It was aye pit-mirk; the flame o' the can'le, when he set it on the grund, brunt steedy and clear as in a room; naething moved, but the Dule water seepin' and sabbin' doon the glen, an' yon unhaly footstep that cam' ploddin doun the stairs inside the manse. He kenned the foot over weel, for it was Janet's; and at ilka step that cam' a wee thing nearer, the cauld got deeper in his vitals.
Macfadyen pointed with honest pride to her wall of crockery, "and when the minister is at an illustration or makin' an appeal a' aye rin ower the rack tae see that a've a' the pints in their places. Maister Mactavish cud ne'er hae got the wheephand o' me wi' his diveesions; he's no fit to haud the can'le tae John Peddie.
'For you and me, and twenty or thirty mair, mebbe I dinna ken, replied Kirsty. 'I s' mak ye a present o' my room intil 't, returned Steenie. 'I want nane o' 't. 'Ill gang doon wi' the can'le, said Kirsty, 'and see whether 't be a place for ye. Gien I cry oot, "Ay is't," wull ye come? 'That I wull, gien 't war the whaul's belly! replied Steenie.
He could enjoy a joke against himself when it came from a woman, and was founded on such a trifle as a personal vice. 'I think I'll go to bed, he said when his laugh was over. 'I believe it's the only safe place from your tongue, Miss Naper. 'Letty, cried Miss Napier, 'fess a can'le, and show his lordship to the reid room. Till Miss Letty appeared, the baron sat and stretched himself.
"I give you one lil' charm fo' to ween him back, yaas. You wear h'it 'roun' you' wais', an' he come back. Den you mek prayer at St. Rocque an' burn can'le. Den you come back an' tell me, yaas. Cinquante sous, ma'amzelle. Merci. Good luck go wid you." Readjusting her veil, Manuela passed out the little wicket gate, treading on air.
It wud tak a body lat me see maybe half a year to trevel there upo' 's ain fit, answered Kirsty, after some meditation. 'And me a hantle langer, my feet's sae odious heavy! remarked Steenie with a sigh. As they drew near the house, their mother saw them coming, and went to the door to meet them. 'We're wantin a bit o' a can'le, and a spunk or twa, mother, said Kirsty.
"'Deed an' sae am I! Ye s' hae nae mair nor that no gien it was to scrape the girnel an' that's dune lang syne, an' twise ower!" "Grizzie, I'm feart ye'll anger me." "Ye s' get nae mair!" Cosmo burst out laughing. "Grizzie," he said, "I dinna believe ye nae an' inch mair can'le i' the hoose!" "It needs na a Warlock to tell that! Gien I had it, what for sud na ye hae't 'at has the best richt?"
'Miss Letty's compliments, sir, and Miss Naper has the keys, and she's gane till her bed, and we maunna disturb her. And it's time 'at a' honest fowk was in their beds tu. And gin Mr. Lammie wants a bed i' this hoose, he maun gang till 't. An' here's his can'le. Gude nicht to ye a', gentlemen. So saying, Meg set the lighted candle on the sideboard, and finally vanished.
In her eyes, nobody was quite so near perfection as he, except, perhaps, the fair woman whom he had married. "Kain't nobody in ten States hole a can'le to my Marse Sidney an' his Miss Elise," old Daphne used to say, proudly. "They sut'n'ly is the handsomest couple evah jined togethah, an' the free-handedest. In all they travels by sea or by land they nevah fo'gits ole Daphne.
It is said, indeed, that he liked a grave tumbler of punch, and was sardonic and silent in his liquor; that his gait was occasionally a little queer and uncertain, as his lank figure glided home by moonlight, from the 'Salmon House; and that his fingers fumbled longer than need be with the latch, and his tongue, though it tried but a short and grim 'bar'th door, Marjry, or 'gi' me can'le, wench, sometimes lacked its cunning, and slipped and kept not time.