Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

In a

landing became mere matter of conjecture. state of agitation bordering upon frenzy, he returned to the Castle, and dispatched servants in all directions, with a thousand different and even contradictory orders. As for himself, seizing his sword, he waited not for a horse, but hurrying out at the great gate, and over the draw-bridge, he flew with the rapidity of thought through the woods, and over the downs towards the cliffs. Why he went there, no one but himself could have explained ; but, whatever were the reasons that urged him thither, his having taken that way produced the meeting with Cleaver the reader has so lately been made acquainted with.

My Lord,” said Cleaver, after listening to Lord Eaglesholme's short narration, “ I think I can throw some light upon the track of these villains."

And so saying, he told him what he had met with soon after quitting Sanderson Mains on his way to the shore, and described as nearly as he could the direction the party seemed to have taken.

From Cleaver's account, Lord Eaglesholme's suspicions at once rested on the Castle of Moatmallard as the most probable place of temporary

[ocr errors]

retreat for the ruffians. The reader may perhaps remember, that this ruined fortalice was formerly mentioned, though not by name, as forming a prominent feature in the uninteresting country Dear Sanderson Mains, being situated on a green mound at the upper end of the lake.

“ From all the circumstances," said Cleaver, “ it strikes me, that the event of Miss Malcolm being carried off, and that of the appearance of the smuggling vessel, wbich has just been captured, have somehow had a secret connection together. It is highly probable, that when first descried by the revenue cutter, the smuggler must have been lying off and on, by appointment, to take the rascals on board with their prey. The few words I caught from the scoundrels, as they flew past me on the downs, may have alluded to the disappointment of their expectations in this particular.”

Lord Eaglesholme perfectly agreed with him in his conjectures, and became still more firmly of opinion, that Moatmallard was the place to which the villains must have fled ; and both joined in thinking, that the crew whom Cleaver had seen escape in the boats, would also seek shelter in

[blocks in formation]

the beach. We can send aboard of my yacht for

lads; then we'll rouss up their Castle them, and bring off Miss Malcolm in triumph.

Lord Eaglesholme warmly expressed his thanks to Cleaver for his generous offer, and readily ac98 these ruins, which had been long used, as a place of concealment, by the illicit traders of that coast.

“ Come, then, my Lord,” said Cleaver, with great inward satisfaction at the prospect of having a brush with them after all,

“ let us hasten to some of

my Mallard for them,—destroy the whole nest But, let me tell you, my Lord, the less time we lose, the better chance we have of nabbing the rascals ; for it is likely they won't choose to harbour very long so near the scene of their villany." cepted his proffered assistance.

CHAPTER VI.

Stay by me; thou art resolute and faithful :
I have employment worthy of thy arm.

DRYDEN.

They were hastening down to the beach, when, as they reached the narrow bottom of the ravine, they met a party winding slowly upwards. They had no sooner come near enough to enable them to distinguish persons, than Cleaver recognized the man at the head of them to be his old shipmate Captain Macauley. The greeting between these two friends, who had sailed round the world together, but who had not met for eight or nine years, was hearty and sailor-like.

“ Well, Macauley, my boy!” said Cleaver, after their first salutations were over, “ I think you soon settled the hash of that beggarly brandy merchant. I congratulate you most sincerely, and I hope she will turn out a good prize ; but I can't help regretting that I was not aboard of my little punt, that I might have had the pleasure of fighting along side of you once more upon salt water, were it only for old acquaintance sake. However, I saw the action from the cliff, and I was glad to perceive that my little cockle shell did all she could to help you."

Help us !" said Macauley, “ aye that she did ; why let me tell ye, that was a rare good manouvre of honest Jack Markham's.-Had he not run athwart her so gallantly, she might have fetched another tack,—aye and might have given me a great deal of trouble too, for the jade sailed like a swallow."

“But, stay, my gallant fellow," said Cleaver, de are you inclined for a little more tussling before you sleep? Because, if you are, you may come along with us; for we are going to attack the very Citadel where the whole rascals of them have taken refuge, and where, very likely, they have stowed away most of their goods.". Though I was prevented having a' touch at these cocks with you at sca,' I have no objections to admit you to a share of the glory we shall gain by blowing up their castle ashore, and, moreover, you shall have all the profit.7'18'

" Ñ mus') to st" That's very kind'in you, my good fellow," said

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »