The Three Perils of Women, Vol. 3

Author(s): Hogg, James


Love, Leasing, anb Jealousy.
"QUEEN'S WAKE," &c. &c.
The famly sit beside the blaze,
But O, a seat is empty now!
As David Duff, serving-man to the minister
of Balmillo, was watering his master's
horse one evening, he discovered a stranger
in the churchyard, with a spade in his
hand, and that by the following unexpected
means: — David had lived about the
churchyard all his life; and for the last ten
years of it, had been sexton of the parish,
bell-ringer, Bible-carrier, and working-man
to the parson; but, for all that, the least
noise from these sepulchres of the dead at
any untimely hour, never failed to make
David Duff's heart jump up to his throat,
and his hair stand on end. For all his
traffic among human bones and sculls during
the day, (and there was nothing in
which he so much delighted,) he made it a
rule never to go within sight of the windows
of the church after the fall of the
gloaming. But unluckily, the road to the
river, as all the parishioners well know, after
going along by the garden-wall, takes a
short turn at a right angle, exactly at the
kirk-stile; so that a person passing that
way, has one look into the churchyard, if
he so lists, and no more. Now, it was David's
uniform custom, when obliged to pass
that way under the cloud of night, always
to look over his left shoulder toward the
Castle of Balmillo, as he made the short
turn at the kirk-stile; so that the whole
churchyard might have been moving with
ghosts, for any thing that David knew.
He believed they were frequently there;
but what a man does not know of, cannot
possibly do him any harm.
It was on a cold bleak evening, and the
white clouds were drifting along a bright
sky at a prodigious rate, while the moon,
which was a week old, was hanging in the
west, as if suspended from the heavens by
the two horns — a position that forebodes
nothing good at that inclement season. It
was on such an evening, I say, and a little
before the entire close of day, that David
mounted the minister's stout bay horse,
to water him at the river. As he went
along by the garden-wall, his teeth began
a-chattering with the cold; on which he
put up his right hand to put a button in
his grey coat, keeping hold of the horse's
bridle with the left hand only. David held
up his chin; for it was the button next to
that at which his benumbed hand was fumbling
in vain; and while in that attitude
his eye caught a glance of the cold-looking
new moon — "Ah, you pe a pase stormy--
looking loun!" said David; "you travel
rather too much like Marion M'Corkadale.
There will pe news that are unheard-tell-of
pefore we trink your tregy."
By the time David had done apostrophizing
the moon, the horse's head was within
a step of the short turn at the kirkyardstile;
on which David, in one moment,
turned his eyes round toward the river and
the Castle of Balmillo. Not so the minister's
bay horse. A blamable curiosity
prompted him to look the other way, where
he beheld something that soon convinced
his rider at least, if not himself, that he
had better have looked toward the Castle
of Balmillo too. David was, as it were,
this moment patiently buttoning his coat
with his head turned away, but the next he
was lying within the churchyard; for the
horse, believing he was frightened, made a
sudden spring off at the near side, and that
with such a jerk, that he threw his rider,
in the contrary direction, neatly over the
wall, which was not very high. "Fat the
tevil pe that?" said David, setting up his
head without the bonnet; and the instant
that he did so, he perceived a man in the
Lowland habit, almost close by him, with
a spade in his hand.
David sprung up with great agility for
an old man, and was going to mount the
stile, when the stranger, seeing that he was
discovered, ran forward, and called to him,
"Stop, friend; stop; I want to speak to
"It's a very pad fhaut that bhaist has,"
said Davie, and threw himself over the stile
with an agility he had not put in exercise
for many years before.
The horse was running, capering, and
snorting down the glebe, cocking his head
and his tail very high, and ever and anon
looking back to the churchyard. But David
did not pursue the horse to catch him
again, as might naturally have been supposed.
No; he ran straight towards the
minister's kitchen; for, why, he never got
such a fright in his life! What occasion
had David Duff to be so frightened, you
will say? What was there so terrible in a
Lowlander with a shovel-spade in his hand?
Lord help you, sir, that was not the thing
that agitated the worthy sexton so terribly.
No, no; there was something much more
appalling in the matter than that. For
when David set up his head without the
bonnet in the churchyard, he perceived, or
thought he perceived, the body of a dead
woman lying rolled up in a sheet; and that
sheet, about the middle, all spotted with
congealed blood. Will any body now assert,
that David Duff, the minister's man,
of Balmillo, had nothing to run for? I
think a more appalling sight could hardly
have been seen. The body was lying stretched
at the bottom of the churchyard wall —
close to it, and in a hollow place, as if for
concealment. But David saw it, to his
great horror of spirit, and fled towards the
Manse as fast as his feet would carry him.
But perhaps the worst thing of all was, that,
on casting a glance behind him, he perceived
the gigantic Lowlander pursuing him.
with the spade over his shoulder.
David burst in at the front door, and
never stopped till on the top of the divot
seat beyond the kitchen fire; for the Manse
of Balmillo was in those days an old-fashioned
house, thatched with broom, and the fire
burnt on a hearth. David looked up the
vent, and all around him, for some place
to hide himself, but there was none; so he
was obliged to stand on the scat, or rather
to dance on it, for he kept the same sort of
motion that a woman does when tramping
clothes — lifting the one foot and then the
other, time about. "Cot's plesset mercy
pe on us! — Cot's plesset mercy pe on us!''
cried David, as fast as he could repeat the
sentence; all the while tramping with his
feet, and looking wildly toward the door.
"What's the matter with the fool? —
What's the matter with the auld gouk?''
cried Sally, the housemaid, rather somewhat
astounded. David could not tell her what
was the matter; he could only repeat his
prayer above-quoted in a louder key.
Sally ran ben the house to the minister.
"Gudesake, master, come an' speak to Davie,"
cried she; "he's gane horn mad; an's
standin dancin an' prayin on the deess ayont
the fire. Haste ye, sir, an' come an' speak
til him, for he's as mad as a fiery dragon.
Am thinkin he's seen something."
The minister being a stately upright old
bachelor, and very much at Sally's command,
(for she had come all the way from
Lothian to serve him,) followed her to the
kitchen in his gown and slippers. "David,
David," said he; "why these irreverent
ejaculations, David?"
"Oh, Cot's plesset mercy pe apout us,
"Very well, David; I hope it will. But
wherefore now so particularly, more than
at any other time? Compose yourself, David,
and tell me what it is."
"Oh, Cot's mercy, sir! she pe a man in
te churchyard."
"Well, David; and though there were
ten, or say twenty men in the churchyard,
what is there in that? What does that
concern either you or me?"
"Oh, and alake, sir! — But I not pe
shoore but she pe a tead corpse there too."
"So there are, David. I know there are
many dead corpses there. You are ill, David
— you are ill — sit down, I say, and compose
yourself. And, regard me, if I hear
your noise to-night again, either alarming
my maid, or disturbing my own meditations,
I'll turn you out of doors, David.
That I will, be assured."
This was a hard alternative; so, without
being able to explain himself farther, David
sat down on the sod seat, and the parson
returned to his parlour, in the farther end
of the house, desiring Sally to bring some
coals to the fire. Sally obeyed; and when
David was left alone in the kitchen, he betook
him again to his old stand beyond the
fire, and to the old up-and-down motion
with his feet; but not daring for his life to
call out, he remained gasping for breath.
Sally was in no hurry to return, for she and
her reverend master had been talking a little
about David's frenzy, and laughing at
it; for David, honest man! was accounted
hardly like other folks.
While Sally was in the parlour, or on
her return from it, I am not certain which,
a loud heavy knock came to the front door;
it was exactly such a knock as a man would
give with the head of a spade, or any heavy
mattock. It sounded to David like the
death-bell to his own funeral; his frame
grew rigid; and he gaped so wide, that he
appeared as if about to swallow himself.
Sally went straight to the door, without
consulting David's feelings on the subject,
or so much as witnessing his deplorable condition
at the moment. She opened it, and
was accosted in the Lowland tongue, by a
man, who asked, in a hollow-sounding voice,
"If daft Davie Duff was in the house?"
David heard the ominous question distinctly
where he stood, and suppressed his
panting entirely, in order to hear Sally's
answer; for, till that was given, his hope
was not wholly extinct. But Sally, delighted
at hearing her own native tongue in one
of the other sex, wished to hear a little
more of it, and therefore did not answer the
stranger's question directly. In the old genuine
custom of the country, she answered
it by asking another. "What do ye ken
about daft Davie Duff, lad?" said Sally.
"Isna he your man, an' the bedlar here?"
said the stranger.
"Ay, sometimes, for want of a better,"
returned she, in the same jocular style, in
order to protract the conversation.
"Then I want to speak wi' him for a wee
while out by here," quoth the stranger.
"Can your secret no be tauld to ony
other body out by there?" said she.
"Cot's plessing light on tat coot womans!"
said David to himself.
But the solemnity of the stranger's voice
was not to be moved by her flippancy, and
he answered, with some degree of impatience,
"No, mistress, it can not. Wi' your
leave, I maun speak wi' that body preevatly,
if he be i' the house."
"Come in and see, then," said she.
"Excuse me at present, sweet mistress,"
returned the man. "My business is express;
but by and by I'll be happy to hae
a little mair tauk w'ye. Pray, tell me at
aince if that auld rascal be i' the house?"
"Yes, he is," quoth Sally, and was going
to add something more, but that moment
their ears were saluted with the most
vociferous negatives from the kitchen, of,
"No, you pooker! No, no, no. She no pe
in, she no pe in! tamn striopach! tamn
The stranger hearing this horrible outcry,
and not aware what was the matter,
stepped round the corner of the house, and
Sally ran into the kitchen to quiet her fellow-servant.
But Davie, thinking she was
come to order him out to converse with a
murderer, extended his cries and anathemas
still louder, until the minister was again
disturbed; and taking up a cane, he came
hastily to the kitchen in manifest displeasure.
Sally was standing in the middle of
the floor, holding up both her hands in consternation;
and as her master came by her,
she cast a regretful look at him, which his
reverence perfectly understood. It was as
much as if she had said in plain English,
"Will you suffer the old fool to call your
own Sally by such names as these?"
The minister had not said a word, good
or bad; but having the cane heaved in his
right hand, he seized Davie with the left,
and hauling him down from the seat, in two
seconds he had him at the door, where, laying
the cane heartily across his shoulders,
he pushed him out with such good will, that
Davie fell on his face, and lay still, groaning
and crying in despair. The minister
shut the door, bolted it, and returned into
the kitchen.
"I say, Sarah, what was it that occasioned
all this disturbance, Sarah?"
"O, naething ava, sir — just naething ava
but his ain madness, that's a'."
"But who was it that called at the door,
"O, naebody ava, sir — there was naebody
ca'ing at the door — no ane."
"I say, Sarah, did I not hear some person
calling at my door, Sarah?"
"O, just some o' the schoolmaster's callants,
sir, I fancy, that came rattlin to the
door to fear Davie; he thinks they're a'
ghaists, an' is terrified out o' his wits for
"Well, well, see that it be so, Sarah —
see that it be so, my good girl. — I was afraid
that it might be some licentious profligate
hanging over your engaging person, as a
hawk hovers over his prey; there be many
such, my pretty Sarah — many such in this
intemperate age. — Our situation is becoming
ticklish in the most extreme degree; — the
Duke of Cumberland's army approaches us
closely on the one side, and the Clans on
the other, — we shall be plundered to a certainty,
Sarah; but there is nothing of which
I am so much afraid as the seduction or
violation of thy comely person, Sarah — that
would be a misfortune which I could not
bear. But come, Sarah, come; as it is the
evening of Saturday, come with me into my
room, and I shall endeavour to give you
some wholesome and comfortable instruction,
"Ay, ay, sir, I'll be ye presently. —
But I hae some bits o' things to do up an'
down the house first; an' I rather think
Davie has neglectit to pit in your naig, for
I heard him rinnin clampin and snorting
about the glebe; I'll be fain to gang out
an' look after him."
"Don't go out of the house, Sarah, my
good girl — I say, Sarah, don't go out of the
house. — You hear David has given over
shouting — he will put in my horse; and if
he do not, the horse can go in by himself.
— Therefore don't leave the house, Sarah;
for you don't know who may be lurking
about these walls and bushes — I say, Sarah,
don't leave the house."
The parson returned to his snug little
old-fashioned parlour, while Sally cast a sly
look after him, smiling and biting her lip.
One would have thought that Sally had no
occasion in the world to have told her master
a falsehood in this instance; but it is a
great fault in women — the very greatest
that attaches to them — that in all matters
that relate to themselves, personally, with
the other sex, they will not tell the downright
truth; — nay it is almost ten to one
that they will not tell a single word of it,
or, if they do, it is sure to be so ambiguous,
as not to be rightly understood. For all the
evils that have befallen to the world in general,
and to their own sex in particular, by
reason of this great besetting sin, it has still
increased, rather than diminished. If it is
inherent in their nature, and an effect of
the primal eldest curse, it is vain for parsons
to preach, or poets to sing, against it.
But, at all events, a plain narrative of a few
facts, connected with, and originating in this
dangerous propensity, can do no harm, and
may stand as a little beacon in some retired
creek, and give warning of a lurking danger
to those who please to consult it, as well as
that placed on the most obvious and ostentatious
Sally had some motives for her leasing--
making: — In the first place, the minister
was jealous of her to a boundless degree;
she durst not be seen casting a side-long
glance, or a smile, to any of the young men
of the vicinity, far less speaking a word in
private with one, else she was made to feel
that she was a servant, for many days to
come. And, on the other hand, she had
strong hopes that this lowland stranger was
come to see after her, and that he wanted to
wile Davie Duff out of the way. He had
hinted as much to her, that by and by he
should like to have some chat with her,
and Sally, being well used with the nocturnal
visits of wooers, firmly believed that he
would make his appearance. Therefore, as
soon as the minister went ben the house,
she opened half a leaf of the window-shutter,
and sitting down, with her face toward
it, she combed her raven locks, and put them
up as neatly and elegantly as if she had been
the daughter of an earl. The stranger did
not come, and neither did Davie make his
appearance with any news; so that, at last,
Sally came to the following prudent resolution:
— "I'll gang ben to my master," thought
she, "and get his tiresome palaver put over
about virtue, and chastity, and purity of
heart and mind, which consist all in fidelity
to one object. I know all that I am to get;
however, I'll gang ben, and, by the time he
has done, it will be about the wooing time of
night; and, if this Lowlander dinna come
back, I am aye sure o' Pate Gow, the smith
— I can get him ony night, Sunday or Saturday,
if there's nae deer-stalking gaun
But there was deer-stalking going on;
and, at the very time Sally was forming
these gay resolutions, Peter, the smith, was
many miles from her, watching the deer
with a tremendous Spanish gun, well loaded
with powder and small bullets. However,
Peter had the minister's lovely housekeeper
in his mind now and then; and, provided
he brought down neither deer nor roe
that night, he intended to come in by Sally,
and ask how she did; — if she let him in,
it was well; if not, they would set a tryst
for some other night.
But this was an eventful night at Balmillo,
and there were many strange things
foredoomed to happen before the meeting of
Peter Gow and his blithesome sweetheart;
it is therefore the duty of the narrator to
relate these in their proper place.
"You hear David has given over shouting;
he will put in my horse," said the minister,
when remonstrating with Sally. If
the minister had known what David then
knew, he would have judged it high time
for David to give over shouting.
When the enraged parson pushed David
from him, be it remembered that he fell on
his face on the green before the door. His
case was then utterly desperate, and his cries
subsided into something like stifled groans.
But the moment that the minister bolted
the door, David was seized by the neck,
with a grasp in which there was no manner of
gentleness, or mitigation of irritated might.
This arrest was made by no other than the
big austere Lowlander, whom David soon
recognized by the light of the moon, and
saw that he was dragging him away violently
towards the churchyard. David had just
collected breath, by two or three convulsive
gasps, to redouble his cries, with the addition
of "Murder!" and "Death!" when
the stranger presented a large horse-pistol,
cocked, at his mouth, at the same time
swearing a deep oath, that if he uttered another
sound, he would blow him to eternity.
Davie's cries were laid in his throat — they
came to the birth, but there was not strength
to bring forth, although the effort of restraint
had very nigh choked him. His
head stuck backward, his jaws fell down,
and he gaped so wide, that his mouth would
have taken in the head of an ordinary child,
while his whole frame grew so rigid, that he
could only walk like a man without joints.
The stranger dragged him on, till he had
him in the midst of the graves, and, all the
way, the great horse-pistol, in full cock, kept
him as quiet as a lamb, save that his breathing
was like that of a person departing this
The graves in Balmillo church-yard lie
all in ridges, every ridge belonging to a separate
clan, with its cadets and subordinate
retainers, all at a proper distance from the
tomb of the chief. In the midst of one of
the largest of these ridges, the stranger turned
himself round straight before David, and
said, "Now, billy, I'll no be at the pains to
trail ye ony farther."
Davie dropped instinctively down on his
knees to beg his life; and holding up his
hands, he began to plead for it most piteously.
But the stranger cut him short, by saying,
"Hout, man, that's out o' the question
— Ye mistak your man awthegither. —
I'll gie ye your reward, an' pop ye cannily
into your snug hame. But, afore that, ye
maun answer me twa or three questions, an'
do a bit job for me too. — Are nae ye the
bedlar here?"
"Ah-h-h-ay," said,Davie, in a whisper,
quite below his breath.
"Then you know all the burial-grounds
here, do you?"
"Come, then, let me see that of the
Grants — Is this rig theirs?"
"Then where dis the M'Phersons lie?"
"Ah-h-h-ay! — Diel's i' the stupid body!
— What dis he mean? Either answer me
to the point, or here's for you, billy!" And
with that the stranger again presented the
pistol to Davie's mouth.
"Oh! pe Cot's mercy! pe Cot's mercy,
your honour!"
"Then let me see the graves of the
M‘Phersons in a minute, for I hae nae time
to pit aff!"
"Come a little pigger more to tis way,
your honour. — See, tere she pe, all lying in
a row. — Many creat mans and peautiful ladies
tere! Was yourself a M‘Pherson?"
"Do I look like ane, man? — Now shew
me those of the Ogilvies, the Gordons, and
the Farquharsons, all distinctly, sirrah, now
that I hae gotten ye to your senses!"
"Here she pe all, your honour, in him's
very good graves — Hersel puried them,
every one."
"Now, where are the Duffs?"
"Eh? — Fat she pe going to doo wit te
graves of te Duffs? Ohon an bochd daoine!
No Duffs pe tere, your honour — no, indeed,
no Duffs tere!"
The stranger lifted his terrible horse-pistol
slowly and malignantly from his thigh. —
"Are there nane o' the Duffs here, do you
"No, indeed, sir! — No, no, no, indeed!
— No Duff will lie here!"
"Suppose we make a trial of that? It
is time there should be a beginning, in a
country where there are sae mony o' the
name! — There are no graves here of the
Duffs? — Do you say so, you dog?"
"Ohon! ohon, your honour! — if she had
not lost te forget of te ting! Tere be inteed
some few of te Duffs. — See, here she pe, all
in a row."
"It is a goodly ridge! And whose is
this next to it?"
"O, pless your honour! fat neet you pe
asking tat? It is te Clan-More purial — you
understand me? — tat is te great clan — te
head clan of us all."
"Ay, now I see you are right — now I
can believe you for once. — It is indeed the
burial-place of the Clan-More, as you call
it, having the Duffs on the one side, the
Farquharsons on the other, and the M'Phersons
next again, westward. — Is not that the
"Te very way; sir, inteed — She puried
tem all herself, every soul."
"You are right, you are right. Now,
whose is this new grave here?"
"Tat pe John M'Evan's, sir, who was
slain trow te pody at te pattle of Kirkfallmoor.
— O fat a goot young man as never
was porn!"
"This is the very spot I wanted to discover;
and I thank you. But that is not
all. — What wages do you get from the minister
by the year?"
"Ohon, sir! her wages pe very poor;
and she haif a poor màthair too! Inteed, sir,
she haif no mhoney, an it were not three
pawpees, which are great at your service."
"Thank ye, friend; I'll just take it, in
hopes ye will do the next thing I bid ye. —
Now, tell me at aince, how muckle d'ye
get frae the minister as a year's wage?"
"Just poor twenty pounds, your honour,
and she haif no mhore of her here."
"Good gracious! — Twenty pounds sterling?"

"O, no, no, sir! twenty pounds Scots —
just pe tree and tirty shillings and te groat."
"Weel, man, here are tree and tirty shillings
and te groat, as ye ca't, with six and
eightpence over and above; and do you begin
and dig me a grave close beside this
where Captain John is buried."
"A grave, your honour? Py te mercy
of Cot! fat she pe going to do wit grave at
tis time of night? Och! for te sake of te
great and te goot Mac-Daibhidh, let te
grave a-pe till Cot's plessed light of tay!"
"I want a grave digged — a deep, deep,
and narrow one; and ready it must be before
midnight. If you accomplish it for me,
these two pounds shall be your reward, and
if that does not satisfy you, you shall have
more. If you do not accomplish it, I have
a pair of loaded pistols here, and you yourself
shall lie in it. — You have no power to
evade me — the thing must be done, and you
must do it. Why do you shake so? — Is it
not your calling? and are you not obliged
to do it for all who choose to employ you?"
"Not in te time of te tarkness of te night,
please your honour. Coot Lort! who is to
pe puried to-night?"
"One who will soon have plenty of bedfellows.
Come, come; begin, and keep close
to the new grave, to leave room for those
that are to come. What do you see in that
quarter, that makes you stare so? Come,
here are mattocks for you; begin, begin!"
David, in the agony of terror for his own
life, had forgot the dead woman lying rolled
in the bloody sheet; but the mention of
the grave brought her again to his recollection,
and his eyes turned exclusively to that
spot, with a horror of countenance not to be
defined. However, he was compelled to begin,
and the stranger, laying the loaded pistols
down on the brink of the grave, in order
to be ready to shoot Davie, should he
attempt to make his escape, began also, and
assisted him stoutly. Davie gathered courage
gradually, and, being well accustomed
to the work, he formed and deepened the
grave with great neatness; but he never asked
for the measurement, as beadles are wont
to do so punctually, for fear he had been taken
away to the church-yard wall, to take
the measurement of the body himself. Indeed,
whenever the corpse, lying rolled in
the bloated winding-sheet so near to him,
came in his mind, he was seized with something
like an asthma, and was obliged to refrain
working for a little. The grave soon
became so deep, that the two could not work
in it; and the stranger, having already deposited
the reward in Davie's hands, did not
care to trust him outside the grave, while he
himself was within it, for fear the former had
effected his escape. The stranger, therefore,
keeping his spade and his pistol still in his
hands, stood watching over Davie, encouraging
and directing him in his work.
Davie observed that he often sighed very
deeply, when left to himself, and once said,
with a groan, "Ah! it is a dismal business!”
Then he would again pretend to
talk jocularly with Davie, encouraging him
strongly to exert himself, — "Deeper yet,
my good Davie, deeper, deeper; the corpses
may have to lie two tier deep ere all the play
be played. The armies are coming very near
to each other now, Davie, and who knows
what will be the issue? But much blood there
will be spilt — of that we are sure. Deeper
yet, my good fellow, deeper yet. Hush! I
thought I heard something approaching. —
Sure it can't be they yet, for it is coming
in the wrong direction. — Hush, I say!"
The stranger was sitting on a head-stone
of blue slate, and leaning forward on the
head of his spade, as he said this, while
Davie was standing two-fold in the deep
and narrow grave, also in the act of listening;
and in this interesting posture we must
leave them for a few minutes.
Bless me! what has become of pretty Sally
all this while? And what has become of
Peter Gow, the smith? And what has become
of the minister's bay horse, left running
about the glebe in a cold frosty night?
And, though last not least, What has become
of the minister himself?
Now, I am sure, sir, if you had been the
minister's horse, you would have gone into
the stable, and enjoyed yourself on your ryegrass
hay as well as you could; and, if you
had been Peter, the smith, you would have
left the deer-stalking, and gone down to the
manse to pretty Sally; if you had been the
minister, I am not sure but you would have
left the study of theology, on the same errand.
But, among all these, what was Sally
to do? — She had nothing for it, but to wait
with patience. And wait she did, because
she could not do better, — but not with the
greatest patience imaginable; for she said
to herself, "I sal hae naething ado but to
sleep a' the morn, excepting the wee while
I'm in the kirk, an' in a strait I can sleep
as sound there as onywhere. I wonder
what has become o' that muckle cool-the--
loom, Pate? I'm sure he's no yerkin at the
studdy a' the night. But I sal gie him the
back o' the door for this sonic ither time! —
I wadna gie an hour's sweet-hearting the
night for half a dozen some nights, when
I'm forefoughten."
Pate was not very far off, for he was
drawing nearer and nearer to the manse of
Balmillo at every turn; and I think he was
quite right. But then, nobody but a deer.
stalker knows the turnings and windings
that a deer-stalker has in search of his game.
— Peter had to go three times down to the
side of the river, and as often back again to
the different enclosures of Balmillo, to every
place where there was sweet grass, in hopes
to find a deer, or roe-buck at the least. — No;
Peter thought the devil a deer was in the
whole strath that night; and he not only
thought it, but swore it to himself very often.
— "I shall have a poor account to give
of my night's work, both to my old father,
and my sweetheart Sal; and, mayhap, to
Lady Balmillo, the worst of all, for she is
harping on about the repairing of old claymores
for ever."
With all these bitter reflections preying
on his mind, Peter was in the very mood to
have shot at a cat, if one had come in his
way. And at last, by a most zig-zag path,
exactly like the rout of the children of Israel
through the wilderness, and in the
above-stated testy and bloody humour, he
arrived behind the old thorn bush at the
bottom of the minister's glebe. The moment
that he set over his head, he espied a
tremendous stag bounding away like lightning
up towards the back settlements of
the minister's house. "What a luckless
dog I am!" exclaimed Peter to himself.—
"If I had gone to the other corner of the
glebe instead of this, I should have had him
dead to a certainty. And then, what an
animal! — I'll be bound to say there has not
such a buck belled in the Forest of Glen
More these thirty years! He could not be
less than a thirty-stoner — indeed, he looked
rather like forty. What a luckless devil
I am!"
Now this tremendous red stag which
Peter saw was no other than the minister's
bay horse, taking a gallop at his full speed
to keep himself warm that cold night. But
Peter Gow did not know this, and it was a
pity that he did not.
As Peter went up by the corner of the
garden, to reconnoitre whether the minister's
maid was sleeping or waking, a thought
entered Peter's head in one moment, and he
stood still to consider of it. — "The churchyard
lies straight in the line that this
princely buck was pursuing," thinks Peter
to himself — "Perhaps he may stop to take
a snack as he goes through that, — the grass
is very soft and green that grows out of
them dead chaps. And if he should not have
halted there, the doe is sure to be feeding
at no great distance from him at this time
of the year. — It is but a step — I'll go and
see, any way."
Peter went along by the south garden-wall,
the very road that Davie Duff had
ridden in the evening; and, peeping cautiously
over at the end of the stile, his eyes
were almost struck blind by the glorious
object that he descried. Peter's head descended
again below the cape of the dike,
with an imperceptible motion, while his
heart played thump, thump in his bosom,
like an apprentice smith working at a stithy.
"I declare," said Peter, in his heart, for his
lips durst not so much as come together, for
fear of making a noise, — "I declare yonder
is the very monster feeding in the middle
of the church-yard! Now, Patie Gow, acquit
yourself like a man for once! Lord,
what a prize is here!"
Peter crept to the very earth, and he could
easily have crept alongst it too, without making
the least noise, to the very point of the
church-yard-wall, nearest to the spot where
the stag was feeding, had it not been for
the tremendous Armado-gun that he was
obliged to drag along with him. But then
she was a sure and a dead shot when he got
her to the place; so Peter was under the necessity
of bearing her along with him as well
as he could. He reached the spot; and the
first thing he did was to lay the muzzle of
the Armado-gun over the wall, which he did
as gently as if he had been afraid of waking
the minister, when going in to Sally. He
then raised himself slowly up, first to the
one knee, and then to the other — next to
the one foot, and then to the other, until
at last his eye came on a level with the back
of the stag, and no more; for he durst not
raise his head so high as to shoot him in at
the heart, for fear of being seen; but knowing
that the huge animal's head would be
down feeding, he aimed at his back, and
fired the moment he took his aim. The
mark being near, the shot took effect, and
a terrible effect it was!— Instead of a stag
tumbling on the sward, or floundering away
with a deadly wound, there sprung up a
gigantic human figure at full length, and
roaring out, "Murder! murder!" dived
at once into the bowels of the earth, and
Peter Gow fainted! actually went away
in a faint — And none of your cold water
and hartshorn faints either — none of your
lady faints, where everything is seen and
heard all the while, but a true, genuine,
blacksmith's faint. — He fell, as dead as if
he had been knocked down with a fore--
hammer, back over at his full length on
the minister's glebe; and the huge Spanish
Armado-gun fell backwards above him, at
her full length too.
How long Peter lay in this swoon must
ever remain a mystery. Perhaps it might
be two hours, perhaps as many minutes;
there is no man can say which. But when
he began to come a little to himself, he distinctly
heard an awful kind of groaning and
struggling, as it were in the stomach of the
earth, hard by him; and then it was needless
to bid Peter rise and flee. At first he
could neither stand nor run, but continued
a galloping movement on all four; but it
appears that his legs had gathered some
strength as he proceeded, for at length he
got home, though he could not tell how —
He got home, but without his bonnet, his
tartan plaid, and his huge Spanish gun.
These were all left as witnesses against him;
and the next morning, Peter appeared to
his father and step-mother to be in a raging
It will be recollected, that we left the
two grave-diggers in a very interesting posture;
but we must now return and find
them in one far more interesting. Before,
they were both stooping down in the act of
listening, Davie in the bottom of a deep
narrow grave, and the stranger sitting on a
blue head-stone at the head of the grave,
leaning forward over the shaft of his spade.
Now, whether it was the noise made by the
minister's bay horse that the Lowland stranger
heard, or the noise of Peter putting the
muzzle of his Armado gun over the dike, is
of no consequence. It is certain he heard
some noise or other, and told Davie so in a
whisper. "Hush, I say," said he; and in
one moment after that, he received the contents
of Peter's huge gun in his back; when,
starting up with a convulsive spring, he fell
head foremost into the grave.
Now, it so happened that Davie Duff's
head was turned away from the stranger at
this fatal crisis. He was stooping down
with his head at the narrow end of the
grave, being the one farthest from the stranger;
so that the latter, on being shot dead,
sprung first up, and then descending with
terrible force, head foremost into the grave,
his crown came with such a tremendous blow
on the back part of Davie's bare head, that
it felled him, as was little wonder. And
not only so, but the stranger falling with
his whole huge weight above the poor beadle,
squeezed him close down to the bottom
of the narrow grave, with his face among
some loose earth, and there the two lay, firm
and fast. It was not long till Davie recovered
to life, at least a kind of life, if life
it might be called. He pressed up his head,
and finding that he had room to breathe, he
attempted to cry; but alas, there was nobody
to hear his cry except Peter Gow, the
smith, who was nearly in as bad circumstances
as himself.
I think it was a wonder Davie did not
attempt to rise, for if he had, and exerted
himself well, he might certainly have got
from below the dead man some way or other.
However, he either could not rise, or did
not attempt it, for there he lay; which can
be accounted for in no other way than by
ascribing it to the ideas which Davie had
conceived as to the matters of fact. Davie
actually thought he had been shot through
the hinder part of the head with a bullet.
He thought that when the stranger saw the
grave to be deep enough, and that he had
no more use for him, in order to prevent
him from telling tales, he had deliberately
lifted one of the horse pistols and shot him.
It is true, that on recovering from the stunning
blow, Davie felt that there was a dead
body above him, for there were joints like
knees and elbows pressing into his flesh.
But then he conceived that this was the
dead woman in the bloody winding-sheet,
which the stranger had thrown in above
him, and afterwards covered them both up
with the gravel and the green sods. Now,
really for a man to have attempted rising
in such circumstances as these, would have
been little short of madness. He was first
shot through the head, which he felt had
hurt his head very sore; then stretched in
the bottom of a deep grave; a dead corpse
thrown above him; and above all, gravel,
and sculls, and shank bones, and green sods,
heaped up nobody knew how high, and nobody
knew how deep. If Davie had not
been half mad before, the perfect conviction
of such a situation would have put him mad
for ever.
Sally was still sitting waiting for a sweetheart,
when the gun went off in the churchyard.
Full well she knew the report of Peter's
musket, for there was not one like it
in the three counties; and it had been let
off as a watchword to Sally before that time.
"I wonder if that jaunderin jealous body
the minister be fa'en asleep yet?" thinks
Sally. "I hae some doubts o't, for he was
watchin me wi' rather mair than a jealous
e'e the night. But I'll bolt the inner kitchen
door, an' gang out to the hay loft to
Peter; I can win mair easily out at the
window than he can win in." Sally listened
and listened a good while, and still she
thought she heard the minister stirring;
but at length, her patience being run out,
and Peter never appearing at the window
to come in, she crept softly out and went
into the barn loft, in which there were loopholes
that looked both to the east and west.
Sally looked out at them all, and listened,
but nothing could she either see or hear of
Peter Gow. A low grovelling sound was
all that she heard, which had like to have
impressed her with terror; but love is a
powerful passion, and easily triumphs over
every other. Sally remained where she was,
though not in the best humour imaginable
at her poaching lover. She looked east and
west, and then east again; and to her utter
amazement, beheld a huge, black, shapeless
body approaching tile manse by a hollow
concealed way. It was accompanied by two
shining lights, the one apparently on the
one side, and the other on the other. This
was too much for a maid to stand, however
deep in love; and Sally, not knowing where
to find Peter Gow, the smith, flew back in
at the window, and, without so much as
striking up a light, rushed ben to the minister's
chamber, and exclaimed — "His presence
be about us, master! get up, get up.
There is a band of muffled robbers coming
up the back loaning, wi' spears an' lanterns.
I'se warrant they're gaun to rob the
"Sarah! I say, Sarah! Whither were
you? Why out of your apartment spying
out bands of robbers at this time of night?"
"That's no the concern at present, master.
For gudesake, rise!"
"Sarah! I say that is the concern, Sarah:
and the one primary to all other concerns.
But, Sarah, I say; if you are afraid,
you can remain in the room with me. You
know I won't harm you."
"My truly! We hae other things to
think about, sir! I'll run an' look out at
the back window. — Master, master! Good
heavens, master! get up. It's a wheen men
carrying a coffin, an' they hae lights, an'
bibbs an' a' wi' them. Rise, an' let us watch
what they're about."
"Sarah, I won't move until you tell me
where you were when you discovered all
"Hout, dear sir! I was out looking after
your brown naig, ye ken. That bodie
Davie has been nae mair seen sin' ye loundered
him and turned him out — His bed's
cauld; and the poor beast was starving baith
o' cauld an' hunger. Somebody maun look
after your things, master."
"Sarah! it is not meet for an engaging
young woman to go out at midnight in these
lawless times. Sit thee down on the side of
my bed here, in comfort and in peace; for the
less we have to do with these midnight marauders,
the better. I know they will be
some of the clans foraging; but none of
them will trouble me. Sit thee down, Sarah,
for it is not meet that thou should'st
be alone."
Sarah flew to the back window once more.
"Peace be wi' us, sir! they're gaun straight
to the kirk-yard wi't. An' wow, but they
be moving heavily — Now I have it — I'll
wager my head it is the kist o' goud that
was landit frae France for the use o' the
Prince, wi' sic secrecy an' sic danger."
"That is a different view of the subject,
Sarah," said the parson, flying to his clothes.
"And I have no doubt it is the right one.
Thou art a most ingenious girl, Sarah!
But, Sarah, I say. Yours is rather a dangerous
bet, Sarah. Though safe enough
with your master, I would not like to hear
you offer such a wager to every man. Come,
Sarah, let us go hence and reconnoitre. This
is a most interesting business."
Sarah and her master hastened to the barn
loft, from the back slits of which they had
a view of the kirk-yard; and by the time
they arrived there, the mourners were just
entering the church-yard, bearing a coffin
without any pall. All their speech was in
an under voice, so that the minister and
his maid could not make out its purport;
but the men seemed at a loss, and stood
still whispering. The moon was just at the
setting, — her back seemed touching the
verge of the dark mountain of Ben-Aker,
and every shadow on the plain was lengthened
out to an enormous size. It was a
scene that had something in it wildly terrific;
seven men in black, like walking pillars,
bearing a coffin about at midnight,
with lanterns in their hands, swords by
their sides, and glancing spears for handspokes.
By the help of the lanterns they
soon discovered a new-made grave, near the
middle of the burial-ground, being straight
in a line with the eastern church door, toward
which they carried the bier; but set
it down at a little distance, as if intent
on searching for something that they still
wanted. One of the men with the lantern
went forward to the grave, and as suddenly
recoiled; but these were men not to be
daunted; they gathered round the grave,
and astonishment giving energy to their
voices, the dialogue became loud and confused,
for they were all speaking at once.
"It is Henning!" said one.
"Yes, by—, it is!" said another.
"Who can have done this deed?"
"That must be searched into," said he
who appeared to be the chief. "And dearly
shall the aggressor pay for his temerity!"
"He shall pay for it," said two or three
voices at once; and with that they hauled
the body out of the grave, and began
to examine how the wounds appeared to
have been given, when one cried out that
there was another. They looked into the
deep grave, and there lay the most revolting
sight of all. The body of their friend
was a little striped with blood, but this undermost
corpse was actually swathed and
congealed in it. They hauled the body out,
and the coagulated masses of blood came
along with it, which so much disfigured the
whole carcase, that it could hardly be taken
for a human frame; while at the same time
there were clots of gelid clay hanging at the
hair, on each side of the face, nearly as big
as the face itself. The whole group was
manifestly much shocked at the sight; but
how much more so, when this horrible figure
bolted up amongst their hands, and after
saying in a hurried voice — "Uasals, bithidh
mi anmoch," (gentles, I shall be too late,)
ran off towards the minister's house and vanished.
Numerous were the exclamations
of wonder that burst from the crowd; but
the phenomenon was so much out of the
course of nature, that none of them seemed
to have power to move, or once to make an
effort to lay hold of the polluted apparition.
At length our two listeners heard one saying
— "That must be the murderer. They
have been fighting in the grave, and the
one has overcome the other."
"How could that be?" said another.
"However, I'll cause the parsonage to be
searched to-morrow; and if the culprit is
found there, I'll burn it with fire."
The minister's blood ran cold to his heart;
for both he and Sally saw full well that the
bloody phantom that escaped from the grave
was no other than their own most obsequious
servant and patient drudge, Davie Duff.
But the minister vowed in Sally's ear, that
he would investigate the case without delay,
and be beforehand with them. "I
will sift the fool to the very soul in all that
path respect to this strange business," said
he, "and give him up to condign punishment.
For it is better that the fool perish
in his folly, Sarah, than that the comely,
the gentle, and the good, should be cut off
from their generation, or any evil happen
unto them."
The minister now grew frightened and
impatient, and began to devise means how
they were best to consult their own safety;
but Sally's eyes were rivetted on this extraordinary
scene, and she would in nowise
move till she saw the issue. The men were
evidently much distressed, and moved about
as if they wist not what to do. "They dare
not deposit their gold, seeing they have
been discovered," said the minister. "Woe
be to that foolish old man! How he came
to be hid in a grave, I divine not."
But Sally saw a little farther than her
master. She saw that Henning, the murdered
man, was no other than the identical
Lowlander, who came to her asking for Davie;
and besides, there was another thing
that pressed heavily on her mind. She was
sure it was the report of Peter Gow's gun
that she had heard, and she was also next
to certain, that it came from about the very
spot where this stranger appeared to be murdered.
This was a perplexing matter to her,
and she longed much to hear David's account
of it; but being curious to witness
the party's proceedings, she prevailed on her
master to remain, which they both did,
though greatly agitated.
The mysterious group now scattered them.
selves all over the church-yard, trying also
to get into the church, which they did not
effect; but at length, by the help of the
lanterns, the corpse that Davie had seen
in the twilight was discovered — the coffin
was brought to the place, and the body deposited
in it; and then it was decently interred,
with manifest grief and solemnity,
and with all the ceremonies of the Romish
The party next gathered about the dead
man, and held some conversation that our
couple could not hear; at length one of the
number bolted out at the gate, and, to the
great annoyance of the minister and his
maid, was rapping and shouting at the door
of the Manse ere ever they got time
think where they were, or how situated.
The man appeared resolved to take no denial;
he called at the door, and at every
window round the dwelling, all to the same
purpose. It was impossible to be in a more
awkward predicament than the reverend
parson and his house-keeper now found
themselves; for the door to the little barn--
loft, that entered by a stone stair, was so
near to the front door, where the man stood,
that a rat could not have come out without
being seen. The church and manse stood east
and west, as they do to this day, and the
little row of office-houses stood then in a
cross line between them, there being only a
narrow entry between these and the manse,
so that the stone stair was not ten steps
from the door. What was to be done?
The man would break into the house, and
nobody in it — Indeed the door only stood
on the latch, but the mode of opening it was
critical to find.
The situation of the two inmates of the
barn-loft grew every moment more perilous;
for the men in the church-yard, hearing the
noise made by their comrade, dispatched
four other men, with a lantern, who came
to his assistance. The doors were now surrounded,
and, worst of all, the barn-loft
door stood open, and was the only open
place to be found. There was now no avoiding
a discovery, and one which was likely
to prove highly detrimental to the reverend
and stately clergyman. He saw the danger
too well, and whispered in Sally's car, "For
the sake of keeping thy own character altogether
unblemished, Sarah — I say, Sarah,
cover me up with that hay."
Sally obeyed, and rolled the hay over
above him as quickly and as silently as she
could; but it seems she had made some
noise, for she instantly saw the light of the
lantern flashing into the loft; and, perceiving
the men approaching, she sprung out,
and met them on the stair. — "What is it,
gentlemen, what is it?" said she, speaking
hurriedly, to give them no time for surmises;
"I beg your pardon for being out o' my
maister's at this time o' the night, or the
mornin' rather, an' him no at hame. — What,
i' gude's name, has brought ye a' here? I
hope there's nought wrang has happened? —
Eh? — Is the Pretender catch'd, after a'?
I beg your pardon, gentlemen."
"Be not alarmed, pretty girl," said a
venerable gentleman; "we mean no harm
to you, nor any thing that belongs to your
master, whom I know to be a worthy,
good man, and staunch to the true cause.
But there has been a murder committed
here last night on one of our friends;
and —"
"Aih! — O dear! A murder, said you?
How? — where, where? — No here, I hope?"
cried Sally, with well-feigned surprise and
terror — "Peace be wi' us, sir! I heard a
gun gae aff; an' that was the very thing
brought me out o' my bed. — For, d'ye ken,
sir, our man has been a-wantin a' night, poor
body! an' he's no that sound in his mind;
an' I was fear'd something had befa'en him,
an' our mister, the minister, no at hame,
ye see. I hope it's no him that's murdered?"
"No, it is not he," said the old gentleman;
"but there was one escaped from us
a little while ago, whom we suspect for the
murder — He took shelter in these premises,
and we followed to make a search for
him, as well as to request of you the key of
the church, that we may deposit the body
of the deceased there, until this matter be
"Certainly, sir, certainly," said Sally;
"ye sal hae the key, an' leave to search a'
my mister's house, but an' ben — there's
nought in't that he needs to think shame
o', I hope. Come in, sir, come in out o' the
cauld air."
The venerable captain was going to acquiesce
in her bidding, and was just about
to follow her into the house, to the great
relief both of Sally and the minister, when
a dark-browed warrior interfered, and, with
a jealous aspect, said to the leader, "Perhaps,
my lord, it would be as well to explore
that hay-loft first. — It strikes me that the
girl would scarcely be there by herself;
and, if there be an opening towards the
church-yard, the deed may have been done
from it. The girl is a smart, acute girl,
but she appears to me a little fluttered in
her manner."
"Very well," said the senior; "let us
search the loft then."
"O, ye need never fash to seek the laft,
sir," said Sally, turning suddenly back;
"there's naebody there — no ane. — I just
ran up to see if our auld man wasna there,
poor body; and when I saw you come to
the door, I durst hardly come down again —
that was a'. But I needna hae been sae
fear'd — a woman need never be fear'd for
a true gentleman — never. — Ye needna seek
the laft, sir."
"It is but a step," said the jealous knight,
leading the way, and all the rest following
When Sally saw that they would be in,
she sprang up the stone stair, and was in
the first of them all. "See, it's but a gowk's
nest," said she — "a mouse could hardly hide
itsel in it. — There's naething i' the warld
here but the naig's wee pickle hay. Come
away — I'm aye fear'der to be wi' men beside
hay nor ony gate else."
"Ay, let us go — there is no person here,"
said the old sire.
"Stop! — let me see," said the other
knight; and taking a fork, he began tossing
over the brown nag's hay. — Behold! — in
half a minute he pulled the reverend divine
out by a foot into the middle of the loft;
and then every eye was turned on Sally,
while the man with the lantern held it up
to her face, and down to the minister's alternately.
"You have not been always so
much afraid of men beside hay; it seems to
have arisen from some very recent treatment,
that aversion," said the old gentleman. For
really the scene was so ludicrous, it would
have been impossible to help making some
remarks on it, however grievous the errand
men might be employed in. The minister was
clothed in his night-gown and slippers, without
a neck-cloth; his stockings not drawn
up, and his night-cap on his head; — for he
had been in such a hurry to see what became
of the chest of French gold, that he
had not taken time to dress himself any
better. He pretended to be dead, or asleep,
which made the matter worse; for he found
that he had not power to look his patron in
the face, having been tutor and chaplain in
his family for many years, and preferred by
him to that living. They turned him over
and over; but still his eyes remained shut,
and his joints as supple as a pelt. At length
they heaved him up on his feet, and then
perceiving that they were lighting the stump
of a flambeau at the lantern, he was obliged
to open his eyes, and make himself alive;
for he was afraid they were going to hold it
to his nose. But he did this with such a piteous
aspect, that nothing could be so risible.
— His face hung all to one side, and
there was a smile on it of absolute desperation.

