“Glenogie understand it, any way,” said she, blithely, “and naturally he rode off at once to see his dying sweetheart.
“’Pale and wan
was she, when Glenogie gaed ben,
But rosy-red grew she when Glenogie sat down.
She turned away her head, but the smile was in her e’e,
Oh, binna feared, mither, I’ll maybe no dee.’”
She shut the piano.
“Isn’t it charmingly simple and tender, papa?” she said, with the same mischief in her eyes.
“I think it is foolish of you to think of exchanging that piece of doggerel—”
“For what?” said she, standing in the middle of the room. “For this?”
And therewith she sang these lines—giving an admirable burlesque imitation of herself, and her own gestures, and her own singing in the part she was then performing:—
“The morning bells are swinging,
Hail to the day!
The birds are winging, singing
To the golden day—
To the joyous day—
The morning bells are swinging, ringing,
And what do they say?
O bring my love to my love!
O bring my love to-day!
O bring my love to my love!
To be my love alway!’”
It certainly was cruel to treat poor Mrs. Ross’s home-made lyrics so; but Miss White was burlesquing herself as well as the song she had to sing. And as her father did not know to what lengths this iconoclastic fit might lead her, he abruptly bade her good-night and went to bed, no doubt hoping that next morning would find the demon exorcised from his daughter.
As for her, she had one more loving look over the skins, and then she carefully read through the note that accompanied them. There was a smile on her face—perhaps of pleasure, perhaps of amusement at the simplicity of the lines. However, she turned aside, and got hold of a small writing-desk, which she placed on the table.
“‘Oh, here is, Glenogie, a letter for thee,’”
she hummed to herself, with a rather proud look on her face, as she seated herself and opened the desk.
“FHIR A BHATA!”
Young Ogilvie had obtained some brief extension of his leave, but even that was drawing to a close; and Macleod saw with a secret dread that the hour of his departure was fast approaching. And yet he had not victimized the young man. After that first burst of confidence he had been sparing in his references to the trouble that had beset him. Of what avail, besides, could Mr. Ogilvie’s counsels be? Once or twice he had ventured to approach the subject with some commonplace assurances that there were always difficulties in the way of two people getting married, and that they had to be overcome with patience and courage. The difficulties that Macleod knew of as between himself and that impossible goal were deeper than any mere obtaining of the consent of friends or the arrangement of a way of living. From the moment that the terrible truth was forced on him he had never regarded his case but as quite hopeless; and yet that in no way moderated his consuming desire to see her—to hear her speak—even to have correspondence with her. It was something that he could send her a parcel of otter-skins.