the interview with 
Prestongrange, inhibiting me from all attention. I 
was indeed much less impressed by the reasoning of the 
divines than by the spectacle of the thronged congrega- 
tion in the churches, like what I imagined of a theatre 
or (in my then disposition) of an assize of trial ; above 
all, at the' West Kirk, with its three tiers of galleries, 
where I went in the vain hope that I might see Miss 
Drummond. 

On the Monday I betook me for the first time to a 
barber's, and was very well pleased with the result. 
Thence to the Advocate's, where the red coats of the 
soldiers showed again about his door, making a bright 
place in the close. I looked about for the young lady 



DAVID BALFOrK 55 

and her gillies ; there was never a sign of them. But I 
was no sooner shown into the cabinet or antechamber, 
where I had spent so wearyful a time upon the Saturday, 
than I was aware of the tall figure of James More in a 
corner. He seemed a prey to a painful uneasiness, reach- 
ing forth his feet and hands, and his eyes speeding here 
and there without rest about the walls of the small 
chamber, which recalled to me with a sense of pity the 
man's wretched situation. I suppose it was partly this, 
and partly my strong continuing interest in his daughter, 
that moved me to accost him. 

" Give you a good-morning, sir," said I. 

" And a good-morning to you, sir," said he. 

"You bide tryst with Prestongrange ?" I asked. 

" I do, sir, and I pray your business with that gentle- 
man be more agreeable than mine," was his reply. 

" I hope at least that yours will be brief, for I suppose 
you pass before me," said I. 

"All pass before me," he said, with a shrug and a 
gesture upward of the open hands. " It was not always 
so, sir, but times change. It was not so when the 
sword was in the scale, young gentleman, and the virt- 
ues of the soldier might sustain themselves." 

There came a kind of Highland snuffle out of the man 
that raised my dander strangely. 

"Well, Mr. Macgregor," said I, "I understand the 
main thing for a soldier is to be silent, and the first of 
his virtues never to complain." 



56 DAVID BALFOUR 

" You have my name, I perceive " — he bowed to me 
with his arms crossed — " though it's one I must not use 
myself. Well, there is a publicity — I have shown my 
face and told my name too often in the beards of my 
enemies. I must not wonder if both should be known 
to many that I know not." 

"That you know not in the least, sir," said I, "nor 
yet anybody else ; but the name I am called, if you care 
to hear it, is Balfour." 

" It is a good name," he replied, civilly ; " there are 
many decent folk that use it. And now that I call to 
mind, there was a young gentleman, your namesake, 
that marched surgeon in the year '45 with my bat- 
talion." 

"I believe that would be a brother to Balfour of 
Baith," said I, for I was ready for the surgeon now. 

"The same, sir," said James More. "And since I 
have been fellow-soldier with your kinsman, you must 
suffer me to grasp your hand." 

He shook hands with me long and tenderly, beaming 
on me the while as though he had found a brother. 

"Ah !" says he, "these are changed days since your 
cousin and I heard the balls whistle in our lugs." 

"I think he was a very far-away cousin," said I, 
drily, "and I ought to tell you that I never clapped 
eyes upon the man." 

"Well, well," said he, "it makes no change. And 
you — I do not think you were out yourself, sir — I have 



DAVID BALFOUR 57 

no clear mind of your face, which is one not probable to 
be forgotten. " 

"In the year you refer to, Mr. Macgregor, I was get- 
ting skelped in the parish school," said I. 

" So young ! " cries he. " Ah, then you will never be 
able to think what this meeting is to me. In the hour 
of my adversity, and in the house of my enemy, to meet 
in with the blood of an old brother-in-arms — it heartens 
me, Mr. Balfour, like the skirling of the Highland 
pipes ! Sir, this is a sad look-back that many of us have 
to make : some with falling tears. I have lived in my 
own country like a king ; my sword, my mountains, and 
the faith of my friends and kinsmen sufficed for me. 
Now I lie in a stinking dungeon ; and do you know, Mr. 
Balfour," he went on, taking my arm and beginning to 
lead me about, "do you know, sir, that I lack mere 
necessaries ? The malice of my foes has quite seques- 
tered my resources. I lie, as you know, sir, on a trumped- 
up charge, of which I am as innocent as yourself. 
They dare not bring me to my trial, and in the mean- 
while I am held naked in my prison. I could have 
wished it was your cousin I had met, or his brother 
Baith himself. Either would, I know, have been re- 
joiced to help me; while a comparative stranger like 
yourself " 

I would be ashamed to set down all he poured out to 
me in this beggarly vein, or the very short and grudg- 
ing answers that I made to him. There were times 



58 DAVID BALFOUR 

when I was tempted to stop his mouth with some small 
change ; but whether it was from shame or pride — 
whether it was for my own sake or Catriona's — whether 
it was because I thought him no fit father for his 
daughter, or because I resented that grossness of im- 
mediate falsity that clung about the man himself — 
the thing was clean beyond me. And I was still 
being wheedled and preached to, and still being 
marched to and fro, three steps and a turn, in that 
small chamber, and had already, by some very short 
replies, highly incensed, although not finally discour- 
aged, my beggar, when Prestongrange appeared in the 
doorway and bade me eagerly into his big chamber. 

>'I have a moment's engagement/' said he; "and 
that you may not sit empty-handed I am going to 
present you to my three braw daughters, of whom per- 
haps you may have heard, for I think they are more 
famous than papa. This way." 

He led me into another long room above, where a 
dry old lady sat at a frame of embroidery, and the 
three handsomest young women (I suppose) in Scotland 
stood together by a window. 

"This is my new friend, Mr. Balfour," said he, 
presenting me by the arm. " David, here is my sister, 
Miss Grant, who is so good as keep my house for me, 
and will be very pleased if she can help you. And 
here," says he, turning to the three younger ladies, 
"here are my three bratu dauchters. A fair question 



DAVID r. A I. FOUR 59 

to ye, Mr. Davie : which of the three is the heal 
favoured ? And I wager he will never have the im- 
pudence to propound honest Alan Ramsay's answer ! " 

Hereupon all three, and the old Miss Grant as 
well, cried out against this sally, which (as I was 
acquainted with the verses he referred to) brought 
shame into my own cheek. It seemed to me a citation 
unpardonable in a father, and I was amazed that these 
ladies could laugh even while they reproved, or made 
believe to. 

Under cover of this mirth, Prcstongrange got forth 
of the chamber, and I was left, like a fish upon dry 
laud, in that very unsuitable society. I could never 
deny, in looking back upon what followed, that I 
was eminently stockish ; and I must say the ladies 
were well drilled to have so long a patience with me. 
The aunt indeed sat close at her embroidery, only 
looking now and again and smiling; but the misses, 
and especially the eldest, who was besides the most 
handsome, paid me a score of attentions which I was 
very ill able to repay. It was all in vain to tell myself 
I was a young fellow of some worth as well as good 
estate, and had no call to feel abashed before these 
lasses, the eldest not so much older than myself, and do 
one of them by any probability half as learned. Rea- 
soning would not change the fact ; and there were 
times when the colour came into my face to think I was 
shaved that day for the first time. 



60 DAVID BALFOUR 

The talk going, with all their endeavours, very heavily, 
the eldest took pity on my awkwardness, sat down to 
her instrument, of which she was a passed mistress, and 
entertained me for a while with playing and singing, 
both in the Scots and in the Italian manners ; this put 
me more at my ease, and being reminded of Alan's air 
that he had taught me in the hole near Carriden, I 
made so bold as to whistle a bar or two, and ask if she 
knew that. 

She shook her head. "I never heard a note of it," 
said she. " Whistle it all through. And now once 
again/' she added, after I had done so. 

Then she picked it out upon the keyboard, and (to 
my surprise) instantly enriched the same with well- 
sounding chords, and sang, as she played, with a very 
droll expression and broad accent : 

" Haenae I got just the lilt of it V 
Isnae this the tune that ye whustled ? " 

" You see," she says, " I can do the poetry too, only 
it won't rhyme." And then again : 

" I am Miss Grant, sib to the Advocate : 
You, I believe, arc Dauvit Balfour." 

I told her how much astonished I was by her genius. 
"And what do you call the name of it ?" she asked. 
"I do not know the real name," said I. " I just call 
it Alan's air." 

She looked at me directly in the face. et I shall call 



DAVID BALFOUB 61 

it David's air," said she ; " though if it's the least like 
what your namesake of Israel played to Saul I would 
never wonder that the king got little good by it, for 
it's but melancholy music. Your other name I do not 
like ; so, if you was ever wishing to hear your tune 
again you are to ask for it by mine/' 

This was said with a significance that gave my heart 
a jog. " Why that, Miss Grant ? " I asked. 

"Why," saya she, "if ever you should come to get 
hanged, I will set your last dying speech and confession 
to that tune and sing it." 

This put it beyond a doubt that she was partly in- 
formed of my story and peril. How, or just how much, 
it was more difficult to guess. It was plain she knew 
there was something of danger in the name of Alan, 
and thus warned me to leave it out of reference ; and 
plain she knew that I stood under some criminal sus- 
picion. I judged besides that the harshness of her last 
speech (which besides she had followed up immediately 
with a very noisy piece of music) was to put an end to 
the present conversation. I stood beside her, affect in- 
to listen and admire, but truly whirled away by my own 
thoughts. I have always found this young lady to be a 
lover of the mysterious; and certainly this first inter- 
view made a mystery that was beyond my plum met. 
One thing I learned long after, the hours of the Sun- 
day had been well employed, the bank porter had been 
found and examined, my visit to Charles Stewart was 



62 DAVID BALFOUK 

discovered, and the deduction made that I was pretty 
deep with James and Alan, and most likely in a con- 
tinned correspondence with the last. Hence this broad 
hint that was given me across the harpsichord. 

In the midst of the piece of music, one of the 
younger misses,, who was -at a window over the close, 
cried on her sisters to come quick, for there was " Grey 
eyes again." The whole family trooped there at once, 
and crowded one another for a look. The window 
whither they ran was in an odd corner of that room, 
gave above the entrance door, and flanked up the close. 

"Come, Mr. Balfour," they cried, "come and see. 
She is the most beautiful creature ! She hangs round 
the close-head these last days, always with some 
wretched-like gillies, and yet seems quite a lady." 

I had no need to' look; neither did I look twice, or 
long. I was afraid she might have seen me there, 
looking down upon her from that chamber of music, 
and she without, and her father in the same house, per- 
haps begging for his life with tears, and myself come 
but newly from rejecting his petitions. But even that 
glance set me in a better conceit of myself, and much 
less awe of the young ladies. They w r ere beautiful, that 
was beyond question, but Catriona was beautiful too, 
and had a kind of brightness in her like a coal of fire. 
As much as the others cast me down, she lifted me up. 
I remembered I had talked easily with her. If I could 
make no hand of it with these fine maids, it was per- 



DAVID BALFOUK 63 

haps something their own fault. My embarrassment 

began to be a little mingled and lightened with a sense 
of fun ; and when the aunt smiled at me from her 
embroidery, and the three daughters unbent to me like 
a baby, all with " papa's orders" written on their f. 
there were times when I conld have found it in my 
heart to smile myself. 

Presently papa returned, the same kind, happy-like, 
pleasant-spoken man. 

"Now, girls,'' said he, "I must take Mr. Balfour 
away again ; but I hope you have been able to persuade 
him to return where I shall be always gratified to find 
him." 

So they each made me a little farthing compliment, 
and I was led away. 

If this visit to the family had been meant to soften 
my resistance, it was the worst of failures. I was no 
such ass but what I understood how poor a figure I had 
made, and that the girls would be yawning their jaws 
off as soon as my stiff back was turned. I felt I had 
shown how little I had in me of what was soft and 
graceful ; and I longed for a chance to prove that I hail 
something of the other stuff, the stern and dangerous. 

Well, I was to be served to my desire, for the scene 
to which he was conducting me was of a different 
character. 



CHAPTER VI 

UMQUILE THE MASTER OF LOVAT 

There was a man waiting us in Prestongrange's 
study, whom I distasted at the first look, as we distaste 
a ferret or an earwig. He was bitter ugly, but seemed 
very much of a gentleman ; had still manners, but 
capable of sudden leaps and violences ; and a small 
voice, which could ring out shrill and dangerous when 
he so desired. 

The Advocate presented us in a familiar, friendly 
way. 

" Here, Fraser/' said he, " here is Mr. Balfour 
whom we talked about. Mr. David, this is Mr. Symon 
Fraser, whom we used to call by another title, but that 
is an old song. Mr. Fraser has an errand to you/' 

With that he stepped aside to his book-shelves, and 
made believe to consult a quarto volume in the far end. 

I was thus left (in a sense) alone with perhaps the 
last person in the world I had expected. There was uo 
doubt upon the terms of introduction; this could be no 
other than the forfeited Master of Lovat and chief of 
the great clan Fraser. I knew he had led his men in 



DAVID BALPOUB 65 

the Rebellion ; I knew his father's head — my old lord's, 

that grey fox of the mountains — to have fallen on the 
block for that offence, the lands of the family to have 
been seized, and their nobility attainted. I could nol 
conceive what he should be doing in Grant's house ; I 
could not conceive that he had been called to the bar, 
had eaten all his principles, and was now currying favour 
with the Government even to the extent of acting 
Advocate-Depute in the Appin murder. 

"Well, Mr. Balfour," said he, "what is all this I 
hear of ye ? " 

"It would not become me to prejudge," said I, "but 
if the Advocate was your authority he is fully possessed 
of my opinions." 

" I may tell you I am engaged in the Appin case," lie 
went on ; "I am to appear under Prestongrange ; and 
from my study of the precognitions I can assure \<>u 
your opinions are erroneous. The guilt of Breck is man- 
ifest ; and your testimony, in which you admit you saw 
him on the hill at the very moment, will certify his 
hanging." 

" It will be rather ill to hang him till you catch 
him," I observed. " And for other matters I very will- 
ingly leave you to your own impressions." 

"The Duke has been informed," ho went on. "I 
have just come from his Grace, and he expressed him- 
self before me with an honest freedom like the great 
nobleman he is. He spoke of you by name, Mr. Hal- 



66 DAVID BALFOUR 

four, and declared his gratitude beforehand in case you 
would be led by those who understand your own inter- 
ests and those of the country so much better than your- 
self. Gratitude is no empty expression in that mouth : 
experto crede. I daresay you know something of my 
name and clan, and the damnable example and lamented 
end of my late father, to say nothing of my own errata. 
Well, I have made my peace with that good Duke ; he 
has intervened for me with our friend Prestongrange ; 
and here I am with my foot in the stirrup again and 
some of the responsibility shared into my hand of pros- 
ecuting King George's enemies and avenging the late 
daring and barefaced insult to his Majesty." 

" Doubtless a proud position for your fathers son," 
says I. 

He wagged his bald eyebrows at me. "You are 
pleased to make experiments in the ironical, I think," 
said he. " But I am here upon duty, I am here to dis- 
charge my errand in good faith, it is in vain you think 
to divert me. And let me tell you, for a young fellow 
of spirit and ambition like yourself, a good shove in the 
beginning will do more than ten years' drudgery. The 
shove is now at your command ; choose what yon will 
to be advanced in, the Duke will watch upon you with 
the affectionate disposition of a father." 

"I am thinking that I lack the docility of the son," 
I. 

"And do you really suppose, sir, that the whole pol- 



DAVID BALP01 B 67 

icy of this country is to be suffered to trip up and tum- 
ble down for an ill-mannered colt of a boy ?" he cried. 
"This has been made a test case, all who would 
prosper in the future must put a shoulder to the wheel. 
Look at me ! Do you suppose it is for my pleasure that 
I put myself in the highly invidious position of prose- 
cuting a man that I have drawn the sword alongside 
of? The choice is not left me,' 9 

" But I think, sir, that you forfeited your choice 
when you mixed in with that unnatural rebellion/' I 
remarked. " My case is happily otherwise ; I am a 
true man, and can look either the Duke or King George 
in the face without concern." 

"Is it so the wind sits?'' says he. "I protest you 
are fallen in the worst sort of error. Prestongrange has 
been hitherto so civil (he tells me) as not to combat your 
allegations; but you must not think they are not looked 
upon with strong suspicion. You say you are innocent. 
My dear sir, the facts declare you guilty." 

" I was waiting for you there," said I. 

"The evidence of Mungo Campbell ; your flight after 
the completion of the murder ; your long course of se- 
cresy — my good young man!" said Mr. Symon, "here 
is enough evidence to hang a bullock, let be a David 
Balfour ! I shall be upon that trial ; my voice shall he 
raised ; I shall then speak much otherwise from what 1 
do to-day, and far less to your gratification, little as you 
like it now ! Ah, you look white !" cries he. "I have 



68 DAVID BALFOUR 

found the key of your impudent heart. You look pale, 
your eyes waver, Mr. David ! You see the grave and 
the gallows nearer by than you had fancied." 

"I own to a natural weakness," said I. " I think no 
shame for that. Shame ..." I was going on. 

"Shame waits for you on the gibbet," he broke 
in. 

"Where I shall but be even'd with my lord your 
father," said I. 

"Aha, but not so !" he cried, "and you do not yet 
see to the bottom of this business. My father suffered 
in a great cause, and for dealing in the affairs of kings. 
You are to hang for a dirty murder about bodclle-pieces. 
Your personal part in it, the treacherous one of hold- 
ing the poor wretch in talk, your accomplices a pack 
of ragged Highland gillies. And it can be shown, my 
great Mr. Balfour — it can be shown, and it ivill be 
shown, trust me that has a ringer in the pie — it can be 
shown, and shall be shown, that you were paid to do it. 
I think I can see the looks go round the court when I 
adduce my evidence, and it shall appear that you, a 
young man of education, let yourself be corrupted to 
this shocking act for a suit of cast clothes, a bottle of 
Highland spirits, and three-and-fivepence-halfpenny in 
copper money." 

There was a touch of the truth in these words that 
knocked me like a blow : clothes, a bottle of usque- 
baugh, and three-and-fivepence-half penny in change 



DAVID BALFOUR 69 

made up, indeed, the most of what Alan and I had car- 
ried from Ancharn ; and I saw that some of James's 
people had been blabbing in their dungeons. 

''You see I know more than you fancied/' he re- 
sumed in triumph. "And as for giving it this turn, 
great Mr. David, you must not suppose the Government 
of Great Britain and Ireland will ever be stuck for want 
of evidence. We have men here in prison who will 
swear out their lives as we direct them ; as I direct, if 
you prefer the phrase. So now you are to guess your 
part of glory if you choose to die. On the one hand, 
life, wine, women, and a duke to be your hand -gun ; on 
the other, a rope to your craig, and a gibbet to clatter 
your bones on, and the lousiest, lowest story to hand 
down to your namesakes in the future that was ever 
told about a hired assassin. And see here !" he cried, 
with a formidable shrill voice, "see this paper that I 
pull out of my pocket. Look at the name there : it is 
the name of the great David, I believe, the ink scarce 
dry yet. Can you guess its nature ? It is the warrant 
for your arrest, which I have but to touch this bell 
beside me to have executed, on the spot. Once in the 
Tolbooth upon this paper, may God help you, fur the 
die is cast \" 

I must never deny that I was greatly horrified by so 
much baseness, and much unmanned by the immediacy 
and ugliness of my danger. Mr. Symon had already 
gloried in the changes of my hue; I make no doubt I 



70 DAVID BALFOUR 

was now no ruddier than my shirt ; my speech besides 
trembled. 

"There is a gentleman in this room/' cried I. "I 
appeal to him. I put my life and credit in his 
hands." 

Prestongrange shut his book with a snap. "I told 
you so, Symon," said he ; " you have played your hand 
for all it was worth, and you have lost. Mr. David," 
he went on, "I wish you to believe it was by no choice 
of mine you were subjected to this proof. I wish you 
could understand how glad I am you should come forth 
from it with so much credit. You may not quite see 
how, but it is a little of a service to myself. For had 
our friend here been more successful than I was last 
night, it might have appeared that he was a better 
judge of men than I ; it might have appeared we were 
altogether in the wrong situations, Mr. Symon and my- 
self. And I know our friend Symon to be ambitious," 
says he, striking lightly on Fraser's shoulder. " As 
for this stage play, it is over ; my sentiments are very 
much engaged in your behalf ; and whatever issue we 
can find to this unfortunate affair, I shall make it my 
business to see it is adopted with tenderness to you." 

These were very good words, and I could see besides 
that there was little love, and perhaps a spice of genu- 
ine ill-will, between those two who were opposed to me. 
For all that, it was unmistakable this interview had 
been designed, perhaps rehearsed, with the consent of 




AND BEE HERE ! 



IE CRIED, WITH A FORMIDABLE -IIKII.I 
TMK WARRANT FOB J "i B \KKl.-i"" 



v.«n k. . . . IT 



DAVID BALFOUR 71 

both ; it was plain my adversaries were in earnest to try 
me by all methods ; and now (persuasion, flattery, and 
menaces having been tried in vain) I could not but 
wonder what would be their next expedient. My eyes 
besides were still troubled, and my knees loose under 
me, with the distress of the late ordeal ; and I could do 
no more than stammer the same form of words : " I put 
my life and credit in your hands. " 

"Well, well," says he, "we must try to save them. 
And in the meanwhile let us return to gentler methods. 
You must not bear any grudge upon my friend, Mr. 
Symon, who did but speak by his brief. And even if 
you did conceive some malice against myself, who stood 
by and seemed rather to hold a candle, I must not let 
that extend to innocent members of my family. These 
are greatly engaged to see more of you, and I cannot 
consent to have my young women-folk disappointed. 
To-morrow they will be going to Hope Park, where I 
think it very proper you should make your bow. Call 
for me first, when I may possibly have something for 
your private hearing ; then you shall be turned abroad 
again under the conduct of my misses; and until that 
time repeat to me your promise of secrecy. '' 

I had done better to have instantly refused, but in 
truth I was beside the power of reasoning ; did as I was 
bid ; took my leave I know not how ; and when I was 
forth again in the close, and the door had shut behind 
me, was glad to lean on a house wall and wipe my face. 



iZ DAVID BALFOUR 

That horrid apparition (as I may call it) of Mr. Syirion 
rang in my memory, as a sudden noise rings after it is 
over on the ear. Tales of the man's father, of his false- 
ness, of his manifold perpetual treacheries, rose before 
me from all that I had heard and read, and joined on 
with what I had just experienced of himself. Each 
time it occurred to me, the ingenious foulness of that 
calumny he had proposed to nail upon my character 
startled me afresh. The case of the man upon the 
gibbet by Leith Walk appeared scarce distinguishable 
from that I was now to consider as my own. To rob a 
child of so little more than nothing was certainly a 
paltry enterprise for two grown men ; but my own tale, 
as it was to be represented in a court by Symon Fraser, 
appeared a fair second in every possible point of view of 
sordidness and cowardice. 

The voices of two of Prestongrange's liveried men 
upon his doorstep recalled me to myself. 

"Ha'e," said the one, "this billet as fast as ye can 
link to the captain/' 

"Is that for the cateran back again ?" asked the 
other. 

"It would seem sae," returned the first. "Him and 
Symon are seeking him." 

"I think Prestongrange is gane gyte," says the 
second. "He'll have James More in bed with him next. " 

"Weel, it's neither your affair nor mine's," says the 
first. 






DAVID HA I. FOUR 73 

And they parted, the one upon his errand, and the 
other back into the house. 

This looked as ill as possible. I was scarce gone and 
they were sending already for James More, to whom I 
thought Mr. Symon must have pointed when he spoke 
of men in prison and ready to redeem their lives by all 
extremities. My scalp curdled among my hair, and the 
next moment the blood leaped in me to remember 
Catriona. Poor lass ! her father stood to be hanged for 
pretty indefensible misconduct. What was yet more 
unpalatable, it now seemed he was prepared to save his 
four quarters by the worst of shame and the most foul 
of cowardly murders — murder by the false oath ; and to 
complete our misfortunes, it seemed myself was picked 
out to be the victim. 

I began to walk swiftly and at random, conscious 
only of a desire for movement, air, and the open 
country. 



CHAPTER VII 

I MAKE A FAULT IK HONOR 

I came forth, I vow I know not how, on the Lang 
Dykes.* This is a rural road which runs on the north 
side over against the city. Thence I could see the 
whole black length of it tail down, from where the 
castle stands upon its crags above the loch in a long 
line of spires and gable ends, and smoking chimneys, 
and at the sight my heart swelled in my bosom. My 
youth, as I have told, was already inured to dangers ; 
but such danger as I had seen the face of but that 
morning, in the midst of what they call the safety of a 
town, shook me beyond experience. Peril of slavery, 
peril of shipwreck, peril of sword and shot, I had 
stood all of these without discredit ; but the peril 
there was in the sharp voice and the fat face of 
Symon, properly Lord Lovat, daunted me wholly. 

I sat by the lake side in a place where the rushes 
went down into the water, and there steeped my wrists 
and laved my temples. If I could have done so with 
any remains of self-esteem I would now have fled from 
my foolhardy enterprise. But (call it courage or 
* Now Prince's Street. 



DAVID BALFOUB 75 

cowardice, and I believe it was both the one and the 
other) I decided I was ventured out beyond the possi- 
bility of a retreat. I had outfaced these men, I would 
continue to outface them ; come what might, I would 
stand by the word spoken. 

The sense of my own constancy somewhat uplifted 
my spirits, but not much. At the best of it there was 
an icy place about my heart, and life seemed a black 
business to be at all engaged in. For two souls in par- 
ticular my pity flowed. The one was myself, to be so 
friendless and lost among dangers. The other was the 
girl, the daughter of James More. I had seen but 
little of her ; yet my view was taken and my judgment 
made. I thought her a lass of a clean honour, like a 
man's ; I thought her one to die of a disgrace ; and now 
I believed her father to be at that moment bargaining 
his vile life for mine. It made a bond in my thoughts 
betwixt the girl and me. I had seen her before only 
as a wayside appearance, though one that pleased me 
strangely ; I saw her now in a sudden nearness of rela- 
tion, as the daughter of my blood foe, and 1 might Bay, 
my murderer. I reflected it was hard I should be so 
plagued and persecuted all my days for other folk's 
affairs, and have no manner of pleasure myself. I got 
meals and a bed to sleep in when my concerns would 
suffer it; beyond that my wealth was of no help to me. 
If I was to hang, my days were like to be short; if I 
was not to hang but to escape out of this trouble, they 



76 DAVID BALFOUR 

might yet seem long to me ere I was done with them. 
Of a sudden her face appeared in my memory, the way 
I had first seen it, with the parted lips ; at that, weak- 
ness came in my bosom and strength into my legs ; and 
I set resolutely forward on the way to Dean. If I was 
to hang to-morrow, and it was sure enough I might 
very likely sleep that night in a dungeon, I determined 
I should hear and speak once more with Catriona. 

The exercise of walking and the thought of my des- 
tination braced me yet more, so that I began to pluck 
up a kind of spirit. In the village of Dean, where it 
sits in the bottom of a glen beside the river, I inquired 
my way of a miller's man, who sent me up the hill upon 
the farther side by a plain path, and so to a decent-like 
small house in a garden of lawns and apple-trees. My 
heart beat high as I stepped inside the garden hedge, 
but it fell low indeed when I came face to face with a 
grim and fierce old lady, walking there in a white 
mutch with a man's hat strapped upon the top of it. 

" What do ye come seeking here? " she asked. 

I told her I was after Miss Drummond. 

" And what may be your business with Miss Drum- 
mond ?" says she. 

I told her I had met her on Saturday last, had been 
so fortunate as to render her a trifling service, and was 
come now on the young lady's invitation. 

"Oh, so you're Saxpence!" she cried, with a very 
sneering manner. "A braw gift, a bonny gentleman. 



DAVID BALFOUK 77 

And bae ye ony ither name and designation, or were ye 
bapteesed Saxpence?" she asked. 
I told my name. 

" Preserve me I" she cried. u Has Ebenezer gotten 
a son ? " 

"No, ma'am,'' said I. "I am a son of Alexander's. 
It's I that am the Laird of Shaws." 

"Yell find your work cut out for ye to establish 
that," quoth she. 

"I perceive you know my uncle,'' said I; "and I 
daresay you may be the better pleased to hear that 
business is arranged." 

" And what brings ye here after Miss Drummond ?" 
she pursued. 

"I'm come after my saxpence, mem," said I. " It's 
to be thought, being my uncle's nephew, I would be 
found a careful lad." 

"So ye have a spark of sleeness in ye," observed the 
old lady, with some approval. "I thought ye had just 
been a cuif — you and your saxpence, and your lucky 
day and your sake of Balwhidder" — from which I was 
gratified to learn that Catriona had not forgotten some 
of our talk. "But all this is by the purpose," she 
resumed. "Am I to understand that ye come here 
keeping company ?" 

"This is surely rather an early question," said I. 
"The maid is young, so am L worse fortune. I have 
but seen her the once. I'll not deny," I added, making 



78 DAVID BALFOUR 

up my mind to try her with some frankness, " Fll not 
deny but she has run in my head a good deal since I 
met in with her. That is one thing ; but it would be 
quite another, and I think I would look very like a 
fool, to commit myself. " 

" You can speak out of your mouth, I see," said the 
old lady. " Praise God, and so can I ! I was fool 
enough to take charge of this rogue's daughter : a fine 
charge I have gotten ; but it's mine, and I'll carry it 
the way I want to. Do ye mean to tell me, Mr. Bal- 
four of Shaws, that you would marry James More's 
daughter, and him hanged ? Well, then, where there's 
no possible marriage there shall be no manner of carry- 
ings on, and take that for said. Lasses are bruckle 
things," she added, with a nod; "and though ye would 
never think it by my wrunkled chafts, I was a lassie 
mysel', and a bonny one." 

" Lady Allardyce," said I, " for that I suppose to be 
your name, you seem to do the two sides of the talking, 
which is a very poor manner to come to an agreement. 
You give me rather a home thrust when you ask if I 
would marry, at the gallows' foot, a young lady whom I 
have seen but the once. I have told you already I would 
never be so untenty as to commit myself. And yet I'll 
go some way with you. If I continue to like the lass 
as well as I have reason to expect, it will be something 
more than her father, or the gallows either, that keeps 
the two of us apart. As for my family, I found it by 



DAVID BALFOUR 79 

flic wayside like a lost bawbee ! I owe less than nothing 
to my uncle; and if ever I marry, it will be t<» please 
one person : that's myself.'' 

" I have heard this kind of talk before ye were born,'' 
said Mrs. Ogilvy, " which is perhaps the reason that I 
think of it so little. There's much to be considered. 
This James More is a kinsman of mine, to my shame 
be it spoken. But the better the family, the mair men 
hanged or heided, that's always been poor Scotland's 
story. And if it was just the hanging ! For my part, 
I think I would be best pleased with James upon the 
gallows, which would be at least an end to him. 
Catrine's a good lass enough, and a good-hearted, and 
lets herself be deaved all day with a runt of an auld 
wife like me. But, ye see, there's the weak bit. She's 
daft about that long, false, fleeching beggar of a father 
of hers, and red-mad about the Gregara. and proscribed 
names, and King James, and a wheen blethers. And 
you might think ye could guide her, ye would find 
yourself sore mista'en. Ye say yeVe seen her but the 
once ..." 

"Spoke with her but the once, I should have saiil." 
I interrupted. " I saw her again this morning from a 
window at Prestongrange's." 

This I daresay 1 put in because it sounded well ; bul 
I was properly paid for my ostentation on the re- 
turn. 

"What's this of it f" cries the old lady, with a sud- 



80 DAVID BALFOUR 

den pucker of her face. " I think it was at the Advo- 
cate's door-cheek that ye met her first/' 

I told her that was so. 

" H'rn," she said ; and then suddenly, upon rather a 
scolding tone, " I have your bare word for it," she 
cries, "as to who and what you are. By your way of 
it, you're Balfour of the Shaws ; but for what I ken 
you may be Balfour of the Deevil's oxter. It's possible 
ye may come here for what ye say, and it's equally 
possible ye may come here for deil care what! I'm 
good enough whig to sit quiet, and to have keepit all 
my men-folk's heads upon their shoulders. But I'm 
not just a good enough whig to be made a fool of 
neither. And I tell you fairly, there's too much Advo- 
cate's door and Advocate's window here for a man that 
comes taigling after a Macgregor's daughter. Ye can 
tell that to the Advocate that sent ye, with my fond 
love. And I kiss my loof to ye, Mr. Balfour," says she, 
suiting the action to the word, " and a braw journey to 
ye back to where ye cam frae." 

"If you think me a spy," I broke out, and speech 
stuck in my throat. I stood and looked murder at the 
old lady for a space, then bowed and turned away. 

" Here ! Hoots ! The callant's in a creel ! " she 
cried. "Think ye a spy ? what else would I think ye — 
me that kens nacthing by ye? But I see that I was 
wrong; and as I cannot fight, 111 have to apologise. 
A bonny figure I would be with a broadsword. Ay ! 



DAVID BALFOUR 81 

ay I" she went on, "you're none such a bad lad in your 
way ; I think ye'll have some redeeming vices. But, 
oh. Davit Balfour, ye're damned countryfeed. Ye'll 

have to win over that, lad ; ye'll have to soople your 
back-bone, and think a wee pickle less of your dainty 
self ; and ye'll have to try to find out that women-folk 
are nae grenadiers. But that can never be. To your 
last day you'll ken no more of women-folk than what I 
do of sow-gelding." 

I had never been used with such expressions from a 
lady's tongue, the only two ladies I had known, Mrs. 
Campbell and my mother, being most devout and most 
particular women ; and I suppose my amazement must 
have been depicted in my countenance, for Mrs. Ogilvy 
burst forth suddenly in a fit of laughter. 

"Keep me !" she cried, struggling with her mirth, 
"you have the finest timber face — and you to marry the 
daughter of a Hieland cateran ! Davie, my dear, I 
think we'll have to make a match of it— if it was just 
to see the weans. And now," she went on, "there's 
no manner of service in your daidling here, for the 
young woman is from home, and it's my fear that the 
old woman is no suitable companion for your father's 
son. Forbye that I have nobody but myself to look 
after my reputation, and have been long enough alone 
with a sedooctive youth. And come back another day 
for your saxpence !" she cried after me as I kit. 

My skirmish with this disconcerting lady gave my 



82 DAVID BALFOUR 

thoughts a boldness they had otherwise wanted. For 
two days the image of Catriona had mixed in all my 
meditations ; she made their background, so that I 
scarce enjoyed my own company without a glint of 
her in a corner of my mind. But now she came 
immediately near ; I seemed to touch her, whom I 
had never touched but the once ; I let myself flow out 
to her in a happy weakness, and looking all about, and 
before and behind, saw the world like an undesirable 
desert, where men go as soldiers on a march, following 
their duty with what constancy they have, and Catriona 
alone there to offer me some pleasure of my days ; I 
wondered at myself that I could dwell on such con- 
siderations in that time of my peril and disgrace ; and 
when I remembered my youth I was ashamed. I had 
my studies to complete ; I had to be called into some 
useful business ; I bad yet to take my part of service in 
a place where all must serve ; I had yet to learn, and 
know, and prove myself a man ; and I had so much 
sense as blush that I should be already tempted with 
these further-on and holier delights and duties. My 
education spoke home to me sharply ; I was never 
brought up on sugar biscuits, but on the hard food of 
the truth. I knew that he was quite unfit to be a 
husband who was not prepared to be a father also ; 
and for a boy like me to play the father was a mere 
derision. 

When I was in the midst of these thoughts and about 



DAVID BALFOUR 

half-way back to town I saw a figure coming to meel 

nn'. and the trouble of my heart was heightened. It 
seemed I had everything in the world to say to her, bn< 
nothing to say first ; and remembering how tongue-tied 
I had been that morning at the Advocate's, I made Bore 
that I would find myself struck dumb. But when she 
came up my fears fled away ; not even the consciousness 
of what I had been privately thinking disconcerted me 
the least ; and I found I could talk with her as easily 
and rationally as I might with Alan. 

"0 !" she cried, "you have been seeking your six- 
pence : did you get it ?" 

I told her no; but now I had met with her my walk 
was not in vain. "Though I have seen you to-day 
already," said I, and told her where and when. 

"I did not see you," she said. "My eyes are big, 
but there arc better than mine at seeing far. Only I 
heard singing in the house.'' 

'• That was Miss Grant/' said I, "the eldest and the 
bonniest. " 

" They say they are all beautiful,'' said she. 

"They think the same of you, Miss Drummond," I 
replied, "and were all crowding to the window to 
observe you." 

" It is a pity about my being so blind." said she, " or 
I might have seen them too. And you were in the 
house? You must have been having the fine time with 
the fine music and the pretty lad 



84 DAVID BALFOUR 

" There is just where you are wrong,'' said I ; "for I 
was as uncouth as a sea-fish upon the brae of a moun- 
tain. The truth is that I am better fitted to go about 
with rudas men than pretty ladies." 

" Well, I would think so too, at all events ! " said she, 
at which we both of us laughed. 

"It is a strange thing, now/' said I. "I am not 
the least afraid with you, yet I could have run from 
the Miss Grants. And I was afraid of your cousin 
too." 

"0, I think any man will be afraid of her," she 
cried. " My father is afraid of her himself." 

The name of her father brought me to a stop. I 
looked at her as she walked by my side ; I recalled the 
man, and the little I knew and the much I guessed of 
him ; and comparing the one with the other, felt like a 
traitor to be silent. 

" Speaking of which," said I, "I met your father no 
later than this morning." 

" Did you ? " she cried, with a voice of joy that 
seemed to mock at me. "You saw James More ? You 
will have spoken with him, then ? " 

"I did even that," said I. 

Then I think things went the worst way for me that 
was humanly possible. She gave me a look of mere 
gratitude. "Ah, thank you for that ! " says she. 

" You thank me for very little," said I, and then 
stopped. But it seemed when I was holding back so 



DAVID BALFOUR 

much, something at least had to come out. "I Bpoke 
rather ill to him," said I; "I did not like him very 
much; I spoke him rather ill, and he was angry." 

" I think you had little to do then, and less to tell it 
to his daughter!" she cried out. " But those that do 
not love and cherish him I will not know/' 

"I will take the freedom of a word yet," said I, 
beginning to tremble. "Perhaps neither your father 
nor I are in the best of good spirits at Prestongrange's. 
I daresay we both have anxious business there, for it's 
a dangerous house. I was sorry for him too, and spoke 
to him the first, if I could but have spoken the wiser. 
And for one thing, in my opinion, you will soon find 
that his affairs are mending." 

" It will not be through your friendship, I am think- 
ing," said she; "and he is much made up to you for 
your sorrow." 

" Miss Drummond," cried I, " I am alone in this 
world . . . . " 

f " And I am not wondering at that," said she. 

•'0, let me speak!" said I. "I will speak hut the 
once, and then leave you, if you will, for ever. I came 
this day in the hopes of a kind word that I am sore in 
want of. I know that what I said must hurt you. and 
I knew it then. It would have been easy to have 
spoken smooth, easy to lie to you ; can you not think 
how I was tempted to the same ? Cannot you sec the 
truth of my heart shine out ? " 



Ob DAVID BALFOUR 

"I think here is a great deal of work, Mr. Balfour/' 
said she. " I think we will have met but the once, and 
will can part like gentle-folk." 

" 0, let me have one to believe in me ! " I pleaded, 
" I caunae bear it else. The whole world is claimed 
against me. How am I to go through with my dread- 
ful fate ? If there's to be none to believe in me I 
cannot do it. The man must just die, for I cannot 
doit." 

She had still looked straight in front of her, head in 
air ; but at my words or the tone of my voice she came 
to a stop. "What is this you say ? " she asked. 
" What are you talking of?" 

"It is my testimony which may save an innocent 
life," said I, " and they will not suffer me to bear it. 
What would you do yourself ? You know what this is, 
whose father lies in danger. Would you desert the 
poor soul ? They have tried all ways with me. They 
have sought to bribe me ; they offered me hills and 
valleys. And to-day that sleuth-hound told me how I 
stood, and to what a length he would go to butcher and 
disgrace me. I am to be brought in a party to the 
murder; I am to have held Glenure in talk for money 
and old clothes ; I am to be killed and shamed. If this 
is the way I am to fall, and me scarce a man — if this is 
the story to be told of me in all Seotland — if you are to 
believe it too, and my name is to be nothing but a 
by-word — Catriona, how can I go through with it ? 






DAVID BALFOI B 57 

The thing's not possible ; it's more than a man baa in 
hie heart." 

I poured my words out in a whirl, one upon the 
other ; and when I stopped I found her gazing on me 
with a startled face. 

" Glenure ! It is the Appin murder/' she said softly, 
but with a very deep surprise. 

I had turned back to bear her company, and we were 
now come near the head of the brae above Dean village. 
At this word I stepped in front of her like one sud- 
denly distracted. 

" For God's sake!" I cried, "for God's sake, what 
is this that I have done ? '*' and carried my fists to my 
temples. " What made me do it ? Sure, I am be- 
witched to say these things ! '' 

"In the name of heaven, what ails you now ?" she 
cried. 

" I gave my honour," I groaned, " I gave my honour 
and now I have broke it. 0, Catriona ! " 

" I am asking you what it is," she said ; " was it 
these tilings you should not have spoken ? And do you 
think /have no honour, then? or that I am one that 
would betray a friend ? I hold up my right hand to 
you and swear." 

"0, I knew you would be true!" said I. M Ift 
me— it's here. I that stood but this morning and out- 
faced them, that risked rather to die disgraced upon the 
gallows than do wrong— and a few hours after I throw 



88 DAVID BALFOUR 

my honour away by the roadside in common talk ! 
' There is one thing clear upon our interview/ says he, 
' that I can rely on your pledged word.' Where is 
my word now ? Who could believe me now ? You 
could not believe me. I am clean fallen down ; I had 
best die ! " All this I said with a weeping voice, but I 
had no tears in my body. 

" My heart- is sore for you/' said she, "but be sure 
you are too nice. I would not believe you, do you say ? 
I would trust you with anything. And these men ? I 
would not be thinking of them ! Men who go about to 
entrap and to destroy you ! Fy ! this is no time to 
crouch. Look up ! Do you not think I will be admir- 
ing you like a great hero of the good — and you a boy 
not much older than myself ? And because you said a 
word too much in a friend's ear, that would die ere she 
betrayed you — to make such a matter ! It is one thing 
that we must both forget." 

" Catriona," said I, looking at her, hang-dog, "is 
this true of it ? Would ye trust me yet ? " 

" Will you not believe the tears upon my face ? " she 
cried. ' * It is the world I am thinking of you, Mr. 
David Balfour. Let them hang you ; I will never for- 
get, I will grow old and still remember you. I think it 
is great to die so ; I will envy you that gallows." 

" And maybe all this while I am but a child frighted 
with bogles," said I. " Maybe they but make a mock 
of me." 









DAVID BALFOUR 89 

" It is what I must know," she said. "I must hear 
the whole. The harm is done at all events, and 1 must 
hear the whole.*' 

I had sat down on the wayside, where she took a 
place heside me, and I told her all that matter much as 
I have written it, my thoughts about her father's deal- 
ing being alone omitted. 

"Well," she said, when I had finished, "you are a 
hero, surely, and I never would have thought that 
same ! And I think you are in peril, too. 0, Symon 
Fraser ! to think upon that man ! For his life and the 
dirty money, to be dealing in such traffic ! " And just 
then she called out aloud with a queer word that was 
common with her, and belongs, I believe, to her own 
language. " My torture ! ,s says she, " look at the 
sun ! " 

Indeed, it was already dipping towards the moun- 
tains. 

She bid me come again soon, gave me her hand, and 
left me in a turmoil of glad spirits. I delayed to go 
home to my lodging, for I had a terror of immediate 
arrest ; but got some supper at a change house, and the 
better part of that night walked by myself in (he bar- 
ley-fields, and had such a sense of Catriona's presence 
that I seemed to bear her in my arms. 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE BRAVO 

The next day, August 29th, I kept my appointment 
at the Advocate's in a coat that I had made to my 
own measure, and was but newly ready. 

''Aha," says Prestongrange, "you are very fine to- 
day ; my misses are to have a fine cavalier. Come, I 
take that kind of you. I take that kind of you, Mr. 
David. 0, we shall do very well yet, and I believe 
your troubles are nearly at an end." 

" You have news for me ?" cried I. 

"Beyond anticipation," he replied. "Your testi- 
mony is after all to be received ; and you may go, if you 
will, in my company to the trial, which is to be held at 
Inverary, Thursday, 21st proximo.' 9 

I was too much amazed to find words. 

"In the meanwhile," he continued, "though I will 
not ask you to renew your pledge, I must caution you 
strictly to be reticent. To-morrow your precognition 
must be taken ; and outside of that, do you know, I 
think least said will be soonest mended." 

" I shall try to go discreetly," said I. "I believe it 
is yourself that I must thank for this crowning mercy, 



DAVID BALFOUB 91 

ami I do thank you gratefully. After yesterday, my 
lord, this is like the doors of Heaven. I cannot find it 
in my heart to get the thing believed." 

"Ah, but you must try and manage, you must try 
and manage to believe it,** says he, soothing-like, "and 
1 am very glad to hear your acknowledgment of obliga- 
tion, for I think you may be able to repay me very 
shortly" — he coughed — "or even now. The matter is 
much changed. Your testimony, which I shall not 
trouble you for to-day, will doubtless alter the com- 
plexion of the case for all concerned, and this makes it 
less delicate for me to enter with you on a .side issue."' 

"My lord,"' I interrupted, "excuse me for interrupt- 
ing you, but how has this been brought about ? The 
obstacles you told me of on Saturday appeared even to 
me to be quite insurmountable ; how has it been con- 
trived?-'' 

"My dear Mr. David,"' said he, "it would never do 
for me to divulge (even to you, as you say) the councils 
of the Government ; and you must content yourself, if 
you please, with the gross fact." 

He smiled upon me like a father as he spoke, playing 
the while witli a new pen ; methought it was impossible 
there could be any shadow of deception in the man : 
yet when he drew to him a sheet of paper, dipped his 
pen among the ink, and began again to address inc. I 
was somehow not so certain, and fell instinctively into 
an attitude of guard. 



92 DAVID BALFOUR 

"There is a point I wish to touch upon/' he began. 
" I purposely left it before upon one side, which need 
be now no longer necessary. This is not, of course, 
a part of your examination, which is to follow by an- 
other hand ; this is a private interest of my own. You 
say you encountered Breck upon the hill ?" 

"I did, my lord," said I. 

"This was immediately after the murder ?" 

"It was." 

"Did you speak to him ?" 

"I did." 

"You had known him before, I think?" says my 
lord, carelessly. 

" I cannot guess your reason for so thinking, my 
lord," I replied, "but such is the fact." 

"And when did you part with him again ?" said he. 

"I reserve my answer," said I. "The question will 
be put to me at the assize." 

"Mr. Balfour," said he, "will you not understand 
that all this is without prejudice to yourself ? I have 
promised you life and honour ; and, believe me, I can 
keep my word. You are therefore clear of all anxiety. 
Alan, it appears, you suppose you can protect ; and you 
talk to me of your gratitude, which I think (if you push 
me) is not ill-deserved. There are a great many differ- 
ent considerations all pointing the same way ; and I will 
never be persuaded that you could not help us (if you 
chose) to put salt on Alan's tail." 






DAVID BALFOUB 93 

" My lord/' said I, " I give you my word I do not so 
much us guess where Alan is." 

He paused a breath. " Nor how he might be 
found ? n he asked. 

I sat before him like a log of wood. 

" And so much for your gratitude, Mr. David ! " he 
observed. Again there was a piece of silence. " Well," 
said he, rising, " I am not fortunate, and we are a 
couple at cross purposes. Let us speak of it no more ; 
you will receive notice when, where, and by whom we 
are to take your precognition. And in the meantime, 
my misses must be waiting you. They will never for- 
give me if I detain their cavalier." 

Into the hands of these graces I was accordingly 
offered up, and found them dressed beyond what I had 
thought possible, and looking fair as a posy. 

As we went forth from the doors a small circumstance 
occurred which came afterwards to look extremely big. 
I heard a whistle sound loud and brief like a signal, and 
looking all about, spied for one moment the red head of 
Neil of the Tom, the son of Duncan. The next mo- 
ment he was gone again, nor could I see so much a.< the 
skirt-tail of Catriona, upon whom I naturally supposed 
him to be then attending. 