"What! my reverend and worthy friend!"
said the old Baron — "How is this? — May
I believe my own sight?"
"O my lord! let not the ambiguity on
the instant, involving my category, influence
your preconception for one moment! Conceive
it an innocent antarthritic, my lord —
a specific, counteracting spasmodic contraction
— in short, an anamorphosis, my lord —
"Pray, say no more about it, most profound
sir," said the old gentleman — "the
matter is quite evident; and the only thing
that now astonishes me in it is, how you
should have chosen this cold, open loft, to
enjoy your maid's company, rather than a
snug room, and a feather-bed. — Had not
you two the whole house to yourselves?"
"There is no pleasure unless some pain,
be undergone in acquiring it," said the jealous
knight — "It has been the damsel's aversion
to hay that has induced his choice."
"O the expansibility of misprision!" exclaimed
the minister, as the men walked
out; for they did not list to stay longer listening
to his inexplicable subterfuges. As
for Sally, she was so much kept from the
company of men, that she always rejoiced to
be in it; and therefore, drawing near to the
stranger whose face she liked the best, she
tapped him on the elbow, and gave him a
wink with her eye to mark her master's confusion.

They now lighted their torches, and proceeded
to search for honest David, leaving
a guard at the door. Sally, who was as
anxious to come at the truth as any of them,
led the way, with a lightsome step, for she
knew all Davie's lurking-places, and led to
the right one at the very first. It was a
small dark garret-room, where he slept, and
which he always held as his castle, deeming
it inaccessible. It was so, in a great measure;
for the only entrance to it was by a
ladder and trap-door; and when the ladder
was drawn up, and the trap-door bolted
above, there was no possibility of entering
it, save by scaling the roof. Sally perceived
it to be in this condition, and, certain
that the fox was in his hole, she beckoned
the gentlemen to remain below until she
tried to bring him from his cover by wiles.
"Davie! hillo, Davie! — Are ye sleeping?"
cried she.
"Yes," returned he, with the most simple
"Then ye maun waukin yoursel up, an'
come an' speak to the minister directly."
"Fat te teal is he vantin vit hersel now?"
Davie was not in a condition to appear;
and, besides, he had gotten forty shillings
that night, which he had laid snugly by,
in the dark, beside his other savings, and
these were no trifle. Consequently, Davie,
having a clear conscience, felt his independence,
and answered accordingly. Or perhaps
he heard the noise about the doors,
and thirst not for his life come down. —
"You mhay tell her mhaister, that she wolt
rather be staying till mhorning," added he.
"I tell ye to come down directly!" reiterated
"Pooh, pooh!" exclaimed the provoking
beadle; "I tell you she no pe choming the
length of her prog till it pe tay; and so you
mhay tell her mhaister — And so you and he
mhay gho to te parn, an you pe lhiking it, till
the same time — And so ten, should he put
hersel out at to toor ackain, she shall nefer
mhore return forward to it — Cot tamn!"
Sally ran down the stair again. — "He'll
no come his fit length, gentlemen — He's
just lying flytin and swearin like mad," said
"Sarah — I say, Sarah, does the fellow
refuse to come at my bidding? Give me the
light, Sarah — I will cause him to come in
one moment!" said the parson, taking the
light, and striding up the stair, while all
the rest drew near to hear the dialogue,
which ran thus: —
"David! — I say, David, do you hear
my voice, you scullion?"
"Och, seadh, seadh! — She hears it petter
Come down then, in a moment, when
I desire you!"
"Will you pe going to turn her out at
te toors ackain, tat you may pe getting te
oigh to yoursel?"
"What do you say, David? I say, do
you know whom you speak to, David? If
you do not come down on the instant, when
I desire you, sirrah, I'll have you dragged
down, whipped, and turned out of your
"Och! and to pe sure you will! And
you'll pe taking care tat she'll not haif you
turned out of your place first. — Should her
nainsel pe turned out of her place, it will
not pe for te colpach — nor for going to te
parn-loft — nor for sending him's leanamh
out to te deoghail — nor for strhiking a poor,
innocent, frhighted feor wit a stick — Cot's
"I'll force the loft, and have you dragged
down instantly! — I'll have you hanged,
you infamous dog!"
"Petter lhet alone, coot sir! When hersel
pe put mhad, she not pe to meddle wit. —
She'll pe firing te house, should she have
more of your buairing!"
The parson was astounded. — He went
back staring, and always repeating, "The
fellow is distracted! There is something
very extraordinary in the matter! — very
traordinary indeed!"
"I think I have stormed a stronger citadel,"
said the jealous knight; and taking
two chairs and a poker, he had the trapdoor
forced in a twinkling. Davie appeared
above, a frightful apparition, waving a
rusty sword; but the dark stranger presenting
one of his old friends, a horse-pistol, at
his head, he cried out, and yielded. Sally
screamed when she saw him all covered
over with blood; the minister called out to
shoot him dead, for there was no doubt he
was a murderer. But the old Baron remarked,
that, though appearances were
strongly against him, he did not look like
one that would be guilty of a murder.
"His garments do bewray him," said the
minister; "and I would advise, my lord,
that he be hanged, or shot dead on the instant
— Believe me it is a most pestilent
fellow. But the other minute he threatened
to burn my house; and did he not attempt
to kill this worthy gentleman, rather
than be taken? His guilt is manifest — It
were better and safer that he were dispatched.
Although my own servant, I give him
up! I give him up! I give him up!"
"Hout, dear maister! I think ye'll be
wrang," said Sally; "ane disna ken what
provocation he may hae gotten. — But if
other focks let Davie alane, I could wager
my head that he'll hurt naebody."
"Which of your heads, pretty girl, do
you wager?" said one.
"Sarah — mark me, Sarah! — Did I not
tell you that that was not a proper bet to
offer strangers?"
"I dinna like to hear fock accused wrangously,"
returned Sally, lending a deaf ear
to the minister's reproof, which she knew
was bred of jealousy. — "Though Davie
never did me ony gude that he could help,
I'll stand on his part there, though I should
tell some things that are against mysel. I
could gie my bible-oath on it, that Davie
wadna attempt the life o' either man or
woman, if no driven to it through desperation.
— In sic a case as that, he is nae better
than a mad dog; but that isna his blame.
At ony rate, he wadna be the first transgressor."

"I am of your opinion, maid," said the old
Baron. "In the meantime, if you and your
reverend master will retire for a while by
yourselves, if the hay-loft has not wearied
you, I would ask this unchristian-like fellow a
few questions in the presence of my friends
"Ye had better let me stay, sir," quoth
Sally; "I could maybe pit you and him
baith right in some things."
"We will hear you afterwards, pretty
one," said he; "please to allow us this apartment
for a little space."
"Heigh-how! Come away then, master
— we maun away to our — different ends
o' the house," said Sally, the last words in
a loud key, and woful whine.
"Well, I do envy that stupid parson,"
said one, "the possession of such a maid!"
"The girl is a proper one," said the old
chief; "and, if I do not mistake, for all her
flippancy, a virtuous one."
"Humph!" said the jealous knight.
"Now, David," said the old chief, "tell
me truly, and in as few words as you can,
what you know about this murder. — Something
you must know about it; and the
less you deviate from stedfast truth, it shall
be the better for you."
"It was te Lowlander tat mordered me,
your honour; and she does not know who
mordered any of te more."
"Who more do you suppose were murdered
beside yourself?"
"Och! ter was te lhady in te cloth. Her
nainsel does not know in te whowle world
who it was tat mordered her."
And pray, what provoked the Lowlander
to murder you, David?"
"Tat have puzzled her very great to
know, your honour; for he just called out
'Morder! morder!' to himself, and ten he
shot me trou te forward part of te hind
The gentlemen then proceeded to examine
the place where Davie was shot through
the head, and found that his head was wounded,
but there were no marks of a ball having
entered it.
"It is a compound contusion," said one.
"Yes, and so it is, your honour," said
David — "it has made a confounded confusion
Hearing they could make nothing of
Davie that way, not knowing to what circumstances
he alluded, the old Baron desisired
him to begin and relate all he knew
about the church-yard that night — every
thing that he had seen, and every thing that
had befallen to him, and then they would
know on what points to examine him. — The
unlucky and fatal incident has been related
already; but Davie's statement was so singular,
and shews so manifestly how much
an eye and ear-witness may be mistaken,
that really it is worthy of being preserved.
"Te tale pe very shortly just tis, your
honour: — Hersel was watering mhe mhaister's
horse, and lhooking all te way down te
rhiver, for fear of peholding te pogle; and
so mhe mhaister's horse he lhooked te wrong
way, and so he was greatly and terribly
frightened, and so ten he tossed himself
off at te one side, and herself off at te oder;
and so ten she was lhaid into te churchyhard."

"Let me understand you as you go along,
David. Do you mean to say that your master's
horse ran off, and threw you into the
"Och! not at all, your honour! — tat
was not peen possible for a horse to doo!
Te church-yhard was tere, your honour, and
I was lhooking tere, for fear what I might
see; and so mhe mhaister's horse, he was
lhooking here, to see what he could see, and
so he saw mhore tan he should not have
seen; and ten, och! he was so frightened,
tat he trew himself off tat way, and hernain-sel
off tis way; and so ten I went into
te church-yhard wit my head and my fheet,
and all; and so tat was peing te whowle
"You do not mean to say that no more
befel you, and that your narrative is done,
"Ooch! Cot pless your honour, she no pe
pegun yet — nor half pegun! but I haif lhost
howld of her."
"What did. you see when you were
thrown into the church-yard?"
"Ay; tere she pe on her way now! — So
when I puts up my head, I sees a tead lhady
lhying in a pluddy shait; so ten I was far
more worser affrighted than mho mhaister's
horse; and so ten te great man wit te spade
he comes rhunning and calling mhe to stop,
but I would not stop; and so he pursued
mhe; and I got home pefore him, and called
out fhor mhercy; put mhe mhaister shut me
phy te nheck out to te vhile Lowlander
again — Cot's lhong tame pe on him! And
so ten te Lhowlander seized me py te nheck,
and he drhags mhe away to te church yard,
and ten he would pe asking mhe of tis mhan's
grave, and te oder mhan's grave, and all te
graves in te whowle world; and I tould
him. And so ten he asked if I could show
him te purial of te Clhan-Mhore; and I
towld him. And so ten he says, Fat new
grave pe tis tat's puried here? — And I
towld him tat it was Mhaister Jhon's grave
tat was puried tere. And he ordhers mhe to
beghin and work a grave at te very side of
Captain Jhon's grave; and I said I would
nhot work a grave in te night. And he
pulled out a lhittle pad gun on te sharge,
and howlds her to mhy fhace; and ten I
mhade te grave, and a very ghood grave
she was, and mhore dheep tan two graves;
but he stood always over me wit te two
lhittle guns on te sharge. And him was a
very ghood fhellow too, if he had not punt
off te shot. So when he tought te grave
was dheep enough, tat hersel might not
tell any tales, he pangs up, and calls out,
Morder! morder!' and shot me on te head
until I was died. And so ten he goes and
he prings te oder corp of te lhady, and lays
her alongside apove me, and puried us poth
up together. And so tere I was lhying until
you heard my cries, and took me out,
which was very khind inteed, shentlemans,
for she was to have peen very padly off!"
"And is that all truth that you have
told me?"
"Every word of it, your honour."
"Well, it so happens, that in the one
half of it at least, there is not a true word.
But tell me this, did you hear the Lowlander
call out 'murder,' before he fired at
"Och and you may pe shure she did,
your honour."
"And did you likewise hear the report
of the gun?"
"And so she did, too, very loud. For
she was thinking it had proken up the
"It is plain that this honest fellow is
mistaken," said the dark warrior. "Here
are our friend's pistols; they are both loaded;
and therefore it appears evident to me,
that the act has been committed by some
brave fellow of our clan, who has knocked
down the one and shot the other, and afterwards
thrown them both into one grave,
from an idea that they were robbing our sepulchres."

"I thank you for the hint, nephew," said
the old chief. "You have hit it. And
now that I get a right view of it, the matter
is self-evident. It must turn out exactly
as you say. Henning is shot in the
back, — his own pistols both loaded. David
heard both the report of the musket and the
cry of murder, and all these taken together
leave not a shade of doubt how the incidents
have followed each other. The issue
is a grievous one, but offence has not been
meant. And now, David, you are at liberty.
Here is a guinea for you, but keep
all that you have seen and heard to-night
profound secret. Tell it not even to your
reverend master, nor to his buxom butler;
and, note me, you shall not miss your reward
either way."
"Ohon-ou-righ!" exclaimed David. "Te
pettermost ting tat your honour can doo
would pe to tak her along wit you as one,
fat you call an urras, tat is a braighdean
gill. For me mhaister might make her tell
wit a stick laid on her; and her mustress
sell might hunger her into profession. And
so your honour may pe needing a grave
made very shoone, as I hope, so I will go
along wit you; and may te much creat pig
tevil take away me mhaister and his proven
horse too! As for mustress Sall, it's a very
good child if it were not so macnusach,
tat is fat you call te whanton."
The party then dispersed with all expedition,
taking Davie along with them, and
locking the dead body of Henning up in
the church. But there was one that heard
all this examination, and its final result,
and who treasured it up every word, to use
as circumstances might require, and this was
no other than pretty Sally, the minister's
maid, who knew the peeping and listening
holes about the old Manse better than the
minister did himself; so well, indeed, that
there was very little passed within its walls
that she was not mistress of. As soon as
the party were fairly gone, he came to her
with a rueful countenance. "Sarah, I say,
Sarah, I am undone! Quite undone! Hitherto
have I been a hypermeter, but now
an ambiloquy. This deprehension hath
been most unimprovable, and the suscipiency
as disingenious. And, Sarah, I say,
Sarah, your character is ruined too."
"Hout! I dinna think it, sir. An
they kend how little danger I was in, they
wadna mak sae muckle about it."
"Sarah! It is a sad alternative for a gentleman
of my superlative qualifications, in
all matters relating to intelligenciality, to
be bound and obligated either to suffer irreclaimable
derogation, or enter the state
hymenean, with a flower in the very lowest
walks of feminality. Do you comprehend
me, Sarah?"
"Hardly, sir."
"I say, Sarah. — To save your reputation
we must marry. That is plain, Sarah?"

"Very plain, sir. And so we will marry,
I hope. But not together, sure?"
"Yes, together, Sarah."
"Then you must get a better man servant
than David, sir."
"I say, hold your tongue, Sarah.
Wherefore must I do that?"
"Because an ye dinna get a better ane
than him, sir, ye will hae a' to do yoursel —
that is, I will hae a' to do mysel, sir."
"O, but you will have a maid then, Sarah,
which is much better. You will have
a maid."
I dinna ken about that sae weel, sir.
But, gae your ways to your bed, for it's
quite on the morning, an' we'll think
about it."
"I wish these friends of my lord's, and his
duinhe-wasals be all gone. Some of them
were eyeing you, Sarah. We have seen
terrible sights to-night, Sarah. I confess I
feel a little afraid to remain alone."
"I'm no ae grain feared, sir. I'll bolt a'
the doors, inner an' outer, an' sae good morning
"Sarah, I say, Sarah. Don't be too
fiducial, Sarah. Beware of being too fiducial."

Sally was dressed for the courting overnight,
and glad to get quit of her formal
pedantic master. She bolted all the doors,
flew out at the kitchen-window, and, dark
as it was, taking her tartan-plaid about her,
she hasted down to the hamlet to the residence
of Peter Gow the smith. Ere ever
she reached the house she perceived that
there were lights in it, while all the rest of
the village was in darkness. The door was
bolted, but she would not rap for fear of
giving serious alarm. She therefore sent her
well-known voice softly through the window,
(not much encumbered with fine glass
panes,) and instantly every tongue in the old
smith's cot pronounced in Gaelic, Mòr Gilnaomh,
(Sally Niven), and soon and blythely
was she admitted. Peter was in a terrible
state. He had shot men before that; but
the idea of having committed a murder on
he knew not who — in all likelihood some honest
neighbouring deer-stalker like himself
perhaps some husband, or fond lover, mourning
over an untimely grave; or, perhaps,
the parson of the parish himself — In short,
the singular circumstance of having shot a
man for a buck, preyed very deeply on Peter's
mind. He had reached home in such
a faintish and raving state, that his father
and step-mother were obliged to sit up with
him. Still he had not summoned so much
confidence as to tell them his case, but he
talked something of joining Lord Lewis
Gordon's regiment as soon as day-light appeared.

"What it ye doing sae soon asteer, good
focks?" said Sally. "Pate, what's come
ower ye that ye hae the twa auld fock standing
hinging ower your bed at this time o'
the morning?"
"Och, and we do little know, pretty Muss
Sally, what is the matter with our good Peter!"
said old Margaret. "Him is very
sick and raving, and not good at all."
"I can tell you the whole, and it is for
that I have come at sic an hour," said Sally.
"He has shot one of the followers of Lord
Clan-More up at the door o' our kirk. The
auld lord an' some o' his gang hae already
been at the manse, seeking for the murderer,
as they ca' him; an' we hae been a' examined,
an' the corpse is lockit up i' the kirk,
an' there's siccan a fie-gae-to as never was
seen. Now I kend brawly wha did the
deed; but yet when our poor Davie was
like to be inveigled in it, I took his part;
but they hae ta'en him away wi' them.
— D'ye hear what I'm saying, Pate?"
"Yes, I do. Who was the man that is
shot? Tell me that," said Peter, setting
his pale face out of his wattled bed.
"He was a Lowland adventurer, it
seems," said Sally; "a man of some account,
and great credit with the family.
And if ony malice, or design, or blackguard
intent, can be made out against the person
that has done the deed, his life's no worth
a sma' preen. I ken brawly wha killed the
man, for I hae a wee inklin o' the Spanish
language. But, Peter, ye maun tell me
this, and ye maun tell it me privately in my
own car, that me other witnesses may hear
it, — what for did ye shoot the man?"
Peter told her frankly, in a whisper, that
he took him for a buck; at which she could
not preserve her gravity. She then asked
if he saw only one person, to which he answered
in the affirmative, and wondered when
she told him that there were two of them,
the one shot and the other felled on the
head with some blunt instrument, and both
flung, the one above the other, into an open
grave. "Now I can tell ye, Peter," rejoined
she, "there is just ae way that ye can
save your life. Dinna ask ony mair about
the mischance, for the less ye ken about it
the better; but if ever ye be ta'en up, just
say that ye war gaun to the courtin, (for ye
maunna for your life say a word about the
deer-stealing,) an' that as ye war gaun by
the kirk-yard ye saw somebody raising the
body of the brave Captain John M'Evan
at midnight, an' that ye thought that wasna
fair, an' that they were some rascals or enemies
of the Clan-More, wha deserved a mark
to ken them by, an' that, for this purpose,
ye ran hame for your gun an' gae them a
good thunderin shot, an' came your ways
again. Now, Peter, if ye haena the face
to tell that, ye're a dead man, an' the sooner
ye make your testment the better. But
if ye tell that plain blunt story, ye'll baith
get honour an' preferment. Do ye see
through it? Will ye promise me, that, for
the sake o' your ain life, ye'll just tell that
"Och, what then? And so I will," said
Peter, taking her hand. "It will do so
very good, and tell so very good! Och, what
a comfort you have brought to my heart,
dear Sally! You must be my own — inteed
you must be my own, good Mòr Gilnaomh,
for I see I could not live a day without you.
And, do you know, Mòr, I lost my plaid,
and my bonnet, and gun, all at the church--
yard; shall I go with you and set you
home, and try to find them?"
"Na, na, stay whaur you are, Pate. Ye
wad make me feared to gang wi' ye, wi' your
white ghaist-like face. I suspect there is
an armed guard about the kirk the night,
an' gin ye war seen gaun stauping about,
ye might get as good as ye hae gi'en. Only
promise me this, that you will stick by
the clue I hae gi'en you, or ye're a lost
Peter promised faithfully, and gave Sally
his hand on it as she rose to go away.
When she turned round, there was old Gow
the smith standing with the pint whisky--
bottle below his arm, and a horn that would
have held a full gill, to give Sally a dram,
the only beverage of estimation in the Highlands.
But before proffering it, the worthy
sire took a bumper himself to the kind toast,
"Slàint fallain Mòr Gilnaomh gràdhach,"
for old Gow had but few words of English;
and Sally, after putting it to her lips, tripped
away home by herself.
SHE lay down till it was light without
casting off her clothes, and then peeping
through the garden-hedge, and from the
barn-loft, she at last discovered that the
church and burial-ground were watched by
two clansmen in arms; but as it was now
morning, they sat under their plaids in the
shelter of the church-gable. She therefore
peeped about, from the inside of the garden,
till she discovered her lover's plaid and bonnet
lying close at the stile by the garden-corner.
She soon found means to get hold
of these, and, carrying them into the manse,
for security she hid them in her own bed,
below the mattress. To come at the gun
was not such an easy matter. She saw perfectly
well where it would be, at the point
nearest to the new grave; but to get at it
without being seen by the guards, in the
day-time, was impracticable, the church-yard
wall being so low, and so many breaches in
it. Still she was desirous of having every
means of proof in her own power, to produce,
or not to produce, as subsequent events
required. Therefore, without more ado, she
snooded up her raven locks, took her mantle
about her, and, going through the barn
at the nearest into the church-yard, went up
to the two guards. She soon saw that neither
of the two had been in the manse the
night before with the Chief of the Clan--
More, and that they were only vassals, and
accosted them with great freedom, making
many curious inquiries. The men answered
her civilly, and were as curious, on their
parts, to know the issue of the investigation
in the manse, which she recounted to them,
not according to the truth, but according as
it suited the whims of her own fancy.
"But the warst thing of a'," added she,
"they hae away our poor daft servant an'
bedlar wi' them, an' I'm sure he's nae mair
guilty o't than I am. Come away in, gentlemen,
the morning's snell, an' I hae a
good fire i' the kitchen. We'll see what's
in the minister's bottle. He disna like
ower weel to see mony strangers about the
house, honest man, but he'll no be up for
these three hours to come. There's muckle
good water Tins by when the miller sleeps.
Come away in, gentlemen."
The two men followed her in with thankful
hearts, and she was even better than her
word, for she treated them with bread and
cheese, and each a quaigh of strong aquavitae,
and conversed with them so freely that
they were quite charmed with her.
"Sit still, gentlemen," said she, "and
warm yourselves. I am obliged to go out
for a little to look after the beasts, for your
master having taken our old man from us,
I am ostler, dairy-maid, cook, and housekeeper,
all in one, here." Then leaving
them by the kitchen door, she turned the
key behind her, and running through the
barn and the church-yard, in two minutes
she had the Spanish gun safely deposited
below the hay in the barn-loft, for she
could not well get it into the manse without
being seen. After that she actually
went and foddered the beasts, and returned
to the men.
Before that time, however, the strong
whisky, and that drunk in a cold morning,
had loosed the men's tongues, so that they
were going on at no easy rate, greatly to the
praise of Sally. But the minister had not
slept sound that morning. He found that
his moral character stood in a questionable
light, and was exceedingly uneasy about it.
Anon a distant sound of strange voices fell
on his ears. He listened for some time
with his head and long neck extended over
the bed, and the din increasing, he rang the
little hand-bell that stood always on the
chair at his bed-side. No Sally arrived. —
"What can be the meaning of this?"
thought the minister. "Who can be in
my house so early on a Sabbath morning?
And what have they done with my maid
Sarah? It will be that vagabond, young
Gow, who is never away from her; perhaps
he has her in bed, and is holding her there,
that she does not answer my summons. I
will inflict retribution on the dog. I will
shoot him, — there shall be more corpses
than one. I shall certainly dedecorate his
concupiscentiality for once."
The minister started from his bed, put
on his gown, and strode silently along the
entrance; then putting his ear close to the
back of the kitchen-door to listen, he heard
the following short and unmeaning dialogue.
The men's brains were touched by the ardent
spirits, and one of them was pretending
to be fallen deeply in love with Sally,
while the other as jocularly was deploring
his case. "It pe a fery pad stroke for you
tis, Donald. I doon't know in te whowle
world fat te munister will pe saying of it fan
he loses his mustress?"
"I doon't care a single but of te tamn
for te munister, Ion. I will marriage her,
and fat te teal will him say to tat? Pe
M‘Mari, I'll kuss her pefore him's face, and
never say, Mauster Parson, how do you
"Impertinent and licentious dog!" exclaimed
the minister to himself; and at that
moment Sally burst in at the front door
upon him, on which he made for his room,
cowering along the entrance, and taking
immense strides. "Licentious dog!" said
he. "He has been in bed with her all this
morning; his neighbour has come and
caught him there, and now he has no resource
but to marry her. It is quite plain,
quite plain!"
He rang the little bell furiously, and Sall,
who had got a glimpse of him in his retreat,
gave the men a wink to go away, and ran
to attend her master. "Ohon, Tonald, tere
is te pell ringing for te morning service. Te
munister will soon pe in te kurk, and we
must pe going."
"Fat can I help it?" said Donald, and
they went both away, smoking their pipes.
"Sarah — How dare you, Sarah, admit
idle and profligate fellows into my house on
a Sabbath morning? I say, Sarah, who
are those that are in my house?"
"There's naebody i' the house ata', sir,
that I ken o'."
"Nobody in the house, Sarah? Nobody
in my house, did you say? Either recant
the sentence by a contradictory declaration,
or walk out of my presence."
"What am I to do, sir, said ye?"
"Tell me who those are that are in my
"There's nae leevin soul i' the house that
I ken o', but you an' me, an' the cat, sir."
"This is insufferable, Sarah! Did not I
hear the men conversing in the kitchen this
"Did ye, sir? Are ye sure they warna
on the outside o' the house?"
"They were inside the house, Sarah; and
more than that, one of them has been in
the bed with you all the morning. Will
you deny that too?"
"In the bed wi' me, sir? He has been
an unco canny ane then, like yoursel, for I
never fand him. Hech! That wad hae been
something worth the while! But, really,
master, there never was a man i' my bed,
nor aught belonging to ane; an' the first wha
offers to come there, sanna do't for naething."

"Sarah, I say, take notice what you say
to me. For I do grievously suspect that
your thoughts are only evil, and that continually."

"I daresay they're whiles no very good,
sir, but I gie you an' your exhortations a'
the wyte."
"Did I ever exhort you to bring men
into my house on a Sabbath morning, by
day-light, to bear you company, to say no
worse of it? — Sarah! Sarah! I heard his
whole confession to the other reprobate who
was with him. And sorely doth it grieve
me to say, and to know, that you are a ruined-female!
Tell me, I say, who those men
are that have been with you all this morning."

"Dear sir, I never saw ony o' them yet."
"Sarah, they are there at this moment,
and I will confront you with them. Follow
me, I say."
The minister flew into the kitchen, his
eyes kindling with wrathful vengeance,
while Sally followed him in perfect good
humour. He looked every corner hastily,
flew into the scullery, his night-gown streaming
far behind him, while the dark-eyed elf
could scarcely restrain her mirth, — came
back again into the kitchen — "They are
hid in the bed!" said he, flinging open its
two leaves; the bed-clothes were lying in a
heap at the farther side. "Ah! I knew
it! I knew it! Here they have been, and
here one of them is yet!"
He flung the clothes over to the bed-foot,
and by that time Sally pulled him by
the gown, saying, "For shame, master!
What's that ye're about?" She made him
come swinging back to the middle of the
floor, but not before he had seized the lap
of Peter Gow's plaid, which, with his bonnet,
came bolting over the bed. The minister
grinned with the rage of jealousy;
his teeth clenched together, and his whole
frame trembled and started as if seized with
sudden cramps. His first motion was to
seize the plaid and bonnet, and throw them
on the fire; but this last catastrophe Sally
prevented, by taking hold of then and crying
out, "Peace be wi' us! stop, sir! I wadna
that ye singit a hair on thae things for
a' ye're worth. That plaid an' bonnet belanged
to a brother o' mine, an' I never
sleep but with them aneath my head. Whenever
I gang out to my prayers I take that
plaid about me, an' I never part wi't i' the
night-time, for fear o' losing the remembrance
o' the best o' men, an' the kindest
o' brothers."
"Sarah, — I say, Sarah, — I never knew
that you had lost a brother before. I never
heard of such a thing."
"Eh, yes, sir. But I never mention his
name to onybody nor will I tell ye how
he came by his death, because it may gar
ye think less o' me."
"No, it will not, Sarah. — Poor girl! —
You have a kind heart, Sarah. If you had
all the failings in the world, you have a
kind benevolent heart, and are blessed with
a good natural temper."
Sally could tell her master anything
but truth in all that related to the other
sex. Every woman is the same in this respect;
only many of their stories approximate
somewhat to the truth. Sally's ran exactly
in an opposite direction. Again, many
of their stories are so framed, as that, by a
little forcing, they can be made to bear two
constructions, or three in a great pinch;
and one of these may have some shades of
truth. Not so our Sally's; they could only
bear one construction, which had no connexion
with truth whatsoever.
But this morning she felt that she had
rather played too unfair a game with her
master, and resolved to humour his bad
propensities, and at the same time gratify
a desire that she had of trying a certain
"Do you know, master, that I have had
temptations this morning to make a very
bad use o' these things o' my poor brother's,"
said she. "At least I fear it would be a
very bad use; but I would not venture to
do it without consulting you. That young
smith o' ours is, I suspect, nane o' the best
o' characters?"
"Sarah, — I say, Sarah, — he is one of the
very worst of characters; therefore beware of
him. A most pestiferous character! — idle,
unprincipled, debauched! I never heard you
make so prudent a remark, Sarah. I say,
beware of him."
"He comes often rattling an' whispering
about this house, — in the night-time,
too, — I whiles suspect he has some designs
on me. Now what would you think, sir, if
I gaed down to the Justice, an' made affidavit,
that that plaid an' bonnet belanged
to Pate, an' that I got them lying about
the kirkyard dyke this morning? That wad
prove him the murderer; an' then he will
either strap for it, or be banished the country,
— an' we'll be weel quit o' a great skemp.
If ye thought I might venture to do that,
sir, without sinning away my soul awthegither,
I could trim him for aince."
"Why, Sarah, the object is a most desirable
object, and one that will preponderate
if laid in the balance against many
lesser crimes. When we do a little evil that
a great good may come, our conduct is laudable,
and we may hope for forgiveness. The
goodness and congruity, or evilness, unfitness,
and unseasonableness, of moral and
natural action, fall not within the verge of
a brutal faculty; and as every distinct being
has somewhat peculiar to itself, to make
good in one circumstance what it wants in
another, I therefore think, Sarah, that the
incommensurability of the crime with the
effect, completely warrants the supersaliency
of this noctivagant delinquent."
"D'ye mean, that it is my duty to gie
him up, then?"
"I do so opine, Sarah. I will likewise
go and hear your information given in and
confirmed, lest it be only a fit of jealousy,
and lest so good a design should drop. —
But let it be to-morrow, Sarah, for remember
this is the Sabbath."
"I never thought o' that, sir, but shall
certainly do it to-morrow."
"Sarah, I love you for this resolution,
Sarah. I was afraid of your virtue with
that vagabond, but now — How I do admire
your spirit, Sarah!"
Sally went down to the Castle of Balmillo
on the Monday morning with the
bonnet and the plaid, and the minister followed
on his bay nag in a short time. The
Chief was not at home, he being with the
Earl of Loudoun at Inverness; but the lady
kept court there, and that in a style of
princely splendour, for high guests were expected.
The parson requested permission
to speak a word with her; and being admitted,
he told her the story of the murder
committed in their parish church-yard, during
the night of Saturday, on a gentleman
belonging to the suite of the Clan-More,
and how his maid had made some discoveries
on the following morning by break of day
that could not fail of leading to the perpetrator.

