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CHAPTER XV.

What's to be done next?

It was twilight when they arrived in town; and having shaken off his companions, and walked through a good many streets to avoid the possibility of being traced by them, Edward took a hackney-coach and drove to Colonel Talbot's house, in one of the principal squares at the west end of the town. That gentleman, by the death of relations, had succeeded since his marriage to a large fortune, possessed considerable political interest, and lived in what is called great style.

When Waverley knocked at his door, he found it at first difficult to procure admittance, but at length was shown into an apartment where the Colonel was at table. Lady Emily, whose very beautiful features were still pallid from indisposition, sat opposite to him. The instant he heard Waverley's voice, he started up and embraced him. « Frank Stanley, my

dear boy, how d’ye do?—Emily, my love, that is young Stanley.»

The blood started to the lady' scheek asshe gave Waverley a reception, in which courtesy was mingled with kindness, while her trembling hand and faultering voice showed how much she was startledand discomposed. Dinner was hastily replaced, and while Waverley was engaged in refreshing himself, the Colonel proceeded — «I wonder you have come here, Frank; the doctors tell me the air of London is very bad for your complaints. You should not have risked it. But I am delighted to see you, and so is Emily, though I fear we must not reckon upon your staying long.»

« Some particular business brought me up,» muttered Waverley.

« I supposed so, but I sha’nt allow you to stay long.–Spontoon (to an elderly militarylooking servant out of livery), take away these things, and answer the bell yourself, if I ring. Don't let any of the other fellows disturb us -My nephew and I have business to talk of.»

When the servants had retired, « In the name of God, Waverley, what has brought you here? It may be as much as your life is worth.»

« Dear Mr Waverley,» said Lady Emily, « to whom I owe so much more than acknowledgepay, how could

you

be so rash?» « My father-my uncle—this paragraph ;» he handed the paper to Colonel Talbot.

ments can ever

« I wish to Heaven these scoundrels were condemned to be squeezed to death in their own presses,» said Talbot. «I am told there are not less than a dozen of their papers now published in town, and no wonder that they are obliged to invent lies to find sale for their journals. It is true, however, my dear Edward, that you have lost your father; but as to this flourish of his unpleasant situation having grated upon his spirits, and hurt his health the truth is— for though it is harsh to say so now, yet it will relieve your mind from the idea of weighty responsibility—the truth then is, that Mr Richard Waverley, through this whole business, showed great want of sensibility, both to your situation and that of

your uncle; and the last time I saw him, he told me, with great glee, that as I was so good as to take charge of your interests, he had thought it best to patch up a separate negotiation for himself, and make his

government through some channels which former connections left still open to him.»

« And my uncle, my dear uncle.»

« Is in no danger whatever. It is true (look ing at the date of the paper) there was a foolish report some time ago to the purport here quoted, but it is entirely false. Sir Everard is gone down to Waverley-Honour, freed from all uneasiness, unless upon your own account. But you are in peril yourself—your name is

peace with

in every proclamation,-warrants are out to apprehend you.

How and when did you come here?»

Edward told his story at length, suppressing his quarrel with Fergus; for, being himself partial to Highlanders, he did not wish to give any advantage to the Colonel's national prejudice against them.

« Are you sure it was your friend Glen's foothoy you saw dead in Clifton-moor?»

«Quite positive.»

« Then that little limb of the devil has cheated the gallows, for cut-throat was written in his face, though (turning eo Lady Emily) it was a very bandsome face too. Edward, I wish you would go down again to Cumberland, or rather I wish you had never stirred from thence, for there is an embargo in all the seaports, and a strict search for adherents of the Pretender; and the tongue of that confounded woman will wag in her head like the clack of a mill, till somehow or other she will detect Lieutenant Butler to be a feigned personage.»

« Do you know any thing,» asked Waverley, a of my fellow-traveller?»

« Her husband was my serjeant-major for six years; she was a buxom widow, with a little money-he married her-was steady, and got on by being a good drill. I must send Spontoon to see what she is about: he will find her

But for you,

your head

out among the old regimental connections.

To-morrow you must be indisposed, and keep • your room from fatigue. Lady Emily is to be

your nurse, and Spontoon and I your attendants. You bear the name of a near relation of mine, whom none of my present people ever saw, except Spontoon, so there will be · no immediate danger. So

pray

feel ache and your eyes grow heavy as soon as possible, that you may be put upon the sick list; and, Emily, do you order an apartment for Frank Stanley, with all the attentions which an invalid may require. »

In the morning the Colonel visited his guest. « Now,» said he, «I have some good news for you. Your reputation as a gentleman and officer is effectually cleared of neglect of duty, and accession to the mutiny in G--'s regiinent. I have had a correspondence on this subject with a very zealous friend of yours, your Scotch parson, Morton; his first letter was addressed to Sir Everard; but I relieved the good baronet of the trouble of answering it. You must know, that your free-booting acquaintance, Donald of the Cave, has at length fallen into the hands of the Philistines. He was driving off the cattle of a certain proprietor, called Killan—something or other»

« Killancureit?»

« The same-now the gentleman being, it seems, a great farmer, and having a special

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