My three keepers led me out by Bristoand the Brunts- 
field Links ; whence a path carried us to Hope Park, 
a beautiful pleusancc, laid with gravel-walks, famished 
with seats and summer-sheds, and warded by a keeper. 



94 DAVID BALFOUR 

The way there was a little longsome ; the two younger 
misses affected an air of genteel weariness that clamped 
me cruelly, the eldest considered me with something 
that at times appeared like mirth ; and though I thought 
I did myself more justice than the day before, it was 
not without some effort. Upon our reaching the park 
I was launched on a bevy of eight or ten young gentle- 
men (some of them cockaded officers, the rest chiefly 
advocates) who crowded to attend upon these beauties ; 
and though I was presented to all of them in very good 
words, it seemed I was by all immediately forgotten. 
Young folk in a company are like to savage animals : 
they fall upon or scorn a stranger without civility, or I 
may say, humanity ; and I am sure, if I had been among 
baboons, they would have shown me quite as much of 
both. Some of the advocates set up to be wits, and 
some of the soldiers to be rattles ; and I could not tell 
which of these extremes annoyed me most. All had a 
manner of handling their swords and coat-skirts, for the 
which (in mere black envy) I could have kicked them 
from that park. I daresay, upon their side, they 
grudged me extremely the fine company in which I had 
arrived ; and altogether I had soon fallen behind, and 
stepped stiffly in the rear of all that merriment with my 
own thoughts. 

From these I was recalled by one of the officers, Lieu- 
tenant Hector Duncansby, a gawky, leering, Highland 
boy, asking if my name was not " Palfour." 



DAVID BALFOUB 95 

I told him it was, not very kindly, for his manner was 
scant civil. 

"Ha, Palfonr, " says he, and then, repeating it, 
"Palfonr, Palfonr !" 

" I am afraid you do not like my name, sir/' says I, 
annoyed with myself to be annoyed with such a rustical 
fellow. 

" No," says he, " but I wass thinking.'' 

" I would not advise you to make a practice of that, 
sir," says I. '" I feel sure you would not find it to agree 
with you.'' 

" Tit you effer hear where Alan Grigor fend the 
tangs ? ' ' said he. 

I asked him what he could possibly mean, and he 
answered, with a heckling laugh, that he thought I 
must have found the poker in the same [dace and swal- 
lowed it. 

There could be no mistake about this, and my cheek 
burned. 

" Before I went about to put affronts on gentlemen," 
said I, "I think I would learn the English language 
first." 

He took me by the sleeve with a nod and a wink, and 
led me quietly outside Hope Park. But no sooner were 
we beyond the view of the promenaders, than fche fash- 
ion of his countenance changed. " Y<>u tarn lowland 
scoon'rel ! " cries he, and hit me a buffet on the jaw with 
his closed fist. 



96 DAVID BALFOUR 

I paid him as good or better on the return ; where- 
upon he stepped a little back and took off his hat to me 
decorously. 

" Enough plows I think," says he. " I will be the 
offended shentleman, for who effer heard of such suf- 
feeciency as tell a shentlemans that is the king's officer 
he cannae speak Cot's English ? We have swords at our 
hurdies, and here is the King's Park at hand. Will ye 
walk first, or let me show ye the way ? " 

I returned his bow, told him to go first, and followed 
him. As he went I heard him grumble to himself 
about Cot's English and the King's coat, so that I 
might have supposed him to be seriously offended. 
But his manner at the beginning of our interview was 
there to belie him. It was manifest he had come pre- 
pared to fasten a quarrel on me, right or wrong ; man- 
ifest that I was taken in a fresh contrivance of my 
enemies ; and to me (conscious as I was of my defi- 
ciencies) manifest enough that I should be the one to 
fall in our encounter. 

As we came into that rough rocky desert of the 
King's Park I was tempted half-a-dozen times to take 
to my heels and run for it, so loath was I to show my 
ignorance in fencing, and so much averse to die or 
even to be wounded. But I considered if their malice 
went as far as this, it would likely stick at nothing ; 
and that to fall by the sword, however ungracefully, was 
still an improvement on the gallows. I considered be- 




TIT Yor KFFKIt HSAB wiiKKK Al.AN QRIGOB K\M> Tin: TANGS '-■ SAID Hi 



DAVID BALFOUR 97 

sides that by the unguarded pn-hiess of my words and 

the quickness of my blow I had put myself quite out of 
court ; and that even if I ran, my adversary would 
probably pursue and catch me, which would add dis- 
grace to my misfortune. So that, taking all in all. I 
continued marching behind him, much as a man follows 
the hangman, and certainly with no more hope. 

We went about the end of the long craigs. and came 
into the Hunter's Bog. Here, on a piece of fair turf, 
my adversary drew. There was nobody there to see us 
but some birds; and no resource for me but to follow 
his example, and stand on guard with the best face I 
could display. It seems it was not good enough for Mr. 
Duncansby, who spied some flaw in my manoeuvres, 
paused, looked upon me sharply, and came off and on, 
and menaced me with his blade in the air. As I had 
seen no such proceedings from Alan, and was besides a 
good deal affected with the proximity of death, I grew 
quite bewildered, stood helpless, and could have longed 
to run away. 

"Fat, deil, ails her ? " cries the lieutenant. 

And suddenly engaging, he twitched the sword <>ui 
of my grasp and sent it flying far among the rushes. 

Twice was this manoeuvre repeated ; and the third 
time when I brought back my humiliated weapon, 1 
found he had returned his own to the scabbard, and 
stood awaiting me with a face of some anger, and hie 

hands clasped under his skirt. 

7 



98 DAVID BALFOUR 

"Pe tamned if I touch you \" he cried, and asked 
me bitterly what right I had to stand up before " shen- 
tlemans " when I did not know the back of a sword 
from the front of it. 

I answered that was the fault of my upbringing ; and 
would he do me the justice to say I had given him all 
the satisfaction it was unfortunately in my power to 
offer, and had stood up like a man ? 

"And that is the truth/' said he. " I am fery prave 
myself, and pold as a lions. But to stand up there — 
and you ken naething of fence ! — the way that you did, 
I declare it was peyond me. And I am sorry for the 
plow ; though I declare I pelief your own was the elder 
brother, and my heid still sings with it. And I declare 
if I had kent what way it wass, I would not put a hand 
to such a j)iece of pusiness." 

"That is handsomely said," I replied, "and I am 
sure you will not stand up a second time to be the actor 
for my private enemies." 

"Indeed, no, Palfour," said he; "and I think I 
was used extremely suffeeciently myself to be set up 
to fecht with an auld wife, or all the same as a bairn 
whateffer ! And I will tell the Master so, and fecht 
him, by Cot, himself ! " 

" And if you knew the nature of Mr. Symon's quarrel 
with me," said I, "you would be yet the more affronted 
to be mingled up with such affairs." 

He swore he could well believe it ; that all the Lovats 



DAVID BALFOUR '.'.• 

were made of the same meal and the devil was the 
miller that ground that; then suddenly shaking me by 
the hand, he vowed I was a pretty enough fellow after 
all, that it was a thousand pities I had been neglected, 
and that if he could find the time, he would give an 
eye himself to have me educated. 

•• You can do me a better service than even what you 
propose,'' said. I ; and when he had asked its nature— 
"Come with me to the house of one of my enemies, 
and testify how I have carried myself this day," I told 
him. "That will be the true service. For though 
he has sent me a gallant adversary for the first, the 
thought in Mr. Symon's mind, is merely murder. There 
will be a second and then a third ; and by what you 
have seen of my cleverness with the cold steel, you can 
judge for yourself what is like to be upshot.'' 

"And I would not like it myself, if I was no more of 
a man than what you wass ! " he cried. " But I will do 
you right, Palfour. Lead on ! " 

If I had walked slowly on the way into thai accursed 
park my heels were light enough on the way out. They 
kept time to a very good old air, that is as ancient as 
the Bible, and the words of it arc : " Surely the bitter- 
ness of death is passed" I mind that I was extremely 
thirsty, and had a drink at Saint Margaret's well on the 
road down, and the sweetness of that water passed 
belief. We went through the sanctuary, up the Canon 
gate, in by the Netherbow, and straight to Preston- 



100 DAVID BALFOUR 

grange's door, talking as we came and arranging the 
details of our affair. The footman owned his master 
was at home, but declared him engaged with other gen- 
tlemen on very private business, and his door forbidden. 

" My business is but for three minutes, and it cannot 
wait," said I. " You may say it is by no means private, 
and I shall be even glad to have some witnesses." 

As the man departed unwillingly enough upon this 
errand, we made so bold as to follow him to the ante- 
chamber, whence I could hear for a while the murmur- 
ing of several voices in the room within. The truth is, 
they were three at the one table — Prestongrange, Symon 
Eraser, and Mr. Erskine, Sheriff of Perth ; and as they 
were met in consultation on the very business of the 
Appin murder, they were a little disturbed at my ap- 
pearance, but decided to receive me. 

" Well, well, Mr. Balfour, and what brings you here 
again ? and who is this you bring with you ? " says 
Prestongrange. 

As for Fraser, he looked before him on the table. 

" He is here to bear a little testimony in my favour, 
my lord, which I think it very needful you should 
hear," said I, and turned to Duncansby. 

" I have only to say this," said the lieutenant, " that 
I stood up this day with Palfour in the Hunter's Pog, 
which I am now fery sorry for, and he behaved himself 
as pretty as a shentlemans could ask it. And I have 
creat respects for Palfour," he added. 



. 






DAVID BAi,:<<>; R 101 

"I thank you for your honest expressions/' said I. 

Whereupon Duncansby made his bow to the company, 
and left the chamber, as we had agreed upon before 

"What have I to do with this ?" says Prestongrange. 

" I will tell your lordship in two words, "' said I. " I 
have brought this gentleman, a King's officer, to do 
me so much justice. Now I think my character is 
covered, and until a certain date, which your lordship 
can very well supply, it will be quite in vain to despatch 
against me any more officers. I will not cousent to 
fight my way through the garrison of the castle. " 

The veins swelled on Prestongrange's brow, and he 
regarded me with fury. 

" I think the devil uncoupled this dog of a lad be- 
tween my legs!'' he cried; and then, turning fiercely 
on his neighbour, " This is some of your work, Symon," 
he said. " I spy your hand in the business, and, let me 
tell you, I resent it. It is disloyal, when wo are agreed 
upon one expedient, to follow another in the dark. 
You are disloyal to me. What ! you let me send this 
lad to the place with my very daughters ! And because 
I let drop a word to you . . . Fy, sir, keep your dis- 
honours to yourself ! " 

Symon was deadly pale. "I will be a kick-ball be- 
tween you and the Duke no longer/' he exclaimed. 
"Either come to an agreement, or come to a differ, and 
have it out among yourselves. But I will no longer 
fetch and carry, and get your contrary instructions, and 



102 t>;o II > BALFOUR 

be blamed by both. For if I were to tell you what I 
think of all your Hanover business it would make your 
head sing." 

But Sheriff Erskine had preserved his temper, and 
now intervened smoothly. "And in the meantime," 
says he, "I think we should tell Mr. Balfour that his 
character for valour is quite established. He may sleep 
in peace. Until the date he was so good as to refer to 
it shall be put to the proof no more." 

His coolness brought the others to their prudence ; 
and they made haste, with a somewhat distracted civil- 
ity, to pack me from the house. 



. 



CHAPTER IX 

THE HEATHER OX FIRE 

When" I left Prestongrange that afternoon I was for 
the first time angry. The Advocate had made a mock 
of me. He had pretended my testimony was to be 
received and myself respected ; and in that very hour, 
not only was Syrnon practising against my life by the 
hands of the Highlaud soldier, but (as appeared from 
his own language) Prestongrange himself had some 
design in operation. I counted my enemies : Preston- 
grange with all the King's authority behind him ; and 
the Dake with the power of the West Highlands ; aud 
the Loyal interest by their side to help them with so 
great a force in the north, and the whole clan of old 
Jacobite spies and traffickers. And when I remembered 
James More, and the red head of Xeil the son of Dun- 
can, I thought there was perhaps a fourth in the con- 
federacy, and what remained of Rob Roy's old desperate 
sept of caterans would be banded agains! me with the 
others. One thing was requisite, some strong friend or 
wise adviser. The country must be full of such, both 
able and eager to support me, or Lovat and the Dake 



104 DAVID BALFOUR 

and Prestongrange had not been nosing for expedients ; 
and it made me rage to think that I might brush against 
my champions in the street and be no wiser. 

And just then (like an answer) a gentleman brushed 
against me going by, gave me a meaning look, and 
turned into a close. I knew him with the tail of my 
eye — it was Stewart the Writer; and, blessing my good 
fortune, turned in to follow him. As soon as I had 
entered the close I saw him standing in the mouth of a 
stair, where he made me a signal and immediately 
vanished. Seven storeys up, there he was again in a 
house door, the which he locked behind us after we had 
entered. The house was quite dismantled, with not a 
stick of furniture ; indeed, it was one of which Stewart 
had the letting in his hands. 

"Well have to sit upon the floor, " said he ; "but 
we're safe here for the time being, and I've been weary- 
ing to see ye, Mr. Balfour. " 

"How's it with Alan ? " I asked. 

" Brawl} T ," said he. " Andie picks him up at Gillane 
Sands to-morrow, Wednesday. He was keen to say 
good-by to ye, but the way that things were going, I 
was feared the pair of ye was maybe best apart. And 
that brings me to the essential : how does your busi- 
ness speed ? " 

"Why," said I, "I was told only this morning that 
my testimony was accepted, and I was to travel to In- 
verary with the Advocate, no less." 



DAVID BALFOn; 10') 

cried Stewart. "Ill never believe 

that." 

" I have maybe a suspicion of my own/' says I, u hut 
I would like fine to hear your reasons.'' 

" Well, I tell ye fairly, I'm horn-mad," cries Stewart. 
"If my one hand could pull their Government down I 
would pluck it like a rotten apple. I'm doer for Appin 
and for James of the Glens ; and, of course, it's my 
duty to defend my kinsman for his life. Hear how it 
goes with me, and I'll leave the judgment of it to your- 
self. The first thing they have to do is to get rid of 
Alan. They cannae bring in James as art and part 
until they've brought in Alan first as principal ; that's 
sound law : they could never put the cart before the 
horse." 

" And how are they to bring in Alan till they can 
catch him ? " says I. 

"Ah, but there is a way to evite that arrestment,'' 
said he. "Sound law, too. It would be a bonny thing 
if, by the escape of one ill-doer another was to go scathe- 
less, and the remeid is to summon the principal and put 
him to outlawry for the non-compearance. Now there'fi 
four places where a person can be summoned : at hia 
dwelling-house; at a place where he has resided forty 
days ; at the head burgh of the shire where he ordinarily 
resorts ; or lastly (if there be ground t<> think him forth 
of Scotland), at the cross of Edinburgh, and the pier and 
shore of Leith, for sixty days. The purpose of which 



106 DAVID BALFOUR 

last provision is evident upon its face : being that out- 
going ships may have time to carry news of the trans- 
action, and the summonsing be something other than a 
form. Now take the case of Alan. He has no dwelling- 
house that ever I could hear of; I would be obliged if 
anyone would show me where he has lived forty days 
together since the '45 ; there is no shire where he resorts 
whether ordinarily or extraordinarily ; if he has a domi- 
cile at all, which I misdoubt, it must be with his regi- 
ment m France ; and if he is not yet forth of Scotland 
(as we happen to know and they happen to guess) it 
must be evident to the most dull it's what he's aiming 
for. Where, then, and what way should he be sum- 
moned ? I ask it at yourself, a layman." 

"You have given the very words," said I. "Here 
at the cross, and at the pier and shore of Leith, for sixty 
days." 

"Ye're a sounder Scots lawyer than Prestongrange, 
then!" cries the Writer. "He has had Alan sum- 
moned once ; that was on the twenty-fifth, the day that 
we first met. Once, and done with it. And where ? 
Where, but at the cross of Inverary, the head burgh of 
the Campbells. A word in your ear, Mr. Balfour — 
they're not seeking Alan." 

"What do you mean?" I cried. "Not seeking 
him?" 

" By the best that I can make of it," said he. " Not 
wanting to find him, in my poor thought. They think 



DAVID BALFOUB 107 

perhaps lie might set up a fair defence. upon the back 
of which James, the man they're really after, might 

climb out. This is not a case, ye see. it's a con- 
spiracy. " 

"Yet I can tell yon Prestongrange asked after Alan 
keenly," said I; "though, when I come to think of it, 
he was something of the easiest pnt by." 

"See that !" says he. "But there ! I may be right 
or wrong, that's guesswork at the best, and let me get 
to my facts again. It comes to my ears that James and 
the witnesses — the witnesses, Mr. Balfour !— lay in close 
dungeons, and shackled forbye, in the military prison 
at Fort "William ; none allowed in to them, nor they to 
write. The witnesses, Mr. Balfour ; heard ye ever the 
match of that ? I assure ye, no old. crooked Stewart 
of the gang ever outfaced the law more impudently. 
It's clean in the two eyes of the Act of Parliament of 
1700, anent wrongous imprisonment. No sooner did I 
get the news than I petitioned the Lord Justice Clerk. 
I have his word to-day. There's law for ye ! here's 
justice ! " 

He put a paper in my hand, that same mealy-mouthed, 
false-faced paper that was printed since in the pam- 
phlet "by a bystander/' for behoof (as the title says) 
of James's "poor widow and five children." 

"See," said Stewart, "he couldn't dare to refuse 
me access to my client, so lie recommends the command' 
ing officer to let me in. Recommends ! — the Lord 



108 DAVID BALFOUE 

Justice Clerk of Scotland recommends. Is not the 
purpose of such language plain ? They hope the offi- 
cer may be so dull, or so very much the reverse, as to 
refuse the recommendation. I would have to make the 
journey back again betwixt here and Fort William. 
There would follow a fresh delay till I got fresh author- 
ity, and they had disavowed the officer — military man, 
notoriously ignorant of the law, and that— I ken the 
cant of it. Then the journey a third time ; and there 
we should be on the immediate heels of the trial before 
I had received my first instruction. Am I not right to 
call this a conspiracy ? " 

" It will bear that colour," said I. 

" And I'll go on to prove it you outright," said he. 
"They have the right to hold James in prison, yet they 
cannot deny me to visit him. They have no right to 
hold the witnesses ; but am I to get a sight of them, 
that should be as free as the Lord Justice Clerk him- 
self ? See — read : For the rest, refuses to give any 
orders to keepers of prisons tvlio are not accused as 
having done anything contrary to the duties of their 
office. Anything contrary ! Sirs ! And the Act of 
seventeen hunner ! Mr. Balfour, this makes my heart 
to burst. The heather is on fire inside my wame." 

" And the plain English of that phrase," said I, " is 
that the witnesses are still to lie in prison and you are 
not to see them ?" 

"And I am not to see them until Inverary, when the 






\ 



DAVID BALFOFR 109 

court is sot ! " cries he, " and then to hear Preston- 
grange upon the anxious responsibilities of his office 
and the great facilities afforded the defence ! But I'll 
begowk them there, Mr. David. I have a plan to way- 
lay the witnesses upon the road, and see if I cannae get 
a little harle of justice out of the military man notori- 
ously ignorant of the law that shall command the 
party.'' 

It was actually so — it was actually on the wayside Dear 
Tynedrum, and by the connivance of a soldier officer, 
that Mr. Stewart first saw the witnesses upon the case. 

" There is nothing that would surprise me in this 
business," I remarked. 

" I'll surprise you ere I'm done ! " cries he. " Do 
ye see this ? " — producing a print still wet from the 
press. "This is the libel: see, there's Prestongrange's 
name to the list of witnesses, and I find no word of 
any Balfour. But here is not the question. Who do 
ye think paid for the printing of this paper ?" 

"I suppose it would likely be King George," said I. 

" But it happens it was me ! " he cried. "Nol hut it 
was printed by and for themselves, for the Grants and 
the Erskines, and yon thief of the black mid night, 
Symon Fraser. But could / win to get a copy ? No ! 
I was to go blindfold to my defence ; I was to bear the 
charges for the first time in court alongst the jury." 

" Is not this against the law ? " 1 asked. 

"I cannot say so much," he replied. "It was B 



110 DAVID BALFOUR 

favour so natural and so constantly rendered (till this 
nonesuch business) that the law has never looked to it. 
And now admire the hand of Providence ! A stranger 
is in Fleming's printing house, spies a proof on the 
floor, picks it up, and carries it to me. Of all things, 
it was just this libel. Whereupon I had it set again — 
printed at the expense of the defence : sumptibus moesti 
rei; heard ever man the like of it ? — and here it is for 
anybody, the muckle secret out — all may see it now. 
But how do you think I would enjoy this, that has the 
life of my kinsman on my conscience ?" 

" Troth, I think you would enjoy it ill/' said I. 

"And now you see how it is," he concluded, "and 
why, when you tell me your evidence is to be let in, I 
laugh aloud in your face." 

It was now my turn. I laid before him in brief Mr. 
Symon's threats and offers, and the whole incident of 
the bravo, with the subsequent scene at Preston grange's. 
Of my first talk, according to promise, I said nothing, 
nor indeed was it necessary. All the time I was talking 
Stewart nodded his head like a mechanical figure ; and 
no sooner had my voice ceased, than he opened his 
mouth and gave me his opinion in two words, dwelling 
strong on both of them. 

" Disappear yourself," said he. 

" I do not take you," said I. 

" Then I'll carry you there," said he. " By my view 
of it you're to disappear whatever. 0, that's outside 



DAVID BALFOUR 1 1 1 

debate. The Advocate, who is not without some spunks 
of a remainder decency, has wrung your life-safe out of 
Symon and the Duke. He has refused to put yen on 
your trial, and refused to have you killed ; and there is 
the clue to their ill words together, for Symon and the 
Duke can keep faith with neither friend nor enemy. 
Ye're not to be tried then, and ye're not to be mur- 
dered ; but I'm in bitter error if ye're not to be kid- 
napped and carried away like the Lady Grange. Bet 
me what you please — there was their expedient ! " 

" You make me think/' said I, and told him of the 
whistle and the red-headed retainer, Neil. 

" Wherever James More is there's one big rogue, 
never be deceived on that,'' said he. "His father was 
none so ill a man, though a kenning on the wrong side 
of the law, and no friend to my family, that I should 
waste my breath to be defending him ! But as for 
James he's a brock and a blagyard. I like the appear- 
ing of this red-headed Neil as little as yourself. It 
looks uncanny : fiegh ! it smells bad. It was old Lovai 
that managed the Lady Grange affair ; if young Lovai 
is to handle yours, it'll be all in the family. What's 
James More in prison for? The same offence : abduc- 
tion. His men have had practice in the business. IK'll 
be to lend them to be Symon's instruments ; and the 
next thing we'll be hearing, James will have made his 
peace, or else he'll have escaped; and you'll be in Ben- 
becula or Applecross." 



112 DAVID BALFOUR 

" Ye make a strong case," I admitted. 

" And what I want,'' he resumed, "is that you should 
disappear yourself ere they can get their hands upon 
ye. Lie quiet until just before the trial, and spring 
upon them at the last of it when they'll be looking for 
you least. This is always supposing, Mr. Balfour, that 
your evidence is worth so very great a measure of both 
risk and fash." 

"1 will tell you one thing," said I. " I saw the 
murderer and it was not Alan." 

'•Then, by God, my cousin's saved !" cried Stewart. 
" You have his life upon your tongue ; and there's 
neither time, risk, nor money to be spared to bring you 
to the trial." He emptied his pockets on the floor. 
" Here is all that I have by me," he went on. " Take 
it, ye'll want it ere ye're through. Go straight down 
this close, there's a way out by there to the Lang- 
Dykes, and by my will of it ! see no more of Ediuburgh 
till the clash is over." 

" Where am I to go, then ? " I inquired. 

" And I wish that I could tell ye ! " says he, " but all 
the places that I could send ye to, would be just the 
places they would seek. No, ye must fend for yourself, 
and God be your guiding ! Five days before the trial, 
September the sixteen, get word to me at the King's 
Arms in Stirling ; and if ye've managed for yourself as 
long as that, I'll see that ye reach Inverary." 

" One thing more," said I. " Can I no see Alan ?" 






DAVID BALFOI R LIS 

Be Beemed boggled. "Hech, 1 would ratber you 
wnuldnae," said lie. " But I can never deny thai Alan 
is extremely keen of it, and is to lie this night by Sil- 
vermills on purpose. If you're sure that you're no! 
followed, Mr. Balfour — but make sure of that — lie in a 
good place and watch your road for a clear hour before 
ye risk it. It would be a dreadful business if both you 

and him was to miscarry ! " 

8 



CHAPTER X 

THE RED-HEADED MAN 

It was about half-past three when I came forth on 
the Lang Dykes. Dean was where I wanted to go. 
Since Catriona dwelled there, and the Glengyle Mac- 
gregors appeared almost certainly to be employed 
against me, it was just one of the few places I should 
have kept away from ; and being a very young man, and 
beginning to be very much in love, I turned my face in 
that direction without pause. As a salve to my con- 
science and common sense, however, I took a measure 
of precaution. Coming over the crown of a bit of a 
rise in the road, I clapped down suddenly among the 
barley and lay waiting. After a while, a man went by 
that looked to be a Highland man, but I had never seen 
him till that hour. Presently after came Neil of the 
red head. The next to go past was a miller's cart, and 
after that nothing but manifest country people. Here 
was enough to Have turned the most foolhardy from 
his purpose, but my inclination ran too strong the 
other way. I argued it out that if Neil was on that 
road, it was the right road to find him in, leading 






DAVID BALFOUR 115 

direct to his chief's daughter; as for the other High- 
landman, if I was to be startled oil by every Highland- 
man I saw. I would scarce reach anywhere. And having 
quite satisfied myself with this disingenuous debate, I 
made the better speed of it, and came a little after four 
to Mrs. Drummond-Ogilvy's. 

Both ladies were within the house ; and upon my 
perceiving them together by the open door, I plucked 
otf my hat and said, "Here was a lad come seeking 
saxpenee," which I thought might please the dowager. 

Catriona ran out to greet me heartily, and, to my 
surprise, the old lady seemed scarce less forward than 
herself. I learned long afterwards that she had 
despatched a horseman by daylight to Rankeillor at 
the Queensferry, whom she knew to be the doer for 
Shaws, and had then in her pocket a letter from that 
good friend of mine, presenting, in the most favourable 
view, my character and prospects. But had I read it 
I could scarce have seen more clear in her designs. 
Maybe 1 was country feed; at least, I was not so much 
so as she thought; and it was plain enough, even to 
my homespun wits, that she was bent to hammer up a 
match between her cousin and a beardless boy that was 
something of a laird in Lothian. 

"Saxpcnce had better take his broth with us, Cat- 
rine/' says she. " Run and tell the la— -." 

And for the little while we were alone was at a L r "od 
deal of pains to flatter me ; always cleverly, always 



116 DAVID BALFOUR 

with the appearance of a banter, still calling me 
Saxpeuce, but with such a turn that should rather 
uplift me in my own opinion. When Catriona re- 
turned the design became if possible more obvious; 
and she showed off the girl's advantages like a horse- 
couper with a horse. My face flamed that she should 
think me so obtuse. Now I would fancy the girl was 
being innocently made a show of, and then I could have 
beaten the old carline wife with a cudgel ; and now, 
that perhaps these two had set their heads together 
to entrap me, and at that I sat and gloomed betwixt 
them like the very image of ill-will. At last the match- 
maker had a better device, which was to leave the pair 
of us alone. When my suspicions are anyway roused it 
is sometimes a little the wrong side of easy to allay 
them. But though I knew what breed she was of, and 
that was a breed of thieves, I could never look in Catri- 
ona's face and disbelieve her. 

"I must not ask?" says she, eagerly, the same 
moment we were left alone. 

"Ah, but to-day I can talk with a free conscience/' 
I replied. " I am lightened of my pledge, and indeed 
(after what has come and gone since morning) I would 
not have renewed it were it asked." 

"Tell me," she said. "My cousin will not be so 
long." 

So I told her the tale of the lieutenant from the 
first step to the last of it, making it as mirthful as I 







BAXFKNCK HAS BBTTKB TAKE HM BROTH with US, < atkim:. BATB BHB 



DAVID BALFOUR 117 

could, and, indeed, then' was matter of mirth in that 
absurdity. 

"And I think you will l>e as little fitted for the 
rudas men as for the pretty ladies, after all ! " says she. 
when I had done. " But what was your father that 
he could not learn you to draw the sword ? It is most 
ungentle; I have not heard the match of that in any- 
one. " 

" It is most misconvenient at least," said I ; "and I 
think my father (honest man !) must have been wool- 
gathering to learn me Latin in the place of it. But you 
see I do the best I can, and just stand up like Lot's 
wife and let them hammer at me." 

'•Do you know what makes me smile?'' said she. 
"Well, it is this. I am made this way. that I should 
have been a man child. In my own thoughts it is bo 1 
am always ; and I go on telling myself about this thing 
that is to befall and that. Then it comes to the place 
of the fighting, and it comes over me that I am only a 
girl at all events, and cannot hold a sword or give one 
good blow ; and then I have to twist my story round 
about, so that the fighting is to stop, and yet me 
have the best of it, just like yon and the lieutenant : 
and I am the boy that makes the tine speeches all 
through, like Mr. David Balfour." 

"You are a bloodthirsty maid," said I. 

"Well, I know it is good to sew and spin, and 
to make samplers," she said, " hut if you were fco do 



118 DAVID BALFOUR 

nothing else in the great world, I think you will say 
yourself it is a driech business ; and it is not that I want 
to kill, I think. Did ever you kill anyone ?" 

" That I have, as it chances. Two, no less, and me 
still a lad that should be at the college," said I. " But 
yet, in the look-back, I take no shame for it." 

"But how did you feel, then — after it?" she 
asked. 

i - 'Deed, I sat down and grat like a bairn," said I. 

"I know that, too," she cried. "I feel where these 
tears should come from. And at any rate, I would not 
wish to kill, only to be Catherine Douglas that put her 
arm through the staples of the bolt, where it was 
broken. That is my chief hero. Would you not love 
to die so — for your king ?" she asked. 

" Troth," said I, " my affection for my king, God 
bless the puggy face of him, is under more control ; and 
I thought I saw death so near to me this day already, 
that I am rather taken up with the notion of living." 

"Right," she said, "the right mind of a man ! Only 
you must learn arms ; I would not like to have a friend 
that cannot strike. But it will not have been with the 
sword that you killed these two?" 

" Indeed, no," said I, " but with a pair of pistols. 
And a fortunate thing it was the men were so near- 
hand to me, for I am about as clever with the pistols as 
I am with the sword." 

So then she drew from me the story of our battle 



DAVID HANOI i: 1 19 

in the brig, which T bad omitted in my first account of 
my affairs. 

u Yes," said she, "yon are brave. And your friend, 
I admire and love him.* 

"Well, and I think any one would !" said 1. "He 
has li is faults like other folk; but he is brave and 
Btannch and kind, God bless him ! That will be a 
strange day when I forget Alan." And the though! of 
him, and that it was within my choice to speak with 
him that night, had almost overcome me. 

"And where will my head be gone that I have noi 
told my news I" she cried, and spoke of a letter from 
her father, bearing that she might visit him to-morrow 
in the castle whither he was now transferred, and that 
his affairs were mending. "You do not like to hear 
it." said she. " Will you judge my father ami nor 
know him ? " 

"I am a thousand miles from judging," I replied. 
"And I give you my word I do rejoice to know your 
heart is lightened. If my face fell at all. as I Buppoee 
it must, you will allow this is rather an ill day for com- 
positions, and the people in power extremely ill pen 
to be compounding with. T have Symon Fraser 
tremely heavy on my stomach still." 

"AhPshe cried, "you will not be evening these 
two; and you should bear in mind thai PrestdngTl 
and James More, my fattier, are of the one bl 1." 

"I never heard tell of that," said I. 



120 DAVID BALFOUR 

"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 Alpiu, 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 discoveries, 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 genera- 
tion 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 



DAVID BALPOUB 121 

sharply and the shadows fco run out long, I rose to take 

my leave. For my mind was now made up to Bay tare- 
well to Alan ; and it was needful I should see the tryst- 
ing 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 never.'' 

"It may bo so," said she. " And you are Bony i" 

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 — 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 1 
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 bo sur- 
prised my spirits that I cried out like one hurt. The 
colour came strung in her face, and Bhe Looked at me 
and nodded. 

"Oyes, Mr. David," said she, "that is what I think 
of you. The heart goes with the lips." 






122 DAVID BALFOUR 

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 Eiver, tow- 
ards Stockbridge and Silvermills. A path led in the 
foot of it, the water bickered and sang in the midst ; 
the sunbeams overhead struck out of the west among 
long shadows and (as the valley turned) made like a 
new scene and a new world of it at every corner. With 
Catriona behind and Alan before me, I was like one 
lifted up. The place besides, and the hour, and the 
talking of the water, infinitely pleased me ; and I 
lingered in my steps and looked before and behind me 
as I went. This was the cause, under providence, that 



. 



. 



DAVID BALFOUR L23 

I spied a little in my rear a red head among Borne 

bushes. 

Anger sprang in my heart, and I turned straight 
about and walked at a stiff pace to where I came from. 
The path lay close by the bushes where I had remarked 
the head. The cover came to the wayside, and as I 
passed I was all strung up to meet and to resist an on- 
fall. No such thing befell, I went by unmeddled with : 
and at that fear increased upon me. It was still 
day indeed, but the place exceeding solitary. If my 
haunters bad let slip that fair occasion I could but 
judge they aimed at something more than David Bal- 
four. The lives of Alan and James weighed upon my 
spirit with the weight of two grown bullocks. 

Catriona was yet in the garden walking by herself. 

"Catriona/' said I, ''you see me baek again." 

"With a changed face," said she. 

"I carry two men's lives besides my own,'' said I. 
"It would be a sin and a shame not to walk carefully. 
I was doubtful whether I did right to come here. I 
would like it ill, if it was by that means we were 
brought to harm." 

"I could tell you one that would be liking it Less, 
and will like little enough to hear you talking ;it this 
very same time," she cried. "What have 1 done, at all 
events ? " 

"0, you ! you arc not alone,'' I replied. " Bni since 
I went off I have been dogged again, and I can give you 



124 DAVID BALFOUR 

the name of him that follows me. It is Neil, son of 
Duncan, your man or your father's." 

" To be sure you are mistaken there/' she said, with 
a white face. "Neil is in Edinburgh on errands from 
my father." 

"It is what I fear," said I, "the last of it. But for 
his being in Edinburgh I think I can show you another 
of that. For sure you have some signal, a signal of 
need, such as would bring him to your help, if he was 
anywhere within the reach of ears and legs ? " 

" Why, how will you know that ? " says she. 

"By means of a magical talisman God gave to me 
when I was born, and the name they call it by is 
Common-sense," said I. " Oblige me so far as to make 
your signal, and I will show you the red head of Neil." 

No doubt but I spoke bitter and sharp. My heart 
was bitter. I blamed myself and the girl and hated 
both of us : her for the vile crew that she was come of, 
myself for my wanton folly to have stuck my head in 
such a byke of wasps. 

Catriona set her fingers to her lips and whistled 
once, with an exceeding clear, strong, mounting note, 
as full as a ploughman's. A while we stood silent ; and 
I was about to ask her to repeat the same, when I 
heard the sound of some one bursting through the 
bushes below on the braeside. I pointed in that 
direction with a smile, and presently Neil leaped into 
the garden. His eyes burned, and he had a black 



D W ll> BALFOUB 125 

knife (as they call it on the Highland Bide) naked in 
his hand; bnt, seeing me beside his mistress, Btood 

like a man struck. 

"He has come to your call," said I ; "judge how 
near he was to Edinburgh, or what was the nature of 
your father's errands. Ask himself. If I am to lose 
my life, or the lives of those that hang by me, through 
the means of your clan, let me go where I have to go 
with my eyes open.'' 

She addressed him tremulously in the Gaelic. 
Remembering Alan's anxious civility in that particular. 
I could have laughed out loud for bitterness ; here, 
sure, in the midst of these suspicions, was the hour 
she should have stuck by English. 

Twice or thrice they spoke together, and I could 
make out that Neil (for all his obsequiousness) was an 
angry man. 

Then she turned to me. "He swears it is not,'' Bhe 
said. 

" Catriona," said I, "do you believe the man your- 
self?" 

She made a gesture like wringing the hands. 

" How will I can know ? " she cried. 

"But I must find some means to know." said I. 
"I cannot continue to go dovering round in the black 
night with two men's lives at my girdle ! Catriona, trj 
to put yourself in my place, as I vow to God 1 try hard 
to put myself in yours. This is no kind of talk thai 



126 DAVID BALFOUR 

should ever have fallen between me and you ; no kind 
of talk ; my heart is sick with it. See, keep him here 
till two of the morning, and I care not. Try him with 
that." 

They spoke together once more in the Gaelic. 

"He says he has James More my fathers errand," 
said she. She was whiter than ever, and her voice 
faltered as she said it. 

"It is pretty plain now," said I, "and may God 
forgive the wicked ! " 

She said never anything to that, but continued 
gazing at me with the same white face. 

"This is a fine business," said I again. "Am I 
to fall, then, and those two along with me?" 

"0, what am I to do?" she cried. "Could I go 
against my father's orders, and him in prison, in the 
danger of his life ? " 

"But perhaps we go too fast," said I. "This 
may be a lie too. He may have no right orders ; all 
may be contrived by Symon, and your father knowing 
nothing." 

She burst out weeping between the pair of us ; and 
my heart smote me hard, for I thought this girl was 
in a dreadful situation. 

"Here," said I, "keep him but the one hour; and 
I'll chance it, and say God bless you." 

She put out her hand to me. " I will be needing 
one good word," she sobbed. 



DAVID BALFOUR 127 

"The full hour, then ?" said I, keeping her hand in 

mine. " Three lives of it, my lass ! " 

" The full hour ! " she said, and cried aloud on her 
Redeemer to forgive her. 

1 thought it no fit place for me, and fled. 



CHAPTER XI 

THE WOOD BY SILVERMILLS 

I lost no time, but down through the valley and by 
Stockbrig and Silvermills as hard as I could stave. 
It was Alan's tryst to lie every night between twelve 
and two " in a bit scrog of wood by east of Silver- 
mills and by south the south mill-lade/" This I found 
easy enough, where it grew on a steep brae, with the 
mill-lade flowing swift and deep along the foot of it ; 
and here I began to walk slower and to reflect more 
reasonably on my employment. I saw I had made but 
a fool's bargain with Catriona. It was not to be 
supposed that Neil was sent alone upon his errand, 
but perhaps he was the only man belonging to James 
More ; in which case, I should have done all I could to 
hang Catriona's father, and nothing the least material 
to help myself. To tell the truth, I fancied neither 
one of these ideas. Suppose, by holding back Neil, the 
girl should have helped to hang her father, I thought 
she would never forgive herself this side of time. And 
suppose there were others pursuing me that moment, 
what kind of a gift was I come bringing to Alan ? and 
how would I like that ? . 



T)AVT1) BALFOUR 129 

I was up with the west end of that wood when these 
two considerations struck me like a cudgel. My feet 
stopped of themselves and my heart along with them. 
" What wild game is this that I have been playing ?" 
thought I ; and turned instantly upon my heels to go 
elsewhere. 

This brought my face to Silvermills ; the path came 
past the village with a crook, but all plainly visible ; 
and, Highland or Lowland, there was nobody stirring. 
Here was my advantage, here was just such a con- 
juncture as Stewart had counselled me to profit by, 
and I ran by the side of the mill-lade, fetched about 
beyond the east corner of the wood, threaded through 
the midst of it, and returned to the west selvage, 
whence I could again command the path, and yet be 
myself unseen. Again it was all empty, and my heart 
began to rise. 

For more than an hour I sat close in the border of 
the trees, and no hare or eagle could have kept a more 
particular watch. When that hour began the sun was 
already set, but the sky still all golden and the daylight 
clear ; before the hour was done it had fallen to be 
half mirk, the images and distances of things were 
mingled, and observation began to be difficult. All 
that time not a foot of man had come east from Silver- 
mills, and the few that had gone west were honest 
countryfolk and their wives upon the road to bed. If 
I were tracked by the most cunning spies in Europej 1 



130 DAVID BALFOUR 

judged ifc was beyond the course of nature they could 
have any jealousy of where I was ; and going a little 
further home into the wood I lay down to wait for 
Alan. 

The strain of my attention had been great, for I had 
watched not the path only, but every bush and field 
within my vision. That was now at an end. The 
moon, which was in her first quarter, glinted a little in 
the wood ; all round there was a stillness of the coun- 
try ; and as I lay there on my back, the next three or 
four hours, I had a fine occasion to review my conduct. 

Two things became plain to me first : that I had had 
no right to go that day to Dean, and (having gone 
there) had now no right to be lying where I was. 
This (where Alan was to come) was just the one wood 
in all broad Scotland that was, by every proper feeling, 
closed against me ; I admitted that, and yet stayed on, 
wondering at myself. I thought of the measure with 
which I had meted to Catriona that same night ; how 
I had prated of the two lives I carried, and had thus 
forced her to en jeopardy her father's ; and how I was 
here exposing them again, it seemed in wantonness. 
A good conscience is eight parts of courage. No sooner 
had I lost conceit of my behaviour, than I seemed to 
stand disarmed amidst a throng of terrors. Of a sud- 
den I sat up. How if I went now to Prestongrange, 
caught him (as I still easily might) before he slept, and 
made a full submission? Who could blame me? Not 



DAVID BALFOUB 131 

Stewart the writer; I bad but to say thai I was fol- 
lowed, despaired of getting clear, and bo gave in. Not 
Catriona: here, too, I bad my answer ready ; 1 1 wit I 
could nut bear she should expose her father. So, in a 
moment, I could lay all these troubles by, which were 
after all and truly none of mine ; swim clear of the 
Appin murder ; get forth out of handstroke of all the 
Stewarts and Campbells, all the whigs and tories, in the 
land ; and live thenceforth to my own mind, and be 
able to enjoy and to improve my fortunes, and devote 
some hours of my youth to courting Catriona, which 
would be surely a more suitable occupation than to 
hide and run and be followed like a hunted thief, and 
begin over again the dreadful miseries of my escape 
with Alan. 

At first I thought no shame of this capitulation ; I 
was only amazed I had not thought upon the thing and 
done it earlier ; aud began to inquire into the causes 
of the change. These I traced to my lowness of spirits, 
that back to my late recklessness, and that again to the 
common, old, public, disconsidered sin of self-indul- 
gence. Instantly the text came in my head, k ' HbtD 
can Satan cast out Satan?'' What? (I thought) I 
had, by self-indulgence, and the following of pleasant 
paths, and the lure of a young maid, cast myself 
wholly out of conceit with my own character, and 
jeopardised the lives of James and Alan ? And I was 
to seek the way out by the same read as I had 



132 DAVID BALFOUR 

entered in ? No ; the hurt that had been caused by 
self-indulgence must be cured by self-denial ; the flesh 
I had pampered must be crucified. I looked about me 
for that course which I least liked to follow : this was 
to leave the wood without waiting to see Alan, and go 
forth again alone, in the dark and in the midst of my 
perplexed and dangerous fortunes. 

I have been the more careful to narrate this passage 
of my reflections, because I think it is of some utility, 
and may serve as an example to young men. But there 
is reason (they say) in planting kale, and even in ethic 
and religion, room for common sense. It was already 
close on Alan's hour, and the moon was down. If I 
left (as I could not very decently whistle to my spies to 
follow me) they might miss me in the dark and tack 
themselves to Alan by mistake. If I stayed, I could at 
the least of it set my friend upon his guard which 
might prove his mere salvation. I had adventured 
other peoples' safety in a course of self-indulgence ; to 
have endangered them again, and now on a mere design 
of penance, would have been scarce rational. Accord- 
ingly, I had scarce risen from my place ere I sat down 
again, but already in a different frame of spirits, and 
equally marvelling at my past weakness and rejoicing in 
my present composure. 

Presently after came a crackling in the thicket. 
Putting my mouth near down to the ground, I whistled 
a note or two of Alan's air ; an answer came, in the like 



DAVID BALFOUE 133 

guarded tone, and soon we had thralled together in the 
dark. 

" Is this you a( last, Davie ?" he whispered. 

"Just myself/' said I. 

"God, man, but I've been wearying to see ye!" 
says he. "I've had the longest kind of a time. A' day, 
I've had my dwelling into the inside of a stack of 
hay, where I couldnae see the nebs of my ten fingers ; 
and then two hours of it waiting here for you, and you 
never coming! Dod, and ye're noue too soon the way 
it is, with me to sail the morn ! The morn ? what am 
I saying ? — the day, I mean.'' 

" Ay, Alan, man, the day, sure enough," said I. 
"It's past twelve now, Burely, and ye sail the day. 
This'll be a long road you have before yon." 

"We'll have a long crack of it first," said he. 

"Well, indeed, and I have a good deal it will be 
telling you to hear," said I. 

And I told him what behooved, making rather a 
jumble of it, bui clear enough when done. lit' heard 
me out with very few questions, laughing here and 
there like a man delighted : and the sound of his 
laughing (above all there, in the dark, where neither 
one of us could see the other) was extraordinary 
friendly to my heart. 

"Ay, Davie, ye're a queer character," says he, when 
I had done: "a <[iitvi- bitch after a', and 1 ha\r no 
mind of meeting with the like of ye. As for your 



134 DAVID BALFOUR 

story, Preston grange is a "Whig like yourself so I'll say 
the less of him ; and, dod ! I believe he was the best 
friend ye had, if ye conld only trust him. But Symon 
Fraser and James More are my ain kind of cattle, and 
I'll give them the name that they deserve. The 
muckle black de'il was father to the Frasers, a'body 
kens that ; and as for the Gregara, I never could abye 
the reek of them since I could stotter on two feet. I 
bloodied the nose of one, I mind, when I was still so 
wambly on my legs that I cowped upon the top of him. 
A proud man was my father that day, God rest him ! 
and I think he had the cause. I'll never can deny but 
what Robin was something of a piper," he added; 
" but as for James More, the de'il guide him for me ! " 

44 One thing we have to consider," said I. "Was 
Charles Stewart right or wrong ? Is it only me they're 
after, or the pair of us ? " 

"And what's your ain opinion, you that's a man of 
so much experience ? " said he. 

" It passes me," said I. 

" And me too," says Alan. "Do ye think this lass 
would keep her word to ye ? " he asked. 

" I do that," said I. 

"Well, there's nae telling," said he. "And any- 
way, that's over and done : he'll be joined to the rest 
of them lang syne." 

"How many would ye think there would be of 
them ?" I asked. 



DAVID BALFOUB L86 

"That depends," said Alan. "If it was only you, 
they would likely send two-three lively, brisk young 
birkies, and if they thought that I was to appear in the 
employ, I daresay ten or twelve," said he. 

It was no use, I gave a little crack of laughter. 

" And I think your own two eyes will have seen me 
drive that number, or the double of it, nearer hand ! " 
cries he. 

"It matters the less," said I, " because I am well rid 
of them for this time." 

"Xae doubt that's your opinion," said he; "but I 
wouldnae be the least surprised if they were hunkering 
this wood. Ye see, David man, they'll be Hieland 
folk. There'll be some Frasers, I'm thinking, and 
some of the Gregara ; and I would never deny but what 
the both of them, and the Gregara in especial, were 
clever experienced persons. A man kens little till he's 
driven a spreagh of neat cattle (say) ten miles through 
a throng lowland country and the black soldiers may he- 
at his tail. It's there that I learned a great part of my 
penetration. And ye need nae tell me : it's better 
than war ; which is the next best, however, though 
generally rather a bauchle of a business. Now the 
Gregara have had grand practice." 

"No doubt that's a branch of education that was left 
out with me," said I. 

" And I can see the marks of it upon ye constantly," 
said Alan. "But that's the strange thing about yon 



136 DAVID BALFOUR 

folk of the college learning : ye're ignorant, and ye 
cannae see 't. Wae's me for my Greek and Hebrew ; 
but, man, I ken that I dinnae ken them — there's the 
differ of it. Now, here's yon. Ye lie on your wame a 
bittie in the bield of this wood, and ye tell me that 
ye've cuist off these Erasers and Macgregors. Why ! 
Because I couhhiae see them, says you. Ye blockhead, 
that's their livelihood." 

