|Chapter Number||III Continued|
|Newspaper Title||Burra Record (SA : 1878 - 1954)|
|Trove Title||Macleod of Dare|
Macleod of Bare.
CHAPIER III. Continued. FIOXAGUAT.
kFrom Harper's Itanazini).
* 1 thought we were all sheep now,' said she. Dj you know the story of the man who was fl-eeed by Maclean of Lochbuy — that is in Mull.' said he. not heeding her remart.
'? 1 'a do not know that old story ?' They did sot ; and he proceeded to tell it in a grave and eimpla fashion which was suffi ciently impressive. For be was talking to these two friends now in the most unembar rassed way ; and he had, beside-, the chief gift of a born narrator — en utter forgetfulnef* of himself. His ejes rested quite naturally on their eyes as he told his tale. But first of all, he epoke of the exceeding loyally of the High land folk to the head of their clan. Did they know that other story of how Maclean of Duart tried to capture the young heir of the house of LocLbuy, and how they boj was rescued and carried away by his nurse ? And when, arrived at mail's estate, he returned to revenge himself on those who had betrayed liiin, among them was the husband of the nurse. The young chief would have spared the lifa of tbis man, for the old woman's cake. 'Lettlie tail go tcith the hide,' said she, and he was slain wi'U the rest. And then the narrator went or to the story of the^floggiug. lie told them how Maclean of Lochbuy was out after the deer one day : and his wife, with her child, had come out to see the shooting. Xbey were driving the deer ; and at a particular pass a man was stationed to that, should the deer come that way, he should turn them back. The deer came to tbis pass ; the man failed to turn them ; the chief was mad with rage. He pave orders that tbe man's bsck should be bared, and that be should be flogged before all the people. ' Very well,' continued Macleod. ' It was done. But. it is not safe to do any thing like that to a Highlander ; at least it was not sale to do any thing like that to a Highlander in those days ; for, as I told you, Mrs. £os*, we are fill like sheep nonr. Then they went after tke deer again ; but at one moment the man that had been flogged seized Maclean's child from the nurse, aud ran with it across the trountain-fide, till bo reached a overhanging the eef-. Ar.d he held ont the child over the Ff a ; end it was no use thct Maclean begged on bis knees for forgiveueff. Even tbe passion ol loyalty was lest now in the fierceness of his revenge. This was what the man said — that unless Maclean had his back bared there and then before all the people, and flogged as he had been flagged, 'then the child should be dsshrd into the sea below. There was nothing to be done but that — no prayer?, no offer?, no appeals from tbe mother, were cf any use. A nd so it was that Maclean of Lochbuy was fl -egrd there before bis own people, ard his enemy above looking op. And then ? When it was over, the man called aloud, * Kevenged ! revenged !' and sprang into tbe air with the child along with him ; and neither of them was erer sren again affer (hey bad saik into the sea. It is an old rtcry.'. An oli eiory, doubtless, and often told ; but its t fleet on tbis girl sitting betide him was strange. Her clasped handB trembled; her eves were gUzed and fascinated as if by aome epel' '^r?. Ross noticing this extreme tension of feelinp, end fearing it, hastily rose. ' Come, Gertrude,' she said, taking the girl bv the hand, ' we ehal! ' '??« »«?n-»d to death by tbe*e stciii Come ami _ » us a song — a French 6ork,...V»h««*.t£«'- «jtd fountains, ami bits of ribbon— or we 6 be'rseeinjptn7 ghosts of murdered Highlanders coining in here in the daytime.' i'&eleod, not knowing what he had done but conscious that something had occurred, followed them into the draa ing-room, and retired to a sofa, while Mi*a White sat down to the »--en ].iuir. He tiOft-d lie had not cflkn lie would not frghten her again * ghif'y stoiies from the wild northern ..