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Evan immediately afterwards added, "that indeed he himself had better get forward, and announce their approach to Donald Bean Lean, as the arrival of a sidier roy (red soldier) might otherwise be a disagreeable surprise.” And without waiting for an answer, in jockey phrase, he trotted out, and putting himself to a very round pace, was out of sight in an instant.
Waverley was now left to his own meditations, for his attendant with the battle-axe spoke very little English. They were traversing a thick, and, as it seemed, an endless wood of pines, and consequently the path was altogether indiscernible in the murky darkness which surrounded them. The Highlander, however, seemed lo trace it by instinct, without the hesitation of a moment, and Edward followed his footsteps as close as he could.
After journeying a considerable time in silence, he could not help asking, “Was it far lo the end of their journey?”
“Ta cove was tree, four mile; but as Duinhé-wassel was a wee taiglit, Donald could, tat is, might-would-should send ta curragh,"
This conveyed no information. The curragh which was promised might be a man, a horse, a cart, or chaise ; and no more could be got from the man with the battle-axe, but a repetition of "Aich ay! la curragh."
But in a short time Edward began to conceive his meaning, when, issuing from the wood, he found himself on the banks of a large river or lake, where his conductor gave him to understand they must sit down for a little while. The moon, which now began to rise, showed obscurely the expanse of waler which spread before them, and the shapeless and indistinct forms of mountains with which it seemed to be surrounded. The cool, and yet mild air of the summer night, refreshed Waverley after his rapid and toilsome walk; and the perfume which it wasted from the birch trees ', bathed in the evening dew, was exquisitely fragrant.
He had now time to give himself up to the full romance of his situation. Here he sate on the banks of an unknown lake, under the guidance of a wild native, whose language was unknown to him, on a visit to the den of some renowned outlaw, a second Robin Hood, perhaps, or Adam o' Gordon, and that at deep midnight, through scenes of difficulty and toil, separated from his altendant, left by his guide :-What a variely of incidents for the exercise of a romantic imagination, and all enhanced by the solemn feeling of uncertainty, at least, if not of danger! The only circumstance which assorted ill with the rest, was the cause of his journey-the baron's milk cows ! this degrading incident he kept in the back ground.
While wrapt in these dreams of imagination, his companion
! It is not the weeping birch, the most common species in the Highlands, but the woolly-leaved Lowland birch, that is distinguished by this fragrance.
gently touched him, and, pointing in a direction nearly straight across the lake, said, Yon's ta cove.” A small point of light was seen to twinkle in the direction in which he poinled, and, gradually increasing in size and lustre, seemed to flicker like a meteor upon the verge of the horizon. While Edward watched this phenomenon, the distant dash of oars was heard. The measured sound apached near and more near, and presentl
a loud whistle was heard in the same direction. His friend with the battle-axe immediately whistled clear and shrill, in reply to the signal, and a boal, manned with four or five Highlanders, pushed for a little inlet, near which Edward was sitting. He advanced to meet them with his altendant, was immediately assisted into the boat by the officious altention of two stout mountaineers, and had no sooner seated himself than they resumed their oars, and began to row across the lake with great rapidity.
THE HOLD OF A HIGHLAND ROBBER.
THE party preserved silence, interrupted only by the monotonous and murmured chant of a Gaelic song, sung in a kind of low recilalive by the steersman, and by the dash of the oars, which the notes seemed to regulate, as they dipped to them in cadence. The light, which they now approached more nearly, assumed a broader, redder, and more irregular splendour. It appeared plainly to be a large fire, but whether kindled upon an island, or the main land, Edward could not determine. As he saw it, the red glaring orb seemed to rest on the very surface of the lake itself, and resembled the fiery vehicle in which the Evil Genius of an Oriental tale traverses land and sea. They approached nearer, and the light of the fire sufficed to show that it was kindled at the bottom of a huge dark crag or rock, rising abruptly from the very edge of the water ; ils front, changed by the reflection to dusky red, formed a strange, and even awful contrast to the banks around, which were from time to time faintly and partially illuminated by pallid moonlight.
