"What is the matter with the laird?" "Maitter? maitter wi' the laird? The laird's deid, laddie, and a gude freend was he to me and mine, and to your ain sei' forbye, and the hale kintra side will be at the buryin'," said the housekeeper, shaking her head solemnly. "An' if that were na enow for my poor mistress there's a waur thing to follow. The laird's fa'en by his ain brither's han's. Mr.
Man, Drumsheugh, ye poverty-stricken cratur, I've naethin' in this world but a handfu' o' books and a ten-pund note for my funeral, and yet, if it wasna I have all my brither's bairns tae keep, I wud pay every penny mysel'. But I'll no see Geordie sent to the plough, tho' I gang frae door to door.
'Ye're awn me wan an' nine, fork it oot, she answered brusquely, and held out her brawny hand, into which Abel Graham reluctantly, as usual, put the desired coins. 'Yer brither's dochter, genty born? said Mrs. Macintyre, with a jerk of her thumb. 'Gie her her meat; mind, a young wame's aye toom. Puir thing, puir thing!
"You can hae my room if it please you better, Aunt Janet; but it is a gey cold one in the winter; and there isna ony way to make it warmer." "Tuts, lassie! What for wad I want your bit room, when there is my brither's room empty noo?" She rose as she spoke, and opened the door of the apartment which Allan had so long occupied.
Sae the young laird sent his sister-in-law, as he calls her, up here to bide her lane, telling his feyther, the airl, he could na' turn his brither's widow out of doors. Which, ye ken, me leddy, sounded weel eneugh. Sae hither she cam'. And an unco' sair heart she's gi'e us a' sin' ever she cam'!" "Has she been here ever since?"
"Angert!" repeated Aggie, and looked at him with a glow angelic in her honest, handsome face, and her eyes as true as the heavens. "It was only 'at ye didna ken what ye war aboot, an' bein' sae muckle yoonger nor mysel', I was b'un' to tak care o' ye; for a wuman as weel's a man maun be her brither's keeper. Ye see yersel' I was richt!"
Just as the coin was about to be placed back in the purse of the lady, the boy, looking up into her face, suddenly blurted out: "But my wee brither's no' a Scout."
'I beg your pardon, what is it? Gladys asked kindly, and the surprise deepened on the Scotchwoman's face. 'Ye'll be his niece, mebbe his brither's lass, are ye, eh? And hae ye come to bide? If ye hiv, Almichty help ye! Gladys shook her head, not understanding yet a single word. At this awkward juncture the old man came hurrying along the passage, and Mrs.