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through the door as by means of a circular aperture in the roof. An old Highland sibyl, the only inhabitant of this forlorn'mansion, appeared busy in the preparation of some food. By the light which the fire afforded, Waverley could discover that his attendants were not of the clan of Iyor, for Fergus was particularly strict in requiring from his followers that they should wear the tartan striped in the mode peculiar to their race; a mark of distinction anciently general through the Highlands, and still maintained by those Chiefs who were proud of their lineage, or jealous of their separate and exclusive authorily.
Edward had lived at Glennaquoich long enough lo be aware of a distinclion which he had repeatedly heard noticed, and now salisfied that he had no interest with his altendants, he glanced a disconsolale eye around the interior of the cabin. The only furniture, excepting a washing-tub, and a wooden press, called in Scotland an ambry, sorely decayed, was a large wooden bed, planked, as is usual, all around, and opening by a sliding panel. In this recess the Highlanders deposited Waverley, after he had by signs declined any refreshment. His slumbers were broken and unrefreshing ; strange visions passed before his eyes, and it required constant and reiterated efforts of mind to dispel them. Shivering, violent headache, and shooting pains in his limbs, succeeded these symptoms; and in the morning it was evident to his Highland attendants or guard, for he knew not in which light to consider them, that Waverley was quite unfit to travel.
After a long consultation among themselves, six of the party left the hut with their arms, leaving behind an old and a young man. The former addressed Waverley, and bathed the contusions, which swelling and livid colour now made conspicuous. His own portmanleau, which the Highlanders had not failed to bring off, supplied him with linen, and, to his great surprise, was, wilh all its undiininished contents, freely resigned to his use. The bedding of his couch seemed clean and comfortable, and his aged attendant closed the door of the bed, for it had no curtain, after a few words of Gaelic, from which Waverley gathered that he exhorled him lo repose. So behold our hero for a second time the patient of a Highland Esculapius, but in a situalion much more uncomfortable than when he was the guest of the worlhy Tomanrait.
The symptomatic fever, which accompanied the injuries he had sustained, did not abale till the third day, when it gave way to the care of his attendants and the strength of his constitution, and he could now raise himself in his bed, though nol wilhout pain. Ho observed, however, that there was a great disinclination, on the part of the old woman who acted as his nurse, as well as on that of the elderly Highlander, to permit the door of the bed to be left open, so that he might amuse himself with observing their motions; and
at length, after Waverley had repeatedly drawn open, and they had as frequently shut, the hatch way of his cage, the old gentleman put an end to the contest, by securing it on the outside with a nail so effectually, that the door could not be drawn till this exterior impediment was removed.
While musing upon the cause of this contradictory spirit in persons whose conduct intimated no purpose of plunder, and who, in all other points, appeared to consult his welfare and his wishes, it occurred to our hero, that, during the worst crisis of his illness, a fernale figure, younger than his old Highland nurse, had appeared to flit around his couch. Of this, indeed, he had but a very indistinct recollection, but his suspicions were confirmed when, altentively listening, he often heard, in the course of the day, the voice of another female conversing in whispers with his attendant. Who could it be? And why should she apparently desire concealment? Fancy immediately roused herself, and turned to Flora Mac-Iyor. But after a short conflict between his eager desire to believe she was in his neighbourhood, guarding, like an angel of mercy, the couch of his sickness, Waverley was compelled to conclude that his conjecture was altogether improbable; since, to suppose she had left her comparatively safe situation at Glennaquoich to descend into the Low Country, now the seat of civil war, and to inhabit such a lurking-place as this, was a thing hardly to be imagined. Yet his heart bounded as he sometimes could distinctly hear the trip of a light female step glide to or from the door of the hut, or the suppressed sounds of a female voice, of softness and delicacy, hold dialogue with the hoarse inward croak of old Janet, for so he understood his antiquated allendant was denominated.
Having nothing else to amuse his solitude, he employed himself in contriving some plan to gratify his curiosity, in despite of the sedulous caution of Janet and the old Highland janizary, for he had never seen the young fellow since the first morning. At length, upon accurate examination, the infirm state of his wooden prison-house appeared to supply the means of gratifying his curiosity, for out of a spot which was somewhat decayed he was able to extract a nail. Through this minute aperture he could perceive a female form, wrapped in a plaid, in the act of conversing with Janet. But, since the days of our grandmother Eve, the gratification of inordinale curiosity has generally borne ils penalty in disappointment. The form was not that of Flora, nor was the face visible; and, to crown his vexation, while he laboured with the nail to enlarge the hole, that he might obtain a more complete view, a slight noise betrayed his purpose, and the object of his curiosily instantly disappeared ; nor, so far as he could observe, did she again revisit the cottage.
All precautions to blockade his view were from that time aban
doned, and he was not only permitted, but assisted, to rise, and quit what had been, in a literal sense, his couch of confinement. But he was not allowed lo leave the hut; for the young Highlander had now rejoined his senior, and one or other was constantly on the watch. Whenever Waverley approached the cottage door, the sentinel upon duly civilly, but resolutely, placed himself against it and opposed his exit, accompanying his action with signs which seemed to imply there was danger in the attempt, and an enemy in the neighbourhood. Old Janet appeared anxious and upon the watch ; and Waverley, who had not yet recovered strength enough to attempt to take his departure in spite of the opposition of his hosts, was under the necessity of remaining patient. His fare was, in every point of view, better than he could have conceived; for poultry, and even wine, were no strangers to his table. The Highlanders never presumed to eat with him, and, unless in the circumstance of walching him, trealed him with great respect. His sole amusement was gazing from the window, or rather the shapeless aperlure which was meant to answer the purpose of a window, upon a large and rough brook, which raged and foamed through a rocky channel, closely canopied with trees and bushes, about len feet beneath the site of his house of captivity.
