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did not even know at the time that such a crime had been committed."
"Lord have mercy on me, I am ruined !—utterly rumed and undone!" exclaimed Milnwood. "That callant's tongue will rin the head aff his ain shoulders, and waste my gudes to the very grey cloak on my back."
"But you knew Burley," continued Bothwell, still addressing Henry, and regardless of his uncle's interruption, "to be an intercommuned rebel and traitor, and you knew the prohibition to deal with such persons. You knew, that, as a loyal subject, you were prohibited to reset, supply, or intercommune with this attainted traitor, to correspond with him by word, writ, or message, or to supply him with meat, drink, house, harbour, or victual, under the highest pains—You knew all this, and yet you broke the law." (Henry was silent.) "Where did you part from him V continued Bothwell; "was it in the highway, or did you give him harbourage in this very house 9"
"In this house !" said his uncle ; " he dared not for his neck bring ony traitor into a house of mine."
"Dare he deny that he did so 9" said Bothwell.
"As you charge it to me as a crime," said Henry, "you will excuse my saying anything that will criminate myself."
"O, the lands of Milnwood !—the bonny lands of Milnwood, that have been in the name of Morton twa hundred years!" exclaimed his uncle; "they are barking and fleeing, outfield and infield, haugh and holme!"
"No, sir," said Henry, "you shall not suffer on my account.—I own," he continued, addressing Bothwell, "I did give this man a night's lodging, as to an old military comrade of my father. But it was not only without my uncle's knowledge, but contrary to his express general orders. I trust, if my evidence is considered as good against myself, it will have some weight in proving my uncle's innocence."
"Come, young man," said the soldier, in a somewhat milder tone, "you're a smart spark enough, and I am sorry for you ; and your uncle here is a fine old Trojan, kinder, I see, to bis guests than himself, for he gives us wine and drinks his own thin ale—tell me all you know' about th's Burley, what he said when you parted from him, where he went, and where he is likely now to be found; and, d—n it, I'll wink as hard on your share of the business as my duty will permit. There's a thousand merks on the murdering whigamore's head, an' I could but light on it—Come, out with it—where did you part with him 9"
"You will excuse my answering that question, sir," said Morton; "the same cogent reasons which induced me to afford him hospitality at considerable risk to myself and my friends, would command me to respect his secret, if, indeed, he had trusted me with any."
"So you refuse to give me an answer V said Bothwell.
"I have none to give," returned Henry.
"Perhaps I could teach you to find one, by tying a piece of lighted match betwixt your fingers," answered Bothwell.
"O, for pity's sake, sir," said old Alison apart to her master, "gie them siller—it's siller they're seeking— they'll murder Mr. Henry, and yoursell next!"
Milnwood groaned in perplexity and bitterness of spirit, and, with a tone, as if he was giving up the ghost, exclaimed, "If twenty p—p—punds would make up this unhappy matter"
"My master," insinuated Alison to the sergeant, ". would gie twenty punds sterling."
"Punds Scotch, ye b—h!" interrupted Milnwood, for the agony of his avarice overcame alike his puritanic precision and the habitual respect he entertained for his housekeeper.
"Punds sterling," insisted the housekeeper, "if ye wad hae the gudeness to look ower the lad's misconduct, he's that dour ye might tear him to pieces, and ye wad ne'er get a word out o' him; and it wad do ye Utile gude, 1 am sure, to burn his bonny finger-ends."
"Why," said Bothwell, hesitating, " I don't know— most of my cloth would have the money, and take off the prisoner too; but I bear a conscience, and if your master will stand to your offer, and enter into a bond to produce his nephew, and if all in the house will take the test-oath, I do not know but"
"O ay, ay, sir," cried Mrs. Wilson, "ony test, ony oaths ye please!" And then aside to her master, "Haste ye away, sir, and get the siller, or they will burn the house about our lugs."
Old Milnwood cast a rueful look upon his adviser, and moved off, like a piece of Dutch clock-work, to set at liberty his imprisoned angels in this dire emergency. Meanwhile, Sergeant Bothwell began to put the test-oath with such a degree of solemn reverence as might have been expected, being just about the same which is used to this day in his Majesty's custom-house.
"You—what's your name, woman'?"
"Alison Wilson, sir."
