“Bide a wee! There’s ane o’ them has drawn bridle at the hottle, and he’s speerin’ after the leddy that cam’ here alane. The leddy’s your leddy, as sure as saxpence. I doot,” said Mr. Bishopriggs, walking away to the window, “that’s what ye’ve got to do with it.”
Arnold looked at Anne.
“Do you expect any body?”
“Is it Geoffrey?”
“Impossible. Geoffrey is on his way to London.”
“There he is, any way,” resumed Mr. Bishopriggs, at the window. “He’s loupin’ down from his horse. He’s turning this way. Lord save us!” he exclaimed, with a start of consternation, “what do I see? That incarnate deevil, Sir Paitrick himself!”
Arnold sprang to his feet.
“Do you mean Sir Patrick Lundie?”
Anne ran to the window.
“It is Sir Patrick!” she said. “Hide yourself before he comes in!”
“What will he think if he sees you with me?"
He was Blanche’s guardian, and he believed Arnold to be at that moment visiting his new property. What he would think was not difficult to foresee. Arnold turned for help to Mr. Bishopriggs.
“Where can I go?”
Mr. Bishopriggs pointed to the bedroom door.
“Whar’ can ye go? There’s the nuptial chamber!”
Mr. Bishopriggs expressed the utmost extremity of human amazement by a long whistle, on one note.
“Whew! Is that the way ye talk o’ the nuptial chamber already?”
“Find me some other place—I’ll make it worth your while.”
“Eh! there’s my paintry! I trow that’s some other place; and the door’s at the end o’ the passage.”
Arnold hurried out. Mr. Bishopriggs—evidently under the impression that the case before him was a case of elopement, with Sir Patrick mixed up in it in the capacity of guardian—addressed himself, in friendly confidence, to Anne.
“My certie, mistress! it’s ill wark deceivin’ Sir Paitrick, if that’s what ye’ve dune. Ye must know, I was ance a bit clerk body in his chambers at Embro—”
The voice of Mistress Inchbare, calling for the head-waiter, rose shrill and imperative from the regions of the bar. Mr. Bishopriggs disappeared. Anne remained, standing helpless by the window. It was plain by this time that the place of her retreat had been discovered at Windygates. The one doubt to decide, now, was whether it would be wise or not to receive Sir Patrick, for the purpose of discovering whether he came as friend or enemy to the inn.
THE doubt was practically decided before Anne had determined what to do. She was still at the window when the sitting-room door was thrown open, and Sir Patrick appeared, obsequiously shown in by Mr. Bishopriggs.
“Ye’re kindly welcome, Sir Paitrick. Hech, Sirs! the sight of you is gude for sair eyne.”