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very same fasliery on a wheen puir bodies, that big ilk ane a mill for themselves, sic as it is.”
“ Dinna tell me of gowpen and knaveship!" exclaimed the indignant agriculturist; “ better pay half the grist to the miller, to have the rest grund in a Christian manner, than put good grain into a bairn's whirligig. Look at it for a moment, Baby-Bide still, ye cursed imp!" This interjection was applied to his poney, which began to be extremely impatient, while its rider interrupted his journey, to point out all the weak points of the Zetland mill-" look at it, I say . it's just one degree better than a hand-quernit has neither wheel nor trindle-neither cog nor happer— Bide still, there's a canny beast-itcanna grind a bickerfu' of meal in a quarter of an hour, and that will be mair like a mash for horse than a meltith for man's use-Wherefore-Bide still, I say-wherefore-wherefore-The deil's in the beast, and nae good, I think!"
As he uttered the last words, the sheltie, which had pranced and curvetted for some time with much impatience, at length got its head betwixt its legs, and at once canted its rider into the little rivulet, which served to drive the depreciated engine he: was surveying their emancipating itself from the folds of the cloak, fled back towards its own wilderness, neighing in scorn, and flinging out its heels at every five yards.
Laughing heartily at his disaster, Mordaunt helped the old man to arise; while his sister sarcastically congratulated him on having fallen rather into the shallows of a Zetland rivulet than the depths of a Scottish mill-pond. Disdaining to reply to this sarcasm, Triptolemus, so soon as he had recovered his legs, shaken his ears, and found that the folds of his cloak had saved him from being much wet in the scanty - streamlet, exclaimed aloud, “I will have cussers from Lanarkshire – brood mares from Ayrshire - I will not have one of these cursed abortions left on the islands, to break honest folks' necks --I say, Baby, I will rid the land of them."
“ Ye had better wring your ain cloak, Triptolemus," answered Baby...
Mordaunt meanwhile was employed in catching another poney, from a herd which strayed at some distance; and having made a halter out of twisted rushes, he seated the dismayed agriculturist in safety upon a more quiet, though less 'active poney, than that which he had at first bestrode.
But Mr Yellowley's fall had operated as a considerable sedative upon his spirits, and, for the full space of five miles' travel, he said scarce a word, leaving full course to the melancholy aspirations and lamentations which his sister Baby bestowed on the old bridle, which the poney had carried off in its flight, and which, she observed, after having lasted for eighteen years come Martinmas, might be now considered as a cast-a-way thing. Finding she had thus the field to herself, the old lady launched forth into a lecture upon 'economy, according to her own idea of that virtue, which seemed to include a system of privations, which, though observed with the sole purpose of saving money, might, if 'undertaken upon other prin ciples, have ranked high in the history of a religious ascetic.
She was but little interrupted by Mordaunt, who, conscious he was now on the eve of ap: proaching Burgh-Westra, employed himself
rather in the task of anticipating the nature of the reception he was about to meet with there from two beautiful young women, than with the prosing of an old one, however wisely she might prove that small-beer was more wholesome than strong ale; and that if her brother had bruised his ankle-bone in his tumble, cumfrey and butter was better to bring him round again, than all the doctor's drugs in the world.
But now the dreary moorlands, over which their path had hitherto lain, were exchanged for a more pleasant prospect, opening on a saltwater lake, or arm of the sea,
which far inland, and was surrounded by flat and fertile ground, producing crops better than the experienced eye of Triptolemus Yellowley bad as yet witnessed in Zetland. In the midst of this Goshen stood the mansion of Burgh-Westra, screened from the north and east by a ridge of heathy hills which lay behind it, and commanding an interesting prospect of the lake and its parent ocean, as well as the islands, and more distant mountains. From the mansion itself, as well as from almost every cottage in the adjacent hamlet, arosé such a rich cloud of
vapoury smoke, as shewed, that the preparations for the festival were not confined to the principal residence of Magnus himself, but extended through the whole vicinage.
My certie,” said Mistress Baby Yellowley, ane wad think the haill town was on fire ! The very hill-side smells of their wastefulness, and a hungry heart wad scarce seek better kitchen to a barley scone, than just to waft it in the reek that's rising out of yon lums."