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managed the matter carefully, he might thus appear to the lieutenant to have been duped as well as himself.
When all this was arranged, it was suggested, very sensibly, by Kirsty, that most probably the lieutenant would object to leaving Captain Mortimer and Miss Julia alone together in the house, so the captain decided on informing the lieutenant, on the morning of the day when the plan was to be put into execution, that he was immediately going to start for Lerwick for a few days, to purchase some things he couldn't trust any one else to get for him, then to steal off, and either return at nightfall, or wait Julia and Magnie Smith at the place of embarkation. The details of the scheme had no sooner been settled than it was necessary to put it into execution, for Mynheer Van Donker's time was precious, and he couldn't wait at Grevavoe much longer.
Just then Magnie Smith, who in the whole affair "worked like a Turk," as the saying is-though, as Turks don't work, this is rather damning with faint praise"-learned that next Tuesday a schooner was to sail for Liverpool from Scalloway, a little village on the west side of the mainland island, and some six or eight miles distant from Lerwick, and it was evident that such an opportunity should not be passed by, as the chances of detection at Scalloway were much less than at Lerwick, and Liverpool was, of all ports, the most convenient for the object the lovers had in view. It would take a whole night and the best part of next day to reach Scalloway from Grevavoe; Sunday night was therefore fixed upon for the attempt.
Everything went on most favourably. The lads had departed on the previous week. Kirsty, with Lieutenant Tomkins's entire knowledge and approval, and after a secret farewell interview, accompanied by fearful greetin'," with her young mistress (who promised to revisit Grevavoe as soon as the knot was tied), had gone off to her sister's on the Friday; and Jan Van Donker (cunning fellow) had said to Lieutenant Tomkins and Mr. Eric Sweynson, in the shop on Saturday, with great off-handedness, just as though the idea had suddenly occurred to him, "Look her, mein shantlemen. You comin' aboord mein leetle veshil, and have one dram on de morrows nicht, von't you? Ve sall go to sea, most shertain, on da Moonday mornings." To which Lieutenant Tomkins assented with great alacrity, and insisted on Mr. Sweynson's going too; for the lieutenant was quite jolly and good tempered just now, the captain having just informed him of his intended trip to Lerwick tomorrow forenoon, adding also, that he would only stay at Grevavoe for a few days on his return, and then depart to join his regiment, "never," of course, "to forget Lieutenant Tomkins's kindness and hospitality.” And Mr. William Dicky happening, by mere accident, to be at Van Donker's elbow on this occasion, the skipper further said to him (as long since "made and provided"), "And you sall come al-so, my leetle man. You sall get glorious drunk upon de Hollandsch grogs. Von't you?" Which idea perfectly delighted Lieutenant Tomkins; and although Mr. Dicky strenuously declined, the lieutenant, bent on making the little footman drunk and having some fun with him, would hear of no excuse, and nearly lost his temper in insisting on Dicky's accompanying them; so Dicky at length, with great show of reluctance, consented.
Sunday came; a beautiful, clear, summer day. The water sparkled
in diminutive ripples round the clumsy bows of the smart little herring vessel at anchor in the mouth of the voe, and a gentle breeze blowing off the land, while it prevented sultriness, promised well for the evening's cruise. Lieutenant Tomkins was in excellent spirits. Not content with the arrangement of the previous night, he had invited Mr. Eric Sweynson and Mynheer Van Donker to partake of dinner with him, and they were all, along with Mr. William Dicky, to pay the proposed visit to the "buss" in the evening. Mynheer Van Donker had, with naïveté, inquired, "Would not the captain go al-so, and taste de schnapps?" But the captain and Lieutenant Tomkins had simultaneously explained to the skipper the captain's intended departure, which the lieutenant by no means thought the captain should postpone, for he was afraid, if the captain came on board, he would object to his servant's being made drunk, and spoil "the fun." So, after breakfast, the captain, mounted upon Lieutenant Tomkins's best horse, with his pockets stuffed with cold fowl and sandwiches, and a flask of sherry, all openly provided by the fair hands of Miss Julia, by her father's strict orders, "for it's a devil of a way to Lerwick, my dear, and the captain will get precious little fit to eat on the road," took leave, the lieutenant following him about half a mile, and shaking hands with him heartily and affectionately when he parted with him.