"Take the worst of it," said I, "and what are we 
to do ? " 

"I am thinking of that same," said he. " We might 
twine. It wouldnae be greatly ^o my taste ; and forbye 
that, I see reasons against it. First, it's now unco 
dark, and it's just humanly possible we might give 
them the clean slip. If we keep together, we make but 
the ae line of it ; if we gang separate, we make twae of 
them : the more likelihood to stave in upon some of 
these gentry of yours. And then, second, if they keep 
the track of us, it may come, to a fecht for it yet, 
Davie ; and then, I'll confess I would be blythe to have 
you at my oxter, and I think you would be none the 
worse of having me at yours. So/ by my way of it, we 
should creep out of this, wood no further gone than 
just the inside of next minute, and hold away cast for 
Gillane, where I'm to find my ship. It'll be like old 
days while it lasts, Davie ; and (come the time) we'll 
have to think what you should be doing. I'm wae to 
leave ye here, wanting me." 



DAVID BALFOUR 137 

"Have with ye, then ! n says I. "Do ye gang back 

where you were stopping."' 

'' De'il a fear !" said Alan. "They were good folks 
to me, but I think they would be a good deal dis- 
appointed if they saw my bonny face again. For (the 
way times go) I amnae just what ye could call a 
Walcome Guest. Which makes me the keener for your 
company, Mr. David Balfour of the Shaws, and set ye 
up ! Fur, leave aside twa cracks here in the wood with 
Charlie Stewart, I have scarce said black or white since 
the day we parted at Corstorphine. " 

With which he rose from his place, and we began to 
move quietly eastward through the wood. 



CHAPTER XII 

ON THE MARCH AGAIN WITH ALAN 

It was likely between one and two ; the moon (as I 
have said) was down ; a strongish wind, carrying a 
heavy wrack of cloud, had set in suddenly from the 
west ; and we began our movement in as black a night 
as ever a fugitive or a murderer wanted. The white- 
ness of the path guided us into the sleeping town of 
Broughton, thence through Picarcly, and beside my 
old acquaintance the gibbet of the two thieves. A lit- 
tle beyond we made a useful beacon, which was a light 
in an upper window of Lochend. Steering by this, but 
a good deal at random, and witli some trampling of the 
harvest, and stumbling and falling down upon the 
bauks, we made our way across country, and won forth 
at last upon the linky, boggy muirland that they call 
the Figgate Whins. Here, under a bush of whin, we 
lay down the remainder of that night and slumbered. 

The day called us about five. A beautiful morning 
it was, the high westerly wind still blowing strong, but 
the clouds all blown away to Europe. Alan was already 
sitting up and smiling to himself. It was my first 



DAVID BALI <H' R 139 

sight of my friend since we were parted, and I looked 
upon him with enjoyment. lie had still the same big 
great-coat on his back ; but (what was new) lie had 
now a pair of knitted boot-hose drawn above the knee. 
Doubtless these were intended for disguise ; but, as the 
day promised to be warm, he made a most unseasonable 
figure. 

" Well, Davie," said he, " is this no a bonny morn- 
ing ? Here is a day that looks the way that a day 
ought to. This is a great change of it from the belly 
of my haystack ; and while you were there sottering 
and sleeping I have done a thing that maybe I do over 
seldom." 

" And what was that ? n said I. 

" 0, just said my prayers/' said he. 

' ' And where are my gentry, as ye call them ? " I 
asked. 

" Gude kens,'' says he ; " and the short and the long 
of it is that we must take our chance of them. Up 
with your foot-soles, Davie ! Forth, Fortune, once 
again of it ! And a bonny walk we are like to have." 

So we went east by the beach of the sea, towards 
where the salt- pans were smoking in by the Esk mouth. 
No doubt there was a by-ordinary bonny blink of morn- 
ing sun on Arthur's Seat and the green Pentlands ; and 
the pleasantness of the day appeared to set Alan among 
nettles. 

" I feel like a gomeral,"says he, "to beieaving Scot- 



140 DAVID BALFOUR 

land on a day like this. It sticks in my head ; I would 
maybe like it better to stay here and hing." 

" Ay, but ye wouldnae, Alan/' said I. 

" No but what France is a good place too," he ex- 
plained ; " but it's some way no the same. It's brawer, 
I believe, but it's no Scotland. I like it fine when I'm 
there, man ; yet I kind of weary for Scots divots and 
the Scots peat-reek." 

" If that's all you have to complain of, Alan, it's no 
such great affair,'' said I. 

" And it sets me ill to be complaining, whatever," 
said he, " and me but new out of yon de'il's hay- 
stack." 

" And so you were unco' weary of your haystack ? " 
I asked. 

" Weary's nae word for it," said he. " I'm not just 
precisely a man that's easily cast down ; but I do better 
with caller air and the lift above my head. I'm like 
the auld Black Douglas (wasnae't ?) that likit better to 
hear the laverock sing than the mouse cheep. And yon 
place, ye see, Davie — whilk was a very suitable place to 
hide in, as I'm free to own — was pit mirk from dawn to 
gloaming. There were days (or nights, for how would 
I tell one from other ?) that seemed to me as long as a 
long winter." 

" IIow did you know the hour to bide your tryst ? " 
I asked. 

" The goodman brought me my meat and a drop 




\ BROUGHT MB MY MEAT \ \ D \ DROP BRANDT, \M 

OVF To BAT 1 I Bl . ABOI T l.l I I \ l v." BAID III 



142 DAVID BALFOUR 

" So ye were friclrened of Sym Fraser ? " tie asked 
once. 

" In troth was I ! " cried I. 

" So would I have been, Davie," said be. " And tbat 
is indeed a dreidful man. But it is only proper to give 
the de'il his due ; and I can tell you he is a most re- 
spectable person on the field of war." 

" Is he so brave ? " I asked. 

" Brave ! " said he. " He is as brave as my steel 
sword." 

The story of my duel set him beside himself. 

" To think of that ! " he cried. " I showed ye the 
trick in Corrynakiegh too. And three times — three 
times disarmed ! It's a disgrace upon my character 
that learned ye !■ Here, stand up, out with your aim; 
ye shall walk no step beyond this place upon the road 
till ye can do yoursel' and me mair credit." 

"Alan," said I, "this is midsummer madness. 
Here is no time for fencing lessons." 

"I cannae well say no to that," he admitted. 
" But three times, man ! And you standing there like 
a straw bogle and rinning to fetch your ain sword like 
a doggie with a pocket-napkin ! David, this man Dun- 
cansby must be something altogether by-ordinar ! He 
maun be extraordinar skilly. If I had the time, I 
would gang straight back and try a turn at him mysel'. 
The man must be a provost." 

" You silly fellow, " said I, " you forget it was just me." 



DAVID BALFOUfi 143 

"Na," said he, "bul three times V* 

-• When ye ken yourself thai I am fair incompetent/ 5 

I cried. 

" Well, I never beard tell the equal of it," said he. 

" I promise you the one thing, Alan,'' said I. " The 
next time that we forgather, I'll be better learned. 
You shall not continue to bear the disgrace of a friend 
that cannot strike." 

" Ay, the next time ! " says he. " And when will 
thai be, I would like to ken ?" 

" Well, Alan, I have had some thoughts of that, 
too," said I; "and my plan is this. It's my opinion 
to be called an advocate." 

" That's but a weary trade, Davie," says Alan, " and 
rather a blagyard one forby. Ye would be better in a 
king's coat than that." 

" And no doubt that would be the way to have us 
meet," cried I. " But as you'll be in King Lewie's 
coat, and I'll be in King Geordie's, we'll have a dainty 
meeting of it." 

"There's some sense in that," he admitted. 

"An advocate, then, it'll have to be," I continued, 
"and I think it a more suitable trade for a gentleman 
that was three times disarmed. But the beauty of the 
thing is this : that one of the best colleges for that kind 
of learning — and the one where my kinsman, Pilrig, 
made his studies— is the college of Leyden in Holland. 
Now. w hat Bay you, Alan ? Could not a cadet of 



/ 



144 DAVID BALFOUR 

Royal Fcossais get a furlough, slip over the marches, 
and call in upon a Leyclen student !" 

" Well, and I would think he could ! " cried he. 
" Ye see, I stand well in with my colonel, Count 
Drummond-Melfort ; and, what's mair to the purpose, 
I have a cousin of mine lieutenant-colonel in a regiment 
of the Scots- Dutch. Naething could be mair proper 
than what I would get a leave to see Lieutenant-Col- 
onel Stewart of Halkett's. And Lord Melfort, who is 
a very scienteefic kind of a man, and writes books like 
Caesar, would be doubtless very pleased to have the 
advantage of my observes." 

" Is Lord Melfort an author, then?" I asked, for 
much as Alan thought of soldiers, I thought more of 
the gentry that write books. 

"The very same, Davie," said he. "One would 
think a colonel would have something better to attend 
to. But what can I say that make songs ? " 

"Well, then," said I, "it only remains you should 
give me an address to write you at in Franco ; and 
as soon as I am got to Leydcn I will send you 
mine." 

" The best will be to write mo in the care of my 
chieftain," said he, " Charles Stewart, of Ardsheil, 
Esquire, at the town of Melons, in the Isle of France. 
It might take long, or it might take short, but it would 
aye get to my hands at the last of it." 

We had a haddock to our breakfast in Musselburgh, 



DAVID BALFOUR 145 

where it amused me vastly to hear Alan. His great- 
coat and boot-hose were extremely remarkable this 
warm morning, and perhaps some hint of an explana- 
tion had been wise ; but Alan went into that matter 
like a business, or I should rather say, like a diversion. 
He engaged the good wife of the house with some com- 
pliments upon the rizzoring of our haddocks ; and the 
whole of the rest of our stay held her in talk about a 
cold he had taken on his stomach, gravely relating all 
manner of symptoms and sufferings, and hearing with a 
vast show of interest all the old wives' remedies she 
could supply him with in return. 

We left Musselburgh before the first ninepenny 
coach was due from Edinburgh, for (as Alan said) that 
was a rencounter we might very well avoid. The wind, 
although still high, was very mild, the sun shone 
strong, and Alan began to suffer in proportion. From 
Prestonpans he had me aside to the field of Gladsmuir, 
where he exerted himself a great deal more than need- 
ful to describe the stages of the battle. Thence, at his 
old round, pace, we travelled to Cockenzie. Though 
they were building herring-busses there at Mrs. Cadell's, 
it seemed a desert-like, back-going town, about half 
full of ruined houses ; but the ale-house was clean, and 
Alan, who was now in a glowing heat, must indulge 
himself with a bottle of ale, and carry on to the new 
luckie with the old story of the cold upon his stomach, 

only now. the symptoms were all different. 

10 



146 DAVID BALFOUR 

I sat listening ; and it came in my mind that I had 
scarce ever heard him address three serious words to 
any woman, but he was always drolling and fleering 
and making a private mock of them, and yet brought 
to that business a remarkable degree of energy and 
interest. Something to this effect I remarked to him, 
when the good wife (as chanced) was called away. 

"What do ye want?" says he. "A man should 
aye put his best foot forrit with the womenkind ; he 
should aye give them a bit of a story to divert them, 
the poor lambs ! It's what ye should learn to attend 
to, David ; ye should get the principles, it's like a 
trade. Now, if this had been a young lassie, or ony- 
ways bonnie, she would never have heard tell of my 
stomach, Davie. But aince they're too old to be seek- 
ing joes, they a' set up to be apotecaries. Why ? 
What do I ken ? They'll be just the way God made 
them, I suppose. But I think a man would be a 
gomeral that didnae give his attention to the same." 

And here, the luckie coming back, he turned from 
me as if with impatience to renew their former con- 
versation. The lady had branched some while before 
from Alan's stomach to the case of a good brother of 
her own in Aberlady, whose last sickness and demise 
she was describing at extraordinary length. Sometimes 
it was merely dull, sometimes both dull and awful, for 
she talked with unction. The upshot was that I fell in 
a deep muse, looking forth of the window on the road, 



DAVID BALFOIR 147 

and scarce marking what I saw. Presently bad any 

been looking they might have seen me to start 

u We pit a fomentation to his feet," the good wife 
was saying, "and a het stane to li is wame, and we gied 
him hyssop and water of pennyroyal, and fine, clean 
balsam of sulphur for the hoast. . . ." 

" Sir," says I, cutting very quietly in, " there's a 
friend of mine gone by the house." 

"Is that e'en sae?" replies Alan, as though it were 
a thing of small account. And then, " Ye were saying, 
mem ? " says he ; and the wearyf nl wife went on. 

Presently, however, he paid her with a half-crown 
piece, and she must go forth after the change. 

" Was it him with the red head ? " asked Alan. 

"Ye have it," said I. 

"What did I tell you in the wood?" he cried. 
" And yet it's strange he should be here too ! Was 
he his lane ? " 

" His lee-lane for what I could see," said I. 

" Did he gang by ?" he asked. 

"Straight by," said I, "and looked neither to the 
right nor left." 

"And that's queerer yet," said Alan. "It sticks 
in my mind, Davie, that we should be stirring. But 
where to ?— deil hae't ! This is like old days fairly," 
cries he. 

"There is one big differ, though," said I, "that 
now we have money in our pockets." 



148 DAVI'D BALFOUR 

" And another big differ, Mr. Balfour," says he, 
" that now we have dogs at our tail. They're on the 
scent ; they're in full cry, David. It's a bad business 
and be damned to it." And he sat thinking hard with 
a look of his that I knew well. 

" I'm saying, Luckie," says he, when the goodwife re- 
turned, " have ye a back road out of this change house ?" 

She told him there was and where it led to. 

" Then, sir," says he to me, " I think that will be 
the shortest road for us. And here's good-bye to ye, 
my braw woman ; and I'll no forget thon of the 
cinnamon water." 

We went out by way of the woman's kale yard, and 
up a lane among fields. Alan looked sharply to all 
sides, and seeing we were in a little hollow place of the 
country, out of view of men, sat down. 

"Now for a council of war, Davie," said he. " But 
first of all, a bit lesson to ye. Suppose that I had 
been like you, what would yon old wife have minded 
of the pair of us ? Just that we had gone out by the 
back gate. And what does she mind now ? A fine, 
canty, friendly, cracky man, that suffered with the 
stomach, poor body ! and was real ta'en up about the 
goodbrother. man, David, try and learn to have 
some kind of intelligence ! " 

"I'll try, Alan," said I. 

" And now for him of the red head," says he ; " was 
he gaun fast or slow ? " 



DAVID BALF01 R 14U 

"Betwixt anil between," said I. 

"No kind of a hurry about the man ? w be asked. 

" Never a sign of it," said I. 

"Nhm !" said Alan, "it looks queer. We saw 
nothing of them this morning on the Whins ; lie's 
passed us by, he doesnae seem to be looking, and yet 
here he is on our road ! Dod, Davie, I begin to take 
a notion. I think it's no you they're seeking, I think 
it's me ; and I think they ken fine where they're 
gaun." 

"They ken ?" I asked. 

"I think Andie Scougal's sold me — him or his mate 
wha kent some part of the affair — or else Chairlie's 
clerk callant, which would be a pity too," says Alan ; 
" and if you askit me for just my inward private con- 
viction, I think there'll be heads cracked on Gillane 
sands." 

"Alan," I cried, "if you're at all right there'll be 
folk there and to spare. It'll be small service to crack 
heads." 

" It would aye be a satisfaction though." says Alan. 
"But bide a bit, bide a bit : I'm thinking — and thanks 
to this bonny westland wind, I believe I've still a 
chance of it. It's this way. Davie. I'm no tryst ed 
with this man Scougal till the gloaming conies. But" 
says he, " if I can get a bit of a wind <>»f of the west 
I'll be there long or that," he says, "and lie-to for ye 
behind the lde of Fidra. Now if your gentry kens the 



150 DAVID BALFOUR 

place, they ken the time forbye. Do ye see me coming, 
Davie ? Thanks to Johnnie Cope and other red-coat 
gomerals, I should ken this country like the back of my 
hand ; and if ye're ready for another bit run with Alan 
Breck, we'll can cast back inshore, and come down to 
the seaside again by Dirleton. If the ship's there, we'll 
try and get on board of her. If she's no there, I'll just 
have to get back to my weary haystack. But either 
way of it, I think we will leave your gentry whistling 
on their thumbs." 

" I believe there's some chance in it," said I. " Have 
on with ye, Alan ! " 



CHAPTER XIII 

GILLANE SANDS 

I did not profit by Alan's pilotage as he had done by 
his marchings under General Cope ; for I can scarce 
tell what way we went. It is my excuse that we 
travelled exceeding fast. Some part we ran, some 
trotted, and the rest walked at a vengeance of a pace. 
Twice, while we were at top speed, we ran against 
country-folk ; but though we plumped into the first 
from round a corner, Alan was as ready as a loaded 
musket. 

" Hae ye seen my horse ? " he gasped. 

"Na, man, I haenae seen nae horse the day," replied 
the countryman. 

And Alan spared the time to explain to him thai we 
were travelling " ride and tie " ; that our charger had 
escaped, and it was feared he had gone home to Linton. 
Not only that, but he expended some breath (of which 
he had not very much left) to curse his own misfortune 
and my stupidity which was said to be its cause. 

"Them that cannae tell the truth," he observed t<> 
myself as we went on again, " should be aye mindfif 
to leave an honest, handy lee behind them. If folk 



152 DAVID BALFOUR 

dinnae ken what ye're doing, Davie, they're terrible 
taken up with it ; but if they think they ken, they care 
nae mail* for it than what I do for pease porridge." 

As we had first made inland, so our road came in the 
end to lie very near due north ; the old Kirk of Aber- 
lady for a landmark on the left ; on the right, the top 
of the Berwick Law ; and it was thus we struck the 
shore again, not far from Dirleton. From North Ber- 
wick west to Gillane Ness there runs a string of four 
small islets, Craiglieth, the Lamb, Fidra, and Eye- 
brough, notable by their diversity of size and shape. 
Fidra is the most particular, being a strange grey islet 
of two humps, made the more conspicuous by a piece of 
ruin ; and I mind that (as we drew closer to it) by 
some door or window of these ruins the sea peeped 
through like a man's eye. Under the lee of Fidra 
there is a good anchorage in westerly winds, and there, 
from a far way off, we could see the Thistle riding. 

The shore in face of these islets is altogether 
waste. Here is no dwelling of man, and scarce any 
passage, or at most of vagabond children running at 
their play. Gillane is a small place on the far side of 
the Ness, the folk of Dirleton go to their business in 
the inland fields, and those of North Berwick straight 
to the sea-fishing from their haven ; so that few parts 
of the coast are lonelier. But I mind, as we crawled 
upon our bellies into that multiplicity of heights and 
hollows, keeping a bright eye upon all sides, and our 



DAVID BALFOUR 153 

hearts hammering at our ribs, there was such a Bhining 
of the suu and the sea, such a stir of the wind in the 
bent grass, and such a bustle of down-popping rabbits 
and up-flying gulls, that the desert seemed to me like a 
place alive. No doubt it was in all ways well chosen 
for a secret embarcation, if the secret had been kept ; 
and even now that it was out, and the place watched, 
we were able to creep unperceived to the front of the 
sandhills, where they look down immediately on the 
beach and sea. 

But here Alan came to a full stop. 

" Davie,'' said he, " this is a kittle passage ! As long 
as we lie here we're safe; but I'm nane sae muckle 
nearer to my ship or the coast of France. And as soon 
as we stand up and signal the brig, it's another matter. 
For where will your gentry be, think ye ? " 

" Maybe they're no come yet," said I. "And even 
if they are, there's one clear matter in our favour. 
They'll be all arranged to take us, that's true. But 
they'll have arranged for our coming from the east, and 
here we are upon their west." 

" Ay," says Alan, " I wish we were in some force, 
and this was a battle, we would have bonnily out- 
manoeuvred them! But it isnae, Davit; and the way 
it is, is a wee thing less inspiring to Alan Breck. I 
swither, Davie." 

" Time flies, Alan," said I. 

"•I ken that," said Alan. "I ken naething else, ftfl 



154 DAVID BALFOUR 

the French folk say. But this is a dreidfnl case of 

heids or tails. ! if I could but ken where your 

gentry were \" 

" Alan," said I, " this is no like you. It's got to be 

now or never." 

" This is no me, quo' he," 

sang Alan, with a queer face betwixt shame and droll- 
ery. 

* ' Neither you nor me, quo' he, neither you nor me, 
Wow, na, Johnnie man! neither you nor me." 

And then of a sudden he stood straight up where 
he was, and with a handkerchief flying in his right 
hand, marched down upon the beach. I stood up 
myself, but lingered behind him, scanning the sand- 
hills to the east. His appearance was at first unre- 
marked : Scougal not expecting him so early, and my 
gentry watching on the other side. Then they awoke 
on board the Thistle, and it seemed they had all in 
readiness, for there was scarce a second's bustle on the 
deck before we saw a skiff put round her stern and 
begin to pull lively for the coast. Almost at the same 
moment of time, and perhaps half a mile away towards 
Gillane Ness, the figure of a man appeared for a blink 
upon a sandhill, waving with his arms ; and though he 
was gone again in the same flash, the gulls in that part 
continued a little longer to fly wild. 

Alan had not seen this, looking straight to seaward 
at the ship and skiff. 



DAVID BALFOUR 155 

" It maim be as it will ! " said he, when I had told 
him. " Weel may von boatie row, or my craig '11 have 
to thole a raxing." 

That part of the beach was long and flat, and ex- 
cellent walking when the tide was down ; a little cressy 
burn flowed over it in one place to the sea ; and the 
sandhills ran along the head of it like the rampart of a 
town. No eye of ours could spy what was passing 
behind there in the bents, no hurry of ours could mend 
the speed of the boat's coming : time stood still with 
us through that uncanny period of waiting. 

" There is one thing I would like to ken/' says Alan. 
" I would like fine to ken these gentry's orders. "We're 
worth four hunner pound the pair of us : how if they 
took the guns to us, Davie ? They would get a bonny 
shot from the top of that lang sandy bauk/' 

^Morally impossible," said I. "The point is that 
they can have no guns. This thing has been gone 
about too secret ; pistols they may have, but never 
guns." 

" I believe ye'll be in the right," says Alan. " For 
all which I am wearying a good deal for yon boat." 

And he snapped his fingers and whistled to it like 
a dog. 

It was now perhaps a third of the way in, and we 
ourselves already hard on the margin of the sea, so that 
the soft sand rose over my shoes. There was no more 
to do whatever but to wait, to look as much as we were 



156 DAVID BALFOUR 

able at the creeping nearer of the boat, and as little as 
we could manage at the long impenetrable front of the 
sandhills, over which the gulls twinkled and behind 
which our enemies were doubtless marshalling. 

" This is a fine, bright, caller place to get shot in," 
says Alan, suddenly ; " and, man, I wish that I had 
your courage ! " 

" Alan \" I cried, " what kind of talk is this of it ? 
You're just made of courage ; it's the character of the 
man, as I could prove myself if there was nobody 
else." 

" And you would be the more mistaken," said he. 
" What makes the differ with me is just my great 
penetration and knowledge of affairs. But for auld, 
cauld, dour, deidly courage, I am not fit to hold a 
candle to yourself. Look at us two here upon the sands. 
Here am I, fair notching to be off ; here's you (for all 
that I ken) in two minds of it whether you'll no stop. 
Do you think that I could do that, or would ? No me ! 
Firstly, because I havenae got the courage and wouldnae 
daur ; and secondly, because I am a man of so much 
penetration and would see ye damned first." 

" It's there ye're coming, is it ?" I cried. " Ah, 
man Alan, you can wile your old wives, but you never 
can wile me." 

Remembrance of my temptation in the wood made 
me strong as iron. 

" I have a tryst to keep," I continued. " I am 



DAVID BALFOUR 157 

tryst ed with your cousin Charlie; I have passed my 
word." 

" Braw trysts that you'll can keep/' said Alan. 
" Ye'll just mistryst aince and for a' with the gentry in 
the bents. And what for ?" he went on with an extreme 
threatening gravity. " Just tell me that, my mannie ! 
Are ye to be speerited away like Lady Grange ? Are 
fchey to drive a dirk in your inside and bury ye in the 
bents ? Or is it to be the other way, and are they to 
bring ye in with James ? Are they folk to be trustit ? 
Would ye stick your head in the mouth of Sim Frascr 
and the ither Whigs ? " he added with extraordinary 
bitterness. 

"Alan," cried I, "they're all rogues and liars, and 
I'm with ye there. The more reason there should be 
one decent man in such a land of thieves ! My word is 
passed, and I'll stick to it. I said long syne to your 
kinswoman that I would stumble at no risk. Do ye 
mind of that? — the night Red Colin fell, it was. No 
more I will, then. Here I stop. Prestongrange promised 
me my life ; if he's to be mansworn, here I'll have to die." 

" Aweel, aweel," said Alan. 

All this time we had seen or heard no more of our 
pursuers. In truth we had caught them unawares ; 
their whole party (as I was t<> learn afterwards) had not 
yet reached the scene ; what there was of them was 
spread among the bents towards GKllane. It was quite 
an affair to call them in and bring them over, and the 



158 DAVID BALFOUR 

boat was making speed. They were besides but cow- 
ardly fellows : a mere leash of Highland cattle thieves, 
of several clans, no gentleman there to be the captain : 
and the more they looked at Alan and me upon the 
beach, the less (I must suppose) they liked the looks 
of us. 

Whoever had betrayed Alan it was not the captain : 
he was in the skiff himself, steering and stirring up 
his oarsmen, like a man with his heart in his employ. 
Already he was near in, and the boat scouring — already 
Alan's face had flamed crimson with the excitement of 
his deliverance, when our friends in the bents, either in 
despair to see their prey escape them or with some hope 
of scaring Andie, raised suddenly a shrill cry of sev- 
eral voices. 

This sound, arising from what appeared to be a quite 
deserted coast, was really very daunting, and the men 
in the boat held water. instantly. 

" What's this of it ? " sings out the captain, for he 
was come within an easy hail. 

" Freens o' mine," says Alan, and began immediately 
to wade forth in the shallow water towards the boat. 
" Davie," he said, pausing, " Davie, are ye no coming ? 
I am swier to leave ye." 

"Not a hair of me," said I. 

He stood part of a second where he was to his knees 
in the salt water, hesitating. 

"He that will to Cupar, maun to Cupar," said he, 



DAVIR BALFOUR 159 

and swashing in deeper than his waist, was hauled into 
the skiff, which was immediately directed for the ship. 

I stood where lie had left me, with my hands behind 
my back ; Alan sat with his head turned watching me ; 
and the boat drew smoothly away. Of a sudden I came 
the nearest hand to shedding tears, and seemed to my- 
self the most deserted, solitary lad in Scotland. With 
that I turned my back upon the sea and faced the sand- 
hills. There was no sight or sound of man ; the sun 
shone on the wet sand and the dry, the wind blew in 
the bents, the gulls made a dreary piping. As I passed 
higher up the beach, the sand-lice were hopping nimbly 
about the stranded tangles. The devil any other sight 
or sound in that unchancy place. And yet I knew 
there were folk there, observing me, upon some secret 
purpose. They were no soldiers, or they would have 
fallen on and taken us ere now ; doubtless they were 
some common rogues hired for my undoing, perhaps to 
kidnap, perhaps to murder me outright. From the 
position of those engaged, the first was the more likely ; 
from what I knew of their character and ardency in this 
business, I thought the second very possible ; and the 
blood ran cold about my heart. 

I had a mad idea to loosen my sword in the scabbard; 
for though I was very unfit to stand up like a gentle- 
man blade to blade, I thought I could do some scathe in 
a random combat. But I perceived in time the folly of 
resistance. This was no doubt the joint "expedient" 



160 DAVID BALFOUR 

on which Prestongrange and Fraser were agreed. The 
first, I was very sure, had done something to secure my 
life ; the second was pretty likely to have slipped in 
some contrary hints into the ears of Neil and his com- 
panions ; and if I were to show bare steel I might play 
straight into the hands of my worst enemy and seal my 
own doom. 

These thoughts brought me to the head of the beach. 
I cast a look behind, the boat was n earing the brig, and 
Alan flew his handkerchief for a farewell, which I 
replied to with the waving of my hand. But Alan him- 
self was shrunk to a small thing in my view, alongside 
of this pass that lay in front of me. I set my hat hard 
on my head, clenched my teeth, and went right before 
me up the face of the sand-wreath. It made a hard 
climb, being steep, and the sand like water underfoot. 
But I caught hold at last by the long bent grass on the 
brae-top, and pulled myself to a good footing. The 
same moment men stirred and stood up here and there, 
six or seven of them, ragged-like knaves, each with a 
dagger in his hand. The fair truth is, I shut my eyes 
and prayed. When I opened them again, the rogues 
were crept the least thing nearer without speech or 
hurry. Every eye was upon mine, which struck me 
with a strange sensation of their brightness, and of the 
fear with which they continued to approach me. I held 
out my hands empty : whereupon one asked, with a 
strong Highland brogue, if I surrendered. 




with THAT I TURNED MY BA< K UPON THE BEA AND F\( ED THE BAND-HILLS 



DAVID BALFOUR 161 

"Under protest," said I, "if ye ken what that 
means, which I misdoubt." 

At that word, they came all in upon me like a flight 
of birds upon a carrion, seized me, took my sword, and 
all the money from my pockets, bound me hand and 
foot with some strong line, and cast me on a tussock of 
bent. There they sat about their captive in a part of 
a circle and gazed upon him silently like something 
dangerous, perhaps a lion or a tiger on the spring. 
Presently this attention was relaxed. They drew nearer 
together, fell to speech in the Gaelic, and very cynically 
divided my property before my eyes. It was my diver- 
sion in this time that I could watch from my place the 
progress of my friend's escape. I saw the boat come to 
the brig and be hoisted in, the sails fill, and the ship 
pass out seaward behind the isles and by North Berwick. 

In the course of two hours or so, more and more rag- 
ged Highland men kept collecting, Neil among the first, 
until the party must have numbered near a score. 
With each new arrival there was a fresh bout of talk, 
that sounded like complaints and explanations; but I 
observed one thing, none of those that came late had 
any share in the division of my spoils. The List discus- 
sion was very violent and eager, so that once I thought 
thcv would have quarrelled ; on the heels of which their 
company parted, the bulk of them returning westward 
in a troop, and only three, Neil and two others, remain- 
ing sentries on the prisoner. 
11 



162 DAVID BALFOUR 

"1 could name one who would be very ill pleased 
with your day's work, Neil Duncanson," said I, when 
the rest had moved away. 

He assured me in answer I should be tenderly used, 
for he knew he was " acquent wi' the leddy." 

This was all our talk, nor did any other son of man 
appear upon that portion of the coast until the sun had 
gone down among the Highland mountains, and the 
gloaming was beginning to grow dark. At which hour 
I was aware of a long, lean, bony-like Lothian man of 
a very swarthy countenance, that came towards us 
among the bents on a farm horse. 

" Lads," cried he, " hae ye a paper like this ? " and 
held up one in his hand. Neil produced a second, 
which the new comer studied through a pair of horn 
spectacles, and saying all was right and we were the 
folk he was seeking, immediately dismounted. I was 
then set in his place, my feet tied under the horse's 
belly, and we set forth under the guidance of the Low- 
lander. His path must have been very well chosen, for 
we met but one pair — a pair of lovers— the whole way, 
and these, perhaps taking us to be free-traders, fled on 
our approach. We were at one time close at the foot 
of Berwick Law on the south side ; at another, as we 
passed over some open hills, I spied the lights of a 
clachan and the old tower of a church among some 
trees not far off, but too far to cry for help, if I had 
dreamed of it. At last we came again within sound of 



DAVID BALFOUR 163 

the sea. There was moonlight, though not much ; and 
by this I could Bee the three huge towers and broken 
battlements of Tantallon, that old chief place of the 
Red Douglases. The horse was picketed in the bottom 
of the ditch to graze, and I was led within, and forth 
into the court, and thence into a tumble-down stone 
hall. Here my conductors built a brisk fire in the 
midst of the pavement, for there was a chill in the 
night. My hands were loosed, I was set by the wall in 
the inner end, and (the Lowlander having produced 
provisions) I was given oatmeal bread and a pitcher of 
French brandy. This done, I was left once more alone 
with my three Highlandmen. They sat close by the 
fire drinking and talking ; the wind blew in by the 
breaches, cast about the smoke and flames, and sang in 
the tops of the towers ; I could hear the sea under the 
cliffs, and my mind being reassured as to my life, and 
my body and spirits wearied with the day's employment, 
I turned upon one side and slumbered. 

I had no means of guessing at what hour I was 
wakened, only the moon was down and the tire low. 
My feet were now loosed, and I was carried through the 
ruins and down the cliff-side by a precipitous path t<> 
where I found a fisher's boat in a haven of the rocks. 
This I was had on board of. and we began to put forth 
from the shore in a fine starlight. 



CHAPTER XIV 

THE BASS 

I had no thought where they were taking me ; only 
looked here and there for the appearance of a ship ; 
and there ran the while in my head a word of Ransome's 
— the twenty-pounders. If I were to be exposed a 
second time to that same former danger of the planta- 
tions, I judged it must turn ill with me ; there was no 
second Alan, and no second shipwreck and spare yard 
to be expected now ; and I saw myself hoe tobacco 
under the whip's lash. The thought chilled me ; the 
air was sharp upon the water, the stretchers of the boat 
drenched with a cold dew ; and I shivered in my j)lace 
beside the steersman. This was the dark man whom I 
have called hitherto the Lowlander; his name was Dale, 
ordinarily called Black Andie. Feeling the thrill of 
my shiver, he very kindly handed me a rough jacket 
full of fish-scales, with which I was glad to cover 
myself. 

"I thank you for this kindness/' said I, "and will 
make so free as to repay it with a warning. You take 
a high responsibility in this affair. You are not like 



DAVID BALFOUR Vut 

these ignorant, barbarous Highlanders, but know what 
the law is and the risks of those that break it." 

"I am no just exactly what ye would ca' an extremist 
for the law," says he, " at the best of times ; but in this 
business I act with a good warranty." 

" What are you going to do with me ? " I asked. 

"Nae harm," said he, " nae harm ava'. Yell hae 
strong freens, I'm thinking. Ye'll be richt eneuch yet." 

There began to fall a greyness on the face of the sea ; 
little dabs of pink and like coals of slow fire came in the 
east ; and at the same time the geese awakened, and 
began crying about the top of the Bass. It is just 
the one crag of rock, as everybody knows, but great 
enough to carve a city from. The sea was extremely 
little, but there went a hollow plowter round the base 
of it. With the growing of the dawn I could see it 
clearer and clearer ; the straight crags painted with sea- 
birds' droppings like a morning frost, the sloping top of 
it green with grass, the clan of white geese that cried 
about the sides, and the black, broken buildings of the 
prison sitting close on the sea's edge. 

At the sight the truth came in upon me in a clap. 

"It's there you're taking me !" I cried. 

"Just to the Bass, mannie," said he : "whaur the 
auld sants were afore ye, and I misdoubt if ye have 
come so fairly by your preeson." 

"But none dwells there now," I cried ; " the place is 
long a ruin." 



166 DAVID BALFOUR 

"It'll be the mail* pleisand a change for the solan 
geese, then," quoth Andie dryly. 

The day coming slowly brighter I observed on the 
bilge, among the big stones with which fisherfolk bal- 
last their boats, several kegs and baskets, and a provis- 
ion of fuel. All these were discharged upon the crag. 
Andie, myself, and my three Highlanders (I call them 
mine, although it was the other way about), landed 
along with them. The sun was not yet up when the 
boat moved away again, the noise of the oars on the 
thole-pins echoing from the cliffs, and left us in our 
singular reclusion. 

Andie Dale was the Prefect (as I would jocularly 
call him) of the Bass, being at once the shepherd and 
the gamekeeper of that small and rich estate. He had 
to mind the dozen or so of sheep that fed and fattened 
on the grass of the sloping part of it, like beasts graz- 
ing the roof of a cathedral. He had charge besides of 
the solan geese that roosted in the crags ; and from 
these an extraordinary income is derived. The young 
are dainty eating, as much as two shillings a-piece 
being a common price, and paid willingly by epicures ; 
even the grown birds are valuable for their oil and 
feathers ; and a part of the minister's stipend of North 
Berwick is paid to this day in solan geese, which makes 
it (in some folks' eyes) a parish to be coveted. To 
perform these several businesses, as well as to protect 
the geese from poachers, Andie had frequent occasion 



DAVID BALFOUR 167 

to sleep and pass days together on the crag ; and we 
found the man at home there like a farmer in his shead- 
ing. Bidding us all shoulder some of the packages, a 

matter in which I made haste to bear a hand, he led ufi 
in by a locked gate, which was the only admission to 
the island, and through the ruins of the fortress, to the 
governor's house. There we saw, by the ashes in the 
chimney and a standing bed-place in one corner, that 
he made his usual occupation. 

This bed he now offered me to use, saying he sup- 
posed I would set up to be gentry. 

• • My gentrice has nothing to do with where I lie," 
said I. "1 bless God I have lain hard ere now, and 
can do the same again with thankfulness. While I am 
here, Mr. Andie, if that be your name, I will do my 
part and take my place beside the rest of you ; and I 
ask you on the other hand to spare me your mockery, 
which I own I like ill." 

He grumbled a little at this speech, but seemed upon 
reflection to approve it. Indeed, he was a long-headed, 
sensible man, and a good Whig and Presbyterian : read 
daily in a pocket Bible, and was both able and eager to 
converse seriously on religion, leaning more than a little 
towards the Cameronian extremes. His murals were of 
a more doubtful colour. I found he was deep in the 
free trade, and used the ruins of Tantallon for a maga- 
zine of smuggled merchandise. As for a ganger, I do 
not believe he valued the life of one at half-a-farthing. 



168 DAVID BALFOUR 

But that part of the coast of Lothian is to this day as 
wild a place, and the commons there as rough a crew as 
any in Scotland. 

One incident of my imprisonment is made memorable 
by a consequence it had long after. There was a war- 
ship at this time stationed in the Firth, the Seahorse, 
Captain Palliser. It chanced she was cruising in the 
month of September, plying between Fife and Lothian, 
and sounding for sunk dangers. Early one fine morn- 
ing she was seen about two miles to east of us, where 
she lowered a boat, and seemed to examine the Wildfire 
Rocks and Satan's Bush, famous dangers of that coast. 
And presently, after haying got her boat again, she 
came before the wind and was headed directly for the 
Bass. This was very troublesome to Andie and the 
Highlanders ; the whole business of my sequestration 
was designed for privacy, and here, with a navy captain 
perhaps blundering ashore, it looked to become public 
enough, if it were nothing worse. I was in a minority 
of one, I am no Alan to fall upon so many, and I was 
far from sure that a warship was the least likely to 
improve my condition. All which considered, I gave 
Andie my parole of good behaviour and obedience, and 
was had briskly to the summit of the rock, where we all 
lay down, at the cliff's edge, in different places of obser- 
vation and concealment. The Seahorse came straight 
on till I thought she would have struck, and we (look- 
ing giddily down) could see the ship's company at their 



DAVID BALFOTK 169 

quarters and hear the leadsman singing at the lead. 
Then she suddenly wore and let fly a volley of I know 
not how many great guns. The rock was shaken with the 
thunder of the sound, the smoke flowed over our heads, 
and the geese rose in number beyond computation or 
belief. To hear their screaming and to see the twink- 
ling of their wings, made a most inimitable curiosity : 
and I suppose it was after this somewhat childish pleas- 
ure that Captain Palliser had come so near the Bass. 
He was to pay dear for it in time. During his approach 
I had the opportunity to make a remark upon the rig- 
ging of that ship by which I ever after knew it miles 
away ; and this was a means (under Providence) of my 
averting from a friend a great calamity, and inflicting 
on Captain Palliser himself a sensible disappointment. 

All the time of my stay on the rock we lived well. 
We had small ale and brandy, and oatmeal of which we 
made our porridge night and morning. At times a 
boat came from the Castleton and brought us a quarter 
of mutton, for the sheep upon the rock we must not 
touch, these being specially fed to market, The geese 
were unfortunately out of season, and we let them be. 
We fished ourselves, and yet more often made the 
geese to fish for us : observing one when he had made 
a capture and scaring him from his prey ere he had 
swallowed it. 

The strange nature of this place, and the curiosities 
with which it abounded, held me busy and amused. 



170 DAVID BALFOUR 

Escape being impossible, I was allowed my entire 
liberty, and continually explored the surface of the isle 
wherever it might support the foot of man. The old 
garden of the prison was still to be observed, with 
flowers and pot-herbs running wild, and some ripe 
cherries on a bush. A little lower stood a chapel or a 
hermit's cell ; who built or dwelt in it, none may know, 
and the thought of its age made a ground of many 
meditations. The prison too, where I now bivouacked 
with Highland cattle thieves, was a place full of his- 
tory, both human and divine. I thought it strange so 
many saints and martyrs should have gone by there so 
recently, and left not so much as a leaf out of their 
Bibles, or a name carved upon the wall, while the 
rough soldier lads that mounted guard upon the battle- 
ments had filled the neighbourhood with their memen- 
toes — broken tobacco-pipes for the most part, and that 
in a surprising plenty, but also metal buttons from their 
coats. There were times when I thought I could have 
heard the pious sound of psalms out of the martyrs' 
dungeons, and seen the soldiers tramp the ramparts 
with their glinting pipes, and the dawn rising behind 
them out of the North Sea. 

No doubt it was a good deal Andie and his tales 
that put these fancies in my head. He was extraor- 
dinary well acquainted with the story of the rock in 
all particulars, down to the names of private soldiers, 
his father having served there in that same capacity. 



1>A\ ID BALFOUB 171 

He was gifted besides with a natural genius for narra- 
tion, so that the people seemed to speak and the 
things to be done before your face. This gift of his 
and my assiduity to listen brought us the more close 
together. I could not honestly deny but what I 
liked him ; I soon saw that he liked me ; and indeed, 
from the first I had set myself out to capture his 
good will. An odd circumstance (to be told presently) 
effected this beyond my expectation ; but even in early 
days we made a friendly pair to be a prisoner and his 
gaoler. 

I should trifle with my conscience if I pretended 
my stay upon the Bass was wholly disagreeable. It 
seemed to me a safe place, as though I was escaped 
there out of my troubles. No harm was to be offered 
me ; a material impossibility, rock and the deep sea, 
prevented me from fresh attempts ; I felt I had my 
life safe and my honour safe, and there were times 
when I allowed myself to gloat on them like stolen 
waters. At other times my thoughts were \ in- 
different. I recalled how strong I had expressed 
myself both to Ranked lor and to Stewart ; I reflected 
that my captivity upon the Bass, in view of a great 
part of the coasts of Fife and Lothian, was a thing I 
should be thought more likely to have invented than 
endured; and in the eyes of these two gentlemen, at 
least, I must pass for a boaster and a coward. Now I 
would take this lightly enough ; tell myself that so 



172 DAVID BALFOUR 

long as I stood well with Catriona Drummond, the 
opinion of the rest of man was but moonshine and 
spilled water ; and thence pass off into those medita- 
tions of a lover which are so delightful to himself and 
must always appear so surprisingly idle to a reader. 
But anon the fear would take me otherwise ; I would 
be shaken with a perfect panic of self-esteem, and these 
supposed hard judgments appear an injustice impossible 
to be supported. With that another train of thought 
would be presented, and I had scarce begun to be con- 
cerned about men's judgments of myself, than I was 
haunted with the remembrance of James Stewart in his 
dungeon and the lamentations of his wife. Then, 
indeed, passion began to work in me; I could not 
forgive myself to sit there idle ; it seemed (if I were 
a man at all) that I could fly or swim out of my place 
of safety ; and it was in such humours and to amuse my 
self-reproaches that I would set the more particularly to 
win the good side of Andie Dale. 

At last, when we two were alone on the summit of 
the rock on a bright morning, I put in some hint about 
a bribe. He looked at me, cast back his head, and 
laughed out loud. 

"Ay, you're funny, Mr. Dale," said I, "but perhaps 
if you glance an eye upon that paper you may change 
your note." 

The stupid Highlanders had taken from me at the 
time of my seizure nothing but hard money, and the 



DAVID BALFOUR 



173 



ier I now showed Audio was an acknowledgment 
from the British Linen Company for a considerable 
sum. 

He read it. " Troth, and ye're nane sae ill an*," 
said he. 

" [ thought that would maybe vary your opinions/' 
said I. 

" Hout ! " said he. " It shaws me ye can bribe ; but 
I'm no to be bribit." 

We'll see about that yet a while/' says I. "And 
first, I'll show you that I know what I am talking, 
have orders to detain me here till Thursday, 21st 
tember." 

XVre no a'thegether wrong either," says Andie. 
" I'i i to lei ye gang, bar orders contrair, on Saturday, 
the 23rd." 

I could not but feel there was something extremely 

insidious in this arrangement. That I was to reappear 

precisely in time to be too late would cast the more 

discredit on my tale, if I were minded to tell one ; and 

screwed me to fighting point. 

" Xow then, Andie, you that kens the world, listen 

to me, and think while ye listen," said I. "I know 

' are great folks in the business, and I make no 

doubt you have their names to go upon. I have seen 

some of them myself since this affair began, and said 

-.iv into their faces too. But what kind of a crime 

would this be that I had committed ? or what kind of a 



174 DAVID BALFOUR 

process is this that I am fallen under ? To be appre- 
hended by some ragged John-Hielandmen on August 
30th, carried to a rickle of old stones that is now 
neither fort nor gaol (whatever it once was) but just 
the gamekeeper's lodge of the Bass Kock, and set free 
again, September 23d, as secretly as I was first arrested 
— does that sound like law to you ? or does it sound 
like justice ? or does it not sound honestly like a piece 
of some low dirty intrigue, of which the very folk that 
meddle with it are ashamed ? " 

"I canna gainsay ye, Shaws. It looks unco under- 
hand," says Andie. "And werenae the folk guid 
sound Whigs and true-blue Presbyterians I would hae 
seen them ayont Jordan and Jeroozlem or I would have 
set hand to it." 

" The Master of Lovat'll be a braw Whig/' 
"and a grand Presbyterian." 

"I ken naething by him," said he. 
tro kings wj' Lovats." 

" No, it'll be Prestongrange that 
with," said I. 

"Ah, but Fll no tell ye thai la 

"Little need when I ken.' 

"There's just the ae thi , 

Shaws," says Andie. " An ye 

please) I'm no dealing wi' yo* amnae 

goin' to," he added. 

" Well, Andie, I see I'll have to be | k out plain 






DAVID BALFOUR 175 

with you," I replied. And I told him so much as I 
thought needful of the facts. 

Be heard me out with serious interest, and when I 
had done, seemed to consider a little with himself. 

"Shaws," said he at last, "I deal with the naked 
hand. It's a queer tale, and no vary creditable, the 
way you tell it ; and I'm far frae minting that is other 
than the way that ye believe it. As for yourseF, ye 
seems to me rather a dacent-like young man. But me, 
that's aulder and mair judeecious, see perhaps a wee 
bit further forrit in the job than what ye can dae. 
And here is the maicter clear and plain to ye. There'll 
be nae skaith to yourseF if I keep ye here ; far frae 
that, I think ye'll be a hantle better by it. There'll be 
nae skaith to the kintry — just ae mair Hielantman 
hangit— Glide kens, a guid riddance ! On the ither 
hand it would be considerable skaith to me if I would 
let you free. Sae, speakin' as a guid Whig, an honest 
freen' to you, and an anxious freen' to my ainsel', the 
plain fact is that I think ye'll just have to bide here 
wi' Andie an' the solans." 

"Andie," said I, laying my hand upon his knee, 
"this Hielantman's innocent." 

"Ay, it's a peety about that," said he. " But ye see 
in this warld, the way God made it, we cannae just get 
a'thing that we want." 



CHAPTER XV 

BLACK ANDIE'S TALE OF TOD LAPRAIK 

I have yet said little of the Highlanders. They 
were all three of the followers of James More, which 
bound the accusation very tight about their master's 
neck. All understood a word or two of English; but 
Neil was tbe only one who judged he had enough of it 
for general converse, in which (when once he got 
embarked) his company was often tempted to the con- 
trary opinion. They were tractable, simple creatures ; 
showed much more courtesy than might have been 
expected from their raggedness and their uncouth 
appearance, and fell spontaneously to be like three 
servants for Andie and myself. 

