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   Chapter 10 MAGGIE'S FLIGHT.

A Daughter of Fife By Amelia Edith Barr Characters: 31174

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:02


"She has profaned the sacred name of Friend

And worn it to vileness"

* * * * *

"Ah, wretched and too solitary he

Who loves not his own company!"

* * * * *

"Fortune came smiling to the maid, and woo'd her"

Life would be but a mean abode for men and women if they could not open the windows of their souls and look beyond it. During the weeks which immediately followed Janet Caird's association with Maggie she felt this truth, though she did not define the feeling to herself. She only realized the comfort of withdrawing from the fretful presence of her aunt to the contemplative, passionless serenity of the Word of God. But even this was an offence. "What are you doing at a', Maggie?" was the certain inquiry if she went to the quiet of her own room for an hour.

"I'm reading the Book a wee, Aunt Janet."

The comments upon this reply varied, according to Janet's temper. Sometimes it was, "Well, the gude ken, you need to read it." Again it would be, "Havers! Hoo can the like o' you understand it, and no man body to gie you the sense?" And if the volume happened to be one from Allan's small library, her railing at "no-vels and the sin o' them" was unstinted.

But the real cause of difference between the women was far beyond Maggie's knowledge or power to alter. It had sprung up the very hour that David asked her to come to Pittenloch and be a companion to his sister. No sooner had he left her than she began to consider in what light the proposition could bring her personally the most respect and sympathy, and a neighbor coming in at the moment, she found in her own small boast the key-note of her future treatment of her niece.

"I hae been called for, Mistress Futtrit, a' the road to Pittenloch," she said, with a sigh; "my nephew is settled for the ministry-an' nae less-and I maun just gae and tak' the guiding o' his sister and his hoose."

"You're auld to be fashed wi' a bairn noo, Mistress Caird."

"Na, na, it isna a bairn; Maggie Promoter is a braw, handsome lass, wi' mair lovers than she has fingers and toes."

"But that's waur than a bairn. You'll be worn oot wi' the care o' it. I ken by the heartaches my ain Baubie gied me. Early and late she keepit me in het water."

"I hear tell that oor Maggie is just extraordinar' handsome and extraordinar' self-willed. I ken I'm going to sorrow, but her fayther was my brither, and I'll hae to do my duty, or be a meeserable woman."

"It's a credit to you, Mistress Caird, to hae feelings like them, and you'll be supported dootless."

Jean Futtrit's pretty Baubie had not always behaved well; and Jean was suspicious of all other young girls. She had thought the worst of Maggie at once, and she made Janet Caird feel herself to be a very meritorious domestic martyr in accepting the charge of her. This idea satisfied Janet's craving for praise and sympathy; she fully endorsed it; she began to take credit for her prudence and propriety before she even entered upon her new life.

And circumstances in Pittenloch favored Janet; in a few days she had received so much condolence, and had committed herself so completely regarding her niece, that nothing could have induced her to reconsider her conduct. Every trifle also in Maggie's attitude testified against herself. She resented the constant conclaves of tea-drinking, gossiping women in her house, and she was too honest-hearted to hide her disapproval from them. The result was, that backed by Janet Caird, they came still more frequently, and were more and more offensive. If she determined to make the best of the matter, and remained with them, she was subjected to advices, and innuendoes, and rude jokes, almost intolerable; and if she went away she was accused of bad temper, of a greedy, grudging disposition, and of contempt for her own people and class.

If Maggie had been wise enough to attend faithfully the weekly meeting in Elder Mackelvine's cottage, she would have silenced many of her enemies. But this one evening Maggie looked forward to, on different grounds; Janet Caird never missed the meeting, and her absence gave Maggie two sweet hours alone in her home. She locked her door, visited Allan's room, changed her book, and afterward sat still, and let the time slip away in thoughts sacred to her own heart.

As the end of the year approached Dr. Balmuto was expected. He made a visit to Pittenloch every three months. Then he consoled the sick, baptized weakly infants, reproved those who had been negligent in attending kirk, and catechised and examined the young people previous to their admission to The Tables. Maggie had not been very faithful about the ordinances. The weather had been bad, the landward road was dangerous when snow had fallen, and she did not like going in the boats among so many who gave her only looks of grave disapproval. So she had made many excuses, and in this matter Janet Caird had let her take her own way without opposition. Absence from kirk was a proof of a falling away from grace, which in the eyes of these people was beyond explanation; provided the delinquent was not unmistakably sick.