"It is fortunate for her," replied Lady
Balmillo; "for the old knave, my father--
in-law, has offered a high reward to any one
who will discover the doer of this dark deed,
and has authorized me to do the same. For
my part, I care not if he and the whole whig
fraternity that hang about him were sent
the same road, were it not for my own husband,
whom he has likewise inveigled into
his crooked counsels. I hate all this shuffling
and changing of sides, parson, that we
see so much of. Like the race of my father's
house, when I take a side, I take it
for loss or gain — life or death; and you see
I have parted from my husband on that
ground for the present, although never lady
more loved her lord. But tell me, good
parson, — for you must know something of
the matter. — what did all this mysterious
business about the church-yard by night
mean? What were the old lord and his
followers doing there at midnight? I cannot
comprehend it."
"Nor I, madam; and, although I know
a part, I am on the whole as ignorant as
you are. But the little that I do know, I
have been conjured never to divulge; and
therefore, lovely lady, the light must emanate
on your comprehension from some other
object of reflexibility. My maid knows all
that I do; if she pleases to inform your honourable
ladyship, I have no objections.
But I judge it the duty of a messenger of
peace to give no offence."
"In such times as these it may be ticklish,
parson. A manse thatched with heather
would make a good blaze to warm an
incensed clan on a cold morning. — I hear
you have the impertinence, in the middle
of my clan, — I say my clan, for they have
renounced my husband to a man, — to pray
for the Elector of Hanover every Sunday.".
"I am a moderate man, Lady Balmillo,
temperate, and experienced; I pray for those
in lawful authority over us, and farther
venture not."
"You are a proper man, sir, for my father-in-law,
— a man that can keep two
strings to his bow. You, among others,
have got a letter from Duncan Forbes, I
suppose; that unjust Judge, who is losing;
his time, his substance, and his soul, in
supporting a usurper."
"Why, madam, you ladies are always
violent politicians, it is not safe to enter
the lists with you; I must therefore drop
the confabulation, and fall into total obmutescence."

"You won't pray for Prince Charles,
then? — Or his father; or his followers,
won't you? — You shake your head. — Do
you know how many brave fellows I have
in arms?"
"No, madam, I do not."
"You shall know then; for, unless you
pray for the Prince, I will quarter 300 on
yourself next week, and 300 more on the
rest of your whig parishioners."
"I will pray for him, madam. Shall I
officiate just now?"
"No. Get you gone about your business.
Whoever prays for my Prince must
do it voluntarily; and whoever follows him
must do the same. None of your cajolers,
and wheedlers, and Duncan Forbeses with
us; we raise the standard of our country,
and of our own true king, and if that speak
not for itself, no one shall do so for it. —
Parson, I will detain your servant for examination.
The old lord will be here to-day
with his retinue, for the interment of that
Lowlander, who, it seems, was the apple of
his eye. Your maid shall tell him what
she knows, and claim her reward. Perhaps
she may be obliged to go to Inverness, to
be examined before the Sheriff."
"I cannot well spare her, madam, and
would rather that you would question her
yourself and let her return; for the old
Chief has taken away my servant-man, and
should you likewise detain my maid, I am
"Go home, go home, she shan't be detained
long if I can prevent it."
The parson went away, and left Sarah at
the Castle with very ill will; and as soon as
he was gone, the Lady Balmillo sent for
the maid, and tried to worm everything out
of her; but Sally said she knew not what the
Lowlander and the Chief were doing there
by night — Burying some treasure, she supposed,
or perhaps some person of distinction
whom they had popped quietly off the stage.
The lady grew breathless with anxiety, and
resolved to investigate the matter by some
means or other. But while she and the maid
were still together, the old Chief of the Clan-More
arrived. He manifested the most perfect
respect and kindness toward his daughter-in-law,
although they had espoused opposite
sides, and might meet any day in the
field as mortal enemies; but she was haughty
and reserved towards him. He recognized
Sally at once; and the scene of the barn-loft
recurring to his mind, a half-formed smile
rather darkened than brightened his calm
specious face. Where there's no guilt there's
no abashment. Sally laughed in his face; and
he being informed that she had something
to communicate, he requested permission to
examine her by herself. This the lady took
amiss, expecting to be present at the conference;
but the old Chief continued steady
to his aim, telling her with a smile that she
was not of their counsels for the present.
Sally produced her documents, and told her
tale — he commended her greatly, saying,
she should meet her reward, but there would
be a necessity for her appearance at Inverness
to give witness before the proper authorities.
She said she rejoiced in that, for
she was a perfect slave with the minister,
and never got over his door save to the
church; "but," added she, "I little ken how
he will brook the want o' me, for ye hae
ta'en away our man, an' he canna do without
"Perhaps we may find a method of bringing
him along with you," said he. "Think
you there are no means of implicating him,
in order to humble him a little farther?"
"O, dear sir, he's humble enough already,"
quoth she. "Ye hae nae mair to do
that way. He's sae frighted for you, an'
about his character, that he offered me marriage
the neist morning after ye catched
him an' me i' the strae-laft thegither. But,
however, I can gie ye a hint, an ye be for
a little sport."
She did so, and he dismissed her, charging
her to be at Inverness on the following
day before noon. As she left the Castle, she
perceived the Chief's train waiting at the
gate with an empty bier, while some of better
account were walking about in the court
of the Castle. She basted home, and in a
little while the party came, and interred
the body of Mr Henning on the very outer
skirts of the Clan-More's burial-ground.
The old Chief then despatched a party to
the village to apprehend the smith, without
hinting aught of the information he had
got, desiring them to wait at the Castle until
he joined them. At the same time he
went to take cognizance of the minister,
and summoning him into his presence, he
said there were many suspicious circumstances
in the appearance of matters about the
manse that night, such as his forcing out
his servant to the church-yard: That servant
being found in a bloody grave, along
with the murdered man — taking shelter in
the manse, and letting out some hints about
his master. "And the last two things,
parson, look the worst of any," added he.
"You and your pretty maid were sitting
witnessing the scene all the while, in a
place whence you could easily have perpetrated
the murder, or caused some other
to have done it under your directions. In
the next place, you pleaded that your own old
servant might be executed immediately, on
presumptive evidence, which looked very
like as if you had been afraid of his telling
"Ah, my lord, these things will all be
explained to your satisfaction. My servant-maid
has discovered tergeminous proof of the
"I know it. But that only increases my
suspicion, lest it be a deep-laid scheme to
entrap an innocent person. I desire, therefore,
to search the manse, to still the clamours
of some of my friends; but I shall
do everything in your own presence, and with
the utmost lenity and deference to your feelings,
because you are on the right side."
The minister gave him up the keys, declaring
that he was at liberty to search the
whole premises; and therefore, with the
same friends who were with him on the Saturday
evening, he proceeded to make a
sham search. At length he led the way toward
the barn-loft, pretending that the circumstances
of that surprisal still haunted
his mind, as a thing altogether out of the
common course, and that he dreaded there
must be something concealed under it. The
minister declined attending the party to
that spot, on pretence of being ashamed
even to think of it; although he assured
them he entered it on that momentous
night with a heart free of all guile, or evil
intentions; nor had the corruptibleness of
constitutional enormity been at all moved
during the period of his acclusion. They,
however, compelled him to accompany them,
that no advantage might be taken on any
false pretence. At first they began to search
with great caution, lest perchance they might
discover a button, or something, however
small, that might lead to testify somewhat
of the minister's motive for being there at
such an hour. But behold, on turning over
the hay, below which the minister had been
found himself, there lay the great Spanish
gun, with the dogshead down, and just as
she had been discharged of the fatal shot.
"I suspected as much," said the old Chief;
but the rest of the head-clansmen looked at
the minister with utter astonishment, and
some of them with pity. If they had had
just perceptions, they might have seen he
was taken at unawares, and could be
guilty; but they read his despair and unintelligible
protestations all the wrong way.
The Chief said he would not take him along
with them, exposing him as a prisoner; but
would leave two of his friends with him as
a guard, who would accompany him to Inverness
the day following; and he would
also charge his maid to appear as a witness
on both cases.
The old lord then bent his way, at the
head of the rest of his followers, to the
Castle, where he found Peter the smith in
custody, but claimed by his daughter-in-law
most peremptorily, as one of her clansmen,
whom she would not suffer to be taken out
of her domains. "What chance have my
people if they are to be tried by a whig magistrate?"
said she. "No! If any of them
are to be tried, save by myself, they shall
stand before another tribunal. That man
is one of my regiment, and one of the best
men in the bravest regiment of Britain —
He is only here on command for the repairing
of arms; and are my brave clansmen to
be hauled away, to be tried before a mock
magistrate, set up under the auspices of the
Elector of Hanover, a government which
they have renounced?"
"Daughter, I have spoken much to you,
and all in vain," said the old Chief. "You
are backed in your wild principles by my
powerful clan; and, therefore, in this place
you are not to be controlled — I know it —
You reign invincible here for the present,
and I pretend not to thwart your control.
All that I request is, that you will speak
and act with moderation — you know not yet
on which side the scales will turn."
"But you know, or think you know, my
lord. And both yourself and my husband
have chosen what you judge to be the safe
side, leaving a poor inexperienced woman
the post of honour and of danger — You are
deserters — The clan is now my clan, and we
will stand or fall together. This young man
you take not from under my roof; but you
may examine him here if you have a mind,
though only in my presence."
He spewed no disposition for farther resistance;
so Peter was brought in and examined,
the bonnet and plaid being produced.
Peter had been in a sad taking when
he found himself in the hands of the whigs;
but now that he found himself claimed by
Lady Balmillo, the idol of the whole clan,
he answered freely and boldly — He acknowledged
at once that the plaid and the bonnet
were his, answering precisely as Sally
had bidden him. He said he was going by,
near to the church-yard, at a very late hour,
on a courting expedition; and perceiving
some people digging up the corpse of the
very captain that had led him to the field,
he was driven mad with indignation; and
running home, he brought his great gun
and fired on them with small bullets. But
that when he heard one of them roar out
"murder," he was so astounded that he absolutely
lost his senses, and went home without
his plaid and bonnet, which he had left
at a different corner of the kirk-yard, that
he might get within shot of the wretches
unseen. His gun had struck him and knocked
him over, he said, and he was so stupified,
that he left her too, for he did not
know what he was doing.
The tale was so plain, and the truth so
apparent, that it was at once believed; and
Lady Balmillo commended Peter's resolution
to the skies. "And pray tell me, sir,
what had your whig Lowlander to do with
the body or the grave of my late brave cousin?
I would like to know that," added
she, addressing herself to her father-in-law.
"That is nothing to our present purpose,"
said he. "The man was there by my command,
which is, I think, sufficient in aught
that relates to that burial-ground."
"You acted with great propriety, smith,"
said she. "The time, the place, and the
occupation, which he was engaged in, were
highly equivocal; and I say you have acted
"No, sirrah, you have not acted right,"
rejoined the Chief. "You should have
challenged the man, and asked his intent;
and then, if he had refused to desist, or
to explain his purpose, he deserved your
vengeance. However, as there was no robbery
committed, — for although the gentleman
had both money and many valuable
things about his person, all remained untouched,
— I believe that your motive originated
in the best of feelings. I love and
admire the man who respects and venerates
the ashes of his kindred, and the sepulchres
where they are deposited, especially
those of the family of his Chief, and wish
rather to cherish such a spirit, than put it
down. I therefore, even for this questionable
interference, constitute you chief keeper.
of my forests, with all the emoluments that
have ever been enjoyed by any of your predecessors;
so that you may have an opportunity
of using your large gun to better
purpose; and though I have now virtually
given up my rights all over this district to
my son, and daughter here, I know that,
at my recommendation, the appointment is
"It is confirmed as far as my right goes
to confirm it," said the lady; "and I truly
think, sir, you could not have made a fitter
Peter never got such a benefit conferred
on him as this, nor ever expected such a
one. Some thought that if a present had
been made him of all the lands belonging
to the Clan-More, with all the forests that
encircle them, he could not have been so
much uplifted as he was by this charge of
the stags, hinds, deers, and roebucks on
these limitless wastes; with liberty to bring
down one when and where he listed. it was
manifest to every one, that, in granting this
bequest to Peter, the old Chief wished to
humour his daughter-in-law; and it farther
confirmed the general belief, that he heartily
approved of her measures, in raising and
equipping the clan for the cause of the
House of Stuart. He was all the while
busy espousing the other side; active, and
jealous, in no ordinary degree, and kept his
son under his strict control; but both their
interests united, could not support King
George with half the efficiency that this
young and celebrated dame did the interests
of Prince Charles.
Peter Gow the smith actually went out
to the Castle-green after the old Chief was
gone, and danced for joy; and being told
who had instituted the suit, he blessed her
kind and lucky contrivance; but could not
help wishing to himself, with a sigh, that it
might come to good, being obtained solely by
a string of downright falsehoods. Hearing
that she was going to Inverness, he asked
leave of Lady Balmillo to accompany her;
but this she would in nowise grant, for fear
of the whigs entrapping him, which she
said was all that the old fox wanted when
he conferred such a benefit. Peter vowed
that no benefit on earth should ever make
him lift arms against his true and lawful
Prince, and the clans with whom he had
already fought and always to conquer.
And now, my party being all dispersed,
and the principal ones gone, or on their
way to Inverness, I must shift the scene for
a little to that city, and set out on a new
circle, starting a few days anterior to the
one which I here close.
THE Earl of Loudoun kept Inverness at
this time in a sort of blockade. He was an
active officious gentleman; and being eager
to obtain preferment, made a great buzz
and bustle, on the breaking out of the Highland
rebellion against the House of Hanover.
He raised a regiment mostly of eastern
Highlanders; and putting himself at
their head, joined issues with the celebrated
hero Sir John Cope, being constituted his
adjutant-general. But, unluckily, at the
battle of Tranent, he lost the whole regiment,
officers and men, excepting himself.
This was highly discouraging, and he took
it exceedingly ill; but being resolved to put
down the rebellion, nevertheless, as soon as
Prince Charles marched into England, he
took the contrary route, thinking he had got
enough of him for the present. Having
loaded a sloop with arms and money, he
sailed to the north — landed at Inverness;
and using all his interest with the whig
gentlemen in that quarter, he soon got together
an army of about two thousand four
hundred men. Remaining in that station,
he found means, by his activity, in a great
measure, to cut off all correspondence between
Charles and his northern adherents,
which, without doubt, proved highly injurious
to the cause of the Highlanders. He
had pickets established on all the roads,
both public and private; and no person
whatever, whether of the highest or lowest
rank, was suffered to pass without a signed
warrant. There were many Jacobites of high
rank in the city, chiefly ladies, and these
had meetings every night, devising means
of furthering the communication between
the different parties of their friends. These
dames were so well known to be trustworthy,
that whatever could be conveyed to
their hands was considered as perfectly safe;
and the means that they often contrived of
accomplishing their purposes, excited the
admiration of the Prince and his officers.
But whenever the Earl of Loudoun learned
that the clans were advancing north upon
him, his vigilance was increased threefold.
No pass-warrant was granted, southward in
particular, save to people employed by himself;
and those who attempted passing by
unfrequented tracks, were fired upon, and
numbers of Highlanders shot, and even
hanged up en suspicion, both on these and
on the highways. The Earl had intelligence
of the nocturnal meetings and contrivances
of these illustrious dames, but he
could not well use any more severe measures
with them than he had done. He,
however, looked well to their husbands, and
male relations, who durst scarcely so much
as be seen speaking to them.
The old Chief of the Clan-More had two
lovely daughters, who were both joined in
this Jacobite union. They had been bred
up by their mother in the principles of the
Catholic religion; and though she had been
removed from their head by death, they retained
still the higher reverence for all its
rites and doctrines; and looking to the
House of Stuart as the fathers and supporters
of that religion in Scotland, they
espoused the cause of that house, with an
enthusiasm that was only increased by opposition.
Their names were Sybil and Barbary;
and they had an aunt, and two cousins,
also of the party; so that all the females
of that house were on the one side of
politics, and the males on the other. The
letters from the north, from the Frazers,
Chisholms, and M'Kenzies, to the Prince
and his officers, accumulated on the hands
of our dauntless sisterhood, to the amount
of forty; and dreading that the ultimate
success of their great cause might hinge on
these letters, they became altogether impatient,
every one casting about for some opportunity
whereby to avail the whole. Some
great master-stroke of policy was meditated
by them all, conjunctly and severally; but
they were a party suspected, and closely
watched, and no one cared to engage with
Word arrived that the Prince, at the
head of the midland clans, had crossed the
heights of Athol; and that Lord Lewis
Gordon had come over the Spey with the
van of the eastern division. The bustle
and vigilance about Inverness were excessive.
Loudoun posted messenger after messenger
into Ross and Sutherland, to hasten
supplies of men; and boasted, that he would
cut the divisions of the Prince's army to
pieces, before their junction. Our club of
fair Jacobites were terribly incensed at him,
and longed exceedingly to dupe him. There
was a perfect freedom of intercourse within
the city, but no communication suffered
with those without it; every letter was opened
at the post-office that was not endorsed
by the Earl, or one of his commissioners;
and every messenger without a warrant was
stripped, searched, maltreated, and forced
to return.
Lady Sybil had two ardent admirers in
the town, but both of them had espoused
the side in opposition to hers, which made
her treat them both haughtily for the present.
The two young gentlemen were violent
opponents, and jealous of each other
in the extreme. Their families had been
at variance for ages, and the animosities
of former days were renewed between these
two in all their primitive rancour. It was
not wholly on Lady Sybil's account; for
they had quarrelled, and challenged each
other, at college; but by the interposition
of friends, the difference was made up. For
the sake of the families to whom they belonged,
who are both flourishing at this day,
I must content myself with giving their
Christian names only, — these were, Kenneth
and Hugh. On their return to the
north, to head, or support their kinsmen,
they came exactly in contact again. The
former paid his addresses first to Sybil,
when Hugh, perhaps partly out of rivalship,
immediately opposed him; and at all
their dancing parties, which were frequent,
appeared to be the favoured lover, although
in fact he was not, for she loved the other,
but out of levity, or some whim, appeared
always to be giving Hugh the preference;
thereby furnishing a strong instance of that
perilous propensity inherent in every woman's
breast, of which I would so fain warn
them to beware. A propensity to mislead
every person in all that relates to the state
of their affections.
One night she gave her hand reluctantly
to Hugh, after absolutely refusing it to
Kenneth at a country-dance. The blood
of the latter was boiling within him; and,
taking an opportunity of quarrelling with
the other about the precedency of places in
the dance, he whispered a word of defiance
in his ear once more. A second challenge
ensued; they fought, and Hugh wounded
and disarmed him. Sybil was exceedingly
offended with her favourite lover on account
of this; and to mortify him still farther for
his testy humour, she gave her countenance
the more to his successful rival, until at
length Kenneth was so much humbled that
she began to relent.
In the great extremity of the party,
therefore, she applied to him one night.
"Though you affect rather to shun my
company now, Captain Kenneth," said she;
"yet I feel I have more faith in you than
in any other. I am, therefore, going to ask
a particular favour of you, and you must
not refuse me. I am extremely anxious to
visit my sister-in-law at the Castle of Balmillo,
in order to be present at the entertainment
of some illustrious guests that are
there expected. But owing to my unfortunate
politics, and the jealousy of our governor,
I find it impossible to effect this.
What li'request of you is, that you will
procure a pass-warrant for yourself and servant
to visit your whig relations on Spey
side, and suffer me to accompany you, as
your page, as far as Balmillo."
"There will be some traitorous correspondence
in this case?" said he.
"Not a jot," replied she. "If you doubt
my testimony, and are suspicious of danger,
I will suffer any female friend of yours to
search me. Only lend me a habit, and suffer
me to ride in your company as far as the
Castle of Balmillo — that is the extent of
my request."
Kenneth hesitated, though with the most
determined resolution to comply. He was
just about to propose another, and a safer
course, but the high spirit of Lady Sybil
took the alarm. "I see you are not disposed
to oblige me in this," said she; "but
there is no harm done, as at all events I can
depend on your honour in never mentioning
the trivial request. I may perhaps find
some other who —
By the time she had proceeded thus far,
she had the handle of the door in her hand,
and was retiring with precipitation— "Lady
Sybil," said he, "I beseech you —" She
dropped a low courtesy, and shut the door.
Kenneth was so overcome with vexation,
that the whole party noted it, and rallied
him on an apparent quarrel with his mistress,
on exchanging only a word with her.
Having the charge of other two ladies of
the party, he could not get away in search
of her that night.The next morning, she
was not to be found by him; but before
dinner, he perceived, by looking into the
lists, that a warrant was granted to his
opponent to ride southward with a servant.

This was a conquest gained over him,
that his proud spirit could not bear, and of
which he had had it in his power to have
deprived him. He could not in honour discover
the plot to the governor, or his authorities;
but he resolved to frustrate it;
and it has always been suspected that he
also resolved to have revenge on his adversary,
who had now reduced him to a state
so low in his own estimation, that it was
no longer tolerable.
In spite of all the researches I have been
able to make, there is a blank in my narrative
here, that I found it impossible to
supply; but the following is perfectly authenticated;
that, in Captain Kenneth's
department, who commanded an extensive
division of the pickets that night, a rebel
spy was challenged and shot, and Kenneth
appeared at the office with forty traitorous
letters, which had been found in the villain's
custody, all of the most flagrant and
dangerous tendency. The news was over
the city by the break of day, to the joy of
the one party, and the utter dismay of the
other; though not a word was uttered by
any of the latter, save that they expressed
great wonder who the sufferer could have
been. The body was not forthcoming, which
was an unspeakable relief to the Jacobites.
The guards who slew him and rifled his
pockets, had pursued his attendant for ten
miles; but he had escaped in the dark;
and on their return, the body of the murdered
man had disappeared. A rule had
been made to leave the signed pass with
the officer of the outermost guard, that a
comparison of notes might be made the ensuing
day; and it might be made apparent,
that no unwarrantable use had been made
of the favour granted. Kenneth had not
the smallest doubt that it was his rival who
was shot, and rejoiced at the discovery that
it had not been done for nothing; but he
was sorry that his men had suffered the
lady to escape. Kenneth had not acted
fairly; and there is little doubt that he
had a few confidential clansmen out beyond
the established guard, to intercept his rival;
for when he came to the office next
day with the correspondence, fully convinced
that he had got rid of his opponent,
and that the letters would prove both
him and his house traitors, to his utter
surprise, Hugh was the very first man he
set his eyes on. Hugh came to the office
on hearing the news, as fully convinced
that it was Kenneth who had fallen; so
that it may be conceived with what startled
surprise the two encountered each other.
Hugh's pass-warrant had been used, and
was regularly returned from the outermost
guard; but there was Hugh, who had not
used it. Here was a dilemma apparently
inexplicable, and suspicions were turned on
Hugh; but the long and steady adherence
of his family and name to the Protestant
succession, soon quelled these, though Kenneth
did not scruple avowedly to foment
them. There was scarcely a doubt that
this traitorous correspondence, which made
a grievous business to many families, had
been attempted to be forwarded under the
sanction of Hugh's pass; and the only account
of the matter that he ever gave, was,
that it was stolen from him, which, after all,
was scarcely probable. Wiled from him it
had been by some means; for he believed it
had been given to Kenneth, whose family
principles were but at the best highly dubious,
and that he had suffered for his temerity,
and for supplanting him in the favour
and confidence of his mistress. However,
both the gentlemen were there safe;
the lady only was missing; and as they
were assured in their own minds that she
had made her escape, both of them had the
honour never to mention the circumstance
of her application. There the matter rested,
and farther none of them knew. The
life of a man, or the lives of half a dozen
men, were very little accounted of at that
day, and none cared to investigate the matter
But the spirit of investigation soon sprung
up in another quarter. The midnight interment
in the church-yard of Balmillo, and
the guards still kept stationed there day and
night, confirmed Lady Balmillo that a part
of the Prince's intercepted treasure had been
there concealed; for, improbable as such a
circumstance certainly was, she could perceive
no other motive for such a singular
proceeding. Therefore, on the very day that
the rest of the party went to Inverness, she
sent Peter Gow, with two or three rustics,
to challenge the guards at the church, and
order them out of her country. He went
accordingly, and said his message, telling
them that his lady suspected them for whig
spies, and that, if they were not out of her
country in three hours, he had orders to seize
them, and carry them to the Prince's head.
quarters at Ruthven. The men said they
had orders from the old Chief to watch there
day and night, till relieved by others, but
to meddle with no person, except such as
attempted to violate the sepulchres of the
Clan-More. Peter said the old man was a
very good man, and he was greatly obliged
to him; but he was not master there for the
present, and so it behoved them to pack up
and be going. The men were obliged to
comply; and, as soon as they were fairly
gone, Peter and his associates, as they had
been commanded, opened the new grave,
and, to the horror of all present, found the
body of Lady Sybil lying wrapped in a
bloody sheet, with the wounds still green
and oozing, two balls having passed through
her elegant and lovely frame. Lady Balmillo
was instantly seized with the idea that
she had been put down by her father's house
for her violent attachment to the religion of
her fathers, and the regal rights of the
Stuarts, and her spirit revolted from the family
of her most sacred connexion. Lady
Balmillo was wrong; but that some deed of
darkness had been committed was manifest.
From the short outline of the facts here
given, almost a true inference may be made
out; but I pretend not to illustrate it farther,
giving it merely as a lamentable instance
of the effects of equivocation, from
which the most superior class of the sex
cannot refrain.
THE chain of events now seemed leading
to some great and tremendous crisis. Every
day came fraught with new accounts of rapid
and unexpected movements, skirmishes,
and sieges. The Highland army lay in
small bodies, from the one sea to the other,
and all of them engaged in some adventurous
exploit. The Clan-Ronald, Camerons,
and Appin-Stuarts, lay in Lochaber, beleaguering
Fort-William. The Clan-More
had surprised and defeated two parties of
the King's troops in Athol and Rannoch,
both on the same morning, taking the most
of them prisoners. Colonel Roy Stewart
did the same at Keith; and in Strathbogie,
the Gordons, Ogilvies, and Farquharsons,
lay so near the King's dragoons,
that they were seldom above a mile
separated every night, and their out-parties
were constantly firing at each other,
by way of salutation. It was a time of
the utmost interest to all concerned, and
to none more than Lady Balmillo, who
was threatened with fire and foray by the
Earl of Loudoun on the one hand, and by
the Grants on the other; and, though encouraged
by frequent messages from Prince
Charles, all of the most cheering nature,
she began to be in some dismay; for Lord
Loudoun boasted aloud, before all his officers,
that, before the 20th of the month, he would.
shew them the mock-Prince, in the town of
Inverness, either dead or alive.
On the evening of the day that the body
of Lady Sybil was dug up and inspected,
who should arrive at the Castle of Balmillo,
but Prince Charles himself, accompanied only
by Cluny, Colonel M'Gillavry, Sullivan, two
French gentlemen, and five troopers of the
Clan-More, as their guards? So privately
had they advanced, that the lady knew not
of their approach, until they alighted at the
gate, nor indeed, it may almost be said, until
Prince Charles had her in his arms. The
pride, the joy, and the happiness of Lady
Balmillo, were now at their height, for she
perfectly adored the young Adventurer, looking
on him as a model of all that was amiable,
brave, and illustrious among mankind,
But, in expressing her affection for him, she
could find no other terms so ready, as in venting
her indignation against his enemies,
which she did with an enthusiasm and regret,
that absolutely brought tears into the
Prince's eyes. — "O my brave and most benign
liege Prince!" said she, "how I do
blush for my countrymen! If it had not
been for the perversity of a few leading individuals,
who choose never to side with the
majority of the Chiefs in any one object, the
British crown would ere this have encircled
your brow, as your father's representative,
and not a tongue would have dared to wag
in dissent! But those who have thwarted
your efforts in obtaining your own, will meet
their reward some day! If Duncan Forbes
of Culloden, and his race, do not rue what
he has done for the cause of a usurper — if
he or they meet with aught but ingratitude
and neglect, for efforts such as never were
made by a single and private individual, —
then is the nature of the German changed,
and good may come out of evil! If the
Campbells, and the M'Donalds of Skye, continue
to thrive in this world, the hand of
Heaven is reversed, and men may exult in
their disloyalty and wickedness! As for my
own husband, you must pardon him, my
liege, for what his weaker half has done for
your interest — Would to God she could
have done as much again! But she will yet
do more, if her vengeance is suffered to have
its full sway!"
"I vow to you that it shall, my charming
and esteemed friend," said he; "and
that mine shall keep pace with it in its highest
efforts of chivalry and devotion to a
cause, which, if I had not deemed it a just
one, never should have been undertaken by
me. Though a few friends have proved false
to me, I cannot believe that it is from the
purpose of their hearts, but that they are
swayed by some cunning and interested
counsels. If in due time they should shake
themselves free of such encumbrances, and
return to their ancient loyalty, how joyfully
will I forgive them! I have been obliged
to return to you and the North, my lady,
for two overpowering reasons, neither of
which are in the least akin to despondency,
although my enemies are industrious in circulating
such an insinuation. The first of
them was, the distrust that my brave clans
had of the English, which I was sorry, in
the course of my progress through that
country, to see more and more confirmed;
the second was, the having left the estates
of my adherents and followers exposed to
ravage at home. The Campbells were laying
Appin and Lochaber waste; the men
of Strathbogie, and the Grants, were sacking
all around them; and here is this John
Campbell, styled Earl of Loudoun, come blustering
into the very midst of my adherents,
and threatening to leave us neither root nor
branch. I have never once faced the Elector
of Hanover's forces that I have not driven
them from the field like sheep, and cut them
down with as much ease; and therefore, because
I have returned to the mountains, and
the homes of my true friends, to protect them
from insult, I hope I shall not be the less
esteemed, or the less welcome to the flower
of female heroism, loyalty, and beauty."
"I had much need of some to protect me,
my liege," returned she; "for I was, in truth,
left almost defenceless in the midst of powerful
enemies; but, for your sake, I rejoiced
in my jeopardy, and had determined to retire
to the wastes and fastnesses of the forest
with the remainder of my clan, and
dwell among the ptarmigans, rather than
succumb, in word or deed, to your insulting
foes. But, now that I see your Royal Highness
again, with all your clans at your back,
unbroken and unconquered, I feel as if I
were Empress of the North, and this slender
arm had the wielding of the energy of a
"Thanks to my first protecting angel of
the human race!" said he. "I take this opportunity,
my dear lady, before your own
kinsmen, and these, my friends, of acknowledging
my great obligations to you, and of
thanking you, in my father's name and my
own, for your most potent and efficient support.
I acknowledge that, of all the chiefs
and nobles of the land, — and many of them
have done much, — none has sent me such
a body of men, either in numbers or in power,
as your ladyship; and, opposed as you have
been by your husband and his powerful
friends, I regard the supply as a prodigy.
And now, here is a necklace, that was presented
to me by a lady abbess, with injunctions
to bestow it, with her blessing, on the
lady in Scotland whom I held in the highest
esteem— I bestow it here, and request
leave to lock it about that comely neck. I
also accompany it with this inestimable gift
of his High Holiness. — In this gold box is
contained an absolution of all transgressions,
to that lady of Scotland who shall effect
most for the true and righteous cause and
line of succession."
"Pray, may I be so free as ask your
Royal Highness if the sins to come are included?"
said Sullivan.
"Wherefore that query, my lord?" returned
the Prince.
"I merely wanted to know, your Highness,
if his Holiness had the foresight and
the precaution to add a concomitant so necessary.
Should the heirs of Balmillo ever
more rise against your house, it strikes me
that the dye of their crime may be ten times
deeper than that of the present lord."
"That is a little French breeding, my
lady," said Charles. — "If you colour for
every flippant jest of his, the blush will never
be off your cheek."
"Oo, de bloosh!" said De Lancey, one of
the Frenchmen — "dat is de very ting dat I
do love to see! — De bloosh! — It is so very
pritty — it be so like de roz — Pritty flower
dat same roz, mi ladi? — Eh? — Oo, I do love
de bloosh wit my soul!"
"But, farther than all this, my lady,"
added the Prince, "that I may not be ungrateful
for such support as yours, I hereby
promise to grant you your first request, whatever
it may be, if in my power to bestow."
"I take you at your word, my liege — it
shall soon be asked. I request that, at the
head of my clan, you will advance upon Inverness,
and beat that braggart John Campbell,
with his constellation of Whigs about
him, to a ninny. — If you take him, I shall
request the keeping of him for a season
but, as he is likely to take care of that, and
run, then I pray that you will chase him
like a dog with a canister at his tail, till
he either run himself into the sea, or burrow
in the earth."
"It is granted, my lady. I have fifteen
hundred followers, who claim you as their
head — If, with these alone, I beat not my
Lord Loudoun and his huge army to powder,
I give you leave to desert me, and that is
the last grant I would deign to make."
"Oh, how I would like to lead the van,
and see such a triumph! To bleed — to suffer,
in a cause so honourable! Had it pleased
Heaven to have cast this slender mould
of mine in that of a sterner sex, my first
vengeance should have fallen on the heads
of my ungrateful countrymen. Accursed
be the hand that deserts the glaive, when
called to support the rights of an injured
Sovereign! The dastardly behaviour of the
"Hold, hold, my dear lady! — I cannot
hear a word spoken against the English. I
know England is hearty in my cause, because
I know it is impossible she can be
otherwise — A sense of justice must dictate
it. She cannot for a moment doubt that
the crown of these realms belongs to me and
my father's house; and to visit the errors
of the fathers upon the children is incompatible
with the rectitude of the English
character. England must be faithful to me;
but then she must have her own way; she
must do all herself, else she will do nothing.
She was jealous of the clans for taking the
lead in a restoration, which, of all things,
she had most at heart, and therefore, for
the present, she kept aloof; but I will never
believe that England can entertain a resolution
so ungenerous as to exclude me for
ever from the heritage of my fathers. — Their
grievous errors were no faults of mine — their
children have undergone a hard penance for
these; and the school of adversity is the
school of reform. — But enough of this. Tell
me when this engagement of mine is expected
to be ratified by its fulfilment?"
"As soon as the troops can advance to
action. Ah, my liege Prince! you little
know the tyranny that he is exercising here
among those attached to your interest. There
is no insult or damage in his power to inflict,
from which we are exempted. Oh, for the
sake of honest men's and women's noses, let
the badger be ferreted out of his stronghold!
To see that parasite of a foreign lout
humbled, would I lay down my titles and
lineage, which few hold at a higher estimate!"

"Gramercy!" exclaimed the Prince —
"Often have I blamed my brave chiefs for
their precipitance, and counsels that breathed
nothing but battle and blood; but
could I have weened, in the loveliest of their
dames, to find them all outdone?"
"Oo! she be de very diable and all,
my liege Prince!" cried De Lancey, holding
up his hands, and making a languishing
congée. — "Dat beautiful madame — vat
would one tink she be? — Eh? — Mh? —
De very cream of de gentle! — De soul of
meek! — Eh? — Mh? — All love! all sweet!
all kind! — Eh? — Eh? — Oo! Got is my
life! — De very brand of de fire! — de very
dragon of de destruct! — Oo! do beware, my
Prince! — do beware! You cannot take fire
into your bosom, and not be burned! — Noo,
noo, you cannot! Oo! she be de very devil!
Ah! ah! oo! oo!"
Forthwith it was resolved, that, as soon
as a detachment of the Clan-More could be
marched forward, the Prince should put
himself at their head, and attack the Earl
of Loudoun, either in the town or the field,
where he most listed to meet the encounter.
An express was hurried of to Badenoch
and Athol, to expedite the march of the
troops; and while the small party of adventurers
enjoyed the hospitality of Lady Balmillo,
many rapid and sweeping campaigns
were finally determined on, all proposed
and urged by their meteor hostess. The
Prince often gazed in utter amazement at
her great beauty, and the ebullition of her
wild and untamable vengeance against his
enemies. The rest of the gentlemen listened
in silence, except De Lancey, who now
and then threw his head to one side as if in
utter despair, held up his hands, and exclaimed,
"She be de very devil!"
But, alas! how much is often destined
to fall out between the cup and the lip!
While the attack on the Earl of Loudoun
was a-settling in the Castle of Balmillo, with
many subsequent victories, movements, and
surprises, the Earl was in the very act of
preparation for an equally potent attack
on the Castle of Balmillo itself — certain
of taking it with all that it contained, and
thereby establishing his name and his fortune,
never more to be shaken.
Nothing was ever better devised, or more
promptly set about. Charles having travelled
through a friendly country, and in the
most private manner imaginable, had not
the least anticipation that his route was
known to any one. None of his own officers
knew of it except the Duke of Perth
alone, for Lord Murray was then absent al
Blair; and yet, for all that, Loudoun was
certainly informed of his purpose before he
set out, and knew within an hour of the
time when he would arrive at the Castle of
This piece of fortunate intelligence was
conveyed to him by a peasant of the name
of Grant, who contrived to obtain information
of Charles's most privy councils, and
even had wit of what passed in his bed--
chamber, all the while his head-quarter
were at Ruthven. There is no man can
calculate on what these Highlanders will
do to serve one another. The chief of this
hind's family was Grant of Rothiemurchus
who being at that time governor of the Castle
of Inverness under King George, his
people at home in Badenoch were all on
the look-out for some opportunity of being
serviceable to their master. Among others,
this peasant sent his daughter to offer her
services to the Prince and his officers, and
she being a remarkably pretty girl, her services
were at once accepted, — the man thus
exposing his child almost to certain loss of
virtue for the purpose of serving his laird.
He did serve the cause in a most prompt
and effectual manner, for there were messages
sent every day by word of mouth,
carried from one to another, in the same
way that the fiery cross was carried, almost
with telegraphic despatch.
The Earl of Loudoun had now a sure and
safe game to play. He laid an embargo on
all within the city; and no person, however
high his rank or great his express, was suffered
to pass either south or north. A muster
was made of the troops, and two thousand
men, completely armed, were drawn
out of the city, and placed in files around
it, with orders to stand to their arms, and
be ready to march at a moment's warning.
In the meantime, the minister, and his
maid, and daft Davie Duff, were all detained
in Inverness, not being able to procure
permission to return home. Well
would Sally have liked had they been detained
a week or two longer, for it proved
a time of great gaiety to her. She was run
after and courted both by officers and men,
and got her natural propensity to lying indulged
in with the most delightful licence.
The minister's heart was roasted on burning
coals of juniper from the moment that he
entered the city. When he saw his admired
Sarah dressed out like a lady, with a silk
mantle, gipsy hat and plumes, and so forth,
and an object of general admiration, he could
no longer contain his jealousy, but followed
her, calling her always to him, and repriamanding
her at every turn. — "Sarah, I say
come hither, Sarah; come this way a little,
Sarah. Where are you proceeding to, linked
arm in arm with that young gentleman?"

