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perly defended from the night air, and he sent Handy and some of his own men to row him across the lake to Eaglesholme Castle.
On his return to Moatmallard, he found that Captain Macauley had been occupying himself and his people in collecting the bodies of the slain, so that they might be interred next day, and in taking an inventory of the captured goods. Two of the smugglers were found dead in the stair leading to the vaults, but the rest had effected their escape through the broken arch by the ladder, which had lain concealed among the bales, and was left standing applied to the aperture. The wounded seamen were conveyed to the farmer's. Captain Macauley's men, well armed, were then left to guard the booty for the night, and having made all these dispositions, Cleaver and his friend prepared to return to Sanderson Mains.
But before doing so, they bethought them of the unfortunate Eppy M'Claver. They returned with lights to the apartment where they had left her, but she was no longer there. They ran over the whole of the keep of the Castle, and its adjacent ruins, with a care nothing short of that bestowed by Cleaver in his search for Miss Malcolm. But all without effect-she was gone whither no one could conjecture. But as they left the place by the causeway, her straw-hat, floating on the black waters of the lake, gave rise to the most dreadful suspicions respecting her.
The two friends returned to Sanderson Mains, as day was beginning to peep. Their first care was to rouse Dr Partenclaw. They found him fast asleep, entombed in the feather-bed, his face covered by his night-cap, his nose only erected above the snow-white bed-clothes, its fiery red, glowing with more than ordinary splendour from his late potations of rum, presenting the whimsical appearance of a beet-root tower, garnishing a dish of whipt cream. They found some difficulty in awaking him. But he no sooner understood that his attendance was required at Eaglesholme, than he began to move with very unwonted alacrity ; to put on his clothes, and to call for Hippocrates with great eagerness.
Cleaver found some refreshment, and a warm drink, abundantly necessary after the ducking and fatigue he had undergone.
For it was annoyed greatly with robbers and outlaws, which troubled the whole state of the realm, every corner having a Robin Hood in it, that kept the woods, that spoiled all passengers and inhabitants.
We now return to Amherst, who, during the night, pregnant with so many busy adventures to his friends, had slept so profoundly on his bed of ferns, that he stirred not until the sun looked over the woods of the eastern hill, and glittered with broken rays through the foliage covering the mouth of the grotto. He started up, and found that the other sleepers, with the exception of O’Gollochar, were already on foot. Lochandhu was walking about under the trees with Macrory, occupied in the examination of the herd of cattle, whilst the rest of the party were busied in preparing a breakfast, from ingredients resembling those of the supper of the preceding evening.
“We must be expeditious to-day, Mr Oakenwold,” said Lochandhu, after the first salutations of the morning ; “ we have a long tedious ride of it before us."
“I hope our poor horses have had something substantial then," said Amherst.
“I'll warrant they have not been starved," said Lochandhu ; “but let us step this way,
and we shall see how they are doing.”
A few paces brought them to a projecting shelf of the rock, within the enclosure, where their horses, and six or seven ponies of humbler stature, rough as goats, and with long shaggy tails and manes, were tied to strong pegs driven firmly into the ground. As Lochandhu had hinted, there was no fear of their starving, for they were
to their noses in sheaves of corn, twothirds of which had been destroyed by their feet in eating the other. OʻGollochar, who now appeared, proceeded to give them such grooming as the place afforded, whilst the gentlemen hastened to breakfast, which, like the supper, was begun and terminated by the potation of a queach full of brandy.
“ You will be travelling soon, Macrory?” said.
Lochandhu, as he and Amherst were taking leave of him.
“ Och aye,” replied he; “ I'll be aff just after yoursell. But we'se tak it at laishur-we needna hurry the puir beasts noo—we're a' safe eneugh. If I'm at hame by the morn's mornin', it's the maist ye can expect o' me.”
The horses being now saddled, they were led after the gentlemen up a steep path, from the stable, to the level ground on the top of the cliff, where they found themselves among the tall pines, on the very point of it. Though they now stood immediately over the grotto, not a vestige of any thing appeared that could indicate any such concealment below; nor would Amherst have believed, had he not known the fact, that there were so many armed men, and so large a herd of horned cattle so near him. The smoke rising from the fire, broken by its ascent through the foliage, presented more the appearance of one of those morning mists, so often seen hanging over woods, in low situations, than any thing originating from an artificial cause. Even the lowing of the cattle underwent so many reverberations, that it was difficult to fix on the place whence it originated.