"Reserve them for the harpsichord, my love," said the counsellor. "Better for all parties."
While this idle chat ran on, Colonel Mannering introduced to Bertram a plain good-looking man, in a gray coat and waistcoat, buckskin breeches, and boots. "This, my dear sir, is Mr. Mac-Morlan."
"To whom," said Bertram, embracing him cordially, "my sister was indebted for a home, when deserted by all her natural friends and relations."
The Dominie then pressed forward, grinned, chuckled, made a diabolical sound in attempting to whistle, and finally, unable to stifle his emotions, ran away to empty the feelings of his heart at his eyes.
We shall not attempt to describe the expansion of heart and glee of this happy evening.
--How like a hateful ape, Detected grinning 'midst his pilfer'd hoard, A cunning man appears, whose secret frauds Are open'd to the day! Count Basil.
There was a great movement at Woodbourne early on the following morning, to attend the examination at Kippletringan. Mr. Pleydell, from the investigation which he had formerly bestowed on the dark affair of Kennedy's death, as well as from the general deference due to his professional abilities, was requested by Mr. Mac-Morlan and Sir Robert Hazlewood, and another justice of peace who attended, to take the situation of chairman, and the lead in the examination. Colonel Mannering was invited to sit down with them. The examination, being previous to trial, was private in other respects.
The counsellor resumed and re-interrogated former evidence. He then examined the clergyman and surgeon respecting the dying declaration of Meg Merrilies. They stated, that she distinctly, positively, and repeatedly, declared herself an eye-witness of Kennedy's "death by the hands of Hatteraick" and two or three of his crew; that her presence was accidental; that she believed their resentment at meeting him, when they mere in the act of losing their vessel through 'the means of his information, led to the commission of the crime; that she said there was one witness of the murder, but who refused to participate in it, still alive,--her nephew, Gabrie Faa; and she had hinted at another person, who was an accessory after not before, the fact; but her strength there failed her. They did not forget to mention her declaration, that she had saved the child, and that he was torn from her by the smugglers, for the purpose of carrying him to Holland.--All these particulars were carefully reduced to writing.
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