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escape, blow their brains out.—You cannot call that using you uncivilly," he continued, addressing himself to Morton, “ it's the rules of war, you know.–And, Inglis, couple up the parson and the old woman, they are fittest company for each other, d-n me; a single file may guard them well enough. If they speak a word of cant or fanatical nonsense, let them have a strapping with a shoulder-belt. There's some hope of choking a silenced parson ; if he is not allowed to hold forth, his own treason will burst him.”
Having made this arrangement, Bothwell placed himself at the head of the party, and Inglis, with six dragoons, brought up the rear. The whole then set forward at a trot, with the purpose of overtaking the main body of the regiment.
Morton, overwhelmed with a complication of feelings, was totally indifferent to the various arrangements made for his secure custody, and even to the relief afforded him by his release from the setters. He experienced that blank and waste of the heart which follows the hurricane of passion, and, no longer supported by the pride and conscious rectitude which dictated his answers to Claverhouse, he surveyed with deep dejection the glades through which he travelled, each turning of which had something to remind him of past happiness and disappointed love. The eminence which they now ascended was that from which he used first and last to behold the ancient tower when approaching or retiring from it; and, it is needless to add, that there he was wont to pause, and gaze with a lover's delight on the battlements, which, rising at a distance out of the lofty wood, indicated the dwelling of her, whom he either hoped soon to meet or had recently parted from. Instinctively he turned his head back to take a last look of a scene formerly so dear to him, and no less instinctively he heaved a deep sigh. It was echoed by a loud groan from his companion in misfortune, whose eyes, moved, perchance, by similar reflections, had taken the same direction. This indica tion of sympathy, on the part of the captive, was uttered
in a tone more coarse than sentimental; it was, however, the expression of a grieved spirit, and so far corresponded with the sigh of Morton. In turning their heads their eyes met, and Morton recognized the stolid countenance of Cuddie Headrigg, bearing a rueful expression, in which sorrow for his own lot was mixed with sympathy for the situation of his companion.
“ Hegh, sirs !" was the expression of the ci-devant ploughman of the Mains of Tillietudlem ; “ It's an unco thing that decent folk should be harled through the country this gate, as if they were a warld's wonder."
“ I am sorry to see you here, Cuddie,” said Morton, who, even in his own distress, did not lose feeling for that of others.
"And sae am I, Mr. Henry,” answered Cuddie, "s baith for myselland you ; but neither of our sorrows will do muckle gude that I can see. To be sure, for me,” continued the captive agriculturist, relieving his heart by talking, though he well knew it was to little purpose, " to be sure, for my part, I hae nae right to be here ava', for I never did nor said a word against either king or curate ; but my mither, puir body, couldna haud the auld tongue o' her, and we maun baith pay for't, it's like."
“ Your mother is their prisoner likewise ?" said Morton, hardly knowing what he said.
“ In troth is she, riding ahint ye there like a bride, wi’ that auld carle o' a minister that they ca' Gabriel Kettledrummle--Deil that he had been in the inside of a drum or a kettle either, for my share o' him! Ye see, we were na sooner chased out o’ the doors o' Milnwood, and your uncle and the housekeeper banging them to and barring them ahint us, as if we had had the plague on our bodies, than I says to my mother, What are we to do neist? for every hole and bore in the country will be steekit against us, now that ye hae affronted my auld leddy, and gart the troopers tak up young Milnwood. Sae she says to me, Binna cast doun, but gird yoursell up to the great
1* VOL. II.
task o' the day, and gie your testimony like a man upon the mount o' the Covenant."
“ And so I suppose you went to a conventicle ?" said Morton.
