and promised to make use of the contents, if I should have any occasion for money. I thought, indeed, it was odd that my father should leave the care of supplying my necessities to his clerk; but I concluded it was a matter arranged between them. At any rate, Owen was a bachelor, rich in his way, and passionately attached to me, so that I had no hesitation in being obliged to him for a small sum, which I resolved to consider as a loan, to be returned with my earliest ability, in case it was not previously repaid by my father; and I expressed myself to this purpose to Mr. Owen. A shopkeeper in a little town, to whom the post-master directed me, readily gave me in gold the amount of my bill on Messrs. Hopper and Girder, so that I returned to Osbaldistone Hall a good deal richer than I had set forth. This recruit to my finances was not a matter of indifference to me, as I was necessarily involved in some expenses at Osbaldistone Hall; and I had seen, with some uneasy impatience, that the sum which my travelling expenses had left unexhausted at my arrival there, was imperceptibly diminishing. This source of anxiety was for the present removed. On my arrival at the Hall, I found that Sir Hildebrand and all his offspring had gone down to the little hamlet, called Trinlay Knowes, “to see,” as Andrew Fairservice expressed it, “a wheen midden cocks pike ilk ither’s harns out.”

“It is indeed a brutal amusement, Andrew; I suppose you have none such in Scotland?”

“Na, na,” answered Andrew boldly; then shaded away his negative with, “unless it be on Fastern’s-e’en, or the like o’ that—But, indeed, it’s no muckle matter what the folk do to the midden pootry, for they haud siccan a skarting and scraping in the yard, that there’s nae getting a bean or pea keepit for them.—But I am wondering what it is that leaves that turret-door open; now that Mr. Rashleigh’s away, it canna be him, I trow.”

The turret-door to which he alluded opened to the garden at the bottom of a winding stair, leading down from Mr. Rashleigh’s apartment. This, as I have already mentioned, was situated in a sequestered part of the house, communicating with the library by a private entrance, and by another intricate and dark vaulted passage with the rest of the house. A long narrow turf-walk led, between two high holly hedges, from the turret-door to a little postern in the wall of the garden. By means of these communications, Rashleigh, whose movements were very independent of those of the rest of his family, could leave the Hall or return to it at pleasure, without his absence or presence attracting any observation. But during his absence the stair and the turret-door were entirely disused, and this made Andrew’s observation somewhat remarkable.

“Have you often observed that door open?” was my question.

“No just that often neither; but I hae noticed it ance or twice. I’m thinking it maun hae been the priest, Father Vaughan, as they ca’ him. Ye’ll no catch ane o’ the servants ganging up that stair, puir frightened heathens that they are, for fear of bogles and brownies, and lang-nebbit things frae the neist warld. But Father Vaughan thinks himsell a privileged person—set him up and lay him down!—I’se be caution the warst stibbler that ever stickit a sermon out ower the Tweed yonder. wad lay a ghaist twice as fast as him, wi’ his holy water and his idolatrous trinkets. I dinna believe he speaks gude Latin neither; at least he disna take me up when I tell him the learned names o’ the plants.”

Of Father Vaughan, who divided his time and his ghostly care beween Osbaldistone Hall and about half- a-dozen mansions of Catholic gentlemen in the neighbourhood, I have as yet said nothing, for I had seen but little. He was aged about sixty, of a good family, as I was given to understand, in the north; of a striking and imposing presence, grave in his exterior, and much respected among the Catholics of Northumberland, as a worthy and upright man. Yet Father Vaughan did not altogether lack those peculiarities which distinguish his order. There hung about him an air of mystery, which, in Protestant eyes, savoured of priestcraft. The natives (such they might be well termed) of Osbaldistone Hall looked up to him with much more fear, or at least more awe, than affection. His condemnation of their revels was evident, from their being discontinued in some measure when the priest was a resident at the Hall. Even Sir Hildebrand himself put some restraint upon his conduct at such times, which, perhaps, rendered Father Vaughan’s presence rather irksome than otherwise. He had the well-bred, insinuating, and almost flattering

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