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stairway Couved to the sailord," and that
“And that is not the truth, Mungo," said Olivia, with great dignity. “I think with my father that you are telling what is not the true word,” and she said no more, but followed to the salle.
On the stairway Count Victor trod upon the button he had drawn from the skirts of his assailant; he picked it up without a word, to keep it as a souvenir. Doom preceded him into the room, lit some candles hurriedly at the smouldering fire, and turned to offer him a chair.
“Our -- our friends are gone," said he “ You seem to have badly wounded one of them, for the others carried him bleeding to the water-side, as we have seen from his blood-marks on the rock: they have gone, as they apparently must have come, by boat. Sit down, Olivia."
His daughter had entered. She had hurriedly coiled her hair up, and the happy carelessness of it pleased Montaiglon's eye like a picture.
Still he said nothing; he could not trust himself to speak, facing, as he fancied yet he did, a traitor.
“I see from your face you must still be dubious of me,” said Doom. He waited for no reply, but paced up and down the room excitedly, the pleats of his kilt and the thongs of his purse swinging to his movements: a handsome figure, as Montaiglon could not but confess. “ I am still shattered at the nerve to think that I had almost taken your life there in a fool's blunder. You must wonder to see me in this -in this costume.”
He could not even yet come to his explanation, and Olivia must help him.
“What my father would tell you, if he was not in such a trouble, Count Victor, is what I did my best to let you know last night. It is just that he breaks the law of George the king in this small affair of our Highland tartan. It is a fancy of his to be wearing it in an evening, and the bats in the chapel upstairs are too blind to know what a rebel it is that must be play-acting old days and old styles among them.”
A faint light came suddenly to Count Victor.
"Ah!” said he, “it is not, mademoiselle, that the bats alone are blind; here is a very blind Montaiglon. I implore your pardon, M. le Baron. It is good to be frank, though it is sometimes unpleasant, and I must plead guilty to an imbecile misapprehension."
Doom flushed, and took the proffered hand.
“My good Montaiglon," said he, “ I'm the most shame-faced man this day in the shire of Argyll. Need I be telling you that I have all Olivia's sentiment and none of her honest courage ?”
“My dear father!” cried Olivia fondly, looking with melting eyes at her parent; and Count Victor, too, thought this mummer no inadmirable figure.
" It is nothing more than my indulgence in the tartan that makes your host look sometimes scarcely trustworthy; and my secret got its right punishment this night. I will not be able to wear a kilt with an easy conscience for some time to come.”
"My faith! Baron, that were a penance out of all proportion !” said Count Victor, laughing. “If you nearly gave me the key of the Olympian meadows there, 'tis I that have brought these outlaws about your ears.”
"What beats me is that they should make so much ado about a trifle."
"A trifle !” said Count Victor. “True, in a sense. The wretch but died. We must all die; we all know it, though none of us believe it.”
“I am glad to say that after all you only wounded yon Macfarlane; so Petullo learned but yesterday, and I clean forgot to tell you sooner.”
Montaiglon looked mightily relieved. “So!” said he; “I shall give a score of the best candles to St Denys — if I remember when I get home again. You could not have told me such good tidings a moment too soon, dear M. le Baron, though of course a small affair like that would naturally escape one's memory.”
" He was as good as dead, by all rumour; but being a thief and an Arroquhar man, he naturally recovered : and now it's the oddest thing in the world that an accident of the nature, that is all, as Black Andy well must know, in the ordinary way of business, should bring about so much fracas.”
“ It was part of my delusion,” said Count Victor, "to fancy Mungo not entirely innocent. As you observed, he opened the door with an excess of hospitality."
"Yes, that was droll,” confessed Doom, reflectively. “That was droll, indeed; but Mungo hates the very name of Arroquhar, and all that comes from it."
“Except our Annapla,” suggested Olivia, smiling.
“Oh, except Annapla, of course!” said her father. “ He's to marry her to avert her Evil Eye.”
“And is she a Macfarlane ?” asked Montaiglon, surprised.
"No less,” replied Doom. “ She's a cousin of Andy's; but there's little love lost between them.”
“ Speaking of bats !” thought Count Victor, but he did not hint at his new conclusions. “Well, I am glad," said he; “they left me but remorse last time; this time here's a souvenir,” and he showed the button.
It was a silver chamfered lozenge, conspicuous and unforgettable.
“Stolen gear, doubtless,” guessed the Baron, looking at it with indifference. “ Silver buttons are not rife between here and the pass of Balmaha.”
“Let me see it, please ? ” said Olivia.
She took it in her hand but for a moment, turned slightly aside to look more closely at it in the sconcelight, paled with some emotion, and gave it back with slightly trembling fingers.
“I have a headache,” she said suddenly. “I am not so brave as I thought I was; you will let me say Good night ?”
She smiled to Count Victor with a face most
“My dear, you are like a ghost," said her : father, and as she left the room he looked after
AN EVENING'S MELODY IN THE BOAR'S HEAD INN.
The Boar's Head Inn, for all its fine cognomen, was little better than any of the numerous taverns that kept discreet half-open doors to the wynds and closes of the Duke's burgh town, but custom made it a preserve of the upper class in the community; There it was the writers met their clients and cozened them into costly law pleas over the genial jug or chopine; the through-going stranger took his pack there and dwelt cheaply in the attics that looked upon the bay and on the little harbour where traffic dozed upon the swinging tide, waiting the goodwill of mariners in no hurry to leave a port so alluring; in its smoke-grimed public-room skippers frequented, full of loud tales of roving; and even the retinue of MacCailen was not averse from an even ing's merriment in a company where no restraint of the castle was expected, and his Grace was men. tioned but vaguely as a personal pronoun.
There was in the inn a sanctum sanctorum where only were allowed the bailies of the burgh, a tacksman of position, perhaps, from the landward part, or the like of the Duke's Chamberlain, who was no bacchanal, but loved the company of honest men in their hours of manumission. Here the bottle was of the best, and the conversation most genteelotherwise there had been no Sim MacTaggart 10 the company where he reigned the king. It was