"You, Alison Wilson, solemnly swear, certify, and declare, that you judge it unlawful for subjects, under pretext of reformation, or any other pretext whatsoever, to enter into Leagues and Covenants"
Here the ceremony was interrupted by a strife between Cuddie and his mother, which, long conducted in whispers, now became audible.
"O, whisht, mither, whisht! they're upon a communing—Oh ! whisht, and they'll agree weel eneuch e'now."
"1 will not whisht, Cuddie," replied his mother, "I will uplift my voice and spare not—I will confound the man of sin, even the scarlet man, and through my voice shall Mr. Henry be freed from the net of the fowler."
"She has her leg ower the harrows now," said Cuddie, "stop her wha can—I see her cocked up behint a dragoon on her way to the Tolbooth—I find my ain legs tied below a horse's belly—Ay—she has just mustered up her sermon, and there—wi' that grane—out it comes, and we are a' ruined, horse and foot!"
"And div ye think to come here," said Mause, her withered hand shaking in concert with her keen, though wrinkled visage, animated by zealous wrath, and emancipated by the very mention of the test, from the restraints of her own prudence and Cuddie's admonition—"div ye think to come here, wi' your soul-killing, saintseducing, conscience-confounding oaths, and tests, and bands—your snares, and your traps, and your gins ?— Surely it is in vain that a net is spread in the sight of any bird."
"Eh! what, good dame?" said the soldier. "Here's a whig miracle, egad! the old wife has got both her ears and tongue, and we are like to be driven deaf in our turn. Go to, hold your peace, and remember whom you talk to, you old idiot."
"Whae do I talk to! Eh, sirs, ower weel may the sorrowing land ken what ye are. Malignant adherents ye are to the prelates, foul props to a feeble and filthy cause, bloody beasts of prey, and burdens to the earth."
"Upon my soul," said Bothwell, astonished as a mastiff-dog might be should a hen-partridge fly at him in defence of her young, " this is the finest language I ever heard! Can't you give us some more of it V
"Gie ye some mair o't?" said Mause, clearing her voice with a preliminary cough, "I will take up my testimony against you ance and again.—Philistines ye are, and Edomites—leopards are ye, and foxes—eveningwolves, that gnaw not the bones till the morrow—wicked dogs, that compass about the chosen—thrusting kine, and pushing bulls of Bashan—piercing serpents ye are, and allied baith in name and nature with the great Red Dragon; Revelations, twalfth chapter, third and fourth verses."
Here the old lady stopped, apparently much more from lack of breath than of matter.
"Curse the old hag!" said one of the dragoons, "gag her, and take her to head-quarters."
"For shame, Andrews," said Bothwell; "remember the good lady belongs to the fair sex, and uses only the privilege of her tongue.—But, hark ye, good woman
every Bull of Bashan and Red Dragon will not be so civil as I am, or be contented to leave you to the charge of the constable and ducking-stool. In the mean time, I must necessarily carry off this young man to head-quarters. I cannot answer to my commanding-officer to leave him in a house where I have heard so much treason and fanaticism."
"See now, mither, what ye hae dune," whispered Cuddie ; ' " there's the Philistines, as ye ca' them, are gaun to whirry awa' Mr. Henry, and a' wi' your nashgab, deil be on't!"
"Haud yere tongue, ye cowardly loon," said the mother, "and layna the wyte on me; if you and thae thowless gluttons that are sitting staring like cows bursting on clover, wad testify wi' your hands as I hae testified wi' my tongue, they should never harle the precious young lad awa' to captivity."
While this dialogue passed, the soldiers had already bound and secured their prisoner. Milnwood returned at this instant, and, alarmed at the preparations he beheld, hastened to proffer to Bothwell, though with many a grievous groan, the purse of gold which he had been obliged to rummage out as ransom for his nephew. The trooper took the purse with an air of indifference, weighed it in his hand, chucked it up into the air, and caught it as it fell, then shook his head, and said, "There's many a merry night in this nest of yellow boys, but d—n me if I dare venture for them—that old woman hasspoken too loud, and before all the men too.—Hark ye, old gentleman," to Milnwood, "I must take your nephew to head-quarters, so I cannot, in conscience, keep more than is my due as civility-money;" then opening the purse, he gave a gold piece to each of the soldiers, and took three to himself. "Now," said he, "you have the comfort to know that your kinsman, young Captain Popinjay, will be carefully looked after and civilly used, and the rest of the money 1 return to you."
Milnwood eagerly extended his hand.