Yet I thought that the staining of the heather by the blood was the evil chiefly dreaded, and that, when the boatman said, "I'll row you o'er the ferry. It is not for your silver bright, But for your winsome lady," he was to receive the lady for his pay. "Ring out the food of rich and poor, Ring in redness to all mankind," and finding no inward difficulty.
Faith, Harry, you will be a happy man, and may feed on bilberries all your life; but upon little else, unless you can pick the spare bones of an old maid who has run herself into an asthma in the unsuccessful sport of husband-hunting." "She will inherit her uncle's property, Lindsay." "Yes, she will inherit the heather and the bilberries.
She neither slackened nor hastened her step, but went walking on as before. In a little while she unfolded her cloak, and let the princess look out. The firs had ceased; and they were on a lofty height of moorland, stony and bare and dry, with tufts of heather and a few small plants here and there.
She then gave her spade to Sylvia, who did likewise; then Hetty, in her turn, also planted a clump of heather. The contents of the watering-can was presently dispersed among the three clumps, and the girls turned back in the direction of the house. "She is nice!" said Betty. "I will bring her here the first day she has a minute to spare and show her the heather.
Basil said it was like a Surrey set down by the sea, so I suppose Surrey has big trees and flowery hedges and rolling downs, purple with heather. But surely no heather can be as purple as Scottish heather? The sands of Girvan seemed to float like a golden scarf on the blue sea, and the town looked a romantic, mediæval place till we shot into it.
The road stretched in a pale, straight streak, narrowing to a mere thread at the limit of vision the only living thing in the wild darkness. All was very still. It had been raining; the wet heather and the pines gave forth scent, and little gusty shivers shook the dripping birch trees.
Not to everyone is it given to take a wide view of things to look over the far, pale streams, the purple heather, and moonlit pools of the wild marches, where reeds stand black against the sundown, and from long distance comes the cry of a curlew nor to everyone to gaze from steep cliffs over the wine-dark, shadowy sea or from high mountainsides to see crowned chaos, smoking with mist, or gold-bright in the sun.
Her Majesty's piper, Mackay, had orders to play a pibroch under her windows every morning at seven o'clock. At the same early hour a bunch of fresh heather, with a draught of icy-cold water from Glen Tilt, was brought to the Queen. The Princess Royal, on her Shetland pony, accompanied the Queen and the Prince in their morning rambles.
"And Jessie," he cried, "White Heather that innocent little Scotchwoman! I often detected a familiar ring in her voice, in spite of the charming Highland accent. Jessie is Madame Picardet!" We had absolutely no evidence; but, like the Commissary at Nice, we felt instinctively sure of it. Sir Charles was determined to catch the rogue. This second deception put him on his mettle.
As there was no water within reach the flames could be extinguished at last only by rolling him over, and over, wounded as he was, among the sand and heather. Count Ernest Solms was desperately wounded at the same time. For a moment both gentlemen attempted to effect their escape by mounting on one horse, but both fell to the ground exhausted and were taken prisoners.