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showed the blackened traces of strangulation, it were by the gripe of a strong hand, and a stab in the region of the heart, like that of a dirk, seemed to have completed the dreadful work.

Amherst was so shocked by this unexpected sight, and particularly after recognizing the person, that he stood for some moments unable to act. It instantly occurred to him that the young man must have been observed, and suspected, at the time he conveyed the warning to him, and that it was upon his account he had died; and the sad spectacle he now beheld, seemed to present a type of the fate that hung over himself. So strongly was he affected by this posthumous warning of the unfortunate young man, that he looked unconsciously around him, in expectation of seeing the murderers about to rush upon him. . Recollecting himself, however, he dragged the corpse beyond the water-mark, and laying it on a bank where it was hid by the bushes, he hied him homewards.

As he was approaching the house, he met Lochandhu, accompanied by his brother, and followed by one or two men, hurrying away as if on some urgent expedition. They were so engaged

in conversation, that they did not observe him till they were just upon him.

" When did his coach arrive, Sandy ?” he heard Lochandhu ask as they approached.

“ Two or three hours ago," replied the other.

They will soon be all quiet; for Ewan heard them say they were to be off early in the morning; and the coach was left at the door with the trunks and luggage strapped on, just as it came in. But hush! there's somebody coming."

Amherst felt great repugnance to communicate his discovery of the murdered body to Lochandhu in presence of his brother. Begging of him, therefore, to return with him towards the house, he related to him in private, and in a few words, what he had seen, betraying the utmost horror as he did so. Lochandhu was moved during his nar, ration, and eyed him with a scrutinizing look, as if endeavouring to read what impression had been made upon him by the circumstance. Then, after Amherst had finished speaking :

Aye,” said he, with a shrug, —some drunken scuffle, I have no doubt.--He was given to quarrelling. But these things, though now becoming more rare than they were, are still

poor fellow !


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I must send to have his body taken care of.

you not also take immediate measures to discover the perpetrators of the horrid

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Oh, aye, surely, surely," replied Lochandhu in a careless tone, " I will write to-morrow to the procurator-fiscal, whose business it is to take up such matters. But there is little chance of any thing being made out ;-and it is very likely, if the truth were known, poor Kennedy was as much to blame as those who did it."

* Good God, Sir!" exclaimed Amherst, “sure

whatever the do mean to say that any thing can excuse murder ?"

Lochandhu threw a side glance at him as he spoke, and, dropping his eyes on the ground, said slowly, after the pause of a moment : “ No, God forbid I should, Mr Oakenwold! I only meant to say, that the poor fellow has probably brought his death upon himself by some intemperance of his own." For there are many hot spirits among these mountains, with whom there is seldom more than a word and a blow, and then out with the





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brid on IWE F1971 whinger.—But step you into the house; I am go , ing a little

way with Sandy about a small matter

of business, and I will see into this affair, In the

meanwhile, good evening to you.” And with

these words, and his usual bow, he left him.
Amherst entered the house with no

vourable impression of the good feelings of bis

host. He found Mrs Macgillivray in the parloures-
who immediately asked him to sit down with her
to supper, saying that, as her husband's business
would probably detain him until a late hour, they
should not wait for himThe lady seemed to
have some weighty matter hanging upon her
mind. Anxiety was in her face. She could not
rest a moment upon her chair ; but fidgetted
tinually about, and gave various indirect hints of
the lateness of the hour, until Amherst, seeing

I that she wished him to go to bed, pretended wea. riness, and taking his candle, retired to his chamber.

{ pusti The unpleasant occurrence at the lake, and the broken conversation he had heard pass between

h! the brothers, so employed his thoughts, that he in vain tried to sleep. Tired with restlessness, he arose, towards midnight, to look out of the win.

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dow. The moon was in full splendour, so that the smallest object was discernible in the meadow below. He could even see two hares frisking about, and feeding on the dewy grass; and he remained at the window for some time, amused by watching their gambols. Suddenly they stopped, with their ears erected in a listening attitude, and in an instant both scoured off to cover.

Amherst was curious to know the cause of their alarm, and he had not long to wait for an explanation of it; for, immediately afterwards, a party of men appeared straggling out from the wood, and began to cross the meadow diagonally, towards the path leading up to the house. They carried three or four large and heavy trunks, and when they came sufficiently near, he saw that it was Lochandhu, his brother, and the rest. He withdrew from the window, lest his figure might be noticed

He had not lain long, when he heard the latch of the house-door gently opened. He rose quietly, and looked through the key-hole of his chamberdoor, that afforded a view directly down the wood

the entrance. The outer-door was opened, and, by the moonlight that came in, he


en stair

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