Can no rest find me, no private place secure me,
But still my miseries like bloodhounds haunt me?
Unfortunate young man, which way now guides thee,
Guides thee from death? The country's laid around for thee.
Our narrative now recalls us for a moment to the period when young
Hazlewood received his wound. That accident had no sooner happened
than the consequences to Miss Mannering and to himself rushed upon
Brown's mind. From the manner in which the muzzle of the piece was
pointed when it went off, he had no great fear that the
consequences would be fatal. But an arrest in a strange country,
and while he was unprovided with any means of establishing his
rank and character, was at least to be avoided. He therefore
resolved to escape for the present to the neighbouring coast of
England, and to remain concealed there, if possible, until he
should receive letters from his regimental friends, and
remittances from his agent; and then to resume his own character,
and offer to young Hazlewood and his friends any explanation or
satisfaction they might desire. With this purpose he walked
stoutly forward, after leaving the spot where the accident had
happened, and reached without adventure the village which we have
called Portanferry (but which the reader will in vain seek for
under that name in the county map). A large open boat was just
about to leave the quay, bound for the little seaport of Allonby,
in Cumberland. In this vessel Brown embarked, and resolved to make
that place his temporary abode, until he should receive letters
and money from England.
In the course of their short voyage he entered into some
conversation with the steersman, who was also owner of the boat, a
jolly old man, who had occasionally been engaged in the smuggling
trade, like most fishers on the coast. After talking about objects
of less interest, Brown endeavoured to turn the discourse toward
the Mannering family. The sailor had heard of the attack upon the
house at Woodbourne, but disapproved of the smugglers'
'Hands off is fair play; zounds, they'll bring the whole country
down upon them. Na, na! when I was in that way I played at giff-
gaff with the officers: here a cargo taen--vera weel, that was
their luck; there another carried clean through, that was mine;
na, na! hawks shouldna pike out hawks' een.'
'And this Colonel Mannering?' said Brown.
'Troth, he's nae wise man neither, to interfere; no that I blame
him for saving the gangers' lives, that was very right; but it
wasna like a gentleman to be righting about the poor folk's pocks
o' tea and brandy kegs. However, he's a grand man and an officer
man, and they do what they like wi' the like o' us.'
'And his daughter,' said Brown, with a throbbing heart, 'is going
to be married into a great family too, as I have heard?'
'What, into the Hazlewoods'?' said the pilot. 'Na, na, that's but
idle clashes; every Sabbath day, as regularly as it came round,
did the young man ride hame wi' the daughter of the late
Ellangowan; and my daughter Peggy's in the service up at
Woodbourne, and she says she's sure young Hazlewood thinks nae
mair of Miss Mannering than you do.'
Bitterly censuring his own precipitate adoption of a contrary
belief, Brown yet heard with delight that the suspicions of
Julia's fidelity, upon which he had so rashly acted, were probably
void of foundation. How must he in the meantime be suffering in
her opinion? or what could she suppose of conduct which must have
made him appear to her regardless alike of her peace of mind and
of the interests of their affection? The old man's connexion with
the family at Woodbourne seemed to offer a safe mode of
communication, of which he determined to avail himself.
'Your daughter is a maid-servant at Woodbourne? I knew Miss
Mannering in India, and, though I am at present in an inferior
rank of life, I have great reason to hope she would interest
herself in my favour. I had a quarrel unfortunately with her
father, who was my commanding officer, and I am sure the young
lady would endeavour to reconcile him to me. Perhaps your daughter
could deliver a letter to her upon the subject, without making
mischief between her father and her?'
The old man, a friend to smuggling of every kind, readily answered
for the letter's being faithfully and secretly delivered; and,
accordingly, as soon as they arrived at Allonby Brown wrote to
Miss Mannering, stating the utmost contrition for what had
happened through his rashness, and conjuring her to let him have
an opportunity of pleading his own cause, and obtaining
forgiveness for his indiscretion. He did not judge it safe to go
into any detail concerning the circumstances by which he had been
misled, and upon the whole endeavcured to express himself with
such ambiguity that, if the letter should fall into wrong hands,
it would be difficult either to understand its real purport or to
trace the writer. This letter the old man undertook faithfully to
deliver to his daughter at Woodbourne; and, as his trade would
speedily again bring him or his boat to Allonby, he promised
farther to take charge of any answer with which the young lady
might entrust him.
