At the same time a spell was lifted from me.
“Catriona,” I cried, “it was me—it was my sword. O, are ye much hurt?”
“I know it, Davie, I am loving you for the pain of it; it was done defending that bad man, my father. See!” she said, and showed me a bleeding scratch, “see, you have made a man of me now. I will carry a wound like an old soldier.”
Joy that she should be so little hurt, and the love of her brave nature, transported me. I embraced her, I kissed the wound.
“And am I to be out of the kissing, me that never lost a chance?” says Alan; and putting me aside and taking Catriona by either shoulder, “My dear,” he said, “you’re a true daughter of Alpin. By all accounts, he was a very fine man, and he may weel be proud of you. If ever I was to get married, it’s the marrow of you I would be seeking for a mother to my sons. And I bear a king’s name and speak the truth.”
He said it with a serious heat of admiration that was honey to the girl, and through her, to me. It seemed to wipe us clean of all James More’s disgraces. And the next moment he was just himself again.
“And now by your leave, my dawties,” said he, “this is a’ very bonny; but Alan Breck’ll be a wee thing nearer to the gallows than he’s caring for; and Dod! I think this is a grand place to be leaving.”
The word recalled us to some wisdom. Alan ran upstairs and returned with our saddle-bags and James More’s portmanteau; I picked up Catriona’s bundle where she had dropped it on the stair; and we were setting forth out of that dangerous house, when Bazin stopped the way with cries and gesticulations. He had whipped under a table when the swords were drawn, but now he was as bold as a lion. There was his bill to be settled, there was a chair broken, Alan had sat among his dinner things, James More had fled.
“Here,” I cried, “pay yourself,” and flung him down some Lewie d’ors; for I thought it was no time to be accounting.
He sprang upon that money, and we passed him by, and ran forth into the open. Upon three sides of the house were seamen hasting and closing in; a little nearer to us James More waved his hat as if to hurry them; and right behind him, like some foolish person holding up its hands, were the sails of the windmill turning.
Alan gave but the one glance, and laid himself down to run. He carried a great weight in James More’s portmanteau; but I think he would as soon have lost his life as cast away that booty which was his revenge; and he ran so that I was distressed to follow him, and marvelled and exulted to see the girl bounding at my side.