-«;«-,. And what was this French song that she was a^out to sirg ? The pblpl slender fingers were wandering ever the ictjs ; and there was a sound— fiint and dear and musics! — as of the lippliDg of eummir seas. And sometimes the sounds carcc nearer; and now he fancied he n ccgn-'z- (I tone old familiar strain ; and he thought if hia cousin Jantt somehow, and of cummer dnys down by the blue water? of the Atlantic A French song ? Surely if tbis air, that seemed to 'come rearer and nearer, was blown from any earthly land, it had come from the TtV.ejs cf Lochiel and Arvgonr, and from the still shores of Arisaig and Moidart? Oh j es : it was a very pretty French song that she had chosen to pleaee Mrs. Roes with. ' A wee bird cam' to our ha* door' ? td's -vaa what the sang; and though, to tell the truth, she had not much of a-voice, it wes (iqirsitely trained, and she sang with a tender ness and expression such as he, at least, had never dfard before— ' lie warMed meet and ejeariv ; An' aye the o'eiuomc o' his saiii,' Whs ' \Vae's me for Prince Charlie ' Oli. when 1 heard the bonnie, bonnie bird, The fears cam' Jrappin' nirtdy ; I took my bounet off my head, IVr well 1 loV.l Prince Charlie.' It cculd not have enured into his imagination to believe that such pathos could exist apart from the actual rorronr of the world. The ir elruaifnt before her seemed to speak ; and tbe low, j-jint cry was cne of infinite grief and long ii g and love. *' Quoth I, ' My Mr.l, my honnie, bonnie bird, Is that a saujf je Iwrrnvv » Are these uunc wnrJs ye've learnt by heart. --r a tOt o' doi»J an, sorrow T ? oh, in, no, no,' the wee bird sanj ; ?i'ie ttovm sin* luomin' earlv ; Cut sie a iliy -r uiiul au' rain— O:i, wat's'me f»r l'rince Charlie P ** Mrs. Hois ghrred archly at him when she dis ci, vci-rd whet eort of French song it was that ]\IUs White hed ebosfo ; but he paid no heed. His oi.iy thought wa«, ' If only the mother and J-tnil could hear Ihx strange singing !' Wt en fhe had . uilpr', birr. Boss came orrr to him scd said, ' lhat is a great compliment to jcu.' And he answered, eitrply, 'I have never besrd any eirgii'g like that.' Then young M-. Ogilvie — whose existence, by-tbe-way, he bad entiie'y and most ungratt fu'.ly forgotten — came up to the piano, and began to talk is a very pleatant and amusing fashion to Mis White. She was turning cv r ihe leaves of the bock befote her, and AUdeod grew angry with this idle interference. Why sI'CuM this lily-Org-reG jackanapes, whom b iran could wind round a r»el and ihrow out of viiurow, disturb the rapt devotion of this bennti'ul Saint CrcKia ? Sha struck a firmer chord ; the by standers withdrew a bit; and cf a Fuiidtn it seemed to him tbat all the spirit of alt tl e clans was ring ing in the proud f ivjr of this Triple girl's vo ?-;.?. Whence had the got this fieice Ja obite pa-fron thut thrilled him to the vtrv fineer tirs.? J s 'Til Lochiel, and Appin, and kneel to them, Down by Lord Murray and Kov of Kildarlie ? Brave Mackintosh, he shall fiy*to the field with them ; These are the lads I can trus wi' my Charlie f Could any man fail to answer? Could any aan die ctherwwe than glarly if be died with' Mich an rppeal rirging in his-rars ? Macleod did not krow there was scfrcely any more volume in ibis girl's voite now th n when sbs was singing i he plaintive wail ihst preceded i' : it aermed ' o him that therj was the ttrrngth of the tread - t armies in it, and a challenge that could rouse i nation. ' Down through the^ Lowlands, down »i* the Wbiga more. Loyal teae HighlanJersi, down wi them rarely ! lion;: Id and Donald, drive ou Vp tbe broad daymore t»ver the necks o' the foes o' Prince Charlie ! Follow thee i follow thee ! wha wadna follow thee, King o' the Highland hearts, bonnie Prince Charlie I** f'« ebui Uie biok, with a Ught laugh, and left tie pane. She rsrre - ver to where Macleod ?**. When he taw that she meant to »pcak to
