David Balfour, Second Part eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 374 pages of information about David Balfour, Second Part.
place of the Red Douglases.  The horse was picketed in the bottom of the ditch to graze, and I was led within, and forth into the court, and thence into a tumble-down stone hall.  Here my conductors built a brisk fire in the midst of the pavement, for there was a chill in the night.  My hands were loosed, I was set by the wall in the inner end, and (the Lowlander having produced provisions) I was given oatmeal bread and a pitcher of French brandy.  This done, I was left once more alone with my three Highlandmen.  They sat close by the fire drinking and talking; the wind blew in by the breaches, cast about the smoke and flames, and sang in the tops of the towers; I could hear the sea under the cliffs, and my mind being reassured as to my life, and my body and spirits wearied with the day’s employment, I turned upon one side and slumbered.

I had no means of guessing at what hour I was wakened, only the moon was down and the fire low.  My feet were now loosed, and I was carried through the ruins and down the cliff-side by a precipitous path to where I found a fisher’s boat in a haven of the rocks.  This I was had on board of, and we began to put forth from the shore in a fine starlight.

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I had no thought where they were taking me; only looked here and there for the appearance of a ship; and there ran the while in my head a word of Ransome’s—­the twenty-pounders.  If I were to be exposed a second time to that same former danger of the plantations, I judged it must turn ill with me; there was no second Alan, and no second shipwreck and spare yard to be expected now; and I saw myself hoe tobacco under the whip’s lash.  The thought chilled me; the air was sharp upon the water, the stretchers of the boat drenched with a cold dew; and I shivered in my place beside the steersman.  This was the dark man whom I have called hitherto the Lowlander; his name was Dale, ordinarily called Black Andie.  Feeling the thrill of my shiver, he very kindly handed me a rough jacket full of fish-scales, with which I was glad to cover myself.

“I thank you for this kindness,” said I, “and will make so free as to repay it with a warning.  You take a high responsibility in this affair.  You are not like these ignorant, barbarous Highlanders, but know what the law is and the risks of those that break it.”

“I am no just exactly what ye would ca’ an extremist for the law,” says he, “at the best of times; but in this business I act with a good warranty.”

“What are you going to do with me?” I asked.

“Nae harm,” said he, “nae harm ava’.  Ye’ll hae strong freens, I’m thinking.  Ye’ll be richt eneuch yet.”

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