"Oo, that's just a cousin o' mine, sir,
that I haena seen for a long while."
"Sarah, — what are you saying, Sarah?
Are the Munroes of Foulis your cousins,
"Oo, I daresay they ir, sir. — That young
chield that's waiting is my cousin, ony how.
I maun away til him."
"Sarah, are you mad, Sarah? I hope not
absolutely so. Think you there is no danger
to your honour or virtue even from a cousin?"

"Oo, I dinna think it, sir. He's a married
man yon."
"Sarah, what do you say, Sarah? He is
no more married than I am. I know the
gentleman perfectly well, and if he be your
cousin, you are very well connected, Sarah."
"Hout ay, gayan weel connected, sir. —
He's maybe no the man he said to me he
was after a', an that be the gate o't. I maun
away an' see about that."
"Sarah, I will discharge you from my
household, Sarah, if you attempt going any
such way. Whither are you going with him,
do you know?"
"I dinna ken where he wants me to
gang. I fancy we're gaun away to get a dram
au' a crack thegither; that's just a'."
"You are on the broad way, Sarah — on
the broad way that leadeth to destruction.
Remember you are my hired servant; and
though I intend raising you to rank and
high respect, I will not suffer you to go
away with that young officer. I dislike his
look exceedingly."
Aih, how can ye say that, maister?
think I never saw as gude a looking young
gentleman i' my life."
"Ah, but your virtue would be very unsafe
with him, Sarah; your virtue would be
very unsafe with him."
"Nae fear o't, sir; we's let it take its
chance. Ye're aye sae feared for my virtue,
I wonder what you are gaun to do wi't!"
"Come with me, Sarah; I have some
few things to buy for the house, which you
must take charge of."
Sally cast a regretful glance to her gay
spark, and was obliged to follow her master.
Young Munro cursed the old jealous put,
and swore revenge on him; but Sally had
not followed the minister far till she perceived
Davie Duff making signs to her. —
"Ah, yonder's poor Davie, I maun away
speak to him," said she, and flew from her
protector ere he had time to stop her, although
he kept calling, "Sarah! Sarah!"
and waving his finger for her to return.
"You pe fery sore wanted at a house up
te town," said Davie; "and her must pe
going to it, for te whowle world tepends
upon hit. Shall I pe leading you after her
to te place?"
"Dear guide us, what can it be, Davie?
I canna win wi' ye just now, for the minister
has something ado wi' me, an' winna part
wi' me a minute out o' his sight."
"Och! she woult not pe kiffing te fery
littlest tamn of Cot for tat peer pody! She
pe fery pad man— wanted peer Tavie's head
cut from, or to have her hanged down!—
No, no! nefer pe you heeding te praiching
sinner, but come away to him great ladies,
for te lhifes of all te people tepend on your
going tere; and Lady Palmillo's lhife, and
your own lhife, and Peter Gow's lhife, and
te whowle Clan-More will pe cutted through,
unless you go to them without any stand
While Sally and Davie were communing
together, the minister kept walking on in a
lingering way, waiting for her. But at the
same time she was descried by the two men
who had been left as guards on the churchyard;
and she having treated them so kindly,
they made up to her, in order to proffer
her some attention and kindness in return.
It will be remembered that Donald, the
younger of the two, pretended to be passionately
in love with Sally. He was greatly
struck with her liveliness and beauty, it
being scarcely possible to be otherwise, and
longed exceedingly to oblige her.— "Come
you alhong wit mhe, Mustress Mòr Gilnaomh,"
said he, hauling her by the hand,
"and hersel will pe kiffing you te very
grhandest entertain; for yhou pe te vhery
kind and te vhery prhetty mhaiten."
"Oh, you may say so indheed," said Davie;
"Mustress Sally was not a pad child,
but she pe very mooch getter of peing te
wife of a mhan."
"Ooh, and fat ten?— Tat is te very ting
I was going to pe spaiking abhout," said
Donald; "hersel pe very great far ghone
in lhove, and tat is te Cot's true of te mhatter.
Come Along, come alhong, ponny
Mustress Sally — we shall mhump te munister
for once."
Sally was giggling, and suffering herself
to be dragged along; but, just as her admirer
pronounced these last words, the minister
seized her by the arm, and struck
Donald across the neck with his cane. The
poor parson's patience was exhausted, for
his mistress was like to be dragged away
from under his nose; and fain would he
have had her locked up, or some way restrained,
while she remained in town. He
carried her off with him once more, venting
many complaints of her levity and heedlessness
of all decorum, which Sally took all in
good part, but not with the least intention
of guarding against these failings in future.
The spark Monro, in order to have his
joke, and to get quit of the minister's interference
with him in his amours with his
maid, had by this time assembled a few of
his associates, some of whom were cadets of
the Clan-More family, and knew all the
story of the minister and his maid, and for
what he was charged to appear at Inverness.
They knew too that the murder of
Mr Henning had been confessed, and all
explained; but the minister did not know
that, expecting still that Gow the smith
was certain of suffering for it. King George's
officers at that time did just what they pleased
— there was none to restrain them; so
five of them formed themselves into a military
commission, as they called it, to take
cognizance of the murder of one of the
King's true liegemen. Accordingly, they
sent out two of their servants, who took the
minister prisoner, and brought him before
their tribunal; and, having all their proof
ready at hand, they made out the minister's
case to be one of the worst imaginable, and
ordered him into confinement till the matter
should be farther elucidated. The judge
said he knew it was incumbent on him, from
the evidence produced, to order him to prison;
but, out of respect to holy orders, he
would content himself with having him
locked up in an apartment of the inn; and,
at the same time, he would order an armed
guard to wait at the door. Thus was the
poor minister left in limbo, and two of the
young rogues went straight away in search
of his pretty mistress.
But she was taken up before that time,
and introduced to the forementioned club
of Jacobite dames, many of whom were of
the first rank of any in Scotland. The old
chief of the Clan-More, (who was acting a
sort of double part all the while, as almost
all old men did about that period,) getting
intelligence of the Earl's intent, and
unwilling that such a catastrophe should
take place in his own country, and under
the roof that had so long been his own, and
was only yielded up in courtesy to his son
on his marriage, contented himself with getting
the intelligence conveyed privately to
those ladies, the Prince's friends, knowing
that, if human ingenuity could devise a plan
of sending a message, they would find out
one. They were thrown into the most dreadful
consternation. The hopes of their whole
party, so long and so fondly cherished, depended
on the frustration of the Earl's plan.
Without a warning voice, the Prince would,
to a certainty, be taken. But how was that
warning voice to be conveyed? — O for a
bird of the air to carry the message! The
fate of their last important message had been
grievous to many of their best friends, and
the mysterious absence of their adventurous
companion, Lady Sybil, of whom they had
as yet heard nothing, discouraged them fearfully;
but, hearing that the minister's man
and maid of Balmillo were both in town,
they conceived there was a possibility that
one or both of them might get a permission
to return home, particularly as they were
both whigs, and serving a whig master.
They sent first for Davie, then for Sally,
and proffered either of them a hundred guineas
who would carry a message to Balmillo.
Sally did not seem at first disposed
to leave town; but, being told that a whole
army was going out by night to take Lady
Balmillo, and murder all her retainers, every
one, Sally's fears caught the alarm for Peter
Gow the smith, and his old father and mother.
She had never confessed either to
Peter or her own heart that she loved him,
but she could not think to have him and
his parents murdered in cold blood, and at
once thought that it behoved her to make
an effort to save him. Besides, Sally was
of a singularly obliging disposition. When
she saw either man or woman deeply intent
on anything, she scarcely had the heart to
refuse her assistance, when it could avail
aught. So she at once undertook to make
a fair trial. Davie did the same, and the
party had some hope that his simplicity
might carry him through. Sally went instantly
and applied to her new lover, Donald,
telling him she was under the necessity
of being home, and, if he would conduct
her through the troops, she would never
forget him, and would repay him in a way
that he would like. He told her it was
impossible, for even Lady Sutherland (whom
he took to be the greatest woman in the
world) would not be suffered to pass out of
town that night. But Donald was proud
of the confidence reposed in him, and promised
to do all he could, as he knew she
was no Jacobite, but a true whig like himself,
and could not be on any traitorous
business. Donald took the only method by
which the best chance of success was possible.
He knew all the ground in the environs
of the town well, and after it was dark
he conveyed her up, by concealed ways, to
a little garden close on the line of troops,
and there he wrapped her in his plaid, and
the two squatted close to the earth, and
waited the first movement of the columns.
I have been on the very spot where the
two waited; it was a little garden about
twenty yards west from the road, and within
a short musket-shot of a long plantation
of dark pines. It being on the 16th of February,
daylight vanished about six o'clock;
but it was moon-light, although the sky
was dark and cloudy, and it was not till
half an hour past seven that the column
of troops next to the road was put silently
in motion. Sally and her anxious guide
had just that moment and no other for making
their escape; namely, while the second
column was a-forming to follow the
first. Donald covered her with his plaid,
and generously keeping himself between her
and the soldiers, whose faces were toward
them, for fear of shots being fired, the two
ran toward the wood, which they soon reached.
They were, however, discovered and pursued,
but, Donald's plaid and body keeping
her from their view, they took them for one
person. Accordingly, Donald suffered himself
to be overtaken on the verge of the
planting, standing still when challenged;
but, in the meantime, he had let Sally slip,
who bounded like a roe through the wood;
and, he having stopped when called to, and
being known by some present, suspicion
was entirely lulled. It was only by the
greatest exertion, that Sally could make so
far a-head of the troops as to venture on
the high road, which she at length effected.
and never stopped running till she was in
the smithy of Peter Gow the smith, who
was busy, even at that late hour, repairing
arms. She hardly had power to tell him,
that Lord Loudoun was on the march with
the whole army at Inverness, to surprise the
Castle of Balmillo. "He had better have
staid at home," said Peter; "I shall make
him scamper faster back than he is coming
Peter conducted Sally to his mother, and
with all expedition set about the defence of
his lady, and her illustrious guests, who sat
still enjoying themselves, all unconscious of
the imminent danger that awaited them.
Peter's smithy was full of arms of every description,
but all the force he could raise in
the village was eleven old men, of whom
his own father was one, and Peter himself,
who was commander-in-chief, and armed
with the long Armada gun, made the twelfth.
Some say he apprized Lady Balmillo and
the Prince of their danger; but, in the traditionary
tale, there is no allusion made to
this, and I believe he did not, which was a
piece of rash and wild imprudence, which
none but a Highland deer-stalker would
have been guilty of.
Peter hasted along the road with his
army, consisting of eleven old stern and
loyal Jacobites, against 1500 whigs, well
armed and marshalled, with the redoubted
Earl of Loudoun at their head. But our
small party did not reach the narrow pass
they intended occupying till they heard the
army approaching, on which they placed
themselves, by Peter's direction, behind
bushes on each side of the road, six being
above the road, and six below it, all at considerable
distances; and he himself stood
on the upper side next to the Castle — none
were to fire until he gave the word of command,
and fired first himself; and then they
were to commence a running fire at considerable
intervals, not above one or two shots
to be fired at a time.
Accordingly, our grimy general suffered
Lord Loudoun's troop of cavalry to advance
right between his own two potent lines, till
the front rank reached the place where he
stood, on which he called out in a tremendous
voice, "Eisd, eisd! Gairm air neach.
Here are the dogs coming, in faith, for our
Prince. Let the M'Donnells of Glengarry
close in on the left, and the Mackintoshes
on the right. No quarter." With that he
fired the Spaniard; and at the same time
one of the old fellows in the other extremity
of the line sounded a long and sonorous
note on an ox's horn, which in the hurry he
had taken with him to use as a trumpet.
Peter's first shot killed Lord Loudoun's
trumpeter, and wounded a gentleman's horse.
Then was there a regular fire commenced
along Peter's whole cordon; but there was
no occasion for it; the panic had seized on
the army with all effect altogether inconceivable.
That their grand plan of operations
had been discovered was manifest, and
they had no doubt that they were enclosed
between two bodies of the clans, and that
their retreat would be cut off. The front columns
wheeled and rushed back in their flight
on those that were still advancing, and knew
nothing of the discomfiture in front, with
such impetuosity, that the confusion and
rout became altogether dreadful; they trampled
each other down in whole files, while
the road was encumbered with the wounded
and maimed, and arms lying scattered
in confusion. It was a singular circumstance,
but a well-authenticated fact, that Lord
Loudoun's army never knew but that the
M'Donnells of Glengarry and the Mackintoshes
were among them, and slashing them
down in whole companies, till they reached
the streets of Inverness, when the devil
an enemy was to be seen, and no man
could say that he had ever seen one. Certainly
there is not such another rout on record;
and many noblemen and gentlemen,
who were unfortunately involved in it, declared
till their dying days, that, of all the
perils and confusions they had ever been in,
that flight excelled.
The fruits of this victory to Peter and
his aged associates, were about 1000 excellent
muskets, with bayonets, and 13,000
cartridges, with other arms of various sorts,
all of which they sold to the Prince's army.
Peter got some valuable presents from the
Prince and his officers beside, and liberal
promises of advancement in future; for all
admired, but, at the same time, blamed, his
temerity: they said, what was true, that
for a country blacksmith, with eleven old
men, to go deliberately out to the broad
highway, and encounter upwards of 1500
regular troops, all well armed and appointed,
was what no other man would have
thought of whom they had ever known, unless
it had been a madman; and that the
brilliancy of his success could only be accounted
for by ascribing it, where justly
due, to the protecting hand of Heaven.
When the Prince desired to see the young
woman to whom he owed his life, and was
told she was so ill she could not be removed
from the cottage at which she had first
arrived, by reason of the severe fatigue she
had undergone, he went to the smith's cabin
and saw her, took her hand in his, and
said many kind and courteous things to her.
Among others, that, "since she had set her
life on a throw, where so many chances were
against her, in order to save an unfortunate
Prince from the hands of his cruel and
bloodthirsty enemies, assuredly the blessing
of Heaven would rest on her and hers, for
which he had already prayed, and ever
would, while he had existence. His enemies,"
he added, "had set a higher price
on his life than it appeared to be worth,
either to himself or his friends; but, however
low it might be estimated at present,
he was sure future ages would bless the memory
of her who had preserved from surprise,
and an ignominious death, the true
heir to the British Crown. That any remuneration
he could, in his present circumstances,
offer her, was wholly inadequate as
a recompence for the generous deed she
had done; but he begged that, for his sake,
she would accept of a small memorial of his
respect." He then took her in his arms,
and saluted her, blessing her at the same
time, and putting into her hand a small
velvet purse, richly and curiously wrought
with silver, and filled with French gold, to
the amount of £43:9:6d. I have had
that purse in my possession, and was offered
it altogether for a small sum. It is covered
with fleurs-de-lis of silver, and evidently
is the work of some of the inmates of a
French convent.
The Lady of Balmillo was so overjoyed
at the notable overthrow of the Earl of Loudoun,
achieved by her blacksmith, that
she actually shed tears of triumph over her
adversary, made some more liberal grants
to Peter Gow, and a present of a handsome
Turkish gun, gold mounted; and, her own
clan arriving that day at the Castle, followed
by all those that came through Athol, she
mounted on horseback, at the side of Prince
Charles, and reviewed them. A more engaging
object than Lady Balmillo that day
could scarcely be conceived, for she was the
flower of all the North. Her jacket, skirt,
and plaid, were all of the tartan of her clan;
her bonnet was of blue velvet, ornamented
with her ancient family crest in jewels, and
loaden with plumes. She rode a tall, slender
steed, that curvetted and played most beautifully;
yet, all the time of the review, she
guided him solely with her left hand, holding
a naked sword in her right. For all the
chieftain pride that was there that day, she
was the point of attraction, to which every
eye was turned. Though few more than the
one half of the army had arrived, never was
there such a beautiful sight seen on the
lands of Balmillo, and long may it be ere
such a one be seen again!
After the review, Prince Charles and his
hostess retired into a window of the Castle,
and all the troops passed under it, every
clan by itself, bearing its own colours, and
headed by its own chief, whose hereditary
bagpipers passed before him, playing the
favourite pibrochs and gathering marches
of each clan. Alexander Gordon, chaplain
to the French troops, accompanied Prince
Charles and Lady Balmillo into the Castle,
at their joint request, to take a note of the
numbers of each clan as they passed by.
He sat in a window by himself, so near to
the other two, that he heard every word
that was spoken; and, from his jot-book,
the following notes are taken, the numbers
of the regiments, and names of the leaders,
being always on the one page, and the dialogues
concerning them on the other.
The Clan-More passed first that day, in
honour of her to whose hospitality they were
so much indebted, and who had done and
suffered so much for the Prince's interest.
Well were they entitled to rank first, and
to have the distinguished appellation of the
Clan-More bestowed on them, if they were
indeed all of the same clan, which appears
to me a little dubious. Those who are versed
in such matters will be able to detect
the error, if such there is; but there seems
to be no doubt that Lady Balmillo claimed
for her family the chieftainship of the whole,
as they are thus marked in Gordon's list: —
The Clan-More — four regiments. The first
led by the celebrated Donald M'Gillavry,
consisting of 400 singularly well formed,
armed, and accoutred Highlanders, all clothed
in one tartan.
The second led by Colonel M'Pherson
of Cluny, and consisting also of 400 men,
less of stature, and clothed in a different
The third commanded by Colonel Allan
Farquharson, consisted of 300 men, of a
complexion, dialect, and uniform different
from either of the other two.
The last, and the largest corps, was led
by John Roy Stuart. It was a motley
group, and consisted of seven or eight
ferent tribes, as appeared by their tartans,
but, it seems, all united in one. There were
570 of them.
"Well may you be a proud dame to-day,
my dear Lady Balmillo!" said Charles;
"and well may I be proud of such a lovely,
a faithful, and a powerful adherent! If it
shall please God to place me on the throne
of my fathers, my supporters now shall be
placed next to it, and be my supporters
still. And I know well who deserves the
first place. The first of these regiments
that passed by is a body of men not to be
equalled; and, as their leader served all his
life under the old veteran Borlam, I will
engage that that regiment shall drive from
the field, or cut in pieces, three times its
number of any troops serving under the
Elector of Hanover."
"I am sure they will, your Royal Highness,"
said she: "I will likewise engage
that they shall do so; for how can the dogs
of an usurper fight! — Mother of our Lord!
how dare they lift their sacrilegious paws
against the true anointed of thy Son!"
When De Lancey, who was standing
at the wall below the window, heard this
vehement exclamation, he held up both his
hands, and shrugged his shoulders. "Oh,
Moder of Gott!! fat is dat dat I do hear? —
Noting but de treaten, and de venshong,
and de blaspheme! Oh, she be de very
diable and all, dat same Madame Balmuloo!"
"Who is that haughty chief that approaches
next, my liege, who moves as if
indignant of walking on the face of the
earth — he with the eagle's plumes, and
the tremendous falchion?"
"That is my staunch friend, and my father's
friend, madam, the Laird of Glengarry.
Would to God the M'Donells had
all been as sterling and as trusty as he!
He is a hero in the field, bold as a lion, but
turbulent in counsel, and jealous of his
claims, and of my favours, to an extreme
that has given me much uneasiness. You
see that he heads 300 clansmen himself,
and his son, who follows him, 300 more.
Glengarry is no mean feather in his Prince's
bonnet. These savage-looking fellows of
his behaved themselves nobly at the battle
of Clifton, for the whole brunt of the attack
fell upon them. See, here comes another
corps of M'Donells. Look there. madam.
— there goes a chieftain at their head, who
has neither lands nor rents, and who yet
keeps an hundred fighting men in his hall,
all the year round. But that is not all; in
a strait, he can bring 400 to the field. I
acknowledge the matter to be above my
comprehension. He is, nevertheless, a gallant
warrior, and true to our house."
"Then do I love and respect him, my
Prince, and he is welcome here; his loyalty
to you cancels all heartburnings between us.
But I know him well; he has long been a
troublesome tenant of ours, for of our house
he holds the greater part of his extensive
domains; and, in place of doing us homage
for them, he has often been our greatest adversary;
I never, however, weened that his
men could have been so well accoutred."
"Had you seen them, my lady, when
they first joined me at the head of LochLochy!
— then, the famed regiment of Sir
John Falstaff was nothing to them! —
There were not above twenty muskets in
the whole corps, nor, I think, above twelve
bonnets; their faces were of a deep copper--
colour, by reason of the sun-burning; their
hair weather-beaten, and standing out in
tufts like those on a wild boar's mane; and
their heads generally bare, except that a
few of them had their matted locks snooded
up with red garters; some good rusty broadswords
there were in the regiment, and that
was all, for the greater part of the men were
absolutely half naked. And yet, how do
you think the fellows came to me? — They
came, positively, with two whole companies
of the Royal Scots, prisoners of war. They
had encountered them, by chance, with Captain
Caroline Scott at their head, on their
march to take possession of Fort-William;
so, without more ado, the men of Keppoch
set on them, and, having killed several, and
wounded their captain, and a number beside,
they took all the survivors prisoners,
and brought them to me. I asked the
chieftain of the sept if they had no better
clothes; he replied that they had plenty of
good clothes, and he wanted them to have
put them on; but that the fellows were positive,
and persisted in leaving them for the
use of their friends at home, for they were
determined that their enemies should clothe
them. Accordingly, they have been very
shifty, for now they. are as well armed and
clothed as their neighbours. When they
returned from the battle of Tranent, at
which they did gallant service, there was
not a man of them wanted a regular weapon,
although a number of them went to
the field armed with scythes, pitchforks,
and long goads of iron. Keppoch's muster
to-day is 300 men. These next are the
men of Glenco — unstable as water, and
uncertain as a herd of their own mountain--
deer. This day their chieftain musters
200; to-morrow, perhaps, he may not have
above 50 at his call."
"But who is this that comes next, with
such serenity of countenance, and dignity
of deportment? — That is such a man as a
Highland chief ought to be; and, before I
hear his name, he shall sit at your Royal
Highness's right hand to-night."
"That, madam, is the great Captain of
Clan-Ronald, a gentleman of no common
endowments — an accomplished officer, steady
in counsel, and undaunted in danger. His
clan are in the west, battering Fort-William,
and driving the Campbells from his
domains, under the command of his gallant
son, while he himself has only a guard today
of 150 men. He has promised to bring
700 to the field.
"That next chief, with the black plumes
in his bonnet, and locks like the wing of
the raven, is the flower of chivalry, Colonel
Cameron of Lochiel — the first to take the
field, and the last to leave it. The half of
his clan are likewise wanting; still, you see,
he musters 400 brave warriors to-day."
"I think this must be your Royal Highness's
own regiment, for they are clad in
the tartan that you yourself wear."
"These, madam, are my brave kinsmen,
the Stuarts of Appin, a small, but a truly
loyal and worthy clan; they are led by
Charles Stuart of Ardshiel, for their old
chief could not come to the field. I believe
that scarcely a man has remained at home,
surrounded as their country is by deadly
enemies. — Gordon, mark the men of Appin
Next these came the M'Lachlans, 260;
the Clan-Donnochie, 200; and, last of all,
the red M'Gregors, 300. These were all
led by their respective chiefs, and, every one
of them, were lauded by the Prince in passing
Thus ended the review of Balmillo; for
Lord Murray, with the Athol men, was
still at Blair. The Duke of Perth's regiment
was marching farther to the eastward,
and the Ogilvies, and Gordons of Glenbucket,
were still far to the south. The Master
of Lovat, too, had gone home by Fort-Augustus,
to embody some more of his father's
After they had all passed by, her ladyship
addressed the Prince, and asked him
what he thought of the clans on the whole,
for that his particular praises had been so
liberal, and so unqualified, that it was impossible
to tell which of them he admired
most. He answered her shortly, with the
tear in his eye, that no language of his
could convey an adequate idea of the estimation
in which he held his brave clans;
he was so much overpowered with his feelings,
he could not proceed.
The discomfiture of Lord Loudoun's brilliant
army by Peter and his forces, consisting
of eleven old men, raised such a laugh
against the former, that many of the young
gentlemen left it, and retired to their respective
homes, and to Edinburgh, not having
confidence to shew their faces any more
among the fair Jacobites of Inverness. Not
so the Earl himself: he boasted more loudly
than ever; made a muster of his men on
the same day that the Prince reviewed the
clans; and, calling over 200 more from the
country of the Monroes, and 200 Grants
that came up the Frith by water, he prepared
next day to march and give the
Prince battle on the field, before more of
his troops came up. He meant to have surprised
Charles still at Balmillo, but the
impatience of the lady of that place to see
vengeance done on her great adversary, prevented
him; and, ere ever either of them
was aware, the two armies came in sight of
each other at the river Nairn. But, the
King's forces having possession of the old
military bridge, the clans were obliged to
pause, and make a wheel to the eastward.
The river was heavy and swollen, it being
the 18th of February, and the snow melting
on the hills, nevertheless the Prince
resolved to ford it, and attack the enemy in
flank. The Lady Balmillo rode at his side,
at the head of her clan, with a naked sword
in her hand, as on the preceding day; but,
when they approached the river's brink, the
Prince requested her to draw off her first
regiment to some green knolls above the
ford, and remain there to guard their left
flank, until the rest of the troops had crossed
the river; "and then," said he, "I shall
either clear the bridge for you and your men
to pass over, or we will cut down that division
of the enemy between us with ease. I
do not order, but I request, your ladyship to
do this, for, believe me, that river is not for
a lady to cross."
"We shall see," said she. "Come on,
clansmen!" and, in one moment, she was in
the river, to the curch of the side-saddle.
Drumnaglash and young Borlam flew to her
assistance, and, taking the upper side, they
two broke the current of the stream, but
she would not suffer them to touch her
bridle-reins; and, when her steed bounded
to the bank on the other side, she was saluted
by a hurry from the clans, that made
the hills yell. Lord Loudoun had deemed
the river impassable, and kept his ground;
but, on hearing this salutation, he caused
his cavalry to file off, and they came down
at a brisk trot, and began firing across the
river, but the bank shielded those that were
over completely from their view. The clans
returned the fire in columns, as they approached
the river, and a part were slain
and wounded on both sides. But, as soon as
the four regiments of the Clan-More were
over, the Prince put them in motion, marching
them at a quick pace up the hill, so as
to separate the Earl's cavalry from the rest
of the army, that still kept its position near
the bridge. Without more ado, the Earl's
army began their retreat, both wings at the
same time, with drums beating, trumpets
sounding, and colours flying. Had it not
been for the passage of the river, that was
so troublesome and tedious that the troops
took nearly half a day in crossing, Charles
would, to a certainty, have cut off his retreat.
It was with the greatest difficulty
that Lady Balmillo could be restrained:
"Pursue! pursue!" she kept calling; "Oh,
let us ride, run, and cut the whig loons to
pieces!" She made the pipers of all the
regiments to join, and push on after the
fliers, playing, with all their might, "Away,
Whigs, away!"
From a retreat, it turned by degrees fairly
into a flight and pursuit, but Loudoun
still kept gaining ground. When Charles
entered Inverness at the one side, the rear
of the flying army had not got quite clear
of the town on the other; but, by a guard
placed on the Ness with cannon, the march
of the Highlanders was impeded, and the
whole of Loudoun's army crossed at the
Kessock ferry in safety before twelve at
That was a joyous night in Inverness to
the adherents of Prince Charles. They
found him in the midst of them, high-spirited,
gay, and enthusiastic in his cause as
ever; free to aver, and nothing loath to assert,
"that, in his march over the greater
part of Britain, in whatever way or manner
he bad met with his enemies, whether in a
regular field of battle, or slight skirmish,
his clans had uniformly been the conquerors.
The Elector's troops seemed to have
no power to stand before them; they were
paralysed and heartless, and became an easy
prey; and, unless it were from some fatality
on the part of their leaders, he was positive
the clans would ever do the same."
He was little aware how truly he spoke at
that moment; however, it gave his party
great spirits, and the festivities of the evening
were concluded by a splendid ball, the
first dance of which was led off by the
Prince and Lady Balmillo. But there was
one who, wont to be the life and joy of these
parties, was still a-missing, to the great astonishment
of her friends; and, the next day,
when Lady Balmillo related to them the
mysterious circumstances attending her
death and burial, (for she judged it unmeet
to do so sooner,) it is impossible to describe
the horror that was manifested. Some
blamed the old Chief for having murdered
his daughter, on account of the part she had
espoused; but all who knew his true sentiments
knew that to be false. Some blamed
one, and some another; but, as for Lady
Balmillo, she would blame nobody for that,
or anything else, except the Earl of Loudoun;
and so inveterate was she against him,
on account of real or fancied injuries, that
she would not let the Prince get either
peace or rest, till he sent a detachment from
her own troops, joined by some others, in
pursuit of him. The command of the expedition
was given to Lord Cromarty, on
account of his interest in these bounds; and,
taking advantage of a thick fog, he drew all
the boats on the south of the Moray Frith
together, and, embarking his men quietly,
so completely surprised Loudoun, that he
took every officer at head-quarters prisoner,
routed the army, and pursued them about
ten miles across a dark moor. The Earl
was not present with the army when the
attack was made, having gone to Chanonry
on some important business. When he came
up to them, his astonishment may be conceived,
to find them flying once more before
the clans, of whom he had always pretended
to make so light. He drew them up, however,
faced about, and began to set up his
birses in a most daring attitude. His forces
still nearly doubled in number those led
against him by Cromarty, and, as he began
making preparations next day for attacking
in his turn, the issue of the contest became
highly doubtful. The clans stood their
ground; and, just when the armies began
to exchange fires, the Duke of Perth arrived
with a reinforcement, amounting to the
number that came first over. The boats
could hold no more at the first crossing;
but these, having returned with some others
taken on the north side, brought over this
timely aid. Loudoun was again obliged to
betake himself to his old shift; he fled across
the river Conon into Sutherland, expecting
that extensive county, all in George's interest,
to rise in support of his cause. But
the clans gave him no time; they chased
him from one station to another, till at
length they forced him into the Western
Sea. He left Inverness on the evening of
the 18th of February, at the head of 2400
well-appointed men; and, on the 9th of
March, he landed for refuge in the Isle of
Skye, with only 800 of these remaining.
There were many things happened to the
valiant conquerors of the Highlands in 1746
that were fairly hushed up, there being none
afterwards that dared to publish or avow
them. But there is no reason why these
should die. For my part, I like to rake
them up whenever I can get a story that
lies within twenty miles of them, and, for
all my incidents, I appeal to the records of
families, and the truth of history.
WE must now return to our friends about
Balmillo, and, in the first place, to the worthy
clergyman, whom we left locked up a
prisoner in a room at Inverness. The young
gentlemen who played him that trick, not
being able to find his beautiful maid, withdrew
his guard quietly, opened the door, or
at least, turned the lock, and took no more
notice of him. The minister paced the floor
till about midnight, and then, with some
diffidence, touched the bell. A servant attended,
in a manifest flutter of spirits, (it
will be remembered it was the night of the
Earl of Loudoun's grand expedition to catch
Prince Charles,) on which the minister,
supposing himself a legal prisoner, addressed
the man as follows: —
"Friend— I say, friend, I suppose it
will be no offence to the legal authorities, if
I should order a bit of supper and a bottle
of wine?"
"Hu, sir, I tink she would pe fery pad,
if she would pe going to to refuse of tat."
"I say, friend, what is your name?"
"Hu, her nhame pe Tonald McCraw,
and tat was a nhame she would not affrighted
"Well, Donald; I say, Donald, what
have you that you can give me for supper?"
"Fath! nhot a treat much deal, sir; for
King Shorge's hofficers, tamp ter stomachs!
hafe eaten down all our mhaits."
"Well, I suppose you will get me something
as good as you can. — And, Mr M'-
Craw, could you get me a word of my maidservant,
who is in town, and whom I want
particularly to see? — Why do you laugh,
Donald? Consider my coat, sir, and that
it is my own servant whom I am desirous
of seeing."
"Hu, Cot pless you! who is te doubt of
it, sir? But ours is not peing te house of
tat description, although she pe hotle printed
apofe te toor; that is te Gaelic, and signifies
thirst. Put I shall warrant she pe te
fery coal servhant — Is it te same of te hay--
"What do you say, Donald? — I hope
that simple and natural incident has not
been bruited here?"
"Hu! nhot at hall, sir; we hafe mhore
sense than to account all te mhen brutes tat,
fall into tat mistake, or whomen too. But
I shall nhot pring te mhaid."
"Well, Donald, I shall not attempt to
war with your prejudices; and, perhaps, the
girl might not be found, for I little wot
where she is. Bring me supper; and, if
there is any gentleman in the house disengaged,
I shall be happy to share a bottle of
wine with him."
"Tere is a gentleman of old Lord ClanMore's
here, sir, waiting te return of this
grhand expedition."
"What expedition, Donald?"
But this query led to an explanation between
the two which has all been given before,
as well as to a more pleasant one to
the Parson, certifying to him that he was
no prisoner, and, as far as Donald M'Craw
knew, never had been. Then did the parson
begin to suspect his youthful judges of
waggery, and great were his fears anent his
mistress's safety and honour in their hands,
having perceived some of them on the lookout
for her. Supper was brought; and the
gentleman often mentioned before came also
to partake of it, namely, the dark, suspicious
warrior, who seemed to have such a
sway over the old Lord Clan-More. He
was the next heir of entail to his own son,
and nearly as great a favourite; for in fact
he had an art with him that kept them
both in a manner under his direction and
control. We must, for the present, style
him Sir Roderick, though it was not by that
title that he afterwards became so notorious.

This gentleman knew all about the minister's
trivial affairs well enough; but, being
well qualified for appreciating characters,
he saw through the silliness of his,
and accounted nothing of all that had taken
place, save that he proposed gratifying
himself by tormenting the doating divine,
and also pumping him a little toward the
obtaining of some information that he wanted,
for Sir Roderick's heart was set principally
on one dark and deep design.
"Come away, sir. Come away. I am
extremely happy to see you. I conceived
myself a legal prisoner here. For, as you
yourself heard, I was cited to appear here
anent the mysterious death of Mr Henning.
Now, sir— I am so glad to see you!
— perhaps you can tell me who the gentlemen
were that incarcerated me to-day, after
bringing me to a sham trial?"
"A mere trick of youth, I suppose, Mr
Parson. Our military men are for the present
the principal law-makers, as well as its
breakers. There is no control to be had
over them, and none attempts it. Sad
times for this poor distracted country!"
"Yes, as you say, sir. There is scarcely
anything that is insured to people as their
own, — no, not for a day nor an hour. Our
most precious privileges are violated. — I
mean the liberty of man, and the honour of
women. I fear these are both in manifest
danger! It is very hard on the poor
"Not so hard as a parson may be apt to
suppose, perhaps. I hope the breach made
on your liberty did not originate in some
stratagem relating to the other delinquency?"

"How do you mean, sir?"
"The honour of the poor women, you
know. Pray, may I ask — Was not your
handsome mistress in town?"
"My maid-servant was in town, Sir Roderick."

"I beg pardon, Mr Parson. Ah, I
smell a rat! That accounts for your imprisonment
in faith! Yon is not a flower, sir,
to expose too much to the public eye. Do
you know where she is now?"
"No, I do not indeed."
"Never mind; join me in a glass of
wine. Perhaps I could find her out to you;
but, if I could, you would not thank me."
"Believe me, I will, sir — I will thank
you most cordially."
"Not just now, sir. Pray, sit down and
let us finish our supper and wine. It will
be time enough when it is morning. We
cannot break into a gentleman's birth just
"Good heavens, Sir Roderick! Can we
go a moment too soon? The girl is under
my charge — Came far from her home depending
on my protection. I am bound in
honour to protect her. Let us run — let us
fly to her rescue."
"It is all time enough, my good sir. Be
content that I won't go at present. Sit
down and I will tell you a good story. Do
you as yet know how the murder of Henning
was proven and acknowledged?"
"Proven and acknowledged! Is it then
proven and acknowledged?"
"In good sooth. It was the young
blacksmith of the village who did the deed,
and a curious deed it was. Why, sir,
down comes your pretty maid to the Castle,
carrying a plaid and a bonnet" —
"A plaid and a bonnet? Well, what
then? I know something about these."
"Sit down, sir. Have a little patience.
Why are you so much agitated? — Well,
sir; and she swears that that plaid and
bonnet belonged to Gow the smith."
"Did she, indeed? The dear delightful
creature! Did she make affidavit to that
"She did; and Vulcan was immediately
seized and brought to judgment."
"Noble! noble! grand! Well, I hope
he was shot, or condemned to be hanged?"
"No, neither. The fellow was rewarded."

"Rewarded? What for? Pooh! Rewarded
for shooting my lord's secretary?"
"Why, methought it was all over with
Peter, especially when he at once acknowledged
that the bonnet and plaid were his."
"His? Did he acknowledge them to be
his? Oh the dog! the scoundrel! How
could they be his?"
"They were his, sir. Else, you know,
the girl would never have sworn to it. He
could not deny them, he said, as they were
well known over all the parish to be his.
But he was not so frank at telling where
he had left them. It strikes me, Parson,
that he had been in the bed or the hay-loft
with your pretty butler before you that
night, or very shortly after had supplied
your place, for he was not quite free to tell
where he left the articles, and the maid had
"The base, worthless dog! He would
not tell where he left them, would he not?
I know surely where he left them, for I had
them both in hand. Let us go in search
of her, sir, without more delay. Let us go
— Let us go."
"I would rather be excused for the present,
sir. Pray, sit down. Here's to your
good health, and a happy meeting with your
"Let us go, if you please, Sir Roderick.
If you please, I say. Let us go, if you
"I will find her to you in good time.
Sit down and tell me what you thought of
you Mysterious funeral. Perhaps you and
I might have had some interest in looking
after that."
"Eh? Interest, did you say, Sir Roderick?
Have I then guessed right? The
funeral came from France, I suppose."
"I do not take you up."
"As a meed to the Pretender it was
coming? Was it not? A dark deed yon,
Sir Roderick, — Eh? A guard placed over
it night and day too. Am I right? No
"The guard has been removed and the
corse lifted. But it is a deed of darkness.
Ay, and one that some deserve to strap for.
But there will be news about it as soon as
men can get leisure to think of private injuries."

