When he arrived in Edinburgh, where his inquiries must necessarily commence, he felt the full difficulty of his situation. Many inhabitants of that city had seen and known him as Edward Waverley; how, then, could he avail himself of a passport as Francis Stanley? He resolved, therefore, to avoid all company, and to move northward as soon as possible. He was, however, obliged to wait a day or two in expectation of a letter from Colonel Talbot, and he was also to leave his own address, under his feigned character, at a place agreed upon. With this latter purpose he sallied out in the dusk through the well-known streets, carefully shunning observation, but in vain: one of the first persons whom he met at once recognised him. It was Mrs. Flockhart, Fergus Mac-Ivor’s good-humoured landlady.
’Gude guide us, Mr. Waverley, is this you? na, ye needna be feared for me. I wad betray nae gentleman in your circumstances. Eh, lack-a-day! lack-a-day! here’s a change o’ markets; how merry Colonel MacIvor and you used to be in our house!’ And the good-natured widow shed a few natural tears. As there was no resisting her claim of acquaintance, Waverley acknowledged it with a good grace, as well as the danger of his own situation. ’As it’s near the darkening, sir, wad ye just step in by to our house and tak a dish o’ tea? and I am sure if ye like to sleep in the little room, I wad tak care ye are no disturbed, and naebody wad ken ye; for Kate and Matty, the limmers, gaed aff wi’ twa o’ Hawley’s dragoons, and I hae twa new queans instead o’ them.’
Waverley accepted her invitation, and engaged her lodging for a night or two, satisfied he should be safer in the house of this simple creature than anywhere else. When he entered the parlour his heart swelled to see Fergus’s bonnet, with the white cockade, hanging beside the little mirror.
‘Ay,’ said Mrs. Flockhart, sighing, as she observed the direction of his eyes, ’the puir Colonel bought a new ane just the day before they marched, and I winna let them tak that ane doun, but just to brush it ilka day mysell; and whiles I look at it till I just think I hear him cry to Callum to bring him his bonnet, as he used to do when he was ganging out. It’s unco silly—the neighbours ca’ me a Jacobite, but they may say their say—I am sure it’s no for that—but he was as kind-hearted a gentleman as ever lived, and as weel-fa’rd too. Oh, d’ye ken, sir, when he is to suffer?’
‘Suffer! Good heaven! Why, where is he?’
’Eh, Lord’s sake! d’ye no ken? The poor Hieland body, Dugald Mahony, cam here a while syne, wi’ ane o’ his arms cuttit off, and a sair clour in the head—ye’ll mind Dugald, he carried aye an axe on his shouther—and he cam here just begging, as I may say, for something to eat. Aweel, he tauld us the Chief, as they ca’d him (but I aye ca’ him the Colonel), and Ensign Maccombich, that ye mind weel, were ta’en somewhere beside the English border, when it was sae