And, indeed, she was mightily ashamed of herself; and pretended to be vastly interested in the ruins; and was quite charmed with the view of the Sound in the moonlight, with the low hills beyond, now grown quite black; but all the same she was very silent as they walked back to the inn. And she was pale and thoughtful, too, while they were having their frugal supper of bread and milk; and very soon, pleading fatigue, she retired. But all the same, when Mr. White went upstairs, some time after, he had been but a short while in his room when he heard a tapping at the door. He said “Come in,” and his daughter entered. He was surprised by the curious look of her face—a sort of piteous look, as of one ill at ease, and yet ashamed to speak.
“What is it, child?” said he.
She regarded him for a second with that piteous look; and then tears slowly gathered in her eyes.
“Papa,” said she, in a sort of half-hysterical way, “I want you to take me away from here. It frightens me. I don’t know what it is. He was talking to me about graves—”
And here she burst out crying, and sobbed bitterly.
“Oh, nonsense, child!” her father said; “your nervous system must have been shaken last night by that storm. I have seen a strange look upon your face all day. It was certainly a mistake our coming here; you are not fitted for this savage life.”
She grew more composed. She sat down for a few minutes; and her father, taking out a small flask which had been filled from a bottle of brandy sent over during the day from Castle Dare, poured out a little of the spirits, added some water, and made her drink the dose as a sleeping draught.
“Ah well, you know, pappy,” said she, as she rose to leave, and she bestowed a very pretty smile on him, “it is all in the way of experience, isn’t it? and an artist should experience everything. But there is just a little too much about graves and ghosts in these parts for me. And I suppose we shall go to-morrow to see some cave or other where two or three hundred men, women, and children were murdered.”
“I hope in going back we shall not be as near our own grave as we were last night,” her father observed.
“And Keith Macleod laughs at it,” she said, “and says it was unfortunate we got a wetting!”
And so she went to bed; and the sea-air had dealt well with her; and she had no dreams at all of shipwrecks, or of black familiars in moonlit shrines. Why should her sleep be disturbed because that night she had put her foot on the grave of the chief of the Macleods?