"Ah! Is it lifted? Then have I done
with it. Pray, Sir Roderick, let us go and
search after that hapless maid. And yet it
matters not. Are you sure, Sir Roderick,
that the bonnet and plaid she produced to
my lord did indeed belong to our blackguard
"I think, of all other things, there can
be the least doubt of that. The fellow acknowledged
them; and that he had shot
the man, from an idea that he was violating
the sepulchres of his chief's family, for
which he was handsomely rewarded, and
made chief keeper of our lord's forests.
And a brave rapscallion he seems to be."
"Rapscallion, indeed! It has been on
the morning after committing the murder
that he violated my premises. The gun
was his too; there is not a doubt of it. O
the falsehood, the artifice, the unblushing
falsehood of that deceitful and lovely creature
woman! 'No, no, sir! There was no
man there. Man never came into my bed.
These belonged to a dear brother of mine,
now no more! And I never sleep without
these below my pillow!' Alack the day!
poor wronged damsel!"
"Pray, Mr Parson, don't pule and rave
at the same time. Had you your bottle
before supper?"
"I say, woman, sir, is a thing to dream
of not to trust. — O Sarah, Sarah! I would
rather that thou hadst lain in the bosom of
thy father Abraham, than in that of a grim,
hideous, bedevilled blacksmith. Down with
all bellows, bayonets, bratches, and bum--
bailiffs, to the pit of perdition!"
Roderick would have enjoyed the ravings
of the minister exceedingly, instigated as
his weak pericranium was, by wine, love,
and jealousy; but at that instant the van
of the routed army entered the town in
great confusion, and Roderick, rushing out
to learn the event, left the Parson to his
own meditations. The rooms of the inn
shortly after that began to fill full of volunteer
gentlemen from the grand rout of
Balmillo; the Parson found himself as nobody;
and, taking his horse, he set out for
his own home. He found himself little more
than half way about sun-rising, after a tedious
journey over guns, bayonets, pistols, and
holsters, for several miles: And, moreover, a
number of wounded and maimed men interrupted
his journey by their unavailing
requests of assistance. The minister could
do nothing for them; but at every one he
asked, where the Highland army lodged
that had given them such a terrible overthrow,
and by all was informed, that they
were lodged about the castle, church, and
village of Balmillo. The poor Parson's
heart failed him. He counted upon being
a plundered, ruined man. More especially
was he afraid of Keppoch, for he had both
preached and prayed against that chieftain,
and denounced him and his adherents the
inheritage of Satan. "I shall find these
kernes of Lochaber kennelled in my bedchamber,"
said he to himself, "wasting my
small provision, rioting, perhaps, in the
mutilated remains of my only cow, and,
worst of all, violating — What was I going
to say? O Sarah, Sarah! What a burning
flame thou hast kindled around my heart!
But I must expel thee from it, though to
part with thee will be as death. I know
not where, nor in what state thou art now,
nor shall I ever know, for thou wilt mislead
me by thy eternal leasing making. I would
have raised thee to the rank thy beauty deserved.
But, since I cannot trust thee —
What? Trust thee beside thy horrible paramour?
What, then, should I be? No,
no, before I rear up an offspring of blacksmiths,
I will die the death!"
The minister had, by this time, in the
height of excited feelings, put spurs to his
bay horse, and, notwithstanding the encumbrances
on the road, was dashing furiously
along. But all at once he found himself
flying in the air, and that with a velocity,
that, if it had not been for the disingenuous
attraction of gravity, might have impelled
him a good way on the line he was pursuing,
or on one diverging only a few degrees from
it. I say disingenuous, because I conceive
it to be rather an oblique and illiberal provision
of nature this tendency towards the
centre, exposing people to such unmerciful
thumps; and therefore I wish it had never
been, or, at all events, that it had never
been discovered. If it had never been,
what an advantage for slaters, masons, fox-hunters,
and weathercock-makers! How delightful
to have had the same chance of
falling upward as downward; or, best of all,
in a horizontal direction, and then, in a level
country, one might have fallen across a
whole plain! And, if this mighty phenomenon
had never been discovered, people
would not have been puzzled with its absolute
and specific qualities, or in solving an
hypothesis that has always, to me at least,
proved as incomprehensible as the work of
creation itself. Then, I say, when it so
chanced that a man had got a hearty fall,
such as this experienced by the minister of
Balmillo, he would have attributed it merely
to his own density, and, if able, risen
and clawed the damaged parts, and, if unable
to have done that, some might have
done it for him.
All that our minister, however, remembered
of the affair, was, that he was riding
very fast, and that, at an acute turn of the
road, all at once he darted from his saddle,
and began a-flying, He had some conception,
too, that he saw a dead man lying
below him, as he spread himself on the atmosphere.
More he remembered not, till
he found himself lying on a flock-bed, in
a poor cottage, attended by Peter Gow
the smith, who, in this extremity, had bled
the disabled parson with a horse-fleam,
and administered such cordials as the place
Peter and one of his associates beheld
the minister's misfortune, for they were out
despoiling the field of battle. The minister's
bay nag was not a coward, as may be
conjectured from a former instance of his
behaviour. No, he was far from that, for
he would boldly have faced any living creature,
however rampageous its demeanour,
provided it looked up and fairly sheaved
face. But he had a mortal aversion at anything
that lay quite dormant. Not that
he was terrified for it, but he found something
within him that assured him he might
be exceedingly terrified if it jumped up in
any ridiculous manner or form, and it was
this feeling that put him so dreadfully to
it when any such thing met his eye; he
perceived that he had a great chance to get
a horrid fright, and the dread of that issue
put him fairly beside himself. The minister
was riding with full force, half maddened
by the injuries he supposed he had received
at the band of his idolized Sarah,
when, at a quick turn of the road to the left,
which every traveller must have noted, after
descending a little steep about five miles
from Inverness, — at that turn, ere ever
the minister's bay horse was aware, he found
himself coming in contact with a dead man,
lying grovelling at the side of the highway,
in as dangerous a position for making a
spring upward as any corpse could possibly
lie. The horse's heart leaped I know not
where, into his forehead I dare say, for he
flew off at the right with a spring that
would have unhorsed the best minister in
Europe; and as the bay nag darted right
away from the dead man, of course he threw
the minister of Balmillo as straight towards
him. He fell on his head, and there he
lay quite lifeless, until Gow the smith and
his associate came up, when the former immediately
began to essay his veterinary skill
on his forlorn pastor. It was successful in
restoring him to animation; but the parson,
after all, was not satisfied with the
utility of such treatment, for, to say the
truth, he would rather have been obliged
to any other for such prompt and ready
succour, than to Peter.
"Smith! I say, smith, I feel a dismal
giddiness and debility. Pray, did I bleed
a great deal from my fall?"
"Oo no, sir; the devil a drop you bled
at all. But I did that for you, else you
were gone, for your face and neck were
grown as black as my smithy-hearth, and
your eyes were as red as a nail-string."
"Fellow, how dared you to let blood of
me? Where had you lancets?"
"Oo, bless you, sir, I took one of the
blades of my horse-fleams, and with a stone
knocked it to the head in your jugular, and
it sprung like a well."
"You dog that you are! How durst
you knock your horrible horse-fleam into
my neck. You have murdered me, sir, and
my blood is on your head."
"Oo no, the devil a drip of it, sir; it
ran all down the brae, and I am sure there
was a pint of it. But I sewed up the hole
with some of the hairs of my own head,
and I will defy him to come loose."
"Was there ever such a brutal thing
heard of in a Christian country as a minister
of the gospel to be let blood of with a
horse-fleam, and his wound sewed up with
a darning-needle, and a thread twined of
the hairs of a blacksmith? Oh you unconscionable
dog! Can any human frame overcome
such an operation?"
"Ay, and ten times more, sir. What
is a fleam to a bayonet? And, besides, it
was not this great naig fleam; see, it was
this neat fellow that I blood the stirks and
the foals with."
"Stirks and fools do you say, sirrah?
I take you all witnesses."
"Oo no, sir, not the fools, but the little
bad young horses and the cattles. You
were dead as a shot ptarmigan when I
came to you, and I could do nothing but
use the means in my power. I could not
think for you to die, because you had been
a kind master to my dear Sally."
"Do you know what hath become of
that infatuated girl, smith?"
"Oo, sir, she is at home — at our house,
lying very ill."
"At your house lying? Why, was not
my house her home? What took her to
your house to lie? — For you to wait on her,
I suppose? You unsanctified ragamuffin
I will make you over to Satan for the depraving
and seducing of that once chaste
and lovely maiden."
"Oh, sir, you do not know the story,
nor half the story yet. I did not seduce
her to our house; she came of herself in
sad plight, but she accomplished the great
work, and I hope will not be much the
worse, though she has had a sore battle for
"With whom, sir? Who was it that
attacked her? Was it the young Monroe,
or Glen-Ellick? Eh? Was she overcome
again? But what need I ask? Doubtless
she would yield as willingly as to your notorious
self. Do you attend her in your
father's house, sirrah? Do you nurse her
by night, and leave your mother to nurse
her through the day? You have not the
kindness and the goodness of heart to do
this, I am sure."
"Oo yes, but I do though."
"Sackcloth and cinder-brose for such a
dog! Let me have a place to puke! Vulcan
and Venus! A thousand degrees
"Hout, Pate, mhan," cried the old villager,
thrusting himself forward; "cannot
you pe te pehold tat te cood mhan is rhaving
py te lost of te creat plhood out of she's
neck. Stand out of te side, and doo nhot
be answering one worhd whatever she shoud
say, or it will be the death of him. He
must pe te hold quhiet, or his lhife is not
worth te plhare of te goat."
It was now in vain that the parson asked
passionate questions about Sarah, about the
lodgings of the clans, and about a certain
plaid and bonnet, and a large gun that was
found in a hay-loft; no one would answer
him a word. They sat glum and shook
the head at his most emphatic inquiries
and expostulations, and, when he lost all
patience, and essayed to rise from his humble
couch and go home, the smith laid hold
of both his thumbs with the same hand,
thrust the minister back on the bed, and
then, turning his shoulder to his face, he lay
cross over him, and talked in Gaelic, in an
indifferent way, to the people of the cot.
The minister's nerves were in a weak, irritated
state, and this treatment put him perfectly
mad. He raved, he fumed; he
threatened Peter, who was his aversion,
with the vengeance of the laws, civil and
ecclesiastical, all which the latter totally
disregarded, keeping his station and his
hold, and sometimes looking over his shoulder
and saying, "Poor man! It is a great
pity he should be so violent; but he will
soon be the better now."
But Peter tired of waiting on his irritated
pastor, and, betaking himself to the field
again to collect more arms and ammunition,
he left the charge of him on the old cottagers
and his veteran neighbour. The
next day the parson was carried home in a
litter, and, as soon as he arrived at the
Manse, he set about instituting a process
against the smith for maltreating him; for
bleeding him in the neck with a horsefleam;
sewing up the wound with a darning-needle
and smith hair; and for holding
him down in a bed till he was almost
squeezed to a jelly. But by that time the
clans had arrived. Peter had the Prince
and Lady Balmillo on his side, and cared
not a fig for the parson.
Sally was obliged to come home to the
Manse, weak as she was, to wait on her jealous
master, whom she found irritated
against her beyond all toleration, for what
she could not tell, yet her good nature never
forsook her. He had found out some of her
little falsehoods, which at times rather put
her to the blush, but she always brought
herself off by telling him another. At
length, after giving vent to all his spleen,
and feeling still that he could not live without
her, he once more offered her marriage,
on condition that she was never to speak to
a young man save in his presence, and, in
particular, to Peter Gow the smith. Sally
answered, without altering a muscle in her
face, — "But I wad like to ken the limits
o' that restriction, sir, afore I snap. How
many winters must a man hae seen afore he
be out o' the count o' young men? I wad
like to ken your line o' march atween auld
an' young men exactly, for I hae always fund
men of a certain age the far maist impertinent,
an' warst to deal wi'! As for Pate
Gow the smith, married or unmarried, I
shall never speak to him unless when I hae
some business wi' him."
"Business with him? Sarah! I say,
Sarah — What business can a married lady
have with a blacksmith?"
"O, a great deal, sir, I fear. I doubt,
between us, there wad be a hantle left for
Peter to do. I think if ye wad big him a
smiddy on the glebe it wad be a good motion."

"Sarah, I can no longer bear with your
incontinency. You have indulged in guilty
pleasures till the last shade of modesty hath
passed over your brow, and I have stooped
too low to a piece of beautiful deceit. I
desire that you will quit my house and my
"I am quite ready to do that, sir; only I
would not like to leave you on unfriendly
terms, after a' your kindness and attention."
"Will you wed me, then, and bind yourself
to my proposals, if all your former faults
and failings are forgiven?"
"O no, sir, I canna do that. I canna
live wanting men. I would rather be a
sparrow on the house-top, than live a woman
without the company of men. Marry when
I will, I shall converse wi' a' the young
men that will converse wi' me, an' haud the
gilravige wi' them too."
"I have quite done with you, Sarah.
Our temperaments do not suit. I will take
on me the charge and the expense of conveying
you to your native place, and the
sooner you set out the better. You may
take your brother's plaid and bonnet with
you, — to sleep upon, you know."
"You should not say much about that,
master, for you wanted me to forswear
myself there, you know. How would that
stand before a presbytery; especially when
given in charge to one you proposed to make
your wife? It gars me rather dread that
somebody's phrasing about heaven an' hell is
a' naething but a pretence. But nae mair
about that. Ye needna trouble yoursel'
about me, for, though I leave your service,
I dinna leave this country for some time."
"You shall leave this country, Sarah.
After what hath passed between us, I will
not see you debase yourself under my nose."
"When I step over your door-threshold,
master, consider that I am no more under
your control. I may take your advice, but
not your command then."
"Sarah! I say, Sarah! I have much
to say to you before you go away, and a good
sum of money is owing to you beside. I am
not very able to come out. Will you spend
this night with me in my chamber?"
"I'll watch you wi' muckle pleasure, sir,
if you think you will want anything, or I
can come and gang frae my ain end."
"I want your company, Sarah, and you
need not be the least afraid that I do you
any harm."
"O, I'm no the least feared for that,
Night came; and Sally, after two or
three excuses, was at length placed snugly
beside the reverend divine, in his closely-shut-up
chamber, where he kept praying
to her the whole night, complaining
of her cruelty to him, and her unnatural
affection for Peter Gow the smith. She
attempted several times to get away, for she
was sick of him; but, having no proper excuse
for absenting herself, she was still prevailed
on to remain. He again offered her
marriage. She hesitated, and said it was
more than she deserved, and an up-putting
that mony ane better than she would be
glad of: That she was bound to her kind
master in gratitude as long as she lived;
but really that was a station she durst
hardly take it on her to fill. He simpered
a great deal, and pressed her to name a day
for their marriage, but she declined it,
waiving the subject each time as gently as
she could, her principal excuse being always,
"that she did not intend ever to marry!"
It is probable the minister might take this
as a hint, that she would rather choose to
live with him as his mistress than his wife,
for he forthwith made some new proposals
to Sally, that, with all ingenuity, he could
not make her to understand; and, finally,
to his utter amazement, she refused to remain
longer with him as a servant. Then
was the poor minister humbled indeed. He
condescended to woo, to beseech, to flatter,
all to the same purpose. Sally was cold as
an icicle; civil, good-humoured, and unembarrassed,
but steady to her resolution; for
the truth was, that she was engaged in marriage
to Peter Gow the great forester, as
soon as she could get honourably quit of
her jealous master, and get up her wages
out of his hands. These had accumulated
to a large sum, and she had some suspicions
that he could not conveniently part with
the money; and very uncharitably supposed
that to be one of the principal motives
for his proposals to her. Therefore, having
got her liberty, she resolved to avail herself
of the opportunity, and, at the same
time, that nothing should be wanting, on
her part, of all deference, respect, and condescension.
The minister pleaded, and better
pleaded, and at length he drew his chair
near to Sally's, put his arm round her neck,
and drew her head towards his bosom.
Sally, in adherence to her principle, made
no resistance, but could scarcely refrain from
immoderate laughter. I would have liked
very well to have been the minister of Balmillo
that night; but, if I had been he, I
would have taken a very different mode of
wooing from the one he adopted. Will
anybody guess how he proceeded? I'll defy
them all. He had his right arm round her
neck, with her left cheek pressed to his
breast. Excellent! He put his left arm
below her arm, and clasped his two hands
together, somewhere nearly opposite to the
region of the heart; and then he — What
did he next, think you? Actually hung
down his head over her shoulder and wept!
Wept outright, long and bitterly, even till
Sally's kerchief was literally soaked with
true orthodox tears. Sally was bursting
with laughter; and the minister feeling
the restrained and violent motion of her
chest, he conceived that she was crying too,
and that made him far worse. "I have
her now!" thought the minister of Balmillo.

O what a fine scene for dramatic representation!
I would give five shillings to see
Murray and his accomplished sister acting
it over. An old amorous divine sitting
howling over a sly beauty, and always between
speaking through sobs and tears.
"Oh! And is it come to this! We have
lived a long time together now, Sarah."
"And very happily. Virtuously and
"H'm, h'm."
"I have always been kind to you. Have
I not been kind to you, Sarah?"
"And yet you are going to leave me!
Ho, ho, ho! After your love has been shed
abroad on my heart you are going away to
leave me, and throw yourself into the arms
of a scullion. O lack-a-day!"
"Oh dear! Oh dear!"
"How can you be so obstinate as to refuse
all my requests? Do you think I
could refuse you anything?"
"Oh, no, no!"
"Ask any favour of me, and see if I will
refuse it? Put me to the test, and prove
my disinterested affection. Think of any
one favour that I can grant to you, and ask
it of me."
"If you please, then, sir, I will be very
muckle obliged to you if you will grant me
my wages for these last five years."
"Oh, Sarah, Sarah! What a cold, dry
petition! What are wages — What is money
between you and me? Had you nothing
else to ask but that? Oho-ho-ho! Nothing
to ask of your kind preceptor, friend, and
lover! Yes, I say lover. Nothing to ask
of him but a morsel of filthy lucre! What
a vile, diseased, hectic petition it is!"
"I beg pardon, sir. It's no liquor that
I want; but I fear I will need my wee
pickle siller."
"Siller again? Nothing but that poor
medium uppermost with you? Well, well,
you must have it! But yet, when I bethink
me, since you are not to leave the country,
it will be safer in my hands than in yours.
I cannot find in my heart to cut that last
bond between us. It would always give
me some comfort to have you coming twice
a year for the interest, and accepting or
giving some small token of former kindness.
Would not that be delightful, Sarah?"
"O no, that would not do."
"Why, Sarah? Why would it not do?
Perhaps you think your clownish husband
would be jealous of us? Well, perhaps so
he would."
"He no needs. But hush! What is
that? As I live, there is somebody in the
house — let me go."
"Nay, Sarah, you must not go. Consider,
if you are seen leaving my room at
this time of the morning, we are both ruined."

"I fear I am ruined as it is. If you
hae undone me by your injunctions, what,
think ye, is to come o' me? Hear! There
is somebody near us. For Heaven's sake,
let me go."
"No, no, you shan't stir a foot just now,
nor till the sun-rising, so be content to remain."

Sarah did remain, though sore against
her will, for she suspected, what really was
the case, that her lover had come in quest
of her. Perhaps the minister suspected
something of the same kind, and therefore
he would not permit her to stir from his
side, and there he continued his querulous
key till the morning. But, when day-light
came, Sally still remained unmoved, and
prepared to pack up her clothes, making
ready for her departure. The minister
complained, threatened, and entreated, all
by turns, and all to the same purpose; for
it had been settled by Sally and her lover,
that she was to come and live with his
mother, and make some preparations for
their wedding, which she could not do
while continuing in service. Sally was tired
of the prosing parson, and longed to be near
her heroic lover, and at liberty to converse
with him when she listed, and perhaps behaved
rather too obstinately to the parson,
considering his destitute condition, without
either a serving-man or maid. Perceiving
that he could not prevail on her, he pretended
to take such treatment and such
ingratitude in high dudgeon, and in the
end he turned her out of his door, protesting
that he dismissed her his service for disingenuousness
and leasing, and charging
her never again to cross his threshold.
She took him at his word with free good
will, begged to have her wages, but, these
being refused, she departed to the village
to the cottage of the Gows.
Peter had been like a man beside himself
all that morning, and none of his assistants
in the repairing of arms could do a
turn to please him. At one time he blew
the bellows with such unnatural force that
he blew the fire off the hearth; at another,
he would burn the steel to a blue cinder, or,
pulling it from the fire hissing hot, demolish
whole weapons at a blow. The great
forest-keeper of Glen-Avon and Glen-Errick
was gone mad, and worse than mad;
for the black fiend of jealousy had taken possession
of his whole capacious and fiery soul.
He had come up to the Manse at a late
hour to see his sweetheart, for he was concerned
about her being obliged to enter to
her house-keeping before her health was
fairly re-established; and went up, not on any
amorous enterprize, but with the kindest
motives of which the heart of man was capable.
He found the doors both bolted,
and, not being able to make Sally answer to
the accustomed signal, he was seized with
a yearning anxiety to know what had become
of his sweetheart, or how she was engaged.
There was not a creak nor a cranny
about the parson's kitchen of which Peter
did not comprehend the uses and conveniencies.
He had means, known only to himself,
of opening the latch of the window-board
from the outside, and, though he had
long been conscious of having the possession
of this valuable secret, he had never
availed himself of it, from a sense that it
gave him an undue advantage over his
sweetheart, and that if ever it was discovered
it was sure to be obviated. He was
driven to it that night, and, leaving his
plaid and brogs outside, he drew himself
cautiously in at the window. He approached
Sally's bed with a palpitating heart, but
"The sheets were cauld, an' she was away."
"Mon! Ohon-an-righ!" said Peter to
himself, as he stood scratching his great
bowzy, bristly head, in the dark kitchen.
"Ohon! what can be become of my betrothed
bride? He that thinks he has hold of
an admired beauty, has, I suspect, only an
eel by the tail. If I find her taking a tid
of courting with another to-night — What
shall I think? I shall think that she is resolved
to make the most of her spare time.
But, in the meantime, I'll break the greatest
part of my gentleman's bones, whoever
he may be."
Peter drew himself out at the kitchen-window
again, and went straight to the
hay-loft. He groped it all so narrowly that
he would have found a rat had it been there,
but be found no living thing. He searched
every corner of byre, barn, and stable, in
the same way. Sally and her extra-lover
were not to be found. By this time the
story of the minister and the hay-loft, and
the night-gown and the slippers, had begun
to crow in Peter's crop, and, unlikely as it
was, he could not disgorge the bitter morsel.
It barmed and wrought there till the
cork of reason bolted away with an explosion
that had almost stunned him, and he
went about the minister's office-houses dotering
in a great hurry, first turning to the
one hand and then the other, and again
turning round altogether like a sheep that
has the sturdy, or, rather, the hydrocephalus,
as it is most learnedly termed in that
most eligible work, "Hogg on Sheep."
Peter was excessively bamboozled, but by a
sort of natural instinct he was drawn back
to the kitchen-window. There was nothing
there, so he had no shift but to draw himself
in at it once more. He went again to
Sally's bed. She had not been in it that
night, for it was neatly made down, soft,
and smooth. By that time Peter found
that he was seized with a slight touch of a
fever, and, as all sick people do, he betook
himself to bed; down in his sweetheart's
bed he laid himself, but that, instead of allaying,
only increased the malady; a flame
as hot as a sea-coal fire burnt in his vitals,
and there he reclined, with his elbow resting
on the bed-stock, and his brown cheek
leaning on his open hand, watching the moment
that Sally should come in from the
courting. "I'll give her such a salutation!"
thought Peter. "I'll give her words
sharper than a Highland claymore; and, if
she don't make a very good story out of it,
I have done with her."
Sally came not; and at length the old
theme of the minister came upward in Peter's
mind once more. Still it was most unlikely
either that such a man would ask his
maid to be his companion over night, or
that such a maid as his Sally would condescend
to accept of such an invitation, if he
had. "But ministers are only men!" said
Peter to himself, "and women will be women
till the end of the world!"
Peter, valuing himself on this new and
important discovery in natural philosophy,
resolved to avail himself of the principles it
contained, and immediately he set about
reconnoitring farther into the state of society
then existing within the walls of the
Manse. There were three doors between
the kitchen and the parson's bed-chamber,
and Peter thought, if they were all bolted,
the chance of his reaching that Sanctum
Sanctorum, that temple of sacred love, was
small indeed. He met with small impediment,
however, until he reached the chamber-door
itself, which was closely bolted,
and all was darkness within. Peter laid
his ear close to the key-hole, and overheard
many words and disjointed sentences, imperfectly
heard, and worse construed; and
still, to Peter's jealous ear, every syllable
proceeded distinctly and directly from the
parson's feather-bed. "This is a fine business!"
thought Peter. "D—n all bachelor
divines, and their maiden housekeepers!"

Peter heard enough. It is true he heard
wrong, but he could not help that. He
believed he heard right, and felt and acted
accordingly. In particular, he mistook
the import of one word of three syllables,
which the reader will observe as one rather
out of its place, and that word served
as a key to all the rest of the dialogue.
He heard that his beloved was ruined;
that she was expected to come twice a-year
and grant her lover, yes, her lover! some
favour; and that perhaps her clown of a
husband would be jealous of all this.
At this part, Peter, losing command of
himself, gave the door a wrench, but it refused
to yield to his strength; and that
noise putting a period to the tender colloquy,
a pause ensued, in which the indignant
lover got leisure to reflect a little on what
he was doing. "What am I about?"
thought Peter. — "Yes, Peter Gow, I ask
you, what are you about?" said he within
himself, striking his band on his breast. —
"After all your brave exploits and high
advancement, are you going to run the risk
of being hanged for house-breaking? And
for what are you going to run such a risk?
— For a jilt — a jinker— an old beggarly
parson's kept miss! I would rather be a
handle to a frying-pan, ere I were husband
to such a minx, or a lover to such a leman!
Farewell, Mrs Sally! and may Baronsgill's
benison be your mead — sermons and sour
crout, till you turn to a haberdine!"
The great forest-keeper, blacksmith, and
conqueror of the Earl of Loudoun, with
fifteen hundred whigs, was fairly put to
the rout, by stooping to become an eavesdropper;
and it was well bestowed on him;
for nothing could be more unmannerly than
thus to intrude on the privacy of a minister
and his maid, at such an untimeous hour.
It is quite unbrookable to be either in the
one situation or the other: I know by experience,
and that Peter Gow felt. He
made good his retreat by his old passage,
got home to his cheerless bed, lay tossing
and turning till day-light, then rose, and
demolished whole heaps of whig armour.
Never was there a man so totally overcome
by love, rage, jealousy, and boundless thirst
of revenge — alas! too great a combination
of hot ingredients for the constitution of a
Sally, after a sleepless night, began early
to pack up her clothes, — and a good stock
of handsome clothes she had; she folded
them all neatly up in her trunk, locked it,
and sent it down to the village to the care
of old Mrs Gow, her mother-in-law who
was so shortly to be. Then she went to her
master, and proffered him an inventory of
all the things in the household that had
been intrusted to her care. He refused to
take them off her hand, with unbending
sullenness, unless she remained until term--
day, which she refused, saying, that, "after
what had passed between them, that was
impossible. But you will find everything
correct," added she; "take my place who
will, she will find everything clean, whole,
and in good condition; and I am sure I
wish you may get a better servant than I
have been; as for me, I shall never find a
kinder master."
The minister cast a pitiful look at her,
but he perceived the settled firmness of her
resolution portrayed on her countenance,
and forbore farther pleading. She requested
to have her wages, but he refused to pay
her, on some shabby, mean pretence, on
which, for the first time in her life, she accosted
him so sharply, that she put him
fairly out of countenance, and made him
shrink within his sordid self. Finally, she
told him, that she would have her wages in
a short time, if there was either law or justice
to be had in the country; and that,
far as he had brought her from home, and
friendless as he might suppose her to be,
she would find some to take her part. On
these hard terms they parted, in high offence
with each other; and, when Sally left
the house, the parson shut the door behind
her with a loud clash, as if glad to be quit
of a pestilent thing that he dreaded.
She proceeded down to the village, highly
offended with the conduct of her late
lover and master, but, at the same time, rejoicing
that she was free of him, and anticipating
the highest felicity with her brave
and honest lover, for of her complete influence
over him she had not the slightest suspicion,
having proved that in innumerable
instances. But, ere ever she came near old
Gow's long irregular cottage, she perceived
her trunk lying on the green before the
door, with its four feet uppermost. "By
my troth," said she to herself, "but my
Pate treats his Sally's flitting with very
little ceremony indeed! I'll set up the
great burly nose of him for this! — Why,
dear auld mother Margaret, can ye no gie
house-room to your poor Sally's bit kist the
"Ohon-an-righ! tat ever her did do live
to pehould tis dhay mhorning! Cot doo teliver
mhy sins, fat is to be done! Mhy son
is ghone peyond himself, and it pe Cot's
mharvel tat I am nhot ghone mhad too!
Fat has peen fallen? Are you te quarrel?
Are you te prhoken fhow? For te mhercy
of te lhofe of Hefin, tell her fat pe te wrong!
She pe in such a raitch! Ohon! ohon!"
"What are you saying, dear mother?
Who is in a rage?"
"Who in a raitch! Who put your lhofer,
and mhy own son? Cot's plessit fhingers!
if he tid nhot toss your ciste out at
te toor, and plow it wit his prog foot, till I
tought she would co all to pieces! And ten
he is rhamping and raitching, as if he would
plow up te fhire of haill apout our sites!"
"What! my Pate in sic a key as that?
Ha-ha-ha! I'll settle him! I'll soon bring
him about!"
"Ochon! for te sake of te creat MacMaighdean,
dhear, dhear Mor Gilnaomh,
trhy if you can turn him abhout to some
rheason, for she pe clhean mhad at te time
of nhoow. Ochon! I doo mharvel fat is te
pecome of him. He is run off from all work;
and ten him lhook so pad! Oh, I am so
frightened! and I wish him mhay nhot
come pack till te raitch pe ghone away
"I wish I saw him in sic a fine caper as
this; it wad be something so quite new to
me, I wad delight in it. — But my wish is
granted, for yonder he comes half running."
Old Mrs Gow fell a-crying for terror, and
ran about, holding up her hands, and praying
in Gaelic. Peter came in, as wan as a
ghost; his features drawn all out to an enormous
length; his lip quivering; and his
hands involuntarily wringing an oak cudgel
that he carried in his hand.
"Heaven's peace be wi' us, dear Pate!
what's the matter wi' ye, that ye look that
gate? Ye're surely no weel, lad? Hae ye
seen a witch, that has gart ye glime and
glower in sic a way?"
"Ha hum!" said Peter, shaking his
head, and stamping with his foot; "No; I
have not seen a witch, but I have seen worse;
I have seen a b—!"
"Oh, dreadfu'! what a sight that was!
Was she a fox ane, Peter, that she has
frighted ye sae ill? Tell me, my brave man,
was she a fox-bitch, or a bitch-fox, that ye
saw, that has put ye sae sair beside yoursel?"

