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you, Jock; I couldna harm you! I never cheerie, and mak' us a' cheerie.” Jook wull harm you. I'll feed ye noo; I'll gie ye took the bread and offered it to Charlie, shoon ; I'll stan' yer frien'."
who, seeing the gift, declared “A man's a Jock looked up, and in a calm tone said, man for a' that! “My head is spinnin' and my heart is sick ! “ Guid be aboot us !” said Hall, starting I havna eaten a bit since yesterday. Din- back ; “ Hear what he says to me! If na flycht on me eenoo, I'm no mysel'; wait that's no a witch, there's none on yirth ! I a wee, Mr. Mercer, and then ye can abuse said I was a deevil, he says I'm a man !" me, or kick me.”
With still greater calm “ And sae ye are a man for a' that, and he added in a few seconds, and looking no sic a bad ane as ye think. Cheer up, round like one waking up more and more Jock !” said Adam, extending his band to into life, “ I hae been dreaming or raving! him. Man, Mercer, I think I tak’ fits sometimes Jock took the proffered band, and said, especially when I'm lang wi'oot meat. “I dinna understan'a' this — but — butWhat was I saying eenoo ?”
I was gaun to say, God bless ye ! But it's “Naething particular,” said Adam, wish- no for me to say that; for I never was in a ing not to rouse him, but to feed him; decent hoose afore but only in jails, and "never heed, Jock. But bide a wee, I'll amang tramps and ne'er-do-weels like gie ye a nice cup of tea and a smoke after mysel. I'm no up tae mainers, Sergeantit, and we'll hae a crack, and ye'll comfort ye maun excuse me.”
Jock rose to depart. Before doing so be mine."
looked again round the comfortable clean Jock, like a man worn out with some room at the nice fire and polished grate great exertion, sat with his head bent down at Charlie's bed with its small white curbetween his hands — the veins of his fore- tains — and at the bird, so happy in its head swollen. The Sergeant, after some cage — then, as if struck by his own ragged private explanation with Katie, got tea and clothes and old boots, he exclaimed, " It wholesome food ready for Jock; and that wasna for me to have been in a house like he might take it in peace, Adam said that this.” Passing the bed room door, he waved he had to give Mary another lesson in the his band, saying, “ Fareweel, mistress; farebed room.
weel, Mary,” and turning to the Sergeant, Hall was thus left alone with his food, of he added, " and as for you, Sergeant”. which he ate sparingly. When Adam There he stopped — but ending with a speagain entered the kitchen, Jock was calm. cial farewell to the starling, he went to the The Sergeant soon engaged him in conver- door. sation after his own method, beginning, by “Come back soon and see me," said the telling some of his soldier stories, and then Sergeant. “I'll be yer frien', Jock. I bae bit by bit unfolding the Gospel of Peace to 'listed ye this day, and I'll mak’a sodger o' the poor man, and seeking to drop a few ye yet, an' a better ane, I hope, than myloving words from his own softened heart to sel.” soften the heart of the Prodigal.
"Whisht, whisht !” said Jock. “I have The only remark Jock made was, “I mair respec' for ye than to let ye be my wish I'd been in a battle, and been shot, or frien'. But for a' that, mind I'm no gaun to dee'd wi' oor Jamie! But what for did I pay ye for my boots — and ye'll hae them tell you a' this? I never spak’ this way to ready 'gin Friday nicht, for Saturday's fishmortal man! It's that bird, I tell ye. in' — fareweel!" What's wrang wi't ?”
“ A' richt, Jock,” said Adam. “ Naething!” replied the Sergeant; “it's No sooner had Hail left the house than a' nonsense ye're talking. I'll let ye see the Sergeant said to himself, “ God have the cratur, to convince ye that he is jist as mercy on me! I to be unhappy after that! natural and nice as a mavis or laverock.” I wi’ Katie and Mary! I wi' mercies tempo
“Stop!” said Jock, “ I dinna like him. ral and spiritual mair than can be numHe is ower guid for me! I tell ye I'm a bered! Waes me! what have I done ? deevil! But bad as I am - and I'll never Starling, indeed! that's surely no the quesbe better, nor ever do ae haun's turn o'tion — but starvation, ignorance, cruelty, guid in this world — never, never, nev. bate, despair, hell at our verra doors! God
help puir Jock Hall, and may He "forgive The Sergeant rose and took down the Adam Mercer !” cage, placing it before Hall, saying, “ Jist Jock got his boots on Friday night, well look at his speckled breest, and bonnie ee! repaired. He said nothing but “Thank Gie bim this bit bread yersel', and he'll be ye,” and “ Ye'll get naething frae me."
But on Saturday evening a fine basket of she looked at Hall with an expression which trout was brought by him to the Sergeant's said, “What do you think of that ?”. Then door. Jock said, “ There's beauties! Nev- having been invited by Hall to tell him all er saw better trout ! splendid day!” But about this theft, she did so, continuing her when the Sergeant thanked hini, and of narrative up to the moment when she was fered him a sixpence, Jock looked with ordered out of the house by Adam; saying wonder, saying “ Dinna insult a bodie!” now as on that occasion, “ But I hae friens,
On the Sunday, when the Sergeant went and I'll pit Smellie to smash him yet ! I'll to church, as we have already described, get my revenge oot 'o him ! the auld blackJock Hall was quartered for the day with guard that he is. Smellie is my frien', and Mrs. Craigie. To do Smellie justice, he did he has mair power, far, than Adam wi' the not know how worthless this woman was, far minister.” So thought Mrs. Craigie. less did the Kirk Session. She was cun- “ Is Smellie your frien'?” asked Hall, ning and plausible enough to deceive both. without taking his pipe out of his mouth, Her attendance at church was sufficient to “and does he hate Adam ? and does he keep up appearances. The custom of want Mary back to you ?” boarding out pauper children with widows, " That does he,” replied Mrs. Craigie ; when respectable, has on the whole worked and he wad gie onything to get Mary well, and even now is infinitely superior to back to me.” the workhouse system. Mrs. Craigie be- “ Then, my certes, Smellie has power! longed to the exceptional cases. She in the nae doot o' that,” remarked Hall, with a meantime accommodated any lodger who grim smile; " for he has helpit to pit me might turn up:
mony a time into the jail.
Wad it obleege Jock and Mrs. Craigie were at the win-him muckle to get Mary back frae the Serdow, a second story one, criticizing the geant? Wad he befrien' me if I helped passers-by to church, as one has seen the him ?” asked Jock confidentially. loungers at a club window do the ordinary “ It wad be a real treat till him!” expassers-by on week days. The Sergeant claimed Mrs. Craigie," and he wad befrien' and his wite, with Mary following them, ye a' yer life ! An', Hall”. suddenly attracted their attention.
"But," asked Jock, interrupting her, “ The auld hypocrite!” exclaimed Mrs. " what did ye say aboot poachin'? Was Craigie; “there he gangs, as prood as a Adam in that line ? ” peacock, haddin' his head up when it should “ Him!” exclaimed Mrs. Craigie; “ Ise be bowed doon wi' shame to the dust! An' warrant he was - notorious !" his wife, tae !-- eh! what a bannet ! — sic a “ Hoo d'ye ken ?” inquired Jock. goon! Sirs me! Baith are the waur o'the “ Smellie telt me! but mind ye, he said I wear. Hal ha! ha! And Mary ! as I de- was to keep it quait till he gied me the clare, wi' new shoon, a new bannet, and new wink, ye ken;" and Mrs. Craigie gave a shawl! The impudent bizzy that she is ! knowing wink. She did not know that Its a' to spite me, for I see'd her keekin' up Smellie had already peached. “ For hoo to the window. But stealt bairns can Smellie kent was this, that he had some come to nae guid; confoond them a'! sort o' business in the place whaur Mercer though I shouldna say it on the Sabbath leeved that's north in Bennock parish, day."
afore he was a soilger; and Smellie picked Hall stood behind her, and watched the up a' the story o’ his poachin', — for Smellie group over her shoulder. “ Ye're richt, is awfu' sharp; but he would never tell it Lucky,” he said," he is an auld hypocrite. till he could pit it like a gag into the prood Bat they are a' that - like minister, like mouth o' Adam ; and Smellie says he will man. Confound them,' ye say ; “ Amen, pit it in noo, and let Adam gnaw his teeth I say; but what d'ye mean by stealt on't,” said Mrs. Craigie. bairns?”
Hall manifested å singular inquisitiveAh, Jock, art thou not a hypocrite ! ness to know as much as possible about
Mrs. Craigie had left the window, and sat those poaching days, and their locality, undown beside the fire, the church-goers hav- til at last being satisfied, and having learned ing passed, and the church bell having that the old keeper of Lord M ceased to ring. Jock then lighted his pipe still alive, though, as Mrs. Craigie said, oppogite Mrs Craigie.
“ What d'ye mean," “clean superannuat," and that he was, he asked again, " by stealt bairns ?” moreover, Adam's cousin, Jock said, “ What
“I mean this,” replied she, “that yon an awfu' blackguard Adam maun be! If I auld hypocrite, sodger, and poacher, Adam had kent what I ken doo, I never wad bae. Mercer, stealt Mary Christie frae me!" and I gi'en him my boots to men”.”
“ Yer boots to men'!” exclaimed Mrs. I as weel as I do, that if the Shirra — for, losh Craigie, with astonishment; " what for did me! I ken baith him and the law ower ye do that?”
weel ! - if he heard ye were plottin' an’ “ He had nae wark.”
plannin' to grip a bairn that way on the “ Ser' him ricbt!” said Mrs. Craigie. Sabbath, and paying me for helpin' ye
“And I patroneesed him," continued my word ! you and me wad be pit in jail ; Jock.
and though this micht be a comfort to me " Ha ! ha! It was far ower guid o’ye, lodgings and vittals for naething, ye ken, Jock, tae patroneese him," said Mrs. Craigie. and a visit to an auld hame - it wadna do “ Ye'll no pay him, I houp? But he is sic for a Christian woman like you, Lucky! a greedy fellow, that he micht expect even Eh, lass ? it wad never do! What wad a puir soul like you to pay.”
the minister and Smellie say ? no' to speak' * Me pay him!” said Jock with a laugh, o' the Sergeant ? — hoo he wad craw! Sae maybe — when I hae paid the debt o' unless ye keep it as quait as death, an' gie natur'; no till then."
me half-a-crown, I'll no pit my han' on the “ But, Jock," asked Mrs. Craigie, almost bairn." in a whisper, “did ye see Mary, the wee “ The bargain's made!” said Mrs. Craigie. slut?”
“ But ye maun wait till I get a shilling “I did that,” replied Jock, “ an' it wad mair frae Mrs. D'rymple, as I've nae hae broken yer feelin' heart, Lucky, had change.” ye seen her! - no lying as a puir orphan · Tell her to come ben," said Jock. “ Can paid for by the Session ocht to lie, on a ye trust her wi' the secret ? Ye should get shake-doon, wi' a blanket ower her, my her to help ye, and to swear, if it comes to certes, guid eneuch for the like o' her, and a trial, that the bairn cam' to ye o' ber ain for the bawbees paid for her”
free consent. I'm ready, for half-a-crown “Guid? -ower guid !”interpolated Mrs. mair, to gie my aith to the same effec'.”. Craigie.
“ Ye're no far wrang !” said Mrs. Craigie. “ But,” continued Hall, with a leer, “she “I can trust Peggy like steel. And I'm was mair like a leddy, wi' a bed till hersel', sure Mary does want to come to me. That's an' curtains on't; and sitting in a chair wi' the truth and nae lee. So you and Peggy stockins and shoon, afore the fire - learn- D'rymple may sweer that wi' a guid coning her lesson, too, and coddled and coodled science.” by Adam and his wife. What say ye to “But my conscience,” said Jock, “is no that, Lucky? what say ye to that ?' sae guid as yours or Peggy's, an' it'll be the
“ Dinna mak' me daft !” exclaimed Mrs. better o' anither half-croon, in case I hae Craigie ; “ it's eneuch to mak'a bodie swear to swear, to keep it frae botherin' me. But e'en on the Sabbath day !”
I'll gie ye credit for the money, an’ye'll gie “ Swear awa'!” said Hall, “ the day maks me credit for what I awe ye for my meat nae difference to me. Sae ca’awa', woman, and lodgin' since Monday.” if it wull dae ye ony guid, or gie ye ony “ A' richt, a' richt, Jock; sae be't," replied comfort.”