Dwelling in that isolated place, in the old falling, 
ruins of a prison, and among endless strange sounds 
of the sea and the sea-birds, I thought I perceived in 
them early the effects of superstitious fear. When 
there was nothing doing they would either he and 
sleep, for which their appetite appeared insatiable, or 
Neil would entertain tbe others with stories which 
seemed always of a terrifying strain. If neither of 
these delights were within reaeh-if perhaps two were 



DAVID BALFOl R 1 f t 

sleeping and the third could find no means to follow 
their example — I would sec him sit and listen and look 
about him in a progression of uneasiness, starting, his 

face blenching, his hands clutched, a man strung like 
a how. The nature of these fears I had never an oc- 
casion to find out, but the sight of them was catching, 
and the nature of the place that we were in favourable 
to alarms. I can find no word for it in the English, 
but Andie had an expression for it in the Scots from 
which he never varied. 

•• Ay," he would say. " it's mi unco place, the Bass.'' 
It is so I always think of it. It was an unco place 
by night, unco by day ; and these were unco sounds, 
of the calling of the solans, and the plash of the sea 
and the rock echoes, that hung continually in our ears. 
It was chiefly so in moderate weather. When the 
waves were anyway great they roared about the rock 
like thunder and the drums of armies, dreadful but 
merry to hear; and it was in the calm days that a man 
could daunt himself with listening — not a Highland- 
man only, as I several times experimented on myself, 
BO many still, hollow noises haunted and reverberated 
in the porches of the rock. 

This brings me to a story I heard, and a scene I took 
part in, which quite changed our terms of living, 
and had a great effect on my departure. It chanced 
one night I fell in a muse beside the fire and (that 

little air of Alan's coming back to my memory) began 
12 



178 DAVID BALFOUR 

to whistle. A hand was laid upon my arm, and the 
voice of Neil bade me to stop, for it was not "canny 
musics." 

" Not canny ?" I asked. " How can that be ?" 
" Na," said he ; "it will be made by a bogle and her 
wanting ta heid upon his body." * 

" Well/' said I, "there can be no bogles here, Neil ; 
for it's not likely they would fash themselves to fright- 
en solan geese." 

"Ay?" says Andie, "is that what ye think of it? 
But I'll can tell ye there's been waur nor bogles 
here." 

" What's waur than bogles, Andie ? " said I. 
" Warlocks," said he. " Or a warlock at the least of 
it. And that's a queer tale, too," he added. "And 
if ye would like, I'll tell it ye." 

To be sure we were all of the one mind, and even 
the Highlander that had the least English of the three 
set himself to listen with all his might. 

The Tale of Tod Lapraik 

My fait her, Tarn Date, peace to his banes, was a wild, 
sploring lad in his young days, wi' little wisdom and 

* A learned folklorist of my acquaintance hereby identifies Alan's 
air. It has been printed (it seems) in Campbell's Talesofthe West 
Highlands, Vol. II., p. 91. Upon examination itwould really seem 
as if Miss Grant's unrhymed doggrel (see chapter V.) would fit with 
a little humouring to the notes in question. 



DAVID HALF* 'I B IT'.) 

-race. IF* 1 was fond of a lass and fond of a glass, 
ami fond of a ran -dan ; but I could never hear tell thai 
he was muckle use for honest employment. Frae ae 
thing to anither. he listed at last for a sodger and was 
in the garrison of this fort, which was the first way 
that ony of the Dales cam to set foot upon the Bass. 
Sorrow upon that service ! The governor brewed his 
ain ale ; it seems it was the warst conceivable. The 
rock was proveesioned frae the shore with vivers, the 
thing was ill-guided, and there were whiles when they 
but to fish and shoot solans for their diet. To crown 
a\ thir was the Days of the Persecution. The per- 
ishin' cauld ehalmers were all occupeed wi ? sants and 
martyrs, the saut of the ycarth, of which it wasnae 
worthy. And though Tarn Dale carried a firelock 
there, a single sodger, and liked a lass and a glass, as 
I was saying the mind of the man was mair just than 
set with his position. He had glints of the glory of 
the kirk; there were whiles when his dander rase to 
see the Lord's sants misguided, and shame covered 
him that he should be haulding a can'le (or carrying 
a firelock) in so black a business. There were nights 
of it when he was hen- on sentry, the place a' wheesht, 
the frosts o' winter maybe riving in the wa's, and he 
would hear ane o' the prisoners strike up a psalm, and 
the rest join in, and the blessed sounds rising from tin' 
different ehalmers— or dun-cons, I would raither say — 
so that this auM craig in the sea was like a pairt of 



180 DAVID BALFOUR 

Heev'n. Black shame was on his saul ; his sins hove 
up before him muckle as the Bass, and above a', that 
chief sin, that he should have a hand in bagging and 
hashing at Christ's Kirk. But the truth is that he 
resisted the sjiirit. Day cam, there were the rousing 
companions, and his guid resolves depairtit. 

In thir days, dwalled upon the Bass a man of God, 
Peden the Prophet was his name. Ye'll have heard 
tell of Prophet Peden. There was never the wale of 
him sinsyne, and it's a question wi' mony if there ever 
was his like afore. He was wild *s a peat-hag, fearsome 
to look at, fearsome to hear, his face like the day of 
judgment. The voice of him was like a solan's and 
dinnle'd in folks' lugs, and the words of him like coals 
of fire. 

Now there was a lass on the rock, and I think she 
had little to do, for it was nae place far dacent weemen ; 
but it seems she was bonny, and her and Tarn Dale 
were very well agreed. It befell that Peden was in the 
gairden his lane at the praying when Tarn and the lass 
cam by ; and what should the lassie do but mock with 
laughter at the sant's devotions ? He rose and lookit 
at the twa o' them, and Tarn's knees knoitered thegether 
at the look of him. But whan he spak, it was mair in 
sorrow than in anger. " Poor thing, poor thing!" 
says he, and it was the lass he lookit at. " I hear you 
skirl and laugh," he says, " but the Lord has a deid 
shot prepared for you, and at that surprising judgment 



DAVID BALFOUR 1M 

ye shall skirl but the ae time !" Shortly thereafter she 
was daundering on the craiga wi' twa-three sodgers, and 
it was a blawy day. There cam a gowst of wind, claught 
her by the coats, and awa' wi' her bag and baggage. 
And it was remarked by the sodgers that she gied but 
the ae skirl. 

Xae doubt this judgment had some weicht upon Tarn 
Dale; but it passed again and him none the better. 
Ae day he was flyting wi' anither sodger-lad. "Deil 
hae me ! " quo' Tarn, for he was a profane swearer. 
And there was Peden glowering at him, gash an' 
waefu'; Peden wi' his lang chafts an' luntin' een, the 
maud happed about his kist, and the hand of him held 
out wi' the black nails upon the finger-nebs — for he 
had nae care of the body. " Fy, fy, poor man ! " cries 
he, "the poor fool man ! Deil liar me, quo' he ; an' 1 
see the deil at his oxter." The conviction of guilt and 
grace cam in on Tarn like the deep sea ; he Hang doun 
the pike that was in his hands — " I will nae mair lift 
arms against the cause o' Christ \" says he, and was as 
glide 's word. There was a sair fyke in the beginning, 
but llit! governor, seeing him resolved, gied him his 
dischairge, and he went and dwalK and merried in 
North Berwick, and had aye a glide name with honest 
folk frae that day on. 

It was in the year Beeventeen hunner and sax that the 
Bass cam in the hands o' the Da'rympleB, and there was 
twa men BOUcht the chairge of it. Baith were weel 



182 DAVID BALFOUR 

qualified, for they Lad baith been sodgers in the garri- 
son, and kent the gate to handle solans, and the sea- 
sons and values of them. Forby that they were baith 
— or they baith seemed — earnest professors and men of 
comely conversation. The first of them was just Tarn 
Dale, my faither. The second was ane Lapraik, whom 
the folk ca'd Tod Lapraik maistly, but whether for his 
name or his nature I could never hear tell. Weel, Tarn 
gaed to see Lapraik upon this business, and took me, 
that was a toddlin' laddie, by the hand. Tod had his 
dwallin' in the lang loan benorth the kirkyaird. It's a 
dark uncanny loan, forby that the kirk has aye had an 
ill name since the days o' James the Saxt and the 
deevil's cantrips played therein when the Queen was on 
the seas ; and as for Tod's house, it was in the mirkest 
end, and was little liked by some that kenned, the best. 
The door was on the sneck that day, and me and my 
faither gaed straucht in. Tod was a wabster to his 
trade ; his loom stood in the but. There he sat, a 
muckle fat, white hash of a man like creish, wi' a kind 
of a holy smile that gart me scunner. The hand of 
him aye cawed the shuttle, bat his een was steeked. 
We cried to him by his name, we skirled in the deid 
lug of him, we shook him by the shou'ther. Nae 
mainner o' service ! There he sat on his dowp, an' 
cawed the shuttle and smiled like creish. 

"God be guid to us," says Tarn Dale, "this is no 
canny ! " 




THERE UK BAT, A MUCKLE FAT, WHITE HASH OF A HAM LIKE CRBISH ' " 



DAVID BALFOUR 188 

He had jimp said the word, when Tod Lapraik cam 
to himseP. 

"Is tliis you, Tain?" says lie. "Haith, man ! I'm 
blythe to see ye. I whiles fa' into a l>it dwam like 
this," he says; " it's frae the stamach." 

Weel, they began to crack about the Bass and which 
of them twa was to get the warding o't, and by little 
and little earn to very ill words, and twined in anger. 
I mind weel, that as my faither and me gaed name 
again, he cam ower and ower the same expression, how- 
little he likit Tod Lapraik and his dwams. 

"Dwam!" says he. "I think folk hae brunt far 
dwams like yon." 

Aweel, my faither got the Bass and Tod had to go 
wantin'. It was remembered sinsyne what way he had 
ta'en the thing. " Tarn," says he, "ye hae gotten the 
better o' me aince mair, and J hope," says he, "ye'll 
find at least a' that ye expeckit at the Bass." Which 
have since been thought remarkable expressions. At 
last the time came for Tarn Dale to take young solans. 
This was a business he was weel u*vA wi\ he had been 
a craigsman frae a laddie, and trust it nane but himseP. 
So there was he hingin' by a line an 5 speldering on the 
craig face, whaur it's hieest and steighest. Fewer tenty 
Lids were on the tap, hauldin' the line and mindin 1 for 
his signals. But whaur Tarn hung there was nae thing 
but the craig, and the sea belaw, and the solans skirling 
and Hying. It was a Draw spring morn, and Tarn 



184 DAVID BALFOUR 

whustled as he claught in th,e young geese. Mony's the 
time I heard him tell of this experience, and aye the 
swat ran upon the man. 

It chanced, ye see, that Tarn keeked up, and he was 
awaur of a muckle solan, and the solan pyking at the 
line. He thocht this by-ordinar and outside the creat- 
ure's habits. He minded that ropes was unco saft 
things, and the solan's neb and the Bass Rock unco 
hard, and that twa hunner feet were raither mair than 
he would care to fa'. 

" Shoo ! " says Tarn. " Awa', bird ! Shoo, awa' wi' 
ye ! " says he. 

The solan keekit doun into Tarn's face, and there 
was something unco in the creature's ee. Just the 
ae keek it gied, and back to the rope. But now it 
wroucht and warstl't like a thing dementit. There 
never was the solan made that wroncht as that solan 
wroucht ; and it seemed to understand it's employ 
brawly, birzing the saft rope between the neb of it 
and a crunkled jag o' stane. 

There gaed a canld stend o' fear into Tarn's heart. 
"This thing is nae bird," thinks he. His een turnt 
backward in his heid and the day gaed black about 
him. "If I get a dwam here," he thoucht, "it's by 
wi' Tarn Dale." And he signalled for the lads to pu' 
him up. 

And it seemed the solan understood about signals. 
For nae sooner was the signal made than he let be the 



DAVID BALFOUB L85 

rope, Bpried his wings, squawked oul loud, took a turn 
flying, and dashed Btraucht at Tam Dale's een. Tam 
had a knife he gart the cauld steel glitter. And it 

seemed the solan understood about knives, for uae 
suner did the steel glint in the sun than he gied the 
ae squawk, but laigher, like a body disappoint it. and 
llegged aff about the roundness of the craig, and Tam 
saw him nae mair. And as sune as that thing was 
gane, Tarn's heid drapt upon his shouther, and they 
pu'd him up like a deid cor]), dadding on the craig. 

A dram of brandy (which he went never without) 
broucht him to his mind, or what was left of it. Up 
he sat. 

"Rin, Geordie, rin to the boat, mak' sure of the 
boat, man — rin!" he cries, "or yon solan '11 have it 
awaY" says he. 

The fower lads stared at ither, an' tried to whilly- 
wha him to be quiet. But naething would satisfy 
Tam Dale, till ane o' them had Btartii on aheid to 
stand sentry on the boat. The it hers askit if he was 
for down again. 

"Na," says he, "and niether you nor me. "says he, 
"and as sune as I can win to stand on my twa l'eet 
we'll be aff frae this craig o' Sawtan." 

Sure eneuch, nae time was lost, and that was ower 
muckle ; for before they won to North Berwick Tam 
was in a crying fever. He lay a" the simmer; and 
wha was sac kind as come speiring \'<>r him, bul Tod 



186 DAVID BALFOUR 

Lapraik ! Folk thoclit afterwards that ilka time Tod 
cam near the house the fever had worsened. I kenna 
for that ; but what I ken the best, that was the end 
of it. 

It was about this time o' the year ; my grandfather 
was out at the white fishing ; and like a bairn, I but to 
gang w T i' him. We had a grand take, I mind, and the 
way that the fish lay broucht us near in by the Bass, 
whaur we forgaithered wi' anither boat that belanged 
to a man Sandie Fletcher in Castleton. He's no lang 
deid niether, or ye could spier at himsel'. Weel, 
Sandie hailed. 

" What's yon on the Bass ? " says he. 

" On the Bass ? says grandfaither. 

" Ay/' says Sandie, "on the green side o't." 

" Whatten kind of a thing ? " says grandfaither. 
" There cannae be naething on the Bass but just the 
sheep." 

"It looks unco like a body/' quo' Sandie, who was 
nearer in. 

"A body !" says we, and we nane of us likit that. 
For there was nae boat that could have broucht a 
man, and the key o' the prison yett hung ower my 
faither's heid at hame in the press bed. 

We keept the twa boats closs for company, and crap 
in nearer hand. Grandfaither had a gless, for he had 
been a sailor, and the captain of a smack, and had 
lost her on the sands of Tay. And when we took the 



DAVID BALFOUB 181 

glesa to it, sure eneucfa there was a man. He was in 
a crunk] e o' green brae, a woo below the chaipel, a' 
by his lee lane, and lowped and Bang and danced like 
a daft quean al a waddin'. 

"It's Tod," says grandfather, and passed the glese 
to Sandie. 

" Ay. it's him." says Sandie. 

"■ Or ane in the likeness o' him/' says gran df ait her. 

" Sma' is the differ," quo" Sandie. " De'i\ or war- 
lock, I'll try the gun at him/' quo' he, and bronchi up 
a fowling-piece that he aye carried, for Sandie was a 
notable famous shot in all that country. 

" Hand your hand, Sandie/' says grandfather ; " we 
maun see clearer first," says he, " or this may be a 
dear day's wark to the baith of us." 

"Hout!" says Sandie, "this is the Lord's judg- 
ments surely, and be damned to it \" says he. 

"Maybe ay, and maybe no/' says my grandfather, 
worthy man ! " But have you a mind of the Pro- 
curator Fiscal, that I think ye'll have forgaithered wi' 
before," says he. 

This was ower true, and Sandie was a wee thing 
set ajee. " Aweel, Edie," says he, '"and what would 
be your way of it ?" 

" Ou, just this," says grandfather. "Lei me thai 
has the fastest boat gang back to North Berwick, and 
let you bide here and keep an eve on Thon. if 1 
cannae find Lapraik, I'll join ye and the twa of us'll 



188 DAVID BALFOUR 

have a crack wr him. But if Lapraik's at hame, Fll 
rin op the flag at the harbour, and ye can try Thon 
Thing wi' the gun/' 

Aweel, so it was agreed between them twa. I was 
just a bairn, an* clum in Sandie's boat, whaur I thoucht 
I would see the best of the employ. My grandsire 
gied Sandie a siller tester to pit in his gun wi' the 
leid draps, bein' mair deidly again bogles. And then 
the ae boat set aff for North Berwick, an' the tither 
lay whaur it was and watched the wanchaucy thing 
on the brae-side. 

A' the time we lay there it lowped and flang and 
capered and span like a teetotum, and whiles we could 
hear it skelloch as it span. I hae seen lassies, the 
daft queans, that would lowp and dance a winter's 
nicht, and still be lowping and dancing when the 
winter's day cam in. But there would be folk there 
to hauld them company, and the lads to egg them on ; 
and this thing was its lee-lane. And there would be 
a fiddler diddling his elbock in the chimney-side ; and 
this thing had nae music but the skirling of the solans. 
And the lassies were bits o' young things wi' the reid 
life dinnling and stending in their members ; and this 
was a muckle, fat, crieshy man, and him fa'n in the 
vale o' years. Say what ye like, I maun say what I 
believe. It was joy was in the creature's heart ; the 
joy o' hell, I daursay : joy whatever. Mony a time 
I have askit myseF, why witches and warlocks should 



DAVID B ILFOUR 189 

sell their sauls (wh ilk are their maisi dear possessions) 
and lie auldj duddy, wrunkl't wives or auld, feckless, 
doddered men ; and then 1 mind upon Tod Lapraik 
dancing a* they hours by his lane in the black glory of 
his heart. Xae doubt they burn for it in muckle hell, 
hut they have a grand time here of it, whatever ! — 
and the Lord forgie as ! 

Weel, at the hinder end, we saw the wee flag yirk ap 
to the mast-heid upon the harbour rocks. That was a' 
Sandie waited for. He up wi* the gun, took a deleeb- 
erate aim, an 7 pu'd the trigger. There cam' a bang 
and then ae waefu' skirl frae the Bass. And there 
wore we rublnV our een and lookin' at ither like daft 
folk. For wi' the bang and the skirl the thing had 
clean disappeared. The sun glintit, the wund blew, 
and there was the bare yaird whaur the Wonder had 
been lowping and flinging but ae second syne. 

The hale way hame I roared and grat wi' the terror 
of that dispensation. The grawn folk were nane sae 
muckle better ; there was little said in Sandie's boat 
l)iii just the name of God; and when we won in by the 
pier, the harbour rocks were fair black wi' the folk 
wait in' us. It seems they had fund Lapraik in ane of 
his dwams, cawing the shuttle and smiling. Ae lad 
they sent to hoist the flag, and the rest abode there in 
the wabster's house. You may be sure they liked it 
little ; but it was a means of grace to severals that stood 
there praying in to themsel's (for nane cared to pray 



190 DAVID BALFOUR 

out loud) and looking on thon awesome thing as it 
cawed the shuttle. Syne, upon a suddenty, and wi' the 
ae driedfiv' skelloch, Tod sprang up frae his hinder- 
lands and fell forrit on the wab, a bluidy corp. 

When the corp was examined the leid draps hadnae 
played buff upon the warlock's body ; sorrow a leid 
drap was to be fund ; but there was grandfathers siller 
tester in the jmddock's heart of him. 

Andie had scarce done wiien there befell a mighty 
silly affair that had its consecpience. Neil, as I have 
said, was himself a great narrator. I have heard since 
that he knew all the stories in the Highlands; and 
thought much of himself, and was thought much of by 
others, on the strength of it. Now Andie's tale re- 
minded him of one he had already heard. 

"She would ken that story afore," he said. "She 
was the story of Uistean More M'G-illie Phadrig and the 
Gavar Vore." 

" It is no sic a thing," cried Andie. " It is the story 
of my faither (now wi' God) and Tod Lapraik. And 
the same in your beard," says he; "and keep the 
tongue of ye inside your Hielant chafts ! " 

In dealing with Highlanders it will be found, and 
has been shown in history, how well it goes with Low- 
land gentlefolk ; but the thing appears scarce feasible 
lor Lowland commons. I had already remarked that 
Andie was continually on the point of quarrelling with 



D Wll> BA1 FOUB 19J 

our three Macgregors, and now, Bure enough, it was to 

come. 

"Thir will be no words to use to Bhentlemans," Bays 
Neil. 

" Sh en tie man s ! " cries Andie. "Shentlemans, ye 
hielant stot ! If God would give ye the grace to set' 
yoursel' the way that ithers Bee ye, ye would throw your 
denner up." 

There came some kind of a Gaelic oath from Neil, 
and the black knife was in his hand that moment. 

There was no time to think ; and I caught the High- 
lander by the leg, and had him down, and his armed 
hand pinned out, before I knew what I was doing. 
His comrades sprang to rescue him, Andie and I were 
without weapons, the Gregara three to two. It seemed 
we were beyond salvation, when Neil screamed in his 
own tongue, ordering the others back, and made his 
submission to myself in a manner the most abject, even 
giving me up his knife which (upon a repetition of his 
promises) I returned to him on the morrow. 

Two things I saw plain : the first, that I must not 
build too high on Andie, who had shrunk against the 
wall and stood there, as pale as death, till the affair was 
over ; the second, the strength of my own position with 
the Highlanders, who must have received extraordinary 
charges to be tender of my safety, lint if I thought 
Andie came not rery well out in courage, I had no fault 
to find with him upon the account of gratitude. It 



192 DAVID BALFOUR 

was not so much that he troubled me with thanks, as 
that his whole mind and manner appeared changed ; 
and as he preserved ever after a great timidity of our 
companions, he and I were yet more constantly to- 
gether. 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE MISSING WITNESS 

On the seventeenth, the clay I was trysted with the 
Writer, I had much rebellion against fate. The 
thought of him waiting in the King'* Arms, and of 
what he would think, and what he would say when 
next we met, tormented and oppressed me. The truth 
was unbelievable, so much I had to grant, and it 
seemed cruel hard I should be posted as a liar and a 
coward, and have never consciously omitted what it 
was possible that I should do. I repeated this form of 
words with a kind of bitter relish, and re-examined in 
that light the steps of my behaviour. It seemed I had 
behaved to James Stewart as a brother might ; all the 
past was a picture that I could be proud of, and there 
was only the present to consider. I could not swim the 
sea, nor yet fly in the air, but there was always Andie. 
1 had done him a service, he liked me ; I had a lever 
there to work on; if it were just for decency, 1 must 
try once more with Andie. 

It was late afternoon ; there was no sound in all the 

Bass but the lap and bubble of a very qniet Bea ; and 

my four companions were all crept apart, the three 
13 



194 DAVID BALFOUR 

Macgregors higher on the rock, and Andie with his 
Bible to a sunny place among the ruins ; there I found 
him in deep sleep, and, as soon as he was awake, 
appealed to him with some fervour of manner and a 
good show of argument. 

" If I thoucht it was to do guid to ye, Shaws ! " 
said he, staring at me over his spectacles. 

"It's to save another," said I, "and to redeem my 
word. What would be more good than that ? Do ye 
no mind the scripture, Andie ? And you with the Book 
upon your lap ! What shall it profit a man if lie gain 
the whole world?" 

"Ay," said he, "that's grand for you. But where 
do I come in ? I have my word to redeem the same's 
yourseF. And what are ye asking me to do, but just to 
sell it ye for siller ? " 

" Andie ! have I named the name of siller ? " cried I. 

" On, the name's naething," said he ; " the thing is 
there, whatever. It just comes to this ; if I am to 
service ye the way that you propose, I'll loss my lieihood. 
Then it's clear ye'll have to make it up to me, and a 
pickle mair, for your ain credit like. And what's that 
but just a bribe ? And if even I was certain of the 
hribe ! But by a' that I can learn, it's far frae that ; 
and if you were to hang, where would / he ? Na : the 
thing's no possible. And just awa' wi' ye like a bonny 
lad ! and let Andie read his chapter." 

I remember I was at bottom a good deal gratified with 



DAVID BALFOUR L96* 

tliis result ; and the next humour I fell into was one (I 

had near said) of gratitude to Prestongrange, who had 
saved me, in this violent, illegal manner, out of the 
midst of my dangers, temptations, and perplexities. But 
this was both too flimsy and too cowardly to last me 
long, and the remembrance of James began to succeed 
to the possession of my spirits. The 21st, the day set 
for the trial, I passed in such misery of mind as I can 
scarce recall to have endured, save perhaps upon Isle 
Earraid only. Much of the time I lay on a brae-side 
bel wixt sleep and waking, my body motionless, my mind 
full of violent thoughts. Sometimes I slept indeed ; 
but the court-house of Inverary and the prisoner glanc- 
ing on all sides to find his missing witness, followed me 
in slumber ; and I would wake again with a start to 
darkness of spirit and distress of body. I thought 
Andie seemed to observe me, but I paid him little heed. 
Verily, my bread was 1 titter to me, and my days a 
burthen. 

Early the next morning (Friday, 22nd) a boat came 
with provisions, and Andie placed a packet in my hand. 
The cover was without address but scaled witli a Govern- 
ment seal. It enclosed two notes. " Mr. Balfour can 
now see for himself it is too late to meddle His conducl 
will be observed and his discretion rewarded." So ran 
the first, which seemed to be laboriously writ with the 
left hand. There was certainly nothing in the?e 
expressions to compromise the writer, even if that 



196 DAVID BALFOUR 

person could be found ; the seal, which formidably 
served instead of signature, was affixed to a separate 
sheet on which there was no scratch of writing ; and I 
had to confess that (so far) my adversaries knew what 
they were doing, and to digest as well as I was able 
the threat that peeped under the promise. 

But the second enclosure was by far the more surpris- 
ing. It was in a lady's hand of writ. " Maister Dau- 
vit Balfour is informed a friend was speiring for him, 
and her eyes were of the grey" it ran — and seemed so 
extraordinary a piece to come to my hands at such a 
moment and under cover of a Government seal, that I 
stood stupid. Catriona's grey eyes shone in my remem- 
brance. I thought, with a bound of pleasure, she must 
be the friend. But who should the writer be, to have 
her billet thus enclosed with Prestongrange's ? And 
of all wonders, why was it thought needful to give me 
this pleasing but most inconsequential intelligence 
upon the Bass ? For the writer, I could hit upon none 
possible except Miss Grant. Her family, I remembered, 
had remarked on Oatriona's eyes and even named her 
for their colour ; and she herself had been much in the 
habit to address me with a broad pronunciation, by way 
of a sniff, I supposed, at my rusticity. No doubt, 
besides, but she lived in the same house as this letter 
came from. So there remained but one step to be 
accounted for ; and that was how Prestongrange should 
have permitted her at all in an affair so secret, or let 



DAVID BALFOUR 11)7 

her daft-like billet go in the saint 1 cover with his own. 
But even here I had a glimmering. For, first of all, 

there was something rather alarming about the young 
lady, and papa might be more under her domination 
than I knew. And second, there was the man's contin- 
ual policy to be remembered, how his conduct had been 
continually mingled with caresses, and he had scarce 
ever, in the midst of so much contention, laid aside a 
mask of friendship. He must conceive that my impris- 
onment had incensed me. Perhaps this little jesting, 
friendly message was intended to disarm my rancour ? 

I will be honest — and I think it did. I felt a sudden 
warmth towards that beautiful Miss Grant, that she 
should stoop to so much interest in my affairs. The 
summoning up of Catriona moved me of itself to milder 
and mure cowardly counsels. If the Advocate knew of 
her and of our acquaintance — if I should please him by 
some of that " discretion " at which his letter pointed — 
to what might not this lead ? In vain is the net spread 
in the sight of any fowl, the scripture says. Well, fowls 
must be wiser than folk ! For I thought I perceived the 
policy, and yet fell in with it. 

I was in this frame, my heart beating, the grey 
eyes plain before me like two stars, when Andie broke 
in upon my musing. 

"I see ye hae gotten guid news." said he. 

I found him looking curiously in my face ; with that, 
there came before me like a vision of James Stewart and 



198 DAVID BALFOUR 

the court of Inverary; and my mind turned at once like 
a door upon its hinges. Trials, I reflected, sometimes 
draw out longer than is looked for. Even if I came to 
Inverary just too late, something might yet be attempted 
in the interests of James — and in those of my own 
character, the best would be accomplished. In a 
moment, it seemed without thought, I had a plan 
devised. 

" Andie," said I, "is it still to be to-morrow ? " 

He told me nothing was changed. 

" Was anything said about the hour ?" I asked. 

He told me it was to be two o'clock afternoon. 

"And about the place ?" I pursued. 

" Whatten place ?" says Andie. 

"The place I'm to be landed at," said I. 

He owned there was nothing as to that. 

"Very well, then," I said, " this shall be mine to 
arrange. The wind is in the east, my road lies west- 
ward ; keep your boat, I hire it ; let us work up the 
Forth all day ; and land me at two o'clock to-morrow 
at the westmost we'll can have reached." 

"Ye daft callant !" he cried, " ye would try for In- 
verary after a' ! " 

"Just that, Andie," says I. 

" Weel, ye're ill to beat ! " says he. " And I was 
kind o' sorry for ye a' day yesterday," he added. " Ye 
see, I was never entirely sure till then, which way of it 
ye really wantit." 



DAVID BALFOUB 199 

Here was a Bpar fco a lame horse ! 

"A word in your ear, Andie/' said I. " This plan 
of mine has another advantage yet, We can leave 
these Hielandmen behind us on the rock, and one of 
your boats from the Oastleton can bring them off to- 
morrow. Yon Neil lias a queer eye when he regards 
you ; maybe, if 1 was once out of the gate there might 
be knives again ; these red-shanks are unco grudgeful. 
And if there should come to be any question, here is 
your excuse. Our lives were in danger by these sav- 
ages ; being answerable for my safety, you chose the 
part to bring me from their neighbourhood and detain 
me the rest of the time on board your boat ; and do you 
know, Andie ?" says I, with a smile. " I think it was 
very wisely chosen." 

" The truth is I have nae goo for Neil," says Andie, 
" nor he for me, I'm thinking ; and I would like ill 
to come to my hands wi' the man. Tarn Anster will 
make a better hand of it with the cattle onyway. " 
(For this man, Anster, came from Fife, where the 
Gaelic is still spoken.) " A\\ ay. ! " says Andie, " Tain'll 
can deal with them the best. And troth ! the rnair I 
think of it, the less I sec what way we would be 
required. The place — ay, feggs ! they had forgot the 
place. Eh, Shaws, ye're a lang-heided chield when ye 
like! Forby that Fin awing ye my life,'' he added. 
with more solemnity, and offered nie his hand upon the 
bargain. 



200 DAVID BALFOUR 

Whereupon, with scarce more words, we stepped 
suddenly on board the boat, cast off, and set the lug. 
The Gregara were then busy upon breakfast, for the 
cookery was their usual part; but, one of them 
stepping to the battlements, our flight was observed 
before we were twenty fathoms from the rock ; and the 
three of them ran about the ruins and the landing- 
shelf, for all the world like ants about a broken nest, 
hailing and crying on us to return. We were still in 
both the lee and the shadow of the rock, which last 
lay broad upon the waters, but presently came forth in 
almost the same moment into the wind and sunshine ; 
the sail filled, the boat heeled to the gunwale, and we 
swept immediately beyond sound of the men's voices. 
To what terrors they endured upon the rock, where 
they were now deserted without the countenance of any 
civilised person or so much as the protection of a Bible, 
no limit can be set ; nor had they any brandy left to be 
their consolation, for even in the haste and secrecy of 
our departure Andie had managed to remove it. 

It was our first care to set Anster ashore in a cove by 
the Glenteithy Rocks, so that the deliverance of our 
maroons might be duly seen to the next day. Thence 
we kept away up Firth. The breeze, which was then 
so spirited, swiftly declined, but never wholly failed us. 
All day we kept moving, though often not much more ; 
and it was after dark ere we were up with the Queens- 
ferry. To keep the letter of Andie's engagement (or 



DAVID BALFOUR 201 

what was left of it) I musl remain on board, but I 

thought no harm to communicate with the shore in 
writing. On Prestongrange's cover, where the Govern- 
ment seal must have a good deal surprised my corre- 
spondent, I writ, by the boat's lantern, a few necessary 
words, and Andie carried them to Rankeillor. In 
about an hour he came aboard again, with a purse of 
money and the assurance that a good horse should be 
standing saddled for me by two to-morrow at Clack- 
mannan Pool. This done, and the boat riding by her 
stone anchor, we lay down to sleep under the sail. 

We were in the Pool the next day long ere two ; and 
there was nothing left for me but sit and wait. I felt 
little alacrity upon my errand. I would have been glad 
of any passable excuse to lay it down ; but none being 
to be found, my uneasiness was no less great than if I 
had been running to some desired pleasure. By shortly 
after one the horse was at the waterside, and I could see 
a man walking it to and fro till I should land, which 
vastly swelled my impatience. Andie ran the moment 
of my liberation very fine, showing himself a man of his 
bare word, but scarce serving his employers with a 
heaped measure ; and by about fifty seconds after t\\«> 1 
was in the saddle and on the full stretch for Stirling. 
In a little more than an hour I had passed that town. 
and was already mounting Alan Water side, when the 
weather broke in a small tempest. The rain blinded 
me, the wind had nearly beat me from the saddle, ami 



202 DAVID BALFOUR 

the first darkness of the night surprised me in a wilder- 
ness still some way east of Balwhidder, not very sure of 
my direction and mounted on a horse that began already 
to be weary. 

In the press of my hurry, and to be spared the delay 
and annoyance of a guide, I had followed (so far as it 
was possible for any horseman) the line of my journey 
with Alan. This I did with open eyes, foreseeing a 
great risk in it, which the tempest had now brought to 
a reality. The last that I knew of where I was, I think 
it must have been about Ham Var ; the hour perhaps 
six at night. I must still think it great good fortune 
that I got about eleven to my destination, the house of 
Duncan Dim. Where I had wandered in the interval 
perhaps the horse could tell. I know we were twice 
down, and once over the saddle and for a moment 
carried away in a roaring burn. Steed and rider were 
bemired up to the eyes. 

From Duncan I had news of the trial. It was fol- 
lowed in all these Highland regions with religious 
interest; news of it spread from Inverary as swift as 
men could travel ; and I was rejoiced to learn that, up 
to a late hour that Saturday, it was not yet concluded ; 
and all men began to suppose it must spread over to the 
Monday. Under the spur of this intelligence I would 
not sit to eat; but, Duncan having agreed to be my 
guide, took the road again on foot, with the piece in my 
hand and munching as I went. Duncan brought with 



DAVID BALFOUB 203 

him a flask of usquebaugh and a hand-lantern ; which 
last enlightened as just bo long as we could find houses 

where to rekindle it, for the thing leaked outrageously 
and blew out with every gust. The more part of the 
night we walked blindfold among sheets of rain, and 
day found us aimless on the mountains. Hard by we 
struck a hut on a burn-side, where we got a bite and a 
direction ; and, a little before the end of the sermon, 
came to the kirk doors of Inverary. 

The rain had somewhat washed the upper parts of 
me, but I was still bogged as high as to the knees ; I 
streamed water ; I was so weary I could hardly limp, 
and my face was like a ghost's. I stood certainly more 
in need of a change of raiment and a bed to lie on, than 
of all the benefits in Christianity. For all which (being 
persuaded the chief point for me was to make myself 
Immediately public) I set the door open, entered that 
church with the dirty Duncan at my tails, and finding 
a vacant place hard by, sat down. 

"Thirteenthly, my brethren, and in parenthesis, the 
law itself must be regarded as a means of grace," the 
minister Mas saying, in the voice of one delighting to 
pursue an argument. 

The sermon was in Euglish on account of the assize. 
The judges were present with their armed attendants, 
the balberts glittered in a corner by the door, and the 
seats were thronged beyond custom with the array of 
lawyers. The text was in Romans 5th and 13th — the 



204 DAVID BALFOUR 

minister a skilled hand ; and the whole of that able 
churchful — from Argyle, and my Lords Elchies and 
Kilkerran, down to the halbertmen that came in their 
attendance — was sunk with gathered brows in a pro- 
found critical attention. The minister himself and a 
sprinkling of those about the door observed our entrance 
at the moment and immediately forgot the same; the 
rest either did not hear or would not heed ; and I sat 
there amongst my friends and enemies unremarked. 

The first that I singled out was Prestongrange. He 
sat well forward, like an eager horseman in the saddle, 
his lips moving with relish, his eyes glued on the 
minister : the doctrine was clearly to his mind. Charles 
Stewart, on the other hand, was half asleep, and looked 
harassed and pale. As for Syinon Fraser, he appeared 
like a blot, and almost a scandal, in the midst of that 
attentive congregation, digging his hands in his pockets, 
shifting his legs, clearing his throat, rolling up his bald 
eyebrows and shooting out his eyes to right and left, 
now with a yawn, now with a secret smile. At times 
too, he would take the Bible in front of him, run it 
through, seem to read a bit, run it through again, and 
stop and yawn prodigiously : the whole as if for exer- 
cise. 

In the course of this restlessness his eye alighted on 
myself. He sat a second stupefied, than tore a half leaf 
out of the Bible, scrawled upon it with a pencil, and 
passed it with a whispered word to his next neighbor. 



DAVID BALFOUR 205 

The note came to Prestongrangc, who gave me but the 
one look ; thence it voyaged to the hands of Mr. Ers- 
kine ; thence again to Argyle, where he sat between the 
other two lords of session, and his Grace turned and 
fixed me with an arrogant eye. The last of those inter- 
ested to observe my presence was Charlie Stewart, and 
he too began to pencil and hand about despatches, none 
of which I was able to trace to their destination in the 
crowd. 

But the passage of these notes had aroused notice ; all 
who were in the secret (or supposed themselves to be so) 
were whispering information — the rest questions ; and 
the minister himself seemed quite discountenanced by 
the flutter in the church and sudden stir and whisper- 
ing. His voice changed, he plainly faltered, nor did he 
again recover the easy conviction and full tones of his 
delivery. It would be a puzzle to him till his dying 
day, why a sermon that had gone with triumph through 
four ] tarts, should thus miscarry in the fifth. 

As for me, I continued to sit there, very wet and 
weary, and a good deal anxious as to what should 
happen next, but greatly exulting in my success. 



CHAPTER XVII 

THE MEMORIAL 

The last word of the blessing was scarce out of the 
minister's mouth before Stewart had me by the arm. 
We were the first to be forth of the church, and he 
made such extraordinary expedition that we were safe 
within the four walls of a house before the street had 
begun to be thronged with the home-going congrega- 
tion. 

"Am I yet in time ?" I asked. 

" Ay and no," said he. " The case is over ; the jury 
is enclosed, and will be so kind as let us ken their view 
of it to-morrow in the morning, the same as I could 
have told it my own self three days ago before the play 
began. The thing has been public from the start. 
The panel kent it, 'Ye may do what ye will for me/ 
whispers he two days ago. ' I ken my fate by ivhat the 
Duke of Argyle has just said to Mr. Macintosh! 0, 
it's been a scandal ! 

The great Argyle he gaed before, 

lie gart the cannons and guns to roar, 

and the very macer cried ' Cruachan !' But now that 



DAVIS BALFOUfi 201 

I have got you again I'll never despair. The oak 
shall go over the myrtle jei ; we'll ding the Campbells 

yet in their own town. Praise God that I should see 
the day .'" 

He was leaping with excitement, emptied out his 
mails upon the floor that I might have a change of 
clothes, and incommoded me with his assistance as I 
changed. What remained to be done, or how I was to 
do it, was what he never told me nor, I believe, so 
mnch as thought of. " We'll ding the Campbells 
yet \" that was still his overcome. And it was forced 
home upon my mind how this, that had the externals 
of a sober process of law, was in its essence a elan 
battle between savage clans. I thought my friend the 
Writer none of the least savage. Who, that had only 
seen him at a counsel's back before the Lord Ordinary 
or following a golf ball and laying down his clubs on 
Bruntsfield links, could have recognised for the same 
person this voluble and violent clansman ? 

James Stewart's counsel were four in number — 
Sheriffs Brown of Colstoun and Miller, Mr. Robert 
Macintosh and Mr. Stewart younger of Stewart Hall. 
These were covenanted to dine with the Writer after 
sermon, and I was very obligingly included of the 
party. No sooner the cloth lifted, and the first bow] 
very artfully compounded by Sheriff Miller, than we 
fell to the subject in hand. I made a short narration 
of my seizure and captivity, and was then examined 



208 DAVID BALFOUR 

and re-examined upon the circumstances of the murder. 
It will be remembered this was the first time I had had 
my say out, or the matter at all handled, among law- 
yers ; and the consequence was very dispiriting to the 
others and (I must own) disappointing to myself. 

" To sum up," said Colstoun, "you prove that Alan 
was on the spot ; you have heard him proffer menaces 
against Glenure ; and though you assure us he was not 
the man who fired, you leave a strong impression that 
he was in league with him, and consenting, perhaps 
immediately assisting, in the act. You show him 
besides, at the risk of his own liberty, actively further- 
ing the criminal's escape. And the rest of your testi- 
mony (so far as the least material) depends on the bare 
word of Alan or of James, the two accused. In short, 
you do not at all break, but only lengthen by one per- 
sonage, the chain that binds our client to the murderer; 
and I need scarcely say that the introduction of a third 
accomplice rather aggravates that appearance of a con- 
spiracy which has been our stumbling block from the 
beginning." 

"I am of the same opinion," said Sheriff Miller. 
" I think we may all be very much obliged to Preston- 
grange for taking a most uncomfortable witness out of 
our way. And chiefly, I think, Mr. Balfour himself 
might be obliged. For you talk of a third accomplice, 
but Mr. Balfour (in my view) has very much the appear- 
ance of a fourth." 



DAVID BALFOUR 209 

"Allow me, sirs!"' interposed Stewart the Writer. 
"There is another view. Here we have a witness — 

never fash whether material or not — a witness in this 
cause, kidnapped by that old, lawless, bandit crew of 
the Glengyle Macgregors, and sequestered for Dear 
upon a month in a bourock of old cold ruins on the 
Bass. Move that and see what dirt you fling on the 
proceedings ! Sirs, this is a tale to make the world 
ring with ! It would be strange, with such a grip 
as this, if we couldnae squeeze out a pardon for my 
client/' 

"And suppose we took up Mr. Balfour's cause to- 
morrow^ ?" said Stewart Hall. "I am much deceived 
or we should find so many impediments thrown in our 
path, as that James should have been hanged before we 
had found a court to hear us. This is a great scandal, 
but I suppose we have none of us forgot a greater still, 
I mean the matter of the Lady Grange. The woman 
was -till in durance ; my friend Mr. Hope of Rankeillor 
did what was humanly possible ; and how did he 
Bpeed ? He never got a warrant! Well, it'll be the 
same now ; the same weapons will be used. This is a 
scene, gentlemen, of clan animosity. The hatred of 
the name which 1 have the honor to bear, rages in high 
quarters. There is nothing here to be viewed hut 
naked Campbell spite and scurvy Campbell intrigue." 

You may be sure this was to touch a welcome topic, 
and I sat for some time in the midst of niv learned 



210 DAVID BALFOUR 

counsel, almost cleaved with their talk but extremely 
little the wiser for its purport. The Writer was led into 
some hot expressions ; Colstoun must take him up and 
set him right ; the rest joined in on different sides, but 
all pretty noisy ; the Duke of Argyle was beaten like a 
blanket ; King George came in for a few digs in tbe 
by-going and a great deal of rather elaborate defence : 
and there was only one person that seemed to be forgot- 
ten, and that was James of the Glens. 

Through all this Mr. Miller sat quiet. He was a slip 
of an oldish gentleman, ruddy and twinkling ; he spoke 
in a smooth rich voice, with an infinite effect of pawki- 
ness, dealing out each word the way an actor does, to 
give the most expression possible ; and even now, when 
he was silent, and sat there with his wig laid aside, his 
glass in both hands, his mouth funnily pursed, and his 
chin out, he seemed the mere picture of a merry sly- 
ness. It was plain he had a word to say, and waited 
for the fit occasion. 

It came presently. Colstoun had wound up one of 
his speeches with some expression of their duty to their 
client. His brother sheriff was pleased, I suppose, with 
the transition. He took the table in his confidence 
with a gesture and a look. 

''That suggests to me a consideration which seems 
overlooked," said he. " The interest of our client goes 
certainly before all, but the world does not come to an 
end with James Stewart." Whereat he cocked his eye, 




'HERE [8 NOTHING HERE TO BE VIEWED BUT NAKED I UfPBELL SPITE ami 
-' URT1 < \Mi-i;i i .1. iMiin.i i: ' " 



DAVID BALFOUB 211 

" I might condescend, exempli gratia, upon a Mr. 

George Brown, a Mr. Thomas Miller, and a Mr. David 

Balfour. Mr. David Balfour has a very good ground 
of complaint, and I think, gentlemen — if his story was 
properly red uut — I think there would be a number of 
wigs on the green." 

The whole table turned to him with a common move- 
ment. 

" Properly handled and carefully red out, his is a 
story that could scarcely fail to have some consequence," 
he continued. " The whole administration of justice, 
from its highest officer downward, would be totally dis- 
credited ; and it looks to me as if they would need to 
be replaced." lie seemed to shine with cunning as he 
said it. "And I need not point out to ye that this of 
Mr. Balfour's would be a remarkable bonny cause to 
appear in," lie added. 

Well, there they all were started on another hare ; 
Mr. Balfour's cause, and what kind of speeches could 
be there delivered, and what officials could be thus 
turned out, and who would succeed to their positions. 
I shall give but the two specimens. It was proposed t<> 
approach Symon Fraser, whose testimony, if it could be 
obtained, could prove certainly fatal to Argyle and 
Prestongrange. Miller highly approved of the attempt. 
"We have here before us ;i dreeping roast." s:ii<l he, 
"here is cnt-and-come-agaiu for all." And metboughl 
all licked their lips, The other wae already near the 



212 DAVID BALFOUR 

end. Stewart the Writer was out of the body with 
delight, smelling vengeance on his chief enemy, the 
Duke. 

" Gentlemen," cried he, charging his glass, "here is 
to Sheriff Miller. His legal abilities are known to all. 
His culinary, this bowl in front of us is here to speak 
for. But when it comes to the poleetical ! " — cries he, 
and drains the glass. 

" Ay, but it will hardly prove politics in your mean- 
ing, my friend," said the gratified Miller. " A revolu- 
tion, if you like, and I think I can promise you that 
historical writers shall date from Mr. Balfour's cause. 
But properly guided, Mr. Stewart, tenderly guided, it 
shall prove a peaceful revolution." 

" And if the damned Campbells get their ears rubbed, 
what care I ?" cries Stewart, smiting down his fist. 

It will be thought I was not very well pleased with 
all this, though I could scarce forbear smiling at a kind 
of innocency in these old intriguers. But it was not 
my view to have undergone so many sorrows for the 
advancement of Sheriff Miller or to make a revolution 
in the Parliament House : and I interposed accordingly 
with as much simplicity of manner as I could assume. 

" I have to thank you, gentlemen, for your advice," 
said I. " And now I would like, by your leave, to set 
you two or three questions. There is one thing that 
has fallen rather on one side, for instance : AVill this 
cause do any good to our friend James of the Glens ? " 



DAVID BALFOUB 213 

They Beamed all a hair set back, and gave various 

answers, but concurring practically in one point, that 
James had now no hope but in the King's mercy. 

"To proceed, then," said I. "will it do any good to 
Scotland ? We have a saying that it is an ill bird that 
fouls his own nest. I remember hearing we had a riot 
in Edinburgh when I was an infant child, which gave 
occasion to the late Queen to call this country barba- 
rous ; and I always understood that we had rather lost 
than gained by that. Then came the year 'Forty-five, 
which made Scotland to be talked of everywhere; but 
I never heard it said we had anyway gained by the 
'Forty-five. And now we come to this cause of Mr. 
Balfour's, as you call it. Sheriff Miller tells us histori- 
cal writers are to date from it, and I would not wonder. 
It is only my fear they would date from it as a period 
of calamity and public reproach." 