"Worse than either of them — Worse
than them both! May the burning deils of
vengeance — But, no, no — I'll hold my
peace! — I'll command myself! — Feather-beds
and cushions!"
"Peter, you are raving. — This is no jesting.
Let me feel your pulse, dear Pate;
and give me a kiss; for there is something
in your looks that almost frights me away
from you. — Na, but ye're no to turn your
back on me, and tremble and shake that
gate; for, indeed, Pate, if ye winna do
aught at my request, I maun e'en lay my
commands on ye, an' these, ye ken, ye are
bound in honour to obey. In the first
place, then, Maister Peter, gang an' bring
in that bit trunk o' mine, an' set it carefully
down at the fit o' the bed where I
lay when I was ill."
Peter ran to the trunk; but, in place of
taking it up, he tossed it with the sole of
his foot away farther from the door, and,
lifting up his oak cudgel, he gave it a thump
that made its ribs crash. Sally grew pale,
and stood like a statue; Mrs Gow shrieked,
and prayed, and ran to hold her son by
the arm, to prevent him from farther outrage,
expostulating with him, in a shrill
hysterical voice, thus: —
"Hold pack your hands, you mhost gracious
fhool; and, if she will not pe having
te fhear of Cot's heferlasting tamn pefore
him's eyes, at lheast haif some respect to
te fhemales of te womens. If I had not
porn you, and prought you forward, I would
haif peen said tat you had peen te ciochran
of a salvage prute. Co and pelt upon your
stuty, you creat ox pull, tat you pe! and
nhot plow a cool maighdean's kiste. Tat
house, Cot's tanks, is nhot yours, and I will
take te kiste into it my own self, and her
tat belongs to it too; and tat she will."
"Well, mother, take into your house
whom you will; but, if you take her in, you
exclude me, for we two shall never again
enter beneath the same roof."
"Hold your paice, I say, you creat
bhaist! you bullock! you stot! you ram
puck of te he-coats! Tat ever she should
hear such a speak come out of a shon! —
Ochna truaigh! Fat will be tone? And
my tear oigh, too, tat was to haif peen my
nighean! — Och, you tief-like plichen! you
are not so petter as a bhaist!"
"Who has offended you, Peter?" said
Sally, going kindly up to him, and offering
to take his hand "sure it wasna me; or,
if I did, it was out o' my kennin. — Dinna
act out of a' reason, without letting us ken
the cause. — I hae neither done ill to you,
nor said ill o' you, sin' we last partit; — then
what for are ye sic a changed man?"
"Will you answer me one question fairly
and honestly, then?"
"That I will — twenty o' them."
"Where were you last night?"
"Ah! is it that which shaggareens ye?
So you were up looking for me last night?"
"That is not answering my question —
I have some right to have it answered. I
ask, where were you last night?"
"Why, I was here to meet you, and
missed you. — I was as far as the Kirk of
Cawdor with a friend, and to buy some
little things; so it took me a good part of
the night, and I came home this way, and
missed you."
"Dishonest! dishonest! dishonest to the
last! Why should there be falsehood, where
there is no guilt? So then it is all as I dread.
Could not you have told me, even though
you had blushed a little, that you lay in
the old dog of a minister's bosom? I know
you now, mistress — I know you now! No
wonder that you were in a hurry to leave
your service and be married — Ha-ha-ha!
Perhaps your clown of a husband might
have been jealous? O yes! — perhaps so he
well might — Ha-ha-ha!"
"It is surely impossible you can think
so meanly of me as that, Peter?"
"Oh, quite impossible! Seeing and hearing
are no evidences now-a-days — Ha-ha--
ha! Think of you! — If you but knew what
I think of you, mistress!"
Peter accompanied this last word with a
motion the most derisive. He held out his
fore-finger, and shook it at her, then, wheeling
about, he put his hands in his breeches--
pockets, and went away, whistling as loud
as he could yell, into the woods of Balmillo.
Sally turned to the old dame. She was
standing with lifted hands, her head turned
to one side, and her countenance, as the
maiden deemed, bespeaking sentiments congenial
with those of her son. But, instead
of speaking, she chanted a verse of an old
ballad, half in English, half in Gaelic. It
ran nearly thus: —
"I tought I procht maighdean to my ochdair;
Vit a lò, and an uair, and a bruadar;
And I haif procht an gilmerein tere;
O te lèin-bhàis now, and te murt-fhear!"
Sally had heard enough; and, as the old
woman vanished into the cot, the forlorn
maid lifted her trunk with some difficulty,
and, carrying it into an adjoining cot, she
hired a man to carry it along with her for
a mile or two; and then, taking the path
up by the back of the village, that she
might not be seen, with the tears streaming
from her eyes, she bade adieu to the
village of Balmillo. Yet she could hardly
in her heart believe it to be for ever, although
her lips repeatedly uttered the distressing
word. How gladly would she have
returned to her birth in the Manse! and,
though almost certain that she would have
been welcomed, yet wounded pride would
not suffer her. After the way that she had
parted with the minister that morning, and
been discarded by her lover, she could not
endure the humiliation of going back and
asking admission again into the offended
parson's service, as a last resource. "Would
that I had the offer of his hand in marriage
this night!" said she to herself; "how
blithely would I accept of it, to be revenged
on the capricious and jealous smith! He
may flatter himself that he can live without
me; — that he can not! — I know thrice as
much as that comes to. But oh to see
him kneeling and begging forgiveness! —
How I would spurn the dog!"
Sally had plenty of money; for, besides
some of her own, she had the gold she had
got from the Prince; but she had no friend
or relative in the country; therefore, though
she passed by the Manse, and held on her
journey to the northward, it was with a
heavy and irresolute heart. He was an old
man who engaged to carry her trunk; it
was heavy, and he therefore made but poor
speed, so that Sally got but too much time
to deliberate on the complete blowing up
of all her prospects. These had been quite
satisfactory to herself; and it was not without
pain that she saw herself compelled, as
it were, to begin life anew. She tried to
trace all her misfortunes up to their source,
with a disposition, natural to all mankind,
to fix the blame on others rather than herself.
It would not do; she could trace none
of them to anything else, save her own
want of veracity. She had always judged it
only a venial fault, or rather, like all others
of her sex, a peccability to which it behoved
her to yield in all things that related to the
other sex. Now, for the first time in her
life, she perceived what grievous consequences
might result from it. She perceived
that, if the minister had not been a silly,
doating being, he could never have borne
with her more, after finding her out in so
many manifest falsehoods, not one of them
of the least consequence either to herself or
him, or that would not have looked better, if
told precisely as they had happened. She regretted
that she had not told her affianced
lover the simple truth, that the poor parson
was so restless, Dervish, and feeble, by reason
of his hurt, and the loss of blood he suffered,
that he had requested of her to sit up with
him, which she could not refuse. "If I had
even told him that the poor, half-crazy man
drew me to his breast, and compelled me to
lean on him, why, as it was good sport to myself,
would it not also have been so to honest
Peter?" thought she — "there is not a doubt
of it. However, he has acted rashly, ungraciously,
and ungenerously, and I shall
never forgive him, forgive myself as I will."
Sally was convinced that Peter would
follow her; that he would be upon the rack,
and fit to hang himself, when he found that
he had driven her away to seek her fortune;
and therefore, to perplex him still the more,
she did not take the straight road for Inverness,
but turned down by the side of the
river Nairn, and then crossed from that to
the Nairn road. Before leaving the side of
the river, she stopped to rest herself and her
guide at a hamlet there, for she saw that
the old man was weary with his load. She
also meant to return him from thence, and
hire a new one, the more completely to
puzzle her repentant lover, who she was assured
would pursue her; but, on her desiring
her old guide to return home, and offering
him liberal hire, he returned her an
answer that ought to be recorded. His
name was Finlay Shaw, an old retainer of
the house of Balmillo, a very poor man,
but one who claimed near kindred with one
of the minor chieftains of the Clan-More.
"Why, Mustress Sally, how far is thou
going, that thou be'st thinking auld Finlay
Glash cannot pe te travel along with you,
and carry your luttle but of a kust? if it is
to the Edinbrught, she will carry it; and, if
it is to the House of Shonny of Croat, she
will carry it too, and the tevil a King Shorge
happeny of yours shall go into her sporan
for that account. I'll tell you, Mustress
Sally, you saved the life of one that was
worth more than the half of all the lives in
Scotland, and the whoule of England, and,
if my but of a life could serve you for what
you have did, how happy would I pe to lay
it up! If I had hills and lairdships, I would
grant you them, Mustress Sally; but, since
I have not, I will rejoice to give you my
poor services; and te tevil be in my footsteps,
if I shall go back as long as you need
me, and tat is her soul's resolf."
It was vain for her to reason. Finlay
was resolute; and away they jogged together.
Sally, now finding what high sentiments
her guide entertained of her, walked
along with him, and conversed familiarly.
The old man was very curious to learn
why she had left the minister's service, but
on this point Sally was quite close. He
found, however, that she had no fixed place
in Inverness to which she proposed going;
he therefore said not a word till they came
into the town, and, on passing the door of
a neat white-washed house, he asked her if
she would step in and see his sister, to whom
he had something to say. The invitation
came so exceedingly apropos, that Sally
instantly and gladly accepted of it. Finlay
said something to his sister in Gaelic, at
which her whole countenance kindled with
benevolence, and she welcomed her visitor
with a courtesy that would not have disgraced
a chieftain's hall. Finlay soon slid
away out, and, from his own head, applied
to one of the very principal Jacobite ladies,
at whose request Sally had put her life at
stake to save the life of Prince Charles,
without, of course, knowing the least of that
connexion. But Finlay had a plea of his
own, cogent enough; he insinuated, what he,
indeed, suspected, that she had been turned
out of a lucrative place on account of the
heroic part she had acted. It was on the
first of March that this application was
made. The adherents of the house of Stuart
were all on the alert at that period, and the
spirit of the two adverse parties was borne
out to extremity. The whole interest of the
one was instantly put in motion on Sally's account.
She was visited, flattered, invited, and
almost adored, by the then reigning party in
town; and some of the high dames even went
so far as to hint, that the lips that had been
kissed by the greatest and most accomplished
Prince in the world, ought never to be
saluted again by any below the rank of a
chief, or a lord at the least.
Peter Gow never imagined that Sally had
not returned to the Manse, and kept aloof
for several days, in order to make her fully
sensible of the high offence she had committed;
but, when he came to learn that his
treatment of her had driven her from the
country, then his heart smote him, and,
with the regret, his love returned with
double intensity. "I have wronged her,"
said he to himself, "after she had cast herself
on me and my love. She has deserted the
parson — a full proof that my base jealousies
were unfounded; but I will give her full
revenge by my humiliation, and make her
all the amends in my power."
Peter got a long-tailed shaggy pony,
mounted with a cavalry saddle and bridle,
put on a pair of whig boots, that came no
farther up than the bottom of his calf, and
set out in search of his Sally, with intent,
if he found her, to beg her forgiveness, confess
his fault, and offer her his hand once
more. On reaching Inverness, he soon
found her out, for Sally had become the
toast of the city, the admiration of the gentlemen,
and the favourite of the ladies,
every one of whom vied with the rest who
should patronize her most. He found her
in the house of Lady Ogilvie, and entreated
the servant to procure him a word of
her. The lady, getting wit of what was
passing, went to see the spark, and returned
chuckling with delight, and giving a
most ludicrous description of Miss Niven's
country wooer, (for that now was her denomination
among all ranks.) Sally sent him
word that she had nothing to say to him,
and she was sure he had nothing to say to
her that she wished to hear; and she desired
him, therefore, to go about his business.
Peter was sore humbled; but he had
not power to go away; he requested to
speak with her, if it were but for the space
of two minutes, but his request was absolutely
refused, Lady Ogilvie highly approving
of the spirit of her protegee. As a
last resource, Peter desired to see the lady
of the house. She went down stairs to him,
and he told her a tale of humiliation and
disappointed love, that might have melted
any female heart. He told her that the
girl had saved his life, and raised him to
independence; and that, after all, he had
used her with the utmost ingratitude, and
could not live without obtaining her forgiveness.
The lady assured him that she
would obtain a free pardon for him, grievous
as his offences had apparently been; but
that he must not presume on any further
favour from her lovely ward, for, as he had
forfeited that opportunity, she was now entitled,
by her great and transcendent merits,
to look forward to something more eminent
than to become the wife of a country bumpkin.
Peter took this worst of all, and vanished
from the house, with his feelings
grievously lacerated; but still he could not
leave the town, and lingered on, in hopes of
being able to accomplish an interview.
When Lady Ogilvie and her guests
learned from Sally that this was the identical
hero who had given such a signal overthrow
to Lord Loudoun and his grand army,
they were grieved at the reception he had
met with beyond measure, and agreed, without
delay, to fall on means of taking him in
tow. Lady Balmillo being absent in Strath--
Nairn, raising recruits, there was none of
the Jacobite ladies who knew aught of
Peter, save Lady Barbara, his old chief's
only daughter. She was instantly dispatched
in quest of him, and took him to the
house of Lady Gordon, to which all the rest
repaired, as by chance, to see the redoubted
blacksmith, that had achieved a feat unequalled
in the annals of chivalry. If Sally
was a great favourite, Peter soon became
equally so, if not greater. They were delighted
with him, on account of his blunt
modesty; he spoke of the rout of the King's
army as a thing of no consequence — as a
matter of course, that it was impossible
could have failed. They got him all mounted
anew, styled him Squire Gow; and a
more manly athletic figure was not in these
bounds. But the only thing that Peter had
at heart they seldom and barely mentioned;
for they had sounded Sally, and found
her invincible. Lady Shierloch remarked
one day, in his presence, that, if ever two
were designed by Providence for one another,
these two were Squire Gow and Miss Niven,
two people whose names were already rendered
immortal. How Peter's countenance
cheered up on hearing this! — "The merit
is all her own," said he; "if it had not been
for her, I should have been hanged before
that night, and the Prince had been murdered
in his bed, or taken and exhibited by
the Duke of Cumberland and Lord Loudoun
as a show. If I cannot obtain her favour
and forgiveness, I am the most miserable of
Lady Ogilvie, who knew how matters
stood, here interposed, and said, that, of all
others, it would be the highest imprudence
of these two to be united; for that they
were both well entitled to change their
places in society, from the lowest to the
highest. If they were married, they were
in a manner compelled to remain in the
same humble sphere which they at present
occupied; and, if they were permitted to
do so, it would be a disgrace to the Highlands,
after the signal deliverances they had
accomplished, on which the whole hopes
and happiness of the kingdom depended.
Peter liked not this doctrine; but, there
being some dissentient voices, he took heart,
and lingered on from day to day, till the arrival
of Lady Balmillo in town. She received
the news of her hero's reception with high indignation,
said they were going to spoil and
make an utter fool of a very valuable craftsman
and vassal, and forthwith she ordered
him home to his business. He was a true
clansman, and had no will adverse to that
of his chief, and so, without a single remark
or objection, he saddled his long-tailed
shelty, and hasted home, in a state of mind
not to be envied. The lady then assayed
the same plan with Sally, and ordered her
likewise home, either to the Manse or the
Castle, till such time as she could be conveniently
married to the man to whom she
knew she was affianced. But Sally had the
Lowland blood in her veins, and laughed at
obeying the mandates of a haughty dame.
She told her flatly, but good-naturedly, that
"she ettled at biding a wee while, where
she was, to see what wad cast up, an', if
ever she gaed back to Balmillo, it wad be
when she could do nae better."
I am now compelled, both from want of
room, and want of inclination to the task,
to desist from the description of some dreadful
scenes that followed the events above
narrated. But, as they are the disgrace of
the British annals, it is perhaps as well that
I am obliged to pass over them, although
it makes a breach in a tale that has always
been one of the deepest interest to me. —
Peace to the ashes of the brave, and honoured
be their illustrious memories! and long
shall the acclaim of a loyal and persecuted
race, celebrate the royal names of those, who
have at last bowed to do justice to the enemies
of their house, out of respect to the,
feelings in which their opposition had its
THE stirring and enterprizing spirits of
these fair Jacobites could not be at rest.
Before the dismal catastrophe above alluded
to, had been consummated, they had their
darling Sally married to a young Highland
gentleman. Most people know the general
acceptation of that term in the North. He
was not a chief, a chieftain, nor a laird, nor
was he a son to any of these; but, in short,
he was a Highland gentleman; — one that
had a right, from his lineage, to rank among
his chief's cadets, but who had nothing beside,
save his claymore, and some hopes in
the success of Prince Charles. The name
of this gallant appears to have been Alaster
Mackenzie, from a document which I
have lately seen. He paid his addresses
to Miss Niven, in conformity to the injunctions
of his distinguished female relations.
But in doing this he performed
no penance, for he admired her exceedingly,
as was natural to one of his age and
complexion, for Sally's beauty was of no
common cast. She had a mould and features
which none of her rank in the Highlands
could equal; and her manners, though
not highly polished, were easy and unaffected.
Sally soon yielded to his proposals;
but, it must be confessed, it was more out
of revenge on Peter Gow, than from any
warmth of newly-kindled affection. Peter's
fondly-cherished hope being now by
this step extinguished, he was also soon after
married to an elderly maid of some rank in
his own clan, a marriage brought about
solely by the dictates of Lady Balmillo.
BY the time Sally had been married a
full month, she found herself in a state
the most pitiable of any to which the female
mind can be subjected. She knew not whether
she was a widow or not! She had seen
her husband's kinsmen and associates hanged
up, and butchered in the most wanton
manner, as if for sport; her kind protectors
led away prisoners, to be tried by their
sworn enemies; and she herself had been
obliged to steal away privately from Inverness,
to avoid the brutality of a profane and
insolent soldiery. She had no resource but
to fly to some of her husband's whig relations,
for there only could she find safety,
but there she found no very welcome reception.
The generous effort that she had
made to save the Prince's life, found no
favour in the eyes of those whose hopes had
been baulked by her success; and she perceived,
that at best she was going to be a
hanger-on about the skirts of certain proud
families, who accounted it no honour to be
thus connected with the peasant blood of
the Lowlands, in the veins of however lovely
a person that might flow. The young
gentlemen were her only protectors. With
the gallantry natural to youth, they could
not see female beauty distressed and degraded,
without proffering what support they
had to bestow, consistent with the respect
due to their own families. Several of these
made every effort in their power to gain
some intelligence of her husband, but in
vain; they could not discover whether he
had fallen in the general carnage of Culladen,
or made his escape. All that they
could learn, was, that he went to the field as
a gentleman volunteer with Colonel M'Kenzie,
who fell in the front-line, and, therefore,
the probability was that young Alaster
had fallen with him. Sally would fain
have escaped to her native place in the
Lowlands, but the country was in such a
state, all the posts being occupied by a licentious
military, that a retreat from the
Highlands to the south, especially by a
beautiful young woman, was impracticable.
Besides, her late master owed her L.24,
which, in the then exhausted state of the
country, was a considerable fortune to her.
She once thought of going to him as her only
retreat of safety, and throwing herself upon
his mercy, but she learned that 800 of a rival
clan were quartered in that district, and
behaving in the most relentless and scandalous
manner: That the minister had become
despicable from the time that she had left
him, and none of the parties paid any respect
to him.
Sally was rather hardly bestead, but she
was not destitute of money, having that she
got from the Prince sewed up in her stays,
besides some in her pocket. She determined,
therefore, to leave the Mackenzies of the
Canon, and endeavour to find her way into
the country of her Jacobite relations, whatever
dangers might intervene, in order to
learn something of her brave, unfortunate
husband. The delicacy of the affection that
she now felt for him cannot be described.
She had married him on a short acquaintance,
and had enjoyed his company but a
very brief while, and that short period of enjoyment
had been interrupted by many
alarms, marches, and countermarches. Still
he had manifested great fondness for her,
and she now felt, that her giddy, youthful
levity, and fondness of the company of the
other sex, were totally changed; and that all
her affections and desires were centred on
one object alone; on him to whom she had
given the possession of her person were all
her thoughts, and for his safety were all her
prayers offered up. She left Castle Fairburn
early on a morning of July, near the
end of that lovely month, having hired for
a guide an old man named Duncan Monro,
who could speak a little of both languages,
and knew all her husband's kindred,
and every cave and correi where those that
had escaped of them behoved to be hiding.
Old Duncan was, moreover, a privileged
man, and procured a pass from his chief to
march with his son, unmolested, wherever
he pleased. Sally was thus obliged to assume
a boy's dress, and follow her venerable
guide whithersoever he might lead. He
took care to make conditions for wages,
which she thought extremely high, but, having
no choice, she was obliged to acquiesce.
She engaged to hold him in meat
and drink, and give him two shillings a-day
besides, a great wage at that time, when a
Highland horse or cow could have been
bought for eight shillings.
Contrary to what Sally expected, her
guide led her straight to the south, and before
mid-day they found themselves on the
banks of the Beauly, the country of the
Frazers, where all was ruin and desolation.
Hamlet, castle, and villa, had shared the
same fate; all were lying in heaps of ashes,
and not a soul to be seen save a few military,
and stragglers of the lowest of adverse
clans scraping up the poor wrecks of the
spoil of an extirpated people. Among
others, whom should they overtake but daft
Davie Duff, walking merrily along, with a
spade over his shoulder. Sally, who had
assumed her husband's name of Alaster, was
delighted to see a face so long and so well
known, but durst not discover herself. At
the first sound of her voice David turned
round so quickly, that he knocked down old
Duncan with the mouth of his spade, but
after he had turned he could not tell what
made him do so. "Cùram sealbhaich!"
said he, wheeling round again to Duncan.
Duncan rose in a rage and gave him a hearty
clout in return. "Nhow, Mhaister, curam
sealbhaich yourself!" quoth he. "Wha
te tevil should she pe tat is coing on te
king's high rwoat to knock town her lwoyal
"Hu, craifing yhour parton, she pe
Mhaister Tuff, cheneral purial mhaker to
Khing Shorge, his Mhachesty."
"And I doo hope she will nhot ghet
mhany of Mhaister King Shorge, his peoples,
to puny here?"
"Hu, put she ket a shilling for efery
clansman, and two shillings for te rheidcoat,
and I doo find her te prhofitable.
She haif mhade four pounds out of te Frhazer,
and seven-and-twhenty shillings of te
Chishoom, pesides some smhall tings tat
would nhot take te purn."
"Hu, hu, mhan, fat a pad pusiness you
haif cot!"
"Nhot so pad as yourself mhay trhow.
I choose mhy own cround, which is nhefer
te hart, and nhot pe fery nice apout te teep
of te craive. She pe thrhifing trhade. It
was fery lhong pefore she cot in her hand,
but she haif had it fhull of work tese tree
"Hu, and whas it you tat fhollowed te
armies all trou Ross and Sutherland, and
nhefer got a craive to mhake put one, and
she was died of a cholich?"
"Hu, and fat ten? To pe shure I tid.
Cot tamn tat Mhaister Loudoun, for him
would nhot stand, else I should soon haif
cot plenty of work. I am sure she followed
him wit her spade mhore tan a tousand
"Ooh, Mhaister Tuff, tere nhot pe so
mhany mhiles in all Scotland as tat."
"Ay, but I pelieve tere pe a creat
mhany mhore."
"And tid you nhefer get a craive to sink
all tat way?"
"Hu, tevil a one saif one fellow tat was
died of a sore pelly, and she cot nho mhore
but te croat on his purial. It pe tamn
poor work. But, when I came south to
Culloden, I nefer peheld so praive a sight.
Tere were tey lhying tier above tier, and
rhank pehind rhank; but te tevil a clhan of
tem had a reid-coat mixed out through and
through tem but te Mackintoshes. Tere
was she lhying in hundreds apove te reidcoat.
She had cut tem all town, and ten
peen shot town herself. Tere was one little
mhoss tere tat I am sure I puried a tousand
in and mhore, and him will lhy fresh and
whole in it too till te tay of shoodgment.
Och, it was te praif sight, and te praif
"Pray, Maister Duff, were there many
Mackenzies killed and buried there?" said
Sally, unable to refrain longer from asking.
Davie again turned round at the sound of
her voice, and gazed, but, seeing the speaker
a young man, he was incapable of suspicion,
and only said, "She tought she knew to
shentleman's speak. Who might her pe?"
"Hu, she pe. her own son, Alaster Monro,
and was upon asking what Mackenzies
were slain at Culloden."
"Tete was some of te Cromarties cut
down py te horse, and some with te Cornel,
but she tid nhot see mhany of their tartan."
"Pray, are ye the renowned Davie Duff
that was wince buried alive at a place ca'd
Sally's voice always arrested Davie's attention,
and took his mind from every thing
else; he heard her voice, but he never heard
her question. "Tis pe fery strhainge,"
said he; "hersel tought she was going to
She tipped old Duncan a wink, on which
he proceeded to worm poor Davie out of
many a sad story about Balmillo, and, in
particular, about the minister's pretty maid,
of whom Davie was never weary of talking,
nor could Sally, with all her address, make
the two old rascals to quit the theme.
Davie praised her to the skies, but regretted
that she suffered "the old dog of a munister
to kuss her."
"Put you know, Mhaister Tuff, if he did
no mhore at all put to kuss her, tere was
not fery creat harm in tat."
"Hu, put, if he tid nhot dhoo no mhore
nhor kuss her, he had nhone put himself to
Then the two old fellows laughed violently;
and Duncan, thinking it fine sport
to teaze his employer, continued his inquiries,
contriving to make Davie say a number
of ridiculous things; among others, he
said, that "te minister and te smuth sometimes
poth kussed te mhaid on to same
nhight, and tey were so well pleased with
her tat tey poth speired her to wife. And
ten she took to prefer of te smuth, and te
munister he was so pad tat he turned her
away, and so she took tort and would nhot
mharry nhone of tem. It was mhore petter
tat it was so, for hersel cot honest Peter
lying among te rhest at Culloden witout
him's head."
"Ah! ye unfeeling monster! What did
ye say?" cried Sally, in great agony. "Did
you say you found Peter Gow lying murdered
among the rest at Culloden?"
Davie was still unable to answer, Sally's
voice acting like a charm over all his functions;
but he now turned to her with manifest
alarm, though unable to say wherefore,
and repeated some hurried blessings on himself
in Gaelic.
"Fat ails you, Mhaister Tuff?" said
"Cot tak mhe if I know fat ails me,"
returned he; "put if she tid not tink it was
te spirit!"
"Hout, hout, Mhaister Tuff! Tid you
efer tink mhy son was te spirit of a plackern-smuth?
Put how tid you know it was
te smith when him wanted te head?"
"Hu, I knowed him py his creat much
truim. Tevil a such another was in the
whoule clhan. I could nhot fhind one piece
of him's head, but I cave him fery cood purial,
and mhade my shilling out of him too."
"Fat does his Mhachesty te Tuke of
Cumberlhand pay you tat fhor?"
"Hu, hu, it pe for fhear of a lhittle
tamn fhellow, a strhanger, tat him call
Mhaister Plaick, or Mhaister Pistol; or
some fhurious nhame as tat."
"I nefer tid hear of such a chief, or of
such a clhan before, Mhaister Tuff."
"It is the plague or pestilence, that he
means," said Sally.
"You haif porrowed a tongue and a
speak, tat was neither your fhader's nhor
your own, Mhaister Alaster," said he. "But
tat pe te fery shentleman tat did put them
to fright, and mhade a post of hersel. Oho!
tere pe some of to Frhazer here, I know
by te strhoke of her nhose."
As he said this, they came to a large
hamlet that had lately been reduced to ashes,
and Davie went instinctively up to it, and
fell a-digging, pretending that he smelled
some of the Frazers underneath. Duncan
observed, that, without assistance, he might
dig there for a month before he ascertained
all that was underneath. The other said
he would search it all in an hour, for "he
knew py te strhoke of te nhose, (the scent,)
where him was, and tat she pe always in te
same plhace."
"Fat dhoo you mhean, Mhaister Tuff?"
"Hu, see, tere pe him's tour, and here
pe him's ped. Te pothys be all alike, and
every one of te podies I get in pelow te
wattle ped. Stop, and I will soon let you
see," added he, and instantly fell a-digging.
It was not long till he came to the bodies
of a woman and two boys, half roasted. She
seemed to have been their mother, and to
have been endeavouring to cover them with
her own body to preserve them from the
flames. The two journeyers were horrified
at the sight, but David took it very deliberately,
assuring them, that "the reid-coats
nefer suffered a poy to mhake his way, for
tat tey always put a paygonet trou his pody
pefore tey fired te house, or else pound up
te toor. I was myself in Keppoch's country,"
said he, "when tey were purning her,
and I heard a captain say to his mhan,
"Cot tamn you, Nett, fat you pe turking
all te poor pairns? Cannot her lhet them
alhone to pe purn in peace?'
"'Ooh, tamn him's plood!' said he. 'I
like to see how tem Scots puddocks sprawl
and funk. Lhook! Lhort, lhook, sir!' cried
he, putting te turk on to nhose of him's
gun trow a poy, and into te grhound,
Lhort, lhook, sir, fat a lhife is in te tevils;
how him girns, and struggles, and
faughts, ha, ha, ha!'
"'Tamn you for a mackan-madadh!' said
the captain, and knocked him town."
Davie cut the laps of the ears from the
three victims, rolled each pair up by themselves,
and proceeded to bury them, while our
two travellers advanced on their journey.
They came that night up into the country
of the Chisholms, a part of which they
likewise found laid waste, but the chief had
found means to preserve a part of his territories
unskathed; and, besides, the country
was so full of natural fastnesses, forests,
and inaccessible wastes, that the greater
part of the clan escaped. Duncan and his
pretended son were kindly treated; and,
when it was known that two strangers had
come into the strath, great numbers gathered
to them at night-fall to hear the news,
on which they were earnestly intent, although
these conveyed no hopes of any mitigation
of their sufferings. From that
night forth, Sally had a bad opinion of her
guide, and, there being no confidence between
them, the rest of the journey proved
a tedious and disagreeable one. He always
conversed with those he met in Gaelic,
which she did not understand; and, by the
looks of the natives, she often suspected that
he was telling her secret, at which she felt
exceedingly awkward. After the second
night, she would have gladly got quit of
him, but found it impossible, for he had
conducted her into the wilds, among a savage
people of whose language she was ignorant;
and she felt, that, without some intelligence
of her husband, existence would
be intolerable. She was, therefore, compelled
to persevere on in her pilgrimage, than
which nothing could be more disagreeable.
Her guide had set out with the view of
visiting a district called Kintail; but some
intelligence that he got by the way at a
village called Comer, induced him to change
his course, and turn quite away towards the
north. They travelled by a wild track for
three days more, and all the way came to
skulking parties, who, seeing them strangers
and unarmed, came fearlessly to them, and
inquired what they were about? whither
they were going? and what were the news?
Duncan had the art of soon allaying all suspicions,
for every one of these proscribed
and wretched parties treated them civilly,
and, on being conducted to their retreats,
they never missed finding plenty of provisions.

Although old Duncan was strictly close
concerning the information he received by
the way, and treated his employer churlishly
and with very little ceremony during their
wearisome journey, his intelligence had, nevertheless,
been of importance. On the
evening of the third day after leaving
Comer, they came to an almost inaccessible
place on the lands of Letterewe, on the banks
of a great lake, where there was not even a
path for a deer to walk on. As they approached
the house, Duncan let her know,
that now he was going to introduce her to
some of her husband's near kindred, on which
she begged of him to let her remain incog for
a space, till she heard their sentiments both
of her husband and herself. He promised;
and then she besought him to speak in English,
that she might hear what was passing;
but to this he objected, assuring her that no
one there would talk in English with him.
They came to the house. It was a long,
turf-built cottage, quite green outside, but,
on entering, they found it divided into
apartments, and inhabited by some ladies
manifestly of a superior rank. There were
likewise some female domestics, but no man
appeared. The inmates eyed our travellers
with looks of dark suspicion; but still old
Duncan had the art of lulling all these
asleep with uncommon facility, and, in a
short time, the two were hospitably entertained
among the menials. There were two
young ladies in the house, and two above
middle age; and, whenever any of the former
came into the fore-kitchen, they paid
marked attention to Alaster, on account of
his beauty and modest demeanour; and,
Duncan having assured them that he had
spent the greater part of his life in the Lowlands,
at various schools, which had spoiled
his good highland tongue, they always spoke
to him in English; and at night they laid
him in a little truckle-bed, on a loft immediately
above the only sitting-room in the
house. Alaster, as we shall continue to call
Sally, fell sound asleep by the time she had
well laid down her head, though with a heart
ill at ease; and about midnight she was
awakened by a number of voices in the room
below, which she heard distinctly to be those
of men. She heard every syllable that was
pronounced, for there was no ceiling between
her and the company, but, the conversation
being mostly in Gaelic, she could not comprehend
the purport of it. She had not,
however, lain many minutes awake, ere she
thought she recognized her husband's voice
among the rest, and every time she heard
that voice it made her whole soul thrill with
the most unspeakable emotions. "He certainly
lives, and is hiding here," thought
she; "and I shall again see him in whom
only my sole hope of happiness in this world
is now centred. Oh! If it is he, how
thankful shall I be for his preservation, and
for this happy discovery! for without him
I am nothing. And yet, HE ABOVE ALL
only knows how I shall be received among
my husband's proud relations, who estimate
all gentility and worth only on the scale of
These were some of our lovely adventurer's
reflections, as she lay restless on the
heather bed, and ever and anon she heard
the name Alaster pronounced. She became
all but confirmed in her belief; and at length
she heard a great bustle about the break of
day, which she perceived to be occasioned
by the party breaking up, and returning
again to their fastnesses. Still she heard
that there was a part of the group left behind;
for, on the general buzz of conversation
subsiding, a torrent of ardent whispering
succeeded, and she conceived that she
sometimes still heard the name of Alaster
breathed from female lips. Our poor perturbed
listener at that moment, for the first
time in her life, felt the seeds of a terrible
distemper beginning to sprout up in her bosom's
inmost core. They had even a deeper
root, if such a supposition is admissible, for
their tendrils felt as if interweaving themselves
with the vital energies of the soul.
She felt a giddiness in her head, and a
burning at her heart, and, sitting up in her
bed, she gasped for breath. While in this
position, she perceived a faint ray of light
at the one end of her loft, which she deemed
must issue from the candle in the room below.
With the softest movement of the
best-trained country maiden, she glided to
the aperture, and found it a small crevice
between the flooring and the joists, at the
head of the stair, or trap, by which she
had ascended. Through that she descried
her husband, — her own wedded and tenderly-beloved
husband! still in the bloom of
youth, health, and beauty. But, the moment
that she saw him, she wished to Heaven
that she had never seen him again. He
was sitting with one of the young ladies of
the house on his knee, and pressed to his
bosom, their cheeks leaning to one another.
Her arm was round his neck, and both his
clasped around her waist. That they were
fond and passionate lovers, was manifest at
first sight. Sally had very nigh fainted;
but the ticklish situation in which she stood
induced her to make an effort to keep up
her spirits, which she effected by calling
proud offence and displeasure to her aid.
She had made some noise, for she saw the
amorous pair listen as with some degree of
alarm, and she heard the lady name Duncan
and Alaster Monro, at which her husband,
she thought, looked displeased. She
returned to her bed, and laid her down and
wept, wishing that she had died before connecting
herself with those above her station,
and that she might never see the rising
of another sun. She thought of Peter
Gow, now no more, and of what he must
have felt, if convinced of her infidelity to
him; and, now that death had cancelled all
thoughts of retaliation, and she felt how
poignant were the pangs of jealousy, she excused
her lost lover in her own breast, and,
among other woes, dropt the briny tear for
While she lay in this disconsolate and
miserable plight, she heard footsteps approaching,
and, peeping from below her
russet coverlet, she beheld the light of the
candle flashing on the rafters, and instantly
her lover and his elegant paramour entered
from the trap-stair. There was another
bed of the same sort in the loft, and
it instantly struck Sally that the two were
come to repose together in it, regardless
of the presence of a wandering boy, who
knew nothing, and cared less, about their
connexion. Her sensations may be partly
conceived; but, in the midst of this hideous
dilemma, she formed the resolution of checking
their guilty commerce, if possible. She
turned herself in her bed, and made a sham
cough, to remind them that a third person
was in the apartment. "A' codalaich,"
said the lady, and was going to retire; but
he still held her by the hand, and addressed
her with great ardour, while she continued
always to answer in monosyllables,
and often by the adverb seadh, (yes.) At
length they took a kind embrace, and parted,
amid a torrent of sighs and tears; and,
without wholly undressing, he threw himself
into the other bed, and in a few minutes
was sound asleep.
What a situation for a fond young spouse
to be in! How gladly would she have folded
him to her bosom, and breathed the
blessings of love on his lips, had the late
scene of love and dalliance been hid from
her eyes. But now her cup of misery was
full to the brim; her love was changed to
resentment. But what did that resentment
avail? all sort of revenge or retaliation was
out of her power, and, in the bitterness of
her anguish, on a first view of wronged affection,
she resolved on leaving the Highlands
for ever, and concealing her disgrace
among her relations in Mid-Lothian, from
whence the promise of high wages had at
first tempted her. She was house-maid to
the parson of Lasswade, when, on a visit
from his reverend brother of Balmillo, at
the time of the General Assembly, she
was induced to engage as house-keeper to
the latter. She therefore began once more
to think of the banks of the Esk, which she
had of late given up all thoughts of ever
seeing again.
After reposing about two hours, the gallant
fugitive arose, and, in great haste,
donned his clothes and arms, as if aware of
danger to himself or others. The perturbation
of Sally's heart was at that time beyond
all description. She thought that
haply she might never see him again; and
three or four times his name hung, as it
were, on a balance at the root of her tongue
— it wavered backward and forward between
the open air and the inner bosom to which
it was still dear. "Alaster Mackenzie!"
she was going to say — "My dear Alaster,
where are you going?" But the fiend
Jealousy shook his gorgon front before her
tinctured eye, the half-syllabled name was
breathed forth in a sigh, and it would not
be recalled. He gave one instinctive, bewildered
look to the dark bed, as he buckled
on his claymore, the next moment he
disappeared by the trap-stair, and she heard
the outer door of the solitary mansion open
and close again, as with soft precaution.
Sally wept till her pillow was bathed in
tears, but still it brought no relief to her
bursting heart. Hers was a sorrow that
admitted of no mitigation. She arose at
an early hour, and went up into a linn behind
the house. The scene was such a
mixture of the serene, the beautiful, the
sublime, and the tremendous, as the wilds
of Caledonia cannot equal. The broad and
extensive loch of St Mari (for there is likewise
a St Mary's Loch in Ross-shire) lay
stretched beneath her feet in burning gold;
the numerous isles on its placid bosom were
all covered with tall and hoary woods, whose
origin seemed to have been coeval with the
birth of time; the snowy sea-birds sailed
the aerial firmament above these, and, in
the purple beams of the rising sun, appeared
like so many thousands of flaming meteors.
Some of them swam softly on the
surface of that glorious mirror, on whose
illimitable downward bosom a thousand
beauties and a thousand deformities were
portrayed; others flew through the middle
space, and aroused every slumbering echo
among the rocks, with their shouts of joy;
while others, again, traversed the upper
stories of the air, so high, that they seemed
emulous of singing their clamorous matin
at the gates of the morning. The
marble mountains of Applecross rose over
against her, like three stupendous natural
pyramids; a dense cloud covered all their
intermedial columns and ravines, but their
pure white tops appeared above it, like monuments
hung between heaven and earth,
or rather like thrones of the guardian angels
of these regions, commissioned to descend
thus far to judge of the wrongs of the
No eye could look on such a scene without
conveying to the heart some exhilarating
emotions; nor was it altogether lost
on the jaundiced eye of our depressed and
desolate wanderer. She felt disposed to
adore the Author of so much beauty and
happiness, and to throw the blame of human
woes on human infirmities alone. As she
ascended the verge of the precipice, she had
been saying to herself, "Why has the Lord
set me as a mark whereat to shoot his
poisoned arrows? Why am I thus subjected
to sufferings beyond those laid on the
rest of my sex?" But now, with the tear
in her eye, she kneeled beside a gray stone,
and prayed this short and emphatic prayer:
— "Lord, pardon my sins, and enable me
to distinguish between the workings of thy
righteous hand, and the doings of erring
and guilty creatures!"
She descended into the bottom of the ravine,
on a path made by the feet of the goat
and the wild-deer; it was a gully, fifty fathom
deep; all the rocks on both sides were
striped with marble, and the silver current
was pouring alongst its solid bed, which, for
all the world, had the appearance of the hide
of the zebra. Sally washed the tears of the
night and the morning from her lovely face,
plaited up her locks in the way that the
young Highland gentlemen of that period
wore their hair, adjusting all her masculine
attire with a neatness of which most young
men would have been incapable, and then
she wandered up among the rocks and the
cliffs for the whole remainder of the forenoon,
always thinking to herself, that haply
she might meet with poor Alaster skulking
among these precipices.
She returned to the shealing of Letterewe,
and the very first who accosted her
was her husband's inamorata, who paid her
every attention. The lady was elegant in
her person and manners, and a shade of
soft melancholy seemed brooding over her
youthful face. She was so kind and respectful
to one she took for a poor wanderer,
looking after some lost relation, that
Sally could not hate her, much as she felt
disposed to do so; for she said to herself,
There is no doubt that that lady is ignorant
of my husband's marriage." Sally
felt that her rival was her superior in every
respect; and she could well have excused
her husband's preference of her, had it been
manifested in time; but, as it was, of his
crime there was no palliation.
Sally next sought her guide, old Duncan,
and found him inquiring after her at some
cottagers near the head of the lake. He had
been busy all the morning, endeavouring to
discover how matters stood; but he told
her he found the people exceedingly close
and secret; they were jealous of his whig
name, he said, and rather tried to mislead
him in everything. However, from what
he had learned by dint of perseverance, he
was certain that her husband either was
thereabouts, or had been there very lately;
and that he and some other friends had
been making preparations for quitting the
country immediately for America. Sally
had still one faint hope remaining. She
inquired at Duncan, in what relation her
husband stood to the ladies of the house?
He told her, that one of the elderly females
was his aunt, the rest were all his cousins,
in what degree he was not certain. Sally's
resolution was taken. She perceived that
her husband meant to emigrate with his
new mistress and kinswoman with all expedition,
and leave herself in the lurch. She
was disgusted beyond measure; and, seeing
no probability of preventing the shameful
measure, she deemed that the less blaze she
made about it the better. She paid Duncan
his wages; gave him a handsome gratuity,
and desired him to make the best of
his way home, as she would possibly linger
about in disguise till she could learn the
issue. She was no more seen on the banks
of Loch-Mari; for, taking her small bundle
of woman's attire below her arm, she stripped
off her hose and brogs, and bent her
course straight to the south, weeping, and
little caring about the consequences. She
went fearlessly into every cottage, bothy, and
cave, to which she came, asking at all the
people that she met the nearest road for Inverness;
and, judging it requisite for one
with the Lowland tongue to be asking after
some one of the country, she chose the name
of one who was once dearest to her, and
whose name again sounded with a melancholy
sweetness to her ear; and she asked
for him the more readily, that she knew he
was not to be found.
She meant to have journeyed by the braes
of the Conon, as the nearest way; and she
likewise intended to have lodged a night at
Fairburn Castle; but an interesting stranger,
who overtook her by the way, persuaded
her to accompany him, which she did; and
he led her by a wild rough glen, called.
Monar, but was exceedingly attentive to
her all the way. She asked him if he knew
if there was one Peter Gow hiding in that
country, for that she had been a long journey
in search of him to no purpose? — He
had often heard the name, he said, and
would probably find means of satisfying her
before they two parted. He knew the retreats
of all the hiders in that dreary waste,
and visited sundry of them by the way, by
all of whom they were kindly treated. Every
one of them was deeply interested in the
beautiful Lowland boy, ranging that inclement
and dangerous country in search of
his proscribed relations, and offered their
services. As they descended the glen of
Strath-Farrer, he conducted. her to a bothy
in the middle of a romantic and beautiful
wood, where he said he would be reluctantly
obliged to leave her, as he was bound for
Glen-Morrison that night, which was out of
her way; but, at that bothy, he was deceived
if she did not hear some accounts of her
lost friend. "Alas! how widely you are
deceived!" thought she; but, acquiescing in
his plan, she accompanied him to the bothy,
where they found a fine old woman, busily
employed in boiling plenty of beef and
venison. The stranger and she had a great
deal of discourse in Gaelic, and Sally
heard them often both mention "Peader
Gobhadh," the old woman always shaking
her head, and wiping her eyes; but every
now and then she eyed Sally with the most
intense look. After some more conversation,
of the purport of which our desolate
wanderer knew nothing, the stranger took
his leave, taking a haunch of venison, ready
cooked, away with him. This singular man,
it afterwards appeared, was no other than
Hugh Chisholm, one of the six Culloden
men, who were at that time supporting
Prince Charles in a cave.
After Hugh was gone, the old woman
attempted to question Sally in English;
but such English never was attempted.
They could make very little of one another;
but, as Hugh had informed her what and
whom the fine Lowland stripling wanted,
and that he was come straight from the
Mackenzies of Andlair and Letterewe, she
knew he was a safe guest, and treated him
with the greatest kindness,
The bothy was full of beds — there was
nothing else in it; these were built of stone
and turf, and filled with fine heather; the
sides, being about two feet high, served for
seats; the fire was in the middle of the
cot, and the beds went round and round it,
so that it was a very convenient and comfortable
lodging. Little as Sally understood
of her hostess's language, she thought she
perceived in her accents a little of the Speyside,
or Strath-Airn tongue, for which she
loved her the better; and, having washed
her feet, she laid herself down on one of the
beds, and sunk into a sound sleep. She
dreamed of Peter Gow. — She at first saw
him lying on "the scathed brow of Culloden,"
as Grieve has it, "where neither wild
flowers nor verdure were to be seen springing,
but whence the unholy deeds of man
had expelled the genial influence of nature,
who had fled, and cursed it for evermore."
— She thought she saw him lying there, a
headless trunk, his great Spanish gun lying
beside him, and heaps of the unnatural redcoats
lying around both; and, as she was
weeping and lamenting over him, behold
another handsome and fiery youth approached,
with his sword drawn, and asked what
she was weeping for? She found she could
not tell him; on which he said, that, if she
was weeping for the loss of that man, he
would pierce her heart. When he said this,
the dead corse struggled and rolled on the
field, and at last, starting up, there stood
Peter Gow, in all his manly lineaments of
make, and dared the other to touch but a
hair of that female's head, and he should
feel the weight of his vengeance! — "Thou
mean deceiver! thou traitor!" said the other,
advance but one foot in this quarrel, and
she has breathed her last!" Peter drew his
sword, and rushed forward; but that moment
the other ran her through the body
with his weapon.
In the midst of her dying struggle she
awaked, and, for the space of two or three
minutes, seemed insensible to all around
her. When perception began to return,
she perceived that the cottage was full of
savage-looking men; but, by degrees, her
sole attention was fixed on the one next to
her — one that sat at her bed-foot, watching
over her with anxious concern. She gazed
at him in appalling amazement; her dream
seemed to be continuing, and carrying along
with it the thread of the hideous drama, in
the folds of which it had involved her. It
was Peter Gow on whose face she looked;
but how wan his cheek, and how altered his
features! She sprung up to a sitting posture,
till her face almost met with his, and,
uttering a loud and piercing shriek, sunk
backward in a swoon.
Peter had been told by the old dame, who
was his paternal aunt, that the handsome
Sassenach that lay asleep was in search of
him, and had been so employed for many
days. His curiosity was greatly excited;
he took a light, examined the features, recognized
an acquaintance with the face, but
could give no account when or where he had
seen it. As he sat hanging over it, the
perturbation caused by her dream increased,
and caused her wakening. The moment
she fainted, he caught her up in his arms,
and bore her to the open air, on which she
soon began to revive; but, on seeing the old
dame, and others of the strangers, gathered
about them, as soon as she was capable
of utterance, she hinted to him that she
wished to speak a word to him by himself.
The rest retired, and he half led, half supported
her, into a thick part of the wood,
where he seated her upon a soft mossy knoll,
and placed himself beside her; and, after
waiting a while, and desiring her not to
put herself in any agitation, the following
dialogue ensued: —
"Do you not know me, Peter Gow?"
"Oo, perfectly well; both the voice and
features are familiar to me; but my memory
is so full of holes, that it is actually
like a sloggy riddle, letting through all
that's good, and retaining what is worthless.
— I cannot, for my life, name you at
this instant."
"Have you so soon forgot Sally Niven?"
"Sally Niven! Sally Niven? — What?
my own Sally of Balmillo? — No — that's
impossible! Lord have mercy on me! if
it is not the very creature! Oh dearest,
dearest Sally! are you still living? and do
I see you again?"
He then snatched her to his bosom, and
imprinted many kisses on her glowing lips,
her cheek, her chin, and her brow.
"Peter Gow!" said she, "ye are doing
ye dinna ken what, an' acting ye dinna ken
how. — Ye are neither thinking o' your ain
state, nor of mine."
"State!" exclaimed Peter; "what care
I for either one state or another! I never
kissed the cross, or the image of the blessed
Virgin, with more pure and celestial feet
hags than I do your lips at this moment. —
These are the kisses of gratitude and esteem
and with anything selfish have nothing to
"I believe it, Peter, I believe it, for my
own heart tells me it is true; with these
sentiments, you are free to embrace me as
often as you please."
"If I am not, I should be so; and, besides,
I was so long accustomed to intercede,
with all my eloquence, for a kiss, and
get one, as a particular favour, so seldom,
that now, as a free agent, I feel greatly disposed
to make up my lee-way."
"How, or where is Mrs Gow?" said
Sally, in order to check his ardour.
"Och! she is well enough, and safe
enough, for anything that I know; but
we Culloden men have had so much ado to
escape from the cruelty of our beastly and
insatiate foes, that really we have been compelled
to let the wives shift for themselves.
But your question reminds me of my neglect
in not asking for your gallant husband,
in these trying times."
"Alas! I have no husband, Peter!"
"What do you say? No husband?
Sure you are misinformed; for I know he
made his escape, and I know he is in safe
"Do not inquire anything at me, Peter,
as you esteem me. Be assured that I have
no husband — at least none who claims me,
or that I yield either claim or obedience to.
I have seen the last sight of my husband,
and am at this time an outcast creature,
abandoned to the world and to my fate.
You warriors have enough to do in taking
care of yourselves; you are obliged to leave
your wives to shift for themselves, you know.
Nay, you needna gape and look sheepish;
for, do you know, I havena at this time a
being in the whole world to whom I feel
bound by stronger ties than to yoursel, nor
another in this country to whom I could
open my heart and mind to."
"I hope that confidence shall never be
abused. But, believe me, there is some
mistake in this. Your husband is a man of
honour, and incapable of abandoning you;
at least, I know he is a brave young man;
and I ween that such a man as he must be
a man of honour."
"You know I am incapable of the weakness
of jealousy, Peter; but what I have
seen with my own eyes, and heard with my
own ears, in this disguise, must command
credit, however reluctantly granted. What
will you think, when I assure you, that, by
this time, he has left the shore of Scotland,
in company with another mistress?"
"I think it is false — utterly and abominably
false! I tell you, he is incapable of
it. No gentleman (or commoner either) in
Scotland, having you for a wife, could be
guilty of such an act. There is a near relation
and confidential friend of his here tonight;
I will go instantly and make inquiries;
I will satisfy you of the falsity of
such vile insinuation."
"Alas! your hopes are vain! Let us rather
consult what I am to do for the present.
Is it possible for me to retain my
disguise, do you think, and find my way to
the Lowlands?"
"Retain your disguise you may certainly;
but to the Lowlands you go not, till
I have unravelled this invidious skien between
you and your husband. You must
likewise have your money from the old minister."

