Red Cap Tales, Stolen from the Treasure Chest of the Wizard of the NorthТекст

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INTERLUDE OF BREVITY

The Bodach Glas held the children. The brilliant sunshine of the High Garden in which they had listened to the tale became instantly palest moonlight, and between them and the strawberry bed they saw the filmy plaid of the Grey Spectre of the House of Ivor. It had been helpful and even laudable to play-act the chief scenes when the story was beginning, but now they had no time. It would have been an insult to the interest of the narrative.

Doubtless, if they had had the book, they would have skipped, to know "how it all ended." But it was time for the evening walk. So, instead of stringing themselves out along the way as was their custom, seeing if the raspberry bushes had grown any taller since the morning, the four collected in a close swarm about the tale-teller, like bees about an emigrant queen.

"You must tell us the rest—you must!" they said, linking arms about my waist to prevent any attempt at an evasion of such just demands.

So, being secretly no little pleased with their eagerness, I launched out upon the conclusion of the whole matter—which showed, among other things, how Waverley-Honour was more honoured than ever and the Blessed Bear of Bradwardine threefold blessed.

THE LAST TALE FROM "WAVERLEY"

THE BARON'S SURPRISE

After wandering about for some time Edward came unexpectedly upon a hamlet. Lights gleamed down the street, and Edward could hear loud voices and the tramp of horses. The sound of shouted orders and soldiers' oaths soon told him that he was in great danger. For these were English troops, and if they caught him in his Mac-Ivor tartan, would assuredly give him short shrift and a swift bullet.

Lingering a moment uncertainly near the gate of a small garden enclosure, he felt himself caught by gentle hands and drawn toward a house.

"Come, Ned," said a low voice, "the dragoons are down the village, and they will do thee a mischief. Come with me into feyther's!"

Judging this to be very much to the purpose, Edward followed, but when the girl saw the tall figure in tartans instead of the sweetheart she had expected, she dropped the candle she had lighted, and called out for her father.

A stout Westmoreland peasant at once appeared, poker in hand, and presently Edward found himself not ill received—by the daughter on account of a likeness to her lover (so she said) and by the father because of a certain weakness for the losing side. So, in the house of Farmer Jopson, Edward slept soundly that night, in spite of the dangers which surrounded him on every side. In the morning the true Edward, whose name turned out to be Ned Williams, was called in to consult with father and daughter. It seemed impossible for Edward to go north to rejoin the Prince's forces. They had evacuated Penrith and marched away toward Carlisle. The whole intervening country was covered by scouting parties of government horsemen. Whereupon Ned Williams, who wished above all things to rid the house of his handsome namesake, lest his sweetheart Cicely should make other mistakes, offered to get Waverley a change of clothes, and to conduct him to his father's farm near Ulswater. Neither old Jopson nor his daughter would accept a farthing of money for saving Waverley's life. A hearty handshake paid one; a kiss, the other. And so it was not long before Ned Williams was introducing our hero to his family, in the character of a young clergyman who was detained in the north by the unsettled state of the country.

On their way into Cumberland they passed the field of battle where Edward had lost sight of Fergus. Many bodies still lay upon the face of the moorland, but that of Vich Ian Vohr was not among them, and Edward passed on with some hope that in spite of the Bodach Glas, Fergus might have escaped his doom. They found Callum Beg, however, his tough skull cloven at last by a dragoon's sword, but there was no sign either of Evan or of his Chieftain.

In the secure shelter of good Farmer Williams's house among the hills, it was Edward's lot to remain somewhat longer than he intended. In the first place, it was wholly impossible to move for ten days, owing to a great fall of snow. Then he heard how that the Prince had retreated farther into Scotland, how Carlisle had been besieged and taken by the English, and that the whole north was covered by the hosts of the Duke of Cumberland and General Wade.

But in the month of January it happened that the clergyman who came to perform the ceremony at the wedding of Ned Williams and Cicely Jopson, brought with him a newspaper which he showed to Edward. In it Waverley read with astonishment a notice of his father's death in London, and of the approaching trial of Sir Everard for high treason—unless (said the report) Edward Waverley, son of the late Richard Waverley, and heir to the baronet, should in the meantime surrender himself to justice.

It was with an aching anxious heart that Waverley set out by the northern diligence for London. He found himself in the vehicle opposite to an officer's wife, one Mrs. Nosebag, who tormented him all the way with questions, on several occasions almost finding him out, and once at least narrowly escaping giving him an introduction to a recruiting sergeant of his own regiment.

