The magistrate took the light out of his servant-maids hand, and advanced to his scrutiny, like Diogenes in the street of Athens, lantern in hand, and probably with as little expectation as that of the cynic, that he was likely to encounter any especial treasure in the course of his researches. The first whom he approached was my mysterious guide, who, seated on a table as I have already described him, with his eyes firmly fixed on the wall, his features arranged into the utmost inflexibility of expression, his hands folded on his breast with an air betwixt carelessness and defiance, his heel patting against the foot of the table, to keep time with the tune which he continued to whistle, submitted to Mr. Jarvies investigation with an air of absolute confidence and assurance, which, for a moment, placed at fault the memory and sagacity of the acute and anxious investigator.
Ah!Eh!Oh! exclaimed the Bailie. My conscience!its impossibleand yetno!Conscience, it canna be!and yet againDeil hae me! that I suld say saeYe robberye cateranye born deevil that ye are, to a bad ends and nae gude anecan this be you?
Een as ye see, Bailie, was the laconic answer.
Conscience! if I am na clean bumbaizedyou, ye cheat-the-wuddy rogue, you here on your venture in the tolbooth o Glasgow?What dye thinks the value o your head?
Umph!why, fairly weighed, and Dutch weight, it might weigh down one provosts, four bailies, a town- clerks, six deacons, besides stent-masters
Ah, ye reiving villain! interrupted Mr. Jarvie. But tell ower your sins, and prepare ye, for if I say the word
True, Bailie, said he who was thus addressed, folding his hands behind him with the utmost nonchalance, but ye will never say that word.
And why suld I not, sir? exclaimed the magistrateWhy suld I not? Answer me thatwhy suld I not?
For three sufficient reasons, Bailie Jarvie.First, for auld langsyne;second, for the sake of the auld wife ayont the fire at Stuckavrallachan, that made some mixture of our bluids, to my own proper shame be it spoken! that has a cousin wi accounts, and yarn winnles, and looms, and shuttles, like a mere mechanical person;and lastly, Bailie, because if I saw a sign o your betraying me, I would plaster that wa with your harns ere the hand of man could rescue you!
Yere a bauld desperate villain, sir, retorted the undaunted Bailie; and ye ken that I ken ye to be sae, and that I wadna stand a moment for my ain risk.
I ken weel, said the other, ye hae gentle bluid in your veins, and I wad be laith to hurt my ain kinsman. But Ill gang out here as free as I came in, or the very was o Glasgow tolbooth shall tell ot these ten years to come.
Weel, weel, said Mr. Jarvie, bluids thicker than water; and it liesna in kith, kin, and ally, to see motes in ilk others een if other een see them no. It wad be sair news to the auld wife below the Ben of Stuckavrallachan, that you, ye Hieland limmer, had knockit out my harns, or that I had kilted you up in a tow. But yell own, ye dour deevil, that were it no your very sell, I wad hae grippit the best man in the Hielands.
Ye wad hae tried, cousin, answered my guide, that I wot weel; but I doubt ye wad hae come aff wi the short measure; for we gang-there-out Hieland bodies are an unchancy generation when you speak to us
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