“Quite so,” stammered Bonar, rather shamefacedly, “and—it’s really very good of you to show me so much kindness.”
“Na, na, sir,” said the old man warmly. “I should be wantin’ in human feelin’ if I wes to turn a dog oot sic a nicht—still mair a fellow-creetur. Na, na, sir! Juist ye sit still, and Maggie Jean’ll redd up the bed for ye beyont for y’r nicht’s rest!”
So in the smuggler’s very house the smuggler’s natural enemy was bound to rest for the night, having been warmed at the smuggler’s hearth and cheered and invigorated by whiskey that had paid no duty!
It was with changed mien that Bonar trod his downward path next morning under Peter’s guidance.
Be sure he lost no time in applying for removal to a new sphere of labor! Let others tackle Davie Forbes and his sons if they wished; as for himself, he could never so repay the fearless generosity to which he owed—as he firmly believed—the saving of his life!
“This spirit, dumb to us, will speak
("Hamlet” Act I, Sc. 1.)
Strolling across the little stableyard one day to have a look at Tim, our pony, I heard from the open door of the kitchen Penny’s voice, raised in expostulation.
“Ghost, indeed!” And withering scorn was expressed in the very tone of her ejaculation. “When you’re my hage you’ll have learned to take no ’eed of such nonsense! There’s no such a thing; and I’m surprised as a Catholic girl, born and bred, should be that superstitious! You mustn’t believe such rubbish!”
I scented entertainment, for Penny dogmatizing on spiritualism was likely to prove interesting.
“What’s up, Penny?” I inquired with an air of innocence, as she suddenly emerged from the kitchen, wrathfully brandishing a huge knife—as who should say, in Hamlet’s words:
“I’ll make a ghost of him that lets me!”
had she not been bent upon the more peaceful, if prosaic, slaughter of a lettuce for the luncheon salad.
Penny was just in the mood to give vent to her theological opinions concerning the possibility of visits from another world, and at once seized the opportunity of imparting a little wholesome instruction to any audience obtainable.
“The nonsense that folks get into their ’eads nowadays, Mr. Edmund—what with these trashy novels and ’apenny papers—is something past belief! Not but what Elsie is a good, quiet girl enough, and reg’lar at her duties every first Sunday in the month; but she’s young, and I suppose we ’ave to make allowance for young folk.”
I murmured in token of acquiescence.
“I let her off for the afternoon yesterday, to take tea with her haunt from America, and back she comes with a cock-and-bull story of a happarition her youngest brother Aleck imagined he saw the night before last.”