The minister had noticed Maggie's frequent lapses from duty. He spoke to Elder Mackelvine about it; and as the elder was in a manner responsible for the flock to his superior shepherd, he felt obliged to repeat much of the gossip he had heard. He had no ill will to the girl, far from it; yet unknowingly he did her many wrongs, even though he distinctly said, "he knew no ill of Maggie Promoter, and was but repeating what a lot of idle women said."

But Dr. Balmuto was troubled and alarmed. He thought not only of Maggie, but also of David. He had sanctioned his ambition for the ministry, and had helped him toward the office; and he could not bear to think of a whisper against a name likely to stand in the list of God's servants. He was angry at Maggie's imprudences, even if they were no worse than imprudences. He paid a special visit to the Promoter cottage, and putting aside Mistress Caird with a polite wave of the hand which greatly impressed her, he demanded to see Maggie alone.

He told her frankly all that he had heard, and the girl was astounded. There was just truth enough with every lie to carry the lie through. Many of them she found it almost hopeless to try to explain; and when the doctor asked her, "if there had been any words of love between Mr. Campbell and herself?" she could not deny it. She remained speechless, and the minister thought very badly of the woman dumb and blushing before him.

"Mind what I tell you, Maggie Promoter," he said sternly, "I know the young man Campbell. He is none of your kind. He cannot make you his wife. If he could, you would be wretched, for he would soon scorn you. Can the eagle mate with the kittywake? Sin and sorrow come of such love making. It will ruin both David and yourself. Mind, I have warned you. If you were my own daughter I would say no less to you."

"There has been nae wrang word between us, sir. Nae word my ain fayther and mither mightna hae listened to. That is the truth, sir."

"Then do not hold yourself apart from your own people. Don't fret about the young man's absence, and neglect the ordinances to do it; remember they are for your comfort and salvation."

"Folks hae thocht ill o' me, sir; and they treat me according to their ill thochts:-and I wish Davie was hame, for I'm broken-hearted wi' the wrang that is done me; morning, noon and night," she said warmly.

"Keep your temper and hold your tongue, Maggie. I suffer no woman to rail in my presence. Do well, and you will be well spoken of, and doubtless also, well treated."

She covered her face with her hands and sobbed bitterly; and his heart relented a little. "I am glad to see the tears, Maggie; no one can do more than be sorry for their sins and then mend them. Come, come, lassie; turn over a new leaf, and the future shall mend the past."

"There is naething to mend, sir. I hae done no wrang to man, woman, or child. You should hae stood up for the orphan lass, that has nae one near to befriend her; but when a' men are against me-then I'll lippen to the Lord!"

Her short passionate rain of tears was over. She stood erect, calm, perhaps with an air of indifference. The doctor was much annoyed; he felt that he had failed in reaching the girl's heart, and he went away with that sense of irritation which our inabilities always leave with us.

Maggie did not go out of the cottage for a week. She was expecting David home for the holidays, and she confidently looked for him to right her. Unfortunately, David came by Kinkell, and called first at Dr. Balmuto's. He had done very well in his Greek and Hebrew, and he wished to show the minister that his kindness had been appreciated and improved. Dr. Balmuto received David a little coldly. He had not really been moved to help him by any personal liking, but rather from a conscientious conviction that the young man had a decided vocation for theology. In fact, there had always been a tinge of self-satisfaction about David which he seriously disliked, and for which very reason he had once sent him back to the boats to learn humility. Though honestly pleased at his progress, he did not think it well to praise him too much; especially as he observed that David boasted in a quiet way of the favor shown him by his teachers, and named, when there was no occasion for naming it, the circumstance of having been twice asked to dinner by Prof. Laird.

"This and that is all very well, and I am glad of it, David," he said; "but your name must be kept stainless; and the more learned you are, the more people will look up to you, and the more readily the fly in the ointment will be seen and heard tell of. I am sorry to say your sister has been very imprudent. Pittenloch does nothing but talk of her queer ways, and doubtless there have been love promises between her and Mr. Campbell. Now if there is ill said about him and your sister, you must see that it puts you in a bad light to take any favor whatever from him."

David rose angrily. "I canna let even you, sir, speak ill in that way about Maggie. I was by her side until Mr. Campbell left Pittenloch. And I will defend his name as well as Maggie's. There was not the wrong thocht in either of their hearts. I am sure o' that."

