V Tfc. Tk -
THE LONE HOUSE
AMELIA E. BARR
AUTHOR OF " JAN VEDDER'S WIFE," " A DAUGHTER OF FIFE,"
" THE BOW OF ORANGE RIBBON," " THE SQUIRE
OF SANDAL SIDE," ETC., ETC.
DODD, MEAD & COMPANY
DODD, MEAD & COMPANY.
THE LONE HOUSE.
The rocky Rhinns o' Galloway,
The Covenanters' sure retreat :
The wild, waste moors o' Galloway,
Trod by the Martyrs' weary feet.
r I ^HERE is an exceedingly picturesque prom-
1 ontory at the extreme end of the western
coast of Scotland called Galloway. It is no un-
kenned land. The Roman galleys sailed its
estuaries. The first stone church in Scotland
was within its boundaries ; and Saint Ninian
made its shrines famous throughout the Anglo-
Saxon kingdoms, and all the races of Ireland,
and even far beyond the native seas. Memo
ries of the Bruce and his brave deeds are
written on the hills that guard Loch Trool.
The Covenanters fled to its moors and moun
tains for shelter, and some of them left there a
4 THE LONE HOUSE.
testimony of martyrdom which is green even to
this generation. It was the home of the great
families of Gordon of Kenmuir, of the Ken-
nedys, Hurrays, Hays, Dalrymples, M'Dougalls,
and of those M'Cullochs who so harassed the
people of the Isle of Man, that they had a
common prayer against them :
" Keep me, my good cows, my sheep, and my bullocks,
From Satan, from sin, and those thievish M'Cullochs."
Walter Scott used its grand coast for local
colouring in Guy Mannering ; and the castle of
Baldoon, belonging to the Earl of Galloway,
was the scene of that tragedy immortalized in
" The Bride of Lammermoor." Burns sang of
" Banks of the Cree," and in the annals of war
and learning the men of Galloway have ever
been famous. Still, its religious element is in
its modern history its dominant one ; and from
the Rhinns of Galloway have come men of the
most profound religious convictions forefront
men in any question of Dissent descendants
of those heroes who, in the days of the Stuarts,
fled to the rocky fastnesses not only to save
their lives, but also to scatter the good seed in
a land of hills and caves, a land desolate and
THE LONE HOUSE. 5
inaccessible to those less purposeful than they
There is now a railway station at Port Brad-
don in the Rhinns of Galloway, but sixty years
ago it was an unplanted wilderness all along
the moors of its storm-beaten coast. Here and
there a lonely cottage loomed through the pre
vailing mists, or stood out bare and bald in the
very centre of some moor that was washed to
its very bones by the rain-floods. Or down on
the shingle there was, perhaps, a little colony
of fishers. But even in these clustered homes
there was none of the sound and stir of life ; for
they were pensioners upon the ocean, a fickle
and cruel master, who held in his gift death as
well as life. To the Galloway fishers all sea
sons had a serious colour ; and their intense
piety was but the natural attitude of thoughtful
men, dwelling constantly on the confines of
Sixty years ago there was a little fishing
colony of this kind three miles south of Port
Braddon, and beyond it to the extremity of the
Mull of Galloway, nothing but more and more
isolated settlements, separated by lofty rocks
and stony inlets, with perhaps here and there
6 THE LONE HOUSE.
some ancient castle or well-sheltered modern
This colony had no recognised name, but
among its inhabitants was known as "Car-
rick's," the man Andrew Carrick being the
proprietor of its whole six cottages. Carrick
'himself lived on a house built on the summit
of the bluff. He was a man who would nat
urally have chosen the highest place he could
find for a dwelling ; and destiny had given him
the site he would have selected.
Two hundred years before his birth there
had been an Andrew Carrick, who, flying for
life to these solitudes, had gradually acquired
an affection for them ; and he had built the
house in which his descendant and namesake
lived. It was of gray stone, and stood upon
the cliff, boldly facing the restless channel in
which the Solway Firth and the Irish Sea hold
such stormy revels.
But it was founded upon a rock, and built of
huge blocks of granite; and its deep, narrow
windows and thick doors defied the winds that
waged nearly constant battle against its walls.
The Lone House had originally contained only
the " but " and the " ben " common to Scotch
THE LONE HOUSE. J
cottages ; but Andrew's father had built a
second story, with dormer windows facing the
moor and the sea. Besides, there was a byre
for the cattle, and a small sunk cellar used as
a dairy and storeroom.
The Carricks were of noble strain, and had
been endowed with a double portion of that
" protesting " spirit inherent in their race.