Mrs. Craigie, as she went to fetch her neighMrs. Craigie, instead of accepting the bour, who lived in the same flat. advice of her “ne'er-do-weel” lodger, fell Mrs. Dalrymple was made a member of into a meditative mood. What could she the privy council which met in a few minbe thinking about ? Her Sabbath thoughts utes in Mrs. Craigie's room, the door being came to this, in their practical results - a locked. proposal to Jock Hall to seize Mary as she “ I'm nae hypocrite,” confessed Jock. “I was returning from church, and to bring scorn to be ane, as ye do; for ye dinna preher again under the protection of her dear ten' to be unco guid, and better than ither old motherly friend. She could not, indeed, folk, like Adam Mercer, or that godly man as yet take her from under the Sergeant's Smellie. I tell ye, then, I'm up to onything roof by force, but could the Sergeant retake for money or drink. I'll steal, I'll rob, I'll her if once under her roof again ?
murder, I'll ” Jock, after some consideration, enter- Whisht, whisht, Jock ! Dinna speak that tained the proposal, discussed it, and then wild way an’ frichten folk ! — Be canny, came to terms. “What wull ye gie me ?” man, be canny, or the neebours 'll hear ye,” he at last asked.
said the prudent Mrs. Craigie, who forth“A glass o'whuskey and a saxpence !” with explained her plan to her confidential said Mrs. Craigie.
and trustworthy friend, who highly approved “ Ba ! ba !” said Jock ; “ I'm nae bairn, of it as an act of justice to Mrs. Craigie, to but gleg and canny. — Saxpence! Ye ken Mary, and the Kirk Session. Half-a-crown was to be Mrs. Dalrymple's pay for her him, and rattling down-stairs, reached the valued aid. Hall arranged that the moment street just as Mary was within a few yards. they saw the Sergeant coming from church, When she was passing the close, he stepped they were to give a sign to him ; and then out, and with a kind voice said, “ I hae a they — leaving the window, and retiring message for your faither, Mary dear! Jist behind the door — were to be ready to speak to me aff the street.” Mary no lonreceive Mary when brought to the house. ger associating Hall with the thought of a To enable Hall to execute the plot wit) wild man, but one who had been a guest more ease, Mrs. Craigie gave him, at his of the Sergeant's, entered the close. Jock own suggestion, and in order to entice Mary, Hall gave her the flowers and said :—"Gie a few spring flowers she had got the even- this posey to your mither, for the gran’tea ing before from a neighbour's garden, as a she made for me ; and gie this half-croon to
posey” for the church - which she had yer faither for the braw boots he patched not, however, attended, being deprived of for me. Noo run awa', my bonnie lassie, the privilege, as she meant to assure Smellie, and be guid, and do whatever yer faither by illness. Jock had already accepted of a and mither bid ye, or Jock Hall wull be glass of whiskey. But as the exciting mo- angry wi' ye - run!” ment approached, and as the two women Mrs. Craigie, in her excitement and curihad helped themselves to a cheerer, as they osity could not resist the temptation of go called it, he got a second glass to strengthen ing again to the window, and no sooner his courage.
