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she turned one ear towards me a little as if ears could hold no agency for heart or lips or eyes.

"Now listen to me for a moment," I said, creeping close to that ear, which was a masterpiece of shell-work, and filigree curves, and chasing; "tell me just sayhave a little kindness, say whether you think you could ever like me." "Yes, I will say; I will not conceal. I think that I could like you very well; because-because

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"Because what, Dariel? That I may do it again, and go on doing it for ever.

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"Because, because-it is just for this reason," all the glory of her eyes flashed on me, "because you are so much afraid of me."

"Am I?" In a moment she was in my arms, and I had the sweetest revenge ever known for an imputation of cowardice. And she, whether carried away by my love, or by her own sweet gratitude, looked at me with a glow of light, like the gates of heaven opening, and drew me into fresh ecstasy, and whispered, "Do you love me?"

Such a time is the date of life, for ever to be dwelt upon; but never spoken of, unless it be with the only one who shared it. And I would never have touched upon it, but left all those to take it home, who in their time have been so blessed; unless I were bound to let them see how much I had to go upon, in my obstinacy afterwards. Dariel loved me! Who was I, to be rapt by such a miracle? And who of mankind should take it from me, as long as the heavens continued?

"Let us kneel, and thank the Lord," my darling said, with coy reproach of my impetuous transport; "here where first you saw me, George. If He has meant us for one another, He will be vexed if we do not thank Him."

I followed her to the place that once had been of holy rite, and there she took my hand, and knelt upon the plinth of the old sanctuary, and made the sign of the Cross upon her breast and forehead, and spoke some words in some sweet language, and then arose and offered me both hands, and I kissed her lovely brow, and met her loving eyes bedewed with tears, and said, "You are mine for ever."

She bowed her head, as if to say, "I am well contented with it"; but when I drew forth that ruby cross of hers which I had kept so long, and offered to place it on her breast, as it was when I first beheld her, she shrank away, and her cheeks grew pale, and she trembled so that I felt compelled to throw both arms around her. "What is it, my darling? My own love, what has scared you so?" I asked, drawing the red flash from her sight.

"You know that I am not too wise. You do not want me to be wise; oh George, I have no strength of mind; I cannot bear to be taken from you."

"I should like to see anybody do it," said I, guiding her craftily to a less exalted place; "but why has this little thing frightened you so, when you must have worn it a hundred times?"

"Because there is a most sad tale about it, which I will tell you some day. But even without that I must not wear it, according to the rules of the family; unless unless a thing that would grieve you heartily, I hope, George -unless I cease to care for you. No maiden must have this on her heart, when her heart has ceased to be her own. Shall I tell you a little secret? That was why I lent it to you and never asked for it back again, as soon as ever I began to fancy-not to be too sure-but to be uncertain whether

-oh, you know my signification, George!"

86 When you doubted, sweetest sweet, whether you might not be beginning to think in your angelic heart of a worthless fellow, whose name is George."

"What language to use of such a pair! If you abuse one, you abuse the other. Do you see what English I speak now? I could not talk like this, when first I met you. How do you think I learned to do it?"

"Dariel, how should I know? Your voice would make any language sweet. Your father has the gift of tongues. He speaks better English than I do. No doubt it has come down to you. And you have been with English teachers."


"Yes. But they made me speak French more than this. They thought that the air would teach me English. And my father always talked to me in our own language, such as I sang to you last night. But when I began to have George in my mind, and to fancy that he was getting fond of me, I changed all that. Comprehend you now? I made my darling father speak nothing to me but the English. And I shall be angry with myself, if you have not observed the improvement."

At this proof of her lovely love, I said and did-no matter what. Never since the world began has any man been so beyond himself.

Such things are not to be described. And I never would have gone back thus, to give any one else an idea of them, if I could have won that glory, with no anguish afterwards. Every man must be in glory, when his true love loves him. He knows that he is not worthy of it; and that makes the triumph nobler.

She might lead me where she liked. A man is never like a flower unless it be a tobaccoflower, which only blooms in the evening-but he has always been like grass; and grass (if you watch it carefully, and mow it very seldom) has a gift of turning to the sun, like most of us who manage it. My sense of beauty was so vast that I could not get to the end of it, and strove to teach her every item of her own perfections. But she arose, and took my hand, and said, "Let us go to father. A little bit of wisdom will be good among all these wonders. But I only wish that I owned them all; because they would all belong to you."

Sûr Imar received us with a loving smile. I thought that he had

never looked more grand. Dariel knelt to him, while I held her hand; and if I could have knelt to any man, I would have done so then to him. But the knee of an Englishman goes down to none except his Maker.

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ONE May morning, nearly sixty years ago, a man left his home at the head of Glen Nant, and crossed over the bit of wild moorland which lies between the head of that valley and the Pass of Awe or Brander. He skirted the little wood below his house of Barrachander, where, early though it was, the wood - pigeons were already cooing, passed through a chain of small lochs, and got out on to the heather near the old ruined tower of Balliemore. Long ago this man's ancestors had been people of note in the world: in rough troublesome days their house was a strong one, both in itself and its position. It stands-what is left of it-in a cup or sheltering hollow among the hills, unobtrusive, unnoticeable, and no doubt many an unfriendly traveller has unwittingly passed it by. But at last came the evil day, and it perished, how, or in what period with what stress of life and shouting and bloodshed-the solemn hills standing around alone know. The burning of Airlie or the siege of such a place as Inverlochy are recorded in history, but she has nothing to say as to the end of such a humble mountain fortress as this.

On one of the lochs near is an island, with the remains of a building on it; this is called the "Charter House," the Safety-Place for Balliemore. As it once gave protection to men, so it does now to birds, and the wild ducks and gulls and curlew of Loch Tromlie find in its shelter the quiet and security which it once afforded its old owners.

It has been said that if the last trump had sounded at the end of

the great war with France at the beginning of this century, no one but a Macleod would have risen up out of the graveyard of Dunvegan. The MacCorquodales could hardly make the same boast as the great western clan, but their dust must lie thick in the little moorland churchyard of Kilchrenan. It is a good many years since the chief actor in this sketch joined his brethren there. Near his grave is a huge stone erected to the memory of a world-renowned head of a great house, to "Cailean Mor, slain on the Sreang of Lorn, A.D. 1294." Next to this is another monument commemorating six Campbells of position, four of whom were killed in some fierce fight in the neighbourhood. So he lies in goodly company, with many members of his clan, and his clan's enemies, side by side with ancient chiefs and warriors, and freebooters, and smugglers, and decent homelike nineteenth-century sheep-farmers and crofters.


It is not likely that Archibald MacCorquodale ever troubled himself very much about his ancestors, or his own humble position. man as he was-earning a precarious living by hard work-he was probably very much better off in most ways than any of them were. He never was obliged to carry off himself and his household gods at a moment's notice to the safety island; he never was awakened at midnight by an ominous flare in the sky, telling him (as it had often told his forebears) that the stacks or cowhouse was aglow; and when he left his home he knew he would find on his return the small wild-looking black-cattle feeding

quietly about the croft,-not hear of them being furiously driven-a panting, lowing, exhausted herdto the far-away safe keeping of some lord of the country stronger and bolder than himself. He cut peats and dried them; he made quantities of coarse moorland hay; he worked on his rough, badlydrained fields without being discouraged at the exceeding scantiness of the crops they gave him in return for his labours. He made long journeys twice a-year to Kilmichael, and spent much time and energy-generally in vain-in try ing to persuade other people that his two or three beasts were fat instead of thin-well-bred instead of ill-bred-handsome instead of ill-favoured the pick of the country round instead of its black shots. And for pastime he did a little poaching; as salt to savour his labours, quite as much as for the sake of varying his fare, he killed grouse and hares and salmon whenever he got a chance. Lights were often seen at night in this district at that period, but they were harmless bits of bog pine roots, used for burning fish-haunted waters instead of substantial byre or rick.

