I'm no stucken. I'm only some stiff wi' the cauld; for wow, but I am cauld! said Shargar, rising with difficulty. 'Gie 's a haud o' yer han', Bob. Robert gave him his hand, and Shargar was straightway upon his feet. 'Come awa' noo, as fest and as quaiet 's ye can. 'What are ye gaein' to du wi' me, Bob? 'What's that to you, Shargar? 'Naything. Only I wad like to ken.
But ere Nancy, the servant, could follow with the spoons and plates, Wattie Morrison had taken the tureen, and out of spite at Robert, had emptied its contents on the head of Shargar, who was still tied by the feet, with the words: 'Shargar, I anoint thee king over us, and here is thy crown, giving the tureen, as he said so, a push on to his head, where it remained.
This was all the instruction Robert ever gave Shargar in the duties of a gentleman. And I doubt whether Shargar sought further enlightenment by direct question of any one. He worked harder than ever; grew cleanly in his person, even to fastidiousness; tried to speak English; and a wonderful change gradually, but rapidly, passed over his outer man.
Robert rose, and in his confusion Shargar rose too, and sat down again, blushing till his red hair looked yellow beside his cheeks. The men repeated the words, 'George Moray, Gentleman, emptied their glasses, and resumed their seats. Shargar rose trembling, and tried in vain to speak. The reason in part was, that he sought to utter himself in English. 'Hoots! Damn English! he broke out at last.
He drew near, and peeped in at the broken window. A heap of something lay in a corner, watched only by a long-snuffed candle. The heap moved, and a voice called out querulously, 'Is that you, Shargar, ye shochlin deevil? Falconer's heart leaped. He hesitated no longer, but lifted the latch and entered. He took up the candle, snuffed it as he best could, and approached the woman.
Slowly the great-headed creature arose from the hands of Shargar, and ascended about twenty feet, when, as if seized with a sudden fit of wrath or fierce indignation, it turned right round and dashed itself with headlong fury to the earth, as if sooner than submit to such influences a moment longer it would beat out its brains at once. 'It hasna half tail eneuch, cried Robert.
For all that Robert could manage to procure for him without attracting the attention he was so anxious to avoid, was little more than sufficient to keep his hunger alive, Shargar being gifted with a great appetite, and Robert having no allowance of pocket-money from his grandmother. The threepence he had been able to spend on him were what remained of sixpence Mr.
'Luik here, Shargar! he said under his breath, for they never dared to speak aloud in these precincts 'luik here! What can there be in this box? Is't a bairnie's coffin, duv ye think? Luik at it.
Then, stopping to ask no questions, 'Ye see I'm to hae a name o' my ain efter a', he said, with a face which looked even handsome in the light of his gladness. Robert shook hands with him, and wished him joy heartily. 'Wha wad hae thocht it, Shargar, he added, 'that day 'at ye pat bonnets for hose upo' Black Geordie's huves? The butler announced the Marquis of Boarshead. Mysie's eyes flashed.
'Cud it be his mither? thought Robert in bewilderment; but he recovered himself in a moment, and answered, 'Shargar may be a quean efter a', for onything 'at I ken to the contrairy; but I aye tuik him for a loon. Faith, sic a quean as he'd mak!