David Balfour, Second Part eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 374 pages of information about David Balfour, Second Part.

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The place found was in the upper part of a house backed on a canal.  We had two rooms, the second entering from the first; each had a chimney built out into the floor in the Dutch manner; and being alongside, each had the same prospect from the window of the top of a tree below us in a little court, of a piece of the canal, and of houses in the Hollands architecture and a church spire upon the further side.  A full set of bells hung in that spire and made delightful music; and when there was any sun at all, it shone direct in our two chambers.  From a tavern hard by we had good meals sent in.

The first night we were both pretty weary, and she extremely so.  There was little talk between us, and I packed her off to her bed as soon as she had eaten.  The first thing in the morning I wrote word to Sprott to have her mails sent on, together with a line to Alan at his chief’s; and had the same dispatched, and her breakfast ready, ere I waked her.  I was a little abashed when she came forth in her one habit, and the mud of the way upon her stockings.  By what inquiries I had made, it seemed a good few days must pass before her mails could come to hand in Leyden, and it was plainly needful she must have a shift of things.  She was unwilling at first that I should go to that expense; but I reminded her she was now a rich man’s sister and must appear suitably in the part, and we had not got to the second merchant’s before she was entirely charmed into the spirit of the thing, and her eyes shining.  It pleased me to see her so innocent and thorough in this pleasure.  What was more extraordinary was the passion into which I fell on it myself; being never satisfied that I had bought her enough or fine enough, and never weary of beholding her in different attires.  Indeed, I began to understand some little of Miss Grant’s immersion in that interest of clothes; for the truth is, when you have the ground of a beautiful person to adorn, the whole business becomes beautiful.  The Dutch chintzes I should say were extraordinary cheap and fine; but I would be ashamed to set down what I paid for stockings to her.  Altogether I spent so great a sum upon this pleasuring (as I may call it) that I was ashamed for a great while to spend more; and by way of a set off, I left our chambers pretty bare.  If we had beds, if Catriona was a little braw, and I had light to see her by, we were richly enough lodged for me.

By the end of this merchandising I was glad to leave her at the door with all our purchases, and go for a long walk alone in which to read myself a lecture.  Here had I taken under my roof, and as good as to my bosom, a young lass extremely beautiful, and whose innocence was her peril.  My talk with the old Dutchman, and the lies to which I was constrained, had already given me a sense of how my conduct must

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David Balfour, Second Part from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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