My certies! if Clavers, or Sherp, or Lauderdale had an inklin' o' the hunderd pairt o' the law-brekin' that I've done, it's a gallows in the Gressmarkit as high as Haman's wad be ereckit for me, an' my heed an' hauns, may be, would be bleachin' on the Nether Bow. Humph! but they've no' gotten me yet!"
Sclater's request they had come down, and looking at the outside of the house, had espied a half-obliterated stone-carving of the Galbraith arms "Gien I was you, Sir Gilbert, I wad gar Maister Scletter keep a sherp luik oot for the first chance o' buyin' back this hoose. It wad be a great peety it sud gang to waur afore ye get it. Eh! sic tales as this hoose cud tell!"
No one was with the old woman save a large cat, to whom she was in the habit of addressing occasional remarks of a miscellaneous nature, as if to relieve the tedium of solitude with the fiction of intercourse. "Ay, pussie," she said, "ye may weel wash yer face an' purr, for there's nae fear o' you bein' dragged before Airchbishop Sherp to hae yer thoombs screwed, or yer legs squeezed in the "
"Keep a sherp look-oot, Shames," cried the skipper, suddenly, as he went forward with unwonted alacrity. A few minutes more and the sound which had at first been distinguished only by Barret's sharp ear, became audible to all the soft regular patting of a paddle-wheel steamer in the distance, yet clearly coming towards them.
"Come aft, poys," shouted Ian, whose voice, strong though it was, could scarcely be heard in the bow owing to the roaring of the gale; "she's trinkin' too much; come aft, an' look sherp!" The three boys obeyed with alacrity, being well accustomed to boats, and aware of the necessity of prompt obedience in circumstances of danger.
They had been so hard on some poor wretch, I suppose, that they broke part of it, but I put a flaw into its heart that will force them to be either less cruel or to come to me again for repairs!" "H'm! if ye try thae pranks ower often they'll find it oot," said Quentin. "Sherp is weel named, and if he suspects what ye've done, ye'll get a taste of the buit yersel'."
"If ta poy will pe a Stewart," he went on, heedless of the indifference of her remark, "who'll pe knowing put he'll may pe of ta plood royal!" "There didna leuk to be muckle royalty aboot auld John, honest man, wha cudna rule a wife, though he had but ane!" returned Miss Horn. "If you 'll please, mem, ton't you'll pe too sherp on ta poor man whose wife will not pe ta coot wife.
My word, nobles are easy made, but they're no' sae easy unmade! An' this Lauderdale maks a cooncil wi' Airchbishop Sherp a traiter and a turncoat an' a wheen mair like himsel', and they send sodgers oot ower the land to eat us up an' cram Prelacy doon oor throats, an' curates into oor poo'pits whether we wull or no'. An' that though Chairles himsel' signed the Covenant at the time he was crooned!
Ay, ye may look surprised, my friends, but I've got a way o' findin' out these things that is not known to every wan. Now, Tonal', gif them that as best ye can, and look sherp, for there iss more to come.