However, in spite of all risks, he arrived safely under Colonel Talbot's roof, where he found that, though the news of his father's death was indeed true, yet his own conduct certainly had nothing to do with the matter—nor was Sir Everard in the slightest present danger.

Whereupon, much relieved as to his family, Edward proclaimed his intention of returning to Scotland as soon as possible—not indeed to join with the rebels again, but for the purpose of seeking out Rose Bradwardine and conducting her to a place of safety.

It was not, perhaps, the wisest course he might have pursued. But during his lonely stay at Farmer Williams's farm, Edward's heart had turned often and much to Rose. He could not bear to think of her alone and without protection. By means of a passport (which had been obtained for one Frank Stanley, Colonel Talbot's nephew), Waverley was able easily to reach Edinburgh. Here from the landlady, with whom he and Fergus had lodged, Edward first heard the dread news of Culloden, of the slaughter of the clans, the flight of the Prince, and, worst of all, how Fergus and Evan Dhu, captured the night of the skirmish, were presently on trial for their lives at Carlisle. Flora also was in Carlisle, awaiting the issue of the trial, while with less certainty Rose Bradwardine was reported to have gone back to her father's mansion of Tully-Veolan. Concerning the brave old Baron himself, Edward could get no news, save that he had fought most stoutly at Culloden, but that the government were particularly bitter against him because he had been 'out' twice—that is, he had taken part both in the first rising of the year 1715, and also in that which had just been put down in blood at Culloden.

Without a moment's hesitation, Edward set off for Tully-Veolan, and after one or two adventures he arrived there, only to find the white tents of a military encampment whitening the moor above the village. The house itself had been sacked. Part of the stables had been burned, while the only living being left about the mansion of Tully-Veolan was no other than poor Davie Gellatley, who, chanting his foolish songs as usual, greeted Edward with the cheering intelligence that "A' were dead and gane—Baron—Bailie—Saunders Saunderson—and Lady Rose that sang sae sweet!"

However, it was not long before he set off at full speed, motioning Waverley to follow him. The innocent took a difficult and dangerous path along the sides of a deep glen, holding on to bushes, rounding perilous corners of rock, till at last the barking of dogs directed them to the entrance of a wretched hovel. Here Davie's mother received Edward with a sullen fierceness which the young man could not understand—till, from behind the door, holding a pistol in his hand, unwashed, gaunt, and with a three weeks' beard fringing his hollow cheeks, he saw come forth—the Baron of Bradwardine himself.

After the first gladsome greetings were over, the old man had many a tale to tell his young English friend. But his chief grievance was not his danger of the gallows, nor the discomfort of his hiding-place, but the evil-doing of his cousin, to whom, as it now appeared, the Barony of Bradwardine now belonged. Malcolm of Inch-Grabbit had, it appeared, come to uplift the rents of the Barony. But the country people, being naturally indignant that he should have so readily taken advantage of the misfortune of his kinsman, received him but ill. Indeed, a shot was fired at the new proprietor by some unknown marksman in the gloaming, which so frightened the heir that he fled at once to Stirling and had the estate promptly advertised for sale.

"In addition to which," continued the old man, "though I bred him up from a boy, he hath spoken much against me to the great folk of the time, so that they have sent a company of soldiers down here to destroy all that belongs to me, and to hunt his own blood-kin like a partridge upon the mountains."

"Aye," cried Janet Gellatley, "and if it had not been for my poor Davie there, they would have catched the partridge, too!"

Then with a true mother's pride Janet told the story of how the poor innocent had saved his master. The Baron was compelled by the strictness of the watch to hide, all day and most of the nights, in a cave high up in a wooded glen.

"A comfortable place enough," the old woman explained; "for the goodman of Corse-Cleugh has filled it with straw. But his Honour tires of it, and he comes down here whiles for a warm at the fire, or at times a sleep between the blankets. But once, when he was going back in the dawn, two of the English soldiers got a glimpse of him as he was slipping into the wood and banged off a gun at him. I was out on them like a hawk, crying if they wanted to murder a poor woman's innocent bairn! Whereupon they swore down my throat that they had seen 'the auld rebel himself,' as they called the Baron. But my Davie, that some folk take for a simpleton, being in the wood, caught up the old grey cloak that his Honour had dropped to run the quicker, and came out from among the trees as we were speaking, majoring and play-acting so like his Honour that the soldier-men were clean beguiled, and even gave me sixpence to say nothing about their having let off their gun at 'poor crack-brained Sawney,' as they named my Davie!"