“Ye sall hear,” continued Cuddie.—5 Aweel, I kend na muckle better what to do, sae I e'en ga’ed wi' her to an auld daft carline like hersell, and we got some waterbroo and bannocks; and mony a weary grace they said, and mony a psalm they sang, or they wad let me win to, for I was amaist famished wi' vexation. Aweel, they had me up in the grey o' the morning, and I behoved to whig awa wi' them, reason or nane, to a great gathering o'their folk at the Miry-sikes, and there this chield, Gabriel Kettledrummle, was blasting awa to them on the hill-side about lifting up their testimony, nae doubt, and ganging down to the battle of Roman Gilead, or some sic place. Eh, Mr. Henry ! but the carle gae them a screed o' doctrine! Ye might hae heard him a mile down the wind-He routed like a cow in a fremd loaning.Weel, thinks 1, there's nae place in this country they ca' Roman Gilead it will be some gate in the west muirlands; and or we win there I'll see to slip awa wi’ this mither o' mine, for I winna rin my neck into a tether for ony Kettledrummle in the country side-Aweel,” continued Cuddie, relieving himself by detailing his misfortunes, without being scrupulous concerning the degree of attention which his companion bestowed on his narrative, “ just as I was wearying for the tail o' the preaching, cam word that the dragoons were upon us.-Some ran, and some cried stand! and some cried down wi' the Philistines -I was at rny mither to get her awa sting and ling or the red-coats cam up, but I might as weel hae tried to drive our auld fore-a-hand ox without the goad-deil a step wad she budge.- Weel, after a', the cleugh we were in was strait, and the mist cam thick, and there was gude hope the dragoons wad hae missed us if we could bae held our tongues ; but, as if auld Kettledrummle himsell hadna made din eneugh to waken the very dead, they behoved a' to skirl up a psalm that ye wad hae heard as far as Lanrick !-Aweel, to mak a lang tale short, up cam my young Lord Evandale, skelping as fast as his horse could trot, and twenty red-coats at his back. Twa or three chields wad needs fight, wi' the pistol and the whinger in the tae hand, and the Bible in the tother, and they got their croups weel cloured ; but there was nae muckle skaith dune, for Evandale aye cried to scatter us, but to spare life.”
" And did you not resist ?” said Morton, who probably felt, that, at that moment, he himself would have encountered Lord Evandale on much slighter grounds.
- Na, truly," answered Cuddie, “I keepit aye before the auld woman, and cried for mercy to life and limb; but twa o' the red-coats cam up, and ane o' them was gaun to strike my mither wi’ the side o' his broad-sword -So I got up my kebbie at them, and said I wad gie them as gude. Weel, they turned on me, and clinked at me wi' their swords, and I garr’d my hand keep my head as weel as I could till Lord Evandale came up, and then I cried out I was a servant at Tillietudlem-ye ken yoursell he was aye judged to hae a look after the young leddy—and he bade me fing doun my kent, and sae me and my mither yielded oursells prisoners. I'm thinking we wad hae been letten slip awa, but Kettledrummle was taen near us—for Andrew Wilson's naig that he was riding on had been a dragooner lang syne, and the sairer Kettledrummle spurred to win awa, the readier the dour beast ran to the dragoons when he saw them draw up.-Aweel, when my mither and him forgathered, they set till the sodgers, and I think they gae them their kale through the reek ! Bastards o' the hure o' Babylon was the best words in their wame. Sae then the kiln was in a bleeze again, and they brought us a' three on wi' them to mak us an example, as they ca't."
« It is most infamous and intolerable oppression !" said Morton, half speaking to himself ; “ here is a poor peaceable fellow, whose only motive for joining the conventicle was a sense of filial piety, and he is chained up like a thief or murderer, and likely to die the death of one, but without the privilege of a formal trial, which our laws indulge to the worst malefactor ! Even to witness such tyranny, and still more to suffer under it, is enough to make the blood of the tamest slave boil within him.”
“ To be sure,” said Cuddie, hearing and partly understanding what had broken from Morton in resentment of his injuries, “ it is no right to speak evil o' dignities -my auld leddy aye said that, as nae doubt she had a gude right to do, being in a place o' dignity hersell; and troth I listened to her very patiently, for she aye ordered a dram, or a soup kale, or something to us, after she had gien us à hearing on our duties. But deil a dram, or kale, or onything else--no sae muckle as a cup o'cauld water--dothae lords at Edinburgh gie us; and yet they are heading and hanging amang us, and trailing us after thae blackguard troopers, and taking our goods and gear as if we were outlaws. I canna say I tak it kind at their hands."
“ It would be very strange if you did," answered Morton, with suppressed emotion.
" And what I like warst o' a'," continued poor Cuddie, “is thae ranting red-coats coming amang the lassies and taking awa our joes. I had a sair heart o' my ain when I passed the Mains down at Tillietudlem this morning about parritch-time, and saw the reek comin' out at my ain lum-head, and kend there was some ither body than my auld mither sitting by the ingle-side. But I think my heart was e'en sairer when I saw that hellicat trooper, Tam Halliday, kissing Jenny Dennison afore my face. I wonder women can hae the impudence to do sic things ; but they are a' for the red-coats. Whiles I hae thought o' being a trooper mysell, when I thought naething else wad gae down wi' Jenny-and yet I'll no blame her ower muckle neither, for maybe it was a' for my sake that she loot Tam touzle her tap-knots that gate.” . “ For your sake ?” said Morton, unable to refrain from taking some interest in a story which seemed to bear a singular coincidence with his own.
Ion, with 1 like wed-co