They had followed Wallace, fought with Bruce,
"protested" with Knox, been "out" with the
Covenanters, seceded with the Relief Kirk,
and at the time my tale opens the man Andrew
Carrick was in the midst of a soul-searching in
quiry regarding the movement of Dr. Chalmers
for the glory of a Free Kirk, with a most decided
natural inclination to follow the great doctor.
Andrew was a shoemaker, and he sat upon
his bench mending a fisherman's boot, and
arguing the question conscientiously out with
himself ; and the jerky or solemn way in which
he pulled his waxed thread through the leather
was an emphatic, though quite unconscious,
commentary upon his thoughts. He had a
large, stern face, with that remarkable length
of jaw from ear to chin which is a leading trait
in the portraits of all the men of Covenanting
8 THE LONE HOUSE.
note. His hair was long and black; his brow
seamed with firm, broad wrinkles ; his large,
grey eyes had no sparkle in them, but they
gleamed with a haughty independence of virtu
ous honesty, mingled with much spiritual pride.
By and by he became conscious of some
sound interrupting the even flow of his
thoughts. He lifted his head and looked
towards the fireside. On a creepie before it,
and softly singing to herself, sat his youngest
daughter, Jeannie. She had been combing
wool, and her lap and her idle hands were full
of the fleecy stuff. He listened to her a
moment, and then he asked,
"What is it you are singing at a', Jeannie ? "
" Just a line or two from Bobbie Burns.
There is no wrong in that, father."
"Is there naebody to put a word in your lips
but that graceless ne'er do weel, Jeannie ?
Think shame o' yoursel', my lassie."
" I was just humming a bit from ' Bonny
Lesley ; ' " and she looked him bravely in the
face and gaily sang,
" 'To see her is to love her,
And love but her forever.'
There is nothing ill in that, father."
THE LONE HOUSE. 9
" And there's naething good in it. And
whar there is no good, thar is plenty o'
ill. Forbye, I'm thrang wi' a controversy
that taks a' the grace and skill God has gi'en
Jeannie smiled at him brightly, but did not
speak ; and Andrew softened under the smile.
Jeannie Carrick was not beautiful, but she had
that charm which strictly beautiful faces often
want. Her eyes fascinated and her smile com
pelled. Every one was glad to please Jeannie
Carrick, and sorry even when they were obliged
lawfully to grieve her. So in a very few min
utes Andrew became restless in the silence he
had commanded. The want of Jeannie's song
was now worse than its sweet low murmur ;
and he said far more kindly,
" I dinna approve o' Robbie Burns, Jeannie,
but there are plenty o' songs that are lawfu'
and not a'thegither devoid o' a gracious mem
ory. I'll put by my ain work and my ain
thoughts a wee and you can sing ' The Cove
nanter's Lament,' and maybe I'll slip a word or
two in mysel', dearie."
Then he left his bench and sat down beside
her in the firelight, and after a moment's silence
10 THE LONE HOUSE.
Jeannie began to a wild pathetic melody the
mournful Lament :
" There's nae Covenant noo, Lassie 1
There's nae Cov'nant noo;
The solemn League and Cov'nant,
Is a' broken through.
There's nae Renwick noo, Lassie !
There's nae gude Cargill,
Nor holy Sabbath preaching
Upon the Martyrs' hill !
The last four lines were almost like a sob,
and Andrew's stern face reflected the senti
ment, as if he personally had been bitterly
wronged in the matter.
" The Martyrs' hill's forsaken
In summer's dusk sae calm;
There's nae gathering noo, Lassie !
To sing the evening psalm !
But the Martyrs sweetly sleep, Lassie,
Aneath the waving fern."
Then she stood up and looked at her father,
and in a tone of triumph finished the verse.
" But the Martyrs' grave will rise, Lassie,
Above the warriors' cairn! "
In these last two lines Andrew joined his
daughter ; indeed, it seemed to be an under-
THE LONE HOUSE. II
stood thing between them, and a part of a
programme often rehearsed.
The solemn enthusiasm of the singers was
not a thing to be repeated or transferred to
some other subject, and Andrew sat with his
head in his palms, gazing into the fire. He
was enjoying a retrospective reverie which
sufficed him ; for his soul was wandering in a
part of Scotland very dear to him, and to which
he made frequent pilgrimages that pastoral
solitude where Pentland falls with easy slope
into the Lothian plain. For there mighty
deeds had been done for the faith by those iron
apostles whom God sends in iron times to make
smooth his ways. There the solemn chant
and the startling war cry of the Covenanting
Men had rung, and there God's saints had died
for faith and freedom, and gained the Martyr's
As he sat musing thus, Jeannie drew her
little wheel to his side and began to spin.
