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William Black
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 492 pages of information about Macleod of Dare.
and—­and—­I think it is very plucky of Mrs. Ross to cut off two of her lions at one stroke.  It shows she must have taken an uncommon liking for you.  So you must cheer up, Macleod.  If woman take a fancy to you like that, you’ll easily get a better wife than Miss White would have made.  Mind you, I don’t go back from anything I ever said of her.  She is a handsome woman, and no mistake; and I will say that she is the best waltzer that I ever met with in the whole course of my life—­without exception.  But she’s the sort of woman who, if I married her, would want some looking after—­I mean, that is my impression.  The fact is, Macleod, away there in Mull you have been brought up too much on books and your own imagination.  You were ready to believe any pretty woman, with soft English ways, an angel.  Well, you have had a twister; but you’ll come through it; and you will get to believe, after all, that women are very good creatures just as men are very good creatures, when you get the right sort.  Come now, Macleod, pull yourself together; Perhaps I have just as hard an opinion of her conduct towards you as you have yourself.  But you know what Tommy Moore, or some fellow like that says—­’Though she be not fair to me, what the devil care I how fair she be?’ And if I were you, I would have a drop of brandy—­but not half a tumblerful.”

But neither Lieutenant Ogilvie’s pert common-sense, nor his apt and accurate quotation, nor the proffered brandy, seemed to alter much the mood of this haggard-faced man.  He rose.

“I think I am going now,” said he, in a low voice.  “You won’t take it unkindly, Ogilvie, that I don’t stop to talk with you:  it is a strange story you have told me—­I want time to think over it.  Good-by!”

“The fact is, Macleod,” Ogilvie stammered, as he regarded his friend’s face, “I don’t like to leave you.  Won’t you stay and dine with our fellows? or shall I see if I can run up to London with you?”

“No, thank you, Ogilvie,” said he.  “And have you any message for the mother and Janet?”

“Oh, I hope you will remember me most kindly to them.  At least, I will go to the station with you, Macleod.”

“Thank you, Ogilvie; but I would rather go alone.  Good-by, now.”

He shook hands with his friend, in an absent sort of way, and left.  But while yet his hand was on the door, he turned and said,—­

“Oh, do you remember my gun that has the shot barrel and the rifle barrel?”

“Yes, certainly.”

“And would you like to have that, Ogilvie?—­we sometimes had it when we were out together.”

“Do you think I would take your gun from you, Macleod?” said the other.  “And you will soon have plenty of use for it now.”

“Good-by, then, Ogilvie,” said he, and he left, and went out into the world of rain, and lowering skies, and darkening moors.

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