The boat now neared the shore, and Edward could discover that this large fire, amply supplied with branches of pine-wood by two figures, who, in the red reflection of ils light, appeared like demons, was kindled in jaws of a lofly cavern, inlo which an inlet from the lake seemed to advance; and he conjectured, which was indeed true, that the fire had been lighted as a beacon to the boatmen on their relurn. They rowed right for the mouth of the cave, and then,
shipping their oars, permitted the boat to enter in obedience to the impulse which it had received. The skiff passed the little point or platform of rock, on which the fire was blazing, and running about two boals' length farther, stopped where the cavern (for it was already arched overhead) ascended from the waler by five or six broad ledges of rocks, so easy and regular that they might be lermed nalural steps. At this moment a quantity of water was suddenly flung upon the fire, which sunk with a hissing noise, and with it disappeared the light it had hitherto afforded. Four or five active arms lifted Waverley out of the boat, placed him on his feet, and almost carried him into the recesses of the cave. He made a few paces in darkness, guided in this manner; and advancing towards a hum of voices, which seemed to sound from the centre of the rock, at an acute turn Donald Bean Lean and his whole establishment were before his eyes.
TI in or of the cave, whi here rose very high, was illuminated by torches made of pine-tree, which emitted a bright and flickering light, attended by a strong, though not unpleasant odour. Their light was assisted by the red glare of a large charcoal fire, round which were seated five or six armed Highlanders, while others were indistinctly seen couched on their plaids, in the more remole recesses of the cavern. In one large aperture, which the robber facetiously called his spence, (or pantry), there hung by the heels the carcasses of a sheep, or ewe, and two cows lately slaughtered. The principal inhabitant of this singular mansion, attended by Eyan Dhu as master of the ceremonies, came forward to meet his guest, totally different in appearance and manner from what his imagination had anticipated. The profession which he followedthe wilderness in which he dwelt- the wild warrior forms that surrounded him, were all calculated to inspire terror. From such accompaniments, Waverley prepared himself to meet a stern, gigantic, ferocious figure, such as Salvator would have chosen to be the central object of a group of banditti.'
An adventure, very similar to what is bere staled, actually befell the late Mr. Abercromby of Tullibody, grandfather of the present Lord Abercromby, and father of the celebrated Sir Ralph. When this gentleman, who lived to a very advanced period of life, first settled in Stirlingshire, his cattle were repeatedly driven off by the celebrated Rob Roy, or some of his gang; and at length he was obliged, after obtaining a proper safeconduct, to make the caleran such a visit as that of Waverley lo Bean Lean in the text. Rob received bim with much courtesy, and made many apologies for the accident, which must have happened, he said, through some mistake. Mr. Abercromby was regaled with collops from two of his own cattle, which were hung up by the heels in the cavern, and was dismissed in perfect safety, after having agreed to pay in future a small sum of blackmail, in consideration of which Rob Roy not only undertook to forbear his herds in fulure, but to replace any tbat should be stolen from him by other freebooters. Mr. Abercromby said, Rob Roy affected to consider him as a friend to the Jacobite interest, and a sincere enemy to the Union. Neither of these circumstances were true; but the laird thought it quite unnecessary to upueceive his Highland host at the risk of bringing on a political dispute in such a situation. This apecdote I received many years since (about 1792), from the mouth of the venerable gentleman wbo was concerned in it.
Donald Bean Lean was the very reverse of all these. He was thin in person and low in stature, with light sandy-coloured hair, and sinall pale features, from which he derived his agnomen of Bean or white ; and although his forin was light, well-proportioned and active, he appeared, on the whole, rather a diminutive and insignificant figure. He had served in some inferior capacity in the French army, and in order lo receive his English visitor in great form, and probably meaning, in his way, to pay him a compliment; he had laid aside the Highland dress for the time, to put on an old blue and red uniform, and a feathered hat, in which he was far from showing to advantage, and indeed looked so incongruous, compared with all around him, that Waverley would have been tempted to laugh, had laughter been either civil or safe. The robber received Captain Waverley with a profusion of French politeness and Scottish hospitality, seemed perfectly to know his name and connexions, and to be particularly acquainted with his uncle's political principles. On these he bestowed great applause, to which Waverley judged it prudent to make a very general reply.
