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pocket-handkerchief these dim spectacles; he put them on his nose, he looked at the book, and still he could not see.
He rubbed them with the sleeve of his coat and a corner of his cravat, then put them on his nose and looked at the book, still the words were so many spots or daubs to him.
“ It's a gude maut that comes a will, Mr. Maclean," said Mr. Gillies, who was one of the elders that sat be. side the precentor's desk: “dight your een; sorrow and ill weather comes unsent for:" and Mr. Maclean did so; it was the big drop in either eye that beclouded vision, and put the good man to the trouble of twice wiping his spectacles.
The song of Zion was sung with impatient but pious breasts; and the pastor had scarcely given his flock his orison, when Sandy Glass, Rab Roy, the dominie and his wife, pressed
through the aisle to get up to Fergus, who was by this time surrounded by the people of these pews that were next the door, and the door was shut, and nobody for seven minutes offered to open it. When the door was opened, and the people got out into the churchyard, as Fergus was the only one of the young men who had gone for St. Clyde, and survived the hardships of four years' incessant campaigning, and the murderous effects of several grand battles, besides “ plenty of skirmishing, and lots of out-post duty,” as Macbean termed it, all the parents, and brothers, and sisters, among whom time lad made little alteration, assembled around young Maclean in mournful mood, each father asking for his son, and every mother lamenting the “hap o' her ain bairn;" and little Davie Grahame, and his little sister; somebody lifted the pretty little maid from the
skirts of the group, and handed her over the people's heads, and threw her into Fergus's arms; all now burst forth in grief; Sergeant Macbean got hold of little Davie Grahame, and the crowd made room for the dominie, the minister, and the sergeant to get forward.
Fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and hopeless sweethearts, weeped the tear of sympathy, and cast an eye of envy on the poor dominie, walking by the side of his son, now “curtailed of his fair proportions of man's dimensions;" and as Fergus could not yet walk very gently with the wooden leg, “the bird maun flighter, that flies wi' ae wing,” said Sandy Glass.
Still Fergus was a son; and perhaps if he too had fallen iv battle, the griefs of the people that now flocked round him might have closed much sooner, for they could not look upon the dominie and Fergus, without dropping a
tear and heaving a sigh at the recollec. tion of “ their ain bairn lying cauld in unchristian grave."
The next day the sergeant and Fergus were recounting “the deeds of other times,” and relating the marvellous, in presence of all who came to the smithy; for Mactaggart was the most inquisitive man living; and though the sergeant had, from being among the French, become nearly “as loquacious as a crow," still he and Macbean would not voluntarily say what each had gone through, for it was Sergeant Macbean's motto, that “naithing's to be done in haste, but gripping of fleas.”
But this day the rencounter of St, Clyde and Macbean with the robbers was talked of, and Macbean for the first time boasted of having partly disarmed the enemy.
“What gat ye man?” cried Mactaggart; “ dirk ?
“ Na, na; nae dirk, but a pistol." “ A pistol, man; whar is't ?”
At hame, at Mr. Maclean's house: let by-ganes be by-ganes, I'll keep the pouch gun; it's a sin to lie on the deil, but I could a' gatten a yellow boy for the pistol, but I'll keep it."
Ay, do sae, sergeant; it's an ill pack that's nae worth the custom; but wha wad gi’ye ane and twenty shillings for it, Mr. Macbean?” said Sandy Glass. “Gif ye winna sell it, ye ken ye winna."
But here the company were interrupted by the arrival of the dominie, and all his guests went home to dinner. After dinner, Fergus wished to see the pistol, and Macbean went to his knapsack, brought it out, and handed it to Fergus; Sandy Glass stood looking in at the room-window, for it was open.--"Bless me, sergeant,” cried Maclean, “this is a fine pistol, it has