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“Ay - that's when I left it mysell," answered the cool and impenetrable Callum Beg.
“And what kind of a gentleman is he?"
“I believe he is ane o' King George's state officers; at least he 's aye for ganging on to the south, and he has a hantle siller and never grudges ony thing all poor body, or in the way of a lawing."
“He wants a guide and a horse frae hence to Edinburgh ?"
“Aweel, Duncan did ye say your name was Duncan, or Donald ?"
“Na, man - Jamie Jamie Steenson - I telt ye before.”
This last undaunted parry altogether foiled Mr. Cruickshanks, who, though not quite satisfied either with the reserve of the. master, or the extreme readiness of the man, was contented to lay a tax on the reckoning and horse-hire, that might compound for his ungratified curiosity. The circumstance of its being the fast day was not forgotten in the charge, which, on the whole, did not, however, amount to much more than double what in fairness it should have been.
Callum Beg soon after announced in person the ratification of this treaty, adding, “Ta auld deevil was ganging to ride wi' ta Duinhé-wassel hersell.”
“That will not be very pleasant, Callum, nor altogether safe, for our host seems a person of great curiosity; but a traveller must submit to these inconveniences. Meanwhile, my good lad, here is a trifle for you to drink Vich Ian Vohr's health."
The hawk's eye of Callum flashed delight upon a golden guinea, with which these last words were accompanied. He hastened, not without a curse on the intricacies of a Saxon breeches pocket, or spleuchan, as he called it, to deposit the treasure in his fob; and then, as if he conceived the benevolence called for some requital on his part, he gathered close up to Edward, with an expression of countenance peculiarly knowing, and spoke in an under tone,
“If his honour thought ta auld deevil Whig carle was a bit dangerous, she should easily provide for him, and teil ane ta wiser."
“How, and in what manner?"
“Her aio sell,” replied Callum, “could wait for him a wee bit frae the toun, and kittle his quarters wi' her skene-occle."
"Skene-occle! what's that?”
Callum unbottoned his coat, raised his left arm, and, with an emphatic nod, pointed to the bilt of a small dirk, sougly deposited under it, in the living of his jacket. Waverley thought he had misunderstood his meaning; he gazed in his face, and discovered in Callum's very handsome, though embrowned features, just the degree of roguish malice with which a lad of the same age in England would have brought forward a plan for robbing an orchard.
“Good God, Callum, would you take the man's life?”
“Indeed," answered the young desperado, “and I think he has had just a lang enough lease o't, when he 's for betraying honest folk, that come to spend siller at his public.”
Edward saw nothing was to be gained by argument, and therefore contented himself with enjoining Callum to lay aside all praca tices against the person of Mr. Ebenezer Cruickshanks; in which injunction the page seemed to acquiesce with an air of great indifference.
“Ta Duinhé-wassel might please himsell; ta auld rudas loon had never done Callum nae ill. But here's a bit line frae ta Tighearna, tat he bade me gie your honour ere I came back."
The letter from the Chief contained Flora's lines on the fate of Captain Wogan, whose enterprising character is so well drawn by Clarendon. He had originally engaged in the service of the Parliament, but had abjured that party upon the execution of Charles I.; and upon hearing that the royal standard was set up by the Earl of Glencairn and General Middleton in the Highlands of Scotland, took leave of Charles II., who was then at Paris, passed into England, assembled a body of cavaliers in the neighbourhood of London, and traversed the kingdom, which had been so long under domination of the usurper, by marches conducted with such skill, dexterity, and spirit, that he safely
united his handful of horsemen with the body of Highlanders then in arms. After several months of desultory warfare, in which Wogan's skill and courage gained him the highest reputation, he had the misfortune to be wounded in a dangerous manner, and no surgical assistance being within reach, he terminated his short but glorious career.
