The infantry followed in the same direction, regulating their pace by another body which occupied a road more to the southward. It cost Edward some exertion of activity to attain the place which Fergus’s followers occupied in the line of march.
AN INCIDENT GIVES RISE TO UNAVAILING REFLECTIONS
When Waverley reached that part of the column which was filled by the clan of Mac-Ivor, they halted, formed, and received him with a triumphant flourish upon the bagpipes and a loud shout of the men, most of whom knew him personally, and were delighted to see him in the dress of their country and of their sept. ‘You shout,’ said a Highlander of a neighbouring clan to Evan Dhu, ’as if the Chieftain were just come to your head.’
’Mar e Bran is e a brathair, If it be not Bran, it is Bran’s brother,’ was the proverbial reply of Maccombich. [Footnote: Bran, the well-known dog of Fingal. is often the theme of Highland proverb as well as song.]
’O, then, it is the handsome Sassenach duinhe-wassel that is to be married to Lady Flora?’
’That may be, or it may not be; and it is neither your matter nor mine, Gregor.’
Fergus advanced to embrace the volunteer, and afford him a warm and hearty welcome; but he thought it necessary to apologize for the diminished numbers of his battalion (which did not exceed three hundred men) by observing he had sent a good many out upon parties.
The real fact, however, was, that the defection of Donald Bean Lean had deprived him of at least thirty hardy fellows, whose services he had fully reckoned upon, and that many of his occasional adherents had been recalled by their several chiefs to the standards to which they most properly owed their allegiance. The rival chief of the great northern branch, also, of his own clan had mustered his people, although he had not yet declared either for the government or for the Chevalier, and by his intrigues had in some degree diminished the force with which Fergus took the field. To make amends for these disappointments, it was universally admitted that the followers of Vich Ian Vohr, in point of appearance, equipment, arms, and dexterity in using them, equalled the most choice troops which followed the standard of Charles Edward. Old Ballenkeiroch acted as his major; and, with the other officers who had known Waverley when at Glennaquoich, gave our hero a cordial reception, as the sharer of their future dangers and expected honours.
The route pursued by the Highland army, after leaving the village of Duddingston, was for some time the common post-road betwixt Edinburgh and Haddington, until they crossed the Esk at Musselburgh, when, instead of keeping the low grounds towards the sea, they turned more inland, and occupied the brow of the eminence called Carberry Hill, a place already distinguished in Scottish history as the spot where the lovely Mary