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Ranger had laid his head in Katie's into the corner, with a sudden jerk, lap, and was fixing a serious look dislodging the head of the good asupon her face; only he could see the tonished Ranger. The “four-hours" happy liquid light in her eyes, which was the afternoon refreshment, cortestified her growing content with responding with our tea, just as the Willie Morison ; but Isabell saw the " eleven-hours" was the luncheon. pout with which Katie indulged the Philip Landale was not so forbearlingering remnants of her pride. ing as his wife. He could not refrain
“Woman, Katie ! suppose it had from jokes and innuendoes, which been a young lord now, or the like of made Katie's face burn more and Sir Robert-ye would never have more painfully, and elicited many a daured to speak to ane of your trembling whispered remonstrancekin."
Whisht, whisht, Kilbrachmont,”“And wha would have hindered from Willie Morison ; but the whole me?” said Katie, with a glance of evening was rather an uneasy one, defiance.
for neither Isabell nor Katie was “Wha would have hindered ye? quite sure about their mother's recepJust your ain man, nae doubt, that tion of this somewhat startling intelhad the best right. Ye ken yourselligence. it bid to have ended that way, Katie. Katie was shy of going homeSuppose it had en e'en sae, as the shrank from being the first to tell bit proud heart of ye would have had the events of the day; and the good it, would ye have come in your coach elder sister arranged for her that to the Milton, Katie Stewart ? - Willie should take farewell of his would ye have ta'en my mother away betrothed now, and leave her at in her red plaid, and set her down in Kilbrachmont, himself hurrying down your grand withdrawing-room, like to be at the Milton before the hour my lady's mother? Ye needna lift of domestic worship should finally up your e'en that way. I ken ye close the house against visitors, there have spirit enough to do a' that; but to address his suit to the miller and what would my lord have said ?-and the miller's wife. what would his friends? Na, na; “Ye'll see us gaun down the Firth my mother's grey hairs have honour the morn, Katie,” said Willie Morion them in the Milton of Anster, and son, as she stood with him at the so have they here in Kilbrachmont, door, to bid him farewell. "I'll gar and so will they have in Willie Mori- them hoist a flag at the mainmast, son's house, when it comes to pass ; to let you ken it's me; and dinna let but, Katie, they would have nane in down your heart, for we'll only be six Kellie Castle."
months away. We'll come in with “I would just like to hear either the summer, Katie." lord or lady lightlie my mother," ex “ And suppose ye didna come in claimed Katie, with such a sudden with the summer, whatfor should I burst of energy, that Ranger lifted let down my heart ?" asked the saucy his head and shook his ears in aston- Katie, sufficiently recovered to show ishment; "and I dinna ken what some gleam of her ancient temper. reason ye have, Isabell, to say that “If ane was to believe ye," murI ever wanted a lord. I never wanted mured the departing mate.
" Weel, onybody in this world that didna it's your way; but ye'll mind us want me first."
sometimes, Katie, when ye look at “It may be sae, it may be sae," said the Firth ? the Leddy of Kílbrachmont, kindly, In that pale sky, wading among its shedding back the hair from Katie's black masses of clouds, the moon had flushed face as she rose; “ but risen, and faintly now was glimmerwhiles I get a glint into folk's hearts, ing far away in the distant water, for I mind mysel langsyne; and now which the accustomed eyes could just be quiet, like a guid bairn, for there's see, and no more. the guidman and Willie, and I must “Maybe," answered Katie Stewart, see about their four-hours."
as she turned back to the threshold Little Katie thrust her chair back of Kilbrachmont.
It is early morning—a fresh bright Katie Stewart - past the invalided day, full of bracing, healthful sun boats—the cauldrons of bark — the shine, as unlike yesterday as so near fisher girls at those open doors weaving a relative could be, and the sky is nets-down to the shore of this calm blue over Kellie Law, and the clouds sea. Now you are on the braes," dow, no longer black and drifting, lie treading the thin-bladed sea-side grass; motionless, entranced and still, upon and when you see no schooner, lifting their boundless sea. Over night there up snow-white sails in the west, your has been rain, and the roadside grass musing eyes glance downward-down and the remaining leaves glitter and those high steep cliffs to the beautiful twinkle in the sun. As you go down transparent water, with its manifold this quiet road, you hear the tinkling tints, through which you see the of unseen waters--a burn somewhere, shelves of rock underneath, brilliant, running with filled and freshened cur- softened, as yesterday your own eyes rent, shining under the sun; and there were, through tears unshed and sweet. is scarcely wind enough to impel the At your feet, but far below them, glistening leaves, as they fall, a yard the water comes in with a continual from their parent tree.
ripple, which speaks to you like a With the crimson plaid upon her voice; and for the first time—the first arm, and the lace of her black silk time, Katie Stewart, in all these mantle softly fluttering over the re eighteen years—there comes into your newed glory of the cambric ruffles, mind the reality of that great pro. Katie Stewart goes lightly down the tecting care which fills the world. road on her way home. The sun has Between you and the Bass, the great dried this sandy path, so that it does Firth lies at rest; not calm enough to no injury to the little handsome sil- be insensible to that brisk breath of ver-buckled shoes, which twinkle over wind which flutters before you your it, though their meditative mistress, black laced apron, but only sufficiently looking down upon them, is all un moved to show that it lives, and is no aware of the course they take. Ranger, dead inland lake. But yonder, gleamfrom whom she has just parted, standsing out of the universal blue, is the at the corner of the Doocot Park, May, with the iron cradle almost looking after her with friendly admi- visible on the top of its steep tower ; ring eyes, and only prevented by an the May—the lighthouse islandurgent sense of duty from accompany- telling of dangers hidden under those ing her through all the dangers of her beautiful waves, of storms which shall homeward road; but little Katie, who stir this merry wind into frenzy, and never looks back—whose thoughts all out of its smiling schoolboy pranks travel before her, good Ranger, and bring the tragic feats of a revengeful who bas not one glance to spare for giant. Ah, Katie Stewart ! look again what is behind — thinks of neither with awe and gravity on this treachdanger nor fatigue in the sunny four erous, glorious sea. To watch one's miles of way which lie between her dearest go forth upon it; to trust and the Milton of Anster. Very soon one's heart and hope to the tender three of those miles-through long mercies of this slumbering Titan ; sweeping quiet roads, disturbed only there comes a shudder over the slight by an occasional sluggish cart, with figure as it stoops forward, and one its driver seated on its front, or errant solitary child's sob relieves the labourfisherwoman with a laden creel pene- ing breast; and then little Katie lifts trating on a commercial voyage into her head, and looks to the sky. the interior-glide away under the The sky, which continually girdles little glancing feet, and Katie has in this grand tumultuous element, and come in sight of the brief steeple of binds it, Titan as it is, as easily as a Pittenweem, and the broad Firth be- mother binds the garments of her yond.
cbild. Forth into God's care, Katie ! Stray down past the fisher-houses, into the great waters which lie en
closed within the hollow of His hand. places such partings are everyday Away under His sky-away upon this matters; and as she leaves the shore, sea, His mighty vassal, than whom and crosses the high-road, Katie fanyour own fluttering fearful heart is cies she sees him home again, and is less dutiful, less subordinate — fear almost glad. But it is full noonday, not for your wanderer. Intermediate Katie-look up to the skies, and protection, secondary help, shall leave tremble ; for who can tell how angry him, it is true ; but safest of all is the the house-mother will be when you Help over all, and he goes forth into have reached home? the hand of God.
Yonder is the Milton already visible; But still there is no sail visible up ten brief minutes and the bridge will the Firth, except here and there a be crossed : hastily down upon this fishing-boat, or passing smack, and great stone Katie throws the crimson Katie wanders on-on, till she has plaid — the precious Sabbath-day's reached the Billy Ness, a low green plaid, never deposited in receptacle headland slightly projecting into the less dignified than the oak-press-and Firth, and sees before her the black solemnly, with nervous fingers, pauses rocks, jutting far out into the clear on the burnside to “turn her apron." water, and beyond them Anster har A grave and potent spell, sovereign bour, with its one sloop loading at the for disarming the anger of mothers, pier.
when, at town-house ball, winter evenNow look up, Katie Stewart! yon- ing party, or summer evening tryst, der it glides, newly emerged from the the trembling daughter has stayed too deep shadow of Largo Bay, bearing long; but quite ineffectual the spell close onward by the coast, that the would be, Katie, if only Mrs Stewart captain's wife in Elie, and here, on the knew or could see how you have Billy Ness, little Katie Stewart, may thrown down the crimson plaid. see it gliding by-gliding with all its Over the fire, hanging by the crook, sails full to the wind, and the flag the pot boils merrily, while Janet floating from the mast. And yonder, covers the table for dinner, and Meron the end of the pier—but you do ran, at the end of the room, half innot see them-Alick Morison and a visible, is scrubbing chairs and tables band of his comrades are waiting, with enthusiasm and zeal. All this ready to wave their caps, and hail work must be over before the gudeher with a cheer as she goes by. man comes in from the mill, and MerThere is some one on the yard; bendran's cheeks glow as red as the sturdy over by this brown rock, Katie Stew- arm, enveloped in wreaths of steam art, that he may see your crimson from her pail, with which she polishes plaid, and, seeing it, may uncover the substantial deal chairs. that broad manly brow of his, and Mrs Stewart herself sits by the fire cheer you with his waving hand: but in the easy-chair, knitting. There is it will only feebly flutter that hand- some angry colour on the little housekerchief in yours, and away and away mother's face; and Katie, with peniglides the departing ship. Farewell. tent, humble steps, crossing the bridge,
It is out of sight, already touching can hear the loud indignant sound of the stronger currents of the German her wires as she labours. Drooping sea; and Alick Morison long ago is her head, carrying the crimson plaid home, and the sun tells that it is full reverently over ber arm, as if she noon. But Katie's roused heart has never could have used it disrespectspoken to the great Father; out of her fully, and casting shy, deprecating, sorrowful musings, and the tears of appealing glances upward to her her first farewell, she has risen up to mother's face, Katie, downcast and speak--not the vague forms of usual humble, stands on the threshold of prayer—but some real words in the the Milton. merciful ear which hears continually ; A single sympathetic glance from ---real words-a true supplication Janet tells her that she has at least and so she turns her face homeward, one friend ; but no one speaks a word and goes calmly on her way.
to welcome her. Another stealthy And she is still only a girl; her timid step, and she is fairly in ; but beart is comforted. In these seafaring still neither mother nor sister ex
press themselves conscious of her pre- watching the ship out wi' that ne'erdosence.
weel in't? and sending him himsel, a Poor little Katie ! her breast begins puir penniless sailor chield, wi'no a creto heave with a sob, and thick tears ditable friend between this and him-" gather to her eyes, as nervously her 6 Willie Morison's a very decent fingers play with the lace of her turn- lad, mother, and his friends are as ed apron-the artless, innocent, in- gude as ours ony day," said Janet effectual spell! She could have borne, indignantly. as she thinks, any amount of "flyt " Hand your peace, ye gipsy ! let ing;" but this cruel silence kills her. me hear ye say anither word, and ye
Another apprehensive trembling shall never see the face of ane of them step, and now Katie stands between mair ;—to send the like o' him, I say, her mother and the window, station- here on such an errand, after a' the ary, in this same downcast drooping siller that's been spent upon ye, and attitude, like a pretty statue, the crim- a' the care-I say how daur ye look son plaid draped over her arm, her me in the face ? " fingers busy with the lace, and nothing Katie tried another honest look of else moving about her but her eyelids, protest, but again her head drooped which now and then are hastily lifted under the glowing eyes of her indigin appeal.
nant mother. Very well was Mrs Stewart aware * And what's she standing there of Katie's entrance before, but now for, to daur me, wi' a' her braws," the shadow falls across her busy exclaimed Mrs Stewart, after a consihands, and she can no longer restrain derable interval of silent endurance
- not even by biting her lips—the on Katie's part--" and my guid plaid eager flood of words which burn to on her arm, as if it were her ain ?" My discharge themselves upon the head certy, my woman, ye'll need to come of the culprit.
in o' your bravery : its few silks or So Mrs Stewart laid down her work ruffles ye'll get off the wages of a in her lap, and crossing her hands, common man. It's like to put me looked sternly and steadily in the face daft when I think o't!" of the offender. Tremblingly Katie's
" He's no a comman man; he's long eyelashes drooped under this mate this voyage, and he's to be capgaze, and her lip began to quiver, and tain the next,” interposed Janet, who the tears to steal down on her cheek; had a personal interest in the reputawhile up again, up through the heav- tion of Willie Morison. ing breast, climbed the child's sob. " I order ye, Janet Stewart, to
* Wha's this braw lady, Janet? haud your peace : it's a' very weel for I'm sure it's an honour to our pair the like o' you; but look at her there, house I never lookit for. Get a fine and tell me if it's no enough to pit a napkin out of the napery press, and body daft ?” dight a chair-maybe my lady will sit What is't, mother?” asked the doun."
