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David Balfour, Second Part eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 301 pages of information about David Balfour, Second Part.

“Your father,” said he, “would be gey an little pleased if we was to break a leg to ye, Miss Drummond, let-a-be drowning of you.  Take my way of it,” says he, “and come on-by with the rest of us here to Rotterdam.  Ye can get a passage down the Maes in a sailing scoot as far to the Brill, and thence on again, by a place in a rattel-waggon, back to Helvoet.”

But Catriona would hear of no change.  She looked white-like as she beheld the bursting of the sprays, the green seas that sometimes poured upon the forecastle, and the perpetual bounding and swooping of the boat among the billows; but she stood firmly by her father’s orders.  “My father, James More, will have arranged it so,” was her first word and her last.  I thought it very idle and indeed wanton in the girl to be so literal and stand opposite to so much kind advice; but the fact is she had a very good reason, if she would have told us.  Sailing scoots and rattel-waggons are excellent things; only the use of them must first be paid for, and all she was possessed of in the world was just two shillings and a penny halfpenny sterling.  So it fell out that captain and passengers, not knowing of her destitution—­and she being too proud to tell them—­spoke in vain.

“But you ken nae French and nae Dutch neither,” said one.

“It is very true,” says she, “but since the year ’46 there are so many of the honest Scots abroad that I will be doing very well, I thank you.”

There was a pretty country simplicity in this that made some laugh, others looked the more sorry, and Mr. Gebbie fall outright in a passion.  I believe he knew it was his duty (his wife having accepted charge of the girl) to have gone ashore with her and seen her safe; nothing would have induced him to have done so, since it must have involved the loss of his conveyance; and I think he made it up to his conscience by the loudness of his voice.  At least he broke out upon Captain Sang, raging and saying the thing was a disgrace; that it was mere death to try to leave the ship, and at any event we could not cast down an innocent maid in a boatful of nasty Holland fishers, and leave her to her fate.  I was thinking something of the same; took the mate upon one side, arranged with him to send on my chests by track-scoot to an address I had in Leyden, and stood up and signalled to the fishers.

“I will go ashore with the young lady, Captain Sang,” said I.  “It is all one what way I go to Leyden;” and leaped at the same time into the boat, which I managed not so elegantly but what I fell with two of the fishers in the bilge.

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