Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

adjective « single."_" Delitiæ," in children of the sun," who pawed the the Latin, he recollected, was always ground impatiently, and showed their in the plural number,--and he con- pure Arab blood in every toss of their sidered the Romans a very sensible lordly manes, as they waited for their people. What a pity, that in those master, and neighed proudly as he days, the march of mind was not suffi. made his appearance. ciently advanced to make it impera- In the first place, Charles was well tive on the ladies (and especially on aware of Mary's insane admiration of Mary Peat) to understand Latin! In that noble animal the horse ; in the these, and similar vain regrets, time next place, not even the vanity of a wore on. Mary smiled and sang as proprietor could blind him to the fact, charmingly as ever, and Mr Peter that his little grey Galloway could bear Pearie—the heed o' the hoose-grew no sort of comparison with the poorin fat and dignity with each revolving est hackney in the new-comer's stud; moon.

in the third place, he felt sure that One September, while affairs con- admiration, once excited, is very extinued in this state, the house on the pansive in its character, and he there. opposite side of the street from Mr fore concluded that it was highly Pearie's gave symptoms of some won- probable that the manifest liking derful change. Its windows were new which Mary had taken to the longglazed, and pretty silk curtains hung tailed barbs would imperceptibly wi. round them; the door was new paint. den and widen (like rings in water), ed; paperers and other decorators at till at last it included the long-whis. full work; and a long row of hand- kered owner of them in its circumfersome stabling roofed in and finished in ence. And what was he to do to avert the lane at the other end of the pre- this calamity ? - Buy a horse of surmises. Furniture shortly after ar passing beauty, and conquer the rival rived ; grooms and horses followed in at his own weapons? Alas! John Laing due course; and large volumes of sent him from Edinburgh a descendant smoke were seen rising from morn till of the Godolphin Arabian, which had night from the numberless chimneys. every excellence that a horse could Still there was no appearance of any possess, except the trifling one of al. inhabitaut above the rank of a house- lowing a saddle to be put on his back keeper--and it was only when the Land to complete his discomfiture, hunting season had fairly commenced, the high-born intruder left tokens of that a view was occasionally caught his remembrance among all who had of a young man, dressed in a red coat, the pleasure of his acquaintance durwho galloped off from the door on an ing his week's sojourn at the Dene (so active hackney in the morning, or was Charles's villa called); for before walked his jaded hunter slowly up the John Laing's man had been recall. lane in the afternoon. Unless on these ed from the capital to lead the occasions nothing was seen of their new purchase home again, it had bronew neighbours. And conjecture, ken two of Andrew Nevins' ribs, after exhausting itself to discover who and lamed the grey Galloway, by a the mysterious stranger could be, fell kick on the hind leg. Deprived of the fast asleep, and took no notice of him, services of Andrew Nevin, who had either as he scoured along to covert, been groom to one or other of the or glided noiselessly home to the stable. partners beyond the memory of man, That he was handsome nobody could and also of those of the grey Galloway, deny, who saw beauty in whiskers and Charles exhausted himself in imaginmoustaches of preter-human size ;-a ing other means of gaining his object; back of prodigious length, very thin and, like all other people excelling in legs, an upright seat on horseback, the imaginative, he went on building and a countenance of an impassive castles in the air,-wishing, hoping, gravity worthy of a monk of La fearing, and doing nothing. Trappe, suggested no slight reminis- “ I maun gang ower and ca' on this cences of Don Quixote-but the panew occupier," said Peter Pearie one rallel was by no means sustainable in day to his ward; “ it's no right to let the article of horse-flesh, for it would the lad live sae much by himsel'. Our have been difficult to believe that Ro. bank was aye hospitable to a' comers, sinante belonged to the same species and I feel it my duty, as heed o' the with the “ souls made of fire, and hoose, to ask him to his kail."

« 0, I'm so delighted to hear you which his volatile ward had disappear, say so," said Mary, “ I have been ed, while her voice was still audible, wishing it for such a time,--'twill be going on with the ballad_" then by delightful !”

my certie the sooner he rides away Mr Peter Pearie looked at the ani. the better-I wonder if this is some mated countenance of his ward-and a lover o' the lassie-if it is, and they've strange cloud passed over his brow. kept me in the dark, they'll find to

“ The lassie's in a creel,” he replied. their cost what it is to offend the heed Is't such a grand thing to mak' an o' the hoose. The gipsy! I maun tell outcry about, that a man placed in Charles o' my suspicions, but in the my situation should gi'e a bit denner to mean time I'll hae the chap to his an English fox-hunter that's come denner." down a' the way to hunt wi' the Duke While this great resolve was agita

what'll be deligbtful aboot it? eh?” ting the bosom of Mr Pearie, and

« Oh, he'll tell me all about his while the harp was thrilling beneath horses; that beautiful black creature the touch of Mary Peat, who still sang with the glossy mane-a Tartar of the the ballad of the Fair Young Knight, Ukraine breed.”