"I can manage that matter in Edinburgh,
and am only distressed about how
I shall get there, and, in the present case,
what is to become of me this night."
"To-night — you are safe for to-night.
This worthy old dame is my father's sister;
her husband is with us, who was a lieutenant
in the Prince's army; and you have
a band of as brave men to guard you tonight
as ever drew sword. Our retreat is
entirely unknown to any of the King's
troops, and the path to it inscrutable; we
have scarcely ever so much as been in danger
here, even when the killing and burning
were at the hottest. Out of this retreat
I can do nothing for you, for I am
doubly proscribed; the Earl of Loudoun
has set a high price on my individual head,
and there is scarcely a cave or a tree in our
own forests that has not been searched for
me. But here you are safe, and here you
must remain and rest yourself for a space;
I have many, many things to say over to
"How is it possible for me to retain my
disguise, and sleep among so many outlaws?"

"We shall easily manage that matter;
One bed will be consigned to you and me;
I will sit up and watch you, or take a nap
On the floor."
"I am very miserable, Peter, and, in a
manner, quite reckless of life, or of aught
that can betide me; but it is now so long
since I met with anybody that has taken
an interest in my fate, that I feel strongly
disposed to be guided by your direction.
Whatever inquiries you make concerning
my husband to-night, let me request that
the dialogue may be in English, that I
may hear and judge for myself."
Peter promised, and they again joined
the party in the bothy, which was well
stored with beef and venison; and, as the
eagerness of research had greatly abated,
owing to a received belief that the Prince
was slain, the party enjoyed themselves
with perfect ease and hilarity. Peter, as
out of his own head, began immediately to
inquire about the movements of Alaster
Mackenzie, whose friend, M'Intyre, informed
him, that "a large party of proscribed
friends had engaged a vessel to carry them
to America, and, at that very time, the vessel
lay concealed in a natural basin, surrounded
with wood, at the head of the little Loch-Broom;
that he had seen the vessel, and
had been invited to join the party; and
that Alaster Mackenzie had joined, and
set out in great haste in search of a lady,
whom he wanted to accompany him; and,
from what he heard, he conceived, that, if
she refused to accompany him, he would not
go. He had heard his uncle Glen-Shalloch
reasoning with him, and saying, that, as
matters stood with him, it would be safer
to leave her; but he would not listen, and
set out in order to fetch her, promising to
return before the time of sailing, which was
to be this same evening, at ten o'clock."
All this too well corroborated Sally's
preconceived opinion. Peter was hard of
belief, and would fain have tried to convince
her that it was herself he was in search of;
but she repelled the argument, by stating,
that he knew nothing of her, having never
inquired after her, nor sent her any intelligence
of himself, for three months; that
there was little doubt he conceived her
to be safe in the Lothians long ago; and
that, moreover, she had seen him kissing
and wooing the lady, who was a cousin of
his own, for a whole night.
These were stubborn proofs, and put
Peter to silence, though he would not acquiesce
in the sentiments, but said it was
very unlike a brave loyal Highlander's conduct,
to desert his own. "For my part,"
added he, "if I had got you for a wife, as
I ought to have done, neither life nor death
should have moved me to have parted with
The arrangements for the night were
made as Peter had suggested, but the greater
part of it was passed in conversation; for,
the young Sassenach never having heard the
details of the battle of Culloden, nor of the
devastations committed subsequently, every
one was alike eager to communicate what
he had seen, and what he had learned from
others. There was great diversity in their
opinions, with regard to individual characters,
but they unanimously agreed in this,
that the hand of Heaven was manifestly
against them, for that nothing but the most
unaccountable infatuation could have urged
the Prince and his commanders to have
come to an engagement in such a place, and
in such unpropitious circumstances. The
half of the army was wanting, and above
2000 of their best warriors on the march to
join them that day; and those that were present
had been so exhausted by hunger and fatigue,
that they were unable either to fight
or fly. Everything militated against them
but the worst thing of all was, that the
brave and intrepid M‘Donalds, on whom
was their great dependance, refused to
make the attack sword in hand, after the
Mackintoshes had begun it, and fairy
broken the Duke of Cumberland's first
line. If that powerful regiment had been
supported on the left, as it was on the
right, it was, after all, ten to one that the
Duke's army would have been cut in pieces.
But the M'Donalds would not advance
they brandished their claymores, mowed the
heather with them, and stood still. They
actually refused to follow up their leaders;
which when the gallant Keppoch saw, he
rushed alone into the midst of the enemy's
line and fell.
Of these moving themes the conversation
consisted, till at last all fell sound asleep,
and Peter, being anxious that the sex of
his guest should not be discovered by the
party, nor so much as suspected, slept on
the floor alongside of her bed, rolled up in
his plaid, without, as he thought, letting
any of the rest know that he did not sleep
in the same bed. The next day, the two
former lovers and friends retired into the
wood, and spent the hours mostly by themselves;
and, at the fall of evening, they decamped,
after telling the old dame of their
intent, the rest being all absent on their several
watching stations. They two had
agreed, that, in such a savage life, it was
impossible Sally could remain; and Peter
resolved to put his life in jeopardy, and
conduct her to a place of safety, but he left
no hint with his aunt regarding his intended
Great was the consternation of the party
of outlaws, on their assembling, and finding
themselves deserted by Peter, it being on
his accomplishments as a marksman that
they principally depended for sustenance,
and they spared not cursing the wily Sassenach
boy that had allured him from
them; some began to hint that the stranger
was perhaps a girl, merely out of spleen;
but the idea was no sooner started, than
it began to gain ground; the beauty of
the youth — the erdlich shriek — the fainting
on first seeing Peter's face — all combined
to establish the shameful fact, that
Peter Gow, a married man, had absconded
clandestinely with a girl! Before the men
went to sleep, it was a received opinion, and
even Gow's worthy aunt had not a word to
say, either in doubt or extenuation.
The next morning, before sun-rise, two
men arrived at the bothy. These were no
others than Alexander Mackenzie, Sally's
husband, and his cousin John; and, their
friend M'Intyre being of the party within,
the visitors were known and welcomed.
Their business was express, and shortly
said. They had come in search of a vagrant
Lowland boy, who went by the name
of Alaster Monro, and whom they had
traced asking his way for that place.
The men looked all at one another, till
at length Lieutenant Chisholm answered
for the rest, by asking, in return, "If the
youth Alaster Monro was really a boy? —
Because, sir," added he, "we had some
dark doubts and suspicions to the contrary."
Mackenzie told them frankly, that the
supposed youth was a lady, and his own
wife, for whom he had been in express
search for many days and nights. The
men were all struck dumb with astonishment
and disgust; their utterance stuck
still in their throats; but old Mrs Chisholm
held up her hands and exclaimed, "Measa
na is measa!" They told him that all
manner of concealment or palliation of circumstances
on their part was not only vain,
but ungenerous; for that his lady had gone
off with Peter Gow, the far-famed blacksmith,
after sleeping a night with him there
in the bothy. Mackenzie's looks grew dark,
and his cheeks crimsoned with rage; but he
said, he believed the latter part of the information
to be gross calumny. The party
now divided, and maintained different sides
in their information; some asserted that
the two slept together, some that they did
not; some said that they stripped off their
clothes, for anything that they knew; others,
that neither of the two threw off a stitch,
except their brogues. But of one thing
there was no doubt, — the two had gone off
THE circumstances of Mackenzie's case
were peculiarly distressing. He loved his
new-made wife with all the strength of a
fond and first affection, and absence had
only rendered her dearer to him. He had
heard of her residence with his whig relations,
but he durst not discover himself, or
let his retreat be known among them. He
agreed to emigrate with the rest of his kinsmen,
whose hopes, like his, were extinguished
in their native land, but without his wife
he would on no account leave the country.
His friends tried to persuade him to go
with them privately, for fear of danger to
them all, and that his wife could find a
passage to him at any time, but he was not
to be moved from his purpose. He set out
to Castle Fairburn to bring her, and on his
way rested for a few hours, at the dead of
night, in the house of Letterewe, having
gone by that way, though out of his road,
to take leave of a beloved sister, and it was
their endearments on parting for ever, that
Sally had witnessed, and that had fired her
mind with jealousy to that degree that it
prevented her from speaking to her husband
when he stood at her bed-side, and
cast a parting look into the bed. It was a
look, too, of tenderness and regret, as if he
had thought to himself, "There lies one
asleep whom I shall never see again!" Who
can help regretting that Sally did not speak!
What toil, what sorrow, what misery one
single word at that decisive moment would
have prevented! But JEALOUSY, that fiend
of infernal descent, withstood it. Though
her husband's name wavered on her tongue
again and again, still JEALOUSY rendered
the utterance voiceless, and of no avail. It
was pronounced inwardly, or came forth a
blank, an abortion, into the regions of sound.
JEALOUSY, farther, prevented her from making
herself known to his relations, or inquiring,
as she ought to have done, into the
connexion between her husband and supposed
It is true, she had old Monro's word for
it that the lady was her husband's cousin,
but then she had nothing more — he had
not been in that district for more than
twenty years, and was received in it with
jealousy and reserve. After all, old Duncan's
fatal mistake was a very natural one,
for the young lady was only half-sister to
Alaster; that is, she was his mother's daughter,
but not his father's; her name was Ellen
Morison, and Duncan had never heard
of such a thing as that second marriage.
Mackenzie posted away to Castle Fairburn,
and, arriving there, he soon learned
that his wife had left that place in the disguise
of a young man, in search of him;
that her guide was an old man named Duncan
Monro, and she passed for his son. He
perceived at once that he had left her sleeping
in the loft at Letterewe, and that he
had spent part of the night close beside her.
He lost no time in retracing his steps. But,
alas! though so near to her in the morning
that he could have touched her with his
hand, the breadth of the island was now between
them, the road was rough, and he was
sore wearied. He consoled himself all the
way by thinking of the happy meeting with
his Sally, in a place so convenient for embarkation
as Poolewe, and of so much safety;
and he thought how she would blush
when her sex was discovered, and when she
was led from the kitchen into the parlour.
He had studied a great number of kind,
witty, and good-natured things to say to
her, and fancied the answers she would return,
trying to repeat them in broad Scots.
But, being obliged to keep wide of the common
track to avoid the military stations on
it, he did not reach Letterewe till the next
morning about seven o'clock. His first inquiries
were for the Sassenach youth; and
when informed that he was missing, he was
paralysed with despair, standing still and
cursing his wayward fate. "Do you not yet
know, my dear Ellen, who that boy was?"
said he.
"Yes, I do. He is old Duncan Glash's
son — has been at the schools in the Lowlands,
and a very interesting and modest
youth he is."
"Oh Ellen! it was my own wife. My
own dear Sarah, come in that disguise in order
to find out my retreat, and if anything
has befallen to her I am undone, utterly
undone, and all my prospects blasted anew."
"Ah! we began to think there was some
mystery hid under their arrival and tarrying
here. And then the old whig rascal
was so curiously affected on her disappearance;
he fidged, and simpered, and dropped
hints, so that we all remarked his behaviour
was not like that of a father whose
son was a-missing."
Duncan was now sought for with the utmost
anxiety, but he had gone off early in
the morning. They traced him to the cottages
at the head of the loch, and found
that he had been inquiring at them all for
the lost stranger, and that, after having had
something to drink in the little publichouse,
he had set out on his way home.
The men of Letterewe pursued him, but it
was not till after mid-day that he was
brought back to be examined by Alaster.
He told him all; but could give him no
account whither she had gone, or what
had caused her desertion of an object she
had so much at heart. He suspected that
she was gone still farther to the north
in search of him, but could give no ground
for these suspicions. He told him all that
he knew of her behaviour since the battle
of Culloden, which seemed to have been
amiable and exemplary in the highest degree;
but he told him also, what lay far
out of his way, all the stuff that he had
heard about an old minister; and of one
Peter Gow a smith, who had been a grand
sweetheart of hers, the whole farrago of nonsense
that daft Davie Duff told him, so
much to their mutual amusement.
Alaster knew not what to do; but, in
the meantime, people were dispatched in
every direction to make inquiries, and at
length one brought word that such a youth
had been seen, along with one of the Clan--
Chisholm, stretching his course for the forest
of Monar, and asking all the way for one
Peader Gobhadh.
This was stunning and most incomprehensible
news to her husband. That she
should have acknowledged herself as his
wife, — taken shelter with the only relations
of his that could protect her, and subjected
herself to fatigue and imminent danger in
a journey for his sake; and then all at once,
in the twinkling of an eye, set off in search
of a former lover, seemed to be utterly a
paradox. However, he engaged his cousin
John at Letterewe, and they two set out on
her track with all expedition. Alaster was
in a wretched despairing mood, often saying
that he saw the hand of Heaven was against
him in this, as in everything else; for, besides
having slept a night in the same apartment
with his wife, he had met old Monro
the next morning, when not above a mile
from Letterewe.
The two traced her, by dint of the most
determined perseverance, to the bothy in
the woods of Strath-Farrer; and there he
was told — Good God! — Think of a fond
husband being told flatly that his darling
had slept a night with her former lover,
spent a day with him in the woods, and
then set off with him the next evening!
If I had been Alexander Mackenzie, I
would have returned straight back the way
I came, gone on board the American sloop
lying in little Loch-Broom, and never more
asked after Mòr Gilnaomh. But the Highland
blood is of a different temperament.
Whether it was love, hate, jealousy, revennge,
or a determination to be at the bottom
of an affair that seemed inexplicable, I
cannot tell; but, in place of returning,
Mackenzie and his cousin pushed on to the
southward with greater expedition than
ever; and they actually kept the road in
such a fearless, determined way, that they
were never so much as once challenged, till
they came to the wooden bridge at Inverness,
and there they were asked for their
passes. Alaster told them that he had no
pass, but that he was an officer of the Earl
of Loudoun's, sent to apprehend a damned
traitor, named Peter Gow, in the Strath of
Finron; that he was an express, knowing
where he was to be found. The two, without
more ado, were suffered at once to proceed;
for the heat of the carnage was over,
and the roads were in a great measure
When they arrived at the village of Balmillo,
they found that Gow had never so
much as once been heard of there since the
great battle, where it was reported he had
fallen, and been buried. Old Margaret
screamed with joy on hearing that her son
was alive and well; and, as for his going off
with Mòr Gilnaomh, she observed, that "it
was te fery natural ting as efer was did in
te whoule world of te creation; for she was
te fery tear cood shill, and was te pelong of
him pefore she was te pelong of any poor
peggarly shentlemans of te west; and it
would hafe peen te getter do of Peader to
hafe cot te marry of her tan any maightean
modhail of tem all."
From Balmillo they went to Torlachbeg,
the residence of Peter's wife; and,
finding her a well-bred, accomplished woman,
they inquired for her husband, in terms
as mild as men judging themselves so deeply
injured were capable of. The search after
Peter had been intense, but, the report of
his death having spread, his enemies had
relaxed in their vigilance. His wife, nevertheless,
denied all knowledge of him, or
whether he was alive or dead; but she did
it with a look of alarm, that convinced the
two friends of her insincerity. They made
every effort in the neighbourhood to discover
the two fugitives that could be devised,
but without success; they found every one
actually ignorant of aught relating to them.
They spent two days in that country, and
at last found out, that the next day about
noon, after Peter and Sally had left the
shieling in Strath-Farrer, two people had
crossed Loch-Ness in a boat, answering the
description of them precisely; and, after
that, they had been seen at Dalmagarie,
but they could trace them no farther.
They had, therefore, nothing else for it,
but to apply once more to Mrs Gow; and,
in order to induce her to make a full disclosure,
they (somewhat ungenerously) related
to her the whole circumstances of the
case. Then did the fire-eyed fiend begin to
work, and that with a potency proportioned
to the atrocity of the offence, and the galled
pride of the offended. At first she burst
into a torrent of tears, and retired, muttering
somewhat about low life, and like drawing
to like; but she sent word to the gentlemen
not to go away, for she would be
with them shortly.
She lay in bed for two hours, in the
height of a fever of jealousy, nursing her
revenge to the highest pinnacle that reason
could bear it, — yea, rearing it up till it
staggered and toppled toward the other side,
the side of dimness and despair. She had
been trying all the while to calm herself, so
as to despise the wretch who had deserted
her, and to talk of the subject to the two
polite strangers as a matter of course, and
a thing of sheer indifference, — a thing that
every one behoved to expect, who connected
herself, or himself, with those below them
in rank, whatever casual circumstances might
induce friends or the world to suppose the
wretches had raised themselves a step higher
in society; and the poor woman actually
believed that she had fairly mastered, or
rather mistressed, her chagrin, by rising
above it.
She returned to the two Mackenzies,
with her head-gear rather improved, as she
deemed, entered the room with a quick,
dashing gait, and, with a loud, giggling
voice, begged pardon for her abrupt departure
and long absence; but her eyes were
blood-shot, and the ruddy streaks on her
cheeks — for they were but streaks — had deserted
their intricate channels, and settled
all into the comely reservoir on the tip of
her nose. — "Gentlemen, it is rather an
awkward business — he-he-he! I can't but
choose to laugh at it. Beg your pardon,
Squire Mackenzie of Auchencheen — Is that
the name of the place? — and yours, Letterewe.
Auchencheen, it is nice to think
what we two are made by this same MacTeine
— He-he-he! You are what we call a
fear-ban-adhaltrannaiche — He-he-he! But
what am I? — There's no proper name for
me. I am bean beannach — He-he-he!
What does that mean in English? — The
horned woman — He-he-be! — Yes, I am
the horned woman — He-he-he! Excellent
that! Beg pardon, gentlemen — But it is so
funny! Hope you have not breakfasted,
gentlemen? — and that I shall have the
pleasure of making something ready for
you? The Grants have been with us; but
Pilloch-beag, who was their captain, was
very modest, poor man! — he neither burnt,
stabbed, nor ravished — No, no — not he! —
But he left us not much behind him. Peader
Gobhadh, forsooth! Well, I am obliged
to my friends, who compelled me to exchange
vows with this same virtuous MacTeine,
who has made me a bean beannach
— Is not that it? — The horned wife — He--
he-he! — Fear-ban-adhaltrannaiche — He--
"Madam, I am very glad you take your
disgrace with so much joviality. You are
extremely amusing, ma'am, and very polite
— You are very light-hearted on the occasion."

"Certainly, so I am; and why should I
not? We have full revenge in our power,
Auchencheen — that is some comfort, is it
not? — ay, and we'll take it, too! Suppose
we mingle their blood with their sacrifice?
— Eh? — How will that do? I give up my
scullion, and think it would be quite pleasant
to see both their heads set up together,
as if looking at each other. How it would
become them, vile as they are, to be staring
at one another, with their fallen chops, and
their white eyes, and their tongues hanging
all to one side! — Quite pleasant — Och-och--
och! Hope you have not breakfasted, gentlemen?
Squire Mackenzie, your injury is
small — 'tis nothing, sir. — What think you
my worthy did? — Why, he introduced his
ban-adhaltraich to me! — as who, think
you? — as a poor, sick young gentleman
from the Lowlands! — O yes! — a poor,
sick youth, far from all relations! — Alack,
and woe's me! And I took her in, too! —
Yes, sir, I took her in, and was kind to her,
and cherished her; but, when he heard that
strangers were in search of him, he and she
have absconded again. You say he slept
with her at a certain bothy. — Thanks be to
Heaven, he has never slept with me since that
period! Every night have they two been
together! — Every night, God be thanked!
Hope you have not breakfasted, gentlemen?
— Eh? Pilloch-more — no, I beg your
pardon, Pilloch-beag was here, with his
Grants. Pilloch-beag, says I? — He-he-he!
Bean beannach! — the horned woman —
"Madam, may I beg the favour to see
Mr Gow and his protegee? If you can direct
me to their retreat, I promise you I
shall revenge both our injuries at one blow,
unless the gallant can give some reasons for
his interference that I weep not of. But
the primary blame rests not with him, criminal
though he be; for she sought him
out in his retreat — he sought not her. If
I find them in each other's arms, ma'am, you
can have no objections to my running them
both through the body?"
"Is it not what they deserve, both of
them? Are they not forsworn traitors, and
the foulest of the foul? Have they not
fooled us both? Were they not paramours
before they saw us? And did they not get
themselves palmed on us, that they might
continue paramours through life at our mutual
expense? Fob! — no more of them! I
hope you have breakfasted, gentlemen? —
Nobody would put themselves out of humour
for the loss of such garbage, surely.
I know not where he has his coileabach at
present, but he himself will be at a certain
place for viands, which I am to carry there,
in a very short time. I hope, sir, he shall
find a meal that he thinks not of. Take
this mantle about you, sir, and put this
bonnet and white badge on your head, and
I will point out the spot where you are to
go, and where you shall meet him face to
face. Your friend may keep in sight of you,
if he chooses; if not, he may remain with
me. I know not where he bath his Leman
— his sweet Lowland youth, forsooth! — but,
perhaps, sir, you may induce him to declare
himself. You will meet him hand to hand,
sir, and face to face, for he will come to you
to beg a mess of pottage for his mistress,
sir. Not a night has he been with me! —
Bean beannach! — A horned bull can push;
a horned cow can give as deadly a wound as
any; and why may not a horned woman?"
The worthy dame then went out with
the two gentlemen, and pointed out a certain
place to them, at which they would
meet her husband at a certain hour; but
one only was to go to the spot, and he was
to go with the mantle, and bonnet with the
white badge; for that the traitor kept watch
at a distance, and, relying on her secrecy,
unless he perceived that signal, he would
not come, and it was impossible to find him
They then left her, and retired to take
their measures, not a little disgusted at the
behaviour of Peter's dame, and the readiness
she had manifested to betray her husband.
They perceived that she was a little
delirious, but whether it was from the effects
of aquavitæ, or nervous sensibility, they
could not discern, only they hardly wondered
at the preference given by Peter Gow to
the other fair creature that had thus thrown
herself on his protection.
John again urged his friend Alaster to
abandon the matter, and pursue it no farther.
— "From all that we have heard of
this unaccountable step of hers," said he,
"it appears to me that she has forfeited
her honour, and your love, for ever; then
why would you expose yourself for that
which is unworthy of you?"
"No, no, cousin John," said he; "do
not speak to me. — Since I have engaged in
this pursuit, I will be at the bottom of the
matter — It is not in my nature to leave
such a thing half done. I shall be revenged
on the clown; and, if I do not pierce my
wife's heart in one way, I shall do it in another.
I have lost my chance of escape to
a foreign land, and I do not now account
my life worthy of preservation."
The place whither he went to meet Peter
Gow was a little sequestered shieling. It
stood itself in perfect concealment, but a
fox could not have approached it without
being perceived by one on the watch; for
there was a bare exposed height all around,
and it lay hid in a little wooded hollow.
Mackenzie therefore went by himself, with
his cloak-plaid, and white cockade; and, to
prevent the deception from being observed,
he stepped into the bothy to await the arrival
of his wife's seducer. John Mackenzie lay
flat on his breast, and peeped over the ridge,
from whence he perceived one approaching
the shieling, with cautious and hurried
steps, and doubted not that it was Gow.
He likewise entered the hut; and, as soon
as he had gone in, John Mackenzie arose
and walked sharply towards it. By the
time he was half way, he perceived Peter
rush out, pursued by his friend Mackenzie,
who followed a small space, calling out somewhat
that he did not hear, and then fired a
pistol. Gow that instant turned round, and
seized his pursuer, and both of them came
down. John Mackenzie ran with all his
might, but, before he got to them, he found
his friend mortally wounded, he having received
two stabs of a skene-dhu from Gow, who
had no other weapon. It was never known
what passed between them; the colloquy
had been short in the extreme. From all
that could be learned afterwards, Peter
believed he was betrayed to one of the
Earl of Loudoun's officers, and thought he
had slain one of them. When he gave the
mortal blow, John was so near to them, that
he was running, quite breathless, holding
out his hands, and calling to refrain; but
it was too late; the powerful arm of the
wounded and irritated Peter was drawn,
and, with a vengeful thrust, it sent the
insidious weapon on its fatal mission.
"Wretch!" cried John, aloud, "dost
thou know what thou hast done, and whom
thou hast slain?"
"No, I do not," said the other; "but I
have wounded one that first wounded me,
and would have slain me."
"O thou accursed dog!" exclaimed John,
on seeing his cousin's wounds; "how aggravated
is thy guilt, and how many thousand
times doubled thy damnation! Thou
hast slain one of the most amiable and injured
of men! — Alexander Mackenzie, the
husband of the woman whom thou hast debased!"

Gow found not a word to say for a long
space. He stared, in utter dismay, now at
the victim, now at the friend; and, at the
same time, he shook the dripping blood
from his fingers, — for his own heart's blood
was dripping on the ground from both his
hands and feet. At length he uttered these
words — "Heaven is still just, and she is
revenged! As for me debasing the dear
woman you speak of, it was out of my power.
— Not for the whole universe would I have
been instrumental in tainting mind so
simply pure and unsophisticated. I have,
at the risk of my life, protected her, as I
would have done a deserted sister, and I
declare before God, to whom I must soon
answer, that, from the hour I first knew
her, her virtue has been as dear and as precious
to me as my own soul; and I believe
her, at this moment, free of stain, as when
she came from her mother's breast."
When Mackenzie heard this, he lifted
his head from the bloody sward, and, fixing
his haggard eyes, that seemed kindling
with an unearthly gleam, on Peter, he said,
emphatically, "Man, art thou saying the
"Ay; and it is a truth that you and I
must both soon be called to attest before a
bar at which there is no subterfuge. — How
thou wilt answer for thy treatment of her, I
know not; for me, I can answer for the part
I have acted to God and man."
"Ah, what a wretch then am I! Man,
thou must surely pity me! Dear cousin
John, pity me! Thou seest, and hearest, that
man's face and words are not those of guilt.
O that I could but see her, and hear one
word of forgiveness or of condolence from
her lips, before my departure hence! Man,
thou injured and benevolent man, can I see
"It is but a dismal scene to bring one
to that is already heart-broken by thy cruel
desertion, and tottering on the brink of a
wasting disease. Better it were that this
young gentleman ran for assistance. — If
aught can be done for the mitigation of your
own sufferings, then may we send for her."
John Mackenzie took the hint, and ran
to the place they had lately left, with the
dismal tidings. There were but few people
about the stealing, for they were Mackintoshes,
and had all either fallen at Culloden,
or were still in hiding; but Mackenzie
raised a train of women, and two old men,
and they came to the bothy, in order to
carry the wounded men to the house.
In the interim, the two rivals were left
lying beside each other on the green, and,
instead of any abusive or bitter reflections
passing between them, they were employed
in stemming each other's wounds. Peter
was shot through the shoulder, and Mackenzie
had received two wounds of the dirk,
one in his body, and one in his arm. The
latter Peter found means to stem, else he
would instantly have bled to death.
Death is the great queller of rancour and
human pride; even his seen approach subdues
them, levels rank, and consumes the substance
of the fiery passions, leaving nothing but the
froth behind, to mark the limits of the overflowing
tide, that the regret and anguish of
the sufferers and the lookers-on may be
thereby embittered. There was nothing
now passed between the two but regret, and
every explanation rendered that regret the
deeper and the more intense. When Gow
related to Mackenzie the cause of his loved
wife's desertion, then did the poignancy of
his sufferings reach their acme; he writhed
in agony of mind, as well as of body, lamenting,
in the most pathetic terms, his wayward
and unhappy fate. As for honest Peter,
when he heard that all had originated in
mistake, — that the fond and faithful husband
had only been taking leave of a beloved
sister, and was then in search of his
wife, he could not refrain from weeping. —
"Alack, alack for both of you!" exclaimed
he; "surely the breath of God has blasted
all that were engaged, like you and me, in
a certain unhappy cause, however just it
might appear to our eyes. The sword, the
famine, and the flame, have hardly left our
families root or branch, and the few that
the sword and the gibbet, the famine and
the flame, have left, are falling fast by the
fury of the elements, and the hands of one
another. The world disclaims us, and Heaven
hath given us up."
"It is all too true that thou hast said,"
returned the other. "I have seen it! I
have seen it! and often pondered on it with
bitterness of spirit. But I was forewarned
of it, and the words of the old filidh aitheral,
who foretold it to me, have never deserted
my mind. 'Son, thou art going to join our
Prince. I know it,' said he. 'Now, tell
me, art thou steadfast in the belief of our
Holy Catholic Religion?'
"I said I hoped I was, and ever should
"'But tell me,' continued he, 'dost thou
believe that no prayers nor vows find admittance
to the throne above but those of Catholics?'

"I said I never had such contracted
views of redeeming grace.
"'But I had!' said he, 'and have found
myself mistaken, by comparing the darkling
views of futurity with something that
has already been, and which is more illegible
to my visionary sight than the other.
Son, there has, at a time prior to this, a curse
descended out of Heaven on our Prince, on
all the house of his fathers, and on those
who support it. And, listen to me, son, it
appears that that grievous curse was, as it
were, wrung out of Heaven by the cries of
suffering saints, AND YET THESE SAINTS
WERE NOT CATHOLICS. They were spoiled;
they were hunted; they were tormented,
and their blood ran like water on their
native hills and heaths, while our own people,
the sons of the Gael, aided the destroyers.
These sufferers cried incessantly to the Almighty
for aid, until at last he sent out his
angel, who pronounced the exterminating
curse on the guilty race of Stuart, and a
triple woe on all that should support their
throne. I have seen that angel myself, and
heard his appalling voice a thousand times.
I have seen him stretching his bloody sword
over our land, and swearing by the Avenger
of the Just, that, as we had shed the blood of
the righteous at a tyrant's command, so
should a tyrant shed our blood without regret
and without satiety. I forbid thee not
to go, my son, for if thou fallest in the cause
of our now degraded religion, thou fallest in
the cause of Heaven, and thy soul shall be
saved. Only be assured, that the hand of
the Almighty is against thee, and heavy,
heavy will be its descending stroke!' I heard
all this, yet I laughed at the old father as
at a raving maniac, and took up my sword
and departed to join the host. I have lived
to see his words fulfilled. The hand of
Heaven has indeed fallen heavily upon us,
yet who could ever have deemed that the
part we took deserved it. God is just, but
his ways are inscrutable."
"It is even as thou hast said, hapless
youth!" said Peter. "But I think, of all
the miserable catastrophes that have occurred
in this year of desolation, thy own story
is the most lamentable. Yes, what thou
hast observed is true to a tittle; all those
who have ventured most for the cause of the
royal Adventurer have suffered in proportion.
Poor, infatuated Sally! What now is become
of thee! None ventured more than
thou didst, though nowise interested in the
cause, and none is likely to suffer so deeply.
Alas! I tried all that I could to convince
her of your honour and integrity, but
the evidences were so strong against me
that I could not prevail. I told her you
were incapable of such conduct, and proffered
to stake my life on your honour and
truth. I have got my reward, and would
to Heaven I had been the only sufferer!"
"I wish we could reach a clean spot to
die on," said Mackenzie; "this place is horrible!
There is no contending with the lifted
arm of an avenging God; and, since the
iniquities of the fathers must be visited on
their children, we two hapless victims to that
arbitrary decree, must submit. But O that
I had never been born to have caused all
this woe, by slaying a just and honourable
man, and my best friend!"
"I pray thee, cease, brave young warrior,"
cried Peter. "These are the words
of despair, not of resignation. Why will
you embitter the pangs of death to us
Mackenzie's senses had been wandering
while he spoke, for when the other turned
his eyes toward him he had fainted away;
and Peter, thinking all was over with him,
bewailed his fate with many bitter tears.
His own wound was in a place which he could
neither reach with his hand, nor see; and,
being in great pain, he arose and tried to
walk homeward, that is, towards his wife's
home, which, alas, was now no home for
him! But, by the time he had walked a few
paces, he was seized with a giddiness, staggered,
and fell in a state of drowsy insensibility.
In that situation were they found
by John Mackenzie, who then arrived with
his women and his two old men, accompanied
by a country surgeon, a Dr Frazer,
from Strath-Errick, an even-down reprobate,
as the women termed him, who accounted
the life of a man of no more value than the
life of a salmon. He examined both their
wounds, cursing all the while, and then
asked jocularly, what was to be done?
"What done?" said John Mackenzie.
"For the love of God, save them if it be
"And wherefore should I save them,
young man?" said the doctor. "If I
dress their wounds ever so well, they cannot
fly or be removed from the spot for a
long period. If they remain here they will
be taken, and, being both proscribed men
like myself, if they are taken, they will be
hung up like two tikes in a tether. Is it
not better that they should die of their
wounds like men, and be buried beneath
that lovely sward, than be executed like
"Hersel pe on te tink tat te toctor shentlemans
haif speaked creat pig of te sense of
common," said a voice at Dr Frazer's elbow.