The nimble-witled Miller had already smelt where I 
was travelling to, and made haste to get on the same 
road. " Forcibly put, Mr. Balfour," says he. " A 
weighty observe, sir." 

"We have next to ask ourselves it' it will be good 
for King George,'' I pursued. "Sheriff Miller appears 
pretty easy upon this; but I doubt you will Bcarce be 
able to pull down the house from under him, without 
his Majesty coming by a knock or bwo, one of which 
might easily prove fatal." 

I gave them a chance to answer, hut none volunteered. 



214 DAVID BALFOUR 

" Of those for whom the case was to be profitable/' I 
went on, " Sheriff Miller gave us the names of several, 
among the which he was good enough to mention mine. 
I hope he will pardon me if I think otherwise. I be- 
lieve I hung not the least back in this affair while there 
was life to be saved ; but I own I thought myself 
extremely hazarded, and I own I think it would be a 
pity for a young man, with some idea of coming to the 
bar, to ingrain upon liimself the character of a turbu- 
lent, factious fellow before he was yet twenty. As for 
James, it seems — at this date of the proceedings, with 
the sentence as good as pronounced — he has no hope 
but in the King's mercy. May not his Majesty, then, 
be more pointedly addressed, the characters of these 
high officers sheltered from the public, and myself kept 
out of a position which I think spells ruin for me ?" 

They all sat and gazed into their glasses, and I could 
see they found my attitude on the affair unpalatable. 
But Miller was ready at all events. 

"If I may be allowed to put our young friend's 
notion in more formal shape," says he, "I understand 
him to propose that we should embody the fact of his 
sequestration, and perhaps some heads of the testimony 
he was prepared to offer, in a memorial to the Crown. 
This plan has elements of success. It is as likely as any 
other (and perhaps likelier) to help our client. Per- 
haps his Majesty would have the goodness to feel a 
certain gratitude to all concerned in such a memorial, 



DAVID BALP01 R 215 

which mighl be construed into an expression of a \<t\ 
delicate loyalty; and I think, in the drafting of the 
same, this view might be brought forward." 

They all nodded to each other, not without sighs, for 
the former alternative was donbtless more after their in- 
clination. 

"Paper then, Mr. Stewart, if yon please," pursued 
Miller; "and I think it might very fittingly be signed 
by the five of us here present, as procurators for the 
' condemned man.'" 

"It can do noue of us any harm at least," says Col- 
Btonn, heaving another sigh, for he had seen himself 
Lord Advocate the last ten minutes. 

Thereupon they set themselves, not very enthusias- 
tically, to draft the memorial — a process in the course 
of which they soon caught fire ; and I had no more ado 
but to sit looking on and answer an occasional question. 
The paper was very well expressed ; beginning with a 
recitation of the facts about myself, the reward offered 
for my apprehension, my surrender, the pressure 
brought to bear upon me; my sequestration; and my 
arrival at Inverary in time to be too late ; going on to 
explain the reasons of loyalty and public interest for 
which it was agreed to waive any right of action ; ami 
winding up with a forcible appeal to the King's mercy 
on behalf of James. 

Methought I was a good deal sacrificed, and rather 
represented in the light of a firebrand of a fellow whom 



216 DAVID BALFOUR 

my cloud of lawyers had restrained with difficulty from 
extremes. But I let it pass, and made but the one sug- 
gestion, that I should be described as ready to deliver 
my own evidence and adduce that of others before any 
commission of inquiry — and the one demand, that I 
should be immediately furnished with a copy. 

Colstoun hummed and hawed. " This is a very con- 
fidential document,'' said he. 

"And my position towards Prestongrange is highly 
peculiar/' I replied. "No question but I must have 
touched his heart at our first interview, so that he has 
since stood my friend consistently. But for him, 
gentlemen, I must now be lying dead or awaiting my 
sentence alongside jDoor James. For which reason I 
choose to communicate to him the fact of this memorial 
as soon as it is copied. You are to consider also that 
this step will make for my protection. I have enemies 
here accustomed to drive hard ; his Grace is in his own 
country, Lovat by his side ; and if there should hang 
any ambiguity over our proceedings, I think I might 
very well awake in gaol." 

Not finding any very ready answer to these considera- 
tions, my company of advisers were at the last per- 
suaded to consent, and made only this condition that I 
was to lay the paper before Prestongrange with the 
express compliments of all concerned. 

The Advocate was at the castle dining with his 
Grace. By the hand of one of Colstoun's servants I 



DAVID BALFOUR 21 i 

sent him a billet asking for an interview, and received a 
summons to imrf him at once in a private house of the 
town. Here I found him alone in a chamber ; from hia 
face there was nothing to be gleaned ; yet I was no! bo 
unobservant but what I spied some halberts in the hall, 
and not so stupid but what I could gather he was pre- 
pared to arrest me there and then, should it appear 
advisable. 

" So, Mr. David, this is you?" said he. 

••Where I fear I am not overly welcome, my lord,'' 
said I. "And I would like before I go further to ex- 
press my sense of your lordship's continued good offices, 
even should they now cease." 

"I have heard of your gratitude before," he replied 
drily, "and I think this can scarce be the matter you 
called me from my wine to listen to. I would re- 
member also, if I were you, that you still stand on a 
very boggy foundation. " 

"Not n<>w. my lord. I think." said I : ••and if your 
lordship will but glance an eye along this, you will per- 
haps think as I do." 

He read it sedulously through, frowning heavily ; 
then turned back to one part and another which be 
seemed to weigh and compare the effect of. His face 
a little lightened. 

"This is not so bad but what it might be worse," 
said he ; "though I am still likeh to pay dear for my 
acquaintance with Mr. David Balfour." 



218 DAVID BALFOUR 

" Rather for your indulgence to that unlucky young 
man, my lord," said I. 

He still skimmed the paper, and all the while his 
spirits seemed to mend. 

"And to whom am I indebted for this ?" he asked 
presently. "Other counsels must have been discussed, 
I think. Who was it proposed this private method ? 
Was it Miller ?" 

"My lord, it was myself," said I. "These gentle- 
men have shown me no such consideration, as that I 
should deny myself any credit I can fairly claim, or 
spare them any responsibility they should properly 
bear. And the mere truth is, that they were all in 
favour of a process which should have remarkable 
consequences in the Parliament House, and prove for 
them (in one of their own expressions) a dripping- 
roast. Before I intervened, I think they were on the 
point of sharing out the different law appointments. 
Our friend Mr. Symon was to be taken in upon some 
composition." 

Prestongrange smiled. " These are our friends ! " 
said he. " And what were your reasons for dissenting, 
Mr. David?" 

I told them without concealment, expressing, how- 
ever, with more force and volume those which re- 
garded Prestongrange himself. 

"You do me no more than justice," said he. "I 
have fought as hard in your interest as you have fought 



DAVID BALFOUK 219 

against mine. And how came you here to-day ? " he 

asked. " As the case drew out, I began to grow uncasv 
that I had clipped the period so fine, and I was even 
expecting vou to-morrow. But to-day— I never dreamed 
of it." 

I was not, of course, going to betray Andie. 

" I suspect there is some very weary cattle by the 
road," said I. 

" If I had known you were such a mosstrooper you 
should have tasted longer of the Bass," says lie. 

" Speaking of which, my lord, I return your letter." 
And I gave him the enclosure in the counterfeit hand. 

" There was the cover also with the seal/' said he. 

"I have it not," said I. "It bore naught but the 
address, and could not compromise a cat. The second 
enclosure I have, and with your permission, I desire to 
keep it." 

I thought he winced a little, but he said nothing to 
the point. " To-morrow," he resumed, "our business 
here is to be finished, and I proceed by Glasgow. I 
would be very glad to have you of my party, Mr. 
David." 

" My lord . . . ."I began. 

"I do not deny it will be of service to me," he 
interrupted. "I desire even that, when we shall com.' 
to Edinburgh you should alight at my house. You 
have very warm friends in the Miss Grants, who will 
be overjoyed to have you to themselves. If you think 



220 DAVID BALFOUR 

I have been of use to you, you can thus easily repay 
me, and so far from losing, may reap some advantage 
by the way. It is not every strange young man who is 
presented in society by the King's Advocate." 

Often enough already (in our brief relations) this 
gentleman had caused my head to spin ; no doubt but 
what for a moment he did so again now. Here was the 
old fiction still maintained of my particular favour with 
his daughters, one of whom had been so good as laugh 
at me, while the other two had scarce deigned to 
remark the fact of my existence. And now I was to 
ride with my lord to Glascow ; I was to dwell with him 
in Edinburgh ; I was to be brought into society under 
his protection ! That he should have so much good- 
nature as to forgive me was surprising enough ; that he 
could wish to take me up and serve me seemed impossi- 
ble ; and I began to seek for some ulterior meaning. 
One was plain. If I became his guest, repentance was 
excluded ; I could never think better of my present 
design and bring any action. And besides, would not 
my presence in his house draw out the whole pungency 
of the memorial ? "For that complaint could not be 
very seriously regarded, if the person chiefly injured 
was the guest of the official most incriminated. As I 
thought upon this, I could not quite refrain from 
smiling. 

" This is in the nature of a countercheck to the 
memorial ?" said I. 



DAVID BALFOUR 221 

" You are cunning, Mr. David," said lie, ''and you 
do not wholly guess wrong ; the foe! will be of use -to 
me in my defence. Perhaps, however, you underrate 

my friendly sentiments, which are perfectly genuine. 
I have a respect for you, Mr. David, mingled with 
awe," says lie, smiling. 

"I am more than willing, I am earnestly desirous to 
meet your wishes," said I. "It is my design to be 
called to the bar, where your lordship's countenance 
would be invaluable ; and I am besides sincerely grate- 
ful to yourself and family for different marks of interest 
and of indulgence. The difficulty is here. There is 
one point in which we pull two ways. You are trying 
to hang James Stewart, I am trying to save him. In bo 
far as my riding with you would better your lordship's 
defence, I am at your lordship's orders ; but in so far aa 
it would help to hang James Stewart, you see me at a 
stick/' 

I thought he swore to himself. " You should cer- 
tainly be called ; the bar is the true scene for your 
talents," says he, bitterly, and then fell a while silent. 
"Y will tell you," he presently resumed, "there is no 
question of James Stewart, for or against. James is a 
dead man ; his life is given and taken — bought (if you 
like it better) and sold ; no memorial can help — no 
defalcation of a faithful Mr. David hurt him. Blow 
high, blow low, there will l»e no pardon for James 
Stewart : and take that for said ! The question is now 



222 DAVID BALFOUR 

of myself : am I to stand or fall ? and I do not deny to 
you that I am in some danger. But will Mr. David 
Balfour consider why ? It is not because I have 
pushed the case unduly against James ; for that, I am 
sure of condonation. And it is not because I have 
sequestered Mr. David on a rock, though it will pass 
under that colour ; but because I did. not take the 
ready and plain path, to which I was pressed repeat- 
edly, and send Mr. David to his grave or to the gallows. 
Hence the scandal — hence this damned memorial/' 
striking the paper on his leg. " My tenderness for you 
has brought me in this difficulty. I wish to know if 
your tenderness to your own conscience is too great to 
let you help me out of it ? " 

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

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

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

I came away, vastly pleased to have my peace made, 
yei a little concerned in conscience ; nor could I help 
wondering, as I went back, whether, perhaps, I had 



DAVID BALFOUR , 223 

not been a Bcruple too good-natured. Bui there was 

the fact, that this was a man that might have been my 
father, an able man, a great dignitary, aud one that, in 
the hour of my need, had reached a hand to my 
assistance. I was in the better humour to enjoy the 
remainder of that evening, which I passed with the 
advocates, in excellent company no doubt, but perhaps 
with rather more than a sufficiency of punch : for 
though I went early to bed I have no clear mind of how 
I got there. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

THE TEE'D BALL 

Ox the morrow, from the justices' private room, 
where none could see me, I heard the verdict given in 
and judgment rendered upon James. The Duke's 
words I am quite sure I have correctly ; and since that 
famous passage has been made a subject of dispute, I 
may as well commemorate my version. Having referred 
to the year '45, the chief of the Campbells, sitting as 
Justice-General upon the bench, thus addressed the 
unfortunate Stewart before him : " If you had been 
successful in that rebellion, you might have been giving 
the law where you have now received the judgment of 
it ; w T e, who are this day your judges, might have been 
tried before one of your mock courts of judicature ; and 
then you might have been satiated with the blood of 
any name or clan to which you had an aversion." 

" This is to let the cat out of the bag, indeed/' 
thought I. And that was the general impression. It 
was extraordinary how the young advocate lads took 
hold and made a mock of this speech, and how scarce a 
meal passed but what some one would get in the words : 
"And then you might have been satiated." Many 



DAVID BALFOUR 225 

songs were made in that time for the hour's diversion, 

and are near all forgot. I remember one began : 

What do ye want the bluid of, bluid of ? 

Is it a name, or is it a clan, 

Or is it an aefauld Ilielandman, 
That ye want the bluid of, bluid of ? 

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

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

And one of the verses ran : 

Then up and spak the Duke, and flyted on his cook, 

I regaird it as a sensible aspersion, 
That I would sup ava\ an' satiate my maw, 

With the bluid of ony clan of my aversion. 

James was as fairly murdered as though the Duke 
had got a fowling-piece and stalked him. So much of 
course I knew : but others knew not so much, and were 
more affected by the items of scandal that came to light 
in the progress of the cause. One of the chief was 
certainly this sally of the justice's. It was run hard by 
another of a juryman, who had struck into the midst of 
Colstoun's speech for the defence with a "Pray, sir, cut 
it short, we are quite weary," which seemed the very 
excess of impudence and simplicity. But some of my 
new lawyer friends were still more staggered with an 
innovation that had disgraced and even utiated the 
15 



226 DAVID BALFOUR 

proceedings. One witness was never called. His name, 
indeed, was printed, where it may still be seen on the 
fourth page of the list : "James Drummond, alias Mac- 
gregor, alias James More, late tenant in Inveronachile"; 
and his precognition had been taken, as the manner is, 
in writing. He had remembered or invented (God help 
him) matter which was lead in James Stewart's shoes, 
and I saw was like to prove wings to his own. This 
testimony it was highly desirable to bring to the notice 
of the jury, without exposing the man himself to the 
perils of cross-examination ; and the way it was brought 
about was a matter of surprise to all. For the paper 
was handed round (like a curiosity) in court ; passed 
through the jury-box, where it did its work ; and dis- 
appeared again (as though by accident) before it reached 
the counsel for the prisoner. This was counted a most 
insidious device ; and that the name of James More 
should be mingled up with it filled me with shame for 
Catriona and concern for myself. 

The following day, Prestongrange and I, with a 
considerable company, set out for Glasgow, where (to 
my impatience) we continued to linger some time in a 
mixture of pleasure and affairs. I lodged with my 
lord, with whom I was encouraged to familiarity ; had 
my place at entertainments ; was presented to the chief 
guests; and altogether made more of than I thought 
accorded either with my parts or station ; so that, on 
strangers being present, I would often blush for Preston- 



DAVID BALFOUB 22t 

grange. It mus< be owned the ?iew I had taken of bbe 

world in these last, months was lit to cast a gloom upon 
my character. I had met many men, some of them 
leaders in Israel whether by their birth or talents ; and 

who among them all had shown clean hands ? As for 
the Browns and Millers, I had seen their self-seeking, 
I could never again respect them. Prestongrange was 
the best yet ; he had saved me, had spared me rather, 
when others had it in their minds to murder me out- 
right ; but the blood of James la; at his door; and I 
thought his present dissimulation with myself a thing 
below pardon. That he should affect to find pleasure 
in my discourse almost surprised me out of my patience. 
I would sit and watch him with a kind of a slow lire of 
anger in my bowels. "Ah, friend, friend,"' I would 
think to myself, ''if you were but through with this 
affair of the memorial, would you not kick me in the 
streets?" Here I did him, as events have proved, the 
most foul injustice ; and I think he was at once far 
more sincere, and a far more artful performer than 1 
supposed. 

But I had some warrant for my incredulity in the 
behaviour of that court of young advocates that hung 
about him in the hope of patronage. The sudden 
favour of a lad not previously heard of troubled them at 
first out of measure ; but two days were not gone by 
before I found myself surrounded wiih flattery ami 
attention. I was the same young man. and neither 



228 DAVID BALFOUli 

better nor bonnier, that they had rejected a month 
before ; and now there was no civility too fine for 
me ! The same, do I say ? It was not so ; and the by- 
name by which I went behind my back confirmed it. 
Seeing me so firm with the Advocate, and persuaded 
that I was to fly high and far, they had taken a word 
from the golfing green, and called me the Tee\l Ball* 
I was told I was now " one of themselves " ; I was to 
taste of their soft lining, who had already made my own 
experience of the roughness of the outer husk ; and the 
one, to whom I had been presented in Hope Park, was 
so assured as even to remind me of that meeting. I 
told him I had not the pleasure of remembering it. 

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

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

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

But I have not patience to dwell upon that time at 
length. When I was in company with these young 
politics I was borne down with shame for myself and 
my own plain ways, and scorn for them and their 
duplicity. Of the two evils, I thought Prestongrange 
to be the least ; and while I was always as stiff as buck- 
ram to the young bloods, I made rather a dissimulation 
*A ball placed upon a little mound for convenience of striking. 



DAVID BALFOUR 229 

of my hard feelings towards the Advocate, and was (in 
old Mr. Campbell's word) " soople to the laird." Him- 
self commented on the difference, and bid me be more 

of my age, and make friends with my young comrades. 

I told him I was slow of making friends. 

" I will take the word back," said he. " But there 
is such a thing as Fair gude ecu and fair giide day, Mr. 
David. These are the same young men with whom yon 
are to pass your days and get through life : your back- 
wardness has a look of arrogance ; and unless you can 
assume a little more lightness of manner, I fear you 
will meet difficulties in the path." 

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

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

'• Mr. David," said he, " I have a piece of news for 
you. It concerns some Friends of yours, of whom I 
sometimes think you are a little ashamed, for you have 
never referred to fcheir existence." 

I suppose I blushed. 

"I see you understand, since you make the answering 
signal," said he. "And I must compliment you on 
your excellent taste in beauty-. But do you know, Mr. 



V 



230 DAVID BALFOUR 

David, this seems to me a very enterprising lass ? She 
crops up from every side. The Government of Scotland 
appears unable to proceed for Mistress Katrine Drum- 
mond, which was somewhat the case (no great while 
back) with a certain Mr. David -Balfour. Should not 
these make a good match ? Her first intromission in 
politics — but I must not tell you that story, the author- 
ities have decided you are to hear it otherwise and from 
a livelier narrator. This new example is more serious, 
however ; and I am afraid I must alarm you with the 
intelligence that she is now in prison/' 

I cried out. 

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

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

" It might be almost construed a high treason," he 
returned, "for she has broke the King's Castle of Edin- 
burgh." 

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

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

Here was one of my previsions justified : James 



DAVID BALFOUR 231 

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

"Ah! I was expecting that!" 

" You have at times a great deal of discretion too I" 
says Prestongrange. 

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

" I was just marvelling, " he replied, "that being so 
clever as to draw these inferences, you should not be 
clever enough to keep them to yourself. But I think 
you would like to hear the details of the affair. I have 
received two versions : and the least official is the more 
full and far the more entertaining, being from the 
lively pen of my eldest daughter. 'Here is all the 
town bizzing with a fine piece of work,' she writes, 'and 



232 DAVLD BALFOUR 

what would make the thing more noted (if it were 
only known) the malefactor is & protegee of his lordship 
my papa. I am sure your heart is too much in your 
duty (if it were nothing else) to have forgotten Grey 
Eyes. What does she do, but get a broad hat with the 
flaps open, a long hairy-like man's greatcoat, and a big 
gravatt ; kilt her coats up to Gude hens wliaur, clap 
two pair of boot-hose upon her legs, take a pair of 
clouted brogues * in her hand, and off to the Castle ? 
Here she gives herself out to be a soutar f in the employ 
of James More, and gets admitted to his cell, the lieu- 
tenant (who seems to have been full of pleasantry) 
making sport among his soldiers of the soutar's great- 
coat. Presently they hear disputation and the sound 
of blows inside. Out flies the cobbler, his coat flying, 
the flaps of his hat beat about his face, and the lieu- 
tenant and his soldiers mock at him as he runs off. 
They laughed not so hearty the next time they had 
occasion to visit the cell, and found nobody but a tall, 
pretty, grey-eyed lass in the female habit ! As for the 
cobbler, he was " over the hills ayont Dumblaue," and 
it's thought that poor Scotland will have to console 
herself without him. I drank Catriona's health this 
night in public. Indeed, the whole town admires her ; 
and I think the beaux would wear bits of her garters 
in their button-holes if they could only get them. I 
would have gone to visit her in prison too, only I re- 
* Patched shoes. f Shoemaker. 



DAVID BALFOUE L'.'Jo 

membered in time I was papa's daughter; bo I wrote 

her a billet instead, which I entrusted to the faithful 
Doig, and I hope you will admit I can be political 
when I please. The same faithful gomeral is to de- 
spatch this letter by the express along with those of the 
wiseacres, so that you may hear Tom Fool in company 
with Solomon. Talking of gomerals, do tell Dauvit 
Balfour. I would I could see the face of him at the 
thought of a long-legged lass in such a predicament ! to 
say nothing of the levities of your affectionate daughter, 
and his respectful friend/ So my rascal signs her- 
self !" continued Prestongrange. "And you see, Mr. 
David, it is quite true what I tell you, that my daugh- 
ters regard you with the most affectionate playfulness." 

"The gomeral is much obliged," said I. 

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

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

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

Remembrance of Catriona, and the fchonghl of bel- 
lying in captivity, moved me Btrangely. I could see 
that even Prestongrange admired, and could nol with- 
hold his lips from smiling when he considered her be- 
haviour. As for Miss Grant, for all her ill habit of 



234 DAVID BALFOUR 

mockery, her admiration shone out plain. A kind of 
a heat came on me. 

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

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

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

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

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

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



DAVID HALFOIK 235 

hasty season ; von will think better of all this before a 
year." 

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

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

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

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

"Ah, but, my lord, I think ye take me not yet 
entirely!" cried I. "For your sake, for my life-safe, 
and the kindness that ye say ye bear to me — for tin-'. 
I'll consent ; but not for any good that might be com- 
ing to myself. If I stand aside when this young maid 



236 DAVID BALFOUR 

is in her trial, it's a thing I will be noways advantaged 
by ; I will lose by it, I will never gain. I would rather 
make a shipwreck wholly than to build on that founda- 
tion." 

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

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

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

Indeed he had some cause for gaiety, having now 
found the means to gain his purpose. To lessen the 
weight of the memorial, or to have a readier answer 
at his hand, he desired I should appear publicly in the 
character of his intimate. But if I were to appear with 
the same publicity as a visitor to Catriona in her prison 
the world would scarce stint to draw conclusions, and 



DAVID BALFOUR 281 

the true nature of James More's escape mnsi become 

evident to all. This was the little problem I bad 
set him of a sudden, and to which he had bo briskly 

found an answer. I was to be tethered in Glasgow by 
that job of copying, which in mere outward decency 
I could not well refuse ; and during these hours of 
my employment Catriona was privately got rid of. I 
think shame to write of this man that loaded me 
with bo many goodnesses. He was kind to me as 
any father, yet I ever thought him as false as a cracked 
bell. 



CHAPTER XIX 

I AM MUCH IN THE HANDS OF THE LADIES 

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

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

" Miss Drummond is set free ? " I cried. 



DAVID BALFOUR 239 

"Achj ! " Baid be. '* What would uv keep her \'>>w 

ye ken ? To hae made a steer about the bairn would 
hat' pleased naebody." 

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

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

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

" That'll be it," said he. 

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

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

"Neither bite uor sup/' said I. "I had a good 
waucht of milk in by Rat ho." 

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

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

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

"Gae saddle me the bonny black, 

Gtae saddle sane and mak' him ready. 
For I will down the Gatehope-slack, 
And a' i" see my bonny leddy." 

•Tamson's mare, to go afoot. 



2-iO DAVID BALFOUR 

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

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

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

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

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

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

"You give yourself hard names, " said she. 

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

" Once more I have to admire the discretion of all 



DAVID BALFOUR 241 

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

"He has lowpen on his bonny grey, 

He rade the richt gate and the ready ; 
I trow he would neither stint nor stay, 
Far he was seeking his bonny leddy." 

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

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

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

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

* Beard. 
16 



249 

•* DAVID BALFOUR 

" I see I hare fallen under your displeasure, ma'am - 
-d I- "Yet I will stil, be so bold as ask aL 
Mistress Drummond." 

She considered me with a burning eye, her H«. 
,-sed Cose together into twenty ii'^hS 
shakmg.on her staff. " This cows all I » she cried 
W !- Me t0 me t0 SpiOT f ° r her ! Won,d God I 
"She is not here ?" I cried. 

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

"Out upon your leeing throat ! " she cried. « What I 
ye come and spier at me ! She's in jyle, whanr ye took 
her to-hat's all there is to it. And of a' the beings 
ever I beheld in breeks, to think it should be you ! Ye 
t.mmer scoun'rel, if I had a male left to my name I 
would have your jaicket dustit till ye raired " 

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

As I knew no other quarter where I could push my 
inquiries, there was nothing left me but to return to 
the Advocate's. I was well received by the four ladies 
who wore now in company together, and must give the 
news of Prestongrange and what word went in the west 
country, at the most inordinate length and with great 



DAYID BALFOUR 24.] 

weariness to myself : while all the time thai young lady, 
with whom I bo much desired to be alone again, 
observed me quizzically and seemed to find pleasure in 

the sight of my impatience. At last, after I had en- 
dured a meal with them, and was come very near the 
point of appealing for an interview before her aunt, 
she went and stood by the music case, and picking out 
a tune, sang to it on a high key — "He that will not 
when he may, When he will he shall have nay." But 
this was the end of her rigours, and presently, after 
making some excuse of which I have no mind, she 
carried me away in private to her father's library. I 
should not fail to say that she was dressed to the nines, 
and appeared extraordinary handsome. 

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

"In what manner, Mistress Grant f 9 1 asked. "I 
trust I have never seemed to fail in due respect." 

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

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

"It must have prodigiously surprised you," said she. 



244 DAVID BALFOUR 

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

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

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

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

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



DAVID BALFOUR 245 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"By which you will please understand that 1 am like 
the cock in the midden in the fable book." said I. "I 
see the braw jewel — and I like fine to see it too — but 
I have more need of the pickle corn." 



246 DAVID BALFOUR 

" Bravissimo ! " she cried. "There is a word well 
said at last, and I will reward you for it with my story. 
That same night of your desertion I came late from 
a friend's house — where I was excessively admired, 
whatever you may think of it — and what should I hear 
but that a lass in a tartan screen desired to speak with 
me ? She had" been there an hour or better, said the 
servant-lass, and she grat in to herself as she sat wait- 
ing. I went to her direct ; she rose as I came in, and 
I knew her at a look. i Grey Eyes ! ' says I to myself, 
but was more wise than to let on. You will be Miss 
Grant at last? she says, rising and looking at me hard 
and pitiful. Ay, it was true lie said, you are bonny at all 
events. — The way God made me, my dear, I said, but I 
would be gey and obliged if ye could tell me what 
brought you here at such a time of the night. — Lady, 
she said, we are kinsfolk, we are both come of the blood 
of the sons of Alp in. — My dear, I replied, / think no 
more of Alpin or his sons than what I do of a halestoch. 
You have a better argument in these tears upon your 
bonny face. And at that I was so weakminded as to 
kiss her, which is what you would like to do dearly, 
and I wager will never find the courage of. I say it 
was weakminded of me, for I knew no more of her 
than the outside ; but it was the wisest stroke I could 
have hit upon. She is a very staunch, brave nature, 
but I think she lias been little used with tenderness; 
and at that caress (though to say the truth, it was but 



DAVID BALFOUB 247 

lightly given) her heart went out to me. I will never 
betray the secrets of my sex, Mr. Davie ; I will never 
tell you the way she turned me round her thumb, 
because it is the same she will use to twist yourself. 
Ay, it is a fine lass ! She is as clean as hill well 
water/' 

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

" Well, then, she told me her concerns," pursued 
Miss Grant, "and in what a swither she was in about her 
papa, and what a taking about yourself, with very little 
cause, and in what a perplexity she had found herself 
after you was gone away. And then I minded at tong 
last, says she, that we were kinswomen, and that Mr. 
David should hare given you the name of the bonniest 
of the bonny, and I was thinking to myself ' If she is so 
bonny she will be good at all events ' ; and I took up my 
foot soles out of that. That was wlifen I forgave your- 
self, Mr. Davie. When you was in my society, you 
seemed upon hot iron ; by all marks, if ever I saw a 
young man that wanted to begone, it was yourself, and 
I and my two sisters were the ladies you were so desir- 
ous to be gone from ; and now it appeared you bad 
given me some notice in the bygoing, and was so kind 
as to comment on my attractions ! From that hour 
you may date our friendship, and I began to think with 
tenderness upon the Latin grammar." 

"You will have many hours to rally me in.'* said I, 
" and I think besides you do yourself injustice, I think 



248 DAVID BALFOUR 

it was Catriona turned your heart in my direction, she 
is too simple to perceive as you do the stiffness of her 
friend." 

"■ I would not like to wager upon that, Mr. David/' 
said she. "The lasses have clear eyes. But at least 
she is your friend entirely, as I was to see. I carried 
her in to his lordship my papa ; and his Advocacy, 
being in a favourable stage of claret, was so good as to 
receive the pair of us. Here is Grey Eyes that you 
have been cleaved with these days past, said I, she is 
come to prove that we spoke true, and I lay the pret- 
tiest lass in the three Lothians at your feet — making 
a papistical reservation of myself. She suited her 
action to my words ; down she went upon her knees to 
him — I would not like to swear but he saw two of her, 
which doubtless made her appeal the more irresistible, 
for you are all a pack of Mahomedans — told him what 
had passed that night, and how she had withheld her 
father's man from following of you, and what a case 
she was in about her father, and what a flutter for 
yourself; and begged with weeping for the lives of both 
of you (neither of which was in the slightest danger) 
till I vow I was proud of my sex because it was done so 
pretty, and ashamed for it because of the small ness of 
the occasion. She had not gone far, I assure you, 
before the Advocate was wholly sober, to see his inmost 
politics ravelled out by a young lass and discovered to 
the most unruly of his daughters. But we took him in 




'SOWS -Hh n i;\ i i pod EBB KMK- TO 



DAVID BALFOUR 249 

hum], the pair of us, and brought that matter straight. 
Properly managed — and that means managed by me — 
there is no one to compare with my papa/' 

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

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

u And she pled for me V said I. 

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

" God reward her for it !" cried I. 

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

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

" I do laugh at you a good deal, and a good deal 



250 DAVID BALFOUR 

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

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

"I think you have the largest feet in all broad Scot- 
land," says she. 

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

" Ah, poor Catriona ! " cried Miss Grant. 

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

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

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

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



DAVID BALFOUB 251 

"Why that ?" I asked. 

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

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

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

"My Lady Allardyce believes," I began, "she sup- 
poses — she thinks that I abducted her." 

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

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

And with that she withdrew out of the library 



CHAPTER XX 

I CONTINUE TO MOVE IN GOOD SOCIETY 

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



DAVID BALPOUB 253 

another, no doubt I was a good deal improved to look 
at, and acquired a bit of a modish air that would have 
surprised the good folks at Essendean. 

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



254 DAVID BALFOUR 

and from the interest they found in my adventures 
sprung the circumstance of a jaunt we made a little 
later on, a day when the courts were not sitting, and of 
which I will tell a trifle more at length. 

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

" There is my home," said I. " And my family/' 

" Poor David Balfour \" said Miss Grant. 

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

" I think you will soon be the laird indeed, Mr. 
Davie/ 7 says he, turning half about with the one foot in 
the stirrup. 

"I will never pretend sorrow," said I; and, to say 
the truth, during his absence Miss Grant and 1 had 
been embellishing the place in fancy with plantations, 
parterres, and a terrace, much as I have since carried 
out in fact. # 

Thence we pushed to the Queensferry, where Ran- 
keillor gave us a good welcome, being indeed out of the 



DAVID BALFOUB 256 

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

"Is this all the welcome T am to get ?" said I, 
holding out my band. •• And have you no more 
m< mory of old friend- ? " 

•• Keep me ! wha'fi this of it ?" she cried, and then, 
"God's truth, it's the taiitit* laddie!" 

"The very same.'* say- I. 

•• M ray's the time I've thocht upon you and your 
* Rag 



256 DAVID BALFOUR 

freen, and blythe am I to see in your braws," * she 
cried. " Though I kent ye were come to your ain folk 
by the grand present that ye sent me and that I thank 
ye for with a' my heart." 

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

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

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

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

About candlelight we came home from this excursion. 

For a good while I heard nothing further of Catriona: 
my Miss Grant remaining quite impenetrable, and stop- 
ping my mouth with pleasantries. At last, one day that 
she returned from walking and found me alone in the 
parlour over my French, I thought there was something 
unusual in her looks ; the colour heightened, the eyes 
sparkling high, and a bit of a smile continually bitten 
in as she regarded me. She seemed indeed like the 
very spirit of mischief, and walking briskly in the 
room, had soon involved me in a kind of quarrel over 
nothing and (at the least) with nothing intended on my 
* Fine things, 



DAVID BALFOUR 257 

side. I was like Christian in the slough ; the more I 
tried to clamber out upon the side, the deeper I became 
involved ; until at last I heard her declare, with a great 
deal of passion, that she would take that answer at the 
hands of none, and I must down upon my knees for 
pardon. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

" There ! " she cried. " There is the proper station. 

there is where I have been manoeuvring to bring you.*' 
17 



258 DAVID BALFOUR 

And then, suddenly, " Kep," * said she, flung me a 
folded billet, and ran from the apartment laughing. 

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

I think it not the least brave of my campaigns (as the 
soldiers say) that I should have done as I was here 
bidden and gone forthright to the house by Dean. But 
the old lady was now entirely changed and supple as 
a glove. By what means Miss Grant had brought this 
round I could never guess ; I am sure at least, she 
dared not to appear openly in the affair, for her papa 
was compromised in it pretty deep. It was he, indeed, 
who had persuaded Catriona to leave, or rather, not 
to return, to her cousin's, placing her instead with a 
family of Gregorys, decent people, quite at the Advo- 
cate's disposition, and in whom she might have the more 
confidence because they were of her own clan and family. 
* Catch. 



DAVID BALFOUR 259 

These kepi her private till all was ripe, heated and 
helped her to attempt her father's rescue,, and after she 
was discharged from prison received her again iuto the 
same secrecy. Thus Prestongrange obtained and used his 
instrument ; nor did there leak out the smallest word of 
his acquaintance with the daughter of James More. 
There was some whispering, of course, upon the esc 
of that discredited person ; but the Government replied 
by a show of rigour, one of the cell porters was flogged, 
the lieutenant of the guard (mypoor friend, Duncansby) 
was broken of his rank, and as for Catriona, all men 
were well enough pleased that her fault should be passed 
by in silence. 

I could never induce Miss Grant to carry back an 
answer. "No," she would say, when I persisted, " I 
am going to keep the big feet out of the platter." This 
was the more hard to hear, as I was aware she saw my 
little friend many times in the week, and carried her 
my news whenever (as she said) I "had behaved my- 
self/' At last she treated me to what she called an in- 
dulgence, and I thought rather more of a banter. She 
was certainly a Btrong, almost a violent friend, to all she 
liked ; chief among whom was a certain frail old gentle- 
woman, very blind, and very witty, who dwelt in tie' 
top of a tall land on a strait close, with a nest of lin- 
nets in a cage, and thronged all day with visitors. ML\ 
Grant was very fond to carry me there and put me I" 
entertain her friend with the narrative of my mis- 



260 DAVID BALFOUR 

fortunes ; and Miss Tibbie Ramsay (that was her name) 
was particular kind, and told me a great deal that was 
worth knowledge of old folks and past affairs in Scot- 
land. I should say that from her chamber window, 
and not three feet away, such is the straitness of that 
close, it was possible to look into a barred loophole 
lighting the stairway of the opposite house. 

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

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

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

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

It came in my mind she had been more than common 
particular that day upon my dress : and I think that 
some of the same care had been bestowed upon Catriona. 



DAVID BALFOUR 201 

For so merry and sensible a lady. Miss Grant was cer- 
tainly wonderful taken up with duds. 

"Catriona ! '' was all 1 could get out. 

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

The vision was no sooner lost than I ran to the house 
door, where I found I was locked in ; thence back to 
Miss Ramsay, crying for the key, but might as well have 
cried upon the castle rock. She had passed her word, 
she said, and I must be a good lad. It was impossible 
to burst the door, even if it had been mannerly ; it was 
impossible I should leap from the window, being seven 
storeys above ground. All I could do was to crane over 
the close and watch for their reappearance from the 
stair. It was little to see, being no more than the tops 
of their two heads each on a ridiculous bobbin of skirts. 
like to a pair of pincushions. Nor did Catriona so 
much as look up for a farewell ; being prevented (as 1 
heard afterwards) by Miss Grant, who told her folk 
were never seen to less advantage than from above 
downward. 

On the way home, as soon as I was Bel free, I up- 
braided Miss Grant with her cruelty. 

u 1 am sorry you was disappointed," Bays Bhe demure- 
ly. "For my part I was very pleased. You looked 
better than I dreaded ; you looked— if it will not make 
you vain — a mighty pretty young man when you ap- 



262 , DAVID BALFOUR 

peared in the window. You are to remember that she 
could not see your feet," says she, with the manner of 
one reassuring me. 

" ! " cried I, " leave my feet be, they are no bigger 
than my neighbor's. " 

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

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

"Love is like folk," says she, "it needs some kind of 
vivers."* 

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

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

There was never the least word heard of the memo- 
rial, or none by me. Prestongrange and his grace the 
Lord President may have heard of it (for what I know) 
on the deafest sides of their heads ; they kept it to 
themselves, at least ; the public was none the wiser ; 
and in course of time, on November 8th, and in the 
*Victuals. 



DAVID BALFOUR 263 

midst of a prodigious .storm of wind and rain, poor 
James of the Glens Mas duly hanged at Lettermore by 
Balachulish. 

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

But I had had my view of that detestable business 
they call politics — I had seen it from behind, when it 
is all bones and blackness ; and I was cured for life of 
any temptations to take part in it again. A plain, 
quiet, private path was that which I was ambitious 
to walk in, when I might keep my head out of the 



264 DAVID BALFOUR 

way of dangers and my conscience out of the road of 
temptation. For, upon a retrospect, it appeared I had 
not done so grandly, after all ; but with the greatest 
possible amount of big speech and preparation, had 
accomplished nothing. 

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

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

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

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

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

* Trust. 






DAVID BALFOUR 265 

The dav came round ai last when she and I were 
to separate. We had been extremely intimate and 

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

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

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

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



Abb DAVID BALFOUR 

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

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

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

" — I would put the one question/' I went on ; 
" May I ask a lass to marry me ?" 

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

" You see you cannot be serious/' said I. 

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

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



$art II 

FATHER AND DAUGHTER 



CHAPTER XXI 

THE VOYAGE INTO HOLLAND 

The ship lay at a single anchor, well outside the pier 
of Leith, so that all we passengers must come to it by 
the means of skiffs. This was very little troublesome, 
for the reason that the day was a flat calm, very frosty 
and cloudy, and with a low shifting fog upon t he 
water. The body of the vessel was thus quite hid as 
I drew near, but the tall spars of her stood high and 
bright in a sunshine like the flickering of a lire. She 
proved to be a very roomy, commodious merchant, 
but somewhat blunt in the bows, and ioaden extraor- 
dinary deep with salt, salted salmon, and fine white 
linen stoekings for the Dutch. Upon my coming m 
board, the captain welcomed me, one San-- (out of 
Lesmahago, I believe), a very hearty, friendly tarpaul- 
iug of a man, but at the moment in rather of a bustle. 
There had no other of the passengers yei appeared, 
so that I was left to walk about upon the deck, view- 



268 DAVID BALFOUR 

ing the prospect and wondering a good deal what these 
farewells should be which I was promised. 

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

The same cry, in words not very different, came from 
both of us, that the other was come in compliment to 
*Sea fog. 




\I.I. EDINBURGH AM) THE PKNTLAND IIII.l.- GLINTED ABOVE ME 



DAVID BALFOUB 269 

Bay farewell, and then we perceived in a flash we were to 
ship together. 

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

" Dear Davie, — What do you think of my farewell ? and what 
do you say to your fellow-passenger ? Did you kiss, or did you 
ask ? T was about to have signed here, but that would leave the 
purport of my question doubtful ; and in my own ease / ken the 
tmtwer. So fill up here with good advice. Do not be too blate,* 
and for God's sake do not try to be too forward ; nothing sets you 
worse. I am 

•• Your affectionate friend and governess, 

•- Barbara Grant. " 

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

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

"Catriona V said I ; it seemed, that was the first and 
last word of my eloquence. 

"You will be glad to see me again ? n Bays Bhe. 
* Bashful. 



270 DAVID BALFOUR 

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

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

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

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

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

" Everybody ?" says she. 

" Every living soul ! *' said I. 

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

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

" She will have taught me more than that at all 
events. She will have taught me a great deal about Mr. 
David — all the ill of him, and a little that was not so 
ill either now and then," she said, smiling. " She will 









DAVID BALFOUB 271 

have told me all there was of Mr. David, only just thai 
he would Bail upon this very same ship. And why is it 
you go ? " 

I told her. 

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

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

She was quick to perceive it, and to guess some por- 
tion of my thought. 

" There is one thing I must be saying first of all, Mr. 
David, " said she. "I think two of my kinsfolk have 
uot behaved to you altogether very well. And the one 
of them two is James More, my father, and the other is 
the Laird of Prestongrange. Preston grange will have 
spoken by himself, or his daughter in the place of him. 
But for James More, my father, I have this much to say : 
he lay shackled in a prison ; he is a plain honest soldier 
and a plain Highland gentleman ; what they would be 
after, he never would be guessing ; but if he had under- 
stood it was to be some prejudice to a young gentleman 
like yourself, he would have died first. And for the 
sake of all your friendships, I will be asking you to par- 
don my father and family for that same mistake." 

'*' Catriona," said 1, u what that mistake was I do not 



272 DAVID BALFOUR 

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

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

There were six passengers besides our two selves, which 
made of it a full cabin. Three were solid merchants out 
of Leith, Kirkaldy, and Dundee, all engaged in the same 
adventure into High Germany; one was a Hollander 
returning ; the rest worthy merchants' wives, to the 
charge of one of whom Catriona was recommended. 
Mrs. Gebbie (for that was her name) was by great good 
fortune heavily incommoded by the sea, and lay day and 
night on the broad of her back. We were besides the 
only creatures at all young on board the Rose, except a 
white-faced boy that did my old duty to attend upon the 
table ; and it came about that Catriona and I Avcre le^t 
almost entirely to ourselves. We had the next seats to- 
gether at the table, where I waited on her with extraor- 
dinary pleasure. On deck, I made her a soft place with 



DAVID BALFOUR 273 

mv cloak ; and the weather being singularly fine for thai 
season, wiili bright frosty days and nights, a steady, gen- 
tle wind, and scarce awheel started all the way through 
the North Sea, we sat there (only now and again walk- 
in-- to and fro for warmth) from the first blink of the 
sun till eight or nine at night under the clear stars. The 
merchants or Captain Sang would sometimes glance and 
smile upon us, or pass a merry word or two and give ns 
the go-by again ; but the most part of the time they 
were dee}) in herring and chintzes and linen, or in com- 
putations of the slowness of the passage, and left us to 
our own concerns, which were very little important to 
any hut ourselves. 

At the first, we had a great deal to say, and thought 
ourselves pretty witty ; and I was at a little pains to be 
the beau, and she (I believe) to play the young lady of 
experience. But soon we grew plainer with each other : 
I laid aside my high, clipped English (what little there 
was of it) and forgot to make my Edinburgh bows and 
scrapes; she upon her side, fell into a sort of kind 
familiarity ; and we dwelt together like those of the 
same household, only (upon my side) with a more deep 
emotion. About the same time, the bottom seemed to 

fall out of our conversation, and neither one oi us the 

less pleased. Whiles she would tell me old wives' tales. 
of which she had a wonderful variety, many of them 
from my friend red-headed Xiel. She told them very 
pretty, and they were pretty enough childish tales ; but 
18 



274 DAVID BALFOUR 

the pleasure to myself was in the sound of her voice, 
and the thought that she was telling and I listening. 
Whiles, again, we would sit entirely silent, not com- 
municating even with a look, and tasting pleasure 
enough in the sweetness of that neighbourhood. I 
speak here only for myself. Of what was in the maid's 
mind, I am not very sure that ever I asked myself ; and 
what was in my own, I was afraid to consider. I need 
make no secret of it now, either to myself or to the 
reader : I was fallen totally in love. She came be- 
tween me and the sun. She had grown suddenly taller, 
as I say, but with a wholesome growth ; she seemed all 
health, and lightness, and brave spirits; and I thought 
she walked like a young deer, and stood like a birch 
upon the mountains. It was enough for me to sit near 
by her on the deck ; and I declare I scarce spent two 
thoughts upon the future, and was so well content with 
what I then enjoyed that I was never at the pains to 
imagine any further step ; unless perhaps that I would 
be sometimes tempted to take her hand in mine and 
hold it there. But I was too like a miser of what joys 
I had and would venture nothing on a hazard. 

What we spoke was usually of ourselves or of each 
other, so that if anyone had been at so much pains as 
overhear us, he must have supposed us the most ego- 
tistical persons in the world. It befell one day when we 
were at this practice, that we came on a discourse of 
friends and friendship, and I think now that we were 



DAVID BALFOUR 275 

Bailing near the wind. We said what a fine thing 
friendship was, and how little we had guessed of it, 

and how it made life a new thing, and a thousand 
oovered things of the same kind that will have been 
Baid, since the foundation of the world, by young folk 
in the same predicament. Then we remarked upon the 
strangeness of that circumstance, that friends came 
together in the beginning as if they were there for the 
firs! time, and yet each had been alive a good while, 
losing time with other people. 

"It is not much that I have done," said she, "and 
I could be telling you the five-fifths of it in two-three 
words. It is only a girl I am, and what can befall a 
-irl. at all events? But I went with the clan in the 
year '45. The men marched with swords and tire- 
locks, and some of them in brigades in the same set of 
tartan; they were not backward at the marching, 1 
can tell you. And there were gentlemen from the Low 
Country, with their tenants mounted and trumpets to 
Bound, and there was a grand skirling of war-pipes. I 
ro.lc on a little Highland horse on the right hand of 
my father, James More, and of Glengyle himself. And 
here is one fine thing that I remember, that Glengyle 
kissed me in the face, because (says he) ' my kins- 
woman, you are the only lady of the clan thai has 
come out/ and me a little maid of maybe twelve years 
old ! I saw Prince Charlie too, and the blue eyes of 
him ; he was pretty indeed ! I had his band to kiss in 



276 DAVID BALFOUR 

the front of the army. 0, well, these were the good 
days, but it is all like a dream that I have seen and 
then awakened. It went what way you very well know; 
and these were the worst days of all, when the red-coat 
soldiers were out, and my father and my uncles lay in 
the hill, and I was to be carrying them their meat in 
the middle night, or at the short side of day when the 
cocks crow. Yes, I have walked in the night, many's 
the time, and my heart great in me for terror of the 
darkness. It is a strange thing I will never have been 
meddled with a bogle ; but they say a maid goes safe. 
Next there was my uncle's marriage, and that was a 
dreadful affair beyond all. Jean Kay was that woman's 
name ; and she had me in the room with her that night 
at Inversnaid, the night we took her from her friends 
in the old, ancient manner. She would and she 
wouldn't ; she was for marrying Rob the one minute, 
and the next she would be for none of him. I will 
never have seen such a feckless creature of a woman ; 
surely all there was of her would tell her ay or no. 
Well, she was a widow, and I can never be thinking a 
widow a good woman." 

