Kidnapped eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 239 pages of information about Kidnapped.
will likely please ye best at the first off-go; but, O Davie, laddie, it’s but a drop of water in the sea; it’ll help you but a step, and vanish like the morning.  The second, which is flat and square and written upon, will stand by you through life, like a good staff for the road, and a good pillow to your head in sickness.  And as for the last, which is cubical, that’ll see you, it’s my prayerful wish, into a better land.”

With that he got upon his feet, took off his hat, and prayed a little while aloud, and in affecting terms, for a young man setting out into the world; then suddenly took me in his arms and embraced me very hard; then held me at arm’s length, looking at me with his face all working with sorrow; and then whipped about, and crying good-bye to me, set off backward by the way that we had come at a sort of jogging run.  It might have been laughable to another; but I was in no mind to laugh.  I watched him as long as he was in sight; and he never stopped hurrying, nor once looked back.  Then it came in upon my mind that this was all his sorrow at my departure; and my conscience smote me hard and fast, because I, for my part, was overjoyed to get away out of that quiet country-side, and go to a great, busy house, among rich and respected gentlefolk of my own name and blood.

“Davie, Davie,” I thought, “was ever seen such black ingratitude?  Can you forget old favours and old friends at the mere whistle of a name?  Fie, fie; think shame.”

And I sat down on the boulder the good man had just left, and opened the parcel to see the nature of my gifts.  That which he had called cubical, I had never had much doubt of; sure enough it was a little Bible, to carry in a plaid-neuk.  That which he had called round, I found to be a shilling piece; and the third, which was to help me so wonderfully both in health and sickness all the days of my life, was a little piece of coarse yellow paper, written upon thus in red ink: 

To make lilly of the valley water.—­Take the flowers of lilly of the valley and distil them in sack, and drink a spooneful or two as there is occasion.  It restores speech to those that have the dumb palsey.  It is good against the Gout; it comforts the heart and strengthens the memory; and the flowers, put into a Glasse, close stopt, and set into ane hill of ants for a month, then take it out, and you will find a liquor which comes from the flowers, which keep in a vial; it is good, ill or well, and whether man or woman.”

And then, in the minister’s own hand, was added: 

“Likewise for sprains, rub it in; and for the cholic, a great spooneful in the hour.”

To be sure, I laughed over this; but it was rather tremulous laughter; and I was glad to get my bundle on my staff’s end and set out over the ford and up the hill upon the farther side; till, just as I came on the green drove-road running wide through the heather, I took my last look of Kirk Essendean, the trees about the manse, and the big rowans in the kirkyard where my father and my mother lay.

Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
Kidnapped from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook