« PreviousContinue »
attempt to return the blow. of fit. It passed off quickly, You must bear in mind that but he seemed weak and oonhe is almost as hot-headed as fused when he came to himhis father, and that for him to self, and offered no resistance restrain himself in the face of when I led him away. suoh a deliberate attack was “Next day there was an. no ordinary feat.
other dreadful soene, for in “He rose up, and wiped going through some of his away the blood that was trick- papers he found that the old ling from his lip. Father tried Flemish dooument had disto open the gate, but Roy appeared. I thought that he stepped forward and held it would have rushed away again shut. I was in terror in case to Blackdykes to demand its this would bring them to blows return-for there oan be little again, so I rushed between, doubt that Marie had taken and begged them to control it—but strangely enough he themselves,
aoted quite differently. He bad "Until now,
neither had govered all connection with his spoken a word, and it was son on the previous day, and almost with relief that I heard he refused to speak to him father begin to denounoe Roy again, even to demand baok in the most terrible terms. his property. There is no need to repeat what “I don't think the loss of he said, even if I could re- the paper really matters, bemember it all. Much of it cause of course we have a was altogether unreasonable, translation of it — the copy and all of it was very painful we took to America—and the to listen to.
information in the paper is “He cast Roy off for ever, too vague to be of much and vowed that he should never value to Marie. But I am enter Hopeton all the days of getting upon forbidden ground his life. He spoke of Marie in again. terms that brought the blood "Now that I have told you rushing to Roy's face, but still all this, Dr Seaton, you will he held himself in, though the understand what a sore subknuckles of the hand with jeot my brother is in this which he olutohed the gate house.
From the day on grew white as he gripped. Oh, which he missed this paper it was a horrible scene !
my father has never referred “His language beoame_go to his existence, and I am in dreadful that at last Roy constant terror in oase any oried harshly to me, 'For chance mention of Roy's name God's sake, sig, take him should
fresh trouble. away, or I shall strike him.' My father is still very irri
“It would have ended in an table, and liable to fall into actual fight, I am sure, if sudden fits of rage, but I am father had not wrought him- hoping that your coming may self beyond his own endur- calm him to some extent. Ho ance, and fallen in a kind has a very high opinion of you,
which is founded, strangely welfare must be considered enough, apon the faot that too." you can beat him at chess. “Of course," agreed MariHe has always been considered gold. “I hope now that he a very fine player, and I can- is to be in your care all the not remember him ever having time, that he will soon be quite met an opponent who could strong." beat him as you do. I am in “By the way, when I was hopes that your games may lost in the dusk this evening take his mind away from all I saw somo one on the hillside this trouble, for, although he who, I thought, might be Mr never mentions it, I am sure Tanish. He was too far off that he is brooding over it for me to oall to him. I think continually.
he was carrying & shot-gun. “Then there is Danoan I Could it have been
your only hope my father will not father?” quarrel with you about him, "Very likely,” replied Marifor you are sure to disagree gold. “What a pity he did with his treatment of the poor not see you! It would have little chap. Danoan is shy and saved you wandering about nervous, but very affeotion- in the dark. Father got in ate, and I am afraid Dr Forbes just about half an hour before is right when he says that you arrived, and finding that many of his ailments Dr Forbes and his daughter caused by his father's harsh were here, and that your logtreatment of him. It is not gage had already come, he wilful cruelty-father would immediately got at loggernever be deliberately cruel- heads with the Doctor about but his own nature is so dif- Danoan. I would not like
you ferent that he does not under- to judge him by this evening. stand Duncan's shy ways. All It is only when he is put out this, however, you will see for that he behaves like that, and yourself. I have kopt you this evening when he came long enough already, and I in he seemed very irritable. have told you sufficient to He may have had trouble with enable you to avoid anything one of the tonants. Anything that would rouse my father's like that upsets him very anger."
much. But I have kept you “You have told me enough to ap too long. Let me guide let me see how much you your- you
back to your room, self must have gone through and please be as noiseless as during this trying fortnight, possible.” Miss Tanish,” I said. “You When at last I got into my can rest assured of my sym- bed I heaved a sigh of relief, pathy. Whatever I can do to and wondered if I had really help you will be done with finished with
the night's my whole beart.
I shall doings at last. humour your father in every I was still wondering when way possible, but Dunoan's I lost myself in sleep.
I was awake early in the and which Tanish had atmorning, and lay a bed medi. tempted to rob him of that tating on the events of the night in our cabin, previous evening.
& step further in What & man my new
em- my speculations. I had been ployer must be! I had first struck by the resemblance of oome in contact with him Roy to Morgan. It must be while he was denouncing Jabez that the same blood ran in Morgan 88 & thief! I had their veins. Morgan must behad a struggle with him in the long to an American branch of night-there could be no doubt the family. He had told me it was he-while he was ran- that he had a Scottish ancestor saoking Morgan's baggagel I -a Royalist. Yes, I was evi. now found good reason to dently on the right track. believe that he had shot bis Finding myself brought up son's wife, whom he had him- short in my deductions for lack self wanted to marry !