His courage, however, did not had she seen Mary enter the close than she seem to fail him, for he once or twice whis- ran behind the door and joined Mrs. Daltled and hummed some song to the great rymple, saying, “ The wee deevil is catched, horror of his good friends; and, strange to and coming ! say, he also fell into a fit of uncontrollable In a moment Jock was at the door, and laughter - at the thought, as he said, of while he firmly held the key outside, he how the old hypocrite and his wife would opened it so far as to let in l.is head. Then look when Mary was missed, and found to addressing the women, he said in an underbe with Mrs. Craigie! Much hearty sym- breath, or rather hiss : Whisht! dinna pathy was expressed with his strange hu- speak ! I catched her ! I gied her the posey
for Mrs. Mercer !- I gied her the haliThe service in the “ auld kirk," as the croon to pay Mr. Mercer for my .boots !parish church is called, being over, the con- and she's hame ! - an' ye'll never get her! gregation were walking home. One or two You twa limmers are cheated ! and if ye of its members had already passed the win-cheep I'll tell the Shirra. Jock Hall is nae dow where sat the eager and expectant con- hypocrite! Deil tak’ye baith, and Smellie spirators. Jock Hall, with a bunch of flow- likewise ! I'm aff!” and before a word could ers, was ready to run down-stairs, to the be spoken by the astonished conspirators, close mouth, the moment the appointed sig- Jock locked the door upon them, and fing, nal was given. Very soon the Sergeant and ing the key along the passage he sprang his wife made their appearance a little way down-stairs and fed no one knew whither! off, while Mary - how fortunate for the plot- Mary gave the bouquet of flowers to Mrs. ters! - followed at some distance. No Mercer, whose remark was :
6 Wha sooner were they discovered, than the two wad hae thocht it !” and she gave the halfwomen retired from the window, and gave crown to Adam, who said: “I never was the signal to Hall to “be off!” Having sae thankfu' for a day's wage! Pit it done so, they ensconced themselves, as in the drawer, and keep it for Jock. I'm arranged, at the back of the door, with no feared but wi' God's help I'll mak’ a sodeayer and palpitating hearts.
ger o' him yet! For, as Charlie's bairn Jock sprang out, shutting the door after weel remarks: • A man's a man for a' that.”
From the Cornhill Magazine.
A WEEK IN A FRENCH COUNTRY-HOUSE.
bined with all those days spent in her hot
room, and all these nights passed by her “HERE's a letter that concerns you, Bessy,” sick-bed, had prostrated me still farther. said my mother one morning a week or two Then came our move down to aunt Emily's ago, as I came into our little breakfast-room cottage in Devonshire, from which I had at Linton.
hoped wonders; but while it seemed to be " And we say you're to go,” said aunt bringing mother round beautifully, and Emily.
making her quite fat and rosy again, I was Oh, aunt Emily! go where?” I ex- dwindling away into an absolute shadow; I claimed in utter despair, and eeling ready could not walk ́a step without violent palpito cry with fatigue at the bare idea of a tations; I fainted dead away after being out move in any direction.
ten minutes in the sun, and when aunt Emi“Olympe has written,” began my mother, ly spoke a little louder or sharper to me than holding up a thin letter with a yellow stamp usual, if it was only to say good morning, I be
gan to cry. It was such a new state of things Yes, and you are to go,” once more for me, that my two dear old guardian broke in my impetuous old aunt Emily. angels were getting quite troubled about The letter was from the Comtesse de Cara- me, and so after a good long discussion and dec, in answer to one from my poor dear many useless efforts on my part to persuade mother, who it seems had been writing all them to let me stay where I was and be her alarms about my health to her old quiet, it was finally decided that Madame friend and pupil ; and now, as soon as I de Caradec's kind invitation was to be accould get aunt Emily to promise silence, the cepted, and that I was to go abroad for the letter was read out to me. It was cordial first time in my life, and see what entire and affectionate, as all her letters are, and change of air and scene would do for me. contained the kind proposal that I should Abroad I everything has been brought so go over to Marny-les-Monts, and try what close to one of late years by the increased å fortnight's entire change would do to rapidity of travelling, and every one is so wards toning me up, and shaking me out of continually on the move in consequence, the languor, mental and physical, which that nothing short of Australia, or the Himhad invaded me of late, and against which, alayas, answers at all now to the important for the first time in my life, I felt quite sound of the word “abroad.” Italy, Gerpowerless to do battle.
many, Switzerland, are become as familiar The fact is, that my dear mother's illness, to everybody as Portman Square or Piccacoming as it did, after a most exhausting dilly, and my " abroad” meant even less term of hard work, had quite knocked me than all this: a bit of France just off the down. I had had a good many pupils and high-road — no
and within ten one or two schools also to attend during the hours of England; it would take me very last season; and the confinement of the life, little longer to get there than it had taken together with the painful strain upon the us to come dow to aunt Emily's. nerves, which I suppose teaching music will Madame de Caradec's mother was an always be to me, to the end of time, had English woman, but she herself was born in already left me feeble and in want of rest, France, and married there, and has always when mother was seized, first with bron- lived there, both before and since her chitis, then with inflammation of the lungs; widowhood. Her only brother, who came and the terrible anxiety about her, com- to her when her husband died, and has re