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he did nothing that others might not do. It ness and desertion continued to haunt her. was just that his long life proved to him to be She was standing at the window turning up a consistent Christian.”
the sleeves of her short gown over her pretty “D'ye ken Jamie,” said Bet demurely ; "I arms before commencing her work, when the have a great mind to turn a saunt mysel ; it's door opened, and Jamie Brown with a curious them that’s maist thought of now-a-days. subdued expression in his face walked in. Like There's Geordie Hunter ta'en in wi' Katie Lind- her namesake, the immortal maid of the mill, say just because she's ane."
Nannie “gazed, she reddened like a rose, syne "Geordie Hunter! I thought he had been pale as ony lily," at the unexpected apparition. your sweetheart, Bet.”
She put both her hands in his horny grasp “ Now, Jamie, wad ye really even me to the and burst into tears; but, in a moment, shame. like of him ?" and Bet looked really captivating. faced and angry at her weakness, (for was he “Geordie Hunter is weel and weel eneugh, but not now Bet Black's lover?) she withdrew from do you think he is like me?"
him, sobbing, “How daur ye, Jamie? How "You want to be a lady, I suppose?” laughed can' ye come here, when Bet Black” but Jamie.
here Nannie fairly broke down. Jamie glanced “Weel, if I hae to marry for a hame or a round. Mrs. Lindsay had left the kitchen, and way o' doing, I may as weel as no ettle at a laird, was climbing the ladder to talk with Katie or I may maybe tak a sea-captain if nocht better in the attic; so drawing her to him, he said, casts up," and Bet laughed saucily as she ran “ Nannie, I have dared to come to hear the away shaking her head at him, and looking at truth.” the time so pretty and mischievous that Jamie The young sailor's manner and tone of voice, felt almost tempted to follow her. Her asser- more than his words, caused her to turn her tion, however, about Tom and Nannie recurring shy beaming face to him, and in a few moments to his mind, he only shouted after her that he everything was asked and explained, regardless meant to try to be a sea-captain as fast as pos- of the utter destruction of the frush cake. The sible. His musings as he pursued his way to discovery of this latter misfortune hastened the Blackrock cottage were not favourable to Bet's
happy laughing sailor away, promising to return pretensions. “Bet is pretty and clever,” he in the evening, and bid them "Good-bye.” thought, “but a bird out of that nest would Mrs. Lindsay and Katie entering shortly break my mother's heart. I must have one afterwards, the mother laughingly scolded her whom I can honour and trust to sit by my for her forgetfulness, while Nannie, bright and fireside.”
happy, flew about arranging or rather disarBet, as she looked after him in deep morti- ranging everything, her mother the while castfication and displeasure, muttered bitter male. ing an amused side-long glance at her blunders. dictions on the Lindsays. “Curse them," cried “ Bless the lassie,” she at last exclaimed, she, “they come between me and everything. "what are ye doing? Ye have emptied a' the If they were only in my ocht, I could crush gude sowens for yer faither's supper into the them beneath my feet.”
pig's dish.” Nannie held up her hands in conMeantime the Lindsay girls had risen early sternation, while Katie laughed, saying, “ It's a' to give the cottage a thorough cleaning, while Jamie Brown's wyte.' their mother pursued her usual routine of work. “It sets ye weel to laugh," said the mother After preparing "muslin kail,” or broth without angrily. “What am I to do for yer faither's meat, she proceeded to make "lang kail,” that
that supper ?" is greens mashed with potatoes, and well- Nannie meekly proposed to make porridge ; seasoned with pepper and salt, on the top of and this being agreed to, they all sat down to which was laid a little fried bacon. The dish sew around the small circular table. was then covered close, and put near the fire Meantime, as Jamie Brown went towards the for her husband's dinner, while she and her village, he came upon Jenny Black and old daughters contented themselves with dining on Neddy returning from their work. Glad of a basin of "muslin kail,” and a few mealy | this opportunity of checking Jenny's mischief, potatoes. Dinner over, the house-mother then making propensity, Jamie bluntly approached put the girdle on the remains of the fire, and the subject at his heart. kneaded the potatoes left from dinner into a
“Jenny," he said, "did you tell the Lind. scone; she then, with oatmeal and a spoonful says that I was a sweet-heart of your Bet’s ?” of bacon dripping, made a “frush” cake for “ Lovanentie me! Jamie Brown, is that you ? the gudeman. Just then from her place at the I thought ye had been away at the sea ? When window she spied Jamie Brown coming rock did ye come back, and when do ye sail again ?” ing in sailor fashion towards the cottage.
