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nuated, though with great delicacy, that although some family connexions might be supposed to render it necessary for Captain Waverley to communicate with gentlemen who were in this unpleasant state of suspicion, yet his father's situation and wishes ought to prevent his prolonging those attentions into exclusive intimacy. And it was intimated, that while his political principles were endangered by communicating with laymen of this description, he might also receive erroneous impressions in religion from the prelatic clergy, who so perversely laboured to set up the royal prerogative in things sacred.
This last insinuation probably induced Waverley to set both down to the prejudices of his commanding-officer. He was sensible that Mr Bradwardine had acted with the most scrupulous delicacy in never entering upon any discussion that had the most remote tendency to bias his mind in political opinions, although he was himself not only a decided partisan of the exiled family, but had been trusted at different times with important commissions for their service. Sensible, therefore, that there was no risque of his being perverted from his allegiance, Edward felt as if he should do his uncle's old friend injustice in removing from a house where he gave and received pleasure and amusement, merely to gratify a prejudiced and ill-judged suspicion. He therefore wrote
a very general answer, assuring his commanding-officer that his loyalty was not in the most distant danger of contamination, and continued an honoured guest and inmate of the house of Tully-Veolan.
A Creagh, and its Consequences.
When Edward had been a guest at Tully:Veolan nearly six weeks, he descried, one morning as he took his usual walk before the breakfast hour, signs of unusual perturbation in the family. Four bare-legged dairy-maids, with each an empty milk-pail in her hand, ran about with frantic gestures, and uttering loud exclamations of surprise, grief, and resentment. From their appearance, a pagan might have conceived them a detachment of the celebrated Belides, just come from their baling penance. As nothing was to be got from this distracted chorus, excepting « Lord guide us!» and « Eh sirs !» ejaculations which threw no light upon the cause of their dismay, Waverley repaired to the fore-court, as it was called, where he beheld Baillie Macwheeble cantering his white pony down the avenue with all the speed it could muster. He had arrived, it would seem, upon a hasty summons, and was followed by half a score of peasants from the village, who
had no great difficulty in keeping pace with him.
The baillie, greatly too busy, and too important, to enter into explanations with Edward, summoned forth Mr Saunderson, who appeared with a countenance in which dismay was mingled with solemnity, and they immediately entered into close conference. Davie Gellatley was also seen in the group, idle as Diogenes at Sinope, while his countrymen were preparing for a siege. His spirits always rose with any thing, good or bad, which occasioned tumult, and he continued frisking, hopping, dancing, and singing the burden of an old ballad,
« Our gear's a' gane,"
until, happening to pass too near the baillie, he received an admonitory hint from his horsewhip, which converted his songs into lamentation.
Passing from thence towards the garden, Waverley beheld the Baron in person, measuring and re-measuring, with swift and tremendous strides, the length of the terrace; his countenance clouded with offended pride and indignation, and the whole of his demeanour such as seemed to indicate, that any inquiry concerning the cause of his discomposure would give pain at least, if not offence. Wa
verley therefore glided into the house, without addressing him, and took his way to the breakfast parlour, where he found his young friend Rose, who, though she neither exhibited the resentment of her father, the turbid importance of Baillie Macwheeble, nor the despair of the handmaidens, seemed vexed and thoughtful A single word explained the mystery. « Your breakfast will be a disturbed one, Captain Waverley. A party of Catherans have come down upon us last night, and driven off all our milch cows.»
« A party of Catherans ?»
« Yes; robbers from the neighbouring Highlands. We used to be quite free from them while we paid biack-mail to Fergus Mac-Ivor Vich Ian Vobr; but my father thought it unworthy of his rank and birth to pay it any longer, and so this disaster has happened. It is not the value of the cattle, Captain Waverley, that vexes me;
father is so much hurt at the affront, and is so bold and hot, that I fear he will try to recover them by the strong hand; and then, if he is not hurt himself, he will hurt some of these wild people, and there will be no peace between them and us perhaps for our life-time; and we cannot defend ourselves as in old times for the government have taken all our arms; and my dear father is so rash-0 what will become of us?» Here