‘And how am I assured of that?’
’By the honour of Donald Stewart, governor of the garrison, and lieutenant-colonel in the service of his Royal Highness Prince Charles Edward.’ So saying, he hastily left the apartment, as if to avoid further discussion.
Exhausted by the fatigues of the night, our hero now threw himself upon the bed, and was in a few minutes fast asleep.
THE JOURNEY IS CONTINUED
Before Waverley awakened from his repose, the day was far advanced, and he began to feel that he had passed many hours without food. This was soon supplied in form of a copious breakfast, but Colonel Stewart, as if wishing to avoid the queries of his guest, did not again present himself. His compliments were, however, delivered by a servant, with an offer to provide anything in his power that could be useful to Captain Waverley on his journey, which he intimated would be continued that evening. To Waverley’s further inquiries, the servant opposed the impenetrable barrier of real or affected ignorance and stupidity. He removed the table and provisions, and Waverley was again consigned to his own meditations.
As he contemplated the strangeness of his fortune, which seemed to delight in placing him at the disposal of others, without the power of directing his own motions, Edward’s eye suddenly rested upon his portmanteau, which had been deposited in his apartment during his sleep. The mysterious appearance of Alice in the cottage of the glen immediately rushed upon his mind, and he was about to secure and examine the packet which she had deposited among his clothes, when the servant of Colonel Stewart again made his appearance, and took up the portmanteau upon his shoulders.
‘May I not take out a change of linen, my friend?’
‘Your honour sall get ane o’ the Colonel’s ain ruffled sarks, but this maun gang in the baggage-cart.’
And so saying, he very coolly carried off the portmanteau, without waiting further remonstrance, leaving our hero in a state where disappointment and indignation struggled for the mastery. In a few minutes he heard a cart rumble out of the rugged court-yard, and made no doubt that he was now dispossessed, for a space at least, if not for ever, of the only documents which seemed to promise some light upon the dubious events which had of late influenced his destiny. With such melancholy thoughts he had to beguile about four or five hours of solitude.
When this space was elapsed, the trampling of horse was heard in the court-yard, and Colonel Stewart soon after made his appearance to request his guest to take some further refreshment before his departure. The offer was accepted, for a late breakfast had by no means left our hero incapable of doing honour to dinner, which was now presented. The conversation of his host was that of a plain country gentleman, mixed with some soldier-like sentiments and expressions. He cautiously avoided any reference to the military operations or civil politics of the time; and to Waverley’s direct inquiries concerning some of these points replied, that he was not at liberty to speak upon such topics.