And how did the captain spend the day? In a way that none but a bold dragoon would have ventured upon-he went and visited M'Candle! The captain had proposed at first to get M'Candle over to Trafalgar Hall, and despatch him also on the cruise with Van Donker. But Julia felt compunction for her treatment of poor M'Candle, and thought this unnecessarily cruel. She thought there was no fear of the poor man interfering with their schemes, as he lived so far off, and was too harmless a person ever to think of pursuing them when the news of the elopement reached the manse, which would probably not be for a day or two. Still the captain thought it right to take some precaution, for he knew the reverend gentleman was half-demented at present, and had often visited Grevavoe at most unseasonable hours. For all they knew to the contrary, he might arrive there on the Sunday night or Monday morning, and then there would be a pretty mess! However, as the affair was arranged for Sunday, it was impossible to get the minister over to take part in the drinking-party. So the captain resolved on another course of proceeding, without telling Julia even what he meant to do. He took a nice refreshing ride for an hour or so in the direction of the manse, stopped outside the dyke of "the toon," dismounted and fastened his horse to the turf or "felly" dyke of an adjacent "planty-cruive,"* and, sitting snugly by the burn-side, ate his cold fowl and sandwiches, and drank his sherry (for he knew well that M'Candle's fare would scarcely suit his stomach), and then proceeded to the manse, where, as he had correctly calculated, he found M'Candle's dinner over, and the divine sitting alone in his parlour.
The minister, as may be imagined, was all of a flutter when his handsome rival made his sudden appearance in his apartment. He naturally had
A small high-walled garden, or yard for cabbage, in the hill, distant from the houses and arable land.
little love for the captain, and the common-place and plain divine-whose experiences of society had never gone beyond the Highland village where he had been brought up, Aberdeen college, where he had been educated and lived most quietly, and his present circle of acquaintances-always felt shy in the presence of this dashing, easy-mannered soldier. He had neither the courage nor the power of expression and manner to show his dislike in a dignified style; and feeling conscious of this, he did not feel prepared to show it at all, and yet he was possessed with the notion that to show good will and to appear happy to see Captain Mortimer, would be mean and rather unchristianlike. So the only line of conduct which he felt himself in a position to pursue at the moment, was, firstly, to shake hands with Captain Mortimer in a nervous manner; secondly, to give him a chair; thirdly, to remark, "It's a fine day;" fourthly, to sit down opposite the captain, look past him out of the window, blush, and rub the back of his left hand with the palm of his right, and the back of his right hand with the palm of his left, alternately, and, finally, to remark once more, enthusiastically, as though the subject of the weather alone occupied his thoughts and afforded him satisfaction, "Yes, it's a very fine day."
As it happened, the captain himself was rather thoughtful and silent at first; he would rather have had to deal with a man of his own stamp, than with a peculiar person like the minister. However, he had made up his mind to do a certain thing, and do it he must. He therefore, with as little preface as possible, directed the conversation to the subject which he knew very well was nearer to M'Candle's heart even than that of the weather-Miss Julia. M'Candle at first was sullen, and answered principally in monosyllables. He trembled for what might be coming. He doubted not that the captain knew all about his late proposal to the young lady. Was he deputed by her, or had he come
to use a favourite modern slang expression, which M'Candle had never heard, we dare say-" on his own hook." Perhaps he was going to challenge his rival to mortal combat; these young officers did such wild, mad things; very likely he had got the pistols in his pocket, and meant to pull down the blinds and have shots exchanged across the table; or, possibly, this child of the devil (M'Candle felt a beam of holy delight go through him at the conviction that the captain really was a child of the devil) meant to propose that the duel should come off in the churchyard after service, the elders to act as seconds, and the congregation to see "all fair," it being provided that the captain shot, off-hand, any one who interfered. But M'Candle was in a moment most agreeably undeceived. The captain had come for no such bloody purpose. The captain had far nobler and pleasanter ends in view. M'Candle had been much mistaken in the captain, which the captain showed him in a few frank, eloquent sentences, full of manly, kind, even brotherly feeling. M'Candle learned from the captain what quite surprised him, that the captain had never felt affection or love for Miss Tomkins. No; he might have taken a deep interest in her, he might have shown attention to her, flirted with her perhaps more than was prudent, but his troth was plighted elsewhere. It was not the custom of his family to marry people without title, and he was engaged to a young Russian lady of quality whom he had met at St. Petersburg on
his late tour. But, most unfortunately, Miss Tomkins felt otherwise towards him. This might be, he feared, very much the result of his own thoughtless conduct; but he had been unsuspicious and preoccupied, and only found out what was going on in the heart of the young lady on recently mentioning to her, with the fond confidence of a brother, his approaching alliance with his affianced one. It had then been too evident how the young lady regarded him, which had pained him to the heart more than he could express. He had consulted with her parent, and it had been resolved that he should depart at once, but quietly. So it had been represented to the young lady-a deception, he admitted, but he trusted excusable in the painful circumstances of the case-that he was going to Lerwick for a few days, to return again. But he was to go off altogether, and his footman would by-and-by follow with his things. Now his object in calling on M'Candle was this, in addition, of course, to the natural desire he had to bid farewell to one whom he so much respected. He knew well of M'Candle's honest, manly, deep, true love (M'Candle blushed here, and began to feel himself, for the first time in his life, rather a noble and chivalrous character), and he honoured him for it, and the lieutenant approved of it. But they saw that to press the proposal at the present moment would be most injudicious, and calculated for ever to defeat the object. M'Candle must wait patiently. At first the young lady would undoubtedly be in a desperate condition, and if M'Candle appeared before her at such a time she would be likely to entertain towards him feelings of detestation which nothing would ever remove. But, by-and-by, as time passed on, and the memory of her loved one grew fainter and fainter, then might M'Candle come forward and claim to fill the vacuum in her tender heart. This might be easily effected then. She undoubtedly admired and respected M'Candle, in fact, before that melancholy wreck, had, he believed, entertained towards him feelings which were ripening into love. M'Candle eagerly assented here, much to the captain's inward amusement, for the captain was under the pleasant impression that this was only another little lie he was telling, though, had the gallant officer known all, he would have found he was speaking truth, or something very like it, for at least once in his life. In conclusion the captain informed M'Candle that the sad intelligence would be broken to Miss Tomkins by her father that very evening, and that in his opinion M'Candle should not go near Trafalgar-hall, or hold any communication whatever with its inmates for at least a month to
The effect this most sincere and truthful explanation had upon M'Candle was extraordinary. He swallowed it all. He had suddenly conceived such an esteem and regard for his imagined rival, that had the latter told him the moon was made of green cheese he would have believed that too. He never stopped to inquire whether the captain might not have an interested motive in all this, he did not try to analyse and examine the captain's reasoning. The whole thing appeared to him at once vastly natural and probable, and he resolved to stay with patience away from Grevavoe full two months, when of course Miss Julia would be quite prepared for a new lover or for taking up an old one, when he would ride over and everything would be settled comfortably. There appeared to him nothing mean in marrying, after such a brief lapse of Dec.-VOL. CXXIII. NO.CCCCXCIJ.
time, a woman who, at the present moment, adored another man who was running away from her, and would be likely to hate and loathe him for life if he then went into her sight. In fact the reverend gentleman would, we verily believe, have allowed himself to be whipped at the cart'stail, or would have done what a few years ago would have procured him that infliction legally, viz. picked pockets, if thereby he could have gained the hand of Miss Julia Tomkins. He was immensely polite and attentive now to Captain Mortimer, and the captain, who felt amused, was frank and chatty with him. He went to afternoon church with the divine, and heard (or was supposed to hear) a most beautiful discourse, showing the many points of resemblance, yet, at the same time, startling dissimilarities in the characters of David and Gehazzi, and some people sitting near him remarked that he appeared to be taking notes of the sermon, though an old elder who was in the same pew said afterwards that it seemed to him "mare lek figgers it he wis castin' up an' multipleecatin." And when the service was over the minister and the captain walked home arm-in-arm, talking and laughing, much to the astonishment of the congregation assembled in the churchyard, among whom such remarks went round as, "Na! see ye dem leddin'." "I tocht dey wid rayder ha' trottled ane anidder! Weel, weel, dey're sheurely fey!"' &c. &c., for the people knew pretty well that the gentlemen were rivals, and it had been buzzed abroad-as such things generally are-that M'Candle had been rejected; Miss Tomkins having told it as a strict secret to Kirsty, who had told it as a strict secret to her mother, who, in her turn, had told it as a very strict secret to everybody else.
However, the gentlemen went to the manse, which was a peculiarlooking building (having been patched at different times by different ministers patronising totally different styles of architecture, something like what our new London government offices will become if we go on having these frequent changes of ministry), standing on the top of a hill which commanded a good sea-view, and into the dingy well-sized parlour, where they had tea, still chatting and laughing agreeably, and old Kitty often said afterwards that she had at the time remarked to "the lass" that she never heard the minister laugh so loud in his life, and that "somethin' no canny was sheurely gaen ta happen," though we may observe that "the lass," jealous no doubt of Kitty's prophetic powers, always and invariably denied having heard the prediction.
At last the captain found it was getting late, and that he must be off, painful though it was to tear himself away from such society. M'Candle wanted him to stay all night; he had a nice spare room which he kept for the use of the minister who came to assist him on the occasion of the half-yearly dispensation of the Sacrament. But the captain couldn't do that; he said, truly enough, that he had to cross the sound that night to catch a vessel. Then M'Candle offered to have his own horse saddled and accompany Captain Mortimer all the way to where the boat lay, for M'Candle had by this time got to look on himself and the captain as a sort of Damon and Pythias; but this, as our readers will readily conjecture, the captain would on no account hear of. So at last M'Candle let him go, and saddled his horse himself, and went out and helped him to mount, and took leave of him almost with tears, and with the frank familiarity of the friend tempered by the paternal regard of the pastor,