Waverley; Or, 'Tis Sixty Years Since
Folio Society, 2012 - 182 páginas
Excerpt: ...at no great distance an English sentinel call out 'All's well.' The heavy sound sank 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 setting spaniel, and then made a signal to his party again to halt. He stooped down upon all-fours, wrapped up in his plaid, so as to be scarce distinguishable from the heathy ground on which he moved, and advanced in this posture to reconnoitre. In a short time he returned, and dismissed his attendants excepting one; and, intimating to Waverley that he must imitate his cautious mode of proceeding, all three crept forward on hands and knees. After proceeding a greater way in this inconvenient manner than was at all comfortable to his knees and shins, Waverley perceived the smell of smoke, which probably had been much sooner distinguished by the more acute nasal organs of his guide. It proceeded from the corner of a low and ruinous sheepfold, the walls of which were made of loose stones, as is usual in Scotland. Close by this low wall the Highlander guided Waverley, and, in order probably to make him sensible of his danger, or perhaps to obtain the full credit of his own dexterity, he intimated to him, by sign and example, that he might...