Waverley — Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 328 pages of information about Waverley — Volume 2.
guide with difficulty, for the twilight began to fall.  Following the descent of the stream a little lower, he totally lost him, but a twinkling light which he now discovered among the tangled copse-wood and bushes seemed a surer guide.  He soon pursued a very uncouth path; and by its guidance at length reached the door of a wretched hut.  A fierce barking of dogs was at first heard, but it stilled at his approach.  A voice sounded from within, and he held it most prudent to listen before he advanced.

‘Wha hast thou brought here, thou unsonsy villain, thou?’ said an old woman, apparently in great indignation.  He heard Davie Gellatley in answer whistle a part of the tune by which he had recalled himself to the simpleton’s memory, and had now no hesitation to knock at the door.  There was a dead silence instantly within, except the deep growling of the dogs; and he next heard the mistress of the hut approach the door, not probably for the sake of undoing a latch, but of fastening a bolt.  To prevent this Waverley lifted the latch himself.

In front was an old wretched-looking woman, exclaiming, ’Wha comes into folk’s houses in this gate, at this time o’ the night?’ On one side, two grim and half-starved deer greyhounds laid aside their ferocity at his appearance, and seemed to recognise him.  On the other side, half concealed by the open door, yet apparently seeking that concealment reluctantly, with a cocked pistol in his right hand and his left in the act of drawing another from his belt, stood a tall bony gaunt figure in the remnants of a faded uniform and a beard of three weeks’ growth.  It was the Baron of Bradwardine.  It is unnecessary to add, that he threw aside his weapon and greeted Waverley with a hearty embrace.



Thearon’s story was short, when divested of the adages and commonplaces, Latin, English, and Scotch, with which his erudition garnished it.  He insisted much upon his grief at the loss of Edward and of Glennaquoich, fought the fields of Falkirk and Culloden, and related how, after all was lost in the last battle, he had returned home, under the idea of more easily finding shelter among his own tenants and on his own estate than elsewhere.  A party of soldiers had been sent to lay waste his property, for clemency was not the order of the day.  Their proceedings, however, were checked by an order from the civil court.  The estate, it was found, might not be forfeited to the crown to the prejudice of Malcolm Bradwardine of Inch-Grabbit, the heir-male, whose claim could not be prejudiced by the Baron’s attainder, as deriving no right through him, and who, therefore, like other heirs of entail in the same situation, entered upon possession.  But, unlike many in similar circumstances, the new laird speedily showed that he intended utterly to exclude his predecessor from all benefit or advantage in the estate, and that it was his purpose to avail himself of the old Baron’s evil fortune to the full extent.  This was the more ungenerous, as it was generally known that, from a romantic idea of not prejudicing this young man’s right as heir-male, the Baron had refrained from settling his estate on his daughter.

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Waverley — Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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