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moment, though mayhap not quite so good as the house that you may be customed to !"
These words issued from the cavernous lips of this gigantic head, with an air of so much good nature, and there was something so much like adventure in the affair, that Amherst felt very much inclined to accept of this strange invitation, in support of which inclination, the elements without were urging very loud arguments. But reflecting that his absence might occasion uneasiness to his friend Cleaver, he resolved to make the best of his way homewards, in spite of the storm, and he accordingly signified his intention in the civilest terms he could use.
The mumper seemed to be considerably perplexed, as Amherst was making his reply, and just as he was preparing to leave the cabin, the bulky man in the pilot's coat, and brown wig, who seemed hitherto to have endeavoured to conceal himself by slouching his hat, and leaning backward against the wall, suddenly started up, and calling to the two men who were stationed at the door_“ Let him not pass at your peril, my masters ! I must have more speech of him
ere he goes,” he discovered to the wondering eyes of Amherst the features of-Lochandhu !!!
Macgillivray !” exclaimed Amherst with an astonishment which, as his action and expression sufficiently testified, had nothing feigned in it. “ Lochandhu here!-Good Heavens! when did you arrive in England ? and what has brought you hither ?--to meet you in such a place too!"
Thus far he was hurried by the recollection of the Highlander's hospitality ; but other images crowding upon his mind, he paused, and a sudden chill, not of fear, but of horror, came over him, as he called to mind the desperate associates with whom he too certainly knew that Lochandhu was leagued in his own country, and as he now looked around him on those with whom he found him consorting in England.
Lochandhu gazed anxiously upon him in silence for some moments with a scrutinizing eye, as if he would have dived into his very soul.
. * No !” said he at length, “ it is impossible I cannot be mistaken, your surprise is too natural to be that of an actor ; besides, I have formerly seen too much honour in you to believe that you could ever bring yourself to betray the man whose
bread you had eaten, and whose cup you had drank.”
“ Betray you !" cried Amherst, in the accents of increased surprise ; “ until this moment that you discovered yourself, I believed that you were still among your native forests and mountains."
“ 'Tis well," said Lochandhu, after a short pause; “but even were it otherwise, I have sufficient security for my safety at present, since you can remain here until the French lugger arrives that is to bear me hence, an outcast exile from my country; she need not tarry long now, and perhaps even at this moment she waits the signallight--Jem, let it appear !"
The sailor whom he addressed began immediately to add some billets of dry wood to the fire, intermingled with pieces of pitched wreck timber, and it soon blazed
with great violence; after which, with the assistance of the other man, he moved the table a little out of the way, and, opening a slipping pannel in the side of the cabin, next to the sea and opposite to the fire, he disclosed a large aperture in the planks of the wall, of a triangular form, the base of the triangle being uppermost, so that the bright gleam of the fire being
seen through it, must of necessity have produced to those at sea a luminous object of that very remarkable figure, running no risk of being confounded with any ordinary light. The storm was louder than ever.
“ Surely," said Amherst,“ you do not mean to go to sea in such a night as this. It blows a perfect hurricane, and methinks I even feel the salt mist coming through that hole, as it rises from the
spray lashed up by the furious waves dashing in mountains against the beach below.”
Let it blow !" said Lochandhu, with a calm smile; “ I have faced as bad before ; besides, I question whether the lads who are now tossed on the heaving bosom of yon angry ocean, and are about to carry Cæsar and his fortunes, would have ventured hither, had they not spied all this turmoil a-brewing. But sit down, Mr Oakenwold, and take some refreshment; we may yet have an hour or two to wait for these dolphins of the waves, who are to carry me presently to France. Sit down, I beseech you, and let me have all your news. What, I pray you, became of you after the hasty retreat you made from the glen ?--and, by the way too, how came you to decamp so abruptly, and in a manner so little like what I had reason to expect from a gentleman ? Be pot offended, I beg of you," at this question, nor scruple to speak plainly to me, for I had my sus picions against Sandy on this head, and it would be some satisfaction, at least, for me, before I leave England, to know whether these suspicions were really just or not. I, too, may perhaps give you some light in matters of which you little think me aware, and which
be of some interest to you." Having said this, Lochandhu was silent, and waited his reply with an air of extreme curiosity.
It was some time before Amherst could satisfy himself that he was right in holding amicable converse with a man whom he had reason to believe a robber and a murderer, and who was apparently even an outlaw. The recollection, however, that he must himself have been murdered, but for the interference of this very man, who had for weeks given him all the protection, as well as all the hospitality due to a guest, left him little inclination to give voluntary information against him, even if it had been in his power. He therefore yielded to his desire of gaining intelligence thåt might elucidate some of those mysteries which sur