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But the reasonings which were passing in his mind with such rapid succession, were dissipated by the bold outlaw, who, with an ironical sneer, bade his crew “drink their grog, and toast next to their sweethearts and wives, the health of the prince, and the days o' lang-sine."
The chase is up,—but they shall know,
WHIGGANS purposed to go on shore, and begged St. Clyde to put on one of his fear-nothings, and step into the boat with him. He did so, and they landed in a trice, and marched from the beach to a small house, built as houses usually are in that quarter of the island. It is true it had been built of stones without cement, and was covered with sods and heath, The partition that divided it into two apartments was of wicker, but a separation was necessary, as the poor man had a large family. The peat fire on the middle of the floor, and a large VOL. III.
pot slung on an immensely long iron hook, gave symptoms of something to eat. But the fire burned clear, and the good woman and her daughter were preparing supper for the people who had been on the shore. She offered her visitors some brandy; and Whiggans' seizing a glass as if he had tasted nothing for a week, “ To your roof-tree, lucky !” said he, and drank it off. St. Clyde tasted bis, wishing health to the woman and her family; for he had travelled too much to feel any squeamishness about either the smoke that was now finding its way out of the hut, the appearance of the children, or another glass. than that out of which Whiggans drank.
After supping and settling privately with the merchants, Whiggans and his people prepared to leave the shore again, and were accompanied by St. Clyde. As soon as they got on
board, Whiggans gave orders to sail up the loch for a cargo of whiskey, which he intended to carry to loch Ryan, or rather to Stranrawer; and as the morning twilight disclosed to St. Clyde's view the majestic mountains, south of Kildnan, piled one above another, raising their lofty summits above the clouds that swept a passage beneath their huge naked tops, a sail was discovered coming down the loch, and Whiggans instantly altered his course, but cleared his vessel for action, supposing, as it afterwards turned out, that the strange sail was one of the excise cutters.
Though Whiggans's vessel sailed remarkably well, the wind was rather scant to weather the Cape and get into Kilbrannin Sound, and the cutter now appeared bearing down upon them with a heavy press of sail. Unawed by her superior size, the daring
outlaw run his lugger close in shore, trusting, if the cutter pursued him, that the Argyle Highlanders would lend him their assistance in the defence of his vessel.
St. Clyde was in the worst predicament a loyal subject could be in. He had twice led on his company in the face and fire of a battery of cannon, and he knew what it was to shed his blood in defence of the colonies of Great Britain ; but here he was a passenger on board a vessel whose crew would not easily yield. Seeing the dilemma into which he was accidentally and unwittingly cast, lie begged Whiggans to land him before they engaged the eutter.
That was impossible; the coast was a bold, rocky shore; but an officer of the Highland Watch would not be required to fight against a ship of the navy.
The cutter came down in a very