" Catriona \" says I, "how do you make out that ?" 
" I do not know," said she ; " I am only telling you 
the seeming in my heart. And then to marry a new 
man ! Fy ! But that was her ; and she was married 
again upon my Uncle Robin, and went with him awhile 
to kirk and market; and then wearied, or else her 






DAVID BALFOUR 277 

friends got claaght of lier and talked her round, or 
maybe she turned ashamed : at the least of it, she ran 

away, and went back to her own folk, and said we had 
held her in the lake, and I will never tell you all what. 
I have never thought mucli of any females since thai 
day. And so in the end my father, James More, came 
to be cast in prison, and you know the rest of it as well 
as me." 

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

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

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

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

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

"I would think so," said she. " 0, yes, it is quite 
different." 

"And then there was one other," said L k 'I once 
thought I had a friend, but it proved a disappoint- 
ment. * 

She asked me who she was ? 

"It was a he, then," said I. "We were (he two best 
lads at my father's school, and we thought we loved 
each other dearly. Well, the time came when he wmt 
to Glasgow to a merchant's house, that was his second 
mii-in once removed ; ami wrote me two-three times by 



278 DAVID BALFOUR 

the carrier ; and then he found new friends, and I 
might write till I was tired, he took no notice. Eh, 
Catriona, it took me a long while to forgive the world. 
There is not anything more bitter than to lose a fancied 
friend." 

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

"Here are his letters/' said 1, "and all the letters 
that ever I got. That will be the last I'll can tell of 
myself ; you know the lave* as well as I do." 

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

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

I was in that state of subjection to the thought of 
my friend that it mattered not what I did, nor scarce 
* Rest. 



DAVID BALFOUfi 279 

whether I was in her presence or out of it ; I had 

caught her like some kind of a noble fever that lived 
continually in my bosom, by night and by day, and 
whether I was waking or asleep. So it befell that after 
I was come into the fore-part of the ship where the 
broad bows splashed into the billows, I was in no such 
hurry to return as you might fancy ; rather prolonged 
my absence like a variety in pleasure. I do not think I 
am by nature much of an Epicurean ; and there had 
come till then so small a share of pleasure in my way 
that I might be excused perhaps to dwell on it un- 
duly. 

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

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

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

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

"The last of them as well ?" said .-he. 

I knew where we were now ; yet I would not lie to 
her either. "I gave them all without afterthought," 
I said, "as I supposed that you would read them. 1 Bee 
n<> harm in any." 

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



280 DAVID BALFOUR 

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

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

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

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

' i This is your fine gratitude ! " says I. 

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

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

The rest of the day I walked up and down raging. 
There were few names so ill but what I gave her them 
in my own mind before the sun went down. All that 
I had ever heard of Highland pride seemed quite out- 
done; that a girl (scarce grown) should resent so trifling 
an allusion, and that from her next friend, that she 



DAVID BALFOUB 281 

had Dear wearied me with praising of ! I had bitter, 
sharp, hard thoughts of her, like an augry boy's. If I 

had kissed her indeed (I thought), perhaps she would 
have taken it pretty well ; and only because it had 
been written down, and with a spice of jocularity, up 
she must fuff in this ridiculous passion. It seemed 
to me there was a want of penetration in the female 
sex, to make angels weep over the case of the poor 
men. 

We were side by side again at supper, and what a 
change was there ! She was like curdled milk to me ; 
her face was like a wooden doll's ; I could have indif- 
ferently smitten her or grovelled at her feet, but she 
gave me not the least occasion to do either. No sooner 
the meal done than she betook herself to attend on Mrs. 
Gebbie, which I think she had a little neglected hereto- 
fore. But she was to make up for lost time, and in 
what remained of the passage was extraordinary as- 
siduous with the old lady, and on deck began to make a 
great deal more than I thought wise of Captain Sang. 
Not but what the captain seemed a worthy, fatherly 
man ; but 1 hated to behold her in the least familiarity 
with anyone except myself. 

Altogether, she was so quick to avoid me, and so 
constant to keep herself surrounded witli others, that I 
must watch a long while before 1 could find my oppor- 
tunity; and after it was found, I made not much of it, 
as you are now to hear. 



282 DAVID BALFOUR 

" I have no guess how I have offended," said I ; "it 
should scarce be beyond pardon, then. 0, try if you 
can pardon me." 

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

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

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

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

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

And now it was I that turned away. 



CHAPTER XXII 

HELVOETSLUYS 

The weather in the end considerably worsened ; the 
wind sang in the shrouds, the sea swelled higher, and 
the ship began to labour and cry ont among the billows. 
The song of the leadsman in the chains was now scarce 
ceasing, for we thrid all the way among shoals. About 
nine in the morning, in a burst of wintry sun between 
two squalls of hail, I had my first look of Holland— a 
line of windmills birling in the breeze. It was besides 
my first knowledge of these daft-like contrivances, 
which gave me a near sense of foreign travel and a new 
world and life. We came to an anchor about half-past 
eleven, outside t he harbour of Helvoetsluys, in a place 
where the sea sometimes broke and the ship pitched 
outrageously. Von may be sure we were all on deck 
Bave Mrs. Gebbie, Borne of us in cloaks, others mantled 
in the ship's tarpaulins, all clinging on by ropes, and 
jesting the most like old sailor-folk that we could 
imitate. 

Presently a boat, that was backed like a p;irtan-erab, 
came gingerly alongside, and I he skipper of it hailed 
our master in the Dutch. Thence Captain Sang 



284 DAVID BALFOUR 

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

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

But Catriona would hear of no change. She looked 
white-like as she beheld the bursting of the sprays, the 
green seas that sometimes poured upon the forecastle, 
and the perpetual bounding and swooping of the boat 
among the billows ; but she stood firmly by her father's 
orders. " My father, James More, will have arranged 



DAVID BALFOUR 286 

it so, " was her 6rsl word and her l;ist. I thought it 
\.i-\ idle and indeed wanton in the girl to be bo literal 
and stand Opposite to BO much kind advice ; hut the 
fart is she had a very good reason, if she would have 
told us. Sailing scoots and rattel-waggons arc excellent 
things : only the use of them must first be paid for, and 
all she was possessed of in the world was just two shil- 
lings and a penny halfpenny sterling. So it fell out that 
captain and passengers, not knowing of her destitution 
— and she being too proud to tell them — spoke in vain. 

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

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

There was a pretty country simplicity in this that 
made some laugh, others looked the more sorry, ami 
Mr. Gebbie fall outright in a jiassion. I believe he 
knew it was his duty (bis wife having accepted charge 
of the girl) to have gone ashore with her and seen her 
Bafe : nothing would have induced him to have done 
so, since it must have involved the loss of his convey- 
ance ; and I think he made it up to his conscience by 
the loudness of his voice. At least he broke oui upon 
Captain Sang, raging and saying the thing was a dis- 
grace; that it was mere death to try to leave the -hip. 
and at any event we could not cast down an innocent 
maid in a boatful of nasty Holland fishers, and Leave 



286 DAVID BALFOUR 

her to her fate. I was thinking something of the same; 
took the mate upon one side, arranged with him to send 
on my chests by track-scoot to an address I had in Ley- 
den, and stood up and signalled to the fishers. 

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

From the boat the business appeared yet more pre- 
carious than from the ship, she stood so high over us, 
swung down so swift, and menaced us so perpetually 
with her plunging and passaging upon the anchor cable. 
I began to think I had made a fool's bargain, that it 
was merely impossible Catriona should be got on board 
to me, and that I stood to be set ashore at Helvoet all 
by myself and with no hope of any reward but the 
pleasure of embracing James More, if I should want to. 
But this was to reckon without the lass's courage. She 
had seen me leap with yery little appearance (however 
much reality) of hesitation ; to be sure, she was not to 
be beat by her discarded friend. Up she stood on the 
bulwarks and held by a stay, the wind blowing in her 
petticoats, which made the enterprise more dangerous 
and gave us rather more of a view of her stockings than 
would be thought genteel in cities. There was no 
minute lost, and scarce time given for any to interfere 
if they had wished the same. I stood up on the other 




THE BULWABK8 AM. HELD I'.V A BTA1 



DAVID BALFOUR 287 

ride and spread my arms ; the ship swung down on as, 
the patroon humoured his boal nearer in than was per- 
baps wholly safe, and Catriona leaped into the air. I 
was so happy as to catch her, and the fishers readily 
supporting us, escaped a fall. She held to me a mo- 
ment very tight, breathing quick and deep; theme 
(she still clinging to me with both hands) we were 
passed aft to our places by the steersman ; and Captain 
Sang and all the crew and passengers cheering and cry- 
ing farewell, the boat was put about for shore. 

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

We were no sooner in smooth water than the patroon, 
according to their beastly Hollands custom, stopped his 
boat and required of us our fares. Two guilders was 
the man's demand, between three and four shillings 
English money, for each passenger. But at this Catri- 
ona began to cry out with a vast deal of agitation. She 
had asked of Captain Sang, she said, ami the fare was 
but an English shilling. "Do you think I will have 
come on board and not ask first ?" cries she. The pat- 
roon scolded back upon her in a lingo where the oaths 



288 DAVID BALFOUR 

were English and the rest right Hollands ; till at last 
(seeing her near tears) I privately slipped in the rogue's 
hand six shillings, whereupon he was obliging enough 
to receive from her the other shilling without more 
complaint. No doubt I was a good deal nettled and 
ashamed. I like to see folk thrifty but not with so 
much passion ; and I daresay it would be rather coldly 
that I asked her, as the boat moved on again for shore, 
where it was that she was trysted with her father. 

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

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

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

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

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

"Good guide us \" cried I, "what kind of daft-like 
proceeding is this, to let yourself be launched on the 



DAVID BALFOUR 289 

continent of Europe with an empty purse—] count it 
hanllv decent — scant decent ! " I cried. 

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

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

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

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

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

I left her mails for the moment in an inn npon the 

10 



290 DAVID BALFOUR 

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

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

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

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

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

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



DAVID BALFOUR '2D I 

" I have nothing to make cither with him, or her, or 

yon ! " cries he in his gross voice. 

"Under your favour, Mr. Sprott," said I, "this 
young lady is come from Scotland seeking him, and by 
whatever mistake, was given the name of your house for 
a direction. An error it seems to have been, hut 1 
think this places both you and me — who am but her 
fellow-traveller by accident — under a strong obligation 
to help our countrywoman." 

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

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

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

" For the Lord's sake dinna be hasty, sir ! n he cried, 
"lam truly wishfu' no to be offensive. Bui ye ken, 
Bir, I'm like a wheen guid-natured, honest, canty auld 
fallows — my bark is waur nor my bite. To hear me, ye 
micht whiles fancy 1 was a wee thing dour ; bul na. 
na 1 its a kind auld fellow at heart, Sandie Sprott ! 



292 DAVID BALFOUR 

And ye could never imagine the fyke and fash this man 
has been to me.' 9 

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

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

" Enough of this talk," said I. " I will take the 



DAVID BALFOUB 293 

young lady among better friends. Give me pen, 
ink, and paper, and I will leave here for James 
More the address of my correspondent in Leyden. 
He can inquire from me where he is to seek his 
daughter/' 

This word I wrote and sealed ; which while 1 was 
doing, Sprott of his own motion made a welcome offer, 
to charge himself with Miss Drummond's mails, and 
even send a porter for them to the inn. I advanced 
him to that effect a dollar or two to be a cover, 
and he gave me an acknowledgment in writing of the 
sum. 

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

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

"I suppose it will have to be," said Catriona, 
"though whoever will he pleased, I do not think it will 
be her. And I will remind yon this once again thai 1 
have but one shilling, and three baubees." 



294 DAVID BALFOUR 

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

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



CHAPTER XXIII 

TRAVELS IN" HOLLAND 

The rattel- wagon, which is a kind of a long wagon 
set with benches, carried ns in four hours of travel 
to the great city of Rotterdam. It was long past dark 
by then, but the streets pretty brightly lighted and 
thronged with the wild-like, outlandish characters — 
bearded Hebrews, black men, and the hordes of 
courtesans, most indecently adorned with finery and 
stopping seamen by their very sleeves ; the clash of talk 
about us made our heads to whirl ; and what was the 
most unexpected of all. we appeared to be no more 
struck with all these foreigners than they with as, I 
made the best face I could, for the lass's sake and my 
own credit ; but the truth is I felt like a lost sheep, and 
my heart beat in my bosom with anxiety. Once or 
twice I inquired after the harbor or the berth of the 
ship Rose; but either fell on some who spoke only 
Hollands, or my own French failed me. Trying a 
street at a venture, I came upon a lane of lighted 
houses, the doors and windows thronged with wauf-like 
painted women ; these jostled and mocked upon us as 



296 DAVID BALFOUR 

we passed, and I was thankful we had nothing of their 
language. A little after we issued forth upon an open 
place along the harbour. 

" We shall be doing now," cries I, as soon as I spied 
masts. "Let us walk here by the harbour. We are 
sure to meet some that has the English, and at the best 
of it we may light upon that very ship." 

We did the next best, as happened ; for about nine 
of the evening, whom should we walk into the arms of 
but Captain Sang ? He told us they had made their 
run in the most incredible brief time, the wind holding 
strong until they reached port ; by which means his 
passengers were all gone already on their further 
travels. It was impossible to chase after the Gebbies 
into High Germany, and we had no other acquaintance 
to fall back upon but Captain Sang himself. It was the 
more gratifying to find the man friendly and wishful to 
assist. He made it a small affair to find some good 
plain family of merchants, where Catriona might 
harbour till the Rose was loaden; declared he would then 
blithely carry her back to Leith for nothing and see her 
safe in the hands of Mr. Gregory ; and in the mean- 
while carried us to a late ordinary for the meal we stood 
in need of. He seemed extremely friendly, as I say, 
but what surprised me a good deal, rather boisterous in 
the bargain ; and the cause of this was soon to appear. 
For at the ordinary, calling for Rhenish wine and 
drinking of it deep, he soon became unutterably tipsy. 



DAVID BALFOUR 297 

In this case, as too common with all men, hut especially 
with those of his rough trade, what Little sense or man- 
Den he possessed deserted him ; and he behaved him- 
self so scandalous to the young lady, jesting most 
ill-fa voredly at the figure she had made on the ship's 
rail, that I had no resource but carry her suddenly 
a way. 

She came out of that ordinary clinging to me close. 
•• Take me away, David," she said. "You keep me. I 
am not afraid with you." 

"And have no cause, my little friend ! " cried I, and 
could have found it in my heart to weep. 

•• Where will you be taking me?" she said again. 
" Don't leave me at all events, never leave me." 

" Where am I taking you indeed ?" says I stopping, 
for I had been staving on ahead in mere blindness. " I 
must stop and think. But 111 not leave you, Catriona; 
the Lord do so to me, and more also, if I should fail or 
fash you." 

She crept closer in to me by way of a reply. 

"Here," I said, 'Ms the stillest place thai we have 
hit on yet in this busy byke of a city. Lei as sil down 
here under yon tree and consider of our course." 

That tree (which I am little like to forget) Btood 
hard by the harbour side. It was a black night, 
but lights were in the houses, and nearer baud in the 
quiet ships; there was a Bhining of the city on the 
one hand, and a buzz hung over it of many thousands 



298 DAVID BALFOUR 

walking and talking ; on the other, it was dark and the 
water bubbled on the sides. I spread my cloak upon a 
builder's stone, and made her sit there ; she would have 
kept her hold upon me, for she still shook with the late 
affronts ; but I wanted to think clear, disengaged my- 
self, and paced to and fro before her, in the manner of 
what we call a smuggler's walk, belabouring my brains 
for any remedy. By the course of these scattering- 
thoughts I was brought suddenly face to face with a 
remembrance that, in the heat and haste of our depart- 
ure, I had left Captain Sang to pay the ordinary. At 
this I began to laugh out loud, for I thought the man 
well served ; and at the same time, by an instinctive 
movement, carried ' my hand to the pocket where my 
money was. I suppose it was in the lane where the 
women jostled us ; but there is only the one thing 
certain, that my purse was gone. 

" You will have thought of something good," said 
she, observing me to pause. 

At the pinch we were in, my mind became suddenly 
clear as a perspective glass, and I saw there was no . 
choice of methods. I had not one doit of coin, but in 
my pocket-book I had still my letter on the Leyden 
merchant ; and there was now but the one way to get 
to Leyden, and that was to walk on our two feet. 

" Catriona," said I, " I know you're brave and I 
believe you're strong, do you think you could walk 
thirty miles on a plain road ? " We found it, I believe, 



DAVID BALFOUR 299 

scarce the two-thirds of that, but such was my notion 
of the distance* 

"David/' Bhe said, "if you will just keep near, I 
will go anywhere and do anything. The courage of my 
heart, it is all broken. Do not be leaving me in this 
horrible country by myself, and I will do all else." 

"Canyon start now and march all night?" said I. 

" I will "do all that you can ask of me," she said, "and 
never ask you why. I have been a bad ungrateful girl 
to you ; and do what you please with me now ! And I 
think Miss Barbara Grant is the best lady in the world," 
Bhe added, " and I do not see what she would deny you 
for at all events." 

This was Greek and Hebrew to me ; but I had other 
matters to consider, and the first of these was to get 
clear of that city on the Leyden road. It proved a 
cruel problem ; and it may have been one or two at 
night ere we had solved it. Once beyond the hoi 
there was neither moon or stars to guide as ; only the 
whiteness of the way in the midst and a blackness of an 
alley on both hands. The walking was besides made 
most extraordinary difficult by a plain black frost that 
fell suddenly in the small hours and turned that high- 
way into one long slide. 

"Well, Oatriona," said T, "here we arc like the 
king's sons ami the old wives' daughters in your daft- 
like Highland tales. Soon we'll be going over the 
'seven Bats, /he seven glen*, ami the seven mountain 



300 DAVID BALFOUR 

moors.'' Which was a common byword or overcome 
in these tales of hers that had stuck in my memory. 

" Ah," says she, " but here are no glens or moun- 
tains ! Though I will never be denying but what the 
trees and some of the plain places hereabouts are very 
pretty. But our country is the best yet." 

" I wish we could say as much for our ow T n folk/' 
says I, recalling Sprott and Sang, and perhaps James 
More himself. 

" I will never complain of the country of my friend, " 
said she, and spoke it out with an accent so particular 
that I seemed to see the look upon her face. 

I caught in my breath sharp and came near falling 
(for my pains) on the black ice. 

" I do not know what you think, Catriona," said I, 
when I was a little recovered, " but this has been the 
best day yet ! I think shame to say it, when you have 
met in with such misfortunes and disfavours ; but for 
me, it has been the best day yet." 

" It was a good day when you showed me so much 
love," said she. 

"And yet I think shame to be happy too," I 
went on, "and you here on the road in the black 
night." 

" Where in the great world would I be else ? " she 
cried. "I am thinking I am safest where I am with 
you." 

" I am quite forgiven, then ?" I asked. 



DAVID BALFOI R SOI 

u Will yon not forgive mc that time bo much as qo( 
to take it in your mouth again ?" she cried. " There's 
is nothing in this heart to you but thanks. But I will 
be honest too," she added, with a kind of suddenness, 

w and I'll never can forgive that girl." 

"Is this Miss Grant again?" said I. "You said 
yourself she was the best lady in the world." 

"So she will be, indeed !" says Catriona. "But I 
will never forgive her for all that. I will never, never 
forgive her, and let me hear tell of her no more." 

"Well," said I, "this beats all that ever came to my 
knowledge ; and I wonder that you can indulge yourself 
in such bairnly whims. Here is a young lady that was 
the best friend in the world to the both of us, that 
learned us how to dress ourselves, and in a great man- 
ner how to behave, as anyone can see that knew us both 
before and after." 

But Catriona stopped square in the midst of the 
highway. 

"It is this way of it," said she. " Either you will go 
on to speak of her, and I will go back to yon town, and 
let come of it what God pleases ! Or else you will do 
me that politeness to talk of other tilings."' 

I was the most nonplussed person in this world ; bul 
I bethought me that she depended altogether on my 
help, that she was of the frail sex and not BO much 
beyond a child, and it was for me to be wise for the pair 
of us. 



302 DAVID BALFOUR 

"My dear girl," said I, "1 can make neither head 
nor tails of this ; but God forbid that I should do any- 
thing to set you on the jee. As for talking of Miss 
Grant I have no such a mind to it, and I believe it was 
yourself began it. My only design (if I took you up at 
all) was for your own improvement, for I hate the very 
look of injustice. Not that I do not wish you to have a 
good pride and a nice female delicacy ; they become you 
well ; but here you show them to excess." 

"Well, then, have you done ?" said she. 

" I have done," said I. 

"A very good thing," said she, and we went on again, 
but now in silence. 

It was an eerie employment to walk in the gross 
night, beholding only shadows and hearing nought but 
our own steps. At first, I believe our hearts burned 
against each other with a deal of enmity ; but the 
darkness and the cold, and the silence, which only the 
cocks sometimes interrupted, or sometimes the farm- 
yard dogs, had pretty soon brought down our pride to 
the dust ; and for my own particular, I would have 
jumped at any decent opening for speech. 

Before the day peeped, came on a warmish rain, and 
the frost was all wiped away from among our feet. I 
took my cloak to her and sought to hap her in the 
same ; she bade me, rather impatiently, to keep it. 

" Indeed and I will do no such thing," said I. " Here 
am I, a great, ugly lad that has seen all kinds of weath- 



DAVID BALPOUB 

or, and here are you a bender, pretty maid ! Bfy dear, 

vmi would not put me to a shame ?" 

Without more words she let me cover her ; which as 
I was doing in the darkness, I let my hand reel a mo- 
ment on her shoulder, almost like an embrace. 

"You must try to be more patient of your friend," 
said I. 

I thought she seemed to lean the least thing in the 
world against my bosom, or perhaps it was but fancy. 

" There will be no end to your goodness," said she. 

And we weut on again in silence; but now all was 
changed ; and the happiness that was in my heart was 
like a lire in a great chimney. 

The rain passed ere day ; it was but a sloppy morn- 
ing as we came into the town of Delft. The red gabled 
bouses made a handsome show on either hand of a 
(anal ; the servant lassies were out slestering and scrub- 
bing at the very stones upon the public highway ; 
Bmoke rose from a hundred kitchens ; and it came in 
upon me Btrongly it was time to break our fasts. 

" Catriona," said I, "I believe you have yet a shill- 
ing and three baubees ? " 

" Are yon wanting ii ?" Baid -he and passed me her 
purse. " I am wishing it was five pounds! What will 
you want it for ?" 

"And what have we been walking for all night, like 
a pair of waif Egyptians ?" says I. "Just because 1 
was robbed of my purse and all 1 possessed in that 



304 DAVID BALFOUR 

unchancy town of Rotterdam. I will tell you of it now, 
because I think the worst is over, but we have still a 
good tramp before us till we get to where my money is, 
and if you would not buy me a piece of bread, I were 
like to go fasting." 

She looked at me with open eyes. By the light of 
the new day she was all black and pale for weariness, 
so that my heart smote me for her. But as for her, she 
broke out laughing. 

"My torture! are we beggars then?" she cried. 
" You too ? 0, I could have wished for this same 
thing ! And I am glad to buy your breakfast to you. 
But it would be pleisand if I would have had to dance 
to get a meal to you ! For I believe they are not very 
well acquainted with our manner of dancing over here, 
and might be paying for the curiosity of that sight." 

I could have kissed her for that word, not with a 
lover's mind, but in a heat of admiration. For it 
always warms a man to see a woman brave. 

We got a drink of milk from a country wife but new 
come to the town, and in a baker's, a piece of excellent, 
hot, sweet-smelling bread, w T hich we ate upon the road 
as we went on. That road from Delft to the Hague is 
just five miles of a fine avenue shaded with trees, a 
canal on the one hand, on the other excellent pastures 
of cattle. It was pleasant here indeed. 

" And now, Davie," said she, "what will you do with 
me at all events ?" 



DAVID BALFOUB 305 

"It is what we have to speak of," said I, "and the 
sooner yet the better. I can come by money in Ley- 
den ; that will be all well. But the trouble is how 
to dispose of you until your father come. I thought 
last night you seemed a little sweir to part from me ?" 

"It will be more than seeming then/' said she. 

" You are a very young maid/' said I, "and I am 
hut a very young callant. This is a great piece of 
difficulty. What way are we to manage ? Unless, 
inured, you could pass to be my sister ? " 

" And what for no ? " said she, " if you would let 
me!" 

" I wish you were so, indeed ! " I cried. " I would 
be a fine man if I had such a sister. But the rub is 
that you are Catriona Drummond." 

"And now I will be Catrine Balfour," she said. 
" And who is to ken ? They are all strange folk 
here." 

" If you think that it would do," says I. "I Own it 
troubles me. I would like it very ill, if I advised yon 
at all wrong." 

" David, I have no friend lure but you," she said. 

"The mere truth is, I am too young to be your 
friend," said I. "I am too young to advise you, or 
you to be advised. I see not what else we arc to do, 
and yet I ought to warn you." 

"I will have no choice left," said she. " My father 

James More has not used me very well, and it is not 

20 



306 DAVID BALFOUR 

the first time. I am cast upon your hands like a sack 
of barley meal, and have nothing else to think of but 
your pleasure. If you will have me, good and well. 
If you will not " — she turned and touched her hand 
upon my arm — " David, I am afraid," said she. 

" No, but I ought to warn you," I began ; and then 
bethought me that I was the bearer of the purse, and 
it would never do to seem too churlish. " Catriona," 
said I, " don't misunderstand me : I am just trying to 
do my duty by you, girl ! Here am I going alone to 
this strange city, to be a solitary student there ; and 
here is this chance arisen that you might dwell with 
me a bit, and be like my sister : you can surely under- 
stand this much, my dear, that I would just love to 
have you ? " 

"Well, and here I am," said she. "So that's soon 
settled." 

I know I was in duty bounclen to have spoke more 
plain. I know this was a great blot on my character 
for which I was lucky that I did not pay more clear. 
But I minded how easy her delicacy had been startled 
with a word of kissing her in Barbara's letter ; now 
that she depended on me, how was I to be more bold ? 
Besides, the truth is, I could see no other feasible 
method to dispose of her. And I daresay inclination 
pulled me very strong. 

A little beyond the Hague she fell very lame and 
made the rest of the distance heavily enough. Twice 



DAVID BALFOUB 307 

sin- must rest by the wayside, which she did with pretty 
apologies, calling herself a shame to the Highlands ami 
the race she came of, and nothing hut a hindrance to 
myself. It was her excuse, she said, that she was nol 
much used with walking shod. I would have had her 
strip off her shoes and stockings and go barefoot. But 
she pointed out to me that the women of that country, 
even in the landward roads, appeared to be all shod. 

" I must not be disgracing my brother,'' said she, 
and was very merry with it all, although her face told 
tales of her. 

There is a garden in that city we were bound fco, 
san del] below with clean sand, the trees meeting over- 
heat!, some of them trimmed, some pleached, and the 
whole place beautified with alleys and arbours. Here I 
lefi Catriona, and went forward by myself to find my 
correspondent. There I drew on my credit, and asked 
to be recommended to some decent, retired lodging. 
My baggage not being yet arrived, I (old him I sup- 
posed I should require his caution with the people of 
the house; and explained that, my sister being come 
for a while to keep house with me, I should he wanting 
two chambers. This was all very well ; but tin 
trouble was that Mr. Balfour in his letter of recom- 
mendation had condescended on a great deal of partic- 
ulars, ami never a word of any Bister in the case. I 
could see my Dutchman was extremely suspicious ; and 
viewing me over the rims of a great pair of spectacles — 



308 DAVID BALFOUR 

lie was a poor, frail body, and reminded me of an infirm 
rabbit — he began to question me close. 

Here I fell in a panic. Suppose he accept my tale 
(thinks I), suppose he invite my sister to his house, 
and that I bring her. I shall have a fine ravelled pirn 
to unwind, and may end by disgracing both the lassie 
and myself. Thereupon I began hastily to expound to 
him my sister's character. She was of a bashful dis- 
position, it appeared, and so extremely fearful of meet- 
ing strangers that I had left her at that moment sitting 
in a public place alone. And then, being launched 
upon the stream of falsehood, I must do like all the 
rest of the world in the same circumstance, and plunge 
in deeper than was any service ; adding some altogether 
needless particulars of Miss Balfour's ill-health and 
retirement during childhood. In the midst of which I 
awoke to a sense of my behaviour, and was turned to 
one blush. 

The old gentleman was not so much deceived but 
what he discovered a willingness to be quit of me. 
But he was first of all a man of business ; and knowing 
that my money was good enough, however it might 
be with my conduct, he was so far obliging as to send 
his son to be my guide and caution in the matter of a 
lodging. This implied my presenting of the young 
man to Catriona. The poor, pretty child was much 
recovered with resting, looked and behaved to perfec- 
tion, and took my arm and gave me the name of 



DAVID BALFOUB 

brother more easily than I could answer her. Bnl 
there was one misfortune: thinking to help, Bhe wsa 
rather towardly than otherwise to my Dutchman. And 

I could not but reflect that Miss Balfour bad rather 
suddenly outgrown her basbfulness. And there was 
another thing, the difference of our speech. I had the 
Low Country tongue and dwelled upon my words ; she 
bad a bill voice, spoke with something of an English 
accent, only far more delightful, and was scarce quite 
lit to be called a deacon in the craft of talking English 
grammar ; so that, for a brother and sister, we made a 
most uneven pair. But the young Hollander was a 
heavy dog, without so much spirit in his belly as to 
remark her prettiness, for which I scorned him. And 
as soon as he had found a cover to our heads, he left us 
alone, which was the greater service of the two. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

FULL STORY OF A COPY OF HELNECCIUS 

The place found was in the upper part of a house 
backed on a canal. We had two rooms, the second en- 
tering from the first ; each had a chimney built out into 
the floor in the Dutch manner ; and being alongside, 
each had the same prospect from the window of the top 
of a tree below us in a little court, of a piece of the 
canal, and of houses in the Hollands architecture and a 
church spire upon the further side. A full set of bells 
hung in that spire and made delightful music ; and 
when there was any sun at all, it shone direct in our two 
chambers. From a tavern hard by we had good meals 
sent in. 

The first night we were both pretty weary, and she 
extremely so. There was little talk between us, and I 
packed her off to her bed as soon as she had eaten. The 
first thing in the morning I wrote word to Sprott to have 
her mails sent on, together with a line to Alan at his 
chief's ; and had the same dispatched, and her breakfast 
ready, ere I waked her. I was a little abashed when she 
came forth in her one habit, and the mud of the way 
upon her stockings. By what inquiries I had made, it 



DAVIS BALF01 B 311 

aeemed a good few days must pass before her mails could 
come to hand in Leyden, and it was plainly needful Bhe 
must have a sliift of things. She was unwilling at firsi 
thai I should go to that expense; but I reminded her 
Bhe was now a rich man's sister and must appear suit- 
ably in the part, and we had not got to the second mer- 
chant's before she was entirely charmed into the spirit 
of the thing, and her eyes shining. It pleased me to see 
her so innocent and thorough in this pleasure. What 
was more extraordinary was the passiou into which I fell 
on it myself ; being never satisfied that I had bought 
her enough or fine enough, and never weary of behold- 
ing her in different attires. Indeed, I began to under- 
stand some little of Miss Grant's immersion in that in- 
terest of clothes; for the truth is. when you have the 
ground of a beautiful person to adorn, the whole busi- 
ness becomes beautiful. The Dutch chintzes I should 
say were extraordinary cheap and fine ; bui 1 would be 
ashamed to set down what I paid for stockings to her. 
Altogether I spent so great a sum upon this pleasuring 
(as I may call it) that I was ashamed for a ureal while 
io spend more ; and by way of a set off, I left our cham- 
bers pretty bare. If we had beds, if Oatriona was a little 
braw, and 1 had light to see her by, wo wen- richly 
enough Lodged for me. 

By the end of this merchandising 1 was glad to Leave 
her at the door with all our purchases, and go fora Long 
walk alone in which to read myself a lecture. Here had 



312 DAVID BALFOUR 

I taken under my roof, and as good as to my bosom, a 
young lass extremely beautiful, and whose innocence 
was her peril. My talk with the old Dutchman, and 
the lies to which I was constrained, had already given 
me a sense of how my conduct must appear to others ; 
and now, after the strong admiration I had just expe- 
rienced and the immoderacy with which I had contin- 
ued my vain purchases, I began to think of it myself as 
very hasarded. I bethought me, if I had a sister indeed, 
whether I would so exj)ose her ; then, judging the case 
too problematical, I varied my question into this, whether 
I would so trust Catriona in the hands of any other 
Christian being : the answer to which made my face to 
burn. The more cause, since I had been entrapped and 
had entrapped the girl into an undue situation, that I 
should behave in it with scrupulous nicety. She de- 
pended on me wholly for her bread and shelter ; in case 
I should alarm her delicacy, she had no retreat. Be- 
sides, I was her host and her protector ; and the more 
irregularly I had fallen in these positions, the less ex- 
cuse for me if I should profit by the same to forward 
even the most honest suit ; for with the opportunities 
that I enjoyed, and which no wise parent would have 
suffered for a moment, even the most honest suit would 
be unfair. I saw I must be extremely hold-off in my 
relations ; and yet not too much so neither ; for if I had 
no right to appear at all in the character of a suitor, I 
must yet appear continually, and if possible agreeably, 



DAVID BALFOUR 818 

in t hat of host. It was plain I Bhould require a greai 
deal of tact and conduct, perhaps more than my y< 
afforded. But I had rushed in where angels might have 
feared to tread, and there was no way out of that posi- 
tion, save by behaving right while I. was in it. I made 
a set of rules for my guidance ; prayed for strength to 
be enabled to observe them, and as a more human aid 
t<> the same end purchased a study book in law. Thia 
being all that 1 could think of, I relaxed from these 
grave considerations ; whereupon my mind babbled at 
once into an effervescency of pleasing spirits, and it was 
like one treading on air that I turned homeward. As I 
thought that name of home, and recalled the image of 
that figure awaiting me between four walls, my heart 
I teat upon my bosom. 

My troubles began with my return. She ran to greel 
me with an obvious and affecting pleasure. She was 
clad, besides, entirely in the new clothes that I had 
boughl for her; looked in them beyond expression 
well ; and must walk about and drop me curtseys t<» 
display them and to be admired. T am sure 1 did it 
with an ill grace, for I thought to have choked upon 
tie- words. 

u Well," she said, '"if you will not be caring for m\ 
pretty clothes, see what I have done with our two 
chambers." And she showed me the place all \<t\ 
finely swept and the fires glowing in the two chim- 
neys. 



314 DAVID BALFOUR 

I was glad of a chance to seem a little more severe 
than I quite felt. <e Catriona," said I, "I am very 
much displeased with you, and you must never again 
lay a hand upon my room. One of us two must have 
the rule while we are here together ; it is most fit it 
should be I who am both the man and the elder ; and 
I give you that for my command. " 

She dropped me one of her curtseys which were 
extraordinary taking. "If you will be cross/' said she, 
"I must be making pretty manners at you, Davie. I 
will be very obedient, as I should be when every stitch 
upon all there is of me belongs to you. But you will 
not be very cross either, because now I have not anyone 
else." 

This struck me hard, and I made haste, in a kind 
of penitence, to blot out all the good effect of my last 
speech. In this direction, progress was more easy, 
being down hill; she led me forward, smiling ; at the 
sight of her, in the brightness of the fire and with 
her pretty becks and looks, my heart was altogether 
melted. We made our meal with infinite mirth and 
tenderness ; and the two seemed to be commingled 
into one, so that our very laughter sounded like a kind- 
ness. 

In the midst of which I awoke to better recollec- 
tions, made a lame word of excuse, and set myself 
boorishly to my studies. It was a substantial, instruc- 
tive book that I had bought, by the late Dr. Heinec- 



DAVID BALFOUR 316 

cius. in which I was to do a greal deal of reading these 
next days, and often wvy glad thai I had do one to 
qnestion me of what I read. Met bought she bit her 

lip at me a little, and that cut me. Indeed it left her 
wholly solitary, the more as she was very little of a 
reader, and had never a book. But what was 1 to 
do? 

So the rest of the evening flowed by almost without 
speech. 

I could have beat myself. I could not lie in my bed 
that night for rage and repentance, but walked to and 
fro nn my bare feet till I was nearly perished, for the 
chimney was gone out and the frost keen. The 
thought of her in the next room, the thought that she 
might even hear me as I walked, the remembrance of 
my churlishness and that I must continue to practise 
the same ungrateful course or be dishonoured, put me 
beside my reason. I stood like a man between Scylla 
and Charybdis : What must she think of met was my 
one thought that softened me continually into weak- 
WJiat is to Inn, ,n<' ofust the other which steeled 
me again to resolution. This was my firs! oighi of 
wakefulness and divided counsels, of which I was now 
to pass many, pacing like a madman, sometimes weep- 
ing like a childish boy, sometimes praying (I would fain 
hope) like a Christian. 

But prayer is not very difficult, and the hitch con 
in practice. In her presence, and above all if I al- 



316 DAVID BALFOUR 

lowed any beginning of familiarity, I found I had very 
little command of what should follow. But to sit all 
day in the same room with her, and feign to be engaged 
upon Heineecius, surpassed my strength. So that I 
fell instead upon the expedient of absenting myself so 
much as I was able ; taking out classes and sitting there 
regularly, often with small attention, the test of which 
I found the other day in a note-book of that period, 
where I had left off to follow an edifying lecture and 
actually scribbled in my book some very ill verses, 
though the Latinity is rather better than I thought I 
could ever have compassed. The evil of this course was 
unhappily near as great as its advantage. I had the 
less time of trial, but I believe, while that time lasted, 
I was tried the more extremely. For she being so 
much left to solitude, she came to greet my return with 
an increasing fervour that came nigh to overmaster me. 
These friendly offers I must barbarously cast back ; 
and my rejection sometimes wounded her so cruelly 
that I must unbend and seek to make it up to her in 
kindness. So that our time passed in ups and downs, 
tiffs and disappointments, upon the which I could al- 
most say (if it may be said with reverence) that I was 
crucified. 

The base of my trouble was Catriona's extraordinary 
innocence, at which I was not so much surprised as 
filled with pity and admiration. She seemed to have 
no thought of our position, no sense of my struggles ; 



DAVID BALFOUR 317 

welcomed any mark of my weakness with responsive 
joy : and when I was drove again to my retrenchments, 
did not always dissemble her chagrin. There were 

times when J have thought to myself. 'If she wire over 
head in love, and set her cap to catch me, she would 
scarce behave much otherwise;' and then I would fall 
again into wonder at the simplicity of woman, from 
whom I felt (in these moments) that I was not worthy 
to be descended. 

There was one point in particular on which our war- 
fare turned, and of all things, this was the question of 
her clothes. My baggage had soon followed me from 
Rotterdam, and hers from Helvoet. She had now. as 
it were, two wardrobes; and it grew to be understood 
between us (I could never tell how) that when she was 
friendly she would wear my clothes, and when other- 
wise her own. It was meant for a buffet, and (as it 
were) the renunciation of her gratitude ; and I felt it bo 
in my bosom, but was generally more wise than to 
appear to have observed the circumstance. 

Once, indeed, I was betrayed into a childishness 
greater than her own; it fell in this way. On my 
return from classes, thinking upon her devoutly with a 
great deal of love and a good deal of annoyance in the 
bargain, the annoyance began to fade away out of my 
mind ; and spying in a window one of those forced 
flowers, of which the Hollanders are SO -killed in the 
artifice, I gave way to an impulse and bought it for 



318 DAVID BALFOUR 

Catriona. I do not know the name of that flower, but 
it was of the pink colour, and I thought she would 
admire the same, and carried it home to her with a 
wonderful soft heart. I had left her in my clothes, and 
when I returned to find her all changed and a face to 
match, I cast but the one look at her from head to foot, 
ground my teeth together, flung the window open, and 
my flower into the court, and then (between rage and 
prudence) myself out of that room again, of which I 
slammed the door as I went out. 

On the steep stair I came near falling, and this 
brought me to myself, so that I began at once to see 
the folly of my conduct. I went, not into the street as 
I had purposed, but to the house court, which was 
always a solitary place, and where I saw my flower 
(that had cost me vastly more than it was worth) hang- 
in " in the leafless tree. I stood by the side of the 
canal, and looked upon the ice. Country people went 
by on their skates, and I envied them. I could see no 
way out of the pickle I was in : no way so much as to 
return to the room I had just left. No doubt was in 
my mind but I had now betrayed the secret of my feel- 
ings ; and to make things worse. I had shown at the 
same time (and that with wretched boyishness) incivil- 
ity to my helpless guest. 

I suppose she must have seen me from the open 
window. It did not seem to me that I had stood there 
very long before I heard the crunching of footsteps on 



DAVID BALFOUR S19 

the frozen snow, and turning somewhat angrily (for I 
was in no spirit to be interrupted) saw Catriona draw- 
ing near. She was all changed again, to the clocked 
stockings. 

"Arc we not to have our walk to-day ? n said she. 

I was looking at her in a maze. " Where is your 
brooch ? " says I. 

She carried her hand to her bosom and coloured high. 
"I will have forgotten it," said she. "' I will run 
upstairs for it quick, and then surely we'll can have our 
walk?" 

There was a note of pleading in that last that stag- 
gered me ; I had neither words nor voice to utter them ; 
I could do no more than nod by way of answer ; and 
the moment she had left me, climbed into the tree and 
recovered my flower, which on her return 1 offered her. 

"I bought it for you, Catriona," said I. 

She fixed it in the midst of her bosom with the 
brooch, I could have thought tenderly. 

"It is none the better of my handling," said 1 again, 
and blushed. 

"I will be liking it none the worse, you may be sure 
of that." said she. 

We did not speak so much that day, Bhe seemed a 
though! on the reserve though not unkindly. As for 
me, all the time of our walking, and after we came 
home, and I had seen her put my flower into a D0< of 
water, I was thinking to myself what puzzles WOm< D 



320 



DAVID BALFOUR 



were. I was thinking, the one moment, it was the 
most stupid thing on earth she should not have per- 
ceived my love ; and the next, that she had certainly 
perceived it long ago, and (being a wise girl with the 
fine female instinct of propriety) concealed her knowl- 
edge. 

We had our walk daily. Out in the streets I felt 
more safe ; I relaxed a little in my guardedness ; and 
for one thing, there was no Heineccius. This made 
these periods not only a relief to myself, but a particu- 
lar pleasure to my poor child. When I came back 
about the hour appointed, I would generally find her 
ready dressed and glowing with anticipation. She 
would prolong their duration to the extreme, seeming 
to dread (as I did myself) the hour of the return ; and 
there is scarce a field or waterside near Leyclen, scarce a 
street or lane there, where we have not lingered. Out- 
side of these, I bade her confine herself entirely to our 
lodgings ; this in the fear of her encountering any 
acquaintance, which would have rendered our position 
very difficult. From the same apprehension I would 
never suffer her to attend church, nor even go myself ; 
but made some kind of shift to hold worship privately 
in our own chamber — I hope with an honest, but I am 
quite sure with a very much divided mind. Indeed, 
there was scarce anything that more affected me, than 
thus to kneel down alone with her before God like man 
and wife. 



DAVID BALFOUB 321 

One day it was snowing downright hard. I had 
thought it not possible that we should venture forth. 

and was surprised to find her waiting for me ready 
dressed. 

"I will not be doing without my walk," she cried. 
" You are never a good boy, Davie, in the house ; I will 
never be caring for you only in the open air. I think 
we two will better turn Egyptian and dwell by the 
roadside/' 

That was the best walk yet of all of them ; she clung 
near to me in the falling snow ; it beat about and 
melted on us, and tlie drops stood upon her bright 
cheeks like tears and ran into her smiling mouth. 
Strength seemed to come upon me with the sight like a 
giant's ; I thought I could have caught her up and run 
with her into the uttermost places in the earth ; and we 
spoke together all that time beyond belief for freedom 
and sweetness. 

It was the dark night when we came to the house 
door. She pressed my arm upon her bosom. " Thank 
you kindly for these same good hours," said she, on ;i 
deep note of her voice. 

The concern in which I fell instantly on this address, 
put me with the same swiftness on my guard : and we 
were no sooner in the chamber, and the light made, than 
she beheld the old, dour, stubborn countenance of the 
student of Heineccius. Doubtless she was more than 
usually hurt ; and I know for myself, I found it more 
21 



322 DAVID BALFOUR 

than usually difficult to maintain my strangeness. Even 
at the meal, I durst scarce unbuckle and scarce lift my 
eyes to her ; and it was no sooner over than I fell again 
to my civilian, with more seeming abstraction and less 
understanding than before. Methougbt, as I read, I 
could hear my heart strike like an eight-day clock. Hard 
as I feigned to study, there was still some of my eye- 
sight that spilled beyond the book upon Catriona. She 
sat on the floor by the side of my great mail, and the 
chimney lighted her up, and shone and blinked upon 
her, and made her glow and darken through a wonder 
of fine hues. Now she would be gazing in the fire, and 
then again at me ; and at that I would be plunged 
in a terror of myself, and turn the pages of Heineccius 
like a man looking for the text in church. 

Suddenly she called out aloud, " 0, why does not my 
father come ? " she cried, and fell at once into a storm 
of tears. 

I leaped up, flung Heineccius fairly into the fire, ran 
to her side, and cast an arm around her sobbing body. 

She put me from her sharply. " You do not love 
your friend," says she. " I could be so happy too, if 
you would let me ! " And then, " 0, what will I have 
done that you should hate me so ?" 

" Hate you ! " cries I, and held her firm. " You 
blind lass, can you not see a little in my wretched heart ? 
Do you think when I set there, reading in that fool-book 
that I have just burned and be damned to it, I take 



DAVID BALFOUK 323 

oyer the leasi though 1 of any stricken thing bul jus! 
yourself? Night after night 1 could have grai to 
you sitting there yonr lone. And whai was I to do ? 
You are here under my honour ; would you punish me 
for that ? Is it for that that you would spurn a 
loving servant ? " 

At the word, with a small, sudden motion, she clung 
near to me. I raised her face to mine, I kissed it. and 
Bhe bowed her brow upon my bosom, clasping mo tight. 
I sat in a mere whirl like a man drunken. Then I 
heard her voice sound very small and muffled in my 
clothes. 

" Did you kiss her truly ? " she asked. 

There went through me so great a heave of Burprise 
that I was all shook with it. 

"Miss Grant ! " I cried, all in a disorder. ,% Yes, I 
asked her to kiss me good-bye, the which she did." 

" Ah, well ! " said she, u you have kissed me too, at 
all events.'' 

At the strangeness and sweetness of thai word.! saw 
where we had fallen ; rose, and set her on her feel. 

" This will never do." said I. "This will never, 
never do. Catrine, Catrine ! " Then there came a 
pause in which 1 was debarred from any speaking. And 
then, "Go away to your bed," said 1. "Go away to 
your bed and leave me." 

She turned to obey me like a little child, and the next 
I knew of it, had stopped in the very doorway. 



324 DAVID BALFOUR 

" Good night, Davie ! " said she. 

"And 0, good night, my love!" I cried, with a 
great outbreak of my soul, and caught her to me again, 
so that it seemed I must have broken her. The next 
moment I had thrust her from the room, shut to the 
door even with violence, and stood alone. 

The milk was spilt now, the word was out and the 
truth told. I had crept like an untrusty man into the 
poor maid's affections ; she was in my hand like any 
frail, innocent thing to make or mar; and what weapon 
of defence was left me ? It seemed like a symbol that 
Heineccius, my old protection, was now burned. I 
repented, yet could not find it in my heart to blame 
myself for that great failure. It seemed not possible to 
have resisted the boldness of her innocence or that last 
temptation of her weeping. And all that I had to 
excuse me did but make my sin appear the greater — 
it was upon a nature so defenceless, and with such 
advantages of the position, that I seemed to have prac- 
tised. 

What was to become of us now ? It seemed we 
could no longer dwell in the one place. But where was 
I to go ? or where she ? Without either choice or fault 
of ours, life had conspired to wall us together in that 
narrow place. I had a wild thought of marrying out of 
hand ; and the next moment put it from me with 
revolt. She was a child, she could not tell her own 
heart ; I had surprised her weakness, I must never go 



DAVID BALFOUR 

on to build on that Burprisal ; I must ktt'i> neI Q °t ""^ 
clear of reproach, but free as she had conic to me. 

