“Uncover, Caleb! uncover, for Heaven’s sake!” said Bucklaw; “let us have what you can give us without preface. Why, it stands well enough, man,” he continued, addressing impatiently the ancient butler, who, without reply, kept shifting the dish, until he had at length placed it with mathematical precision in the very midst of the table.
“What have we got here, Caleb?” inquired the Master in his turn.
“Ahem! sir, ye suld have known before; but his honour the Laird of Bucklaw is so impatient,” answered Caleb, still holding the dish with one hand and the cover with the other, with evident reluctance to disclose the contents.
“But what is it, a God’s name — not a pair of clean spurs, I hope, in the Border fashion of old times?”
“Ahem! ahem!” reiterated Caleb, “your honour is pleased to be facetious; natheless, I might presume to say it was a convenient fashion, and used, as I have heard, in an honourable and thriving family.Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Hats
But touching your present dinner, I judged that this being St. Magdalen’s [Margaret’s] Eve, who was a worthy queen of Scotland in her day, your honours might judge it decorous, if not altogether to fast, yet only to sustain nature with some slight refection, as ane saulted herring or the like.” And, uncovering the dish, he displayed four of the savoury fishes which he mentioned, adding, in a subdued tone, “that they were no just common herring neither, being every ane melters, and sauted with uncommon care by the housekeeper (poor Mysie) for his honour’s especial use.”
“Out upon all apologies!” said the Master, “let us eat the herrings, since there is nothing better to be had; but I begin to think with you, Bucklaw, that we are consuming the last green leaf, and that, in spite of the Marquis’s political machinations, we must positively shift camp for want of forage, without waiting the issue of them.”
ON the evening of the day when the Lord Keeper and his daughter were saved from such imminent peril, two strangers were seated in the most private apartment of a small obscure inn, or rather alehouse, called the Tod’s Den [Hole], about three or four [five or six] miles from the Castle of Ravenswood and as far from the ruinous tower of Wolf’s Crag, betwixt which two places it was situated.
One of these strangers was about forty years of age, tall, and thin in the flanks, with an aquiline nose, dark penetrating eyes, and a shrewd but sinister cast of countenance. Minnesota Twins Hats
The other was about fifteen years younger, short, stout, ruddy-faced, and red-haired, with an open, resolute, and cheerful eye, to which careless and fearless freedom and inward daring gave fire and expression, notwithstanding its light grey colour. A stoup of wine (for in those days it was erved out from the cask in pewter flagons) was placed on the table, and each had his quaigh or bicker before him. But there was little appearance of conviviality. With folded arms, and looks of anxious expectation, they eyed each other in silence, each wrapt in his own thoughts, and holding no communication with his neighbour. At length the younger broke silence by exclaiming: “What the foul fiend can detain the Master so long? He must have miscarried in his enterprise. Why did you dissuade me from going with him?”
“One man is enough to right his own wrong,” said the taller and older personage; “we venture our lives for him in coming thus far on such an errand.”
“You are but a craven after all, Craigengelt,” answered the younger, “and that’s what many folk have thought you before now.” “But what none has dared to tell me,” said Craigengelt, laying his hand on the hilt of his sword; “and, but that I hold a hasty man no better than a fool, I would ——” he paused for his companion’s answer.