Peter Gow, when he heard it, raised up
his unbonneted and bloody head, thinking
the tones of the voice were familiar to his
ear, and, behold! there stood Davie Duff,
with his burial spade over his shoulder.
He did not recognize his old acquaintance
Peter lying in that forlorn state, but all
that David wanted was for them both to die,
that he might get the burying of them.
The Doctor perceived this, and was greatly
taken with the whimsicality of the desire,
for, exclusive of the selfish principle,
burying had grown into a passion with
Davie. He actually delighted in inhuming
the remains of the mortal frame, and the
more putrid and the more mangled, he liked
it the better. In such circumstances, he
was not over soon wearied of laying the carcase
right in its last receptacle, gloating
over it with some sort of horrible and undefined
pleasure, both to shovel the mould
above it, and hide it from the sight for
ever. He even loved better to inter a remnant
of a human body than the whole, and,
for the sake of a soft place to bury it in,
would have carried it himself for a long
way. The doctor bathed the wounds with
such materials as the place afforded, dressed
them, and bound them up; and all the
while was as busy jesting and conversing
with Davie as if he had been employed in
any secular work. He would not suffer
them to be carried home, saying, that the
motion would open the wounds anew, and
it would be certain death. Mackenzie had
fainted twice, and was as yet hardly breathing;
as for Gow, he sustained the operation
of probing and dressing with great firmness,
and, presuming on his veterinary skill, assisted
the doctor with his advice in the necessary
operations. The women made two
soft beds of flowery heather, strewed them
over with moss, and there in that lonely
shieling, were the two rash and repentant
young heroes laid, with their feet to each
other, and their heads to the sod-wall.
Young Letterewe and the strangers that he
had collected sat over them, commiserating
their sufferings and woful fate, and Davie
Duff took a turn round with his spade in
search of a spot of soft ground where two
graves could be made with the greatest
Just as they were thinking about separating,
and settling about who was to remain,
and who was to bring them refreshments,
Davie entered suddenly and whispered that
there was a tannas (an apparition) coming
on them; at the same time, he was in
such a flutter, looking for a place to hide
in, that he alarmed the old women mightily,
and, before the doctor got time to examine
him relating to the cause of his terrors,
the beautiful vision entered among them
all. It was Sally, dressed in a suit of her
best clothes, which she had all the while carried
about with her carefully, but never till
that hour used. She could not see the hut
from her retreat, but perceived people going
and coming over the height, and, as Peter
had not returned, she was certain of something
having befallen; and, reckless of all
danger, if her last support was taken from
her, she resolved to face every injury and
reproach, and appear in her own natural
"Ooch Got! Let hersel be ketting out
to rhun upon te hills!" cried Davie. But
the doctor withstood him, and set himself
firm in the bothy-door; he could not part
with Davie in such a delightful plight as
he was then in.
"Nay, my brave fellow, remain where
you are. Pray, Mr Duff; you that are earther-general
to his Majesty King George, the
Duke of Cumberland, and all the great
eastern clans, besides Colonel Cholic, you
know — Why would you run from the face
of a lady?"
"Cot pless you, mhaister! A lhaty?
Tid you nhever see her pefore? Och, she
pe te fery vision, tat is te spiritual of her
tat was Mustruss Sally. For Cot's lharge
mhercy, let her fhorth to fast rhun!"
"Not a foot you stir, friend. There you
The two wounded men were lying stretched
and covered with plaids. When they
heard the term, "Mistress Sally," both of
them uncovered their pallid faces at the
same instant, and both of them uttered a
groan of tender compassion, as in concert.
Sally's countenance changed on the instant.
When she entered, it was one of amazement
at the motley group around her,
standing all over two sleepers, or dead men;
but, when the two victims to one precipitate
act of hers uncovered their altered visages,
then did her wan and woe-worn, though
still lovely face, assume the lines of distraction.
She neither shrieked nor uttered
exclamation; but, clasping her arms fearfully
across her bosom, she looked wildly
about, as if begging some explanation.
None could give it, for none knew who she
was save Davie, and he took what he saw
for her ghost. Peter was the first to accost
her — "Oh, alas! unhappy Sarah! to what
a scene thou art come!" exclaimed he.
"Peter Gow!" was all that Sally could
pronounce, but these two short sounds were
enough for Davie. He had never all the
while recognized aught of his old friend
Peter, and, having, as he believed, buried
him on the field of Culloden, the horrors of
the old beadle on hearing his voice once
more, and seeing his haggard features, was
indescribable. He made an involuntary
bounce against the doctor, and, at the same
time, vociferated something between a prayer
and an oath, in Gaelic. The doctor was irritated.
"You cowardly beast!" exclaimed
he, "what are you affrighted for? Do
you suppose that the dying man will eat
"Mhan?" cried Davie, hysterically.
"Lort's retemption! How can she pe a
mhan when I puried his pody in the crave
lhong pefore te ago?"
"You buried him in te grave, you
idiot? What do you mean?"
"Och, yes, and I did, all put te head.
And den I buailed him, tat is, I tumped him
and twacked him down wit my spade, and
I tromped te green ground above him.
Uh, Lort, how can she pe a mhan after tat?
Lhet her go to pe on te swift."
"Let the fool go," said John Mackenzie;
"is that raving a suitable accompaniment
for such a scene as this?"
The doctor then let him pass, but followed
him to the field, being more taken with
his extravagant terror than the scene of
deep distress within the bothy, than which
it is hardly possible to conceive one more
replete with mental and bodily anguish!
But Dr Frazer had, of late, been accustomed
to so many scenes of misery, despair, and
extermination, that his better feelings were
all withered, and a certain distortion had
taken place in the bias of his mind. He
perceived Davie to be a rude copy of something
within himself, and he hankered after
him as one deformed object lingers round
another, either from sensations of disgust,
or a diabolical pleasure in seeing some creatures
more loathsome than itself. There
the two strayed together, the one relating
what deaths, pinings, and ravings, he had
seen during the summer; and the other,
what miserable corpses he had found and
interred in the wastes.
"When hersel furst petook her to te
moors, sir," said he, "she was not on te
found of anyting but te wounded pattleman,
which was all fery whell. And you
would had peen on te wonder, sir, to haif
known how far a trhue hill Highlander
would haif rhun wit so mhany of te pullets
of kuns trou him's pody; and ten tere would
pe a tousand holes in him wit te vile tree--
pointed dirk tat stand peside te nhose of te
kun, him pe te worst fellow of all. Fat was
it you would call him? Te gunna-bhiodag,
tat is te bhaighonet. Cot tamn, I haif seen
her lhying pored and pored trou te pody as
te Tuke of Chumperland would mhake
sifter of him's kite. And ten I would always
pe knowing, tat neither te fox, nor te
fitheach, tat is, to black crow, would not
dhare to pe bhiting a smallest piece from
one of tese warrior fhellows. Cot, sir, te
fery tead fhaces of tem would frhight te
souls of tem crheatures pack into te heart's
plood of tem. Te vhile catpole would
sometimes take off him's nhose, or dhig a
small hole into him's side, but te tevil anoder
bhaist dhurst touch a dead Mackintosh,
or a Frhazer, or a Cameron. As for Macdonnel,
she would nhot pe puried at all,
nor she would not suffer either mhan or
phaist, or dhevil to touch her, either tead
or alhive. But och and alhas, sir! for tese
two or tree hundred times she haif cot nothing
but poor womans and chilters, all tead
of hunger, and vexhations, and cold. Och,
inteed it was fery pad! His Mhachesty te
Tuke of Chumperlhand pe a fery cood shentleman,
but, Cot tamn! he should nhot
have persecuted te poor prhetty mhaiteans,
and wifes, and lhittle pabies to teath. Fat
ill could they doo to himsel or his mhaister?
And ten te plack crow, and all te vhile
creedy bhaists, would fall on te lhittle dhear
innocent crheatures, and would tak out teir
eyes, and te tongues out of teir mhouths.
And ten tey would pe dhigging into teir
hearts, and thaking out all teir bowels; and,
O Lort, would pe mhaking a vhery pad
chob of it."
"Well, Mr Duff, do you not see that
there is one comfort, that the dog Cumberland
will roast in hell for what he has done
to us?"
"Oo, fat doo I know? He will mhaybe
get a retemption parton; but, pe Cot, I
would not stand in his lhine for half a
crhown and mhore."
"Oh the butcher beast, I hope to see the
ravens in the home of perdition preying on
his heart, for his savage cruelty to a brave
and loyal people."
"And hersel hopes you will nhot,
mhaister dhoctor, fhor if you see him there
you will nhot pe fhar off yourself. Take
me for it, him pe fery cood shentlemhan,
and has paid mhe for mhore tan a hundred
and twenty of te cluas, tat is te lugs of
Highlanders, and I have eighteen pairs for
him here tat are nhot peen paid yet. See,
tere tem pe, all tight and whoule."
"It strikes me, Mr Duff, that some of
these small ears have been cut from living
"Oo, nhot at hall. Tem will all pe
count fery whell. His Mhachesty te Tuke
will nhot mind alto tem should be a lhittle
"Some of these are cut from living children,
I could make oath to it. Tell me seriously
— for it is the best jest I ever knew —
Do you really cut the ears sometimes from
living children, for the sake of a shilling a
"Oo, nhot at hall. If it would nhot pe
some lhittle repel dhogs tat would pe on te
"Well confessed. Then here's for you,
you infernal dog. Here's another pair that
will count for a day's work."
So saying, the doctor seized Davie, and
in one moment whipped off the laps of both
his ears, which he put into his hand. The
thing was so suddenly and so deftly done,
that the poor beadle could scarcely believe
he had received any injury, but, holding
the two severed ears in one hand, he put up
the other to his temple, the blood whizzed
against it. Then he changed his hold and
put up the other hand, which was saluted
in the same way. His eyes naturally turned
both ways almost at once, and he perceived
his precious blood arching from both
ears like so many beautiful crimson rainbows.
"Cot tamn you for cuilein madadh,"
cried he, in the most intemperate rage.
"Fat you cut mhy years? May te dhevil's
own lhong pig tamn come ofer apove you
for a pomination cooper of physock! Now
I doo prhay tat you mhay mheet my mhaister
te Tuke of Cohumperlhand ackain, poth
in te here and te after, and tat a tousand
coal dhevils may pe cutting off your lhugs
every nhight and every mhorning, and your
old dog of a chief's too, and all te Clan--
Frhazer, every one!"
Davie went away cursing, to the burn in
the correi, where he washed his mutilated
ears and bound them up; and, taking the
severed parts, he rolled them carefully up
with the rest, deeming the trick played to
him, upon the whole, not a very bad speculation.

"Alas! unhappy Sarah! To what a
scene thou art come!" said Peter to her on
raising his eyes.
Peter Gow!" exclaimed she. He
pointed to her husband with a hurried hand,
and a motion, signifying that there was one
who claimed her first attention. "Ah!
and my husband too! At least, he that
was my husband," continued she. "Is he
lying here? Dearest Alaster, what have
they done to you? You weep, and do not
speak to me. Tell how you came here,
or for whom you came?"
"I came for you, love, and have met with
you and death at the same time. — Oh, why
did you desert a heart that loved you above
all the world?"
"For the sake of heavenly mercy, do not
talk of death and of loving me at the same
time! Why should love and death, to one
you love, be pronounced together? But
there's one of them I will eagerly believe,
even against the evidence of my own senses."
With that she kneeled down on the heather
couch, put her arm over him, and laid her
cheek to his. — "I forgive all, since you love
me," continued she; "and, if you die, with
calm and pleasant resignation will I lie here,
and die at your side."
Mackenzie became so much agitated, that
John was obliged to interfere, and withdraw
her from his side; "for," said he, "his life
is in imminent danger, and hangs by a cord
so brittle, that the smallest degree of perturbation,
even the moving of a muscle, may
break it; and then the best and bravest of
Scotland's youths would be lost."
He lifted Sally gently in his arms, and supported
her in them, leaning himself against.
the wall. She gazed at the two victims, but
the looks of both manifested nothing but
despair. She perceived that there was a
gulf of misery before her, a trial that she
dreaded, and she was endeavouring to rouse
up her mind to an heroic endurance, whatever
it might be, when Mr John Mackenzie
desired her to sit down on the floor, and
compose herself, for she had a tale of woe to
listen to. She did so, and he sat down beside
her, putting his arm around her, to support
or restrain her, as the occasion might
require, and then recounted to her the whole
of their hapless story, up to the moment of
time that she entered the hut.
"But will they not recover?" cried she;
"will not my husband and kind protector
yet recover, and be friends? — Sure they will,
if there be any pity in the decisive courts
of Heaven!"
"Cease to arraign Heaven, my love,"
said her husband, "for it is in conformity
with one of its sublime decrees that we all
meet in this state of suffering. There was
a doom pronounced on an illustrious house,
and in that direful doom all its supporters
have been included. From the moment
that you lent a hand to aid a sinking cause,
you entered the lists of the accused, and the
bloom of your happiness was blighted. The
sun of mercy has been withheld in the darkness
of heaven, and the mildew of hell has
blasted the blossom of all our fondest hopes.
There is an old curse hanging over the race
of STUART, and the dregs of their cup of
misery has fallen to our share; we must
all drink of it, love, even to the drop that
brings the pang of death, before the destiny
be completed."
Scarcely could his friend restrain him in
his wild, frenzied forebodings, — the recollections
of some former prophecy, which had
made a deep impression on his mind, till
Dr Frazer entered, and ordered him to silence
with loud imprecations, telling him,
that, if he did not hold his tongue, he would
be in h—ll in five hours. He was also earnest
with the party to disperse, and leave
the two wounded men in quiet, all but one to
wait on them. He was particularly anxious
that Sally should be removed, for he perceived
how much her presence agitated them
both; but no entreaty could move her to
desert them. She smiled, as if in pity, on
those who advised her to retire to a more
suitable abode. — "Where can I go?" said
she; "I have neither home nor friend to
which I can go — nothing beyond the walls
of this hut, and here will I remain for life
or death; I will watch with them, and dress
their wounds, and, if they die, I will bury
them with my own hands; honest Davie
will perhaps lay me beside them."
Dr Frazer cursed her for a whining jade,
but, at the same time, the tears were running
over his sallow checks.
Sally and Mr John Mackenzie remained
at the bothy; the rest returned to Tarloch,
all save Davie Duff, who lingered with his
spade about the correi; for, having learned
that these two were his old friends in reality,
and in great distress, the poor fellow remained
near them, yet would not venture to
intrude on their calamity. Mr Mackenzie,
having observed him sauntering about, informed
Sally of the circumstance, who desired
to see him, and, when he came in, his
simple expressions of sorrow were truly pathetic.
Sally, who had plenty of gold about
her, gave him a piece, and desired him to go
to the camp, and procure some wine and
bread, as there was none to be got anywhere
else, and, for her sake, to be secret. He undertook
the task with the greatest alacrity,
and went away, with his spade over his
shoulder, which he would in nowise consent
to leave. He travelled all the way from
Correi-Uaine to Fort-Augustus, and returned
the next morning, without sleeping,
bringing plenty of wine, tea, and bread with
When the party returned with Dr Frazer
to Tarloch-beg, they found Mrs Gow
still in the same raving and distempered
state; nor was her jealous rage aught mitigated,
when informed that her husband was
shot through the body, and attended by his
former mistress in the bothy of Correi-Uaine;
she uttered a loud hysteric laugh, and hoped
they would comfort one another, as it was like
to be a happy meeting of friends, and such a
one as such friends deserved. It was in vain
that Dr Frazer swore at her, and tried to
shame her out of her base suspicions; it only
increased her rancour and malevolence, and
he was obliged to quit her in deep disgust.
In the meantime, the scene at the bothy
continued to grow more and more painfully
distressing; the men's wounds grew stiff, so
that they neither could move, nor be moved,
without intense suffering; and, the worst
thing of all, the mind of the unfortunate
Sally began to give way. She had stood
the first shock with wonderful equanimity;
but the effort had either been an exertion
beyond her strength, or else the horrors of
which she had been the cause, opened to her
mental view, by degrees, with an enormity
that the broken state of her health, and her
weakened nerves, could. not brook. Before
the next day, Mr John Mackenzie noted
that her looks sometimes manifested abstraction
of thought, and a melancholy
smile would settle on her mild face, and remain
for a considerable space, as if indented
there. Then she ever and anon adverted
to the scene in the loft at Letterewe, where
one word from her lips would have prevented
a world of misery; but she mentioned it
often with an incoherence of metaphor, and
allusions, that a healthful mind would scarcely
have framed. — "That wee word WE kept
Moses out of the land of promise," said she,
keeping her eyes fixed on vacancy. The
men listened in breathless suspense, to hear
what would follow, but nothing did; the
chain of ideas that had led to the remark
was unlinked, and the force of her memory
could not again unite them. She came to
it long after. — "If that word had been kept
in, like mine, it might have been worse,"
said she; "and yet, I think, hardly. The
children of Israel surely would not have
fallen on and slain one another out of jealousy."

At another time she exclaimed, — "Ah!
I should have spoken. I should have spoken!
A word spoken is like a bird that flies
away into the open firmament, to be judged
of by God and man. But one repressed is
a reptile that digs downward, downward into
darkness and despair!"
In this deplorable situation did the party
at the bothy remain for the first two days
and nights. One of the women that was at
the bothy at first, a poor widow, brought
them a little goat's milk once a-day, and
such other things as she could collect in that
spoiled country, for which Sally paid her
liberally, for she seemed now to part with
her little concealed treasure not only with
pleasure, but with eagerness; and her malady
increased so much, that at times it
seemed approaching to utter delirium. She
next fell a talking about an ideal orphan
babe, the total destitution of which seemed
to haunt her wandering imagination, and,
whenever she touched on the theme, it was
with a pathos truly moving; for the men
imagined that these tender ideas were engendered
in her mind from a consciousness
that she herself was in a way, at some future
period, to become a mother, and all the
three were several times melted into tears
by the simple expression of her meteor fancies.
"The poor little innocent lamb can
do nothing for herself, and, if there is none
to do anything for her, she must die of
hunger and thirst. But, O, it was so piteous
to see her pawling with her little hands,
and to hear her crying! She was begging
support from a hard-hearted world, but they
would not give it! although she told them
she had neither father nor mother!"
"Good God, this is insufferable!" exclaimed
"Was it not inhuman, Alaster? Was
it not inhuman to abandon the pretty little
destitute baby? It had a soul, and it would
fain have lived to cherish it, but it could
not. Oh, it could not live of itself! I cannot
help crying for it. Indeed, I cannot
it was so utterly helpless!"
"What babe was it, dearest love?"
"What babe was it? What babe was
it?" returned she quickly, as with great
surprise. "Why, was it not the one that we
buried to-day, and murdered many days
agone? On the loft at Letterewe, you
know. No, it was long before that! But I
never heard aught so sweet as the death--
hymn that the old woman sung over it. It
was so like a Christian psalm I will never
forget it, and I sung it all last night. I'll
let you all hear a strain of it, how solemn
it is. —
O sweet little cherub, how calm thou'rt reposing,
Thy sorrow is over, thy mild eye is closing,
The world has proved to thee a step-dame unfriendly,
But rest thee, my babe, there's a spirit within thee.
A wonder thou art, as thou lie'st there unshriven,
A stem of the earth, and a radiance of heaven;
A flower of the one, thou art fading and dying,
A spark of the other, thou'rt mounting and flying.
Farewell, my sweet baby, too early we sever!
I may come to thee, but to me thou shalt never,
Some angel of mercy shall lead and restore thee,
A pure, living flame, to the mansions of glory.
The moralist's boast may sound prouder and prouder;
The hypocrite's prayer rise louder and louder;
But I'll trust my babe in her trial of danger,
To the mercy of Him that was laid in the manger.
Whether it proceeded from feelings of
sympathy, from inflammation of the wounds,
or a deep consciousness of their deplorable
condition, I know not, but, from the moment
that Sarah had finished her little
death-hymn, symptoms of derangement began
to manifest themselves in the demeanour
of both the patients. Her manner of
performing it was most affecting, especially
when that was conjoined in the minds of
the hearers with the state of the singer, that
had given birth to these parental emotions,
that seemed wavering like a lambent flame
over the extremities of nature. She kept all
the while a swinging motion with her arms
and knees, looking passionately down as on
the face of a dying child.
She had no sooner ended than the wounded
men began to talk intemperately about
they knew not what, and the mania increased
to such a degree, that Mackenzie sat
up and brandished his arms, boasting of his
Jacobitism, his feats of arms, and he seemed
particularly to harp upon some injury received.
Peter wept, and then laughed, and
then tried to raise himself up. Mr John
Mackenzie tried first to restrain the one,
then the other, but, on perceiving nothing
but maniac looks and motions all around
him, he flung himself down in despair, and
exclaimed vehemently, "Mother of God,
what shall I do! What is to become of us!
Sure that blasting curse of Heaven extends
not to the putting out of the light of the
soul? Or can this solitary dell be the haunt
of demons?"
The violence of his action, and the vehemence
of his words, had an effect that he
could not have conceived. it overmastered
their madness, hushing them all to profound
silence, and, for a whole natural day, he had
no other means of quelling the mania with
which they were affected, but by making
himself madder than they, which never
failed in the effect of allaying their violence,
and sometimes even induced them to expostulate
with him, and to manifest sorrow for
his extravagance.
Dr Frazer at length arrived at the hut,
to the great satisfaction of all, particularly
to that of Mr John Mackenzie, whose charge
was indeed a heavy one. The doctor administered
an emollient to the sufferers that
allayed the fervour of their mental emotions,
and calmed them to repose, and he
gave a phial of it to Mr John Mackenzie.
He declared the sufferers to be in a hopeful
state, in a way that, with proper treatment,
they might recover; but there was a cloud
hung over his brow that they could not penetrate;
a cloud of the deepest melancholy,
affecting every word, look, and action. He
knew more than they did, and more than
he dared to communicate to them in their
critical state, and he suspected more than
he knew. When he parted with them, it
was apparently with the deepest regret;
and, though cursing them for fools and idiots,
the words growled through showers of tears.
At length he took a long, silent look of each
of them, hurried away, and, mounting his
pony, took the wildest path across the hill
to Strath-Errick. The look that the doctor
gave his patients was one of pity; it was a
farewell look; as much as if he had said —
"God shield you, brave youths! — perhaps
I shall never see you again."
The matter that perplexed Dr Frazer so
much, was the certainty that at that instant
there was a hot and extended search making
for them over that part of the country.
They were both proscribed rebels; in particular,
there was a high price set on Peter's
head; and the two Mackenzies had been
the principal cause of exciting that search,
by the avidity with which they had been
asking after him and his companion formerly,
giving up their marks, and assuring the
people that they were in the vicinity. The
doctor had one great hope of their safety,
and it was this: — no stranger could find
out the bothy of Correi-Uaine; every diverging
path led by it, but no one to it;
and it was possible to have traversed that
country by all the ordinary routes, either by
hill or dale, for one's whole lifetime, and
never have known that such a spot existed.
But, on the other hand, opposed to this,
there was a danger against which no local
advantages could aught avail — and that was
treachery. From that source the doctor's
alarm had its origin, and the person alone
that he suspected as capable of such a deed
of cruelty, was no other than Gow's own
wife. She had betrayed her husband already
to men that were then his enemies,
and what surety was there that she might
not repeat the crime, haunted as she was by
the tormenting fiend of jealousy, of which
neither reasoning nor the most obvious
existing facts could free her distempered
brain for one moment? Who could tell to
what extremities such a fiend might urge
on an infuriated woman, who had loved, and
weened herself neglected!
Our forlorn party at the bothy knew nothing
of these imminent dangers, and suspected
as little. They had enough of sorrow
to occupy all the faculties of their souls,
without going beyond the walls of their
shieling in search of more. All their reflections
on the past were grievous, and their
prospects of the future dark and uncertain;
but where is the darkness through which
heavenly hope will not at times shed a ray?
Their wayward fortunes, and sequestered
retreat, so far from all interested in their
welfare, had the effect of knitting them
strongly together in the bonds of mutual
affection; and, in proportion as the rest of
the world were careless about them, they
became interested in one another's recovery
and welfare. Poor Sally's discomposure frequently
returned, but they found that bathing
her hands and feet in the burn of the
correi soothed her; and there was she often
to be seen with her naked feet in the stream,
and her eyes fixed intently on the towering
cliff; or, at other times, she would be found
speaking to a cropt flower, as if it were a
deserted babe.
On the fifth or sixth day after the rash
rencounter, as the evening approached, they
were all soothing one another with hopes of
a speedy recovery, and an escape from that
inhospitable place. Sally was calm and collected;
and, as her husband had shewn
some symptoms of fever that day, she and
Mr John Mackenzie were bathing and dressing
his wounds, and Peter was giving them
what directions he could, when, ere ever
they were aware, a serjeant and three dragoons
of the Duke of Cumberland's men,
entered the hut suddenly, and seized on
them all as prisoners. These soldiers asked
no questions, being evidently well informed
with regard to the identity of every one of
the party, as well as of all their exploits and
connexions. They first seized on Mr John
Mackenzie, disarmed and bound him, and
of the rest they saw, or knew before, there
was no danger. They mocked at the plea
urged by the prisoners, that they were incapable
of being moved from the spot, and
cursing them for traitor knaves and popish
rebels, they dragged them out of the bothy,
and set about forcing them to march to
head-quarters. They soon perceived that
the marching of them was utterly impracticable,
and, the day being wearing to a
close, and the road extremely wild and
rough, the red-coated ruffians were rather
perplexed what course to pursue. They had
been accustomed for three months bygone
to regard the lives of Highlanders merely
as those of noxious animals; and, though
their general orders were to bring all the
suspected in as prisoners to some one of the
military stations, yet on the smallest pretences
of resistance, and what not, these
orders were every day infringed, and that
with perfect impunity. Accordingly, the
serjeant proposed, with the most perfect
sang froid, as a matter of course, that they
should kill the smith, and cut off his head
for the sake of the high reward, and then
bind the two brothers (as they weened them)
together, and if they could not march, compel
the one of them to carry the other.—
This proposal was objected to by one of the
soldiers, and exclaimed against by the prisoners
with bursts of horror and detestation.
As for Gow, he never opened his lips. He
found himself in the hands of his inveterate
enemies, which he had never been before,
and he seemed to expect no mercy. When
they were first surprised, Sally fell a-shrieking,
which she continued without intermission
till quite exhausted; and, the agitation
having raised her malady to the highest
pitch, she sat down, rocked her ideal orphan
child, and sung to it, regardless of all that
was passing.
The contest ran high and loud in the
broad Lancashire tongue, and many rude
oaths passed; for the soldier who opposed
the serjeant's proposal was a bold determined
fellow, and maintained his opposition
with a resolution that a cause so good well
warranted. The Mackenzies joined him in
reprobating such a procedure as the killing
of a prisoner in cold blood. The two other
soldiers, who had at first sided with the
officer, were beginning to waver, which the
opposing veteran perceiving, deemed that he
had for that time gained a reprieve for the
prisoners, and actually went so far as to dare
the serjeant to wound or hurt them at his
peril, and as he should answer to his commander.
This proceeding was a piece of the
most consummate rashness — it was absolute
insubordination; and, as might have been
expected by any reasonable being, had only
the effect of rousing the pride and rage of
the low-bred subaltern, inducing him to ride
on the top of his little proud and brief authority.
"Dom thee impartinance! thou
seyast swo to meiy, dwost thou?" And, as
he pronounced these magnificent words, he
took his pistol from his belt and shot Gow
through the heart; and there the resolute
young hero, who had achieved such valiant
acts for a hapless race, fell down and expired
without a groan.
The serjeant's quarrel with his opponent
was not done, nor did he expect or intend
that it should be so. He fixed his inveterate
eyes on him, and on him alone, as if exciting
him to continue his opposition, loading him
meanwhile with every opprobrious epithet.
He was even beginning to hint that it would
be but justice to send him after the "dommed
paipish reybel;" when, in a moment,
and ere scarcely aware of his danger, he was
attacked by Alexander Mackenzie, with a
fury of which only a man driven mad was
capable, thrown down, and stabbed with a
dirk through the left arm, with which he
was defending himself, before the least assistance
could be rendered to the astonished
officer. The assailant had even mastered
his left hand, (his right having fallen below
him,) and would have sent the skene-dhu
through his heart at the next thrust, had
that not been prevented by one of the soldiers,
who, springing forward, wounded
Mackenzie on the back part of the head
with his sabre. The stroke, which was a
deadly one, paralysed him, and he rolled
down lifeless at the side of his antagonist,
who, springing up, ran the expiring warrior
two or three times through the body.
Notwithstanding the imminent danger
that this gallant Lancastrian had escaped,
his sublime resentment was not appeased.
He fastened the quarrel once more on this
brave but detested soldier, who had dared
to dispute the propriety of his order, and
would once more have forced on the matter
to an extremity, had he not been apprized
by one of the other soldiers of the approach
of a party of armed Highlanders, who were
coming hard upon them, some running, and
some galloping on horseback, straight toward
the bothy. The serjeant at first refused
to stir, swearing that they were a party
of Campbell's or of Loudoun's men; but a
nearer approach convinced him of his mistake,
and he and his comrades were glad to
mount their horses and scour off with all
expedition, forgetting even to rifle the slain,
or to take the head of Gow, almost worth
its weight in gold, along with them.
The party of Highlanders came up. It
consisted of Dr Frazer, and seven others of
the name of M'Pherson, all sons to one
Æneas M'Pherson, a tacksman of Cluny's,
who occupied a great extent of land on the
outermost limits of his domains. The doctor
had engaged them to come and carry off the
unfortunate party to a place of greater safety
that night, in litters; but they came too
late, and, perceiving the scuffle, they dropped
their baggage, and hasted to the rescue.
The doctor sprung from his shelty, but
found the young heroes both gone; on which,
after damning the ruffians a score of times,
he again mounted and ordered a pursuit.
The M'Phersons obeyed with alacrity, stripping
off their brogs and jackets to enable
them to keep up with the rider. Mr John
Mackenzie also joined them, and away they
went with great swiftness by another route,
so that they might intercept the ruffian
troopers at the fords of Errick. Dr Frazer
kept constantly ahead, galloping and spurring
his shelty, cursing and swearing all the
way without pause or mitigation. I cannot
give the history of that pursuit, for it never
was promulgated so far as I know. Certes
the serjeant and his accomplices never returned
to head-quarters; but there were so
many straggling parties sent about the country,
that they were never missed until word
was brought to the camp that the bodies of
two soldiers were thrown out on the sands
of Loch-Ness, at the shore of Urquhart.
But the very day before this discovery, as
a party of English ladies and gentlemen,
who had been on a visit at head-quarters,
were viewing the Fall of Foyers, they beheld,
in a hideous caldron below the cataracts,
the body of a red-coated dragoon hover
up slowly in the boil of the whirlpool,
as if it had been beckoning their attention,
and again disappear. The party concluded
at once that he had been drunk, and missed
his footing; and it had the effect of making
them all choose their steps with great caution.
There is little doubt that the four
dragoons were all safely committed to the
waves of the furious Foyers on the night
they were pursued from Correi-Uaine; but,
the bodies being found on the other side of
the loch, the sons of Æneas M'Pherson
were never once suspected.
There was no person returned to the
bothy of Correi-Uaine that night; and
there was the poor distracted Sally left, sitting
raving and singing her lullaby, beside
the bodies of her murdered husband and
former lover. She crept near to them as
the darkness drew on; spoke to them in
the most endearing tones; looked into their
faces, and tried to dress their wounds; but
her hands were paralysed, and as unstable
as her ideas. "Ah! you are cheating me!"
she exclaimed fondly; "I know you are
cheating me, and that you will look up and
embrace me when you have frightened me
all that you can."
She then seemed to call her recollection
to her as it were by force, sitting wringing
her hands, and looking ruefully at the
corpses alternately; then did she begin a-tearing
of her hair, and shrieking till the
woods and rocks screamed in return. Madly
and wildly did she shriek till fairly exhausted,
so that her cries at last degenerated
into low moanings, intermingled with
pauses and sobs, and, finally, she fell down
motionless, with her head on her husband's
bloody breast, and her arms clasped around
The next morning, before the sunrising,
who should come to the spot but Davie
Duff, carrying his spade over his shoulder,
and bringing also some cordials and refreshments
for his old friends. He had been inured
to scenes of carnage; and, indeed, they
were become so familiar to him, that he delighted
in them. But natural affection,
though blunted in him, was not obliterated.
The sight of his old familiar acquaintances
lying stretched in their blood together
was too much for his philosophy, or rather
for his natural and acquired apathy, to bear;
and poor Davie absolutely gave way to the
kinder feelings of his nature, and stood
leaning upon his spade and weeping over the
remains of his once kind and indulgent
friends, while his homely lamentation was
not destitute of a rude pathos.
"Ochon, a shendy Righ! and pe tis te
way tey pe guide poor Highlandmans and
vomans still? Och! but hersel pe fery sorry
and woful! And now, fan no pody pe
hearing I, will say, 'Cot tamn my mhaister,
te Tuke of Cohumperland!' Now tat
kif some ralhief to her cood heart. Och,
poor crheatures! te tays haif shanged sore!
I haif een you so full of te merry, and te
happy, and te whanton luff, tat it was fery
plhaisant; and nhow to see you all lying
kill't trou te pody! Och, inteed, it is mhore
pad tan all tings in te whoule world! Well,
I nheed nhot carry my whines and my
prheads any mhore. Here's to your cood
sleep, khind mustress Sally, and a cood
lhong eferlhasting to you. The same to
you, Peader Gobhadh; you shall haif cood
grave, and dhecent dheep purial; and you
shall lhye in ane anhoder's bhosoms, and te
tevil a ane of te hears shall go out of yhour
heads. As for tis yhoung sparker, hersel
shall nhot say so fery mhooch. Poor mustress
Sally! you haif something to pay your
shot, forepy kiffing your hears. It would
pe pad folly to pury cood rhed ghold in a
plack mhoss, where it would pe all spoiled."
David had seen from whence Sally took
the pieces of gold which she had given him
to lay out, and, after this long apostrophe,
he began a-loosing her bodice and fumbling
about her breast. In a moment the dead
woman seized him by the hand with a
frightened and convulsive grasp, setting her
nails into his wrist. Davie was stooping
over her when this occurred, and the fright
made him roar out and fall forward, tumbling
quite over her and the body of her
husband, on which she raised herself above
him, held him down, and looked him madly
in the face. But the scene that then occurred
for a short space was too ludicrous to be
described at the close of a tale so lamentably
unfortunate in all its circumstances.
A youthful constitution will bear much,
and most of all when the sufferer is in a state
of derangement. Sally's fits of distraction
the evening before had exhausted nature
entirely; but, after a sleep with the dead
corpses, as deep and as sound as their own,
she was awakened by Davie's unmannerly
grasp, and awakened to a still deeper sense
of the horror of her situation; for, with the
period of repose, a ray of dubious and clouded
reason had returned. Davie and she
were soon reconciled. They sought out a
retired situation that they hoped would
never be discovered, and digged a double
grave in conjunction; for Sally frequently
wrought at it with her nails, and sung, and
sometimes could scarcely be prevented from
stretching herself in it. The two young
heroes were buried, side by side, in the same
grave, and were among the very last of the
Culloden men that were slain within the
precincts of the Highlands. I once went
five miles out of my road to visit their grave.
It lies about fifty yards above the walls of
the old bothy, in the midst of a little marshy
spot of ground on the left side of the
burn, and is distinguished by a stone about
a foot high at the head and another at the
feet. When I was there it appeared a little
hollowed, as though some one had been digging
in it.
The remainder of the history of the once
beautiful, joyous, and light-hearted Sally, is
the most distressing part of the whole. Davie
was hard bestead with her in that wild,
for she would not be persuaded to leave the
spot; but the poor fellow never quitted her
till he got her to a place of safety, in the
house of the widow who had brought the
goat-milk to the bothy. The Mackenzies
sought after her, and made her asylum as
comfortable to her as they could; but, alas!
she did not need it long; for in the month
of December following she was lost, and
could nowhere be discovered. The poor widow
who had the charge of her went to the
bothy and the grave once and again, but
she was not there; and then she went into
the low country as far as the village of Balmillo,
thinking she had got some traces of
her, but neither had she been seen in that
quarter. In the meantime, a young shepherd,
one of the M'Phersons before-mentioned,
chanced to be out on the heights of
Correi-Uaine gathering in some goats late
one afternoon. The ground was slightly
covered with snow, the air calm, and the
frost intense; and, to his great astonishment,
he heard a strain of music rise on the
breeze, of such a sweet and mournful cadence,
that he took it for an angel's coronach.
He listened and kept aloof for a
good while, but at length, owing to the
whiteness of the ground, he perceived that
there was something living and human sitting
on the grave in the correi. He approached;
and, horrible to relate! there
was the poor disconsolate Sally actually sitting
rocking and singing over the body of a
dead female infant. He ventured to speak
to her in Gaelic, for he had no other language;
but she only looked wildly up to
heaven, and sung louder. He hasted home;
but the road was long and rough, and before
his brothers reached the spot the mother
and child were lying stretched together in
the arms of death, pale as the snow that
surrounded them, and rigid as the grave--
turf on which they had made their dying
bed. Is there human sorrow on record like
this that winded up the devastations of the
Highlands? Just God! was it as the old
Celtic bard and seer had predicted? Was
it a retribution from thy omnipotent hand
for the guiltless blood shed in the south of
Scotland by the House of Stuart and their
Highland host? Thy paths are beyond the
ken of mortal man, and the workings of thy
arm beyond his comprehension; but, while
Thou doest according to thy will in the armies
of heaven and amongst the inhabitants
of the earth, of this we are sure, that one
hair of our heads cannot fall to the ground
without thy knowledge and permission.
SINCE writing the foregoing Tale, I have been informed,
by a correspondent in Edinburgh, that the surname
of this famed hero was not Gow; but that I had
been misled by his common appellation in Gaelic, Peader
Gobhadh, (Peter the smith.) It may be so; I do not
know. Id cinerem aut manes credis curare sepultos?
He further tells me, that it was Peter's wife who betrayed
the party the second time also, she having
sent word of their retreat to head-quarters, and a
guide to the spot; but that she lived to repent it, having
been on that account hated, cursed, and shunned,
by all parties; and that she died in the Lowlands
of Perthshire, a miserable mendicant, in the house of
a Mr John Stewart. Felix, quem faciunt aliena pericula
J. H.
Printed by James Ballantyne & Co.


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The Three Perils of Women, Vol. 3. 2024. In The Corpus of Modern Scottish Writing. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 27 May 2024, from

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The Three Perils of Women, Vol. 3

Document Information

Document ID 184
Title The Three Perils of Women, Vol. 3
Year group 1800-1850
Genre Imaginative prose
Year of publication 1823
Wordcount 67610

Author information: Hogg, James

Author ID 234
Forenames James
Surname Hogg
AKA The Ettrick Shepherd
Gender Male
Year of birth 1770
Place of birth Ettrick, Selkirkshire, Scotland
Occupation Author, farmer, journalist
Father's occupation Farmer
Education Little formal schooling
Locations where resident Ettrick, Edinburgh