Bonnie Prince Charlie; A Tale of Fontenoy and Culloden

Bonnie Prince Charlie A Tale of Fontenoy and Culloden by G. A. Henty

CHAPTER I: The Return of a Prodigal.

It was a dull evening in the month of September, 1728. The apprentices had closed and barred the shutters and the day’s work was over. Supper was laid in the long room over the shop, the viands were on the table, and round it were standing Bailie Anderson and his wife, his foreman John Gillespie, and his two apprentices. The latter were furtively eying the eatables, and wondering how much longer the grace which their master was delivering would be. Suddenly there was a knock at the door below. No one stirred until the bailie had finished his grace, before which time the knock had been twice repeated.

“Elspeth, woman,” the bailie said when he had brought the grace to an end, “go down below and see who knocks so impatiently; look through the grille before you open the door; these are nor times when one opens to the first stranger who knocks.”

The old servant, who had been standing behind her mistress, went downstairs. The door was opened, and they heard an exclamation of surprise at the answer to her question, “Who is it that’s knocking as if the house belonged to him?”

Those gathered up stairs heard the bolts withdrawn. There was a confused sound of talking and then a heavy step was heard ascending the stairs, and without introduction a tall man, wrapped in a cloak and carrying a child of some two years old, strode into the room. He threw his hat on to a settle and advanced straight towards the bailie, who looked in surprise at this unceremonious entry.

“Don’t you know me, Andrew?”

“Heaven preserve us,” the bailie exclaimed, “why it’s Malcolm!”

“Malcolm himself,” the visitor repeated, “sound in wind and limb.”

“The Lord be praised!” the bailie exclaimed as he grasped the other’s hand and wrung it warmly. “I had thought you dead years and years ago. Janet, this is my brother Malcolm of whom you have often heard me speak.”

“And of whom you can have heard little good, mistress, if my brother has spoken the truth concerning me. I was ever a ne’er do well, while Andrew struck hard and fast to our father’s trade.”

“My husband has ever spoken with affection of you,” Janet Anderson said.”The bailie is not given to speak ill of any, much less of his own flesh and blood.”

“And now sit down, Malcolm. Supper is waiting, and you are, I doubt not, ready for it. It is ill talking to a fasting man. When you have done you shall tell me what you have been doing for the last fifteen years, and how it comes that you thus suddenly come back among us with your boy.”

“He is no boy of mine,” Malcolm said; “but I will tell you all about it presently. First let me lay him down on that settle, for the poor little chap is fast asleep and dead tired out. Elspeth, roll up my cloak and make a pillow for him. That’s right, he will do nicely now. You are changed less than any of us, Elspeth. Just as hard to look at, and, I doubt not, just as soft at heart as you used to be when you tried to shield me when I got into scrapes. And now to supper.”

Little was said during the meal; fortunately the table was bounteously spread, for the newcomer’s appetite was prodigious; but at last he was satisfied, and after a long drink at the horn beside him, which Elspeth had kept filled with ale, he said:

“There’s nothing like a Scottish meal after all, Andrew. French living is well enough for a time, but one tires of it; and many a time when I have been lying down supperless on the sod, after marching and fighting the whole day, I have longed for a bowl of porridge and a platter well filled with oatmeal cakes.”

Supper over, John and the apprentices retired. Elspeth went off to prepare the guest’s chamber and to make up a little bed for the child.

“Now, brother, let us hear your story; but, first of all, perhaps you want to light your pipe?”

“That do I,” Malcolm replied, “if Mistress Janet has no objection thereto.”

“She is accustomed to it,” the bailie said, answering for her. “I smoke myself; I deem that tobacco, like other things, was given for our use, and methinks that with a pipe between the lips men’s brains work more easily and that it leadeth to pleasant converse.”

Janet went to a cupboard, brought out two long pipes and a jar of tobacco, placed two tumblers, a flat bottle, and a jug of water on the table.

“That is right,” the bailie said. “I do not often touch strong waters.

The habit, as I see too plainly, is a harmful one, and in this good city of Glasgow there are many, even of those so placed that they should be an example to their fellows, who are given nightly to drink more than is good for them; but on an occasion like the present I deem it no harm to take a glass.”

“I should think not,” Malcolm said heartily; “it is long since I tasted a glass of real Scotch spirit, and I never need an excuse for taking a glass of whatever it be that comes in my way. Not, Mistress Janet, that I am a toper. I don’t say that at the sack of a town, or at times when liquor is running, so to speak, to waste, I am more backward than the rest; but my hand wouldn’t be as steady as it is if I had been one of those who are never so happy as when they are filling themselves with liquor. And now, Andrew, to my story. You know that when I saw you last — just when the troubles in `15 began — in spite of all your warnings to the contrary, I must needs throw myself into the thick of them. You, like a wise man, stuck to your shop, and here you are now a bailie of Glasgow; while I, who have been wandering over the face of the earth fighting for the cause of France and risking my life a thousand times in a matter which concerned me in no way, have returned just as penniless as I set out.”

“It is said, brother Malcolm,” Janet said mildly, “that a rolling stone gathers no moss.”

“That is true enough,” Malcolm assented; “and yet do you know there are few rolling stones who, if their time were to come over again, would remain fixed in their bed. Of course we have not the pleasures of home, of wives and children; but the life of adventure has its own joys, which I, for one, would not change for the others. However, brother, as you know, I threw myself heart and soul into that business.

