“Witness! Do we understand you to say that you are the wife of his grace the Duke of Hereward?”
“Ay, just!” replied Rose Cameron, pertly. “Gin ye hae ony understanding at a’, and gin ye are na the auld daft idiwat ye luke, ye’ll understand me to say I am the lawfu’ wedded wife o’ the Duk’ o’ Harewood. Him as was marrit o’ Tuesday last to the heiress o’ Lone! Gin ye dinna believe me, I hae my marriage lines, gie me by the minister o’ St. Margaret’s Kirk, Weestminster, where he marrit me! Ou, ay! and I wad hae tell ye a’ this in the beginning, only I kenned weel, if I did, ye wad na hae let me gae on gie’ ony teestimony agin me ain husband. De’il hae him! But noo, as ye hae heerd the truth anent the grand villainy up in Castle Lone, I dinna mind telling ye wha I am. Ay, and ye may set aside my witness, gin ye like! But the whole coort hae noo heard it. Ay, and the whole warld s’all hear it, or a’ be dune! And noo I am thinking ye’ll een let the puir mon in the dock just gae free; and pit my laird, his greece, the nubble duk’, intil the prisoner’s place. Ye’ll no hae to seek him far,” added the woman, suddenly whisking around and facing the young Duke of Hereward, with a perfectly fiendish look of malice distorting her handsome face. “There he sits noo! he wha marrit me and afterwards marrit the heiress o’ Lone! he wha betrayed me intil a prison, and wad hae betrayed me to the gallows, gin I had na been to canny for him! There he is noo, and he can na face me and deny it!”
The Duke of Hereward did not deign to deny anything. He passed the fly leaf, upon which he had written some lines, on to the old lawyer, Guthrie, who looked over it, nodded, and then rising in his place, addressed the Bench:
“My lord, we desire that the witness, who is now transcending the duties and privileges of the stand, be ordered to sit down.”
“Oh! I’ll sit down!” pertly interrupted Rose Cameron. “I hae had my ain way, and I hae said my ain say, and now I’ll e’en gae—gin this auld fule be done wi’ me.”
“We have done with you; you can stand down,” replied Mr. Keir, in mortification and disgust.
Rose Cameron stepped down from the stand with the air of a queen descending from her throne. In look and motion she was graceful and majestic as the antelope. You had to hear her speak to learn how really low and vulgar she was.
She darted one baleful blast of hatred from her blue eyes, as she passed the Duke of Hereward, and was then conducted back to the sheriff’s room, where she was to be detained in custody until the conclusion of the trial.
Mr. Guthrie now requested that the witness Ferguson might be recalled.
The order was given. And the Lone saddler’s red-headed apprentice took the stand.
Mr. Guthrie referred to the notes that had been passed to him by the Duke of Hereward, and then said: