humbly hoped that I would excuse him for fidelity in the discharge of his duty.—I reassured him, and told him I had the better opinion of him for his caution.

“Sae have not I,” said Andrew; “Syddall is an auld sneck-drawer; he wadna be looking as white as a sheet, and his knees knocking thegether, unless it were for something mair than he’s like to tell us.”

“Lord forgive you, Mr. Fairservice,” replied the butler, “to say such things of an old friend and fellow- servant!—Where,”—following me humbly along the passage, “where would it be your honour’s pleasure to have a fire lighted? I fear me you will find the house very dull and dreary—But perhaps you mean to ride back to Inglewood Place to dinner?”

“Light a fire in the library,” I replied.

“In the library!”—answered the old man; “nobody has sat there this many a day, and the room smokes, for the daws have built in the chimney this spring, and there were no young men about the Hall to pull them down.”

“Our ain reek’s better than other folk’s fire,” said Andrew; “his honour likes the library. He’s nane o’ your Papishers, that delight in blinded ignorance, Mr. Syddall.”

Very reluctantly, as it appeared to me, the butler led the way to the library, and, contrary to what he had given me to expect, the interior of the apartment locked as if it had been lately arranged, and made more comfortable than usual. There was a fire in the grate, which burned clearly, notwithstanding what Syddall had reported of the vent. Taking up the tongs, as if to arrange the wood, but rather perhaps to conceal his own confusion, the butler observed, “It was burning clear now, but had smoked woundily in the morning.”

Wishing to be alone, till I recovered myself from the first painful sensations which everything around me recalled, I desired old Syddall to call the land-steward, who lived at about a quarter of a mile from the Hall. He departed with obvious reluctance. I next ordered Andrew to procure the attendance of a couple of stout fellows upon whom he could rely, the population around being Papists, and Sir Rashleigh, who was capable of any desperate enterprise, being in the neighbourhood. Andrew Fairservice undertook this task with great cheerfulness, and promised to bring me up from Trinlay-Knowe, “twa true-blue Presbyterians like himsell, that would face and out-face baith the Pope, the devil, and the Pretender—and blythe will I be o’ their company mysell, for the very last night that I was at Osbaldistone Hall, the blight be on ilka blossom in my bit yard, if I didna see that very picture” (pointing to the full-length portrait of Miss Vernon’s grandfather) “walking by moonlight in the garden! I tauld your honour I was fleyed wi’ a bogle that night, but ye wadna listen to me—I aye thought there was witchcraft and deevilry amang the Papishers, but I ne’er saw’t wi’ bodily een till that awfu’ night.”

“Get along, sir,” said I, “and bring the fellows you talk of; and see they have more sense than yourself, and are not frightened at their own shadow.”

“I hae been counted as gude a man as my neighbours ere now,” said Andrew petulantly; “but I dinna pretend to deal wi’ evil spirits.” And so he made his exit, as Ward-law the land-steward made his appearance.

He was a man of sense and honesty, without whose careful management my uncle would have found it difficult to have maintained himself a housekeeper so long as he did. He examined the nature of my right of possession carefully, and admitted it candidly. To any one else the succession would have been a poor one, so much was the land encumbered with debt and mortgage. Most of these, however, were already vested in my father’s person, and he was in a train of acquiring the rest; his large gains, by the recent rise of the funds, having made it a matter of ease and convenience for him to pay off the debt which affected his patrimony.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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