Down I sat before the fire, and reflected, and repent d. 
and heat my brains in vain for any means of escape. 
About two of the morning, there were three red embers 
left and the house and all the city was asleep, when 1 
was aware of a small sound of weeping in the next room. 
She thought that I slept, the poor soul ; she regretted 
her weakness — and what perhaps (God help her !) she 
called her forwardness — and in the dead of the nighi 
solaced herself with tears. Tender and bitter feelings, 
love and penitence and pity struggled in my soul ; it 
seemed I was under bond to heal that weeping. 

*• 0, try to forgive me I* I cried out, "try, try to 
forgive me. Let us forget it all, let us try if we'll no 
can forget it ! " 

There came no answer, hut the sobbing ceased. I 
stood a long while with my hands still clasped as 1 
had spoken ; then the cold of the nighi laid hold 
upon me with a shudder, and I think my reason re- 
awakened. 

*' You can make no hand of this, Davie," thinks I. 
u To bed with you like a wise lad, and try if you can 
sleep. To-morrow you may see your way.'* 



CHAPTER XXV 

THE RETURN OF JAMES MORE 

I was called on the morrow out of a late and 
troubled slumber by a knocking on my door, ran to 
open it, and had almost swooned with the contrariety 
of my feelings, mostly painful ; for on the threshold, in 
a rough wrapraseal and an extraordinary big laced hat, 
there stood James More. 

I ought to have been glad perhaps without admix- 
ture, for there was a sense in which the man came like 
an answer to prayer. I had been saying till my head 
was weary that Catriona and I must separate, and look- 
ing till my head ached for any possible means of 
separation. Here were the means come to me upon 
two legs, and joy was the hindmost of my thoughts. It 
is to be considered, however, that even if the weight of 
the future were lifted off me by the man's arrival, the 
present heaved up the more black and menacing; so 
that, as I first stood before him in my shirt and 
breeches, I believe I took a leaping step backward 
like a person shot. 

" Ah," said he, "I have found you, Mr. Balfour/' 
And offered me his large, fine hand, the which (recover- 



DAVID BALFOUR B27 

mg at the same time my post in the doorway, as if with 
Borne thought of resistance) I took him by doubtfully. 

"It is a it m ark able circumstance how our affairs appear 
to intermingle/' he continued. " I am owing you an 
apology for an unfortunate intrusion upon yours, which 
I Buffered myself to be entrapped into by my confidence 

in that false- face, Prestongrange ; I think shame to own 
to you that I was ever trusting to a lawyer." He 
shrugged his shoulders with a very French air. " Hut 
indeed the man is very plausible," says he. "And now 
it seems that you have busied yourself handsomely in 
the matter of my daughter, for whose direction I was 
remitted to yourself." 

u I think, sir/' said I, with a very painful air, " that 
it will be necessary we two should have an explana- 
tion." 

"There is nothing amiss ?" he asked. u .My agent, 
Mr. Sprott " 

"For God's sake moderate your voice!'' I cried. 
"She must not hear till we have had an explana- 
tion." 

"She is in this place ? " cries he. 

"That is her chamber door," said I. 

"You are here witli her alone ? w he asked. 

"And who else would 1 have got to stay with us?" 
erics I. 

I will do him the justice to admit that he turned 
pale. 



328 DAVID BALFOUR 

"This is very unusual/' said he. "This is a very 
unusual circumstance. You are right, we must hold an 
explanation." 

So saying, he passed me by, and I must own the tall 
old rogue appeared at that moment extraordinary digni- 
fied. He had now, for the first time, the view of my 
chamber, which I scanned (I may say) with his eyes. 
A bit of morning sun glinted in by the window pane, 
and showed it off ; my bed, my mails, and washing dish, 
with some disorder of my clothes, and the unlighted 
chimney, made the only plenishing ; no mistake but it 
looked bare and cold, and the most unsuitable, beggarly 
place conceivable to harbour a young lady. At the 
same time came in on my mind the recollection of the 
clothes that I had bought for her ; and I thought this 
contrast of poverty and prodigality bore an ill appear- 
ance. 

He looked all about the chamber for a seat, and find- 
ing nothing else to his jmrpose except my bed, took a 
place upon the side of it ; where, after I had closed the 
door, I could not very well avoid joining him. For 
however this extraordinary interview might end, it must 
pass if possible without waking Catriona ; and the one 
thing needful was that we should sit close and talk low. 
But I can scarce picture what a pair we made ; he in 
his great coat which the coldness of my chamber made 
extremely suitable ; I shivering in my shirt and breeks; 
he with very much the air of a judge ; and I (whatever 



DAVID BALFOUR 329 

I looked) with very much the feelings of a man who 
has heard the last trumpet. 

"Well?" says he. 

And " Well " I began, but found myself unable to go 
farther. 

"You tell me she is here ?' said he again, but now 
with a spice of impatiency that seemed to brace me 
up. 

"She is in this house," said I, "and I knew the 
circumstance would be called unusual. But you are to 
consider how very unusual the whole business was from 
the beginning. Here is a young lady landed on the 
coast of Europe with two shillings aud a penny half- 
penny. She is directed to yon man Sprott in Helvoet. 
I hear you call him your agent. All I can say is he 
could do nothing but damn and swear at the mere men- 
tion of your name, and I must fee him out of my own 
pocket even to receive the custody of her effects, You 
speak of unusual circumstances, Mr. Drummond, if 
that be the name you prefer. Here was a circumstance, 
if you like, to which it was barbarity to have exp 
her." 

"But this is what I cannot understand the least." 
said James. "My daughter was placed into the charge 
of some responsible persons, whose names I have forgot." 

" Gebbie was the name," said I; "and there is no 
doubt that Mr. Gebbie should have gone ashore with 
her at Helvoet. But he did not, Mr. Drummond ; and 



330 DAVID BALFOUR 

I think you might praise God that I was there to offer 
in his place/' 

"I shall have a word to say to Mr. Gebbie before 
done/' said he. " As for yourself, I think it might 
have occurred that you were somewhat young for such 
a post." 

" But the choice was not between me and somebody 
else, it was between me and nobody," I cried. "No- 
body offered in my place, and I must say I think you 
show a very small degree of gratitude to me that did." 

"I shall wait until I understand my obligation a 
little more in the particular/' says he. 

"Indeed, and I think it stares you in the face, 
then," said I. "Your child was deserted, she was 
clean flung away in the midst of Europe, with scarce 
two shillings, and not two words of any language 
spoken there : I must say, a bonny business ! I brought 
her to this place. I gave her the name and the tender- 
ness due to a sister. All this has not gone without 
expense, but that I scarce need to hint at. They 
were services due to the young lady's character which 
I respect ; and I think it would be a bonny business 
too, if I was to be singing her praises to her father." 

" You are a young man," he began. 

" So I hear you tell me," said I, with a good deal of 
heat. 

"You are a very young man," he repeated, " or you 
would have understood the significancy of the step." 




Yor tki.i mi: -hi: i- m i;i } ' -\n. hi: \..w\ 



DAVID BALFOUR 331 

" I think you speak very much at your ease," cried 
I. '' What else was I to do ? It is a fact I might 
have hired some decent, poor woman to be a third to 
OB, and I declare I never thought of it until this 
moment ! But where was I to find her, that am a 
foreigner myself ? And let me point out to your 
observation, Mr. Drummond, that it would have cost 
me money out of my pocket. For here is just what 
it comes to, that I had to pay through the nose for 
your neglect ; and there is only the one story to it, 
just that you were so unloving and so careless as to 
have lost your daughter." 

" lie that lives in a glass house should not be casting 
stones," says he ; " and we will finish inquiring into 
the behaviour of Miss Drummond, before we go on to 
sit in judgment on her father." 

"But I will be entrapped into no such attitude.'' 
said I. " The character of Miss Drummond is far 
above inquiry, as her father ought to know. So is 
mine, and I am telling you that. There are but the 
two ways of it open. The one is to ex pros your 
thanks to me as one gentleman to another, and to sa j 
no more. The other (if you are so difficult as bo be 
still dissatisfied) is to pay me that wliieli 1 have ex- 
pended and be done." 

He seemed to soothe me with a hand in the air. 

"There, there," said he. " You go too fast, you go 
too fast, Mr. Balfour. It is a good thing that I have 



332 DAVID BALFOUR 

learned to be more patient. And I believe you forget 
that I have yet to see my daughter." 

I began to be a little relieved upon this speech and a 
change in the man's manner that I spied in him as 
soon as the name of money fell between us. 

"I was thinking it would be more fit — if you will 
excuse the plainness of my dressing in your presence — 
that I should go forth and leave you to encounter her 
alone ? " said I. 

" What I would have looked for at your hands ! " 
says he ; and there was no mistake but what he said 
it civilly. 

I thought this better and better still, and as I began 
to pull on my hose, recalling the man's impudent 
mendicancy at Prestongrange's, I determined to pursue 
what seemed to be my victory. 

" If you have any mind to stay some while in Ley- 
den," said I, " this room is very much at your disposal, 
and I can easy find another for myself : in which way 
we shall have the least amount of flitting possible, there 
being only one to change." 

" Why, sir," said he, making his bosom big, " I 
think no shame of a poverty I have come by in the 
service of my king ; I make no secret that my affairs 
are quite involved ; and for the moment, it would be 
even impossible for me to undertake a journey." 

" Until you have occasion to communicate with 
your friends," said I, "perhaps it might be convenient 



DAVID BALFOUR ',}:):) 

for you (as of course it would l>e honourable to my- 
self) if you were to regard yourself iu the light of my 
guest ? " 

"Sir," said be, "when an offer is frankly made, I 
think I honour myself most to imitate that frankness. 
Your band, Mr. David ; you have the character that I 
respect the most ; you are one of those from whom a 
gentleman can take a favour and no more words about 
it. I am an old soldier," he went on, looking rather 
disgusted-like around my chamber, "and you need not 
fear I shall prove burtbensome. I have ate too often at 
a dyke-side, drank of the ditch, and had no roof but 
the rain." 

"I should be telling you." said I, "that our break- 
fasts are sent customarily in about this time of morn- 
ing. I propose I should go now to the tavern, and bid 
them add a cover for yourself and delay the meal the 
matter of an hour, which will give you an interval to 
meet your daughter in." 

Methought his nostrils wagged at this. "0, an 
hour," says lie. "That is perhaps superfluous. Half 
an hour, Mr. David, or say twenty minutes ; I shall do 
very well in that. And by the way," he n<\<\+- detain- 
ing me by the coat, " what is it you drink in the morn- 
ing, whether ale or wine ?" 

" To be frank with you, sir," says I, " I drink noth- 
ing else but spare, cold water ?" 

"Tut-tut," says he, "that is fair destruction to the 



334: DAVID BALFOUR 

stomach, take an old campaigner's word for it. Our 
country spirit at home is perhaps the most entirely 
wholesome ; but as that is not come-at-able, Rhenish or 
a white wine of Burgundy will be next best." 

" I shall make it my business to see you are sup- 
plied/' said I. 

"Why, very good," said he, "and we shall make a 
man of you yet, Mr. David." 

By this time, I can hardly say that I was minding 
him at all, beyond an odd thought of the kind of 
father-in-law that he was like to prove ; and all my 
cares centred about the lass his daughter, to whom I 
determined to convey some warning of her visitor. I 
stepped to the door accordingly, and cried through the 
panels, knocking thereon at the same time: "Miss 
Drummond, here is your father come at last." 

With that I went forth upon my errand, having (by 
two words) extraordinarily damaged my affairs. 



CHAPTER XXVI 

THE THREESOME 

Whether or not I was to be so much blamed, or 
rather perhaps pitied. I must leave others to judge of. 
My shrewdness (of which I have a good deal, too) seems 
not so great with the ladies. No doubt, at the moment 
when I awaked her, I was thinking a good deal of the 
effect upon James More ; and similarly when I re- 
turned and we were all sat down to breakfast, I con- 
tinued to behave to the young lady with deference and 
distance ; as I still think to have been most wise. Her 
father had cast doubts upon the innocence of my friend- 
ship ; and these, it was my first business to allay. But 
there is a kind of an excuse for Oatriona also. We had 
Bhared in a scene of some tenderness and passion, and 
given and received caresses; I had thrust her from me 
with violence; I had called aloud upon her in the 
night from the one room to the other ; she had passed 
hours of wakefulness and weeping; and it is not to be 
supposed I had been absent from her pillow thoughts. 
Upon the back of this, to be awaked, with unaccus- 
tomed formality, under the name of Miss Drummond, 
and to be thenceforth used with a greai deal of distance 



336 DAVID BALFOUR 

and respect, led her entirely in error on my private 
sentiments; and she was indeed so incredibly abused as 
to imagine me repentant and trying to draw off ! 

The trouble betwixt us seems to have been this : 
that whereas I (since I had first set eyes on his great 
hat) thought singly of James More, his return and 
suspicions, she made so little of these that I may say 
she scarce remarked them, and all her troubles and 
doings regarded what had passed between us in the 
night before. This is partly to be explained by the in- 
nocence and boldness of her character ; and partly 
because James More, having sped so ill in his interview 
with me, or had his mouth closed by my invitation, said 
no word to her upon the subject. At the breakfast, 
accordingly, it soon appeared we were at cross purposes. 
I had looked to find her in clothes of her own : I found 
her (as if her father were forgotten) wearing some of 
the best that I had bought for her and which she 
knew (or thought) that I admired her in. I had looked 
to find her imitate my affectation of distance, and be 
most precise and formal ; instead I found her flushed 
and wild-like, with eves extraordinary bright, and a 
painful and varying expression, calling me by name 
with a sort of appeal of tenderness, and referring and 
deferring to my thoughts and wishes like an anxious or 
;i suspected wife. 

But this was not for long. As I beheld her so re- 
gardless of her own interests, which I had jeopardised 



DAVID BALFOIR 337 

and was now endeavoring to recover, I redoubled my 

own boldness in the manner of a lesson to the girl. 

The more she came forward, the further I drew back ; 

the more she betrayed the closeness of our intimacy, the 

more pointedly civil I became, until even her father (if 

he had not been so engrossed with eating) might have 

observed the opposition. In the midst of which, of a 

sudden, she became wholly changed, and. I told myself, 

with a good deal of relief, that she had took the hint at 

last. 

All day I was at my classes or in quest of my new 

lodging ; and though the hour of our customary walk 

hung miserably on my hands, I cannot say but I was 

happy on the whole to find my way cleared, the girl 

again in proper keeping, the father satisfied or at least 

acquiescent, and myself free to prosecute my love with 

honour. At supper, as at all our meals, it was James 

More that did the talking. No doubt but he talked 

well, if anyone could have believed him. But I will 

speak of him presently more at large. The meal at 

an end, he rose, got his great coat, and looking (as I 

thought) at me, observed he had affairs abroad. I took 

this for a hint that I was to be going also, and got up ; 

whereupon the girl, who had scarce given me greeting 

at my entrance, turned her eyes on me wide open, witli 

a look that bade me stay. I stood hot ween them like a 

fish out of water, turning from one to the other: neither 

seemed to observe me, she gazing on the floor, he but- 
22 



338 DAVID BALFOUR 

toning his coat: which vastly swelled my embarrassment. 
This appearance of indifferency argued, upon her side, 
a good deal of anger very near to burst out. Upon his, 
I thought it horribly alarming ; I made sure there was a 
tempest brewing there ; and considering that to be the 
chief peril, turned towards him and put myself (so to 
speak) in the man's hands. 

" Can I do anything for you, Mr. Drummond ? " says 
I. 

He stifled a yawn, which again I thought to be du- 
plicity. "Why, Mr. David," said he, "since you are 
so obliging as to propose it, you might show me the way 
to a certain tavern" (of which he gave the name) 
" where I hope to fall in with some old companions in 
arms. " 

There was no more to say, and I got my hat and cloak 
to bear him company. 

" And as for you," he says to his daughter, "you had 
best go to your bed. I shall be late home, and Early to 
bed and early to rise, gars bonny lasses have briglit 
eyes." 

Whereupon he kissed her with a good deal of tender- 
ness, and ushered me before him from the door. This 
was so done (I thought on purpose) that it was scarce 
possible there should be any parting salutation ; but I 
observed she did not look at me, and set it down to 
terror of James More. 

It was some distance to that tavern. He talked all 



DAVID BALFOUB 339 

the way of matters which did hoi interesl me the small- 
est, and at the door dismissed me with empty maimers. 
Thence I walked bo my new lodging, where I had not 
so much as a chimney to hold me warm, and no society 
but my own thoughts. These were still brighl enough; 
I did not so much as dream that Oatriona was turned 
against me ; I thought we were like folk pledged ; I 
thought we had bceu too near and spoke too warmly to 
be severed, least of all by what were only steps in a 
most needful policy. And the chief of my concern was 
only the kind of father-in-law that I was getting, which 
was not at all the kind I would have chosen : and the 
matter of how soon I ought fco .-peak to him, which waa 
a delicate point on several sides. In the first place. 
when I thought how young I was, I blushed all over, 
and could almost have found it in my heart to have 
desisted; only that if once I let them go from Leyden 
without explanation, I might lose her altogether. And 
in the second place, there was our very irregular .-it na- 
tion to be kept in view, and the rather scant measure of 
satisfaction I bad giveo Jamee More that morning. I 
concluded, on the whole, that delay would not hurt 
anything, yet I would not delay too long neither ; and 
got to my cold bed with a full heart. 

The next day. as James More seemed a little on the 
complaining hand in the matter of my chamber, I of- 
fered to have in more furniture ; and coming in tin 
afternoon, with porters bringing chairs and tables, 



340 DAVID BALFOUR 

found the girl once more left to herself. She greeted 
me on my admission civilly, but withdrew at once to 
her own room, of which she shut the door. I made my 
disposition, and paid and dismissed the men so that she 
might hear them go, when I supposed she would at once 
come forth again to speak to me. I waited yet awhile, 
then knocked upon her door. 

"Catriona ! " said I. 

The door was opened so quickly, even before I had 
the word out, that I thought she must have stood be- 
hind it listening. She remained there in the interval 
quite still ; but she had a look that I cannot put a name 
on, as of one in a bitter trouble. 

" Are we not to have our walk to-day either ? " so I 
faltered. 

"1 am thanking you," said she. "I will not be 
caring much to walk, now that my father is come 
home." 

"But I think he has gone out himself and left you 
here alone," said I. 

" And do you think that was very kindly said ? " she 
asked. 

"It was not unkindly meant," I replied. "What 
ails you, Catriona ? What have I done to you that you 
should turn from me like this ?" 

"I do not turn from you at all," she said, speaking 
very carefully. " I will ever be grateful to my friend 
that was good to me ; I will ever be his friend in all that 



DAVID BALFOUR 341 

I am able. But now that my father James More is come 
again, there is a difference to be made, and I think there 

are some things said and done that would be better to be 
forgotten. But I will ever be your friend in all that I 
am able, and if that is not all that . . . if it is not 
so much . . . Xot that you will be earing ! But I 
would not have you think of me too hard. It was true 
what you said to me, that I was too young to be advised, 
and I am hoping you will remember I was just a 
child. I would not like to lose your friendship, at all 
events." 

She began this very pale ; but before she was done, 
the blood was in her face like scarlet, so that not ber 
words only, but her face and the trembling of her very 
hands, besought me to be gentle. I saw for the first 
time, how very wrong I had done to place the child in 
that position, where she had been entrapped into a mo- 
ment's weakness, and now stood before me like a person 
shamed. 

" Miss Drummond,'' I said, and stuck, and made the 
same beginning once again. "I wish you could see into 
my heart," I cried. "You would read there thai my 
respect is undiminished. If that were possible, I should 
say it was increased. This is but the result of the mis- 
take we made ; and bad to come ; and the less said of 
it now the better. Of all of our life here, I promise you 
it shall never pass my lips ; I would like i<> promise you 
too that I would never think of it, but it's a memory 



342 DAVID BALFOUR 

that will he always dear to me. And as for a friend, you 
have one here that would die for you/' 

" I am thanking you/' said she. 

We stood awhile silent, and my sorrow for myself be- 
gan to get the upper hand ; for here were all my dreams 
come to a sad tumble, and my love lost, aud myself alone 
again in the world as at the beginning. 

" Well, " said I, " we shall be friends always, that's a 
certain thing. But this is a "kind of a farewell too : it's 
a kind of a farewell after all ; I shall always ken Miss 
D'rummond, but this is a farewell to my Catriona." 

I looked at her ; I could hardly say I saw her, but she 
seemed to grow great and brighten in my eyes ; and with 
that I suppose I must have lost my head, for I called out 
her name again and made a step at her with my hands 
reached forth. 

She shrank back like a person struck, her face flamed ; 
but the blood sprang no faster up into her cheeks, than 
what it flowed back upon my own heart, at sight of it, 
with penitence and concern. I found no words to ex- 
cuse myself, but bowed before her very deep, and went 
my ways out of the house with death in my bosom. 

I think it was about five days, that followed without 
any change. T saw her scarce ever but at meals, and 
then of course in the company of James More. If we 
were alone even for a moment, I made it my devoir to 
behave the more distantly and to multiply respectful at- 
tentions, having always in my mind's eye that picture of 



DAVID BALFOUB 343 

the girl shrinking and flaming in a blush, and in my 
heart more pity for her than I could dc[)ict in words. I 
was sorry enough for myself, I need not dwell on that, 
having fallen all my length and more than all my height 
in a few seconds ; but, indeed, I was near as sorry for 
the girl, and sorry enough to be scarce angry with her 
save by fits and starts. Tier plea w T as good .: she was but 
a child ; she had been placed in an unfair position ; if 
she had deceived herself and me, it was no more than 
was to have been looked for. 

And for another thing she was now very much alone. 
Her father, when he was by, was rather a caressing par- 
ent ; but he was very easy led away by his affairs and 
pleasures, neglected her without compunction or remark, 
spent his nights in taverns when he had the money, 
which was more often than I could at all account for ; 
and even in the course of these few days, failed once to 
come to a meal, which Catriona and I were at last com- 
pelled to partake of without him. It was the evening 
meal, and I left immediately that 1 had eaten. Observ- 
ing I supposed she would prefer to be alone ; to which 
Bhe agreed and (strange as it may seem) I quite believed 
her. Indeed, I thought myself but an eyesore to the 
girl, and a reminder of a moment's weakness that she 
now abhorred to think of. So she must sit alone in 
that room where she and 1 had been so merry, and in 
the blink of that chimney whose light had shone upon 
our many difficult and tender moments. There she 



344 DAVID BALFOUR 

must sit alone, and think of herself as of a maid who 
had most unmaidenly proffered her affections and had 
the same rejected. And in the meanwhile I would be 
alone some other place, and reading myself (whenever I 
was tempted to be angry) lessons upon human frailty 
and female delicacy. And altogether I suppose there 
were never two poor fools made themselves more un- 
happy in a greater misconception. 

As for James, he paid not so much heed to us, or to 
anything in nature but his pocket, and his belly, and 
his own prating talk. Before twelve hours were gone 
he had raised a small loan of me ; before thirty, he had 
asked for a second and been refused. Money and re- 
fusal he took with the same kind of high good-nature. 
Indeed, he had an outside air of magnanimity that was 
very well fitted to impose upon a daughter ; and the 
light in which he was constantly presented in his talk, 
and the man's fine presence and great ways went to- 
gether pretty harmoniously. So that a man that had 
no business with him, and either very little penetration 
or a furious deal of prejudice, might almost have been 
taken in. To me, after my first two interviews, he was as 
plain as priii I ; I saw him to be perfectly selfish, with a 
perfect innocency in the same ; and I would barken to 
his swaggering talk (of arms, and " an old soldier," and 
"a poor Highland gentleman," and "the strength of 
my country and my friends ") as I might to the babbling 
of a parrot. 



DAVID BALFOUB 345 

The odd thing was that I fancy lie believed some 
part of it himself, <>r did at times ; I think he was so 
false all through that he scarce knew when he was 
lying ; and for one thing, his moments of dejection 
must have been wholly genuine. There were times 
when he would be the most silent, affectionate, cling- 
ing creature possible, holding Catriona's hand like a 
big baby, and begging of me not to leave if I had any 
love to him ; of which, indeed, I had none, but all the 
more to his daughter. He would press and indeed 
beseech us to entertain him witli our talk, a thing very 
difficult in the state of our relations ; and again break- 
forth in pitiable regrets for his own land and friends, 
or into Gaelic singing. 

" This is one of the melancholy airs of my native 
land/' he would say. " You may think it strange to 
see a soldier weep, and indeed it is to make a near 
friend of you," says he. "But the notes of this sing- 
ing are in my blood, and the words come out of my 
heart. And when 1 mind upon my red mountains and 
the wild birds calling there, and the brave streams of 
water running down, 1 would scarce think shame to 
weep before my enemies. " Then be would sing again, 
and translate to me pieces of the song, with a gre&i 
deal of boggling and much expressed co'ntempl again si 
the English language. "It says here," he would Bay, 
"that the sun is gone down, and the battle is at an 
end, and the brave chiefs are defeated. And it tells 



346 DAVID BALFOUR 

here how the stars see them fleeing into strange conn- 
tries or lying dead on the red mountain ; and they will 
never more shout the call of battle or wash their feet in 
the streams of the valley. But if you had only some of 
this language, you would weep also because the words 
of it are beyond all expression, and it is mere mockery 
to tell you it in English." 

Well, I thought there was a good deal of mockery in 
the business, one way and another ; and yet, there was 
some feeling too, for which I hated him, I think, the 
worst of all. And it used to cut me to the quick to see 
Catriona so much concerned for the old rogue, and 
weeping herself to see him weep, when I was sure one- 
half of his distress flowed from his last night's drinking 
in some tavern. There were times when I was tempted 
to lend him a round sum, and see the last of him for 
good ; but this would have been to see the last of Ca- 
triona as well, for which I was scarcely so prepared ; 
and besides, it went against my conscience to squander 
my good money on one who was so little of a husband. 



CHAPTER XXVII 

A TWOSOME 

I believe it was about the fifth day, and I know at 
least that James was in one of his fits of gloom, when 
I received three letters. The first was from Alan, offer- 
ing to visit me in Ley den ; the other two were out of 
Scotland and prompted by the same affair, which was 
the death of my uncle and my own complete accession 
to my rights. Rankeillor's was, of course, wholly in 
the business view ; Miss (J rant's was like herself, a little 
more witty than wise, full of blame to me for not hay- 
ing written (though how was I to write with such in- 
telligence?) and of rallying talk about Catriona, which 
it cut me to the quick to read in her veiw presence. 

For it was of course in my own rooms that I found 
them, when I came to dinner, so that I was surprised 
out of my news in the ?ery Brsl moment of reading it. 
This made a welcome diversion for all three of us. imr 
could any have foreseen the ill consequences that en- 
sued. It was accident that brought the three letters 
the same day. and that gave them into my hand in the 
same room with .lames More ; and of all the events that 



348 DAVID BALFOUR 

flowed from that accident, and which I might have 
prevented if I had held my tongue, the truth is that 
they were preordained before Agricola came into Scot- 
land or Abraham set out upon his travels. 

The first that I opened was naturally Alan's ; and 
what more natural than that I should comment on his 
design to visit me ? but I observed James to sit up with 
an air of immediate attention. 

" Is that not Alan Breck that was suspected of the 
Appin accident ? " he inquired. 

I told him, u Ay," it was the same ; and he withheld 
me some time from my other letters, asking of our 
acquaintance, of Alan's manner of life in France, of 
which I knew very little, and further of his visit as 
now proposed. 

"All we forfeited folk hang a little together," he 
explained, "and besides I know the gentleman : and 
(hough his descent is not the thing, and indeed he has 
no true right to use the name of Stewart, he was very 
much admired in the day of Drummossie. He did 
there like a soldier; if some that need not be named 
had done as well, the upshot need not have been so 
melancholy to remember. There were two that did 
their best that day, and it makes a bond between the 
pair of us," says he. 

I could scarce refrain from shooting out my tongue 
at him, and could almost have wished that Alan had 
been there to have inquired a little further into that 



DAVID BALFOUB 349 

mention of Ids birth. Though, they tell me, the same 
was indeed not wholly regular. 

Meanwhile, I had opened Miss Grant's, and could not 
withhold an exclamation. 

" Catriona," I cried, forgetting, the first time Bince 
her father was arrived, to address her lev a handle, " 1 
am come into my kingdom fairly, I am the laird of 
Shaws indeed — my uncle is dead at last." 

She clapped her hands together leaping from her 
seat. The next moment it must have come over both 
of us at once what little cause of joy was left to either, 
and we stood opposite, staring on each other sadly. 

But James showed himself a ready hypocrite. " My 
daughter," says he, ''is this how my cousin learned 
you to behave ? Mr. David has lost a near friend, and 
we should first condole with him on his bereavement. " 

"Troth, sir," said I, turning to him in a kind of 
anger, "I can make no such faces. His death is as 
blythe news as ever I got." 

"It's a good soldier's philosophy," says James. 
"'Tis the way of flesh, we must all go, all go. And if 
the gentleman was so far from your favour, why, wry 
well ! But we nia\ at least congratulate you OD your 
accession to your estates." 

"Nor can I say that either," I replied, with the 
same heat. " It is a good estate ; what matters that to 
a lone man that has enough already ? I had a good 
revenue before in my frugality ; and but for the man's 



350 DAVID BALFOUR 

death — which gratifies me, shame to me that must con- 
fess it ! — I see not how anyone is to be bettered by this 
change." 

"Come, come/' said he, "you are more affected than 
you let on, or you would never make yourself out so 
lonely. Here are three letters ; that means three that 
wish you well ; and I could name two more, here in 
this very chamber. I have known you not so very 
long, but Catriona, when we are alone, is never done 
with the singing of your praises." 

She looked up at him, a little wild at that ; and he 
slid off at once into another matter, the extent of my 
estate, which (during the most of the dinner time) he 
continued to dwell upon with interest. But it was to 
no purpose he dissembled ; he had touched the matter 
with too gross a hand : and I knew what to expect. 
Dinner was scarce ate when he plainly discovered his 
designs. He reminded Catriona of an errand, and bid 
her attend to it. " I do not sec you should be gone 
beyond the hour," he added, " and friend David will be 
good enough to bear me company till you return.'' 
She made haste to obey him without words. I do not 
know if she understood, I believe not ; but I was com- 
pletely satisfied, and sat strengthening my mind for 
what should follow. 

The door had scarce closed behind her departure, 
when the man leaned back in his chair and addressed 
me with a good affectation of easiness. Only the one 



DAVID BALFOUR 851 

tiling betrayed him and that was his face; which sud- 
denly shone all over with fine points of sweat. 



I am rather dad to have a word alone with 



o 



you, 



says he, " because in our first interview there were some 
expressions you misapprehended and I have long meant 
to set you right upon. My daughter stands beyond 
doubt. So do yon, and I would make that good with 
my sword against all gainsayers. But, my dear David, 
this world is a censorious place — as who should know 
it better than myself, who have lived ever since the 
days of my late departed father, God sain him ! in a 
perfect spate of calumnies ? We have to face to that ; 
you and me have to consider of that ; we have to con- 
sider of that." And he wagged his head like a minister 
in a pulpit. 

"To what effect, Mr. Drummond ?" said I. "I 
would be obliged to you if you would approach your 
point." 

"Ay, ay," says he, laughing, "like your character 
indeed ! and what I most admire in it. But the point. 
my worthy fellow, is sometimes in a kittle bit. v Be 
filled a glass of wine. "Though between you and me, 
that are such fast friends, it need not bother us long. 
The point, I need scarcely tell you, is my daughter. 
And the first thing is that I have no thought in my 
mind of blaming you. In the unfortunate circum- 
stances, what could you do else ? 'Deed, and I cannot 
tell." 



352 DAVID BALFOUR 

"I thank you for that," said I, pretty close upon 
my guard. 

"I have besides studied your character/' he went 
on ; " your taleuts are fair ; you seem to have a 
moderate competence ; which does no harm ; and one 
thing with another, I am very happy to have to an- 
nounce to you that I have decided on the latter of the 
two ways open/' 

"I am afraid I am dull," said I. " What ways are 
these ? " 

He bent his brows upon me formidably and un- 
crossed his legs. "Why, sir," says he, " I think I 
need scarce describe them to a gentleman of your 
condition ; either that I should cut your throat or 
that you should marry my daughter." 

"You are pleased to be quite plain at last," 
said I. 

"And I believe I have been plain from the begin- 
ning!" cries he robustiously. "1 am a careful par- 
ent, Mr. Balfour; but I thank God, a patient and de- 
leebcrate man. There is many a father, sir, that 
would have hirslcd you at once either to the altar or 
the field. My esteem for your character " 

"Mr. Drummond," I interrupted, "if you have any 
esteem for me at all, I will beg of you to moderate your 
voice. It is quite needless to rowt at a gentleman in 
the same chamber with yourself and lending you his 
best attention." 



DAVID BALFOUR 353 

"Why, very true,'' says he, with an immediate 
change. "And you must excuse the agitations of a 
parent." 

"I understand you then," I continued — " for I will 
take no note of your other alternative, which perhaps it 
was a pity you let fall — I understand you rather to offer 
me encouragement in case I should desire to apply for 
your daughter's hand?" 

"It is not possible to express my meaning better," 
said he, "and I see we shall do well together." 

"That remains to be yet seen," said I. "But so 
much I need make no secret of, that I bear the lady 
you refer to the most tender affection, and I could not 
fancy, even in a dream, a better fortune than to get 
her." 

"I was sure of it, I felt certain of you, David," 
he cried, and reached out his hand to me. 

I put it by. "You go too fast, Mr. Drummond," 
said I. " There are conditions to be made; and there 
is a difficulty in the path, which I see not entirely how 
we >hall come over. I have told you that, upon my 
side, there is no objection to Mud marriage, but I have 
good reason to believe there will be much on the young 
lady's." 

"This is all beside the mark," says lie. "I will 
engage for her acceptance." 

"I think you forget, Mr. Pnimmond," said I, " that. 

even in dealing with myself you have been betrayed 
23 



354 DAVID BALFOUR 

into two-three unpalatable expressions. I will have 
none such employed to the young lady. I am here to 
speak and think for the two of us ; and I give you to 
understand that I would no more let a wife be forced 
upon myself, than what I would let a husband be forced 
on the young lady." 

He sat and glowered at me like one in doubt and a 
good deal of temper. 

" So that this is to be the way of it," I concluded. 
"I will marry Miss Drummond, and that blythely, if 
she is entirely willing. But if there be the least un- 
willingness, as I have reason to fear — marry her will I 
never." 

"Well, well," said he, "this is a small affair. As 
soon as she returns I will sound her a bit, and hope to 
reassure you " 

But I cut in again. "Not a finger of you, Mr. 
Drnmmond, or I cry off, and you can seek a husband 
to your daughter somewhere else," said I. "It is I that 
am to be the only dealer and the only judge. I shall 
satisfy myself exactly ; and none else shall anyways 
meddle— you the least of all." 

"Upon my word, sir !" he exclaimed, "and who are 
you to be the judge ? " 

"The bridegroom, I believe," said I. 

"This is to quibble," he cried. "You turn your 
pack upon the facts. The girl, my daughter, has no 
choice left to exercise. Her character is gone." 



DAVID BALFOUB S65 

"And I ask your pardon," said I. "but while this 
matter lies between her and you and me, thai ifl qo1 
so." 

"What security have I!" he cried. "Am I t<> lei 
my daughter's reputation depend upon a chance?" 

"Yon should have thought of all this long ago," said 
I, "before you were so misguided as to lose her; and 
not afterwards, when it is quite too late. I refuse to 
regard myself as any way accountable for your neglect, 
and I will be browbeat by no man living. My mind is 
quite made up, and come what may, I will not depart 
from it a hair's breadth. You and me are t<> sit here in 
company till her return; upon which, without either 
word or look from you, she and I are to go forth again 
to hold our talk. If Bhe can satisfy me that she is will- 
ing to this step, I will then make it ; and if she cannot, 
I will not." 

He leaped out of his seat like a man stung. " I can 
spy your manoeuvre," he cried ; "you would work upon 
her to refuse \" 

"Maybe ay, and maybe no," said I. "That is the 
way it is to be, whatever." 

"And if I refuse ?" cries he. 

"Then, Mr. Drnmmond, it will have to come t<> the 
throat-cutting," said I. 

What with the size of the man, his great length of 
arm in which he came near rivalling his father, and his 
reputed skill at weapons, I did not use this word with- 



356 DAVID BALFOUR 

out some trepidation, to say nothing at all of the cir- 
cumstance that he was Catriona\s father. But I might 
have spared myself alarms. From the poorness of my 
lodging — he does not seem to have remarked his 
daughter's dresses, which were indeed all equally new 
to him — and from the fact that I had shown myself 
averse to lend, he had embraced a strong idea of my 
poverty. The sudden news of my estate convinced him 
of his error, and he had made but the one bound of it 
on this fresh venture, to which he was now so wedded, 
that I believe he would have suffered anything rather 
than fall to the alternative of fighting. 

A little while longer he continued to dispute with me 
until I hit upon a word that silenced him. 

"If I find you so averse to let me see the lady by 
herself," said I, "I must suppose you have very good 
grounds to think me in the right about her unwilling- 
ness." 

He gabbled some kind of an excuse. 

"But all this is very exhausting to both of our 
tempers," I added, "and I think we would do better to 
preserve a judicious silence." 

The which we did until the girl returned, and I must 
suppose would have cut a very ridiculous figure, had 
there been any there to view us. 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

IN WHICH I AM LEFT ALONE 

I opened the door to Catriona and stopped her on 
the threshold. 

"Your father wishes us to take our walk," said I. 

She looked to James More, who nodded, and at that, 
like a trained soldier, she turned to go with me. 

We took one of our old ways, when 1 we had gone 
often together, and been more happy than I can tell 
of in the past. I came a half a step behind, so that I 
could watch her unobserved. The knocking of her 
little shoes upon the way sounded extraordinary pretty 
and sad ; and I thought it a strange moment thai 1 
should be so near both ends of it at once, and walk in 
the midst between two destinies, and could not tell 
whether I was hearing these steps for the last time, or 
whether the sound of them was to go in and out with 
me till death should pari as. 

She avoided even to look at me, only walked before 
her, like one who had a guess of what was coming. I 
saw I must speak soon before my courage was run out, 
but where to begin I knew not. In this painful situa- 
tion, when the girl was as good as forced into niv arm- 



858 DAVID BALFOUR 

and had already besought my forbearance, any excess 
of pressure must have seemed indecent ; yet to avoid 
it wholly would have a very cold-like appearance. Be- 
tween these extremes I stood helpless, and could have 
bit my fingers ; so that, when at last I managed to 
speak at all, it may be said I spoke at random. 

" Catriona," said I, " I am in a very painful situa- 
tion ; or rather, so we are both ; and I would be a good 
deal obliged to you if you would promise to let me 
speak through first of all, and not to interrupt till I 
have done." 

She promised me that simply. 

"Well," said I, " this that I have got to say is very 
difficult, and I know very well I have no right to be 
Baying it. After what passed between the two of us 
last Friday, I have no manner of right. We have got 
so ravelled up (and all by my fault) that I know very 
well the least I could do is just to hold my tongue, 
which was what T intended fully, and there was nothing 
further from my thoughts than to have troubled you 
again. But, my dear, it has become merely necessary, 
and no way by it. You see, this estate of mine has 
fallen in, which makes me rather a better match ; and 
the the business would not have quite the same ridic- 
ulous-like appearance that it would before. Besides 
which, it's supposed that our affairs have got so much 
ravelled up (as 1 was saying) that it would be better to 
let them be the way they are. In my view, this part of 



DAVID BALFOUR 359 

the thing is vastly exaggerate, and if I were yon I would 
not wear two thoughts on it. Only it's right I should 
mention the same, because there's no doubt it has some 
influence on James More. Then I think we were none 
so unhappy when we dwelt together iu this town be- 
fore. I think we did pretty well together. If you 
would look back, my dear " 

" I will look neither back nor forward," she inter- 
rupted. " Tell me the one thing: this is my father's 
doing ?" 

"He approves of it," said I. "He approved that 
I should ask your hand in marriage," and was going 
on again with somewhat more of an appeal upon her 
feelings ; but she marked me not, and struck into the 
midst. 

"He told you to !" she cried. " It is no sense deny- 
ing it, you said yourself that there was nothing farther 
from your thoughts. He told you to." 

"He spoke of it the first, if that is what you mean," 
I began. 

She was walking ever the faster, and looking fair in 
front of her; but at this she made a little noise in her 
head, and I thought she would have run. 

"Without which," I went on, "after what you said 
last Friday, I would never have been so troublesome as 
make the offer. But when he as good as asked me, 
what was I to do ?" 

She stopped and turned round upon me. 



360 DAVID BALFOUR 

"Well, it is refused at all events," she cried, "and 
there will be an end of that." 

And she began to walk forward. 

" I suppose I could expect no better," said I, "but 
I think you might try to be a little kind to me for the 
last end of it. I see not why you should be harsh. I 
have loved you very well, Catriona — no harm that I 
should call you so for the last time. I have done the 
best that I could manage, I am trying the same still, 
and only vexed that I can do no better. It is a strange 
thing to me that you can take any pleasure to be hard 
to me." 

" I am not thinking of you," she said, "I am think- 
ing of that man, my father." 

"Well, and that way, too !" said I. "I can he of 
use to you that way, too ; I will have to be. It is very 
needful, my dear, that we should consult about your 
father ; for the way this talk has gone, an angry man 
will be James More." 

She stopped again. " It is because I am disgraced ?" 
she asked. 

"That is what he is thinking, " I replied, "but I 
have told you already to make nought of it." 

" It will be all one to me," she cried. "I prefer to 
be disgraced !" 

I did not know very well what to answer, and stood 
silent. 

There seemed to be something working in her 



DAVID BALFOUR 301 

bosom after that last cry; presently she broke out, 
"And what is the meaning of all this? Why is all 
this shame foundered on my head ? How could you 
dare it, David Balfour?" 

" My dear/' said I, " what else was I to do ? " 

" I am not your dear/' she said, " and I defy you 
to be calling me these words." 

"I am not thinking of my words," said I. "My 
heart bleeds for you, Miss Drummond. Whatever I 
may say, be sure you have my pity in your difficult 
position. But there is just the one thing that I wish 
you would bear in view, if it was only long enough to 
discuss it quietly; for there is going to be a collie s- 
hangie when we two get home. Take my word for it, it 
will need the two of us to make this matter end in peace/ 1 

" Ay," said she. There sprang a patch of red in 
either of her cheeks. "Was he for fighting you ?" 
said she. 

" Well, he was that," said I. 

She gave a dreadful kind of laugh. "At all events, 
it is complete \" she cried. And then turning on me : 
"My father and I are a fine pair/' she said, " but 1 am 
thanking the good God there will be somebody worse 
than what we are. I am thanking the good <i<»«l thai 
he has let me see you so. There will never be the girl 
made that would not scorn you." 

I had borne a good deal pretty patiently, hut this 
was over the mark. 



362 DAVID BALFOUR 

"You have no right to speak to me like that/' said I. 
" What have I done but to be good to you, or try to ? 
And here is my repayment ! 0, it is too much." 

She kept looking at me with a hateful smile. "Cow- 
ard ! " said she. 

"The word in your throat and in your father's ! " I 
cried. "I have dared him this day already in your 
interest. I will dare him again, the nasty pole-cat; 
little I care which of us should fall ! Come/' said I, 
"back to the house with us ; let us be done with it, 
let me be done with the whole Hieland crew of you ! 
You will see what you think when I am dead." 

She shook her head at me with that same smile I 
could have struck her for. 

"0, smile away!" I cried. "I have seen your 
bonny father smile on the wrong side this day. Not 
that I mean he was afraid, of course/' I added hastily, 
" but he preferred the other way of it." 

u What is this ? " she asked. 

" When I offered to draw with him," said I. 

" You offered to draw upon James More ? " she 
cried. 

"And I did so," said I, "and found him backward 
enough, or how would we be here ? " 

"There is a meaning upon this," said she. "What 
is ii you are meaning ? " 

"He was to make you take me/' I replied, "and I 
would not have it. I said you should be free, and I 



DAVID BALFOUR 363 

must speak with you alone; little I supposed it would 
be such a speaking! 'And what if I refuse?' says 
be. — ' Tlien it must come to the throat cutting/ says I, 
'for I will no more have a husband forced on that young 
lady than what I would have a toife forced upon myself.' 
These were my words, they were a friend's words ; bon- 
nily have I been paid for them ! Now you have refused 
me of your own clear free will, and there lives no father 
in the Highlands, or out of them, that can force on this 
marriage. I will see that your wishes are respected ; I 
will make the same my business, as I have all through. 
But I think you might have that decency as to affect 
some gratitude. 'Deed, and I thought you knew me 
better ! I have not behaved quite well to you, but that 
was weakness. And to think me a coward and such a 
coward as that — 0, my lass, there was a stab for the 
last of it ! * 

"Davie, how would I guess?" she cried. "0, this 
is a dreadful business ! Me and mine,'' — she gave a 
kind of wretched cry at the word — "me and mine are 
not fit to speak to you. 0, I could be kneeling down 
to you in the street, I could be kissing your hands tor 
your forgiveness ! " 

"\ will keep the kisses I have got from you already/' 
cried I. " I will keep the ones I wanted and that were 
something worth ; I will not be kissed in penitence." 

" What can you be thinking of this miserable girl ?" 
says she. 



364 DAVID BALFOUR 

"What I am trying to tell you all this while \" said 
I, "that you had best leave me alone, whom you can 
make no more unhappy if you tried, and turn your 
attention to James More, your father, with whom you 
are like to have a queer pirn to wind." 

'• 0, that I must be going out into the world alone 
with such a man ! " she cried, and seemed to catch 
herself in with a great effort. " But trouble yourself 
no more for that," said she. "He does not know what 
kind of nature is in my heart. He will pay me dear for 
this day of it ; dear, dear, will he pay." 

She turned, and began to go home and I to accom- 
pany her. At which she stopped. 

"I will be going alone," she said. "It is alone I 
must be seeing him." 

Some little while I raged about the streets, and told 
myself I was the worst used lad in Christendom. 
Anger choked me ; it was all very well for me to 
breathe deep ; it seemed there was not air enough about 
Leyden to supply me, and I thought I would have burst 
like a man at the bottom of the sea. I stopped and 
laughed al myself at a street corner a minute together, 
laughing out loud, so that a passenger looked at me, 
which brought me to myself. 

" Well," I thought, "I have been a gull and a ninny 
and a soft Tommy long enough. Time it was done. 
Here is a good lesson to have nothing to do with that 
accursed sex, that was the ruin of the man in the 



DAVID BALFOUB 365 

beginning and will be so to the end. God knows I was 
happy enough before ever I saw her ; God knows I 
cau be happy enough again when I have seen the last 
of her." 

That seemed to me the chief affair : to sec them go. 
I dwelled upon the idea fiercely ; and presently dipped 
on, in a kind of malevolence, to consider how very 
poorly they were like to fare when Davie Balfour was 
no longer by to be their milk-cow ; at which, to my 
own very great surprise, the disposition of my mind 
turned bottom up. I was still angry ; I still hated her ; 
and yet I thought I owed it to myself that she should 
suffer nothing. 

This carried me home again at once, where I found 
the mails drawn out and ready fastened by the door, 
and the father and daughter with every mark upon 
them of a recent disagreement. Catriona was like a 
wooden doll ; James More breathed hard, his face was 
dotted with white spots, and his nose upon one side 
As soou as I came in, the girl looked at him with a 
steady, clear, dark look that might very well have been 
followed by a blow. It was a hint that was more con- 
temptuous than a command, and I was surprised to see 
James More accept it. It was plain he had had a 
master talking- to ; and I could see there must be more 
of the devil in the girl than I had guessed, and more 
good-humor about the man than I had given him the 
credit of. 



366 DAVID BALFOUR 

He began, at least, calling me Mr. Balfour, and 
plainly speaking- from a lesson ; but he got not very far, 
for at the first pompous swell of his voice, Catriona 
cut in. 

"I will tell you what James More is meaning," said 
she. " He means we have come to you, beggar-folk, 
and have not behaved to you very well, and we are 
ashamed of our ingratitude and ill-behaviour. Now 
we are wanting to go away and be forgotten ; and my 
father will have guided his gear so ill, that we cannot 
even do that unless you will give us some more alms. 
For that is what we arc, at all events, beggar-folk and 
sorners." 