And now our persecuted traveller landed at Allonby, and sought for
such accommodations as might at once suit his temporary poverty
and his desire of remaining as much unobserved as possible. With
this view he assumed the name and profession of his friend Dudley,
having command enough of the pencil to verify his pretended
character to his host of Allonby. His baggage he pretended to
expect from Wigton; and keeping himself as much within doors as
possible, awaited the return of the letters which he had sent to
his agent, to Delaserre, and to his lieutenant-colonel. From the
first he requested a supply of money; he conjured Delaserre, if
possible, to join him in Scotland; and from the lieutenant-colonel
he required such testimony of his rank and conduct in the regiment
as should place his character as a gentleman and officer beyond
the power of question. The inconvenience of being run short in his
finances struck him so strongly that he wrote to Dinmont on that
subject, requesting a small temporary loan, having no doubt that,
being within sixty or seventy miles of his residence, he should
receive a speedy as well as favourable answer to his request of
pecuniary accommodation, which was owing, as he stated, to his
having been robbed after their parting. And then, with impatience
enough, though without any serious apprehension, he waited the
answers of these various letters.
It must be observed, in excuse of his correspondents, that the
post was then much more tardy than since Mr. Palmer's ingenious
invention has taken place; and with respect to honest Dinmont in
particular, as he rarely received above one letter a quarter
(unless during the time of his being engaged in a law-suit, when
he regularly sent to the post-town), his correspondence usually
remained for a month or two sticking in the postmaster's window
among pamphlets, gingerbread, rolls, or ballads, according to the
trade which the said postmaster exercised. Besides, there was then
a custom, not yet wholly obsolete, of causing a letter from one
town to another, perhaps within the distance of thirty miles,
perform a circuit of two hundred miles before delivery; which had
the combined advantage of airing the epistle thoroughly, of adding
some pence to the revenue of the post-office, and of exercising
the patience of the correspondents. Owing to these circumstances
Brown remained several days in Allonby without any answers
whatever, and his stock of money, though husbanded with the utmost
economy, began to wear very low, when he received by the hands of
a young fisherman the following letter:--
'You have acted with the most cruel indiscretion; you have shown
how little I can trust to your declarations that my peace and
happiness are dear to you; and your rashness has nearly occasioned
the death of a young man of the highest worth and honour. Must I
say more? must I add that I have been myself very ill in
consequence of your violence and its effects? And, alas! need I
say still farther, that I have thought anxiously upon them as they
are likely to affect you, although you have given me such slight
cause to do so? The C. is gone from home for several days, Mr. H.
is almost quite recovered, and I have reason to think that the
blame is laid in a quarter different from that where it is
deserved. Yet do not think of venturing here. Our fate has been
crossed by accidents of a nature too violent and terrible to
permit me to think of renewing a correspondence which has so often
threatened the most dreadful catastrophe. Farewell, therefore, and
believe that no one can wish your happiness more sincerely than
This letter contained that species of advice which is frequently
given for the precise purpose that it may lead to a directly
opposite conduct from that which it recommends. At least so
thought Brown, who immediately asked the young fisherman if he
came from Portanferry.
'Ay,' said the lad; 'I am auld Willie Johnstone's son, and I got
that letter frae my sister Peggy, that's laundry maid at
'My good friend, when do you sail?'
'With the tide this evening.'
'I'll return with you; but, as I do not desire to go to
Portanferry, I wish you could put me on shore somewhere on the
'We can easily do that,' said the lad.
Although the price of provisions, etc., was then very moderate,
the discharging his lodgings, and the expense of his living,
together with that of a change of dress, which safety as well as a
proper regard to his external appearance rendered necessary,
brought Brown's purse to a very low ebb. He left directions at the
post-office that his letters should be forwarded to Kippletringan,
whither he resolved to proceed and reclaim the treasure which he
had deposited in the hands of Mrs. MacCandlish. He also felt it
would be his duty to assume his proper character as soon as he
should receive the necessary evidence for supporting it, and, as
an officer in the king's service, give and receive every
explanation which might be necessary with young Hazlewood. 'If he
is not very wrong-headed indeed,' he thought, 'he must allow the
manner in which I acted to have been the necessary consequence of
his own overbearing conduct.'
