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and deaf. Then to my amaze- Gled Water; and the name of a ment food was brought and house at the head of the Clachplaced beside me-almost with lands meant the “Home of respect. Clearly my murder Gold.” was not a thing of the im Once more I began my quesmediate future. The meal tions, and they answered them some form of mutton willingly.

There and then I perhaps the shepherd's lost heard that secret for which

little smoking many had died in old time, was all the cooking it had the secret of the heather ale. got. I strove to eat, but the They told of the gold in the tasteless morsels choked me. hills, of corries where the sand Then they set drink before me gleamed and abysses where the in a curious cup, which I seized rocks were veined. All this on eagerly, for my mouth was they told me, freely, without a dry with thirst. The vessel scruple. And then, like a clap, was of gold, rudely formed, came the awful thought that but of the pure metal, and a this, too, spelled death. These coarse design in circles were secrets which this race round the middle.

This sur aforetime had guarded with prised me enough, but a greater their lives; they told them wonder awaited me. The liquor generously to me because there was not water, as I had guessed, was no fear of betrayal. I but a sort of sweet ale, a miracle should go no more out from of flavour. The taste was curi- this place. ous, but somehow familiar; it The thought put me into a was like no wine I had ever new sweat of terror

not at drunk, and yet I had known death, mind you, but at the that flavour all my life. I unknown horrors which might sniffed at the brim, and there precede the final suffering. I rose a faint fragrance of thyme lay silent, and after binding and heather honey and the my hands they began to leave sweet things of the moorland.me and go off to other parts I almost dropped the thing in of the cave. I dozed in the my surprise ; for here in this horrible half - swoon of fear, rude place I had stumbled

had stumbled conscious only of my shaking upon that lost delicacy of the limbs, and the great dull glow North, the heather ale.

of the fire in the centre. Then For a second I was entranced I became calmer. After all, with my discovery, and then they had treated me with tolerthe wonder of the cup claimed able kindness: I had spoken my attention. Was it a mere their language, which few of relic of pillage, or had this folk their victims could have done some hidden mine of the precious for many a century; it might metal? Gold had once been be that I had found favour in common in these hills.

There their eyes.

For a little I comwere the traces of mines on forted myself with this delusion, Cairnsmore; shepherds had till I caught sight of a wooden found it in the gravel of the box in a corner. It was of

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was

ewes

was

ran

and deaf. Then to my amaze Gled Water; and the name of a
ment food was brought and house at the head of the Clach-
placed beside me—almost with lands meant the “ Home of
respect. Clearly my murder Gold.”
was not a thing of the im Once more I began my ques-
mediate future. The meal tions, and they answered them

some form of mutton willingly. There and then I perhaps the shepherd's lost heard that secret for which

and a little smoking many had died in old time,

all the cooking it had the secret of the heather ale. got. I strove to eat, but the They told of the gold in the tasteless morsels choked me. hills, of corries where the sand Then they set drink before me gleamed and abysses where the in a curious

cup,

which I seized rocks were veined. All this on eagerly, for my mouth was they told me, freely, without a dry with thirst. The vessel scruple. And then, like a clap, was of gold, rudely formed,

formed, came the awful thought that but of the pure metal, and a this, too, spelled death. These coarse design in circles were secrets which this race round the middle. This sur- aforetime had guarded with prised me enough, but a greater their lives ; they told them wonder awaited me. The liquor generously to me because there was not water, as I had guessed, was no fear of betrayal. I but a sort of sweet ale, a miracle should go no more out from of flavour. The taste was curi- this place. ous, but somehow familiar; it The thought put me into a was like no wine I had ever new sweat of terror - not at drunk, and yet I had known death, mind you, but at the that flavour all

my

life. I unknown horrors which might sniffed at the brim, and there precede the final suffering. I rose a faint fragrance of thyme lay silent, and after binding and heather honey and the my hands they began to leave sweet things of the moorland. me and go off to other parts I almost dropped the thing in of the cave. I dozed in the my surprise ; for here in this horrible half - swoon of fear, rude place I had stumbled conscious only of my shaking upon that lost delicacy of the limbs, and the great dull glow North, the heather ale.

of the fire in the centre. Then For a second I was entranced I became calmer. After all, with my discovery, and then they had treated me with tolerthe wonder of the cup claimed able kindness: I had spoken my attention. Was it a mere their language, which few of relic of pillage, or had this folk their victims could have done some hidden mine of the precious for many a century; it might metal? Gold had once been be that I had found favour in common in these hills. There their

eyes.