Being placed at a convenient distance from the charcoal fire, the heat of which the season rendered oppressive, a strapping Highland damsel placed before Waverley, Eyan, and Donald Bean, three cogues, or wooden vessels composed of slaves and boops, containing eanaruich', a sort of strong soup, made out of a particular part of the inside of the beeves. After this refreshment, which, though coarse, fatigue and hunger rendered palatable, steaks, roasted on the coals, were supplied in liberal abundance, and disappeared before Evan Dhu and their host with a promptitude that seemed like magic, and astonished Waverley, who was much puzzled to reconcile their voracity with what he had heard of the abslemiousness of the Highlanders. He was ignorant that this abstinence was with the lower ranks wholly compulsory, and that, like some animals of prey, those who practise it were usually gifted with the power of indemnifying themselves to good purpose, when chance threw plenly in their way. The whisky came forth in abundance to crown the cheer. The Highlanders drank it copiously and undiluted; but Edward, having mixed a little with water, did not find it so palatable as lo invite him to repeat the draught. Their host bewailed himself exceedingly that he could offer him no wine : “ Had he but known four-and-lwenty hours before, he would have had some, had it been within the circle of forty miles round him. But no gentleman could do more to show his sense of the honour of a visit from another, than to offer him the best cheer his house afforded. Where there are no bushes there
| This was the rogale presented by Rob Roy to the Laird of Tullibody.
can be no nuts, and the way of those you live with is that you must follow."
He went on regretting to Evan Dhu the death of an aged man, Donnacha an Amrigh, or Duncan with the Cap,
a gifted seer, who foretold, through the second sight, visitors of every description who haunted their dwelling, whether as friends or foes.
" Is not his son Malcolm taishatr (a second-sighted person)?” asked Evan.
Nothing equal to his father,” replied Donald Bean. “He told us the other day we were to see a great gentleman riding on a horse, and there came nobody that whole day but Shemus Beg, the blind harper, with his dog. Another time he advertised us of a wedding, and behold it proved a funeral; and on the creagh, when he foretold to us we should bring home a hundred head of horned cattle, we gripped nothing but a fat bailie of Perth.”
From this discourse he passed to the political and military state of the country; and Waverley was astonished, and even alarmed, lo find a person of this description so accurately acquainted with the strength of the various garrisons and regiments quartered north of the Tay. He even mentioned the exact number of recruits who had joined Waverley's troop from his uncle's estate, and observed they were pretty men, meaning, not handsome, but stout warlike fellows. He put Waverley in mind of one or (wo minute circumstances which had happened at a general review of the regiment, which satisfied him that the robber had been an eye witness of it ; and Evan Dhu having by this time retired from the conversation, and
wrapped himself up in his plaid to take some repose, Donald asked Edward, in a very significant manner, whether he had nothing particular to say to him.
Waverley, surprised and somewhat started at this question from such a character, answered, he had no motive in visiting him but curiosity to see his extraordinary place of residence. Donald Bean Lean looked him steadily in the face for an instant, and then said, with a significant nod, “You might as well have confided in me; I am as much worlhy of trusl as either the Baron of Bradwardine, or Vich Jan Vohr:-But you are equally welcome to my house."
Waverley felt an involuntary shudder creep over him at the mys. terious language held by this outlawed and lawless bandit, which, in despite of his attempts to master it, deprived him of the power to ask the meaning of his insinuations. A heath pallet, with the flowers stuck uppermost, had been prepared for him in a recess of the cave, and here, covered with such spare plaids as could be mustered, he lay for some time watching the motions of the other in'habitants of the cavern. Small parlies of two or three entered or left the place without any other ceremony than a few words in Gae