"I am glad to hear you speak so bravely and confidently. Go home, and put your house in better order than it is. There seems to be ill-will and unhappiness in it. Make your women walk circumspectly, and give no occasion for people to take your name up. Your name is not to be lightly used now, David Promoter."

David had looked forward to this visit, anticipated the minister's praises and satisfaction, had even brought him a little present of some fine tobacco. He left the manse with a sense of anger and humiliation, and with the tobacco in his pocket. He had found no opportunity to offer it. And the home-coming from which Maggie had expected so much was an unhappy one. David blamed her for Dr. Balmuto's coldness and apparent lack of interest in his affairs; and whether Maggie had done wrong, or had only been wronged, he felt that she had injured him and his prospects. Nervous and sensitive to a foolish degree on the subject of social respect from those in authority, he gave to the affair far more importance than it deserved. He made Maggie almost feel as if she had brought absolute and irretrievable ruin upon him.

Still he would not be unjust to her, nor listen to any accusation not made before her face. Even Aunt Janet, though she attacked David on his weakest side, by giving him all the respect due to a placed minister, did not succeed in gaining his private ear. "I'll give nae occasion for backbiting," he said, "tell me when Maggie is present, what you have to say against her."

"She read novels, instead of working at her trade-she held herself aloof from people, and stayed by herself. She did not go regularly to kirk and meeting. She had spent good money having the 'Allan Campbell' put in order, yet she would neither lend nor hire the boat when it was asked of her. She kept Mr. Campbell's room locked up, and would not even let a friend of the family drink a cup of tea inside it. She was queer and cold to all the lads, and had been specially rude to Angus Raith, whose mother was Mistress Caird's chief friend. Folks, too, wondered where she got money, and Maggie had not respected their curiosity, and satisfied them that she was living honest."

These were Aunt Janet's principal accusations against her niece. Maggie answered them very plainly. She declared that she could not get work, because her aunt's complaints had deprived her of all her friends. The books she read were the same books Mr. Campbell had read aloud to them both. As for the boat, she did not want it to go to waste, and if she loaned it to one person, she might as well have given it to the village. If she had taken hire, it would have been a great offence, and worse said of her, than for keeping it at anchor. As it was, she asserted Aunt Janet had lent it to the Raiths frequently, without her knowledge or consent at the time.

"Not mair than three times, Maggie," interrupted Mrs. Caird, "and you were that ill-tempered I couldna ask you anent it. You wad hae snappit my head aff."

"That was three times o'er many, aunt," answered David; "the boat was Maggie's; folks should speer it of hersel'; I would hae nae right to lend it, and I wouldna do it, nae matter wha asked it o' me."

"The Raiths are gude frien's"-

"For a' the Raiths in Fife and Moray, no!"

"Then Davie, as for letting Mr. Campbell's room be for the use of a' and sundry that liked it, how could I? You ken, he told me tak' care o' the pictures and books inside it."

"You wad hae as much right to his purse as his room, if he had left his purse in your keeping. The room wasna yours to lend, Maggie."

"And, Davie, I dinna like Angus Raith, and his mither is here the day lang, and till the late night; and Angus is aye to convoy her hame; and he sits in your chair, and glowers at me, or he says words I canna listen till, and I want nae love from him or any other man. If you will be a brither to me, and no let folks tread my gude name in the mire, I'll aye be a true sister to you, Davie, and I'll care for nane but you."

"I'll let nane say ill o' you, if you dinna deserve it, Maggie. Folks should think shame o' themselves to set on a lass without man or woman to stand by her."

"I'm sure I aye said what I could wi' truth for the lassie."

"I dinna think it. And as for Maggie's money, that is Maggie's business and my business. Maggie's money is clean money, every penny o' it. There is my word for that. I am sure it was weel kent that fayther left money lying in Largo Bank; but I'll gie accounts to nane; and I'll not hae Maggie asked for them either. As for Angus Raith, he might hae taken his 'no' before this. I'll not blame Maggie for not liking him; and I wad be as weel pleased for Maggie to bide single, till I hae my ain manse to marry her from. Now I willna hae my life and prospects wrecked for women's battlement and quarrels;" and then David very foolishly spoke of Dr. Balmuto's coldness to him; and on this subject David got warm and eloquent, and Aunt Janet perceived that the minister was disposed to blame Maggie.

