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He shook his hands like a despairing child, then stamped and wept
in the agony of frustrated rage.

Mrs Courthope took Phemy in her arms, and carried her to her own
room, where she opened the window, and let the snowy wind blow full
upon her. As soon as she came quite to herself Malcolm set out to
bear the good tidings to her father and mother.

Only a few nights before had Phemy been taken to the room where
they found her. She had been carried from place to place, and had
been some time, she believed, in Mrs Catanach's own house. They had
always kept her in the dark, and removed her at night, blindfolded.
When asked if she had never cried out before, she said she had been
too frightened; and when questioned as to what had made her do so
then, she knew nothing of it: she remembered only that a horrible
creature appeared by the bedside, after which all was blank. On
the floor they found a hideous death mask, doubtless the cause of
the screams which Mrs Catanach had sought to stifle with the pillows
and bedclothes.

When Malcolm returned, he went at once to the piper's cottage, where
he found him in bed, utterly exhausted, and as utterly restless.

"Weel, daddy," he said, "I doobt I daurna come near ye noo."

"Come to her arms, my poor poy!" faltered Duncan. "She'll pe sorry
in her sore heart for her poy! Nefer you pe minding, my son; you
couldn't help ta Cam'ell mother, and you'll pe her own poy however.
Ochone! it will pe a plot upon you aal your tays, my son, and she'll
not can help you, and it 'll pe preaking her old heart!"

"Gien God thoucht the Cam'ells worth makin', daddy, I dinna see
'at I hae ony richt to compleen 'at I cam' o' them."

"She hopes you 'll pe forgifing ta plind old man, however. She
could n't see, or she would haf known at once petter."

"I dinna ken what ye 're efter noo, daddy," said Malcolm.

"That she'll do you a creat wrong, and she'll be ferry sorry for
it, my son."

"What wrang did ye ever du me, daddy?"

"That she was let you crow up a Cam'ell, my poy. If she tid put know
ta paad plood was pe in you, she wouldn't pe tone you ta wrong as
pring you up."

"That 's a wrang no ill to forgi'e, daddy. But it 's a pity ye
didna lat me lie, for maybe syne Mistress Catanach wad hae broucht
me up hersel', an' I micht hae come to something."

"Ta duvil mhor (great) would pe in your heart and prain and poosom,
my son."

"Weel, ye see what ye hae saved me frae."

"Yes; put ta duvil will pe to pay, for she couldn't safe you from
ta Cam'ell plood, my son! Malcolm, my poy," he added after a pause,
and with the solemnity of a mighty hate, "ta efil woman herself
will pe a Cam'ell - ta woman Catanach will pe a Cam'ell, and her
nain sel' she'll not know it pefore she 'll be in ta ped with the
worsest Cam'ell tat ever God made - and she pecks his pardon, for
she'll not pelieve he wass making ta Cam'ells."

"Divna ye think God made me, daddy?" asked Malcolm.

The old man thought for a little.

"Tat will tepend on who was pe your father, my son," he replied.
"If he too will be a Cam'ell - ochone! ochone! Put tere may pe
some coot plood co into you, more as enough to say God will pe make
you, my son. Put don't pe asking, Malcolm. Ton't you 'll pe asking."

"What am I no to ask, daddy?"

"Ton't pe asking who made you - who was ta father to you, my poy.
She would rather not pe knowing, for ta man might pe a Cam'ell
poth. And if she couldn't pe lofing you no more, my son, she would
pe tie pefore her time, and her tays would pe long in ta land under
ta crass, my son."

But the memory of the sweet face whose cold loveliness he had once
kissed, was enough to outweigh with Malcolm all the prejudices of
Duncan's instillation, and he was proud to take up even her shame.
To pass from Mrs Stewart to her, was to escape from the clutches
of a vampire demon to the arms of a sweet mother angel.

Deeply concerned for the newly discovered misfortunes of the old
man to whom he was indebted for this world's life at least, he
anxiously sought to soothe him; but he had far more and far worse
to torment him than Malcolm even yet knew, and with burning cheeks
and bloodshot eyes, he lay tossing from side to side, now uttering
terrible curses in Gaelic, and now weeping bitterly. Malcolm took
his loved pipes, and with the gentlest notes he could draw from
them tried to charm to rest the ruffled waters of his spirit; but
his efforts were all in vain, and believing at length that he would
be quieter without him, he went to the House, and to his own room.

The door of the adjoining chamber stood open, and the long forbidden
room lay exposed to any eye. Little did Malcolm think as he gazed
around it, that it was the room in which he had first breathed the
air of the world; in which his mother had wept over her own false
position and his reported death; and from which he had been carried,
by Duncan's wicked wife, down the ruinous stair, and away to the
lip of the sea, to find a home in the arms of the man whom he had
just left on his lonely couch, torn between the conflicting emotions
of a gracious love for him, and the frightful hate of her.


The next day, Miss Horn, punctual as Fate, presented herself at
Lossie House, and was shown at once into the marquis's study, as
it was called. When his lordship entered, she took the lead the
moment the door was shut.

"By this time, my lord, ye 'll doobtless hae made up yer min' to
du what 's richt?" she said.

"That 's what I have always wanted to do," returned the marquis.

"Hm!" remarked Miss Horn, as plainly as inarticulately.

"In this affair," he supplemented; adding, "It 's not always so
easy to tell what is right!"

"It's no aye easy to luik for 't wi' baith yer een," said Miss

"This woman Catanach - we must get her to give credible testimony.
Whatever the fact may be, we must have strong evidence. And there
comes the difficulty, that she has already made an altogether
different statement."

"It gangs for naething, my lord. It was never made afore a justice
o' the peace."

"I wish you would go to her, and see how she is inclined."

"Me gang to Bawbie Catanach!" exclaimed Miss Horn. "I wad as sune
gang an' kittle Sawtan's nose wi' the p'int o' 's tail. Na, na, my
lord! Gien onybody gang till her wi' my wull, it s' be a limb o'
the law. I s' hae nae cognostin' wi' her."

"You would have no objection, however, to my seeing her, I presume
- just to let her know that we have an inkling of the truth?" said
the marquis.

Now all this was the merest talk, for of course Miss Horn could
not long remain in ignorance of the declaration fury had, the night
previous, forced from Mrs Catanach; but he must, he thought, put
her off and keep her quiet, if possible, until he had come to an
understanding with Malcolm, after which he would no doubt have his
trouble with her.

"Ye can du as yer lordship likes," answered Miss Horn; "but I wadna
hae 't said o' me 'at I had ony dealin's wi' her. Wha kens but she
micht say ye tried to bribe her? There 's naething she wad bogle
at gien she thoucht it worth her while. No 'at I 'm feart at her.
Lat her lee! I 'm no sae blate but - ! Only dinna lippen till a
word she says, my lord."

The marquis meditated.

"I wonder whether the real source of my perplexity occurs to you,
Miss Horn," he said at length. "You know I have a daughter?"

"Weel eneuch that, my lord."

"By my second marriage."

"Nae merridge ava', my lord."

"True, - if I confess to the first."

"A' the same, whether or no, my lord."

"Then you see," the marquis went on, refusing offence, "what the
admission of your story would make of my daughter?"

"That's plain eneuch, my lord."

"Now, if I have read Malcolm right, he has too much regard for his
- mistress - to put her in such a false position."

"That is, my lord, ye wad hae yer lawfu' son beir the lawless name."

"No, no; it need never come out what he is. I will provide for him
- as a gentleman, of course."

"It canna be, my lord. Ye can du naething for him wi' that face o'
his, but oot comes the trouth as to the father o' 'im; an' it wadna
be lang afore the tale was ekit oot wi' the name o' his mither -
Mistress Catanach wad see to that, gien 'twas only to spite me; an'
I wunna hae my Grizel ca'd what she is not, for ony lord's dauchter
i' the three kynriks."

"What does it matter, now she 's dead and gone?" said the marquis,
false to the dead in his love for the living.

"Deid an' gane, my lord! What ca' ye deid an' gane? Maybe the great
anes o' the yerth get sic a forlethie (surfeit) o' gran'ur 'at they
're for nae mair, an' wad perish like the brute beast. For onything
I ken, they may hae their wuss, but for mysel', I wad warstle to
haud my sowl waukin' (awake), i' the verra article o' deith, for
the bare chance o' seein' my bonny Grizel again. - It 's a mercy
I hae nae feelin's!" she added, arresting her handkerchief on its
way to her eyes, and refusing to acknowledge the single tear that
ran down her cheek.

Plainly she was not like any of the women whose characters the
marquis had accepted as typical of womankind.

"Then you won't leave the matter to her husband and son," he said

"I tellt ye, my lord, I wad du naething but what I saw to be richt.
Lat this affair oot o' my han's I daurna. That laad ye micht work
to onything 'at made agane himsel'. He 's jist like his puir mither

"If Miss Campbell was his mother," said the marquis.

"Miss Cam'ell!" cried Miss Horn. "I 'll thank yer lordship to ca'
her by her ain, 'an that 's Lady Lossie."

What if the something ruinous heart of the marquis was habitable,
was occupied by his daughter, and had no accommodation at present
either for his dead wife or his living son. Once more he sat thinking
in silence for a while.

"I'll make Malcolm a post captain in the navy, and give you a
thousand pounds," he said at length, hardly knowing that he spoke.

Miss Horn rose to her full height, and stood like an angel of
rebuke before him. Not a word did she speak, only looked at him
for a moment, and turned to leave the room. The marquis saw his
danger, and striding to the door, stood with his back against it.

"Think ye to scare me, my lord?" she asked, with a scornful laugh.
"Gang an' scare the stane lion beast at yer ha' door. Haud oot o'
the gait, an' lat me gang."

"Not until I know what you are going to do," said the marquis, very

"I hae naething mair to transac' wi' yer lordship. You an' me 's
strangers, my lord."

"Tut! tut! I was but trying you."

"An' gien I had taen the disgrace ye offert me, ye wad hae drawn

"No, certainly."

"Ye wasna tryin' me than: ye was duin' yer best to corrup' me."

"I 'm no splitter of hairs."

"My lord, it 's nane but the corrup'ible wad seek to corrup'."

The marquis gnawed a nail or two in silence. Miss Horn dragged an
easy chair within a couple of yards of him.

"We 'll see wha tires o' this ghem first, my lord!" she said, as
she sank into its hospitable embrace.

The marquis turned to lock the door, but there was no key in it.
Neither was there any chair within reach, and he was not fond of
standing. Clearly his enemy had the advantage.

"Hae ye h'ard o' puir Sandy Graham - hoo they 're misguidin' him,
my lord?" she asked with composure.

The marquis was first astounded, and then tickled by her assurance.

"No," he answered.

"They hae turnt him oot o' hoose an' ha' - schuil, at least, an'
hame," she rejoined. "I may say, they hae turnt him oot o' Scotlan';
for what presbytery wad hae him efter he had been fun' guilty o' no
thinkin' like ither fowk? Ye maun stan' his guid freen', my lord."

"He shall be Malcolm's tutor," answered the marquis, not to be
outdone in coolness, "and go with him to Edinburgh - or Oxford,
if he prefers it."

"Never yerl o' Colonsay had a better!" said Miss Horn.

"Softly, softly, ma'am!" returned the marquis. "I did not say he
should go in that style."

"He 's gang as my lord o' Colonsay, or he s' no gang at your expense,
my lord," said his antagonist.

"Really, ma'am, one would think you were my grandmother, to hear
you order my affairs for me."

"I wuss I war, my lord: I sud gar ye hear rizzon upo' baith sides
o' yer heid, I s' warran'!"

The marquis laughed.

"Well, I can't stand here all day!" he said, impatiently swinging
one leg.

"I 'm weel awaur o' that, my lord," answered Miss Horn, rearranging
her scanty skirt.

"How long are ye going to keep me, then?"

"I wadna hae ye bide a meenute langer nor 's agreeable to yersel'.
But I 'm in nae hurry sae lang 's ye 're afore me. Ye 're nae ill
to luik at - though ye maun hae been bonnier the day ye wan the
hert o' my Grizzel."

The marquis uttered an oath, and left the door. Miss Horn sprang
to it; but there was the marquis again.

"Miss Horn," he said, "I beg you will give me another day to think
of this."

"Whaur 's the use? A' the thinkin' i' the warl' canna alter a single
fac'. Ye maun du richt by my laddie o' yer ain sel', or I maun gar

"You would find a lawsuit heavy, Miss Horn."

"An' ye wad fin' the scandal o' 't ill to bide, my lord. It wad
come sair upo' Miss - I kenna what name she has a richt till, my

The marquis uttered a frightful imprecation, left the door, and
sitting down, hid his face in his hands.

Miss Horn rose, but instead of securing her retreat, approached
him gently, and stood by his side.

"My lord," she said, "I canna thole to see a man in tribble. Women
's born till 't, an' they tak it, an' are thankfu'; but a man never
gies in till 't, an' sae it comes harder upo' him nor upo' them.
Hear me, my lord: gien there be a man upo' this earth wha wad shield
a wuman, that man 's Ma'colm Colonsay."

"If only she weren't his sister!" murmured the marquis.

"An' jist bethink ye, my lord: wad it be onything less nor an
imposition to lat a man merry her ohn tellt him what she was?"

"You insolent old woman!" cried the marquis, losing his temper,
discretion, and manners, all together. "Go and do your worst, and
be damned to you!"

So saying, he left the room, and Miss Horn found her way out of the
house in a temper quite as fierce as his, - in character, however,
entirely different, inasmuch as it was righteous.

At that very moment Malcolm was in search of his master; and seeing
the back of him disappear in the library, to which he had gone in
a half blind rage, he followed him. "My lord!" he said.

"What do you want?" returned his master in a rage. For some time
he had been hauling on the curb rein, which had fretted his temper
the more; and when he let go, the devil ran away with him.

"I thoucht yer lordship wad like to see an auld stair I cam upo'
the ither day, 'at gang's frae the wizard's chaumer."

"Go to hell with your damned tomfoolery!" said the marquis "If ever
you mention that cursed hole again, I'll kick you out of the house."

Malcolm's eyes flashed, and a fierce answer rose to his lips, but
he had seen that his master was in trouble, and sympathy supplanted
rage. He turned and left the room in silence.

Lord Lossie paced up and down the library for a whole hour - a
long time for him to be in one mood. The mood changed colour pretty
frequently during the hour, however, and by degrees his wrath
assuaged. But at the end of it he knew no more what he was going to
do than when he left Miss Horn in the study. Then came the gnawing
of his usual ennui and restlessness: he must find something to do.

The thing he always thought of first was a ride; but the only
animal of horse kind about the place which he liked was the bay
mare, and her he had lamed. He would go and see what the rascal
had come bothering about - alone though, for he could not endure
the sight of the fisher fellow - damn him!

In a few moments he stood in the wizard's chamber, and glanced round
it with a feeling of discomfort rather than sorrow - of annoyance
at the trouble of which it had been for him both fountain and
storehouse, rather than regret for the agony and contempt which
his selfishness had brought upon the woman he loved; then spying
the door in the furthest corner, he made for it, and in a moment
more, his curiosity, now thoroughly roused, was slowly gyrating
down the steps of the old screw stair. But Malcolm had gone to his
own room, and hearing some one in the next, half suspected who it
was, and went in. Seeing the closet door open, he hurried to the
stair, and shouted, "My lord! my lord! or whaever ye are! tak care
hoo ye gang, or ye'll get a terrible fa'."

Down a single yard the stair was quite dark, and he dared not follow
fast for fear of himself falling and occasioning the accident he
feared. As he descended, he kept repeating his warnings, but either
his master did not hear or heeded too little, for presently Malcolm
heard a rush, a dull fall, and a groan. Hurrying as fast as he
dared with the risk of falling upon him, he found the marquis lying
amongst the stones in the ground entrance, apparently unable to
move, and white with pain. Presently, however, he got up, swore a
good deal, and limped swearing into the house.

The doctor, who was sent for instantly pronounced the knee cap
injured, and applied leeches. Inflammation set in, and another
doctor and surgeon were sent for from Aberdeen. They came; applied
poultices, and again leeches, and enjoined the strictest repose.
The pain was severe; but to one of the marquis's temperament, the
enforced quiet was worse.


The marquis was loved by his domestics; and his accident, with its
consequences, although none more serious were anticipated, cast a
gloom over Lossie House. Far apart as was his chamber from all the
centres of domestic life, the pulses of his suffering beat as it
were through the house, and the servants moved with hushed voice
and gentle footfall.

Outside, the course of events waited upon his recovery, for Miss
Horn was too generous not to delay proceedings while her adversary
was ill. Besides, what she most of all desired was the marquis's
free acknowledgment of his son; and after such a time of suffering
and constrained reflection as he was now passing through, he could
hardly fail, she thought, to be more inclined to what was just and

Malcolm had of course hastened to the schoolmaster with the joy of
his deliverance from Mrs Stewart; but Mr Graham had not acquainted
him with the discovery Miss Horn had made, or her belief concerning
his large interest therein, to which Malcolm's report of the wrath
born declaration of Mrs Catanach had now supplied the only testimony
wanting, for the right of disclosure was Miss Horn's. To her he had
carried Malcolm's narrative of late events, tenfold strengthening
her position; but she was anxious in her turn that the revelation
concerning his birth should come to him from his father. Hence
Malcolm continued in ignorance of the strange dawn that had begun
to break on the darkness of his origin.

Miss Horn had told Mr Graham what the marquis had said about the
tutorship; but the schoolmaster only shook his head with a smile,
and went on with his preparations for departure.

The hours went by; the days lengthened into weeks, and the marquis's
condition did not improve. He had never known sickness and pain
before, and like most of the children of this world, counted them
the greatest of evils; nor was there any sign of their having as yet
begun to open his eyes to what those who have seen them call truths,
those who have never even boded their presence count absurdities.

