The Bailie had also his speculations, but they were of somewhat a different complexion; as I found when, after about an hour’s silence, during which he had been mentally engaged in the calculations necessary, he undertook to prove the possibility of draining the lake, and “giving to plough and harrow many hundred, ay, many a thousand acres, from whilk no man could get earthly gude e’enow, unless it were a gedd,1 or a dish of perch now and then.”

Amidst a long discussion, which he “crammed into mine ear against the stomach of my sense,” I only remember, that it was part of his project to preserve a portion of the lake just deep enough and broad enough for the purposes of water-carriage, so that coal-barges and gabbards should pass as easily between Dumbarton and Glenfalloch as between Glasgow and Greenock.

At length we neared our distant place of landing, adjoining to the ruins of an ancient castle, and just where the lake discharges its superfluous waters into the Leven. There we found Dougal with the horses. The Bailie had formed a plan with respect to “the creature,” as well as upon the draining of the lake; and, perhaps, in both cases, with more regard to the utility than to the practical possibility of his scheme. “Dougal,” he said, “ye are a kindly creature, and hae the sense and feeling o’ what is due to your betters—and I’m e’en wae for you, Dougal, for it canna be but that in the life ye lead you suld get a Jeddart cast ae day, suner or later. I trust, considering my services as a magistrate, and my father the deacon’s afore me, I hae interest eneugh in the council to gar them wink a wee at a waur faut than yours. Sae I hae been thinking that if ye will gang back to Glasgow wi’ us, being a strong-backit creature, ye might be employed in the warehouse till something better suld cast up.”

“Her nainsell muckle obliged till the Bailie’s honour,” replied Dougal; “but teil be in her shanks fan she gangs on a causeway’d street, unless she be drawn up the Gallowgate wi’ tows, as she was before.”

In fact, I afterwards learned that Dougal had originally come to Glasgow as a prisoner, from being concerned in some depredation, but had somehow found such favour in the eyes of the jailor, that, with rather overweening confidence, he had retained him in his service as one of the turnkeys; a task which Dougal had discharged with sufficient fidelity, so far as was known, until overcome by his clannish prejudices on the unexpected appearance of his old leader.

Astonished at receiving so round a refusal to so favourable an offer, the Bailie, turning to me, observed, that the “creature was a natural-born idiot.” I testified my own gratitude in a way which Dougal much better relished, by slipping a couple of guineas into his hand. He no sooner felt the touch of the gold, than he sprung twice or thrice from the earth with the agility of a wild buck, flinging out first one heel and then another, in a manner which would have astonished a French dancing-master. He ran to the boatmen to show them the prize, and a small gratuity made them take part in his raptures. He then, to use a favourite expression of the dramatic John Bunyan, “went on his way, and I saw him no more.”

The Bailie and I mounted our horses, and proceeded on the road to Glasgow. When we had lost the view of the lake, and its superb amphitheatre of mountains, I could not help expressing, with enthusiasm, my sense of its natural beauties, although I was conscious that Mr. Jarvie was a very uncongenial spirit to communicate with on such a subject.

“Ye are a young gentleman,” he replied, “and an Englishman, and a’ this may be very fine to you; but for me, wha am a plain man, and ken something o’ the different values of land, I wadna gie the finest sight we hae seen in the Hielands, for the first keek o’ the Gorbals o’ Glasgow; and if I were ance there, it suldna be every fule’s errand, begging your pardon, Mr. Francis, that suld take me out o’ sight o’ Saint Mungo’s steeple again!”

The honest man had his wish; for, by dint of travelling very late, we arrived at his own house that night, or rather on the succeeding morning. Having seen my worthy fellow-traveller safely consigned to the charge of the considerate and officious Mattie, I proceeded to Mrs. Flyter’s, in whose house, even at this unwonted hour, light was still burning. The door was opened by no less a person than Andrew Fair- service himself, who, upon the first sound of my voice, set up a loud shout of joyful recognition, and

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