Jarvie calls it, that had nae will that I suld be either taen, or keepit fast, or retaen; and of t’other moiety, there was ae half was feared to stir me; and so I had only like the fourth part of fifty or sixty men to deal withal.”

“And enough too, I should think,” replied I.

“I dinna ken that,” said he; “but I ken, that turn every ill-willer that I had amang them out upon the green before the Clachan of Aberfoil, I wad find them play with broadsword and target, one down and another come on.”

He now inquired into my adventures since we entered his country, and laughed heartily at my account of the battle we had in the inn, and at the exploits of the Bailie with the red-hot poker.

“Let Glasgow Flourish!” he exclaimed. “The curse of Cromwell on me, if I wad hae wished better sport than to see cousin Nicol Jarvie singe Iverach’s plaid, like a sheep’s head between a pair of tongs. But my cousin Jarvie,” he added more gravely, “has some gentleman’s bluid in his veins, although he has been unhappily bred up to a peaceful and mechanical craft, which could not but blunt any pretty man’s spirit.—Ye may estimate the reason why I could not receive you at the Clachan of Aberfoil, as I purposed. They had made a fine hose-net for me when I was absent twa or three days at Glasgow, upon the king’s business—but I think I broke up the league about their lugs—they’ll no be able to hound one clan against another as they hae dune.—I hope soon to see the day when a’ Hielandmen will stand shouther to shouther.—But what chanced next?”

I gave him an account of the arrival of Captain Thornton and his party, and the arrest of the Bailie and myself, under pretext of our being suspicious persons; and upon his more special inquiry, I recollected the officer had mentioned that, besides my name sounding suspicious in his ears, he had orders to secure an old and young person, resembling our description. This again moved the outlaw’s risibility.

“As man lives by bread,” he said, “the buzzards have mistaen my friend the Bailie for his Excellency, and you for Diana Vernon—Oh, the most egregious night-howlets!”

“Miss Vernon?” said I, with hesitation, and trembling for the answer—“Does she still bear that name?—She passed but now, along with a gentleman who seemed to use a style of authority.”

“Ay, ay!” answered Rob, “she’s under lawfu’ authority now; and full time, for she was a daft hempie—But she’s a mettle quean. It’s a pity his Excellency is a thought eldern. The like o’ yoursell, or my son Hamish, wad be mair sortable in point of years.”

Here, then, was a complete downfall of those castles of cards which my fancy had, in despite of my reason, so often amused herself with building. Although in truth I had scarcely anything else to expect, since I could not suppose that Diana could be travelling in such a country, at such an hour, with any but one who had a legal title to protect her, I did not feel the blow less severely when it came, and MacGregor’s voice, urging me to pursue my story, sounded in my ears without conveying any exact import to my mind.

“You are ill,” he said, at length, after he had spoken twice without receiving an answer; “this day’s wark has been ower muckle for ane doubtless unused to sic things.”

The tone of kindness in which this was spoken recalling me to myself, and to the necessities of my situation, I continued my narrative as well as I could.—Rob Roy expressed great exultation at the successful skirmish in the pass.

“They say,” he observed, “that king’s chaff is better than other folk’s corn; but I think that canna be said o’ king’s soldiers, if they let themselves be beaten wi’ a wheen auld carles that are past fighting, and

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