astonished Janet ? “Oh mother, mother!" sobbed lit And Mrs Stewart dared not telltle Katie.
dared not betray her proud hope of “So this is you, ye little cuttie ! seeing Katie" a grand lady" one day and how daur ye look me in the face?” —perhaps a countess--so with hasty
Katie had not been looking in her skill she changed her tone. mother's face, but now she lifted her " To see her standing there before eyes bravely, tearful though they me, braving me wi' her braws, the were, and returned without flinching cuttie --the undutiful gipsy !--that I the gaze fixed upon her. “Mother I should ever say such a word to a I've done naething wrong."
bairn o' mine!” “ Ye've done naething wrong !-- Thus admonished, Katie stole away baud me in patience, that I may not to bathe her eyes with fresh water, paik her wi' my twa hands! Do ye and take off her mantle. Out of her ca' staying out a' night, out o' my will mother's presence, a spark of defiance and knowledge, nae wrang? Do ye entered her mind. She would not be say it was nae wrang to spend this unjustly treated; she would return to precious morning on the Billy Ness, Lady Anne.
Bat Katie's courage fell when she upon the hidden face; and as the re-entered the family room, and heard dull green light through these thick again the reproaches of her mother. window-panes fell on the pretty figure, Humbly she stole away to the corner the clasped arms, and bright diswhere stood the little wheel, to draw ordered hair, and as the sobs which in a stool beside it, and begin to work. would not be restrained broke audi
“Let that be," said Mrs Stewart bly through the apartment, the mo. peremptorily; " ye shall spin nae mair ther's heart was moved at last. yarn to me; ye're owre grand a lady " Katie !" to spin to me; and stand out o' my But Katie does not hear. In her light, Katie Stewart."
heart she is calling upon Isabell-upon Poor little Katie! this compulsory Lady Anne--upon Williemand bitteridleness was a refinement of cruelty. ly believing that her mother has cast With an irrepressible burst of sobbing, her off, and that there remains for her she threw herself down on a chair no longer a home. which Merran had newly restored to " Katie, ye cuttie! What guid its place by the window, and, leaning will ye do, greeting here, like to break her arms on the table beside her, bu- your ain heart, and a' body else's ? ried her face in her hands. There is Sit up this moment, and draw to your something very touching at all times wheel. Do ye think ony mortal wi' in this attitude. The sympathy one feelings like ither folk could forbear might refuse to the ostentation of anger, to see a lassie like you throw grief, one always bestows abundantly hersel away?"
" But is it true, Katie ?” asked thing less embarrassing than the Lady Anne.
"me"_“I dinna ken, for that's nae. In the west room at Kellie, Katie thing ; but real aneshas resumed her embroidery–has re Katie paused abruptly. sumed her saucy freedom, her poats, “ Well, Katie, real ones ?” her wilfulness; and would convey by But an indefinite smile hovers about no means a flattering idea to Willie Katie's lip, and she makes no answer. Morison of the impression his attrac- It is very well, lest Lady Anne had tions have made upon her, could he been shocked beyond remedy; for the see how merry she is, many an hour “ real anes" are the rebel knight, and when he dreams of her upon the sea. the Whig merchant sailor-Sir Alex
“My mother never tells lees, Lady ander and Willie Morison ! Anne," said Katie, glancing archly 66 But this is not what I want," up to her friend's face.
said Lady Anne;" tell me, Katie“But Katie, I'm in earnest; you now be true, and tell me—will you don't mean-surely, you don't mean to really take this sailor when he comes take this sailor when he comes in home?" again! Katie, you!—but it's just a “ Maybe," said Katie, with a pout, joke, I suppose. You all think there's stooping down over her frame. something wrong if you have not a “But maybe will not do. I want sweetheart."
to know; have you made up your “No me," said Katie, with some mind? Will you, Katie?” indignation, tossing back her curls. “ He'll maybe no ask me when he "I dinna care for a' the sweethearts comes back," said the evasive Katie, in Fife."
glancing up with an arch demure " How many have you had," said smile. Lady Anne, shaking her head and Lady Anne shook her head. Till smiling, “ since you were sixteen?” she caught this smile, she had looked
"If ye mean folk that wanted to almost angry; but now she also speak to us, or whiles to dance with smiled, and looked down from her us, or to convoy us hame, Lady high chair, with renewed kindness, Anne," said Katie, with a slight blush, upon her little protegêe. availing herself of the plural, as some “ Katie, you must let me speak to