More and more, however, he desired the attendance of Malcolm, who
was consequently a great deal about him, serving with a love to
account for which those who knew his nature would not have found
it necessary to fall back on the instinct of the relation between
them. The marquis had soon satisfied himself that that relation
was as yet unknown to him, and was all the better pleased with his
devotion and tenderness.

The inflammation continued, increased, spread, and at length the
doctors determined to amputate. But the marquis was absolutely
horrified at the idea, - shrank from it with invincible repugnance.
The moment the first dawn of comprehension vaguely illuminated
their periphrastic approaches, he blazed out in a fury, cursed them
frightfully, called them all the contemptuous names in his rather
limited vocabulary, and swore he would see them - uncomfortable

"We fear mortification, my lord," said the physician calmly.

"So do I. Keep it off," returned the marquis.

"We fear we cannot, my lord."

It had, in fact, already commenced.

"Let it mortify, then, and be damned," said his lordship.

"I trust, my lord, you will reconsider it," said the surgeon. "We
should not have dreamed of suggesting a measure of such severity
had we not had reason to dread that the further prosecution of
gentler means would but lessen your lordship's chance of recovery."

"You mean then that my life is in danger?"

"We fear," said the physician, "that the amputation proposed is
the only thing that can save it."

"What a brace of blasted bunglers you are!" cried the marquis,
and turning away his face, lay silent. The two men looked at each
other, and said nothing.

Malcolm was by, and a keen pang shot to his heart at the verdict.
The men retired to consult. Malcolm approached the bed.

"My lord!" he said gently.

No reply came.

"Dinna lea 's oor lanes, my lord - no yet," Malcolm persisted.
"What 's to come o' my leddy?"

The marquis gave a gasp. Still he made no reply.

"She has naebody, ye ken, my lord, 'at ye wad like to lippen her

"You must take care of her when I am gone, Malcolm,' murmured the
marquis; and his voice was now gentle with sadness and broken with

"Me, my lord!" returned Malcolm. "Wha wad min' me? An' what cud
I du wi' her? I cudna even haud her ohn wat her feet. Her leddy's
maid cud du mair wi' her - though I wad lay doon my life for her,
as I tauld ye, my lord - an' she kens 't weel eneuch."

Silence followed. Both men were thinking.

"Gie me a richt, my lord, an' I'll du my best," said Malcolm, at
length breaking the silence.

"What do you mean?" growled the marquis, whose mood had altered.

"Gie me a legal richt, my lord, an' see gien I dinna."

"See what?"

"See gien I dinna luik weel efter my leddy."

"How am I to see? I shall be dead and damned."

"Please God, my lord, ye'll be alive an' weel - in a better place,
if no here to luik efter my leddy yersel'."

"Oh, I dare say!" muttered the marquis.

"But ye'll hearken to the doctors, my lord," Malcolm went on, "an'
no dee wantin' time to consider o' 't."

"Yes, yes; tomorrow I'll have another talk with them. We'll see
about it. There's time enough yet. They're all cox combs - every
one of them. They never give a patient the least credit for common

"I dinna ken, my lord," said Malcolm doubtfully.

After a few minutes' silence, during which Malcolm thought he had
fallen asleep, the marquis resumed abruptly.

"What do you mean by giving you a legal right?" he said.

"There's some w'y o' makin' ae body guairdian till anither, sae
'at the law 'ill uphaud him - isna there, my lord?"

"Yes, surely. Well! - Rather odd - wouldn't it be? - A young
fisher lad guardian to a marchioness! Eh? They say there's nothing
new under the sun; but that sounds rather like it, I think."

Malcolm was overjoyed to hear him speak with something like his old
manner. He felt he could stand any amount of chaff from him now,
and so the proposition he had made in seriousness, he went on
to defend in the hope of giving amusement, yet with a secret wild
delight in the dream of such full devotion to the service of Lady

"It wad soon' queer eneuch, my lord, nae doobt; but fowk maunna min'
the soon' o' a thing gien 't be a' straucht an' fair, an' strong
eneuch to stan'. They cudna lauch me oot o' my richts, be they 'at
they likit - Lady Bellair, or ony o' them - na, nor jaw me oot
o' them aither!"

"They might do a good deal to render those rights of little use,"
said the marquis.

"That wad come till a trial o' brains, my lord," returned Malcolm;
"an' ye dinna think I wadna hae the wit to speir advice - an'
what's mair, to ken whan it was guid, an' tak it! There's lawyers,
my lord."

"And their expenses?"

"Ye cud lea' sae muckle to be waured (spent) upo' the cairryin'
oot o' yer lordship's wull."

"Who would see that you applied it properly?"

"My ain conscience, my lord - or Mr Graham, gien ye likit."

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