Before leaving for his classes again, he did what he thought was the prudent thing to do for all parties. He really satisfied no one. Maggie f

elt that he had been less kind to her in many ways than he ought to have been. The villagers resented the change in his manners and speech. Their affairs, never interesting to him, were now distasteful; he went little among them, but sat most of his time reading in his own cottage. If he walked down to the pier or the boat-house, he brought unavoidably a different element with him. The elder men disputed all he said, the younger ones took little notice of him. He might have understood from his own experience what Maggie was suffering; but David had his mind full of grand themes, and he brushed the opinions of a few fishermen off, as he brushed a fly from his open book. After he had returned to Glasgow, Aunt Janet said, with an air of wrong and offence-"Brither and sister sail in one boat;" and she had more sympathy for her opinion.

The dreariest part of the winter was to come. David was not to return home again until the end of July; perhaps not even then. He had been spoken to about spending the long vacation with Prof. Laird's son in the Hebrides, as a kind of travelling tutor; and he hoped for the appointment. If he got it a whole year might pass before his next visit to Pittenloch. And Maggie's position had not been in any respect bettered, either by the minister's or David's interference. Aunt Janet had received no special reproofs or threats for her encroachments on Maggie's rights, and she made a point of extending them in many ways. Before March was over the girl was growing desperate.

Character is cumulative, and Maggie had been through these days of mean and bitter trials unconsciously gathering strength. She was not the same woman that had stood reproachful at destiny by the beached boat eleven months before. Yet even then she had nursed a rebellious thought against the hopelessness of Fate. She had refused to believe that the boat had been built and destined for death and destruction; if something had been done, which had not been done, it would have come safe to harbor. So also she would not believe that her own misery was beyond help, and that all that remained to her was a weary hoping and watching for Allan's return.

She was just at the point when endurance is waiting for the last unendurable straw, when one morning Angus Raith called early, and asked permission to use the "Allan Campbell" for a day's fishing. "Tak' her and welcome," answered Janet Caird, promptly.

"Aunt Janet, you hae nae right to lend what isna yours, nor ever like to be yours. David told you that plain as words could mak' it."

"You and your brither wear the life oot o' me, wi' your pride and ill-temper. Tak' the boat, Angus."

"You let it alone, Angus. It is my boat, and I'll send the water-bailiff after you for theft, if you lift her anchor."

"You will, will you? You mean meeserable hizzy! Then you'll hae to tak me up wi' Angus; for I'm wi' him, and will stand by him, afore a' the lords o' Edinburgh. Tak' the boat, Angus. I'll tak' the blame o' it! David Promoter willna publish a thief in his ain house; he's o'er much set up wi' himsel' and his gude name."

"Thank you, Mistress Caird; I'll tak' it. If a man tak's your sweetheart, you may weel tak' his boat. I'll bring you part o' my luck, when the boat comes hame at night."

"Dinna count your feesh, until you've caught them, Angus Raith," said Maggie, passionately; "and as for luck, it is bad luck you deserve, and bad luck you'll get, wi' your stolen boat."

"Hear to the lass! bespeaking sorrow for gude men, on a gude day's wark!"

Maggie answered not a word; she turned dourly round, went into her room and locked it. "I'll run awa' from it a'!" and in the first moment of her solitary passion of grief, the words struck her like an order. In great emergencies, the soul does gives orders; clear, prompt, decisive words, that leave no shadow of doubt behind them. "Go" said her soul to her, and she began immediately to consider her plans. She did not want for money. She had upwards of £23 left, beside an order for the £50 lying in Largo Bank, which David had insisted on her keeping in case any sudden need came for it.

"I'll put on my kirk clothes, and I'll go to Kinkell; Watty Young will carry me in his wagon to Stirling, and there, I'll tak' a train for Glasgow. David will find some way to get me a shelter, and I can sew, and earn my ain bite and sup."

This was her simple, straightforward plan, and as soon as she had determined to go away, it seemed wonderful to her that she had not done it sooner. "But one canna cross the stile till they get to it," she reflected; now however the idea took complete possession of her. She heard Mrs. Raith and various other women talking with her aunt: she heard herself repeatedly called to come and look after the broth, or other domestic concerns, but she took no notice of any demand upon her. She occupied the morning in locking away her simple treasures, and in making into a small bundle a linsey dress and a change of linen. She did not notice, until her room grew suddenly dark, that the wind had risen, and the sky become black and stormy. Some uneasy presentiment drove her then to the cottage door, where she stood with the rain blowing into her face, watching the boats tossing back to harbor.

"You see what your ill wishes hae brought. I hope there mayna be lives lost by your temper."

