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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 301 pages of information about David Balfour, Second Part.
I told them it was nonsense:  muckle they cared!  And there was I cocking behind a yadvocate that liked the business as little as myself, for it was fair ruin to the pair of us—­a black mark, disaffected, branded on our hurdies, like folk’s names upon their kye!  And what can I do?  I’m a Stewart, ye see, and must fend for my clan and family.  Then no later by than yesterday there was one of our Stewart lads carried to the Castle.  What for?  I ken fine:  Act of 1736:  recruiting for King Lewie.  And you’ll see, he’ll whistle me in to be his lawyer, and there’ll be another black mark on my chara’ter!  I tell you fair:  if I but kent the heid of a Hebrew word from the hurdies of it be dammed but I would fling the whole thing up and turn minister!”

“It’s rather a hard position,” said I.

“Dooms hard!” cries he.  “And that’s what makes me think so much of ye—­you that’s no Stewart—­to stick your head so deep in Stewart business.  And for what, I do not know; unless it was the sense of duty.”

“I hope it will be that,” said I.

“Well,” says he, “it’s a grand quality.  But here is my clerk back; and, by your leave, we’ll pick a bit of dinner, all the three of us.  When that’s done, I’ll give you the direction of a very decent man, that’ll be very fain to have you for a lodger.  And I’ll fill your pockets to ye, forbye, out of your ain bag.  For this business’ll not be near as dear as ye suppose—­not even the ship part of it.”

I made him a sign that his clerk was within hearing.

“Hoot, ye neednae mind for Robbie,” cries he.  “A Stewart too, puir deevil! and has smuggled out more French recruits and trafficking Papists than what he has hairs upon his face.  Why, it’s Robin that manages that branch of my affairs.  Who will we have now, Rob, for across the water?”

“There’ll be Andie Scougal, in the Thristle,” replied Rob.  “I saw Hoseason the other day, but it seems he’s wanting the ship.  Then there’ll be Tarn Stobo; but I’m none so sure of Tam.  I’ve seen him colloguing with some gey queer acquaintances; and if it was anybody important, I would give Tam the go-by.”

“The head’s worth two hundred pounds, Robin,” said Stewart.

“Gosh, that’ll no be Alan Breck?” cried the clerk.

“Just Alan,” said his master.

“Weary winds! that’s sayrious,” cried Robin.  “I’ll try Andie then; Andie’ll be the best.”

“It seems it’s quite a big business,” I observed.

“Mr. Balfour, there’s no end to it,” said Stewart.

“There was a name your clerk mentioned,” I went on:  “Hoseason.  That must be my man, I think:  Hoseason, of the brig Covenant.  Would you set your trust on him?”

“He didnae behave very well to you and Alan,” said Mr. Stewart; “but my mind of the man in general is rather otherwise.  If he had taken Alan on board his ship on an agreement, it’s my notion he would have proved a just dealer.  How say ye, Rob?”

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