There was silence in the houseplace, but a
silence full of meaning ; peopled with the dis
tinct thoughts of minds which had not learned
the modern trick of generalisation ; which
were not crowded with events, but could set
12 THE LONE HOUSE.
each one in space, and survey it from every
Very soon a heavy shower of rain smote the
window smartly, and recalled Andrew to the
actualities of daily existence.
" Whar is Ann ? " he asked.
" She will be in the byre, no doubt."
" The kye ought to be milked lang ere this
" The grass is green now, and they are long
in coming home."
He rose in a hurry, as if moved by some
urgent thought, and went out. In a few min
utes Jeannie heard Ann in the dairy straining
the milk, and shortly afterward her father
returned to his chair and resumed his medita
tions. But they were evidently of a very dif
ferent character. A contemplation on the
suffering of the martyrs imparted to his dark
solemn face the rapt enthusiasm of a Jewish
seer. His own trials gave it a much more
earthly expression. Anger, fear, hatred, a sense
of wrong, were all there, but with nothing that
elevated them above the natural feelings of the
man. To ennoble passion all self must be
taken out of it. And Andrew Carrick's anger
THE LONE HOUSE. 13
that night was full of selfish considerations,
though he gave them much more lofty names.
Jeannie watched him in silence. She had in
her own mind a glimmering of the subject which
annoyed him. And her suspicions were justi
fied by her father's impatience. The mere
movement of the dishes in the dairy appeared
to fret him, and when Ann entered the room
he never glanced at her. She smiled faintly at
Jeannie, and began to prepare the evening meal,
making as she moved about in the mingled
twilight and firelight, a picture well worth look
ing at. She was fair, and finely proportioned,
with a round, rosy face, and good features. " A
pretty, pleasant girl " would have been any
one's first impression ; but to a closer scrutiny,
the broad forehead, firm chin, and clever, capable
looking hands revealed a far nobler character.
She set the round table before the fire, and
began to put out the cups and plates and infuse
the tea. Then Jeannie laid by her wheel and
watched her sister as she went quickly and
quietly to and fro watched her with interest,
and perhaps also with a shade of jealousy; for
there was an unusual brightness in Ann's face,
a gleam of happiness that Jeannie could only
14 THE LONE HOUSE.
read in one way Walter Grahame had been
in the byre when Ann was milking.
The meal was a silent one. After the
"blessing of the bread," few words were
spoken. But when it was over, Ann said :
" Father, I have a paper you will be right
glad to see. Walter Grahame brought it from
Wigton. It is the manifest of Dr. Chalmers
anent the Free Kirk, and the main step will
have to be taken this very month."
"Weel! Weel! Gie me the paper. The
message may be good, though the messenger
be ill to bide."
Then Ann put it into his hands. It was but
a small pamphlet, but it had moved Scotland
from Shetland to Galloway, and it stirred
Andrew Carrick's heart like a trumpet. His
swarthy face glowed, his eyes kindled, his
fingers twitched the potent leaflets as if he
were handling a sword. It took him but a very
short time to come to a decision.
"Lasses!" he cried, "I maun awa' to Eclin-
bro'. What for will I be sitting quiet in my
ain house when the Kirk is in danger? My
forbear and namesake was among the saxty
thousand wha' signed the Covenant in the
THE LONE HOUSE. 1 5
auld Greyfriars' Kirkyard. If I wasna to the
forefront now I wad be shamed to meet him in
anither warld. I sail stand by Dr. Chalmers
and the Free Kirk to the last breath I hae ! "
"Thae days are over," said Ann quietly.
"King nor Kaiser could light again the mar
tyrs' fires in the Grassmarket."
" Weel, I'll stand by them to my last shilling
then, and maybe that is as gude a test as the
He was in a fever of religious excitement,
as he read aloud paragraphs of extraordinary
power, and then amplified them.
"There will be a searching o' consciences
now, lasses ! " he said, triumphantly ; " and the
men who hae had their sops out o' the dish o'
patronage will hae the question to answer now.
