페이지 이미지

• Go down stairs, then, Mac-Guffog, and be in waiting.' The officer left the room.

The clink of irons was immediately afterwards heard upon the stair, and in two or three minutes a man was introduced hand-cuffed and fettered. He was thick, brawny, and muscular, and although his shagged and grizzled hair marked an age somewhat advanced, and his stature was rather low, he appeared, nevertheless, a person whom few would have chosen to cope with in personal conflict. His coarse and savage features were still flushed, and his eye still reeled under the influence of the strong potation which had proved the immediate cause of his seizure. But the sleep, though short, which Mac-Guffog had allowed him, and still more a sense of the peril of his situation, had restored to him the full use of his faculties. The worthy judge, and the no less estimable captive, looked at each other steadily for a long time without speaking, Glossin apparently recognised his prisoner, but seemed at a loss how to proceed with his investigation. At length he broke silence. “Soh, Captain—this is you? you have been a stranger on this coast for some years.'

Stranger?' replied the other, ‘strange enough, I think-for hold me der deyvil, if I been ever here before.' · That won't pass, Mr. Captain.'

That must pass, Mr. Justice-sapperment! * And who will you be pleased to call yourself, then, for the present,' said Glossin, “just until I shall bring some other folks to refresh your memory, concerning who you are, or at least who you have been?"

[ocr errors]

• What bin I?-donner and blitzen! I bin Jans Janson, from Cuxhaven--what sall Ich bin?'

Glossin took from a case which was in the apartment, a pair of small pocket pistols, which he load. ed with ostentatious care. You may retire,' said he to his clerk, and carry the people with you, Scrow-but wait in the lobby within call.'

The clerk would have offered some remonstrances to his patron on the danger of remaining alone with such a desperate character, although ironed beyond the possibility of active exertion, but Glossin waved him off impatiently. When he had left the room the Justice took two short turns through the apartment, then drew his chair opposite to the prisoner, so as to confront him fully, placed the pistols before him in readiness, and said in a steady voice, “ You are Dirk Hatteraick of Flushing, are you not?'

The prisoner turned his eye instinctively to the door, as if he apprehended some one was listening. Glossin rose, opened the door, so that from the chair in which his prisoner sate he might satisfy himself there was no eve's dropper within hearing, then shut it, resumed his seat, and repeated his question. You are Dirk Hatteraick, formerly of the Yungfrauw Haagenslaapen, are you not?'

"Tousand deyvil!-and if you know that, why ask me?'

Because I am surprised to see you in the very last place where you ought to be, if you regard your safety.

Der deyvil!-no man regards his own safety that speaks so to me!'

• What? 'unarmed, and in ironswell said, Captain! But, Captain, bullying won't do-you'll hard

ly get out of this country without accounting for a little accident that happened at Warroch Point a few years ago.'

Hatteraick's looks grew black as midnight.

• For my part,' continued Glossin, 'I have no particular wish to be hard upon an old acquaintancebut I must do my duty-I shall send you off to Edinburgh in a post-chaise and four this very day,'

• Poz donner! you would not do that—why you had the matter of half a cargo, in bills on Vanbeest and Vanbruggen.'

" It is so long since, Captain Hatteraick, that I really forget how I was recompensed for my trouble,

• Your trouble?-your silence you mean.'

• It was an affair in the course of business-and I have retired from business for some time.'

“Ay, but I have a notion that I could make you go steady about, and try the old course again. Why, man, hold me der deyvil, but I meant to visit you, and tell you something that concerns you."

• Of the boy?' said Glossin eagerly.
Yaw, Mynheer.'
• He does not live, does he?'
• As lifelich as you or I.'

Good God!—But in India?' • No, tousand deyvils, here! on this dirty coast of yours.'

But, Hatteraick, this—that is, if it be true, which I do not believe-this will ruin us both, for he cannot but remember your neat job; and for meit will be productive of the worst consequences! it will ruin us both I tell you.'

[ocr errors]

· I tell you it will ruin none but you-for I am done up already, and if I must strap for it, all shall out.'

Zounds, what brought you back to this coast like a madman?'

Why, all the gelt was gone, and the house was shaking, and I thought the job was clayed over.'

Stay, what can be done! I dare not discharge you-but might you not be rescued in the way aye sure-a word to Lieutenant Brown-and I would send the people with you by the coast road.'

• No, no! that won't do-Brown's dead-shotlaid in the locker, man-the devil has the picking of him.'

Déad?-shot?-at Woodbourne, I suppose!' • Yaw, Mynheer.'

Glossin paused-the sweat broke upon his brow with the agony of his feelings, while the hard-featured miscreant who sat opposite, coolly rolled his tobacco in his cheek, and squirted the juice into the fire-grate. It would be ruin,' said Glossin to himself, absolute ruin, if the heir should re-appear and then what might be the consequence of conni ving with these men?-yet there is so little time to take measures--Hark you, Hatteraick; I can't set you at liberty—but I can put you where you may set yourself at liberty-I always like to assist an old friend. I shall confine you in the old castle for to-night, and give these people double allowance of grog.

Mac. Guffog, will fall in the trap in which he caught you. The stancheons on the window of the strong room, as they call it, are wasted to pieces, and it is not above twelve feet from the level of the ground without, and the snow lies thick.'

But you

• But the darbies,' said Hatteraick, looking upon his fetters.

* Hark ye,” said Glossin, going to a tool chest, and taking out a small file, there's a friend for you, and

you know the road to the sea by the stairs.' Hatteraick shook his chains in ecstacy, as if he were already at liberty, and strove to extend his fettered hand towards his protector. Glossin laid his finger upon his lips with a cautious glance at the door, and then proceeded in his instructions. When you escape, you had better go to the Kaim of Derncleugh.

• Donner! that howff is blown.'

• The devil !-well then, you may steal my skiff that lies on the beach there, and away. must remain snug at the Point of Warroch till I come to see you.'

* The Point of Warroch?' said Hatteraick, his countenance again falling, What, in the cave I supposel-I would rather it were any were else;-es spuckt da!--they say for certain that he walks But, donner and blitzen! I never shunned him alive, and I won't shun him dead-Strafe mich helle! it shall never be said Dirk Hatteraick feared either dog or devil!-So I am to wait there till I see you??

Aye, aye,' answered Glossin; ' and now I must call in the men.'

I can make nothing of Captain Janson, as he calls himself, Mac-Guffog, and it's now too late to bundle him off to the county jail. Is there not a strong room up yonder in the old castle?'

Aye is there, sir; my uncle, the constable, ance kept a man there, for three days in auld Ellangow. an's time. But there was an unco dust about it it was tried in the inner-house afore the fifteen,'

I know all that, but this person will not stay

« 이전계속 »