“No angel, but a dearer being all
dipt in angel instincts,
Her voice was of soft and gentle timbre, soothing and tranquillizing even at this heated moment, as she turned to her son and said:—
“Oh, me bairn, me bonnie bairn, could ye no’ stay wi’ us a while longer? It is sair and lonely wi’out ye here, and Prince Chairlie has many mair to fight for him. Can ye not stay wi’ us?”
“No, mother dear; much as I should like to be wi’ ye all, I fear I cannot. A promise is a promise, you know. You have always taught me that. Remember our motto, ‘For God and the truth.’ You would not wish me to be the first McAllister who broke his word.”
“Ah! my dear one,” sobbed his mother, now fairly breaking down and weeping piteously, “must ye go, must ye go?”
“Yes, mother dear; but don’t distress yourself about me, I shall be all right, and when bonnie Prince Chairlie comes into his own, we shall meet again, and you, my ain bonnie mither, will be one of the first ladies at the court of Holyrood. Now I must go. Father,” he said, turning to The McAllister, who was watching the scene in grim silence with folded arms and countenance cold and stern. “Father, do you mean what you said just now? Do you mean to say you will never forgive me if I go to my prince?”
“Yes,” the old man thundered out. “Yes, by heaven, I do mean it.”
“Then you have driven me for ever from you, and I leave your house to-night. You are hard, unjust, cruel,” and, kissing Lady Jean, hastily, without more ado, Ivan left the hall. Then he walked swiftly into the court yard, saddled his favorite horse, and whistling to his collie dog rode off into the dark tempestuous night to face the unknown.
The unknown is always terrible, but at three and twenty the heart is light, care is easily shaken off, and hope springs up eternal. A merciful gift of the good God this, and more especially so in the case of Ivan McAllister, for, poor lad, he was doomed to have many disappointments.
Some weeks after leaving his father’s house, he joined the troops of the young Pretender, Charles Edward; and three days afterwards was fought the battle of Culloden, a battle fraught with such disastrous results to the hopes of many gallant and enthusiastic Scotchmen.
“Oh! Canada, mon pays, terre
Sol si cher a mes amours”
French Canadian Folk Song
It was a bright August afternoon. The sun was shining down with that intense brilliancy which, I think, is only to be seen in Canada, or in the sunny climes of those countries bordering on the Mediterranean sea. The little village of Rimouski seemed this afternoon all asleep, for the heat made every one drowsy, and the old French Canadian women at their doorsteps were nodding sleepily over their spinning-wheels.