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saw the whole band enter, bearing the trunks, which they carried into the parlour.
There was a great deal of whispering below, and Mrs Macgillivray, dressed as he had left her, crossed the passage with a candle in her hand. As she passed, she held it down to examine one of the trunks, left standing on end against the wall near the door, and Amherst distinctly saw the letters S. H. M, formed with brass nails, upon its lid. She entered the parlour after the men'.
Amherst then heard a noise as if the trunks were frequently lifted up and put down again, and as if attempts were making to force them open.
After the lapse of half an hour, two men came out for the trunk in the passage, carried it in, and the sounds that followed, indicated the opening and examination of it also. Mrs Macgillivray now passed across, and again returned, dragging after her a large basket, and having some empty sacks hanging over her left arm. In a short time the parlour-door opened, and men passed across, bearing the sacks filled, and these were immediately afterwards followed by Lochandhu and Mrs Macgillivray, who, with some
difficulty, carried between them the large basket, now loaded with shirts, handkerchiefs, shawls, and wearing-apparel of various descriptions. The men who had taken in the sacks now came out, and the others issued from the parlour with the trunks, that, from the ease with which they were carried, were evidently empty. The whole party then disappeared by the outer-door, which they gently shut after them, and every thing was again silent. 1 Amherst stood for some moments astonished with what he had witnessed, and then returned to bed. From all the circumstances, there could now hardly be a doubt that the party had been engaged in the plunder of some travellers of note. Had he then lived so long as the guest of a professed robber?-Good heavens ! Well might the Carline
that the house of Lochandhu was not without danger! and well might the unfortunate Kennedy warn him against Alexander Macgillivray! He was almost resolved to leave the house next morning, but he recollected that he had talked of a shooting excursion next day, as well as of several other successive plans, and that be could not possibly find an apology for so sud
den and complete an alteration of his intentions, without exciting suspicions that might be fatal to
bus Then he recalled the .command of the myst terious, female, not to leave the Highlands until he should again see, her. But so long a time had elapsed since she visited him, that he had nearly begun to despair of her fulfilling her promise. He remembered how she had employed Miss Malcolm's beloved name as a spell-tolensure his obedience to her will. But might she not have used it for a nefarious purpose ?! Her cautions, now verified by circumstances, forbade him to give such an interpretation to her words. 7.
He was much perplexed by these reflections ; but the result of them was, that however unpleasant he now felt his residence at Lochandhu, from the disagreeable idea of submitting to rea ceive the hospitality of an undoubted robber, as well as from motives of personal apprehension, he determined to postpone his departure at least for a day or two. pred
۱۲ ) pijont
-This house is but a butchery ;
He rose in the morning rather before the usual breakfast hour, to fulfil his declared intention of grouse-shooting, and descended to the parlour, where he found Mrs Macgillivray. Her eyes and her fingers were busily employed about some work, and before she observed him, he had time accidentally to notice that she was beginning to unpick the letters marked on a shirt, and these he distinctly saw were S. H. M. She no sooner perceived him, than she started up in manifest confusion, and sweeping together the shirts, and India handkerchiefs that were lying on the table beside her, huddled them all into her apron, and exclaiming, “Eh, Maister Oakenwold, my gudeman's sarks are nae seams for the parlour when ye are there !" she scuttled out of the room.
If any part of the circumstantial proof had been wanting, this woman's employment was sufficient to convince him of the justice of his suspicions. He resolved, however, to appear perfectly unconscious of them, at least for the present.
When the Lady returned, therefore, he threw out some indifferent remarks about the weather, and then carelessly mentioned his intention of shooting. Mrs Macgillivray called to Mary to get breakfast, saying to Amherst that her husband had gone early that morning on business, and adding, “ As ye're gaun to the muirs, Mr Oakenwold, I’se warrant ye'll be glad to get away betimes, so we'll no wait for him."
Amherst had a successful day's sport, and having largely loaded O’Gollochar's game-bag, they were both returning homewards towards evening, when he happened to observe an eagle soaring aloft.
As he eyed it, he saw it swoop suddenly down upon something lying at the base of a range of high cliffs, about half a mile from the path they were pursuing. As it did not rise again, he thought he had now a chance of getting a shot at