"Be it so; but even this is the less pressing peril, especially as it threatens open violence, for the Douglas works not in secret." "What is there which presses, and keeps us awake at this late hour? I am a weary man, thou a wounded one, and the very tapers are blinking, as if tired of our conference." "Tell me, then, who is it that rules this kingdom of Scotland?" said Ramorny.

And, hark thee, since that cannot be, I will get thee such a substitute as the steel hand of the old knight of Carslogie, with which he greeted his friends, caressed his wife, braved his antagonists, and did all that might be done by a hand of flesh and blood, in offence or defence. Depend on it, John Ramorny, we have much that is superfluous about us.

Sir John Ramorny and Dwining carried him to his chamber, accepting no other assistance than that of another person, whom we will afterwards give name to.

"What is it that I must do, Ramorny?" said the Prince, with an air of dignity; "nothing unworthy of myself, I hope?" "Nothing, certainly, unworthy or misbecoming a prince of Scotland, if the bloodstained annals of our country tell the tale truly; but that which may well shock the nerves of a prince of mimes and merry makers."

"I knew it would be so!" said the King, aside to Albany. "In Scotland the first words stammered by an infant and the last uttered by a dying greybeard are 'combat blood revenge. It skills not arguing farther. Admit the defendants." Sir John Ramorny entered the apartment. He was dressed in a long furred robe, such as men of quality wore when they were unarmed.

My soul recoils from him in fear and disgust: there is something in his looks alien from my nature, and which I shudder at as at a loathsome snake, from which my instinct revolts." "First hear him speak, my lord," answered Ramorny; "unless a wineskin were to talk, nothing could use fewer words. Hast thou dealt with him, Bonthron?"

"I am sure here has Errol, and a right true hearted lord he is, so tired me with grave looks, and something like grave lessons, that he has driven me back to thee, thou reprobate, from whom, as I expect nothing good, I may perhaps obtain something entertaining. Yet, ere we say more, it was foul work, that upon the Fastern's Even, Ramorny. I well hope thou gavest not aim to it."

"To my shame and sin be it spoken, I have feud with Highland and Lowland, English and Scot, Perth and Angus. I do not believe poor Oliver had feud with a new hatched chicken. Alas! he was the more fully prepared for a sudden call!" "Hark ye, smith," said the provost, "answer me distinctly: Is there cause of feud between the household of Sir John Ramorny and yourself?"

Ramorny did not attempt an exculpation; for he knew the Prince was in one of those humours, when to enlarge upon a grievance was more pleasing to him than to have his mouth stopped by any reasonable apology. In sullen silence, or amid unsuppressed chiding, the boat arrived at the fishing village of Newburgh.

"Not for worlds!" said Douglas; "speak out what thou hast to say before all that are here present." "Know all; then," said Ramorny, aloud, "that this noble Earl had letters from the Duke of Albany and myself, sent him by the hand of yon cowardly deserter, Buncle let him deny it if he dare counselling the removal of the Duke for a space from court, and his seclusion in this Castle of Falkland."