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side; so that unless the retreat had been sought for with boats upon the lake, or disclosed by treachery, it might be a safe and secret residence to its garrison so long as they were supplied with provisions. Having satisfied his curiosity in these particulars, Waverley looked around for Evan Dhu and his attendant, who, he rightly judged, would be at no great distance, whatever might have become of Donald Bean Lean and his party, whose mode of life was, of course, liable to sudden migrations of abode. Accordingly, at the distance of about half a mile, he bebeld a Highlander (Evan apparently) angling in the lake, with another attending him, whom, from the weapon which he shouldered, he recognised for his friend with the battle-axe.
Much nearer to the mouth of the cave he heard the notes of a lively Gaelic song, guided by which, in a sunny recess, shaded by a glittering birch-tree, and carpeted with a bank of firm white sand, he found the damsel of the cavern, whose lay had already reached him, busy, to the best of her power, in arranging to advantage a morning repast of milk, eggs, barley-bread, fresh butter, and honey-comb. The poor girl had made a circuit of four miles that morning in search of the eggs, of the meal which baked her cakes, and of the other materials of the breakfast, being all delicacies which she had to beg or borrow from distant
cottagers. The followers of Donald Bean Lean used little food except the flesh of the animals which they drove away from the Lowlands; bread itself was a delicacy seldom thought of, because hard to be obtained, and all the domestic accommodations of milk, poultry, butter, etc., were out of the question in this Scy
. Yet it must not be omitted, that although Alice had occupied a part of the morning in providing those accommodations for hur guest which the cavern did not afford, she bad secured time also to arrange her own person in her best trim. Her finery was very simple. A short russet-coloured jacket, and a petticoat, of scanty longitude, was her whole dress; but these were clean, and neatly arranged. A piece of scarlet embroidered cloth, called the snood, confined her hair, which fell over it in a profusion of rich dark curls. The scarlet plaid, which formed part of her dress, was laid aside, that it might not impede her activity in attending the stranger.
I should forget Alice's proudest ornament, were I to omit mentioning a pair of gold ear-rings, and a golden rosary, which her father (for she was the daughter of Donald Bean Lean) had brought from France, the plunder probably of some battle or storm.
Her form, though rather large for her years, was very well proportioned, and her demeanour had a natural and rustic grace, with nothing
of the sheepishness of an ordinary peasant. The smiles, displaying a row of teeth of exquisite whiteness, and the laughing eyes, with which, in dumb show, she gave Waverley that morning greeting which she wanted English words to express, might have been interpreted by a coxcomb, or perhaps a young soldier, who, without being such, was conscious of a handsome person, as meant to convey more than the courtesy of a hostess. Nor do I take it upon me to say that the little wild mountaineer would have welcomed any staid old gentleman advanced in life, the Baron of Bradwardine, for example, with the cheerful pains which she bestowed
Edward's accommodation. She seemed eager to place him by the meal which she had so sedulously arranged, and to which she now added a few bunches of cranberries, gathered in an adjacent morass. Having had the satisfaction of seeing him seated at his breakfast, she placed herself demurely upon a stone at a few yards distance, and appeared to watch with great complacency for some opportunity of serving him.
Evan and his attendant now returned slowly along the beach, the latter bearing a large salmon-trout, the produce of the morning's sport, together with the angling-rod, while Evan strolled forward with an easy, self-satisfied, and important gait towards the spot where Waverley was so agreeably employed at the
breakfast-table. After morning greetings had passed on both sides, and Evan, looking at Waverley, had said something in Gaelic to Alice, which made her laugh, yet colour up to the eyes, through a complexion well embrowned by sun and wind, Evan intimated his commands that the fish should be prepared for breakfast. A spark from the lock of his pistol produced a light, and a few withered fir branches were quickly in flame, and as speedily reduced to hot embers, on which the trout was broiled in large slices. To crown the repast, Evan produced from ihe pocket of his short jerkin a large scallop shell, and from under the folds of his plaid, a ram's horn full of whisky. Of this he took a copious dram, observing, he had already taken his morning with Donald Bean Lean, before bis departure; he offered the same cordial to Alice and to Edward, which they both declined. With the bounteous air of a lord, Evan then proffered the scallop to Dugald Mahony, his attendant, who, without waiting to be asked a second time, drank it off with great gusto. Evan then prepared to move towards the boat, inviting Waverley to attend him. Meanwhile Alice had made up in a small basket what she thought worth removing, and, flinging her plaid around her, she advanced up to Edward, and, with the utmost simplicity, taking hold of his hand, offered her cheek to his salute, dropping, at
the same time, her little courtesy. Evan, who was esteemed a wag among the mountain fair, advanced, as if to secure a similar favour, but Alice, snatching up her basket, escaped up the rocky bank as fleetly as a roe, and, turning round and laughing, called something out to hiin in Gaelic, which he answered in the same tone and language; then, waving her hand to Edward, she resumed her road, and was soon lost among the thickets, though they continued for some time to hear her lively carol, as she proceeded gaily on her solitary journey.
They now again entered the gorge of the cavern, and stepping into the boat, the Highlander pushed off, and taking advantage of the morning breeze, hoisted a clumsy sort of sail, while Evan assumed the helm, directing their course, as it appeared to Edward, rather higher up the lake than towards the place of his embarkation on the preceding night. As they glided along the silver mirror, Evan opened the conversation with a panegyric upon Alice, who, he said, was both canny and fendy; and was, to the boot of all that, the best dancer of a strathspey in the whole strath. Edward assented to her praises so far as he understood them, yet could not help regretting that she was condemned to such a periloụs and dismal life.
« Oich! for that,» said Evan, «there is nothing in Perthshire that she need want, if she