" Haste ye, Nannie,” she cried, “and come “I leave to-night again," answered Jamie, to the bakeboard. Jenny Black tells everybody “and I am very glad to have had the chance of that I do a'the wark mysel."
speaking to you." Nannie promptly obeyed the summons, “Oh! ye were aye kind and thochtfu' about though unconscious of her mother's secret rea- me and Neddy here. He's sae deaf the day, sons for it. She was glad of active employment, he has na heard me speaking to ye, but he exfor miserable thoughts of her lover's faithless-pected ye would bave brocht him a bit tobacco
yer last voyage, and ye didna do it. Hilloh! “Everybody is against him," answered Katie, Neddy, here's Jamie Brown gaun to America resentfully, “and I dinna ken what it is for." to bring ye a bit tobacco.”
“Oh! lassie, I kep. Oh! woman, think As Neddy turned back to them, she added, better, and dinna marry ane that has brocht “Ye see that folk, however deaf they are, can aye sorrow to mair than ae hearthstane." hear, 'hae."" When the old man came nearer “Faither, I canna gang back o' my word, she said, “I brocht ye back to speak to Jamie and I hae promised; and oh! faither, I am sure Brown; he was deeing to see ye.”
he has been leed on. I ken he is better than “ Deeing ! deeing!" Wha's deeing, Jenny?” folk say;" and Katie's tears streamed fast as she inquired Neddy, with sudden animation. added, “but even if it should be sae as ye
** Just hear to the cratur," cried Jenny. say, I canna give him up. Oh! I would sooner “Puir man, he has aye an e'e to his wark. Them the grass grew o'er my head.” that burns for a fule Neddy will just waste The unhappy father buried his face in his their peats,' and then she screamed, “Jamie hands, and kept a gloomy silence. here has been promising to bring ye some to- “Dinna speak that way, lassie,” said her mobacco frae America this voyage. I declare," ther, entering unexpectedly. “ Since ye are desaid she, turning to Jamie, "he's far deafer the termined to make a fule of yourself, do't and day, and mair doited than usual, sae I maun hae done with it. Them that will to Cupar gang and look after him. Fare ye weel, Jamie; maun to Cupar. It will aye be something to it will pit me sair aboot if ocht happen ye; and ferly at, that I have a dochter sae coon married ; the tobacco, ye mauna forget that;” and Jenny and if the lad is meaning to reform, we mauna went on her way:
be o'er hard on him." Jamie, confessing to himself that he had been "Jean, ye are as bad as yer dochter,” said checkmated, looked after the picturesque couple Andrew, indignantly rising to go out. with much amusement. Old Neddy in mole- His wife followed him to the door, saying, skin tights, with a red nightcap over his strag- “Dinna be angry, gude man'; I hae foughten and gling gray hair, and Jenny having on a scarlet Ayted, and grutten and grieved, but a' in vain. hood over a faded Rob Roy shawl, which was She will hae him, so it's nae use taking the knotted over a blue linsey-wolsey petticoat, while joy out of her young life about it; we must just both bore over their shoulders the implement make the best of it.' of their calling. “Weel,” he soliloquised, “ Bet “ Jean, I canna see it as ye see it. Do ye no herself may be a tight trig craft, but her crew is see that his evil heart will drag hers down ?” not desirable to ship with for life.”
Aye but, gudeman, do ye no see that if we anger him noo, he may revenge it on her after ; and she's so infatuate with him, that it's mair than needless to attempt to stop their marriage, and it may be a different from what we expect.
She may be the means of doing him gude, and CHAP. XXI.
we maun a' try to help."
“Weel, weel, hae it your ain way, since better may na
but I would have cared little what
he was if he had only been gude." “ Reproach me not with wrong,
" True," answered his wife, “but if the gude To love him is no sin.”
only consorted with the gude, the bad would Anon.
grow nae better."
“Weel, weel, say nae mair about it. Since
it's to be, ye maun put her out of the house On the following Sabbath afternoon, Mrs. decently, but not riotously. Mind that, all is to Lindsay took Nannie with her to see a friend, be quiet and orderly.” leaving Andrew to use his influence with his other "It will be a hard push even to do that," daughter to give up her lover. Andrew sat in answered his wife, “for George will be like 'a' his armchair with a book in his hand, but be the rest of them, keen for a ploy, and he will be did not read it. Katie was sitting on a large asking half the parish to come. chest beside the window, with the “ Pilgrim's “Oh aye, nae doot,” answered Andrew, with Progress" in her hand, but her eyes looked a half-smile as he thought of the immense forth on the calm sea:
gathering at his own marriage; “but I maun “Katie," at last said her father, “yer mother hae George telled that fules make feasts, and tells me that George Hunter has asked ye to wise men eat them.” be his wife. I hope it is not true."
They were standing by the pig-house at the A burning blueh spread over Katie's fair face, time, and Andrew stooped down to scratch the but she did not speak.
uncouth animal, saying, “ It's a bonny pig.” Answer me, Katie ; is it true?”
“Ob, aye, it's a respectable pig, and will help “Yes, father,” answered his daughter in a low weel to pit ower the marriage. "Hoot man, gie voice.
ower sighing and pit a blythe face it, at least “Lassie, dinna say that. He is given over to before Jenny Black; naebody kens what she may evil practices, and is no fit mate for you."
They were about to return into the house, 1 ta'en Bet yet," and with this pleasant address when Mrs. Lindsay directed her husband's she walked off. eyes to a stalwart figure on the beach.
She was scarcely gone when old Mary entered. See, gudeman, yonder's Geordie Hunter “ I was in yer mother's house, hinny,” said she, hinging about as if he had nocht in his head “ but I waited till Jenny gaed away.” but admiring the bonny white maws.
Katie then told her what Jenny had said ways doon to him, and hear what the lad has to about her no longer aeeding to please her hussay. I see my wee Nannie coming down the band, “as if I could ever tire of being good to road; it will be her turn next.”
George, and him sae good to me!” said sbe. “ I trust she may make a better choice," re- " True, my dear, but he is not perfect, and turned Andrew, sadly. Rosy, smiling Nannie he may not always be kind. When he is crossed now joined them, and she and her mother en abroad he may need soothing at home; like tered the cottage to talk with Katie of the ap- every other man, he married for bis own happiproaching marriage. Andrew meanwhile walked ness and no for yours, and you must not disapaway to the intended bridegroom, and soon the point him. Show him that your love is real by acknowledged lovers might be seen seated by doing all you can for his welfare and happiness. the “King's chair,” talking of a future that was Be neat and industrious, loving and kind, and to be all love and happiness.
thus you will bind a four-fold cord round his It was as Andrew and his wife expected, the heart, and lead him in the paths of righteousyoung bridegroom invited half the parish. On ness and peace. Above all things, be loving.” ihe Friday previous to the marriage, the bride- Katie listened gratefully to her grandmother's groom and his man, and the bride and her kindly teachings, and was a proud little woman maid, had a very busy time inviting the company. that night as she presided at the tea table, with The description of a Scotch marriage has been granny and her parents for guests. so often said and sung, that I shall not attempt to describe this one. There was the race for the “ broose,” which the miller's son won, and with bim Bet Black flirted the gayest of the gay the whole evening. Very fair, gentle and sweet, looked the young
Chap. XXII. bride beside her handsome and happy husband. One little incident only marred their joy. In the fearlessness of present happiness, George answered rather loudly some remark by another “ What man so wise, what earthly wit so ware, on Bet's mirth : "Oh, aye! Bet's weel eneuch As to descry the crafty cunning train, for a sweetheart," he said, “but she's no the By which deceit doth mark her visage fair ?” right kind for a wife.” A little afterwards,
SPENSER. Bet's bitter voice whispered in Katie's ear, “Katie Lindsay, ye sall bitterly rue this day : my time will come yet.”. For a moment a cloud settled on the bride's fair brow, but could she For some time both before and after the marbe long unbappy? Was not George now her riage, Bet's wits were fully occupied in repelling own?