' ' By your leave, Miss Drummond," said I, "I must 
speak to your father by myself." 

Shu went into her own room and shut the door, with- 
out a word or a look. 

" You must excuse her, Mr. Balfour," says James 
.More. "She has no delicacy." 

"I am not here to discuss that with you," said I, 
" but to be quit of you. And to that end I must talk 
of your position. Now, Mr. Drummond, I have kept 
the run of your affairs more closely than you bargained 
for. I know you had money of your own when you 
were borrowing mine. I know you have had more since 
you were here in Leyden, though you concealed it even 
from your daughter." 

" I bid you beware. I will stand no more baiting," 



DAVID BALFOUB 367 

ho broke out. " I am sick of her and you. What kind 
of a dimmed trade is this to be a parent ! I have had 

expressions used to me " There he broke off. 

•- Sir, this is the heart of a soldier and a parent," he 
went on again, laying his hand on his bosom, "out- 
raged in both characters — and I bid you beware.'' 

*' If you would have let me finish,'' says I, "you 
would have found I spoke for your advantage." 

"My dear friend," he cried, " I know I might have 
relied upon the generosity of your character." 

" Man ! will you let me speak ?" said I. " The fact 
is that I cannot win to find out if you are rich or poor. 
But it is my idea that your means, as they are mysteri- 
ous in their source, so they are something insufficient 
in amount ; and I do not choose your daughter to be 
lacking. If I durst speak to herself, you may be certain 
I would never dream of trusting it to you ; because I 
know you like the back of my hand, and all your 
blustering talk is that much wind to me. However, I 
believe in yonr way you do still care something for your 
daughter after all ; and I must just be doing with that 
ground of confidence, such as it is." 

Whereupon, I arranged with him that he was to com- 
municate with me, as to his whereabouts and Catriona's 
welfare, in consideration of which I was to serve him a 
small stipend. 

He heard the business out with a greal deal of eager- 
ness ; and when it was done, " My dear fellow, my 



368 DAVID BALFOUK 

dear son/' he cried out, "this is more like yourself 
than any of it yet ! I will serve you with a soldier's 
faithfulness " 

" Let me hear no more of it ! " says I. " You have 
got me to that pitch that the bare name of soldier rises 
on my stomach. Our traffic is settled ; I am now going 
forth and will return in one half-hour, when I expect 
to find my chambers purged of you/' 

I gave them good measure of time ; it was my one 
fear that I might see Catriona again, because tears and 
weakness were ready in my heart, and I cherished my 
anger like a piece of dignity. Perhaps an hour went 
by ; the sun had gone down, a little wisp of a new moon 
was following it across a scarlet sunset ; already there 
were stars in the east, and in my chambers, when at 
last I entered them, the night lay blue. I lit a taper 
and reviewed the rooms ; in the first there remained 
nothing so much as to awake a memory of those who 
were gone ; but in the second, in a corner of the floor, 
1 ,-|)ic(] a little heap that brought my heart into my 
mouth. She had left behind at her departure all that 
ever she had of me. It was the blow that I felt sorest, 
perhaps because it was the last ; and I fell upon that 
pile of clothing and behaved myself more foolish than I 
care to tell of. 

Late in the night, in a strict frost, and my teeth 
chattering, I came again by some portion of my man- 
hood and considered with myself. The sight of these 



DAVID BALFOUB 369 

poor frocks and ribbons, and her shifts, and fche clocked 
stockings, was not to be endured ; and if I were to re- 
cover any constancy of mind, I saw I must be rid of 
them ere the morning-. It was my first thought to have 
made a fire and burned them ; but my disposition has 
always been opposed to wastery, for one thing ; and for 
another, to have burned these things that she had worn 
so close upon her body, seemed in the nature of a 
cruelty. There was a corner cupboard in that cham- 
ber ; there I determined to bestow them. The which I 
did and made it a long business, folding them with very 
little skill indeed but the more care ; and sometimes 
dropping them with my tears. All the heart was gone 
out of me, I was weary as though I had run miles, and 
sore like one beaten ; when, as I was folding a kerchief 
that she wore often at her neck, I observed there was a 
corner neatly cut from it. It was a kerchief of a very 
] » retry hue, on which I had frequently remarked ; and 
once that she had it on, I remembered telling her (by 
way of a banter) that she wore my colours. There came 
a glow of hope and like a tide of sweetuess in my 
bosom ; and the next moment I was plunged back in a 
fresh despair. For there was the corner crumpled in a 
knot and east down by itself in another part of the 
floor. 

But when I argued with myself, I grew more hope- 
ful. She had cut that corner off in some childish freak 

that was manifestly tender ; that she had cast it away 
34 



370 DAVID BALFOUR 

again was little to be wondered at ; and I was inclined 
to dwell more upon the first than upon the second, and 
to be more pleased that she had ever conceived the idea 
of that keepsake, than coDcerned because she had flung 
it from her in an hour of natural resentment. 



CHAPTER XXIX 

WE MEET IN DUNKIRK 

Altogether, then, I was scarce so miserable the next 
davs but what I had many hopeful and happy snatches ; 
threw myself with a good deal of constancy upon my 
studies ; and made out to endure the time till Alan 
should arrive, or I might hear word of Catriona by the 
means of James More. I had altogether three letters 
in the time of our separation. One was to announce 
their arrival in the town of Dunkirk in France, from 
which place James shortly after started alone upon a 
private mission. This was to England and to see Lord 
Holderness ; and it has always been a bitter thought that 
my good money helped to pay the charges of the same. 
But he has need of a long spoon who sups with the deil, 
or Janus More either. During this absence, tin- time 
was to fall due for another letter ; and as the letter was 
the condition of his stipend, he had been so careful as 
prepare it beforehand and leave it with Catriona to be 
despatched. The fact of our correspondence aroused 
her suspicions, and he was no sooner gone than she had 
burst the seal. What I received began accordingly in 
the writing of James More : 



372 DAVID BALFOUR 

"My dear Sir, — Your esteemed favour came to hand duly, 
and I have to acknowledge the inclosure according to agreement. 
It shall be all faithfully expended on my daughter, who is well, 
and desires to be remembered to her dear friend. I find her in 
rather a melancholy disposition, but trusts in the mercy of God 
to see her re-established. Our manner of life is very much alone, 
but we solace ourselves with the melancholy tunes of our native 
mountains, and by walking upon the margin of the sea that lies 
next to Scotland. It was better days with me when I lay with five 
wounds upon my body on the field of Gladsmuir. I have found 
employment here in the Tiaras of a French nobleman, where my 
experience is valued. But, my dear Sir, the wages are so exceed- 
ingly unsuitable that I would be ashamed to mention them, which 
makes your remittances the more necessary to my daughter's 
comfort, though I daresay the sight of old friends would be 
still better. 

"My dear Sir, 
" Your affectionate obedient servant, 

" James Macgregor Drummond." 

Below it began again in tbe hand of Catriona : — 

" Do not be believing him, it is all lies together. 

" C. M. D." 

Not only did she add this postcript, but I think she 
must have come near suppressing the letter ; for it came 
long after date, and was closely followed by the third. 
In the time betwixt them, Alan had arrived, and made 
another life to me with his merry conversation ; I had 
been presented to his cousin of the Scots-Dutch, a man 
that drank more than I could have thought possible and 



David BALPOUK 373 

wns not otherwise of interest; I had been entertained 
to many jovial dinners and given some myself, all with 
no great change apon my sorrow ; and we two (by which 
I mean Alan and myself, and not at all the cousin) had 
discussed a good deal the nature of my relations with 
James More and his daughter. I was naturally diffi- 
dent to give particulars ; and this disposition was not 
anyway lessened by the nature of Alan's commentary 
upon those I gave. 

" I cannae make head nor tail of it," he would say, 
" but it sticks in my mind ye've made a gowk of your- 
self. There's few people that has had more experience 
than Alan Breck ; and I can never call to mind to 
have heard tell of a lassie like this one of yours. The 
way that you tell it, the thing's fair impossible. Ye 
must have made a terrible hash of the business, David." 

" There are whiles that I am of the same mind," 
said I. 

" The strange thing is that ye seem to have a kind 
of a fancy for her too ! " said Alan. 

"The biggest kind, Alan," said I, "and I think I'll 
take it to my grave with me." 

"Well, ye beat me, whatever!" he would con- 
clude. 

I showed him the letter with Catriona's postcript. 
"And here again ! " he cried. " Impossible to deny a 
kind of decency to this Catriona, and sense U>\'}>\ ! 
As for James More, the man'- as bosa as a dram ; he's 



374 DAVID BALFOUR 

just a wame .and a wheen words ; though Fll can 
never deny that he fought reasonably well at Glads- 
muir, and it's true what he says here about the five 
wounds. But the loss of him is that the man's boss." 

"Ye see, Alan/' said I, "it goes against the grain 
with me to leave the maid in such poor hands." 

" Ye couldnae weel find poorer," he admitted. " But 
what are ye to do with it ? It's this way about a man 
and a woman, ye see, Davie : The weemenfolk have 
got no kind of reason to them. Either they like the 
man, and then a' goes fine ; or else they just detest 
him, and ye may spare your breath — ye can do nae- 
thing. There's just the two sets of them — them that 
would sell their coats for ye, and them that never look 
the road ye're on. That's a' that there is to women ; 
and you seem to be such a gomeral that ye cannae tell 
the tane frae the tither." 

" Well, and I'm afraid that's true for me," said I. 

" And yet there's naething easier ! " cried Alan. 
" I could easy learn ye the science of the thing ; but 
ye seem to me to be born blind, and there's where the 
diffeeculty conies in ! " 

" And can you no help me ?" I asked, "you that's 
>u clever at the trade ? " 

"Ye see, David, I wasnae here," said he. "I'm 
like a field officer that has naebody but blind men for 
scouts and eclaireurs ; and what would he ken ? But 
it sticks in my mind that ye'U have made some kind 



DAVID BALFOUR 375 

of bauchle ; and if I was you, I would have a try at her 
again." 

" Would ye so, man Alan ? " said I. 

" I would e'en V" says he. 

The third letter came to my hand while we were 
deep in some such talk : and it will be seen how pat 
it fell to the occasion. James professed to be in some 
concern upon his daughter's health, which I believe 
was never better ; abounded in kind expressions to 
myself ; and finally proposed that I should visit them 
at Dunkirk. 

" You will now be enjoying the society of my old 
comrade, Mr. Stewart," he wrote. "Why not accom- 
pany him so far in his return to France ? I have some- 
thing very particular for Mr. Stewart's ear ; and, at any 
rate, I would be pleased to meet in with an old fellow- 
soldier and one so mettle as himself. As for you, my 
dear sir, my daughter and I would be proud to receive 
our benefactor, whom we regard as a brother and a 
son. The French nobleman has proved a person of 
the most filthy avarice of character, and I ha?e been 
necessitate to leave tin 1 Intra*. You will find us, in 
consequence, a little poorly lodged in the auberge of a 
man Bazin on (he dunes; but the situation is caller, 
and I make no doubt but we might spend some vn v 
pleasant days, when Mr. Stewart and I could recall 
our services, and you and my daughter divert your- 
selves in a manner more befitting your age. I beg at 



376 DAVID BALFOUR 

least that Mr. Stewart would come here ; my business 
with him opens a very wide door." 

"What does the man want with me ?" cried Alan, 
when he had read. " What he wants with you is 
clear enough — it's siller. But what can he want with 
Alan Brook?" 

" 0, it'll be just an excuse/' said I. "He is still 
after this marriage, which I wish from my heart that 
we could bring about. And he asks you because he 
thinks I would be less likely to come wanting you." 

"Well, I wish that I kent," says Alan. "Him and 
me were never onyways pack ; we used to girn at ither 
like a pair of pipers. ' Something for my ear/ quo' 
he ! I'll maybe have something for his hinder end, 
before we're through with it. Dod, I'm thinking it 
would be a kind of a divertisement to gang and see 
what he'll be after ! Forby that I could see your lassie 
then. What say ye, Davie? Will ye ride with Alan ?" 

You may be sure I was not backward, and Alan's 
furlough running towards an end, we set forth presently 
upon this joint adventure. 

It was near dark of a January day when we rode 
at last into the town of Dunkirk. We left our horses 
at the post, and found a guide to Bazin's Inn, which 
lay beyond the walls. Night was quite fallen, so that 
we were the last to leave that fortress, and heard the 
doors of it close behind us as we passed the bridge. 
On the other side there lay a lighted suburb, which we 



DAVID BALFOUR 377 

th ridded for a while, then turned into a dark lane, and 
presently found ourselves wading in the night among 
deep sand where we could hear a bnllering of the sea. 
We travelled in this fashion for some while, following 
our conductor mostly by the sound of his voice ; and I 
had begun to think he was perhaps misleading us, 
when we came to the top of a small brae, and there 
appeared out of the darkness a dim light in a window. 

" Voila Vauberge a Bazin," says the guide. 

Alan smacked his lips. "An unco lonely bit," 
said he, and I thought by his tone he was not wholly 
pleased. 

A little after, and we stood in the lower storey of the 
house, which was all in the one apartment, with a stair 
leading to the chambers at the side, benches and tables 
by the wall, the cooking fire at the one end of it, and 
shelves of bottles and the cellar-trap at the other. line 
Bazin, who was an ill-looking, big man, told us the 
Scottish gentleman was gone abroad he knew not where, 
but the young lady was above, and he would call her 
down to us. 

I took from my breast the kerchief wanting the 
corner, and knotted it about my throat. 1 could hear 
my heart go; and Alan patting me on the Bhonlder 
with some of his laughable expressions, I could scarce 
refrain from a sharp word. But the time was not long 
to wait. I heard her step pass overhead, and saw her 
on the stair. This she descended yerj qnietly, and 



378 DAVID BALFOUR 

greeted me with a pale face and certain seeming of 
earnestness, or uneasiness, in her manner that extremely 
dashed me. 

" My father, James More, will be here soon. He will 
be very pleased to see you," she said. And then of a 
sudden her face flamed, her eyes lightened, the speech 
stopped upon her lips ; and I made sure she had ob- 
served the kerchief. It was only for a breath that she 
was discomposed ; but methought it was with a new 
animation that she turned to welcome Alan. " And 
you will be his friend Alan Breck ?" she cried. " Many 
is the dozen times I will have heard him tell of you ; and 
I love you already for all your bravery and goodness. " 

" Well, well," says Alan, holding her hand in his 
and viewing her, "and so this is the young lady at 
the last of it ! David, you're an awful poor hand of a 
description." 

I do not know that ever I heard him speak so straight 
to people's hearts ; the sound of his voice was like song. 

"What? will he have been describing me?" she 
cried. 

" Little else of it since I ever came out of France ! " 
Bays he, "forbyabit of speciment one night in Scot- 
land in a shaw of wood by Silvcrmills. But cheer up, 
inv dear ! ye're bonnier than what he said. And now 
there's one thing sure : you and me are to be a pair of 
friends. I'm a kind of a henchman to Davie here ; I'm 
like a tyke at his heels ; and whatever he cares for, I've 



DAVID BALFOUR 379 

got to care for too — and by the holy aim ! they've got 
to care for me ! So now you can see what way you 
stand with Alan Breck, and ye'll find ye'll hardly lose 
on the transaction. He's no very bonnie, my dear, but 
he's leal to them he loves/' 

"I thank you with my heart for your good words," 
said she. " I have that honour for a brave, honest man 
that I cannot find any to be answering with." 

Using travellers' freedom, we spared to wait for James 
More, and sat down to meat, we threesome. Alan had 
Catriona sit by him and wait upon his wants : he made 
her drink first out of his glass, he surrounded her with 
continual kind gallantries, and yet never gave me the 
most small occasion to be jealous ; and he kept the talk 
so much in his own hand, and that in so merry a note, 
that neither she nor I remembered to be embarrassed. 
If anyone had seen us there, it must have been sup- 
posed that Alan was the old friend and I the stranger. 
Indeed, I had often cause to love and to admire the 
man, but I never loved or admired him better than that 
night ; and I could not help remarking to myself (what 
I was sometimes rather in danger of forgetting) that he 
had not only much experience of life, but in his own 
way a -n at deal of natural ability besides. As for 
Catriona she seemed quite carried away ; her laugh was 
like a peal of bells, her face gay as a May morning : and 
I own, although I was ver\ well pleased, yet 1 was a 
little sad also, and thought myself a dull, stockist char- 



380 DAVID BALFOUR 

acter in comparison of my friend, and very unfit to 
come into a young maid's life, and perhaps ding down 
her gaiety. 

But if that was like to be my part, I found at least 
that I was not alone in it ; for, James More returning 
suddenly, the girl was changed into a piece of stone. 
Through the rest of that evening, until she made an 
excuse and slipped to bed, I kept an eye upon her with- 
out cease : and I can bear testimony that she never 
smiled, scarce spoke, and looked mostly on the board in 
front of her. So that I really marvelled to see so much 
devotion (as it used to be) changed into the very sick- 
ness of hate. 

Of James More it is unnecessary to say much ; you 
know the man already, what there was to know of him ; 
and I am weary of writing out his lies. Enough that 
lie drank a great deal, and told us very little that was to 
any possible purpose. As for the business with Alan, 
thai was to be reserved for the morrow and his private 
hearing. 

It was the more easy to be put off, because Alan and 
I were pretty weary with our day's ride, and sat not 
\< it late after Oatriona. 

We were soon alone in a chamber where we were to 
make shift with a single bed. Alan looked on me with 
.1 queer smile. 

" Ye muekle ass ! " said he. 

" What do ye mean by (hat ?" I cried. 



DAY 1 1 » BALFOUR 381 

"Mean? What do I mean? It's extraordinary 

David man," says lie, "that you should be so mortal 
stupit." 

Again I begged him to speak out. 

"Well, it's this of it," said lie. "I told ye there 
were the two kinds of women — them that would sell 
their shifts for ye, and the others. Just you try for 
yoursel', my bonny man ! But what's that neepkin at 
your craig ? " 

I told him. 

" I thocht it was something there about," said he. 

Nor would he say another word though I besieged him 
long with importunities. 



CHAPTER XXX 

THE LETTER FROM THE SHIP 

Daylight showed us how solitary the inn stood. It 
was plainly hard upon the sea, yet out of all view of it, 
and beset on every side with scabbit hills of sand. There 
was, indeed, only one thing in the nature of a prospect, 
where there stood out over a brae the two sails of a wind- 
mill, like an ass's ears, but with the ass quite hidden. 
It was strange (after the wind rose, for at first it was 
dead calm) to see the turning and following of each other 
of these great sails behind the hillock. Scarce anyroad 
came by there ; but a number of footways travelled 
among the bents in all directions up to Mr. Bazin's door. 
The truth is, he was a man of many trades, not any one 
of them honest, and the position of his inn was the best 
of bis livelihood. Smugglers frequented it; political 
agents and forfeited persons bound across the water came 
there bo await their passages ; and I daresay there was 
worse lull i ml, for a whole family might have been butch- 
ered in that house and nobody the wiser. 

I slept little and ill. Long ere it was day, I had 
-lipped from beside my bedfellow, and was warming 
myself at the fire or walking to and fro before the door. 



DAVID BALFOUR 883 

Dawn broke mighty sullen ; but a little after, sprang up 
a wind out of the west, which bursl the clouds, let 

through the sun, and set the mill to the turning. There 
was something of spring in the sunshine, or else it was 
in my heart ; and the appearing of the great sails one 
after another from behind the hill, diverted me ex- 
tremely. At times I could hear a creak of the machin- 
ery ; and by half-past eight of the day, Catriona began 
to sing in the house. At this I would have cast my hat 
in the air ; and 1 thought this dreary, desert place was 
like a paradise. 

For all which, as the day drew on and nobody came 
near, I began to be aware of an uneasiness that I could 
scarce explain. It seemed there was trouble afoot; the 
sails of the windmill, as they came up and went down 
over the hill, were like persons spying ; and outside of 
all fancy, it was surely a strange neighbourhood an- 1 
house for a young lady to be brought to dwell in. 

At breakfast, which we took late, it was manifest that 
James More was in some danger or perplexity ; manifest 
that Alan was alive to the same, and watched hi in close : 
and this appearance of duplicity upon tin- one side and 
vigilance upon the other, held me on live coals. The 
meal was no sooner over than James seemed to conn to 
a resolve, and began to make apologies. Be had an 
appointment of a private nature in the town (it was 
with the French nobleman, he told me) and we would 
please excuse him till about noon. Meanwhile, he car- 



384 DAVID BALFOUR 

ried his daughter aside to the far end of the room, where 
he seemed to speak rather earnestly and she to listen 
without much inclination. 

" I am caring less and less about this man James/' 
said Alan. " There's something no right with the man 
James, and I wouldnae wonder but what Alan Breck 
would give an eve to him this day. I would like fine 
to see yon French nobleman, Davie ; and I daresay you 
could find an employ to yoursel, and that would be to 
speer at the lassie for some news of your affair. Just 
tell it to her plainly — tell her ye're a muckle ass at the 
off-set ; and then, if I were you, and ye could do it 
naitural, I would just mint to her I was in some kind 
of a danger ; a' weemenfolk likes that." 

" I cannae lee, Alan, I cannae do it naitural," says I, 
mocking him. 

"The more fool you!" says he. "Then ye'll can 
tell her that I recommended it ; that'll set her to the 
laughing ; and I wouldnae wonder but what that was 
the next best. But see to the pair of them ! If I didnae 
feel just sure of the lassie, and that she was awful pleased 
and chief with Alan, I would think there was some kind 
of hocus-pocus about yon." 

"And is she so pleased with ye, then, Alan?" I 
asked. 

" She thinks a heap of me," says he. " And I'm no 
like you : I'm one that can tell. That she does — she 
thinks a heap of Alan. And troth ! I'm thinking a 



DAVID BALFOUB 385 

good deal of him myscl ; and with your permission, 
Shaws, I'll bo getting a wee yonfc amang the bents, so 
that I can see what way James goes." 

One after another went, till I was left alone beside 
the breakfast table ; James to Dunkirk, Alan dogging 
him, Catriona up the stairs to her own chamber. I 
could very well understand how she should avoid to be 
alone with me ; yet was none the better pleased with it 
for that, and bent my mind to entrap her to an inter- 
view before the men returned. Upon the whole, the 
best appeared to me to do like Alan. If I was out of 
view among the sand hills, the fine morning would de- 
coy her out ; and once I had her in the open, I could 
please myself. 

No sooner said than done ; nor was I long under the 
bield of a hillock before she appeared at the inn door, 
looked here and there, and (seeing nobody) set out by 
a path that led directly seaward, and by which I fol- 
lowed her. I was in no haste to make my presence 
known ; the further she went I made sure of the longer 
hearing to my suit ; aud the ground being all sandy, it 
was easy to follow her unheard. The path rose and 
came at last to the head of a knowe. Thence I had a 
picture for the first time of what a desolate wilderness 
that inn stood hidden in ; where was no man to be seen, 
nor any house of man, except just Baziirs and the wind- 
mill. Only a little further on, the sea appeared and 
two or three ships upon it, pretty as a drawing. One of 



386 DAVID BALFOUK 

these was extremely close in to be so great a vessel ; and 
I was aware of a shock of new suspicion, when I recog- 
nized the trim of the Seahorse. What should an Eng- 
lish ship be doing so near in France ? Why was Alan 
brought into her neighbourhood, and that in a place so 
far from any hope of rescue ? and was it by accident, or 
by design, that the daughter of James More should walk 
that day to the seaside ? 

Presently I came forth behind her in the front of the 
sand hills and above the beach. It was here long and 
solitary ; with a man-o'-war's boat drawn up about the 
middle of the prospect, and an officer in charge and 
pacing the sands like one who waited. I sat imme- 
diately down where the rough grass a good deal covered 
me, and looked for what should follow. Catriona went 
straight to the boat ; the officer met her with civilities ; 
they had ten words together ; I saw a letter changing 
hands ; and there was Catriona returning. At the 
same time, as if this was all her business on the Con- 
tinent, the boat shoved off and was headed for the Sea- 
horse. But I observed the officer to remain behind and 
disappear among the bents. 

J liked the business little ; and the more I considered 
of it, liked it less. Was it Alan the officer was seeking ? 
or Catriona ? She drew near with her head down, 
looking constantly on the sand, and made so tender a 
picture that I could not bear to doubt her innocency. 
The next, she raised her face and recognised me ; 



DAVID BALFOUR 387 

seemed to hesitate, and then came on again, but more 
slowly, and I thought with a changed colour. And at 
that thought, all else that was upon my bosom — fears, 
suspicions, the care of my friend's life — was clean swal- 
lowed up ; and I rose to my feet and stood waiting her 
in a drunkenness of hope. 

I gave her "good-morning" as she came up, which 
she returned with a good deal of composure. 

" Will you forgive my having followed you ? " said I. 

"I know you are always meaning kindly,'' she re- 
plied ; and then, with a little outburst, "But why will 
you be sending money to that man ? It must not be." 

" I never sent it for him," said I, " but for you, as 
you know well." 

"And you have no right to be sending it to either 
one of us," said she. " David, it is not right." 

"It is not, it is all wrong," said I ; "and I pray God 
he will help this dull fellow (if it be at all possible), to 
make it better. Catriona, this is no kind of life for 
you to lead, and task your pardon for the word, but 
you man is no fit father to take care of you." 

" Do in>t be speaking of him, even ! n was her cry. 

" And I need speak of him no more, it is not of him 
that I am thinking, 0, be sure of that !" says I. u I 
think of the one thing. I have been alone now this 
long time in Leyden ; and when I vrafl l>\ way of at 
my studies, still I was thinking of that. Next Alan 
came, and I went among soldier-men to their big din- 



388 DAVID BALFOUR 

ners ; and still I had the same thought. And it was the 
same before, when I had her there beside me. Cat- 
riona, do you see this napkin at my throat ? You cut 
a corner from it once and then cast it from you. 
They're your colours now ; I wear them in my heart. 
My dear, I cannot want you. 0, try to put up with 
me!" 

I stepped before her so as to intercept her walking on. 

"Try to put up with me," I was saying, "try and 
hear me with a little." 

Still she had never the word, and a fear began to rise 
in me like a fear of death. 

"Catriona," I cried, gazing on her hard, "is it a 
mistake again ? Am I quite lost ?" 

She raised her face to me, breathless. 

"Do you want me, Davie, truly?" said she, and I 
scarce could hear her say it. 

"I do that," said I. "0, sure you know it — I do 
that." 

"I have nothing left to give or to keep back," said 
she. "I was all yours from the first day, if you would 
have had a gift of me ! " she said. 

This was on the summit of a brae; the place was 
windy and conspicuous, we were to be seen there even 
from the English ship ; but I kneeled down before her 
in t lie sand, and embraced her knees, and burst into 
that storm of weeping that I thought it must have 
broken me. All thought was wholly beaten from my 



DAVID BALFOUR 389 

mind by the vehemencj of my discomposure. I knew 

not where I was, I had forgot why I was happy ; only I 
knew she stooped, and I felt her cherish me to her face 
and bosom, and heard her words out of a whirl. 

" Davie/' she was saying, "0, Davie, is this what 
you think of me ? Is it so that you were caring for 
poor me ? 0, Davie, Davie ! " 

With that she wept also, and our tears were com- 
mingled in a perfect gladness. 

It might have been ten in the day before I came to a 
clear sense of what a mercy had befallen me ; and sit- 
ting over against her, with her hands in mine, gazed in 
her face, and laughed out loud for pleasure like a child, 
and called her foolish and kind names. I have never 
seen the place look so pretty as these bents by Dunkirk ; 
and the windmill sails, as they bobbed over the knowe, 
were like a tune of music. 

I know not how much longer we might have continued 
to forget all else besides ourselves, had I not chanced 
upon a reference to her father, which brought us to 
reality. 

" My little friend." I wafi calling her again and again. 
rejoicing to summon up the past by the sound of it, and 
to gaze across on her, and to be a little distant — "My 
little friend, now you are mine altogether; mine for 
good, my little friend ; and thai man's no longer at all." 

There came a sudden whiteness in her face, she 
plucked her hands from mine. 



390 DAVID BALFOUR 

" Davie, take me away from him ! " she cried. 
"There's something wrong ; he's not true. There will 
be something wrong ; I have a dreadful terror here at 
my heart. What will he be wanting at all events with 
that King's ship ? AYhat will this word be saying ?" 
And she held the letter forth. " My mind misgives 
me, it will be some ill to Alan. Open it, Davie — open 
it and see." 

I took it, and looked at it, and shook my head. 

" No/' said I, "it goes against me, I cannot open a 
man's letter.'' 

" Not to save your friend ? " she cried. 

" I cannae tell," said I. " I think not. If I was 
only sure ! " 

" And you have but to break the seal ! " said she. 

" I know it," said I, " but the thing goes against me." 

" Give it here," said she, " and I will open it myself." 

"Nor you neither," said I. " You least of all. It 
concerns your father, and his honour, dear, which we 
are both misdoubting. No question but the place is 
dangerous-like, and the English ship being here, and 
your father having word of it, and yon officer that 
stayed ashore! He would not be alone either ; there 
in list be more along with him ; I daresay we are spied 
upon this minute. Ay, no doubt, the letter should be 
opened ; but somehow, not by you nor me." 

1 was about this far with it. and my spirit very much 
overcome with a sense of danger and hidden enemies, 



DAVID BALFOUK 391 

when I spied Alan, come back again from following 
James and walking by himself among the sand hills. 
He was in his soldier's coat, of course, and mighty fine ; 
but I could not avoid to shudder when I thought how 
little that jacket would avail him, if he were once caught 
and flung in a skiff, and carried on board of the Sea- 
horse, a deserter, a rebel, and now a condemned 
murderer. 

" There,'' said I, " there is the man that has the best 
right to open it : or not, as he thinks fit." 

With which I called upon his name, and we both 
stood up to be a mark for him. 

" If it is so — if it be more disgrace — will you can 
bear it ? '' she asked, looking upon me with a burning 
eye. 

" I was asked something of the same question when I 
had seen you but the once/' said I. " What do you 
think I answered ? That if I liked you as I thought I 
did — and 0, but I like you better ! — I would many yon 
at his gallows' foot.'' 

The blood rose in her face ; she came close up and 
pressed upon me, holding my hand : and it was so that 
we awaited Alan. 

He came with one of his queer smiles. " What was 
I telling ye, David ? " says he. 

"There is a time for all things, Alan," said I, "and 
this time is serious. How have yon spud ? You can 
speak out plain before this friend of ours." 



392 DAVID BALFOUR 

"I have been upon a fool's errand/' said he. 

" I doubt we have done better than you, then," said 
I ; " and, at least, here is a great deal of matter that 
you must judge of. Do you see that ? " I went on, 
pointing to the ship. " That is the Seahorse, Captain 
Palliser." 

" I should ken her, too," says Alan. "I had fyke 
enough with her when she was stationed in the Forth. 
But what ails the man to come so close ? " 

" I will tell you why he came there first," said I. 
" It was to bring this letter to James More. Why he 
stops here now that it's delivered, what it's likely to be 
about, why there's an officer hiding in the bents, and 
whether or not it's probable that he's alone— I would 
rather you considered for yourself." 

" A letter to James More ? " said he. 

" The same," said I. 

" Well, and I can tell ye more than that," said Alan. 
" For last night when you were fast asleep, I heard 
I lie man colloquing with some one in the French, and 
Www Ihi' door of that inn to be opened and shut." 

"Alan !" cried I, "you slept all night, and I am here 
to prove it." 

" Ay, but I would never trust Alan whether he was 
asleep or waking ! " says he. "But the business looks 
bad. Let's see the letter/' 

I gave ii him. 

"Catriona," said he, "ye'll have to excuse me, my 






DAVID BALFOUR 393 

dear ; but there's nothing less than my fine bones upon 
the cast of it, and I'll have to break this seal." 

" It is my wish," said Catriona. 

He opened it, glanced it through, and flung his hand 
in the air. 

" The stinking brock \" says he, and crammed the 
paper in his pocket. " Here, let's get our things the- 
gether. This place is fair death to me." And he 
began to walk towards the inn. 

It was Catriona who spoke the first. " He has sold 
you ? " she asked. 

" Sold me, my dear," said Alan. " But thanks to 
you and Davie, I'll can jink him yet. Just let me win 
upon my horse ! " he added. 

" Catriona must come with us," said I. " She can 
have no more traffic with that man. She and I are to 
be married." At which she pressed my hand to her 
side. 

"Are ye there with it?" says Alan, looking back. 
"The best day's work that ever either of ye did yel ! 
And I'm bound to say, my dawtie, ye make a real, 
bonny couple." 

The way that he was following bronghl as close in 
by the windmill, where I was aware of a man in 
man's trousers, who seemed to be spying from behind 
it. Only, of course, we took him in the rear. 

"See, Alan !" said I. 

" Wheesht ! " said lie, ••(his is my affairs." 



394 DAVID BALFOUR 

The man was, no doubt, a little deafened by the clat- 
tering of the mill, and we got up close before he 
noticed. Then he turned, and we saw he was a big 
fellow with a mahogany face. 

"I think, sir," says Alan, "that you speak the 
English P* 

" Xon, monsieur," says he, with an incredible bad 
accent. 

" Xon, monsieur," cries Alan, mocking him. "Is 
that how they learn you French on the Seahorse f Ye 
muckle, gutsey hash, here's a Scots boot to your 
English hurdies ! " 

And bounding on him before he could escape, he 
dealt the man a kick that laid him on his nose. Then 
he stood, with a savage smile, and watched him 
scramble to his feet and scamper off into the sand 
hills. 

" But it's high time I was clear of these empty 
hunts ! " said Alan ; and continued his way at top speed 
and we still following, to the back door of Bazin's inn. 

It chanced that as we entered by the one door we 
came lace to face with James More entering by the 
mi her. 

"Here!" said I to Catriona, "quick! upstairs with 
you and make your packets ; this is no fit scene for 
you." 

In the meanwhile James and Alan had met in the 
midst of the long room. She passed them close by to 



DAVID BALFOUB 395 

reach the stairs; ami after she was some way up \ saw 
her turn and glance at them again, though without 
pausing. Indeed, they were worth looking at. Alan 
wore as they met one of his best appearances of 
courtesy and friendliness, yet with something emi- 
nently warlike, so that James smelled danger off the 
man, as folk smell fire in a house, and stood prepared 
for accidents. 

Time pressed. Alan's situation in that solitary 
place, and his enemies about him, might have daunted 
Caesar. It made no change in him ; and it was in his 
old spirit of mockery and dafring that he began the 
interview. 

" A braw good day to ye again, Mr. Drummond," 
said he. " What '11 yon business of yours be just about ? " 

" Why, the thing being private, and rather of a long 
story," says James, " I think it will keep very well till 
we have eaten." 

"I'm none so sure of that," said Alan. "It sticks 
in my mind it's either now or never ; for the fact is me 
and Mr. Balfour here have gotten a line, and we're 
thinking of the road." 

I saw a little surprise in James's eve; but he held 
himself stoutly. 

"I have but the one word to say to cure you of that," 
said he, "and that is the name of my business." 

" Say it then," says Alan. "Hout! wha minds for 
Davie?" 



396 DAVID BALFOUR 

"It is a matter that would make us both rich men," 
said James. 

"Do ye tell me that ? " cries Alan. 

" I do, sir," said James. " The plain fact is that it is 
Cluny's Treasure." 

"No \" cried Alan. "Have ye got word of it ?" 

"I ken the place, Mr. Stewart, and can take you 
there/' said James. 

"This crowns all!" says Alan. "Well, and Fm 
glad I came to Dunkirk. And so this was your busi- 
ness, was it ? Halvers, I'm thinking ? " 

" That is the business, sir," says James. 

" Well, well," says Alan ; and then in the same tone 
of childlike interest, "It has naething to do with the 
Seahorse, then ? " he asked. 

"With what ?" says James. 

" Or the lad that I have just kicked the bottom of 
behind yon windmill?" pursued Alan. "Hut, man ! 
have done with your lees ! I have Palliser's letter here 
in my pouch. You're by with it, James More. You 
can never show your face again with dacent folk." 

James was taken all aback with it. He stood a 
second, motionless and white, then swelled with the liv- 
ing anger. 

"Do you talk to me, you bastard ?" he roared out. 

" Ye glee'd swine ! " cried Alan, and hit him a sound- 
ing buffet on the mouth, and the next wink of time 
their blades clashed together. 



DAVID BALFOUR 

At the first sound of the bare steel I instinctively 
leaped back from the collision. The next I siw, .lames 
parried a thrust so nearly that I thought him killed; 
and it lowed up in my mind that this was tin- girl's 
father, and in a manner almost my own, and I drew 
and ran in to sever them. 

"Keep back, Davie ! Are ye daft ? Damn ye, keep 
back !" roared Alan. "Your blood be on your ain heid 
then ! » 

I beat their blades down twice. I was knocked reel- 
ing against the wall ; I was back again betwixt them. 
They took no heed of me, thrusting at each other liki 
two furies. I can never think how I avoided being 
stabbed myself or stabbing one of these two Rodomontfl, 
and the whole business turned about me like a piece of 
a dream ; in the midst of which 1 heard a great cry 
from the Mair, and Oatriona sprang before her father. 
In the same moment the point of my sword encountered 
something yielding. It came back to me reddened. 1 
saw the blood flow on the girl's kerchief, and stood 
sick. 

"Will you be killing him before my eyes, and me 

his daughter after all ? n she cried. 

" My dear, I have done with him." said Alan, and 
went and sat on a table, with his arms crossed and the 
sword naked in his hand. 

Awhile she stood before the man. panting, with big 
eyes, then swung suddenly about and Diced him. 



898 DAVID BALFOUR 

(i Begone I" was her word, "take your shame out of 
my sight ; leave me with clean folk. I am a daughter 
of Alpin ! Shame of the sons of Alpin, begone ! " 

It was said with so much passion as awoke me from 
the horror of my own bloodied sword. The two stood 
facing, she with the red stain on her kerchief, he white 
as a rag. I knew him well enough — I knew it must 
have pierced him in the quick place of his soul ; but he 
betook himself to a bravado air. 

" Why," says he, sheathing his sword, though still 
with a bright eye on Alan, "if this brawl is over I will 
but get my portmanteau " 

"There goes no pockmantie out of this place except 
will) me/' says Alan. 

" Sir \" cries James. 

"James More," says Alan, "this lady daughter of 
yours is to marry my friend Davie, upon the which ac- 
count I let you pack with a hale carcase. But take you 
my advice of it and get that carcase out of harm's way 
or ower late. Little as you suppose it, there are 
leemits to my temper." 

"lie damned, sir, but my money's there!" said 
James. 

"I'm vexed about that, too," says Alan, with his 
funny face, "but now, ye see, it's mines." And then 
with more gravity, "Be you advised, James More, you 
leave this house." 

James seemed to cast about for a moment in his 




KE1 I' B M K, DAVIE ] \ Rl 



DAVID BALFOUB 

mind ; but it's to be thought he had enough of Alan's 
swordsmanship, for ho suddenly put off his hat to as 
and (with a face like one of the damned) bade us fare- 
well in a series. With which he was gone. 

At the same time a spell was lifted from me. 

" Catriona," I cried, "it was me — it was my sword. 
0, arc ye much hurt f 

- I know it, Davie, I am loving you for the pain of 
it; it was done defending that bad man, my father. 
See!" she said, and showed me a bleeding scratch, 
"see, you have made a man of me now. I will carry a 
wound like an old soldier.'' 

Joy that she should be so little hurt, and the love of 
her brave nature, transported me. I embraced her, I 
kissed the wound. 

"And am I to be out of the kissing, me that never 
lost a chance ?" says Alan ; and putting me aside and 
taking Catriona by either shoulder, " My dear," he said, 
"you're a true daughter of Alpin. By all accounts, lie 
WBB a very fine man, and he may weel be proud of you. 
If ever I was to get married, it's the marrow of you I 
would be seeking for a mother to my sons. And I bear 
a king's name and speak the truth. " 

He said it with a serious heat of admiration that was 
honey to the girl, and through her, to me. It seemed 
to wipe us clean of all James More's disgraces. And 
the next moment he was just himself again. 

"And now by your leave, my daw ties, " said he, 



400 DAVID BALFOUR 

"this is a' very bonny; but Alan Breck'll be a wee 
thing nearer to the gallows than he's caring for ; and 
Dod ! I think this is a grand place to be leaving/' 

The word recalled us to some wisdom. Alan ran 
upstairs and returned with our saddle-bags and James 
More's portmanteau ; I picked up Catriona's bundle 
where she had dropped it on the stair; and we were 
setting forth out of that dangerous house, when Bazin 
stopped the way with cries and gesticulations. He had 
whipped under a table when the swords were drawn, 
but now he was as bold as a lion. There was his bill 
to be settled, there was a chair broken, Alan had sat 
among his dinner things, James More had fled. 

"Here," I cried, "pay yourself," and flung him 
down some Lewie d'ors; for I thought it was no time to 
be accounting. . 

He sprang upon that money, and we passed him by, 
and ran forth into the open. Upon three sides of the 
house were seamen hasting and closing in ; a little 
nearer to us James More waved his hat as if to hurry 
them ; and right behind him, like some foolish person 
holding up its hands, were the sails of the windmill 
turning. 

Alan gave but the one glance, and laid himself down 
to run. He carried a great weight in James More's 
portmanteau ; but I think he would as soon have lost 
his life as cast away that booty which was his revenge ; 
and he ran so that I was distressed to follow him, and 



DAVID B Al.l-'nii: 

marvelled and exultefl to Bee the girl bounding at my 
side. 
As soon us we appeared, they cast off all disg 

upon the other side; and the seamen pursued as with 
shouts and view-hullohs. We had a start of some two 
hundred yards, and they were but bandy-legged tarpau- 
lins after all, that could not hope to better us at such 
an exercise. I suppose they were armed, but did no! 
care to use their pistols on French ground. And as 
soon as I perceived that we not only held our ad- 
vantage but drew a little away, I began to feel quite 
easy of the issue. For all which, it was a hot, brisk bit 
of work, so long as it lasted ; Dunkirk was still far nil' ; 
and when we popped over a knowe, and found a com- 
pany of the garrison marching on the other side on 
some manoeuvre, I could very well understand the word 
that Alan bad. 

He stopped running at once: and mopping at his 
brow, "They're a real bonny folk, the French nation," 
says he. 



CONCLUSION 

No sooner were we safe within the walls of Dunkirk 
than we held a very necessary council-of-war on our 
position. We had taken a daughter from her father at 
the sword's point ; any judge would give her back to 
him at once, and by all likelihood clap me and Alan into 
jail; and though we had an argument upon our side in 
Captain Palissers letter, neither Catriona nor I were 
very keen to be using it in public. Upon all accounts 
it seemed the most prudent to carry the girl to Paris to 
the hands of her own chieftain, Macgregor of Bohaldie, 
who would be very willing to help his kinswoman, on 
the one haud, and not at all anxious to dishonour 
James upon the other. 

We made but a slow journey of it up, for Catriona 
was not so good at the riding as the running, and had 
scarce sat in a saddle since the 'Forty-five. But we 
made it out at last, reached Paris early of a Sabbath 
morning, and made all speed, under Alan's guidance, 
to find Bohaldie. He was finely lodged, and lived in a 
good style, having a pension in the Scots Fund, as well 
as private means; greeted Catriona like one of his own 
house, and seemed altogether very civil and discreet, 



DAVID BALFOUR 108 

but not particularly open. We asked of the Dew* 
James More. "Poor James!" said he, and Bhook bis 
head and smiled, bo that I though I he knew Further 

than he meant to tell. Then we showed him Pali- 
letter, and he drew a long face at that. 

'""Poor James!'' said he again. "Well, there are 
worse folk than James More, too. But this is dreadful 
bad. Tut, tut, he must have forgot himself entirety ! 
This is a most undesirable letter. But, for all thar. 
gentlemen, I cannot see what we would want to make 
it public for. It's an ill bird that fouls his own i 
and we are all Scots folk and all Eieland." 

Upon this we were all agreed, save perhaps Alan ; 
and still more upon the question of our marri 
which Bohaldie took in his own hands, as though there 
had been no such person as James More, and e 
Catriona away with very pretty manners and agreeable 
compliments in French. It was not till all was over, 
and our healths drunk, that he told us James was in 
that city, whither he had preceded D8 sonic days, and 
where he now lay sick, and like t<> die. I though! I 
Baw by my wife's face what way her inclination pointed. 

"And let us go sec him. then," Baid I. 

"If it is your pleasure," said Catriona, Th< 
early days. 

He was lodged in the Bame quarter of the city with 
his chief, in a greal house upon a corner ; and \w 
guided up to the garrei where he la\ by the Bonn 



404: DAVID BALFOUR 

Highland piping. It seemed he had just borrowed a set 
of them from Bohaldie to amuse his sickness ; though 
he was no such hand as was his brother Rob, he made 
good music of the kiud ; and it was strange to observe 
the French folk crowding on the stairs, and some of 
them laughing. He lay propped in a pallet. The first 
look of him I saw he was upon his last business ; and, 
doubtless, this was a strange place for him to die in. 
But even now I find I can scarce dwell upon his end 
with patience. Doubtless, Bohaldie had prepared him ; 
he seemed to know we were married, complimented 
us on the event, and gave us a benediction like a 
patriarch. 

"I have been never understood," said he. "I for- 
give you both without an after-thought;" after which 
he spoke for all the world in his old manner, w r as so 
obliging as to play us a tune or two upon his pipes, and 
borrowed a small sum before I left. I could not trace 
even a hint of shame in any part of his behaviour ; but 
he was great upon forgiveness ; it seemed always fresh 
to him. I think he forgave me every time we met ; 
and when after some four days he passed away in a 
kind of odour of affectionate sanctity, I could have torn 
my hair out for exasperation. I had him buried ; but 
what to put upon his tomb was quite beyond me, 
till at last I considered the date would look best 
alone. 

I thought it wiser to resign all thoughts of Leyden, 



>'■'*■ 



i' 




ra 







whom YOU WKr.K AWAKENED OUT OF TOUR BEDS AND BROUGHT DOWN To TIIK 
DININ6-HALL 1" BE PRESENTED TO " 



DAVID BALFOUB 

where we had appealed once as brother an and 

it would certainly look strange to return in a new 
character. Scotland would be doing for as ; and 

thither, after I had recovered that which I had left 
behind, we sailed in a Low Country ship. 

And now, Miss Barbara Balfour (to set the ladies 
first) and Mr. Alan Balfour, younger of Shaws. hen 
the story brought fairly to an end. A great many of 
the folk that took a part in it, you will find (if yon 
think well) that you have seen and spoken with. Alison 
Hastie in Limekilns was the lass that rocked your 
cradle when you were too small to know of it, and 
walked abroad with yon in the policy when you were 
bigger. That very fine great lady that is Miss Barb; 
name-mamma is no other than the same Miss Grant 
that made so much a fool of David Balfour in the 1, 
of the Lord Advocate. And I wonder whether 
remember a little, lean, lively gentleman in a Bcratch- 
wig and a wraprascal, that came to Shaws very lafc 
a dark night, and whom you were awakened oul of your 
beds and brought down to the dining-hall to be pre- 
sented to. by the name of Mr. Jamieson ? < >r has Alan 

Forgotten what he did at Mr. Jamieson'e requi - 
most disloyal act —for which, by the letter of the law, 
he might he hanged — no [ess than drinking the K 
health across the water t Thet oings in 

a good Whig house ! But Mr. Jamieson is a man 
privileged, and might set fire to my corn-ban] : and the 



406 DAVID BALFOUR 

name they know him by now in France is the Chevalier 
Stewart. 

As for Davie and Catriona, I shall watch you pretty 
close in the next days, and see if you are so bold as to 
be laughing at papa and mamma. It is true we were 
not so wise as we might have been, and made a great 
deal of sorrow out of nothing ; but you will find as you 
grow up that even the artful Miss Barbara, and even 
the valiant Mr. Alan will be not so vei*y much wiser 
than their parents. For the life of man upon this 
world of ours is a funny business. They talk of the 
angels weeping ; but I think they must more often be 
holding their sides, as they look on ; and there was one 
thing I determined to do when I began this long story, 
and that was to tell out everything as it befell. 




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