 

It was not till this long tale was ended that Waverley heard what he had come so far to find out—that Rose was safe in the house of a Whig Laird, an old friend of her father's, and that the Bailie, who had early left the army of the Prince, was trying his best to save something out of the wreck for her.

The next morning Edward went off to call on Bailie Macwheeble. At first the man of law was not very pleased to see him, but when he learned that Waverley meant to ask Rose to be his wife, he flung his best wig out of the window and danced the Highland fling for very joy. This rejoicing was a little marred by the fact that Waverley was still under proscription. But when a messenger of the Bailie's had returned from the nearest post-town with a letter from Colonel Talbot, all fear on this account was at an end. Colonel Talbot had, though with the greatest difficulty, obtained royal Protections for both the Baron of Bradwardine and for Edward himself. There was no doubt that full pardons would follow in due course.

Right thankfully the Baron descended from his cave, as soon as Edward carried him the good news, and with Davie Gellatley and his mother, all went down to the house of Bailie Macwheeble, where supper was immediately served.

It was from old Janet Gellatley, Davie's mother, that Waverley learned whom he had to thank for rescuing him from the hands of Captain Gifted Gilfillan, and to whom the gentle voice belonged which had cheered him during his illness. It was none other than Rose Bradwardine herself. To her, Edward owed all. She had even given up her jewels to Donald Bean Lean, that he might go scatheless. She it was who had provided a nurse for him in the person of old Janet Gellatley herself, and lastly she had seen him safely on his way to Holyrood under the escort of the sulky Laird of Balmawhapple.

So great kindness certainly required very special thanks. And Edward was not backward in asking the Baron for permission to accompany him to the house of Duchran, where Rose was at present residing. So well did Edward express his gratitude to Rose, that she consented to give all her life into his hands, that he might go on showing how thankful he was.

Of course the marriage could not take place for some time, because the full pardons of the Baron and Edward took some time to obtain. For Fergus Mac-Ivor, alas, no pardon was possible. He and Evan Dhu were condemned to be executed for high treason at Carlisle, and all that Edward could do was only to promise the condemned Chieftain that he would be kind to the poor clansmen of Vich Ian Vohr, for the sake of his friend.

As for Evan Dhu, he might have escaped. The Judge went the length of offering to show mercy, if Evan would only ask it. But when Evan Dhu was called upon to plead before the Court, his only request was that he might be permitted to go down to Glennaquoich and bring up six men to be hanged in the place of Vich Ian Vohr.

"And," he said, "ye may begin with me the first man!"

At this there was a laugh in the Court. But Evan, looking about him sternly, added: "If the Saxon gentlemen are laughing because a poor man such as me thinks my life, or the life of any six of my degree, is worth that of Vich Ian Vohr, they may be very right. But if they laugh because they think I would not keep my word, and come back to redeem him, I can tell them they ken neither the heart of a Hielandman nor the honour of a gentleman!"

After these words, there was no more laughing in that Court.

Nothing now could save Fergus Mac-Ivor. The government were resolved on his death as an example, and both he and Evan were accordingly executed, along with many others of the unhappy garrison of Carlisle.

Edward and Rose were married from the house of Duchran, and some days after they started, according to the custom of the time, to spend some time upon an estate which Colonel Talbot had bought, as was reported, a very great bargain. The Baron had been persuaded to accompany them, taking a place of honour in their splendid coach and six, the gift of Sir Everard. The coach of Mr. Rubrick of Duchran came next, full of ladies, and many gentlemen on horseback rode with them as an escort to see them well on their way.

At the turning of the road which led to Tully-Veolan, the Bailie met them. He requested the party to turn aside and accept of his hospitality at his house of Little Veolan. The Baron, somewhat put out, replied that he and his son-in-law would ride that way, but that they would not bring upon him the whole matrimonial procession. It was clear, however, that the Baron rather dreaded visiting the ancient home of his ancestors, which had been so lately sold by the unworthy Malcolm of Inch-Grabbit into the hands of a stranger. But as the Bailie insisted, and as the party evidently wished to accept, he could not hold out.

When the Baron arrived at the avenue, he fell into a melancholy meditation, thinking doubtless of the days when he had taken such pride in the ancient Barony which had passed for ever away from the line of the Bradwardines. From these bitter thoughts he was awakened by the sight of the two huge stone bears which had been replaced over the gate-posts.

