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and talking incoherently by fits and starts, and occasionally praying earnestly for admission.
Miss Malcolm immediately interested herself to procure admittance for the poor woman into the prison, and the mayor gave orders to one of the turnkeys to see her taken care of, until such time as their interview with the prisoner was over. The girl seemed to have fully comprehended all that passed, for she stretched forward with breathless attention from anxiety as to the result, and when she heard she was to be allowed to enter, she clasped her hands together in an ecstasy, exelaiming
“Heaven bless ye, my bonny leddy! Heaven's best blessin' be aboot ye ! -Dinna fear me; I'll sit me down ony where; I'll be patient, very patient --and hush! gang ye in saftly for fear he be sleepin? - What if he should be dead?” said she, wringing her hands.": " But mind I maun see him, though it were but his corpse-Hush ! wbisht !--stap saftly !” And so saying, and wave. ing her hand after Miss Malcolm, who was proceeding along a narrow passage towards a cell at: the further end, where Brandywyn was confined, she followed a turnkey into an open side apart
ment, where she seated herself quietly upon a bench.
Brandywyn lay in a small vaulted cell, lighted by a narrow grated window high up in the wall, the thickness of which was so great, that the light with difficulty sent in a few straggling rays between its approaching angles. Miss Malcolm shuddered as she beheld the numerous gratings, iron doors, massive bolts, and chains, and rings, put in motion by the jailor to enable her to reach the object of her visit.
In a dark corner of this dismal place was a wretched pallet-bed, filled with straw, and covered by a blanket. In this was the unfortunate prisoner, sufficiently fettered by the wounds he had received. Over this miserable couch a sort of rug was thrown like a curtain, an addition made by order of the surgeon who had visited him the night before, rather to increase the quiet of his patient, than for the usual purpose of excluding light where it was so little offensive. The poor wretch seemed to be at present in a state of repose. But he had spent a dreadful night, the full torments of which were only known to himself. His bodily wounds were indeed sufficient to
account for enough of sleepless misery. But great as his pain had been, it was almost unfelt by him, when compared with those pangs arising from reflections upon the events of an ill spent life. Having been for a considerable part of his earlier years the inhabitant of foreign countries, his deeds, whether good or evil, had, during that period, escaped observation. He had therefore ed with those into whose society he was thrown by his lawless trade as a bold and daring, but a free-hearted and generous man, possessing all the rough good qualities of a sailor, and only guilty of doing that which they were equally desirous, though more cautious of doing themselves. His boldness and uniform success in this illicit traffic, being considered by those who profited by it as a proof of his clear head, admirable adroitness, and determined resolution, necessarily raised him high in their estimation. Then as to his dissipation and his dissolute life, those who had dealings with him were not the people most likely to object to such trifles. As he dashed on, therefore, through the foaming billows of life's ocean, without the least threatening of wreck or failure, he managed, amidst his unvarying prosperity, to silence “ the
still small voice," and to drown the recollection of the earlier and darker scenes of his life, and, wildly enjoying the gales while they blew fair, and the tide whilst it set in his favour, he dauntlessly contended with every occasional adverse storm, cheered by the loud though worthless applause of those he served, and never bestowing one thought upon the future."
But, good Heavens! what years of past time did he not think over in the course of one single night, now that, for the first few hours of his life, he was stretched, desperately wounded, and a prisoner, on what, as far as he knew, was to be his bed of death! One may fancy the rapidity and variety of his thoughts, but the horrors and agogonies which shot through his terrified memory. it is impossible for us to know or describe.
The rug that hung over his pallet being drawn close, Miss Malcolm, on entering the cell, supposed that he might be asleep, and therefore, being unwilling to disturb him, she occupied herself in putting questions, and giving numerous little orders to those who were about her, all having reference to the cure of his wounds, and his future comforts. She was deceived in supposing
that hier words were only heard by those to whom they were addressed. Though, from being exhausted with useless tossing to and fro, he was now lying quiet, yet he was not asleep, and hearing, as he now did, her who had suffered so much from him, and whom he had intended so deeply to injure, thus exerting her angel voice in accents of pity for his present state, and in words of charity and mercy towards him, he slowly and feebly pushed away the rug.
There had always been something handsome in his bold, manly, and determined countenance, though his features had been brutalized by reckless profligacy. But now, how altered was their expression !Fear, a fear far above that of mere death ; and torment, greatly more than that arising from common bodily suffering, seemed to have taken complete possession of them. But through all this there beamed a faint and solitary ray of gratitude, shooting feebly from his languid and distorted eyes towards Miss Malcolm, like the pale and momentary moon-beam amidst the horrors of a stormy ocean.
Surely," said he, in a hollow and almost unintelligible voice, " surely if thou canst pardon.