of data, I rose and dressed. How could I possibly live at It was a lovely clear spring peace with such a man? I had morning, and the view from heard his language towards my window was magnificent. the local dootor, I knew that Although fully three miles he had struok his eldest son in from the sea, Hopeton comthe mouth, and his daughter manded an extensive view of aorogs her face, and that he it. The house was situated at bullied and thrashed an ailing the head and high up the slope child! How was he likely to of a glen through whioh a rocky treat me, if I insisted on having burn flowed to the Firth of my own way with the boy? Clyde. On each side of the
I speculated, too, on the glen rose a range of low hillsmysterious doonment that was those on the left as one faced the cause of so much of the the being the knolls trouble in the Tanish family. amongst wbioh I had wandered But for it the trip to America on the previous evening. The would not have taken place, hills on the right of the glen and consequently Roy and were higher and olad in heather Marie would not have been instead of gra88—& difference left to ripen their love affair. which lent a pleasant variety But for it I would never have to the landscape. The lower met the Laird and his daughter, slopes of the valley were nor, I felt sure, Jabez Morgan wooded, and through the breaks either.
in the trees one saw the clear Morgan, without doubt, had pools of the burn, and orossed the Atlantio in pursuit ocoasional patch of dull red of the Tanishes. He possessed where the force of the winter something of value to them stream had eaten its way into which he would not give up, the soft sandstone.
One could trace the burn though adding nothing to its right down the glen to where arohitectural beauty. it spread widely over the pink I must admit that like sands that bordered the blue of most Soottish houses, and like the Firth. Away beyond, four- many Sootohmen too — the teen miles out on the water, unattraotive exterior was not lay the hills of Arran—the duplioated within. The cold ultimate thing in the scene. stone walls and slated roof
As I saw it all for the first were built to resist the storms time on that bright April of winter; and inside, even in morning, it was a glorious the most inolement weather, spectacle. And the solitude of one oould be warm and cosy. it all! But for two or three The decoration and the furnidistant splashes of white ture were perhaps a trifle beavy, farm, half hidden in shelter- but the large windows let in ing copses, the hills, the glen, plenty of light, and the furnithe barn, the very Firth of ture, if old-fashioned, was comClyde and the Arran hills fortable. themselves, seemed arranged Given & family of happier and displayed for the sole temperament, the whole air of delectation of Hopeton.
Hopeton would have been I wandered downstairs and different. out into the garden, without As things were, a spirit of meeting any one but a couple gloom seemed to overhang the of clean maids busy with the house. morning's work. They gave I met my patient and papil me good-day quietly and with at breakfast. He was a pale & quick upward glance of the puny little chap, small for his eyes that suggested apprehen- age, with the same apprehension—as though every one in sive quick look in his eyes that this gloomy house was con- I had noticed in the maids, but tinually expecting an outbreak in his case greatly accentuated. of rage.
He was in obvious terror of I could now see the house his father, and seemed to ex“the Big Hoose,"
Hoose,” as the peet in me a second tyrant. country folk knew it for the I saw that my first business first time. It was built of must be to get rid of this yellow sandstone that time notion and gain his oonfidence. and weather had painted & To the few remarks I made to sombre grey. No creepers bid him during breakfast he replied its bald outlines, and the cold in startled monosyllables, so I blue-green slates that roofed gave it up until I could talk it detracted nothing from the with him alone. inhospitable effeot. The house The Laird was in excellent had been built originally as humour, and had I met him a square-almost a oube--but then for the first time I should suoceeding generations had have doubtl288 put him down added wings on either side, as a typical jovial country greatly inoreasing the size, gentleman.
“I see you've been up and I have had a talk with Dootor out early having a look at the Forbes." place,” he said to me.
"Ah! His browg lowered at the These are changed days. There name, but he merely comwas a time when you could pressed his lips without utterhave stood on the threshold of ing a word. Hopeton and seen nothing but " What I want to be sure of, the land of the Tanishes— now," I went on, “is the exbarring the Arran hills across tent of my control over the the Firth, , The estate has boy. Unless I am to have full dwindled and dwindled through authority - unless my treatsuccessive generations until ment is to go on without innow we have enough to do to terference from you or any one keep the roof over our heads, else — it is useless for me to But we'll may be change that have anything to do with yet,” he concluded with a him." ” strange smile.
“What do you mean-interI thought it curious that he ference from me?” said the should speak as though he Laird harshly, with a heightwere poverty-strioken, when I oned colour. knew that he kept a fine oar Merely that the boy must and two or three riding-horses, not be worried. It must be quite a retinue of servants, and for me to say what he shall had engaged a private dootor eat and when—what he shall at a very considerable salary, learn—what exeroise he shall I only learnt later that he was take-in fact, I must have heavily in debt and that his absolute authority. A doctor whole estate was mortgaged. cannot be successful without
Yet such was the nature of it.” the man that he must have I looked him full in the everything as he wanted it, eyes as I spoke, and I saw without counting the cost. that he understood me, for he
I sat on at table with him bit his lip and drummed his antil Marigold had gone away fingers on the table angrily. on some household duty, and Yet he did not flare ap the boy Dunoan had slipped in a passion as I had fully quietly out. I then took the expected. ball by the horns, as I had made “Well, well,” he said after up my mind to do before break- & pause, during which he had fast. Better & good row at glanoed hither and thither unonoe than a perpetual squabble, comfortably, as if he did not
“I want to talk to you about care to meet my eyes. Danoan, Laird Tanish," I man should know his own job began.
best. You must have a fair "Well, Doctor, what do you field. I leave the boy to you. think of him?" he replied. About che88, now-when shall
“I have seen too little of we make a start ?" him to form anything of an He was obviously anxious to opinion, nor do I wish to until get away from the subjeot of