Upon the sixth day of his confinement, Waverley found himself so well, that he began to meditate his escape from this dull and miserable prison-house, thinking any risk which he might incur in the allempl preferable to the stupifying and intolerable uniformily of Janet's retirement. The question indeed occurred, whither he was to direct his course when again at his own disposal. Two schemes seemed practicable, yet both attended with danger and difficulty. One was to go back to Glennaquoich, and join Fergus Mac-Ivor, by whom he was sure to be kindly received; and in the present state of his mind, the rigour with which he had been treated fully absolved him, in his own eyes, from his allegiance to the existing government. The other project was to endeavour to atlain a Scottish sea-port, and thence to take shipping for England. His mind wavered hetween these plans, and probably, if he had effected his escape in the manner he proposed, he would have been finally determined by the comparative facility by which eilher might have been executed. But his fortune had settled that he was not to be left lo his option.
Upon the evening of the seventh day the door of the hut suddenly opened, and two Highlanders entered, whom Waverley recognised as having been a part of his original escort to this cottage. They conversed for a short time with the old man and his companion, and then made Waverley understand, by very significant signs, that he was to prepare to accompany them. This was a joyful communication. What had already passed during his confinement
made it evident that no personal injury was designed to him; and his romantic spirit, having recovered during his repose much of that elasticity which anxiely, resentment, disappointment, and the mixture of unpleasant feelings excited by his late adventures had for a time subjugated, was now wearied with inaction. His passion for the wonderful, although it is the nature of such dispositions to be excited by that degree of danger which merely gives dignity to the feeling of the individual exposed to it, had sunk under the extraordinary and apparently insurmountable evils by which he appeared environed at Cairnvreckan. In fact, this compound of intense curiosily and exalted imagination forms a peculiar species of courage, which somewhat resembles the light usually carried by a miner,-sufficientiy competent, indeed, to afford him guidance and comfort during the ordinary perils of his labour, but certain to be extinguished should he encounter the more formidable hazard of earth-damps or pestiferous vapours. It was now, however, once more rekindled, and with a throbbing mixture of hope, awe, and anxiety, Waverley watched the group before him, as those who were just arrived snatched a hasty meal, and the others assumed their arms, and made brief preparations for their departure.
As he sal in the smoky hut, at some distance from the fire, around which the olhers were crowded, he felt a genlle pressure upon bis arm. He looked round-It was Alice, the daughter of Donald Bean Lean. She showed him a packet of papers in such a manner that the motion was remarked by no one else, put her finger for a second to her lips, and passed on, as if to assist old Janet in packing Waverley's clothes in his porlmanteau. It was obviously her wish that he should not seem to recognise her; yet she repeatedly looked back at him, as an opportunity occurred of doing so unobserved, and when she saw that he remarked what she did, she folded the packet with great address and speed in one of his shirts, which she deposited in the portmanleau.
Here then was fresh food for conjecture. Was Alice his unknown warden, and was this maiden of the cavern the tutelar genius that watched his bed during his sickness? Was he in the hands of her falher? and if so, what was his purpose? Spoil, bis usual object, seemed in this case neglected; for not only Waverley's properly was restored, but bis purse, which might have tempted this professional plunderer, had been all along suffered to remain in his possession. All this perhaps the packet might explain; but it was plain from Alice's manner that she desired he should consult it in secret. Nor did she again seek his eye after she had satisfied herself that her maneuvre was observed and understood. On the contrary, she shortly afterwards left the hut, and it was only as she tript out from the door, that, savoured by the obscurity, she gavc Waverley a parting smile and nod of significance, ere she vanished in the dark glen.
The young Highlander was repeatedly dispatched by his comrades as if to collect intelligence. At length, when he had returned for the third or fourth time, the whole party arose, and made signs to our hero to accompany them. Before his departure, however, he shook hands with old Janet, who had been so sedulous in his behalf, and added substantial marks of his gratitude for her altendance.
"God bless you! God prosper you, Captain Waverley!” said Janet, in good Lowland Scotch, though he had never hitherto heard her utler a syllable, save in Gaelic. But the impatience of his allendants prohibited his asking any explanation.
THERE was a moment's pause when the whole parly had got out of the hut; and the Highlander who assumed the command, and who, in Waverley's awakened recollection, seemed to be the same tall figure who had acted as Donald Bean Lean's lieutenant, by whispers and signs imposed the strictest silence. He delivered to Edward a sword and steel pistol, and, pointing up the track, laid his hand on the hilt of his own claymore, as if lo make him sensible they might have occasion to use force to make good their passage. He then placed himself at the head of the party, who moved up the pathway in single or Indian file, Waverley being placed nearest to their leader. He moved with great precaution, as if to avoid giving any alarm, and halted as soon as he came to the verge of the ascent. Waverley was soon sensible of the reason, for he heard at no great distance an English sentinel call out “ All's well.” The heavy sound sunk on the night-wind down the woody glen, and was answered by the echoes of its banks. A second, third, and fourth time the signal was repeated fainter and fainter, as if at a greater and greater distance. It was obvious that a party of soldiers were near, and upon their guard, though not sufficiently so to detect men skilful in every art of predatory warfare, like those with whom he now watched their ineffectual precautions.
When these sounds had died upon the silence of the night, the Highlanders began their march swiftly, yet with the most cautious silence. Waverley had little time, or indeed disposition, for observation, and could only discern that they passed at some distance from a large building, in the windows of which a light or two yet seemed to twinkle. A little farther on, the leading Highlander snuffed the wind like a selling spaniel, and then made a signal to his party again to halt. He stooped down upon all fours, wrapped