But at the last this poor chased Indian recovered the river side and got upon a tree, and, as we were coasting, leaped down and swam to the barge half dead with fear. But our good hap was that we kept the other old Indian, which we handfasted to redeem our pilot withal; for, being natural of those rivers, we assured ourselves that he knew the way better than any stranger could.
I still appeared so engrossed with work on The Register and The Observer that my time was quite well enough accounted for. I tried for a prize of 100 pounds offered by The Sydney Mail with a novel called "Handfasted," but was not successful, for the judge feared that it was calculated to loosen the marriage tie it was too socialistic and consequently dangerous.
McClure knew that he was in danger anywhere west of the Cree, but the danger increased as he went westwards, and in his own parish of Stonykirk there were at least a score of young blades who would have taken his life with as little thought as they would have blooded a pig aye, and had sworn so to do, handfasted upon it, kissing alternately Bible and cold steel.
"Handfasted?" repeated Warden. "Knowest thou not that rite, holy man?" said Avenel, in the same tone of derision; "then I will tell thee. We Border-men are more wary than your inland clowns of Fife and Lothian no jump in the dark for us no clenching the fetters around our wrists till we know how they will wear with us we take our wives, like our horses, upon trial.
Under the shimmering trees there walked mothers, whose children dragged at their skirts to make them look; handfasted lovers were there; a lad teased a lass; a girl hunched her shoulder to provoke more teasing. An old priest paused with a finger in his breviary to smile upon a heap of ragged urchins tumbling in the dust. The air breathed benevolence, the peace of afternoon, the end of toil.
This very night she was going to work the last charm the charm of the bracken flower and whoso she dreamed of with that flower beneath her pillow must be her lover. She felt traitorous to Edward in doing this. She and Edward were handfasted. How, then, could she have any lover but Edward? Why should she work the charm? She puzzled over this during prayers, but no answer came to her questioning.
"Now, by my father's ashes!" said the Baron, rising and spurning from him his footstool with such violence, that it hit the wall on the opposite side of the apartment then instantly constraining himself, he muttered, "What need to run myself into trouble for a fool's word?" then resuming his seat, he answered coldly and scornfully "No, Sir Priest or Sir Preacher, Catherine is not my wife Cease thy whimpering, thou foolish wench she is not my wife, but she is handfasted with me, and that makes her as honest a woman."