the accusations of cruelty to Violet, which were The young couple were for the present to loudly and unsparingly launched against her. occupy the “ ben" end of Andrew Liudsay's When this storm had lulled, there happened an cottage, where they could live apart, and yet event which somewhat diverted her turbulent join the old people at family worship.
spirit from dwelling on her bitter disappointAbout a week after their marriage, Katie was ment. sitting by the fireside sewing, when the door Edward Clery, the young proprietor of a opened, and in walked Jenny Black.
small compact estate in the neighbourhood, “Ye are weel sitten doon here, Katie. I am arrived at Braehead for the purpose of learning glad to see ye sae comfortable. Just tak the sheep-farming. His tastes would rather have gude o't, my woman, as lang as it lasts." Jenny led him to be an artist, for which his genius then coolly lighted her pipe, and sat down on a and appreciation of the beautiful eminently stool beside the fire. “And what are gaun to fitted him; but circumstances compelled him to have for his dinner the day now?” she enquired, another course. He had not been long settleil lifting the lid off the saucepan.
at Braehead before his artistic eye observed “Oh naething particular,” answered Katie, a with admiration the extreme beauty of Bet's little resentfully.
face and figure, while he became interested in “That's very likely,” replied Jenny. “ Ye the occasionally gloomy and evil expression of hae nae need to cook him now, ye ken. And her glittering eyes. Bet, perfectly conscious of hae ye got yer tea-cups ?" she continued, open- her attractions, soon noticed the interest she ing the little cupboard, and glancing round it inspired, and determined, as she told her mocontemptuously
ther, “either to make a spoon or spoil a horn." "Humph! a' things there but siller. Weel I No finished coquette ever wove her meshes with wuss ye luck o't, but Geordie had better hae more skill or unscrupulous assiduity than did
at the “
Bet around the unsuspecting lad; but he, ab
CHAP. XXIII. sorbed in a higher range of pursuits than those of mere sense, was not an easy prey. The anxieties and cunning necessary to Bet's new plans gave rest for a time to the objects of her “And what art thou ? I know, but dare not speak : animosity; but this hatred only lay dormant,
Time may interpret to his silent years.” ready to be awakened into new energy by oppor
SHELLEY. tunity. Bet utterly ignored Providence, believe ing that success invariably followed a persevering will. Had she been early trained to sub- Flora Merton, grand-daughter to the late Mr.
'Twas a bright breezy day in April, on which due her evil passions, this very perseverance, which was
80 striking an element in her Aitken, passed down the beautiful pastoral hills character, would have assisted to perfect the and over the rustic bridge to visit old Mary, work of self-improvement. But alas! her evil and bear a message to Jenny Black. Accompassions knew no rein, though, as will be seen, panying her were two young boys, who bounded her agency was not needed to bring misery on along, rejoicing in the sweet breath of spring, the heads of the fated Lindsays.
