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« That,» said the Colonel, « it is this gentlèman's profession to explain.»
The Baillie, whom this reference regarded, had all this while shifted from one foot to another with great impatience, « like a hen,» as he afterwards said, « upon a het girdle;» and chuckling, he might have added, like the said hen in all the glory of laying an egg,—now pushed forward. « That I can, that I can your honour ;» drawing from his pocket a budget of papers, and untying the red tape with a hand trembling with eagerness. «Here is the disposition and assignation, by Malcolm Bradwardine of Inch-Grabbit, regularly signed and tested in terms of the statute, whereby for a certain sum of sterling money presently contented and paid to him, he has disponed, alienated, and conveyed the whole estate and barony of Bradwardine, Tully. Veolan, and others, with the fortalice and manorplace»---
« For God's sake to the point, Sir; I have all that by heart,» said the Colonel.
« To Cosmo Comyne Bradwardine, Esq.» pursued the Baillie, « his heirs and assignees, simply and irredeemably--to be held either a me vel de me.»
Pray read short, Sir.» « On the conscience of an honest man, Colonel, I read as short as is consistent with
style. Under the burden and reservation always».
« Mr Macwheeble, this would outlast a Russian winterm-give me leave. In short, Mr Bradwardine, your family estate is your own once more in full property, and at your absolute disposal, but only burdened with the sum advanced to repurchase it, which I understand is utterly disproportioned to its value.»
« An auld sang-an auld sang, if it please your honours,» cried the Baillie, rubbing his hands; « look at the rental book.
« Which sum being advanced by Mr Edward Waverley, chiefly from the price of his father's property which I bought from him, is secured to his lady your daughter, and her family by this marriage,
«It is a catholic security,» shouted the Baillie, « to Rose Comyne Bradwardine, alias Wayerley, in life-rent, and the children of the said marriage in fee; and I made up a wee bit minute of an ante-nuptial contract, intuitu matrimonii, so it cannot be subject to reduction hereafter as a donation, inter virum et uxorem.»
It is difficult to say whether the worthy Baron was most delighted with the restitution of his family property, or with the delicacy and generosity that left him unfettered to
pura sue his purpose in disposing of it after his death, and which avoided, as much as possible, even the appearance of laying him under
pecuniary obligation. When his first pause of joy and astonishment was over, his thoughts turned to the unworthy heir male, who, he pronounced, had sold his birth-right, like Esau, for a mess o' pottage.
« But wha cookit the parridge for him?» exclaimed the Baillie, «I wad like to ken that;wha, but your honour's to command, Duncan Macwheeble? His honour, young Mr Waverley, pat it a' into my hand frae the beginning -frae the first calling o' the summons, as I may say. I circumvented them—I played at bogle about the bush wi' them—I cajolled them ! and if I have na gien Inch-Grabbit and Jamie Howie a bonnie begunk, they ken themselves. Him a writer! I did na gae slapdash to them wi' our young bra' bridegroom, to gar them haud up the market; na, na; I scared them wi' our wild tenantry, and the Mac-lvors, that are but ill settled yet, till they durst na on ony errand whatsoever gang ower the door-stane after gloaming, for fear John Heatherblutter, or some siccan dare the diel, should tak a baff at them: then, on the other hand, I beflum'd them wi' Colonel Talbotwad they offer to keep up the price again the Duke's friend? did na they ken wha was master? had na they seen aneuch, by the example of mony a poor misguided unhappy body».
« Who went to Derby, for example, Mr Macwheeble,» said the Colonel to him, aside.
«O whisht, Colonel, for the love o' God! let that flee stick i’ the wa'.-There were mony gude folk at Derby; and it 's ill speaking of halters, » — with a sly cast of his
sly cast of his eye toward the Baron, who was in deep reverie.
Starting out of it at once, he took Macwheeble by the button, and led him into one of the deep window recesses, whence only fragments of their conversation reached the rest of the party.
It certainly related to stamp-paper and parchment; for no other subject, even from the mouth of his patron, and he, once more, an efficient one, could have arrested so deeply the Baillie’s reverent and absorbed attention.
«I understand your honour perfectly; it can be done as easy as taking out a decreet in ab
« To her and him, after my demise, and to their heirs-male, but preferring the second son, if God shall bless them with two, who is carry
the and arms of Bradwardine of that ilk, without any other name or armorial bearings whatsoever.»
Tut, your honour; I'll make a slight jotting the morn; it will cost but a charter of resignation in favorem; and I'll hae it ready for the next term in Exchequer. »
Their private conversation ended, the Baron was now summoned to do the honours of Tully-Veolan to new guests. These were,
Major Melville of Cairnvreckan, and the Reverend Mr Morton, followed by two or three others of the Baron's acquaintances, who had been made privy to his having again acquired the estate of his fathers. The shouts of the villagers were also heard beneath in the courtyard; for Saunders Saunderson, who had kept the secret for several days with laudable prudence, had unloosed his tongue upon beholding the arrival of the carriages.
But, while Edward received Major Melville with politeness, and the clergyman with the most affectionate and grateful kindness, his father-in-law looked a little awkward, as uncertain how he should answer the necessary claims of hospitality to his guests, and forward the festivity of his tenants. Lady Emily relieved him, by intimating, that, though she must be an indifferent representative of Mrs Edward Waverley in many respects, she hoped the Baron would approve of the entertainment she had ordered, in expectation of so many guests; and that they would find such other accommodations provided, as might in some degree support the ancient hospitality of TullyVeolan. It is impossible to describe the pleasure which this assurance gave the Baron, who, with an air of gallantry, half appertaining to the stiff Scottish laird, and half to the officer in the French service, offered his arm to the fair speaker, and led the way,