« ПредишнаНапред »
"Frae Kippletringan !!!" in an exalted tone of wonder, which we can but faintly express by three points of admiration. "Ow, man! ye should hae hadden easel to Kippletringan—ye maun gae back as far as the Whaap, and haud the Whaap till ye come to Ballenloan, and then"'
"This will never do, good dame! my horse is almost quite set up—can you not give me a night's lodgings?"
"Troth can I no—I am a lone woman, for James he's awa to Drumshourloch fair with the year-aulds, and I darena for my life open the door to ony of your gangthere-outsort o' bodies."—
"But what must I do then, good dame? for I can't sleep here upon the road all night?"
"Troth, I ken na, unless ye like to gae down andspeer for quarters at the Place. I'se warrant they'll take ye in, whether ye be gentle or semple."
"Simple enough, to be wandering here at such a time of night," thought Mannering, who was ignorant of the meaning of the phrase, "but how shall I get to the place, as you call it?"
"Ye maun haud wessel by the end o' the loan, and take tent o' the jaw-hole."
"O, if you get to easel and wessel again, I am undone !—Is there nobody that could guide me to this place? I will pay him handsomely."
The word pay operated like magic. "Jock, ye villain," exclaimed the voice from the interior, "are ye lying routing there, and a young gentleman seeking the way to the Place? Get up, ye fause loon, and shew him the way down the muckle loaning.—He'll shew you the way, sir, and I'se warrant ye'll be weel put up; for they never turn awa' naebody frae the door; and ye'll be come in the canny moment I'm thinking, for the laird's servant—that's no to say his body-servant, but the helper like—rade express by this e'en to fetch the houdie, and he just staid the drinking o' twa pints o' tippeny, to tell us how my leddy was ta'en wi' her pains."
"Perhaps," said Mannering, "at such a time a stranger's arrival might be inconvenient?''
"Hout, na, ye needna be blate about that; their house is muckle eneugh, and decking time's aye canty time."
By this time Jock had found his way into all the intricacies of a tattered doublet, and more tattered pair of breeches, and sallied forth, a great white-headed, bare-legged, lubberly boy of twelve years old, so exhibited by the glimpse of a rushlight, which his half-naked mother held in such a manner as to get a peep at the stranger, without greatly exposing herself to view in return. Jock moved on westward, by the end of the house, leading Mannering's horse by the bridle, and piloting, with some dexterity, along the little path which bordered the formidable jaw-hole, whose vicinity the stranger was made sensible of by means of more organs than one. His guide then dragged the weary hack along a broken and stony cart-track, next over a ploughed field, then broke down a slap, as he called it, in a dry stone fence, and lugged the unresisting animal through the breach, about a rood of the simple masonry giving way in the splutter with which he passed. Finally, he led the way, through a wicket, into something which had still the air of an avenue, though many of the trees were felled. The roar of the ocean was now near and full, and the moon, which began to make her appearance, gleamed on a turreted and apparently a ruined mansion, of considerable extent. Mannering fixed his eyes upon it with a disconsolate sensation.
"Why, my little fellow, this is a ruin, not a house ?"'
"Ah, but the lairds lived there langsyne—that's Ellengowan Auld Place; there's a hantle bogles about it—but ye needna be feared—I never saw ony mysell, and we're just at the door of the New Place."
Accordingly, leaving the ruins on the right, a few steps brought the traveller in front of a small modern house, at which his guide rapped with great importance. Mannering told his circumstances to the servant; and the gentleman of the house, who heard his tale from the parlour, stepped forward, and welcomed the stranger hospitably to EUengowan. The boy, made happy with half-a-crown, was dismissed to his cottage, the weary horse was conducted to a stall, and Mannering found himself in a few minutes seated by a comfortable supper, to which his cold ride gave him a hearty appetite.