Charles Patieson glided into the room, « Na, na," said Mr Pearie, who had looking so pale and miserable, that the not studied Mazeppa so deeply as fair performer suddenly broke off in Cocker, “ it seems a douce quiet bit the middle of a stanza, and asked if beast, an' very clean in the skin. Chair. he had seen a ghost ? lie Patieson's the lad for a Tartar. “ I think I have, Mary," he replied, Yon was a real ane that cam' frae Em- trying to smile, bro'-but in my een it's a temptin' o' " What was it like? - what was it Providence to hae ony thing but a of?-a bleeding nun-a murdered man blind powney that's a wee short o' the --oh, what was it? do tell." wind - for when they're blind they « The Past, the buried Past! it canna see ony thing to shy at, and if haunts me still." they're a wee asthmatic they canna “ Poor fellow," said Mary, turning rin very far, and that's the reason I'll over her music in search of another hae nae ither horse but Dapple-nor song, " you must be terribly ill since you either, Mary ; so say nae mair, say you have taken to quoting poetry. nae mair."

How are stocks to-day, Charles ; are « But do you know any thing of the funds looking up ?" this gentleman, his name, or whether “ Three and a half,” mechanically he would like to be called upon ?" en answered the lover," are same as yes. quired the young lady.

ter-; but pshaw! hang the funds. “ His name's no of sae much eon- Has Mr Pearie told you his intention sequence when I ask him to his denner about this hunting stranger?as if I was asking him to pit it on the « Oh yes, he is to be asked to dinner back of a bill--and as to likin' to be we shall get great friends, I hope called on, ye'll remember, Miss, that pleasant acquisition in this dull place, it's me that's going to do't-me, the won't it?” representative o' the firm, and indeed « Oh very,” replied Charles, in a heed o' the" -

tone of voice that did not quite accord " Oh yes, I know all that," inter- with the sentiment. “He is an offi. rupted the young lady ; " I only wish you could ask his horses along with Dear me! how charming l" inhim-such noble steeds.

terrupted Mary; "and his name, dear

Charles, have you found out his name?" • At the Baron De Mowbray's gate was seen,

“ Slasher. He is home on his three A page with a courser black;

years leave from India.” There came out a Knight of noble mien,

" Oh what a nice neighbour he will And he leapt on the courser's back ;

be; what delightful stories he'll tell His eyes were bright, and his heart was

us of Ormus, and of Ind, Delhi, Bus. He sang this merry lay

sorah, Damascus! The very names Oh merrily lives a fair young knight,

are enchanting as fairy tales; what He loves and he rides away.'

day is he to be asked on ?”.

ir On Thursday,” said Charles ; " I “ Does he so ?" murmured Mr Pea- am surprised Mr Pearie runs such a rie, as he gazed at the door through risk."

cer."

light,

rival ?"

« Risk, Charles ! he isn't going to “ I had a great inclination to do it; ride hunting with him, is he?" but determined to ascertain the truth

« Perhaps he is," replied the young of the report from your own lips." man, shaking his head mysteriously, “ But what would be the use of my “ and may find that he is thrown out." saying any thing?" continued Mary,

“ Thrown off, you mean, if you in a different mood, with difficulty mean any thing," said Mary ; " but controlling a desire to laugh outright; what risk do you mean?"

“ you know, Charles, you are one of " A rival,” replied Charles, boldly, my guardians, and may refuse your " a rival, Mary, in his own designs, consent. You wouldn't agree to it? though I conclude he feels pretty sure Would you ?" of what he is doing before he has taken “I would die sooner-ah! Mary, such a step."

if it rested with me"“ His designs ? You amaze me, “ By the by, Charles, have you Charles. What designs ? What heard this new ballad? Such a pretty

thing, though the words are contemp“Oh! I can't pretend to offer you in. tible;' and striking the harp-strings, formation on points you must be so she trilled one of the commonplace much better acquainted with yourself. chansons of the day so sweetly, that However, it would have been as well Charles thought it would be a sin to to have consulted me before going interrupt her; and by the time the song quite so far. You will remember that, was finished, the head of Mr Peter as my father's representative, I also am Pearie was poked in at the door for a one of your guardians."

moment, and uttered the following “ Hoity toity," exclaimed the young words, lady, " what is the meaning of all “ I've ca'd on the chield over this? You first begin looking dismal, the way-he's coming at five o'clock talking of seeing a ghost, quoting on Thursday; so let us hae a good poetry, and now tormenting my head denner on that day, Mary, befitting with riddles. Speak out, man, and our station in the town, and my posi. don't ride the high horse any longer. tion as heed o' the hoose. Pearie, The tall steed you had from Edin. Peat, and Patieson were aye famed for burgh should have taught you better their five-year auld cheviots, and we've behaviour. What have you got to aye dealt wi' Bell and Rennie; so we say?"

needna turn our backs on the King." « Simply this ; that Mr Pearie in. After this discourse the head was tends to marry you ; he makes no withdrawn, but we grieve to say that, secret of it; he told our new head from our knowledge of Charles Patieclerk, Mr Dawson, who told it again son's character, we are afraid he never to me; so there can be no mistake." summoned courage to renew the con

A variety of colours passed over the versation, and allowed Mary to sing beautiful brow and cheeks of Mary song after song till it was time for Peat, among which a bright scarlet him to return to the Dene, and spend soon gained the mastery, for her coun- his solitary evening in envying the tenance was somewhat like a stormy senior partner his happiness in living sunset as she answered,

in the same house, albeit he was ~ Who has dared to say this ? Has somewhat comforted by the way in Peter Pearie, banker and bachelor, which the young lady had received heed o' the hoose, and fifty-seven his information respecting that gentleyears of age ? ’Pon my word, Charles, man's matrimonial designs. Charles, didn't you knock Mr Dawson down ?"

CHAPTER II.

A week, a month, a quarter of a Mr Pearie's claret; his reminiscences year elapsed, and matters were not of Oriental beauty were too lively to ostensibly much changed. Captain permit his attaching much value to Slasher, indeed, was a frequent visitor, the lilies and roses of Mary Peat; and, but, to ordinary eyes, his delicate at. with a persevering gallantry worthy of tentions seemed exclusively devoted to a scientific old soldier, he persisted in

maintaining the footing he had gained with the additional recommendation of in the worthy banker's family, even modelling correct likenesses, in a few after it was abundantly evident that a hours, of any one who chose to be imretreat would have been agreeable to mortalized in wax-while Slasher, we all parties, and particularly to the repeat, was escorting Mary to this “ heed o' the hoose.” The “ heed o' sight, Mr Pearie, after many ominous the hoose" was reduced to a very hum- and mysterious nods with his sagacious ble height in presence of the Indian head to his junior partner, commenced soldier-his Cheeta shooting at Dhur. a lamentation in the following terms war_his steeple chases at Belgaum “ Charles, hoo does it happen ye his leopard-hunts at Bellary, threw sae seldom stay to yer kail?" the after-dinner boastings of Mr Peter " You have other company, sir; I Pearie, who in his day was considered might perhaps be intrusive," a dead shot at a moorcock, completely « Deil a bit, deil a bit. Ah, Charles, into the shade ; and it was with feel. if ither folk had a wee taste o' your way ings of satisfaction, worthy of Milton's o' thinkin', it would be a' the better for Satan, that Charles saw the fires of my peace an'comfort. Charles, hospirage and jealousy slowly wasting tality is a wearyin'o' the flesh. I wish I away all the good-nature in his part- had never askit that lang neckit Indian ner's bosom. In fact, it could no savage to see the inside o' my hoose." longer be concealed that Mr Pearie “ He is an agreeable man, sir, I behated Captain Slasher, and it was also lieve_full of anecdote”equally incapable of concealment that « Lees, every word o't; but, for a' Captain Slasher didn't care three that, the smooth-tongued leear is gainstraws whether Mr Pearie hated him in' his point. I had ither thochts for or not. Twice or thrice a-week, Mary ; but a wilfu' man will hae his without any invitation, the gallant sol. way-and so will a wilfu' woman." dier stalked into the banker's dining- “ Mary will soon be of age-she room just as dinner was announced, will have a right to choose" told all the feats of the day-the leaps, “ But is't no shocking she should and falls, and other incidents-sent in leave the Bank, and settle in some his plate five or six times to the joint wearifu' place wi' a name like Meof beef, emptied his bottle of port and ritchgaum or Sholapoor? The lassie's three tumblers of toddy, and concluded an ass, and there's an end. Dogs on't! the evening by snoring an accompani. if I werena' sae braid in the waim, and ment to Mary's nicest songs.