And there's many that will not thank Dr. Chal
mers for putting it to them ; but they are men,
and I dinna doubt but they will speak out as
they should do. I'm trusting most o' them ;
but I'll be easier in my mind if I am on the
vera spot, bairns ; " and he looked first at one,
and then at the other, with a singular inde
Ann stood on the hearth beside him, her
1 6 THE LONE HOUSE.
knitting in her hand, and her whole attitude
full of interest. Jeannie sat on a low rush
chair opposite, and its gay patchwork cushions
made an effective background for her small,
dark head. The great national question did
not trouble Jeannie much. She was thinking
of the unusual lights in Ann's eyes, and con
necting it with the fact that Walter Grahame
had been talking to her.
" I shall ride my pony into Wigton. I can
get the railway from thar to Edinbro' ; and I
shall be awa' the morn's daylight. You will
lock the doors at sundown, Ann ; and you will
let neither manbody nor womanbody o'er the
threshold till I win hame again."
"I canna promise all that, father : for it is a
sin to make a promise that you arena like to
keep. I shall want women to help me with the
spring cleaning and bleaching; and there's
many an occasion that might bring both men
and women folk across the door-stone. You hae
left us often before, and we aye did the thing
that pleasured you. What are you feared for
" I am feared for that Grahame o' Port Brad-
don. He sail not speir after my daughters.
THE LONE HOUSE. If
And he sail not come under my roof-tree, for
he is of an evil seed. Mind what I say ! "
" He canna help his name, father. Because
there was one devil among the Grahames, are
none of them to be good ? "
" I'll no leemit the possibility, Ann. A bot
tle may be marked ' Poison ' and there may be
no poison in it ; but a wise body will just tak'
it at its name, and not be trying expeeriments
wi' it. That is enou' o' Grahame. He isna
for either o' you, lasses. I wad stop the join
ing o' hands in sic a bridal yes, I would
though I called death himsel' in, to strike
them apart. You'll not daur to think o' Wal
ter Grahame ; neither o' you ! "
In Jeannie's downcast eyes there was noth
ing to intimate any resistance to Andrew's
positive command ; but Ann's face and atti
tude spoke dissent and protestation. Andrew
supposed that, as a matter of course, his in
junction, " You'll not daur to think o' Walter
Grahame," settled the question ; but an hour
afterward the girls resumed the subject in
their own room.
Jeannie was the first to speak. " Do you
think father is right about Walter Grahame?"
she asked her sister.
1 8 THE LONE HOUSE.
" I am sure he is right for Andrew Carrick ;
but I am not sure if he is right for Ann
" And what think you of Walter ? "
" I think no harm of the lad."
" What did father say to him in the byre ? "
" He said, ' Master Grahame, my daughters
are na for your company. And the bit o'
Scotland I own isna for your feet to tread.
And I'll be plain with you,' he went on, ' and
bid you keep to your ain place and your ain
"And what answer made Walter to that ?"
" He spoke very civil-like. He said, ' I am
sorry you dinna like me, Master Carrick, and
I dinna ken what I have done to anger you. 1 "
"And what could father say to that ? "
" He said, ' You'll be going, Sir. And if
God please to do so, he'll give you a good
night ; but you will keep in mind that you
arena wanted here again not while me and
mine are in the Lone House.' "
" Poor Walter ! And he so blythe and bon-
nie and kind-hearted. It was a black affront to
Walter. Whatna for is father so set against
the Grahames ? "
THE LONE HOUSE. 19
" I am sure he has a ' because ' of his own,
and we are bound to take heed to it."
" Father thinks o' siller more than love. I
can see that he is aye pleased when Ringan
Fullerton speaks to me, or comes to my side.
Ringan hasna a single merit but a bank book.
I'll not marry for money ! Would you, Nannie ?"
" There's no use, Jeannie, in setting up the
golden image of our own opinions. If they
arena like father's opinions, we shall just re
quire to give them up."
" Eh, Nannie ! You have a lot o' good
sense on your tongue. But if you wanted
to marry Walter ? "
" I don't want to marry Walter. And after
father's words anent such marriage, I would
think myself daft to give Walter another
thought. As for Ringan Fullerton, he is a
person of some weight in the world, and you
might do worse than think o' him."
"I might do a deal better."
" That is a question neither you nor I, nor
yet the General Assembly, can find an answer
to. Marriage is simply unaccountable."
" But for a' that father says, I think Walter
is a very nice young man."
2O THE LONE HOUSE.
"We had best keep clear of him. He will
not now be an improving friend for either of
us, Jeannie. We have got our orders, and the
road of disobedience is an ill road. The de'il
is aye on it, and on all roads leading to it ; and
we be to take care o' the de'il, Jeannie."
" I dinna take any care for him. He's weel
able to take care o' himself, and his ain side."
