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The affair of the attack of the robbers upon the sergeant and St. Clyde, Mon. Villejuive would listen to with the deepest attention ; and the gasconade of Macbean, in vanquishing the
biggest of the robbers,” quite astonished Mon. Villejuive; but the veteran shought little of it, farther than that he certainly was the victor, since the assassin, though armed, was beaten off. And when the sergeant boasted that he had secured one of the pistols the robber fired, Mon. Villejuive wished the sergeant would bring it, that he might see the trophy of this victory; accordingly the sergeant the next day brought it. Mon. Villejuive not only wished, but begged the sergeant would sell it him: Macbean had at first little hesitation about this; but he did not like to part with it, as “his captain had not seen it, for he had kept it in his wallet frae the time that the villain had it forced out of his hand,” and Macbean, from his strong attachment to the captain, would not, after a good deal of argument, part with it.
He did not know the meaning of “the picture" engraved on the silver plate on the butt end, but he would rather keep it; he might need it in the Highlands, or, if he joined his regiment again, he could keep it in his purse; it might stand him in an affray with the enemy in the place and service of a firelock; and a pistol was an useful thing to a man that only carried a pike and a claymore: he would at all events keep it till St. Clyde came home.
M. Villejuive reasoned with him on the folly of this, when he had offered a guinea for it. The sergeant looked first at the guinea and then at the pistol, and then at the money and again at the pistol, and at last declared he
would not part with it for a purse full of gold, for it had enabled him to beat off an enemy, and he would therefore keep it. It was to no purpose M. Villejuive reasoned, on the silliness of such a predilection for a pistol: the sergeant might buy another for half a guinea, as good as that; at any rate, one that would serve his turn as well : for if the pistol was no more than perfect, one as fit for service was as good as another.
The arguments of M. Villejuive had still less weight with Macbean; and at last M. Villejuive begged he would lend it him till the next day. The sergeant would not part with it; it was his own, as lawfully as Quebec was his king's. He would keep it. M. Villejuive, if he wanted a pistol, could buy one as well as the sergeant; for if one pistol was the same to a “twa and forty man" as another, one pistol was certainly as good as another if both fired well, to a farmer, who was in no danger of being murdered.
The murder of the Laird St. Clyde was quoted by Villejuive; but Macbean argued, as a security against the chances of M. Villejuive dying the same death, his being armed with a good hazel stick, and a dirk if he liked, which he observed every body had in his house, Macbean would not part with his treasure on any account, and he and Villejuive parted that evening at cross purposes about a trifling pistol.
It was the next day that M. Villejuive waited on the fiscal, and consigned to him the deeds of the nortgage, and settled that the estate of St. Clyde should be let at the same rent at which he held it, and that the rent should be paid to Ellen, or Colin St. Clyde, till they could redeem it; and
in the mean time a deed was made out, in which by will M. Villejuive bequeathed the redemption-purchase of the mortgage equally to his sons.
The fiscal could not understand this sudden change in the conduct of M. Villejuive, and was very sorry to hear he was going to leave the island. But there was some important business that demanded his presence at St. Omer, and he could not remain in Bute any longer; and that same day arranging all his affairs, he went and took leave of the minister and Ellen, saying, he expected to be back in the course of three months; but as the farm would go to wreck during his ab. sence, Andrew Gillies was solicited to take it, with the live stock and the farming utensils. But Gillies could not pay the amount; and M. Villejuive was good enough to take a note for it, payable by instalments of six