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with mortal man!" said she, in a low murmuring, but distinct and solemn voice. “Thy vows are plighted to Eliza Malcolm-forget them not they are already registered in Heaven !" and as she said so, she raised her hand slowly upwards.
Amherst uttered not a word, but remained with his eyes intently fixed on hers. She then pulled two long hairs from her head, and twisting them together in an instant, she hastily tied one end of them round his finger, whilst she held by the other.
“ These two hairs,” said she, are as oneone cannot be broken without the other being snapt; so is your fate twined with that of Eliza Malcolm.--For her sake, you are at present the object of my care-deserve it then! This abode is not without danger. Yet be prudent and fear not ! -But, mark !" said she, with a terrible frown“ happen what will leave not these mountains
you again see me. Remember !--your happiness is in my hands !_disobey my injunctions, and you are lost for ever !-Remember!” added she again, with an increased earnestness of manner, as pointing and raising the fore-fingers of both hands, she brought them quickly down, with
an action calculated to enforce her mysterious warning. Then, without assistance from her arms, she sprang backwards from off the bed, nearly to the door, yet so lightly as hardly to be heard. From the position in which Amherst lay, 'he could not see the door. He jumped from the bed to examine it-it was shut-the figure was gone, and he heard not a sound.
Some 'minutes had elapsed before Amherst could convince himself that he was not dreaming He felt the pressure of the hairs, which still remained tied round his finger, and he became convinced of the reality of what had taken place. He knew not what to think of so extraordinary a visitation; had she not made use of the talismanic name of Eliza Malcolm, it is probable he might have treated' her solemn injunctions with very little respect ; but, as it was, he dwelt upon them with a serious determination to obey them. To explain their object, however, he found somewhat difficult. Why should she command his stay in a part of the country so far from her he loved ? unless indeed it might be to give time for the removal of Lord Eaglesholme's mysterious objections, by circumstances of which she was
aware, though he was ignorant of them. If this was her object, then it was probable that she saw hope of their removal, and to this hope he clung. There was something so' preternaturally overpowering in her appearance, words, and manner, that he was disposed to believe she not only possessed extraordinary means of information, but that she had substantial grounds for the advice she gave. There was something almost miraculous in her vişit. The place where he had last seen her was twenty miles off. She had talked of the house of Lochandhu not being free from danger, yet she, though manifestly unwilling to be seen by its master, had fearlessly entered it, how he knew not, more than he could guess whither she
Amherst lay perplexed with these conjectures for several hours; indeed, the moon had gone down, and the grey twilight of morning was beginning to appear, ere he again closed his eyes. When he did so, his dreams were haunted by the figure, yow more minutely imprinted upon his recollection from being so long placed near his eyes.
When Amherst arose in the morning, he was 60 charmed by the beauty of the pastoral scenery,
on which he looked from his window, that he forgot for a moment the events of the preceding night in the ecstasy it awakened.
The back of the house stood but a few feet re moved from the brink of a wooded bank, sweep ing forwards from under it to right and left, and enclosing a lovely low meadow within its bosom. Beyond this appeared a portion of a very considerable lake, into which the great river of the val. ley expanded itself. At the distance of about a mile from the eye, the opposite shores presented every variety of knoll and hillock, rising one behind the other, and wooded with birches, hazles, and dwarf oaks. Over these some high mountains appeared, whilst, more to the left, the still loftier group of the Cairngorums rose in all their majesty.
The sun was dancing cheerily over the lake, and gilding its surrounding woods and pastures with gladness, and a large herd of cattle were feeding on the meadow. Every thing contributed to awaken ideas of rural purity and innocence in his mind; and notwithstanding the caution he had received from his midnight visitor, he could hardly persuade himself that any thing like danger, or treachery, was to be apprehended from the
inhabitants of so soft a scene. From such thoughts he was speedily recalled by observing a number of men examining the cattle. Amongst these he descried Lochandhu, his natural brother Alexander, and Macrory. It was some little time before he was quite certain of his host, who having now relinquished the thraldom of the Lowland dress he had formerly worn, was clad in the more accom modating costume of the mountains.
After moving the animals about, and looking at them individually, the men began to drive them off in a long line, towards an opening in the wooded bank, where they disappeared, expressing, by frequent lowings, their unwillingness to leave the pasture. Lochandhu continued to walk backwards and forwards with his two companions for some time, as if in earnest conversation. Alexander Macgillivray and Macrory then followed the party who went with the cattle, and Lochandhu reurned towards the house.
Amherst was received in the parlour by both his host and hostess, with every appearance of the kindest welcome. But the Carline's warning crossed his mind. He took care, however, to make a suitable return to their compliments and civilities, During breakfast, Lochandhu ran over to Am