There were obvious reasons why the politic Chieftain was desirous to place the example of this young hero under the eye of Waverley, with whose romantic disposition it coincided so peculiarly. But his letter turned chiefly upon some trifling commissions which Waverley had promised to execute for him in England, and it was only toward the conclusion that Edward found these words: .“I owe Flora a grudge for refusing us her company yesterday; and as I am giving you the trouble of reading these lines, in order to keep in your memory your promise to procure me the fishing-tackle and cross-bow from London, I will enclose her verses on the Grave of Wogan. This I know will teaze her; for, to tell you the truth, I think her more in love with the memory of that dead hero, than she is likely to be with any living one, unless he shall tread a similar path. But English squires of our day keep their oak-trees to shelter their deer parks, or repair the losses of an evening at White's, and neither invoke them to wreath their brows, nor shelter their graves. Let me hope for one brilliant exception in a dear friend, to whom I would most gladly giờe a dearer title "
The verses were inscribed,
TO AN OAK TREE,
the Grave of Captain Wogan, killed in 1649.
Full proudly may thy branches wave,
And valour fills a timeless grave.
Repine not if our clime deny,
The flowerets of a milder sky.
These owe their birth to genial May;
Beneath a fiercer sun they pine,
And can their worth be type of thine ?
Still higher swell’d thy dauntless heart,
Commenced thy brief but brilliant part.
(When England's sons the strise resign’d)
And unsubdued though unrefined.
No holy knell thy requiem rung;
Thy dirge the clamorous pibroch sung.
To waste life's longest term away,
Though darken'd ere its noontide day?
Brave summer's drought and winter's gloom!
As Albyn shadows Wogan's tomb. Whatever might be the real merit of Flora Mac-Ivor's poetry, the enthusiasm which it intimated was well calculated to make a corresponding impression upon her lover. The lines were read read again
then deposited in Waverley's bosom then again drawn out, and read line by line, in a low and smothered voice, and with frequent pauses which prolonged the mental treat, as an epicure protracts, by sipping slowly, the enjoyment of a delicious beverage. The entrance of Mrs. Cruickshanks, with the sublunary articles of dinner and wine, hardly interrupted this pantomime of affectionate enthusiasm.
At length the tall ungainly figure and ungracious visage of Ebenezer presented themselves. The upper part of his form, notwithstanding the season required no such defence, was shrouded in a large great-coat, belted over his under habiliments, and crested with a huge cowl of the same stuff, which, when drawn over the head and hat, completely overshadowed both,
and being buttoned beneath the chin, was called a trot-cozy. His hand grasped a huge jockey-whip, garnished with brass mounting. His thin legs tenanted a pair of gambadoes, fastened at the sides with rusty clasps. Thus accoutred, he stalked into the midst of the apartment, and announced his errand in brief phrase: “Yer horses are ready.”
“You go with me yourself, then, landlord ?”
“I do, as far as Perth; where ye may be supplied with a guide to Embro', as your occasions shall require.”
Thus saying, he placed under Waverley's eye the bill which he held in his hand; and at the same time, self-invited, filled a glass of wine, and drank devoutly to a blessing on their journey. Waverley stared at the man's impudence, but, as their connection was to be short, and promised to be convenient, he made no observation upon it; and, having paid his reckoning, expressed his intention to depart immediately. He mounted Dermid accordingly, and sallied forth from the Golden Candlestick, followed by the puritanical figure we have described, after he had, at the expense of some time and difficulty, and by the assistance of a “louping-on-stane,” or structure of masonry erected for the traveller's convenience in front of the house, elevated his person to the back of a long-backed, rav-boned, thin-gutted phantom of a broken-down blood-horse, on which Waverley's portmanteau was deposited. Our hero, though not in a very gay humour, could hardly help laughing at the appearance of his new squire, and at imagining the astonishment which his person and equipage would have excited at Waverley-Honour.
Edward's tendency to mirth did not escape mine host of the Candlestick, who, conscious of the cause, infused a double portion of souring into the pharisaical leaven of his countenance, and resolved internally that, in one way or other, the young Englisher should pay dearly for the contempt with which he seemed to regard him. Callum also stood at the gate, and enjoyed, with undissembled glee, the ridiculous figure of Mr. Cruickshanks. As Waverley passed him, he pulled off his hat respecta fully, and, approaching his stirrup, bade him “Tak heed the auld Whig deevil played him nae cantrip.”