"Parfect nonsense! There is nae ill wish that is mair than idle breath, if it be na His will."

Just at dusk there was an outcry and a clamor of women's voices followed by passionate wailing, and a few minutes afterward Mistress Raith ran shrieking into the cottage. "The 'Allan Campbell' has gone to the bottom, and my boy Laurie wi' her. Oh, the ill heart, and the ill tongue o' you, Maggie Promoter! I'd like fine to send you after him! Gie us a help, wives, and let's gie her a ducking at the vera least!" The wretched mother was half crazy, and Maggie fled from her presence. The circumstance was the seal to her purpose. She knew well how her few angry words would be held against her, and she said mournfully, "There's nae hope o' kindness nor justice here for me. I should hae gane this morning when the thocht came to me. I wad hae been on the road to Stirling ere this."

There was a constant succession of visitors at the cottage until late, but as soon as all was quiet, Maggie went to her wretched hearthstone, and silently made herself a cup of tea. Janet Caird sat rocking herself to and fro, bewailing the dead, and the living; but yet carefully watching the unusual proceedings and dress of her niece. At length, finding Maggie was not to be provoked into words, she pretended suddenly to observe her kirk clothes-"Whatna for hae you that fine merino on this night? Surely, Maggie Promoter, you arena thinking o' going to the house o' mourning -you, that ought to be on your bended knees for the ill wishes you sent the puir lad to the bottom wi'. And after a' it wasna Angus but little Laurie that got the weight o' your ill thochts!"

"Do stop, aunt. Say them words to the minister, and hear the reproof you'll get! As if the breath o' an angry woman could make Him turn the keys that nane turn but Him. And if you want to ken whar I am going, I may as weel tell you now, as the morn. I am going to my brither Davie, for I cannot thole the bad tongue and the bad heart o' you, anither day."

"Hear to the wicked lass! My bad tongue! My bad heart! I sall scream oot at sich words-"

"Dinna flyte mair at me for ony sake, Aunt Janet. You'll get the hoose to yoursel' in the early morning."

"And then what sail I do? A puir auld woman wiled awa' frae her ain hame."

"Aunt Janet, you can go back to your ain hame. There is nane to hinder you. When you are ready, lock the door, and gie the key to Elder Mackelvine. But if you like this bien comfortable cottage better than the one bit empty room David took you from, you can stay in it your lane. I wadna bide wi' you anither day for gude words, nor gude gold; no, nor for onything else."

"My bite and sup were aye sure at Dron Point; but what will I do here at a'? Hae you made a provision for the five shillings weekly?"

"Na, na; I hae paid that o'er lang. At Dron Point you spun your pickle o' tow, and you nursed the sick folk. There is mair spinning here, and mair sick folk. You are nae waur off, but better. And it is little o' the siller I hae given you that has been spent. A' expenses hae come oot o' my pocket."

"I'll no hear tell o'you going awa'! Sich daftness. And surely if you will gae, you'll no leave an auld body like me wi'out some sma' income. You that's got siller."

"I hae nae mair than I want. But I'll ask Davie to do what he thinks he can do for you; seeing that you are my fayther's sister. Puir fayther! I hope he doesna ken how hard you hae been on me."

"You sall not go! I'll no be left my lane-"

"I tell you, aunt, I am going in the morning. There is naebody in

Pittenloch can stop me; no, nor Doctor Balmuto himsel'."

Still Janet Caird scarcely believed Maggie. The girl had never been further from home than Kinkell. She thought she would go first to the minister, and she felt sure the minister would send her back home. So when Maggie passed out of the door soon after daybreak, and said "good-bye, Aunt Janet," the old woman answered with an affected laugh-"gude-bye till the sun is doon. The night will bring you hame, Maggie."

Maggie took the hills and was far up them before the village was astir. She had no intention of calling upon the minister; she still resented his last conversation with her, and after what he had said to Davie she had little hopes of obtaining a kind hearing from him just yet. She found Sandy Young's wagon nearly ready to start for Stirling, and she easily got a seat in it. It was a slow, lumbering conveyance, but she was in no hurry; and she enjoyed very much the leisurely drive through lanes, and inland hamlets, and queer old towns. It was a strange and wonderful experience to a girl who had seen little of nature but the sea and the rocks, and little of men, save the men and women of her own distinctive class.

