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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.

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