For a little I comwere the traces of mines on forted myself with this delusion, Cairnsmore; shepherds had till I caught sight of a wooden found it in the gravel of the box in a corner, It was of

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modern make, one such as gro- The sounds from the fire seemed cers use to pack provisions in. to have ceased, and I could It had some address nailed on hear them repeated from anit, and an aimless curiosity com other and more distant part of pelled me to creep thither and the cave. The Folk had left read it. A torn and weather- their orgy round the blaze, and stained scrap of paper, with the at the end of the long tunnel I nails at the corner rusty with saw its glow fall unimpeded age; but something of the ad- upon the floor. Once there, I dress might still be made out. might burn off my fetters and Amid the stains my feverish be free to turn my thoughts to eyes read, “To Mr M-, Car- escape. rickfey, by Allerfoot Station." I crawled a little way with

The ruined cottage in the hol- much labour. Then suddenly I low of the waste with the single came abreast an opening in the gnarled apple - tree was before wall, through which a path me in a twinkling. I remem went. It was a long straight bered the shepherd's shrinking rock-cutting, and at the end I from the place and the name, saw a gleam of pale light. It and his wild eyes when he told must be the open air ; the way me of the thing that had hap- of escape was prepared for me; pened there. I seemed to see and with a prayer I made what the old man in his moorland speed I could towards the fire. cottage, thinking no evil; the I rolled on the verge, but the sudden entry of the nameless fuel was peat, and the warm things; and then the eyes glazed ashes would not burn the cords. in unspeakable terror. I felt In desperation I went farther, my lips dry and burning. Above and my clothes began to singe, me was the vault of rock; in while my face ached beyond the distance I saw the fire-glow endurance. But yet I got no and the shadows of shapes mov nearer my object. The strips of ing around it. My fright was hide warped and cracked, but did too great for inaction, so I crept not burn. Then in a last effort from the couch, and silently, I thrust my wrists bodily into stealthily, with tottering steps the glow and held them there. and bursting heart, I began to In an instant I drew them out reconnoitre.

with a groan of pain, scarred But I was still bound, my and sore, but to my joy with arms tightly, my legs more the band snapped in one place. loosely, but yet firm enough to Weak as I was, it was now hinder flight. I could not get easy to free myself, and then my hands at my leg - straps, came the untying of my legs. still less could I undo the My hands trembled, my eyes manacles. I rolled on the floor, were dazed with hurry, and I seeking some sharp edge of was longer over the job than rock, but all had been worn need have been. But at length smooth by the use of centuries. I had loosed my cramped knees Then suddenly an idea came and stood on my feet, a free upon me like an inspiration. man once more.

me.

on

I kicked off my boots, and sistance ; but by the providence fled noiselessly down the pas- of God the spout ended in a sage to the tunnel mouth. Ap long curve into the heather of parently it was close on even the bog. ing, for the white light had When I found my feet once faded to a pale yellow. But it more on soft boggy earth, my was daylight, and that was all strength was renewed within I sought, and I ran for it as A great hope of escape eagerly as ever runner ran to a sprang up

in
my

heart. For a goal. I came out on a rock second I looked back. There shelf, beneath which a moraine was a great line of shingle with of boulders fell away in a chasm the cliffs beyond, and above all to a dark loch. It was all but the unknown blackness of the night, but I could see the cleft. There lay my terror, and gnarled and fortressed rocks I set off running across the bog rise in ramparts above, and for dear life. My mind was below the unknown screes and clear enough to know my road. cliffs which make the side of the If I held round the loch in front Muneraw a place only for foxes I should come to a burn which and the fowls of the air.

fed the Farawa stream, The first taste of liberty is whose banks stood the shepan intoxication, and assuredly I herd's cottage. The loch could was mad when I leaped down not be far; once at the Farawa among the boulders. Happily I would have the light of the at the top of the gully the shieling clear before me. stones were large and stable, Suddenly I heard behind me, else the noise would certainly as if coming from the hillside, have discovered me. Down I the patter of feet. It was the went, slipping, praying, my sound which white hares make charred wrists aching, and my in the winter-time on a noisestockinged feet wet with blood. less frosty day as they patter Soon I was in the jaws of the over the snow. I have heard cleft, and a pale star rose before the same soft noise from a herd

I have always been timid of deer when they changed in the face of great rocks, and their pastures. Strange that now, had not an awful terror so kindly a sound should put been dogging my footsteps, no the very fear of death in my power on earth could have heart. I ran madly, blindly, driven

that descent. yet thinking shrewdly. The Soon I left the boulders behind, loch was before me. Someand

to long spouts of where I had read or heard, I little stones, which moved with do not know where, that the

till the hillside seemed brutish aboriginal races of the sinking under my feet.

feet. Some North could not swim. times I was face downwards, self swam powerfully; could once and again I must have I but cross the loch I should fallen for yards. Had there

Had there save two miles of a desperate been a cliff at the foot, I should country. have gone over it without re There was no time to lose, for

me.

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