On the evening of the third day she reached Glasgow. It was a clear, blowing March day, very near the anniversary of her father's and brothers' death. Glasgow was in one of its brightest moods; the streets clean and crowded, and the lamplighters just beginning to light them. She easily found her way to the Candleriggs, and to the house in which David lodged. Here, for the first time, her heart failed her. She loitered about the window of the bakery until she had a sense of shame and hunger and weariness that overcame all her fears. "I'm wanting Mr. Promoter, ma'am," she said at length to the woman behind the counter, and the woman looking sharply at her answered, "He's in his room. Go through the close and up the stair; it's at the right hand side."

It seemed strange to knock at her brother's door, and yet Maggie felt as if David would expect it of her. He answered the timid summons by a loud peremptory "Come in;" but when Maggie entered he leaped to his feet in amazement, and let the big book in his hand fall to the floor. There were the remains of tea on the table, and a young man who was sitting with David had pushed the cups aside, and filled their places with his papers and books.

"Maggie!"

"Ay, it's me, Davie."

"What has brought you to Glasgow?"

"You ken I wouldna come without a good reason. I hope I am na unwelcome." Her eyes filled, she could scarcely endure the strain of uncertainty as she stood before him.

Then he took her hands and kissed her brow, and said, "Cameron, this is my sister, my only near relative, so I'm sure you'll excuse me the night." And the young man, who had been gazing with delight on Maggie's beauty, rose with an apology and went away.

"Now, Maggie, I want to know what has brought you here?"

"Gie me some bread and tea first, for I am fair famished, and then I'll tell you."

"I must also speak to the good wife about a sleeping place for you under her own eye. You'll be going back to-morrow."

"I'll not go back to Pittenloch again." Then she told him all the wrong and shame and sorrow that had dogged her life since he had left her at the New Year. "Let me stay near by you, Davie. I can sew, I can go oot to service. I'll be happy if I see you one hour on the Sabbath day."

His face was white and stern and pitiless. "You want to ruin my life,

Maggie, and your ain too. Mr. Cameron will speak of having seen you here.

And it is nae less than evendown ruin for a theology student to have

women-folks coming to his room-young women like yoursel'."

"I'm your ain sister, Davie."

"Who is to know that? Can I go about saying to this one and to that one 'the woman who came to see me, or the woman I went to see, on Sabbath last is my sister.' It would not do for you to stay here, for I have company to see me and to study with me, and you and I would both be spoken of. It would not be right for you to take a room and live by yourself, and sew out by the day. You are too noticeable, and I could not spare the time to call and look after you in any way. And as to going out to service, I am mair than astonished to hear you naming a thing like that. We are fisher folk. Nane of the Promoters ever served mortal man as hand-maid or flunkey. We have always served God and cast the nets for a living. We werena indebted to any human being. We aye took our daily bread from His hand. And if you, Maggie Promoter, would dare to go out as a servant I would give you the back of my hand for ever."

"Then what will I do, Davie? What will I do? I am sae miserable. Do hae some pity on me."

"You speak as if happiness was 'the because' of life. Do? Do your duty, and you will be happy, whatever wind blows. And as to my having pity on you, I would love you little if I gave way now to your impatience and your wounded pride. Who loves you if I don't? I am aye thinking of the days when we will have a braw house of our ain. Can you not wait?"

"It is lang waiting; and many a hope goes wi' the weeks and the months.

Davie, I canna go back."

"You must go back. I will write a letter to Dr. Balmuto and ask him to put you with some decent family in Kinkell: and keep his own eye on you. What can you want more than that? And let me tell you, Maggie, I think it very unsisterly of you, bothering and hampering me with women's quarrels, when I am making myself a name among them that will be looked to for the carrying on o' the kirk in the future. But I'll say no more, and I'll forgive this romantic folly o' yours, and to-morrow I'll put you in the Stirling train, and you'll go, as I tell you, to Dr. Balmuto."

Maggie made no further objections. David wrote the promised letter, and he spent a part of the next day in showing her the "wonderfuls" of the cathedral and the college. He was even gentle with her at the last, and not a little proud of the evident sensation her fresh, brilliant beauty caused; and he asked her about her money matters, and when he put her in the train, kissed her fondly; and bade her "be brave, and patient, and cheerful."

And still Maggie said nothing. Her eyes were full of tears, and she looked once or twice at her brother in a way that made his heart dirl and ache; but she seemed to have resigned herself to his direction. Only, at the first station beyond Glasgow, she got out of the train, and she allowed it to go on to Stirling without her.

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