The sun was barely peeping

round the shoulder of Ben Bhurich when Archie got on to the high bit of tableland where he could look down on the river Awe. The day gave promise of being a very hot one, but as yet a dull white frosty mist lay over the hills, filling up the hollows and corries with its cotton-wool-like masses: every step he took left its trace behind (how often must it have happened in old fighting days that a man has been followed to his death by such trail as this!), and he was soon wet above the knee by the drip from the

heather and long grass. In these days, when salmon are scarce and wary, the frosty morning which ushers in a broiling day is not loved by a fisherman, but at that happy period things were different, and better, and he must have been a novice indeed who could not do something almost any time during the season with the fish in the Awe.

When MacCorquodale reached the watershed, he looked down on a district which, save in one respect, sixty years have done little to change. The dark river, flecked with white here and there, made its rapid way to the sea; beyond it stood up the bare grey - green face of Ben Cruachan; and the woods of Inverawe showed, as they show nowadays, against Loch Etive, and the granite face of Bonaw. Far away to the west you can see Morvern, and the higher peaks of Mull. Till quite recently the place must have looked just the same as it has looked for centuries. The railway is the only change-a mighty convenience, but the thin line of iron doubtless takes something from the loneliness of what used to be one of the wildest passes in Scotland.

Archie ran quickly down the hillside till he came to a great rock in the shelter of which lay his rod, with reel and line on it ready for work. Rod and line and fisherman have long been resolved into their component parts, but the reel lies before the writer now-a long wooden one, black painted, wormeaten, but still in good order; it has a large hole in it through which the rod was run. He put on a fly, dark-bodied, with heron-wings, very different to the brilliant doctors and butchers which are chiefly in use now, and began to

fish his pool. Carefully he fished it-a step and a cast-a step and a cast, the while going through the mental process of anticipation at the start, surprise at the negative result of the first half-dozen throws, disappointment when no boil in the water or pull beneath it awaited him at the first likely place. Before, however, disappointment had time to change into disgust he felt the pull, raised his rod a little, and found the strain in crease; saw the water open enough to let him catch a glimpse of some part of a salmon, and then as rapidly close.

Archie came up the hill a little to have more command over the fish; a thrill of joyful exultation ran through him, and the frown on his face indicated only concentrated attention. With feet well apart, finger ready to check the line, and eyes following anxiously the point where it, slowly moving, cut the water tight as a strained steel wire, he stood on the bank, perhaps at that moment the happiest man in all the far-stretching parish of Glenorchy and Innishail. But near are joys and sorrows in this world; close together, ever watching mankind, sit Fortuna and the Fates.

From behind a grey rock on the opposite side of the river rose up now a grey man-long of leg, tough in sinew, stern of countenance; no greeting gave he to the fisherman, no friendly congratulations or applause. He stalked down to a convenient boulder, which commanded a good view of the pool, and sat down on it; he got out his pipe-his eye the while glued to the point of interest-and soon the gentle wind carried over to Archie's nostrils the fragrant scent of his tobacco.

A Prime Minister, who, thinking he had a certain majority on a

critical division, finds the Opposition have it instead, could hardly be more overwhelmed than Archie was at this bodeful appearance. Fishing was fairly free at the time we are writing of, because, as a rule, it was of little value, but on this part of the Awe the owner had lately been asserting his rights and warning off trespassers. Archie had offended, and had been caught; had offended again, with the same result; had offended again—and the patience of the authorities had at length been worn out. So the edict had gone forth that if ever again-only once-he was caught dipping a fly in the river, then would he have to leave his little cottage in Glen Nant, and the tiny well-loved farm-that never more on all those wide lands would he find a resting-place for his feet, "Not if you lived for a hundred and seventy years!" added the factor, shaking a quill pen at him. But word had come to Archie the previous night that his enemy the keeper had been summoned to see a dying son far away up at Loch Tulla in the Blackmount, a long day's journey for an active man. And lo! regardless of that affection which is felt by all but the basest of men, this unnatural father was lying in wait for him here!

So it came about that Archibald MacCorquodale stood chained to the river by a big salmon within seventy yards of a man whom he looked on as a natural enemy; from whom he always felt inclined to fly even when merely pursuing his natural lawful occupation. His first thought was to break his line and be off. But what would he gain by that? He would not so shake off his foe. And there was another There is a grim story of a laird of the old school who was busily engaged in playing a very


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