bins, he rose and stood before her. ' I must ask your pardon,' said she, smiling, ' for ainging two Scotch songe, for I know the pronunciation is very difficult.' He answered with no idle compliment. « j£ Tearlaeh ban Off, as they used to eall him, were alive now,' said he — and indeed there was iuver any Stuart of them all, not even the Fair Young Charles himself, who looked more handsome than this same Maclesd of Dare who now stood before her — 'you would get bim ~ more men to fellow him than any fl»g or standard be ever raised.' She cast her eyes down. Mrs. Ross's guests began to leave. *' Grertrude.' said she, ' will you drive with me for half an hour — the carriage is at the door ? And I know the eentlemen want to hare a cigar in the sbede of Kensington Gardens : they miiht come back and hare a cup of tea with u».' But MisB White had some engagement; she and ber father left together ; and the young men followed them almost directly, Sirs. Bogs saying that she would be most pleased to see Sir Keith llecleod any Tuesday or Thursday afternoon be happened to be passing, as she was always at home on these days. ' I don't think we can do better than take her advice at out tbe cigar,' said young Ogilvie, as they croBstd to Kensington Gardens. 'What do you think of her ?' « Of Mrs. Boss ?' « Tes.' *' Oh, I tbink fhp n 'a very pleasant woman.' 'Yes but '* esid Sir. O^iivie 'how did she strike ? Do you think she is as fascinating as some men think her ?' ' I don't know what men think about ber,' eaid Macleod- ' It never occurred to me to ask whether a married woman wbb fascinating or not. 1 thought she was a friendly woman — talkativp, amusing, clever enough.' They lit their cigars in tbe cool shadow of the great elms; who does not know how beautitul Kensington Gardens are in June? And yet Macleod did not seem disposed to be garmlous about -these new experiences of his ; he was absorbed, and mostly silent. 'That is en extraordinary fancy she has taken for Oerlrude White,',' Mr. Ogilvie re mar^t. ' Why extraordinary ?' the other asked, with sudden interest. ' Ob, veil, it is unusual, you know. But she is a nicd girl enough, and Mrs. Ross is fond of o.td folks. You didn't speak to o!d White ? — his head is a sort cf British Musuem of antiquities ; but be is of some ure to these people — be is such a swell about old armor and chisa and such things. They say lie wants to be cent out to dig for Dido's funeral pyre at Carthage, and that be is enly waiting to get the trinkets made at Birmingham.' They walked on a bit in silence. ' I think you made a good impression on Mis. Bos*,' said Mr. Ogilvie, coolly. ' You'll find her an uncommonly ust ful woman, if she takes a fancy to you ; for she knows every body and gees every where, though her own house is too small to let her entertain properly, fiythe wsy, Mf cleod, I don't think you could hare hit on a worse fellow thin I to take you about, for I am so little in .London tbat I have become a rank outsider. But I'll tell you what I'll do for you if you will go with me to-night to Lord Beauregard'f, who ia an old friend of mine. I will atk him to introduce yon to eome people — and his wife gives v y good dances— and if any royal or impel ial swell comes to town, you'll be sure to run against bim there. I farget who it is thf Are receiving there to-night ; . but any -hG%ju£l-**et two or three of the fat duchesses whomfTzzy aaoh3*-*fi&-T sk°ujdn^ wonder if that Irish girl were there — the new beauty : Litiy Beaure^ard is rery clever at picking £ £uple up.' 'Well Miss White be there?' Macleod asked, apparently deeply engaged in probing the rod of his cicsr. His compaHcn looked up in surprise. Then . new fancy teemed to occur to hur, and he siui'ed very slightly. * Well, no,' saia he, slowly, « I don't think she will. In fact, I am almost sure fho will be at the Piccadilly Thea re. If you like, we will give up Lady Beauregard, and after dinner go the Piccadilly Thertre ii-gtead. How wiil tbardo?' ' 1 think that willdo verv welV' said Macleod.