And now we must suppose him once more embarked on the Solway
Firth. The wind was adverse, attended by some rain, and they
struggled against it without much assistance from the tide. The
boat was heavily laden with goods (part of which were probably
contraband), and laboured deep in the sea. Brown, who had been
bred a sailor, and was indeed skilled in most athletic exercises,
gave his powerful and effectual assistance in rowing, or
occasionally in steering the boat, and his advice in the
management, which became the more delicate as the wind increased,
and, being opposed to the very rapid tides of that coast, made the
voyage perilous. At length, after spending the whole night upon
the firth, they were at morning within sight of a beautiful bay
upon the Scottish coast. The weather was now more mild. The snow,
which had been for some time waning, had given way entirely under
the fresh gale of the preceding night. The more distant hills,
indeed, retained their snowy mantle, but all the open country was
cleared, unless where a few white patches indicated that it had
been drifted to an uncommon depth. Even under its wintry
appearance the shore was highly interesting. The line of sea-
coast, with all its varied curves, indentures, and embayments,
swept away from the sight on either hand, in that varied,
intricate, yet graceful and easy line which the eye loves so well
to pursue. And it was no less relieved and varied in elevation
than in outline by the different forms of the shore, the beach in
some places being edged by steep rocks, and in others rising
smoothly from the sands in easy and swelling slopes. Buildings of
different kinds caught and reflected the wintry sunbeams of a
December morning, and the woods, though now leafless, gave relief
and variety to the landscape. Brown felt that lively and awakening
interest which taste and sensibility always derive from the
beauties of nature when opening suddenly to the eye after the
dulness and gloom of a night voyage. Perhaps--for who can presume
to analyse that inexplicable feeling which binds the person born
in a mountainous country to, his native hills--perhaps some early
associations, retaining their effect long after the cause was
forgotten, mingled in the feelings of pleasure with which he
regarded the scene before him.
'And what,' said Brown to the boatman, 'is the name of that fine
cape that stretches into the sea with its sloping banks and
hillocks of wood, and forms the right side of the bay?'
'Warroch Point,' answered the lad.
'And that old castle, my friend, with the modern house situated
just beneath it? It seems at this distance a very large building.'
'That's the Auld Place, sir; and that's the New Place below it.
We'll land you there if you like.'
'I should like it of all things. I must visit that ruin before I
continue my journey.'
'Ay, it's a queer auld bit,' said the fisherman; 'and that highest
tower is a gude landmark as far as Ramsay in Man and the Point of
Ayr; there was muckle fighting about the place lang syne.'
Brown would have inquired into farther particulars, but a
fisherman is seldom an antiquary. His boatman's local knowledge
was summed up in the information already given, 'that it was a
grand landmark, and that there had been muckle fighting about the
bit lang syne.'
'I shall learn more of it,' said Brown to himself, 'when I get
The boat continued its course close under the point upon which the
castle was situated, which frowned from the summit of its rocky
site upon the still agitated waves of the bay beneath. 'I
believe,' said the steersman, 'ye'll get ashore here as dry as ony
gate. There's a place where their berlins and galleys, as they
ca'd them, used to lie in lang syne, but it's no used now, because
it's ill carrying gudes up the narrow stairs or ower the rocks.
Whiles of a moonlight night I have landed articles there, though.'
While he thus spoke they pulled round a point of rock, and found a
very small harbour, partly formed by nature, partly by the
indefatigable labour of the ancient inhabitants of the castle,
who, as the fisherman observed, had found it essential for the
protection of their boats and small craft, though it could not
receive vessels of any burden. The two points of rock which formed
the access approached each other so nearly that only one boat
could enter at a time. On each side were still remaining two
immense iron rings, deeply morticed into the solid rock. Through
these, according to tradition, there was nightly drawn a huge
chain, secured by an immense padlock, for the protection of the
haven and the armada which it contained. A ledge of rock had, by
the assistance of the chisel and pickaxe, been formed into a sort
of quay. The rock was of extremely hard consistence, and the task
so difficult that, according to the fisherman, a labourer who
wrought at the work might in the evening have carried home in his
bonnet all the shivers which he had struck from the mass in the
course of the day. This little quay communicated with a rude
staircase, already repeatedly mentioned, which descended from the
old castle. There was also a communication between the beach and
the quay, by scrambling over the rocks.
'Ye had better land here,' said the lad, 'for the surf's running
high at the Shellicoat Stane, and there will no be a dry thread
amang us or we get the cargo out. Na! na! (in answer to an offer
of money) ye have wrought for your passage, and wrought far better
than ony o' us. Gude day to ye; I wuss ye weel.'
So saying, he pushed oil in order to land his cargo on the
opposite side of the bay; and Brown, with a small bundle in his
hand, containing the trifling stock of necessaries which he had
been obliged to purchase at Allonby, was left on the rocks beneath
And thus, unconscious as the most absolute stranger, and in
circumstances which, if not destitute, were for the present highly
embarrassing, without the countenance of a friend within the
circle of several hundred miles, accused of a heavy crime, and,
what was as bad as all the rest, being nearly penniless, did the
harassed wanderer for the first time after the interval of so many
years approach the remains of the castle where his ancestors had
exercised all but regal dominion.