Blame me blame even Willy, but not him. I loved him." Slaughter laughed in his mirthless, satirical manner again. "Till yet another came," he said. "Till you met Dickson, and " "He was Dickson," she interrupted. "It was the name he took. It was " "And you profane his memory by saying that he was the father of that cowardly slab?" Slaughter broke in angrily. "He was the father of my boy.
The soul of Dickson hungered at the moment for human companionship. He felt that his courage would be sufficient for any team-work, but might waver again if he were left to play a lone hand. He lunched nobly off three plates of Mrs. Morran's kail an early lunch, for that lady, having breakfasted at five, partook of the midday meal about eleven.
Dickson was sitting, with the eyes that saw not staring away into the blue distance, with the soft, warm breeze blowing gently on to her face, and with a smile playing round her mouth.
The big man nodded as if satisfied. Heritage noted that his right arm was tied up, and that the mackintosh sleeve was empty, and that brought him enlightenment. It was Loudon the factor, whom Dickson had winged the night before. The two of them passed out of view in the direction of Spidel. The sight awoke Heritage to the supreme unpleasantness of his position.
There were there the Duke, the Chancellor, Peel, Sir J. Murray, Lord Rosslyn and Goulburn, the Speaker, the Attorney General, Courtenay, Ashley, and Bankes; Duke of Buccleuch, Lord Camden, Lord Montagu, Lord Hill, Sir Herbert Taylor, Sir Byam Martin, Sir A. Dickson, Colonel Houston, Lord Dalhousie, and Sir Sidney Beckwith, and their aides-de-camp; a great many Directors, and in all rather more than 100 people.
He got a lassie frae Auchenlochan to cook, but she and her box gaed off in the post-cairt yestreen. I doot he tell't ye a lee, though it's no for me to juidge him. I've never spoken a word to ane o' thae new folk." Dickson inquired about the "new folk." "They're a' now come in the last three weeks, and there's no' a man o' the auld stock left.
"Bully!" exclaimed Thure enthusiastically. "Mrs. Dickson can beat dad and the rest of you making flapjacks all hollow; and she can make biscuits, real biscuits that a fellow can eat without cracking them first with a hammer, the same as nuts!" "Wal, I reckon, that argyment settles it," grinned Ham.
"Well, Dickson," I said, when I had bade the detective an revoir, "what about our man?" "I've had him under my eye, sir," he answered. "I know exactly what he's been doing, and where he's staying." "That's good news indeed," I replied. "Have you discovered anything else about him?" "Yes, sir," he returned.
Five minutes later Dickson was pursuing a quavering course like a snipe down the avenue. He was a miserable performer on a bicycle. Not for twenty years had he bestridden one, and he did not understand such new devices as free-wheels and change of gears. The mounting had been the worst part, and it had only been achieved by the help of a rockery.
The landlord seemed to think likewise, for he drew back a chair for him at the other end, where sat a young man absorbed in a book. Dickson gave him good evening, and got an abstracted reply. The young man supped the Black Bull's excellent broth with one hand, and with the other turned the pages of his volume.