Could he have imagined this, his grief and rage might have driven him to the fierce extremity of taking Eachin's life, to save him from staining his honour. But his mind rejected the idea that his dault was a personal coward, as something which was monstrous and unnatural.

In making his way through the press, he was at one instant carried so close to Eachin that their eyes encountered. The smith's hardy and embrowned countenance coloured up like the heated iron on which he wrought, and retained its dark red hue for several minutes. Eachin's features glowed with a brighter blush of indignation, and a glance of fiery hatred was shot from his eyes.

The care that was taken to attend to his wants and convenience in every respect showed that he was not forgotten; but yet, when he heard the chieftain's horn ringing through the woods, he usually made it a point to choose his walk in a different direction. One morning, however, he found himself unexpectedly in Eachin's close neighbourhood, with scarce leisure to avoid him, and thus it happened.

The old man, with a trembling hand, unsheathed the ponderous weapon, and, holding it by the blade, offered the hilt to the young chieftain's grasp; at the same time Torquil of the Oak unfurled the pennon of the tribe, and swung it repeatedly over Eachin's head, who, with singular grace and dexterity, brandished the huge claymore as in its defence.

The barge which had lately borne the dead to the grave now conveyed the young MacIan to his new command and the minstrels sent forth their gayest notes to gratulate Eachin's succession, as they had lately sounded their most doleful dirges when carrying Gilchrist to his grave.

"It cannot be concealed, father Torquil," said Eachin: "it will all out to the broad day." "What will out? what will to broad day?" asked Torquil in surprise. "It is the fatal secret," thought Simon; "and now, if this huge privy councillor cannot keep silence, I shall be made answerable, I suppose, for Eachin's disgrace having been blown abroad."

"Did I not pray you," said Niel Booshalloch, "to say nothing on that subject?" "It is the mail shirts I speak of," said Simon "may I ask if any of them were made by our celebrated Perth armourer, called Henry of the Wynd?" "Thou art more unlucky than before," said Niel, "that man's name is to Eachin's temper like a whirlwind upon the lake; yet no man knows for what cause."