Then down the avenue came the two great deer-hounds, Ban and Buscar, which had so long kept their master company in his solitude, with Daft Davie Gellatley dancing behind them.

The Baron was then informed that the present owner of the Barony was no other than Colonel Talbot himself. But that if he did not care to visit the new owner of Bradwardine, the party would proceed to Little Veolan, the house of Bailie Macwheeble.

Then, indeed, the Baron had need of all his greatness of mind. But he drew a long breath, took snuff abundantly, and remarked that as they had brought him so far, he would not pass the Colonel's gate, and that he would be happy to see the new master of his tenants. When he alighted in front of the Castle, the Baron was astonished to find how swiftly the marks of spoliation had been removed. Even the roots of the felled trees had disappeared. All was fair and new about the house of Tully-Veolan, even to the bright colours of the garb of Davie Gellatley, who ran first to one and then to the other of the company, passing his hands over his new clothes and crying, "Braw, braw Davie!"

The dogs, Bran and Buscar, leaping upon him, brought tears into the Baron's eyes, even more than the kind welcome of Colonel Talbot's wife, the Lady Emily. Still more astonishing appeared the changes in the so lately ruined courtyard. The burned stables had been rebuilt upon a newer and better plan. The pigeon-house was restocked, and populous with fluttering wings. Even the smallest details of the garden, and the multitude of stone bears on the gables, had all been carefully restored as of old.

The Baron could hardly believe his eyes, and he marvelled aloud that Colonel Talbot had not thought fit to replace the Bradwardine arms by his own. But here the Colonel, suddenly losing patience, declared that he would not, even to please these foolish boys, Waverley and Frank Stanley (and his own more foolish wife), continue to impose upon another old soldier. So without more ado he told the Baron that he had only advanced the money to buy back the Barony, and that he would leave Bailie Macwheeble to explain to whom the estate really belonged.

Trembling with eagerness the Bailie advanced, a formidable roll of papers in his hand.

He began triumphantly to explain that Colonel Talbot had indeed bought Bradwardine, but that he had immediately exchanged it for Brere-wood Lodge, which had been left to Edward under his father's will. Bradwardine had therefore returned to its ancient Lord in full and undisputed possession, and the Baron was once more master of all his hereditary powers, subject only to an easy yearly payment to his son-in-law.

Tears were actually in the old gentleman's eyes as he went from room to room, so that he could scarce speak a word of welcome either to the guests within, or of thanks to the rejoicing farmers and cottars who, hearing of his return, had gathered without. The climax of his joy was, however, reached when the Blessed Bear of Bradwardine itself, the golden cup of his line, mysteriously recovered out of the spoil of the English army by Frank Stanley, was brought to the Baron's elbow by old Saunders Saunderson.

Truth to tell, the recovery of this heirloom afforded the old man almost as much pleasure as the regaining of his Barony, and there is little doubt that a tear mingled with the wine, as, holding the Blessed Bear in his hand, the Baron solemnly proposed the healths of the united families of Waverley-Honour and Bradwardine.

THE END OF THE LAST TALE FROM "WAVERLEY."

RED CAP TALES TOLD FROM GUY MANNERING

GUY MANNERING

WHERE WE TOLD THE SECOND TALE

Summer there had been none. Autumn was a mockery. The golden harvest fields lay prostrate under drenching floods of rain. Every burn foamed creamy white in the linns and sulked peaty brown in the pools. The heather, rich in this our Galloway as an emperor's robe, had scarce bloomed at all. The very bees went hungry, for the lashing rain had washed all the honey out of the purple bells.

Nevertheless, in spite of all, we were again in Galloway—that is, the teller of tales and his little congregation of four. The country of Guy Mannering spread about us, even though we could scarce see a hundred yards of it. The children flattened their noses against the blurred window-panes to look. Their eyes watered with the keen tang of the peat reek, till, tired with watching the squattering of ducks in farm puddles, they turned as usual upon the family sagaman, and demanded, with that militant assurance of youth which succeeds so often, that he should forthwith and immediately "tell them something."

The tales from Waverley had proved so enthralling that there was a general demand for "another," and Sir Toady Lion, being of an arithmetical turn of mind, proclaimed that there was plenty of material, in so much as he had counted no fewer than twenty-four "all the same" upon the shelf before he left home.

Thus, encouraged by the dashing rain on the windows and with the low continual growl of Solway surf in our ears, we bent ourselves to fill a gap in a hopeless day by the retelling of

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