which was waking the glad earth into life and For some time after his marriage, George beauty. Here and there with a joyous cry they Hunter, happy in his home, found unexpected pounced upon the sweet primroses just opening pleasure in attending to all the
duties of religion. their golden tips, or chased the stray white but Unfortunately, Bet's mean and petty persecu- terflies, brought prematurely to life by the untions incited him to give up his place at Brae- usually early spring. Flora's dress was a black head, and to hire himself as labourer by the week cloth pelisse, and large gipsy leghorn hat Rising Sun," a large inn, to which a
trimmed with crape, beneath which her fair small farm was attached. From the date of ringlets waved in the wind. A butterfly which his entering his new employment, George's the boys were pursuing led them to the back progress downwards was rapid. His unhappy, of the house, and on passing the window of uncomplaining, infatuated wife almost changed Jenny Black's division, they observed a little her nature in her frenzied efforts to redeem him, rosy face, shrined in lint-white locks, looking and retain her hold over his affections. Un out at them. After rapping repeatedly at both happily, with a view to this, she accepted an
doors, they were surprised that no one answered invitation to a “Jerking," a dance given by
the summons. Old Mary was evidently out, sailors when about to leave a port.
Katie had ! and little Violet seemed not inclined to give heard that Bet Black was to be there, and she them admittance. knew that George was determined to attend.
Unwilling to leave their errand unaccomA severe illness followed this imprudence, and plished, the young people climbed the bill imalas ! much sorrow besides, of which more mediately behind the cottage, to examine the anon.
ruins of an ancient keep, whose ivied turrets Meantime Bet became greatly alarmed for the over-looked the entire valley. Near this buildsuccess of her plans, when in the early spring a
ing was a well of delicious water framed in solid new inmate for a short time visited 'Braehead. masonry, and half-bid by ferns and long grasses. This was Flora Merton, an accomplished and A thread of water trickled from the wishing beautiful girl, who, as has been mentioned, had well” as it was called, and beside this tiny lately been deprived by death of home and streamlet they found Jenny Black busily enfriends. All Bet's powers of ingenuity were gaged gathering water-cresses and other aquatic brought to bear in contriving methods of an- plants for medicinal purposes, for Jenny to her tude to Mrs. Roberts for a long succession pof the day? Ye'll be come for the bitters for yer noyance to the gentle stranger, who, in grati- other callings added that of medical botanist.
Weel, Miss Flory," she said “how are ye kindnesses, was endeavouring to repay them by attention to her children. By ceaseless watch
maister; I hae them a'ready. Gang doon to the ing and listening, Bet at last became convinced house, and just open the door ; I'll be with ye in that her fears of Flora being a rival were
a jiffey.” groundless. She then admitted her mother into On returning to the cottage, Flora lifted the her secret, requesting her assistance to get the latch without hesitation, but found no one “old people” out of the way, so as to afford her within. A large tabby cat sat in solemn majesty greater facilities for executing certain designs before the fire, apparently superintending the teeming with fate others as well as to herself. toasting of some oat cakes. A girdle was on the Various circumstances, however, retarded the fire, on which a few still remained, while ranged ripening of these schemes.
round within a semicircle of bricks were others which the peat fire on the hearth had already too much browned; but pussy did not seem to understand this, and there was no one else apparently interested. Time passed on, and Jenny did not come; the girdle was too hot, and the cakes suffering in consequence; so Flora felt compelled to risk her unaccustomed fingers
in removing them from further danger. While not far away. She had spied old Mary coming thus engaged, Jenny hurried in, crying, " Violet, up the hill, and had gone to meet her. ye careless brat, ye have burnt the cakes." Mary was feebly toiling on, with a sad care
Violet,” she screamed again at the pitch of worn expression in her face, as she returned her voice. A rustling sound was now heard be- from bidding farewell to her son, Andrew Lindsay, low the bed. " Aye woman,” cried Jenny again, previous to his setting out on the following day, "ye are at yer auld tricks, but I'll sort ye;" then on his annual journey to England. This was rushing to the bed, she dragged from beneath enough to depress her spirits ; but it was not all, it the blushing, shame-faced culprit. “That's for Mrs. Lindsay had then informed her that from a bonny way to tent the cakes, madam; hut wait some misunderstanding with his master, George a wee, ye'll catch’t at bedtime;" and, as an ear- Hunter had given up his place at Braehead, and nest of what was awaiting her, Jenny adminis- engaged himself as day-labourer at the "Rising tered some pretty smart slaps, observing the Sun." while, “Ye'll be anither daft Violet like yer Old Mary's credulous kindly nature often demother. The parish pays for yer keep, but it ceived her, so she unsuspiciously told her sordoesna pay for yer wastery."
rows to Jenny, who concealed her exultation, Flora tried in vain to be heard, lifting up the and gave confidence for confidence. “Oor cakes to show that they were not much injured; Bet,” she said, “has got a new sweetheart. The but Jenny, with an air of conscious superiority, young laird of Spring Grove, who is learning stopped her, exclaiming, “Sic tutoring ! ye farming at Braehead, has been enquiring at Mrs. might have mair sense I think. Hoo wad ye Roberts for a suitable housekeeper, and Bet get on if yer maister and mistress were aye could easily see he meant her, and a'together putting in their word between you and your he's kind o’ looking at oor Bet, and mair than scholars? I am fair plagued with Violet's blate- that, I've just written to Peggy Grier, asking ness; she's as kittle to catch as a wild hen; but her for a quate hundred ee’now. It would do what was’t ye were wanting, Miss Flora?" us fair mair gude ee’now, than waiting till she's
“We have come for bitters for Mr. Roberts. / dead.” He thinks himself better for what he has had already?"
“The yerbs are grown unco scarce, woman, since he got the last, and I hae had to buy some o' them mysel, so that will make them a hantle
CHAP. XXIV. dearer;" then staring a few moments at Flora she proceeded, “ Ech wow, woman, but ye are like yer mother. Wha wad hae thocht that when Mary Aitken made sic a grand marriage, “ Still from one labour to another thrown, that her dochter wad hae to gang amang the Nor ever fold our wings, fremit for her bread, just like other servant Nor cease from wanderings.” lasses ? But noo what has come o'er that
TENNYSON. ne'er-do-weel fellow, yer faither ?”
“I did not expect this, Mrs. Black," said Flora, rising in great indignation.
Once more let us follow the fortunes of An. Hoot lass, ye’re unco huffy. Where there's drew Lindsay, who, in the language of the Scotnae ill meant, there's nane done. Is yer faither tish story-teller, gaed on, and better gaed on, leeving yet?-yer mother, I doot, will no be till he arrived at his destination. Having sold unco weel off, poor woman," continued Jenny, the cattle advantageously, he next proceeded to remorselessly pursuing her subject. “If she execute the orders of his mistress, who had bad been content wi' sic as the land produced requested him
to purchase for her a web of the she might have been better off, the day." far-famed Suffolk linen. This accomplished, he
Flora interrupted her by enquiring if she could returned to his inn to secrete his money about have the bitters with her.
his person. He had observed near him, at the “I dinna ken that I can gie ye them,” an- time of his purchase, a shambling, blear-eyed swered Jenny, still eyeing her visitor curiously. man, and his suspicions became aroused, when "Aye, woman, but ye hae a look o yer grand- he found the same person seated in the sanded father too. Losh, woman! what are ye greetin parlour of the Thistle Inn, the usual resort of at? We maun a' dee, and it's no a green grief Scotiish drovers. Leaving the bar, Andrew noo after sae mony months.”
proceeded to his own room, where he was in the The poor girl tried in vain to speak. A chok- act of putting some gold into a concealed pocket ing feeling filled her throat, and she left the in his vest, when the same individual entered house abruptly.
groaning, and apparently suffering from pain. “Silly cratur!" said Jenny, looking after her, Andrew was so much startled, that he dropt "I am sure I said naething to vex her ; but if some of the silver he had reserved for his own she gangs back to Braehead without the bitters expenditure. “I am very ill," said the man, as she'll catch’t, for oor maister is just a street he stooped to lift a shilling that had rolled tobaunt, but a hoose deevil. But noo where's that wards him, and returned it to its owner. As sorra of a jade ?” and Jenny made the hills re- he did so, however, Andrew shrank from the verberate with the cry of “Violet.” Violet was evil expression of the man's eye, and the