"You know what I mean, Jeannie. What
for are you playing with my words ; right is
right, in the de'il's teeth, and father is right,
and no doubt about it ! But I must be up
early the morn, and am requiring to sleep
now ; so good night to you, Jeannie, and good
" Of Walter Grahame ? " queried Jeannie
with a mocking laugh, as Ann put out the
light, and both girls with little sighs of sleep-
content, laid their fair heads down upon their
Truth is a dangerous thing to say
When high-throned falsehoods rule the day :
But He hath lent it voice : and lo !
From heart to heart the fire shall go.
ANDREW did not think it at all necessary
* to speak to his daughters in the morning
about Walter Grahame. Obedience was the
natural result of a parent's injunction to chil
dren, and the law was, in his opinion, as firmly
settled as any law could be. There might be
law-breakers, but he had no more fear of Ann
and Jeannie Carrick breaking the fifth com
mandment than he had of their breaking the
Neither did the two girls contemplate such a
sin. The temptation to commit it had not yet
been made to seem reasonable to the heart of
either girl. And if they had been questioned
on the subject, they would both have unhesi
tatingly declared that their father's command
was just and imperative, and far beyond their
22 THE LONE HOUSE.
breaking. Not until a garment is washed, do
we know whether it will shrink in the wetting
or not ; and a character must be tested by
temptation, ere we can safely say whether it
may be trusted or not.
Very early in the morning, Andrew rose and
called his daughters. He hurried them in the
preparation of the breakfast, but he took unusual
care and deliberation about the morning " exer
cise." He did the latter as a mortification and
reproof to the natural man, which was impa
tient of any detention. Therefore he read a
double portion of The Word, and sang a long
Psalm, and prayed for his household and him
self, for the heathen, and the Kirk in her sore
distress, and for the world in general, with a
particularity that it is reasonable to suppose
was extremely tedious to every one present but
Really he had no special anxiety about his
daughters. His journey as far as Edinburgh
was not an extraordinary affair. He was accus
tomed to leave them at intervals on matters
pertaining to his business sometimes to drive
a few cattle into Dumfries market for sale,
sometimes to go even as far as Glasgow, to buy
THE LONE HOUSE. 2$
the leather he required for his trade as a shoe
And Ann and Jeannie Carrick were not
troubled by such absences, indeed, they rather
anticipated them with a very natural girlish
expectation. They were pleasant household
intervals, which were always taken advantage
of, as offering opportunities for having a dress
maker in the house ; or for washing and
bleaching the napery ; or for the turmoil of
a thorough house cleaning ; or for any other
domestic event when women find menfolk
decidedly in the way.
This spring Ann had been anxiously waiting
for her father to " take a wee journey," that
she might have her hands more at liberty for
the annual house cleaning and bleaching. And
as Andrew v was aware of her domestic inten
tions, he was enabled to add to his other sources
of satisfaction the knowledge that he was doing
a thing very agreeable to his daughters, and
also very necessary for the welfare of the house
and its plenishing.
There was, therefore, no pretence of anything
but pleasure in his restrained "farewell." He
held Ann's hand a minute as he told her again,
24 THE LOA T E HOUSE.
" to draw all the bolts well at night," and when
he was in the saddle he said kindly, " God keep
you baith, lasses, till I win hame ance mair !"
But it never entered his mind to give them a
kiss or a tender word, though as he commended
them to God's care, he did touch Jeannie's
head softly, and his last look was into her bon-
nie bright face. Then he trotted dourly away
over the moor. He never turned his head
once, and his daughters never expected him to
do anything so purposeless. They watched
him for a short time, and then went into the
house-place and sat down.
" We must go to work with a will, Jeannie,"
said Ann, looking thoughtfully around. " No
one can tell what may send father home, or
keep him away, and we be to have a' things put
in order, while there's no man-body round to
worry, because 'folks can't make things clean
without mair dirt and disorder than they take
away' that is aye father's word about a
cleaning. Suppose you go down to the cot
tages for a woman to help me in the house, and
I'll be making a' things ready for her."
"Ay ; I'll like to do that, Nannie," answered
THE LONE HOUSE. 2$
" Weel, throw your plaid o'er your nead, and
be off, then. And be sure to hurry a wee,
Jeannie, for there is mair work before me than
I can set my face to, unless a' things go well
The sun was shining brightly, though the
tossing sea looked green and cold, but in the
fresh salt air Jeannie soon forgot Ann's injunc
tion to " hurry." It was an easy thing to
forget, when the merry wind was blowing her
to and fro, and the sunshine was warm and