gied ower fair a mark, I wad challenge Now, whether it were from the per him to fecht ; or if I were a wee versity that is said to be a constituent younger,-hoo auld are ye, Charles ?" part of the feminine disposition, or " Three-and-twenty, sir,”—from some other cause with which we « Three-and-twenty! If I were are unacquainted, Mary did not ap- three-and-twenty-ay, or twice threepear to share in her guardian's dislike and-tyenty, I wad shoot him as I wad to the society of her new acquaintance. a pairtrick." She delighted in his tales of wild « My indignation is not quite so Indian adventures, and his accounts warm, sir,” replied Charles. of the noble deaths of the wild mon- “ But it ocht to be, sir,-hot-boilsters of the desert. On days when in'. I tell ye this landlouper is going the hounds did not meet, he ge- to break in on the customs of three nerally wiled away an hour or two generations. We've aye married thro' listening to Mary's music, or escort. ither-an' Slasher wad be a grand ing her in her walks ; in these re- name to pit into the firm ! I'll no stand spects supplying the place of Charles it-I'll gang through wi' my plan, and Patieson, who had gradually with marry her in spite o' her teeth-there's drawn himself from his former inti. nae consent needed but yours an'mine; macy, and was endeavouring to wean we are her guardians you'll consent, himself from his foolish affection. One I'm sure; and as for hers"day when matters were in this state, « You, of course, have secured -when the gallant Captain had es- that,” said Charles, with something of corted Mary to see the wax-work mo- bitterness in his tone. dels of distinguished characters, which "I thocht I had ; indeed, as heed o' a provincial forerunner of Madame the hoose, I thocht it my duty to use Tussand had brought into the town, all my influence, if it had been for

VOL. XLIV. NO. CCLXXVIII,

naething but the sake o' the Bank; between them an object, which at first but deil hae this lang-backit ne'er-do- the breathless spectator found it difficult weel, she seems to forget her auld to recognise. Lifeless and limber, with. freend and the kind o promise she out sign of voluntary motion or resistaince gave me"

ance, it was dragged along the ground - She gave you a promise? sir," en- by Mr Pearie and his assistant. With quired Charles; “ I think she might a thrill of unimaginable horror Charles have consulted me before going quite so recognised, in the long blue surtout, far. In a matter like that my consent, I the top boots and breeches and above should think, is of some importance." all, in the long, pale face, with the pro

- What the deil, sir !are ye de- digious whiskers and moustaches, the mentit ? Do ye think, young man, lifeless form of the unhappy Captain that it wad be seemly in me- the heed Slasher!-Horror kept him silent-in o' this hoose, sir—to hae nae discretion voiceless, motionless terror and surin the marryin', or not marryin', o' prise he watched the dreadful proMary Peat? It's yer ain faut, sir ceedings of the pair. They dragged ye'll drive me to do something ye'll be the body to the river, and apparently sorry for-I'll speak to this Captain- fixing heavy stones to it to ensure its into this hoose he'll come no more sinking, they dropt it slowly into the ye'll repent it, sir ; ye'll repent it, and water-and rapidly retired. . that'll be seen and heard tell o'."

While Charles Patieson looked on, Pale and agitated with a night of awestruck at the unexampled agitation sleepless distress, Charles Patieson preof Mr Pearie; that gentleman, as if sented himself next morning at the suddenly seized with some great re- house of Mr Pearie. He had come to solve, snatched up his hat and stick, the resolution to warn the unhappy enquired where Miss Peat and the man to flee for his life, for he could Captain were gone to, and followed not bring himself to give his friend, them to the exhibition room of the and his father's friend, into the hands wax-works.

of the executioner. At the same time

concealment of the awful secret was “ Slighted love is sair to bide,"

out of the question-and not a moment as Robert Burns sings-and as Charles was to be lost. Patieson felt. How lonely he seemed Mary Peat received him. She was that long, long evening; reflecting, in gayer and more friendly in her manevery possible way, over the words ner than she had been for a long time. and innuendoes of Mr Pearie. The « Dear Charles, I am so glad to sce Dene had never appeared to him so you. You're come to breakfast?" dull ; even the bright moonlight I've no appetite, Mary,” replied trembling into his drawing - room, Charles,_" In fact" through the glass of his conservatory, "Oh! you've breakfasted alreadyfailed to soothe him; and, in a fit of Mr Pearie will be so glad to see you." desperation, he rushed out into the * I doubt that" — answered the open air. He wandered down the young man, coldly. shelving banks of his beautiful villa " But he will, though-he told me to the river, which was brawling along so himself-he told me that he was beneath its overhanging rocks, some busied to a late hour last night in your times hidden in darkness, sometimes, for service.” a long expanse of its bright pure water, Charles shuddered as the dreadful glimmering peacefully in the moon- scene recurred to him. " My service ?" light. Charles stood still beneath one of he said the great cliffs, for he thought, on the “ Yes—and do you know I think it opposite side of the water, where the must have liad some connexion with light was unobscured by trees, he Captain Slasher's departure.” heard the sound of distant voices ; « Departure!" - echoed Charles, shortly afterwards he observed two almost unconsciously. figures emerge from the darkness, “Oh! yes_he's away; quite sudden. whom he easily recognised to be Mr ly-something or other carried him off." Pearie, and Mr Dawson, the head « Mary," said Charles, solemnly clerk. They seemed to look round taking her hand into his something them very cautiously ; and then they has indeed carried him off; but somesuddenly returned to the dark corner thing very different from what you they had emerged from, and carried suppose."

« AnteriorContinuar »