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able and willing to assist his daughter in her present circumstances. Besides, I have thoughts of making this purchase, and I should wish things kept in order about the Place; will you have the goodness to apply this small sum in the usual family expences ?"—He put into the Dominie's hand a purse containing some gold.
"Pro-di-gi-ous!" exclaimed Dominie Sampson. "But if your honour would tarry"
"Impossible, sir—impossible,"said Mannering, making his escape from him.
"Pro-di-gi-ous!" again exclaimed Sampson, following to the head of the stairs, still holding out the purse. "But as touching this coined money"——
Mannering escaped down stairs as fast as possible.
"Pro-di-gi-ous!" exclaimed Dominie Sampson, yet the third time, now standing at the first door. "But as touching this coined"'
But Mannering was now on horseback, and out of hearing. The Dominie, who had never, either in his own right, or as trustee for another, been possessed of a quarter part of this sum, though it was not above twenty guineas, "took counsel," as he expressed himself, "how he should demean himself with respect unto the fine gold" then left in his charge. Fortunately he found a disinterested adviser in Mac-Morlan, who pointed out the most proper means of disposing of it for contributing to Miss Bertram's convenience, being no doubt the purpose to which it was destined by the bestower.
Many of the neighbouring gentry were now sincerely eager in pressing offers of hospitality and kindness upon Miss Bertram. But she felt a natural reluctance to enter any family, for the first time, as an object rather of benevolence than hospitality, and determined to wait the opinion and advice of her father's nearest female relation, Mrs Margaret Bertram of Single side, an old unmarried lady, to whom she wrote an account of her present distressful situation.
The funeral of the late Mr Bertram was performed with decent privacy, and the unfortunate young lady was now to consider herself as but the temporary tenant of the house in which she had been born, and where her patience and soothing attentions had so long "rocked the cradle of declining age." Her communication with Mr Mac-Morlan encouraged her to hope, that she would not be suddenly or unkindly deprived of this asylum; but fortune had ordered otherwise.
For two days before the appointed day for the sale of the lands and estate of Ellangowan, Mac-Morlan daily expected the appearance of Colonel Mannering, or at least a letter containing powers to act for him. But none such arrived. Mr MacMorlan waked early in the morning,—walked over to the Post-office,—there were no letters for him. He endeavoured to persuade himself that he should see Colonel Mannering to breakfast, and ordered his wife to place her best china, and prepare herself accordingly. But the preparations were in vain. "Could I have foreseen this," he said, "I would have travelled Scotland over, but I would have found some one to bid against Glossin." Alas! such reflections were all too late. The appointed hour arrived ; and the parties met in the Mason's Lodge at Kippletringan, being the place fixed for the adjourned sale. Mac-Morlan spent as much time in preliminaries as decency would permit, and read over the articles of sale as slowly as if he had been reading his own deathwarrant. He turned his eye every time the door of the room opened, with hopes which grew fainter and fainter. He listened to every noise in the street of the village, and endeavoured to distinguish in it the noise of hoofs or wheels. It was all in vain. A bright idea then occurred, that Colonel Mannering might have employed some other person in the transaction—he would not have wasted a moment's thought upon the want of confidence in himself, which such a manoeuvre would have evinced. But this hope also was groundless. After a solemn pause, Mr Glossin offered the upset price for the lands and barony of Ellangowan. No reply was made, and no competitor appeared; so, after a lapse of the usual interval by the running of a sandglass, upon the intended purchaser entering the proper sureties, Mr Mac-Morlan was obliged, in technical terms, to " find and declare the sale lawfully completed, and to prefer the said Gilbert Glossin as the purchaser of the said lands and estate." The honest writer refused to partake of a splendid entertainment with which Gilbert Glossin, Esquire, now of Ellangowan, treated the rest of the company, and returned home in huge bitterness of spirit,