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ley and Mrs Baby,” answered the youth,“ and will set forward in half an hour.”
“ Then I'll just take my piece in my hand,” said the pedlar. Accordingly he muttered a benediction, and without more ceremony, helped himself to what, in Mrs Baby's covetous eyes, appeared to be two-thirds of the bread, took a long pull at the jug of bland, seized on a handful of the small fish called sillochs, which the domestic was just placing on the board, and left the room without farther ceremony.
My certie,” said the despoiled Mrs Baby, “ there is the chapman's drouth and his hunger baith, as folks say. If the laws against vagrants be executed this gate--It's no that I wad shut the door against decent folks,” she said, looking to Mordaunt, “ more especially in such judgement-weather. But I see the goose is dished, poor thing."
This she spoke in a tone of affection for the smoked goose, which, though it had long been an inanimate inhabitant of her chimney, was far more interesting to Mrs Baby in that state, than when it screamed amongst the clouds. Mordaunt laughed, and took his seat, then turned
to look for Norna, but she had glided from the apartment during the discussion with the pedlar.
“ I am glad she is gane, the dour carline," said Mrs Baby, “though she has left that piece of gowd to be an everlasting shame to us.”
Whisht, mistress, for the love of heaven," said Tronda Dronsdaughter; “ wha kens where she may
be this moment-we are no sure but she may hear us, though we cannot see her.
Mistress Baby cast a startled eye around, and instantly recovering herself, for she was naturally courageous as well as violent, she said, “ I bid aroint her before, and I bid her aroint again, whether she sees me or hears me, or whether she's ower the cairn and awa.
- And you, ye silly sumph,” she said to poor Yellowley, “ what do ye stand glowering there for?-You a Saunt Andrew student !-you studied lair and Latin humanities, as ye call them, and daunted wi' the clavers of an auld randie wife! Say your best college grace, man, and witch, or nae witch, we'll eat our dinner and defy her. And for the value of the gowden piece, it shall never be said I pouched her siller. I will gie it to some poor body that is, I will test upon it at my death, and keep it for a purse-penny till that day comes, and that's no using it in the way of spending-siller. Say your best college grace, man, and let us eat and drink in the mean time."
“ Ye had muckle better say an ordamus to Saint Ronald, and fling a sixpence ower your left shouther, master,” said Tronda.
“ That ye may pick it up, ye jaud,” said the implacable Mistress Baby: “ it will be lang or ye win the worth of it ony other gate.-Sit down, Triptolemus, and mind na the words of a daft wife.”
“ Daft or wise,” replied Yellowley, very much disconcerted, “ she kens more than I would wish she kend. It was awfu' to see sic a wind fa' at the voice of flesh and blood like oursells - and then yon about the hearth-stane - I cannot but think'
“ If ye cannot but think,” said Mistress Baby, very sharply, " at least ye can haud
The agriculturist made no reply, but sate down to their scanty meal, and did the honours of it with unusual heartiness to his new guest, the first of the intruders who had arrived, and the last who left them. The sillochs speedily disappeared, and the smoked goose, with its appendages, took wing so effectually, that Tronda, to whom the polishing of the bones had been destined, found the task accomplished, or nearly so, to her hand. After dinner, the host produced his bottle of brandy, but Mordaunt, whose general habits were as sober almost as those of his father, laid a very light tax upon this unusual exertion of hospitality.
During the meal, they learned so much of young Mordaunt, and of his father, that even Baby resisted his wish to re-assume his wet garments, and pressed him (at the risk of an expensive supper being added to the charges of the day) to tarry with them till the next morning. But whạt Norna had said excited the youth's wish to reach home, nor, however far the hospitality of Stourburgh was extended in his behalf, did the house present any particular temptations to induce him to remain there longer. He therefore accepted the loan of the factor's clothes, promised to return them, and send for his own; and took a civil leaving of his host and Mistress Baby, the latter of whom, however affected by the loss of her goose, could not but think the cost well bestowed (since it was to be expended at all) upon so handsome and cheerful a youth.