Macleod of Dare eBook

William Black
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 492 pages of information about Macleod of Dare.
my heart jump.  But I was very nearly disappointed when I got them into the shop; for I asked what their name was; and they answered ‘Lavender.’  ’Why, surely, that is not a Highland, name,’ I said.  ‘No, ma’am,’ said the elder lad; ’but my mamma is from the Highlands, and we are from the Highlands, and we are going back to spend the New-year at home.’  ‘And where is your home?’ I asked; but I have forgotten the name of the place; I understood it was somewhere away in the North.  And then I asked them if they had ever been to Mull.  ’We have passed it in the Clansman’ said the elder boy.  ’And do you know one Sir Keith Macleod there?’ I asked.  ‘Oh no, ma’am,’ said he, staring at me with his clear blue eyes as if I was a very stupid person, ’The Macleods are from Skye.’  ‘But surely one of them may live in Mull,’ I suggested.  ‘The Macleods are from Skye,’ he maintained, ’and my papa was at Dunvegan last year.’  Then came the business of choosing the toys; and the smaller child would have a boat, though his elder brother laughed at him, and said something about a former boat of his having been blown out into Loch Rogue—­which seemed to me a strange name for even a Highland loch.  But the elder lad, he must needs have a sword; and when I asked him what he wanted that for, he said, quite proudly, ’To kill the Frenchmen with.’  ‘To kill Frenchmen with?’ I said; for this young fire-eater seemed to mean what he said.  ‘Yes, ma’am,’ said he, ’for they shoot the sheep out on the Flannan Islands when no one sees them; but we will catch them some day.’  I was afraid to ask him where the Flannan Islands were, for I could see he was already regarding me as a very ignorant person; so I had their toys tied up for them, and packed them off home.  ‘And when you get home,’ I said to them, ’you will give my compliments to your mamma, and say that you got the ship and the sword from a lady who has a great liking for the Highland people.’  ’Yes, ma’am,’ says he, touching his cap again with a proud politeness; and then they went their ways, and I saw them no more.”

Then the Christmas-time came, with all its mystery, and friendly observances, and associations; and she described to him how Carry and she were engaged in decorating certain schools in which they were interested, and how a young curate had paid her a great deal of attention, until some one went and told him, as a cruel joke, that Miss White was a celebrated dancer at a music-hall.

Then, on Christmas morning, behold, the very first snow of the year!  She got up early; she went out alone; the holiday world of London was not yet awake.

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Macleod of Dare from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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