“The last time I saw you was just as I was starting with a score of others to make our way to join the Earl of Mar’s army at Perth. I have seen many an army since, but never did I see sixteen thousand finer fighting men than were there assembled. The Laird of Mackintosh brought five hundred clansmen from Inverness shire, the Marquis of Huntly had five hundred horse and two thousand foot, and the Earl Marischal had a thousand men. The Laird of Glenlyon brought five hundred Campbells, and the Marquis of Tullibardine fourteen hundred, and a score of other chiefs of less power were there with their clansmen. There were enough men there to have done anything had they been properly armed and led; but though arms and ammunition had been promised from France, none came, and the Earl of Mar had so little decision that he would have wrecked the finest army that ever marched.

“The army lay doing nothing for weeks, and just before we were expecting a movement, the company I belonged to was sent with a force of Highlanders under Mackintosh to join the army under the Lords Derwentwater, Kenmure, and Nithsdale. Lord Derwentwater had risen with a number of other gentlemen, and with their attendants and friends had marched against Newcastle. They had done nothing there but remained idle near Hexham till, joined by a force raised in the Lowlands of Scotland by the Earls of Nithsdale, Carnwath, and Wintoun, the united army marched north again to Kelso, where we joined them.

“We Scots soon saw that we had gained nothing by the change of commanders. Lord Derwentwater was ignorant of military affairs, and he was greatly swayed by a Mr. Forster, who was somehow at the head of the business, and who was not only incompetent, but proved to be a coward, if not, as most folks believed, a traitor. So dissension soon broke out, and four hundred Highlanders marched away north. After a long delay it was resolved to move south, where, it was said, we should be joined by great numbers in Lancashire; but by this time all had greatly lost spirit and hope in the enterprise. We crossed the border and marched down through Penrith, Appleby, and Kendal to Lancaster, and then on to Preston.

“I was little more than a lad, Andrew, but even to me it seemed madness thus to march into England with only two thousand men. Of these twelve hundred were foot, commanded by Brigadier Mackintosh; the others were horse. There were two troops of Stanhope’s dragoons quartered in Preston, but these retired when we neared the town, and we entered without opposition. Next day, which was, I remember, the 10th of November, the Chevalier was proclaimed king, and some country gentlemen with their tenants came in and joined us.

“I suppose it would have come to the same thing in the end, but never were things so badly managed as they were by Mr. Forster.

“Preston was a strong natural position; an enemy coming from the south could only reach it by crossing a narrow bridge over the river Ribble a mile and a half away, and this could have been held by a company against an army. From the bridge to the town the road was so narrow that in several places two men could not ride abreast. It ran between two high and steep banks, and it was here that Cromwell was nearly killed when he attacked Charles’s troops.

“Well, all these places, where we might certainly have defended ourselves, were neglected, and we were all kept in the town, where we formed four main posts. One was in the churchyard, and this was commanded by Brigadier Mackintosh. In support of this was the volunteer horse under Derwentwater and the three other lords. Lord Charles Murray was in command at a barricade at a little distance from the churchyard. Colonel Mackintosh had charge of a post at a windmill; and the fourth was in the centre of the town.

“Lord Derwentwater was a poor general, but he was a brave man. He and his two brothers, the Ratcliffs, rode about everywhere, setting an example of coolness, animating the soldiers, and seeing to the work on the barriers.

Two days after we reached the town we heard that General Wilde was approaching. Colonel Farquharson was sent forward with a portion of Mackintosh’s battalion to hold the bridge and the pass; but Mr. Forster, who went out on horseback, no sooner saw the enemy approaching than he gave orders to Farquharson and his men to retreat to the town. If I had been in Farquharson’s place I would have put a bullet through the coward’s head, and would have defended the bridge till the last.

“After that everything was confusion; the Highlanders came back into the town furious and disheartened. The garrison prepared to receive the enemy. Mr. Forster was seen no more, and in fact he went straight back to the house where he was lodging and took his bed, where he remained till all was over. The enemy came on slowly. They could not understand why strong posts should be left undefended, and feared falling in an ambuscade. I was at the post commanded by Brigadier Mackintosh. I had joined a company commanded by Leslie of Glenlyon, who had brought with him some twenty men, and had made up his company with men who, like myself, came up without a leader. His company was attached to Mackintosh’s regiment.

“Presently the English came in sight, and as soon as they ascertained that we were still there, which they had begun to doubt, they attacked us. We beat them back handsomely, and Derwentwater with his cavalry charged their dragoons so fiercely that he drove them out of the town. It was late in the afternoon when the fight began, and all night the struggle went on. At each of our posts we beat them back over and over again. The town was on fire in half a dozen places, but luckily the night was still and the flames did not spread. We knew that it was a hopeless fight we were making; for, from some prisoners, we learned that three regiments of dragoons were also coming up against us, and had already arrived at Clitheroe. From some inhabitants, I suppose, the enemy learned that the street leading to Wigan had nor been barricaded, and Lord Forrester brought up Preston’s regiment by this way, and suddenly fell on the flank of our barrier. It was a tough fight, but we held our own till the news came that Forster had agreed to capitulate.

“I don’t say that our case wasn’t hopeless. We were outnumbered and had no leader; sooner or later we must have been overpowered. Still, no capitulation should have been made except on the terms of mercy to all concerned. But Forster no doubt felt safe about himself, and that was all he cared for; and the end showed that he knew what he was about, for while all the brave young noblemen, and numbers of others, were either executed or punished in other ways, Forster, who had been the leading spirit who had persuaded them to rise, and led them into this strait, was after a short imprisonment suffered to go free. I tell you, brother Andrew, if I were to meet him now, even if it were in a church, I would drive my dagger into his heart.

“However, there we were. So furious were we that it was with difficulty the officers could prevent us from sallying out sword in hand and trying to cut our way through the enemy. As to Forster, if he had appeared in the streets he would have been hewn to pieces. However, it was useless to resist now; the English troops marched in and we laid down our arms, and our battalions marched into a church and were guarded as prisoners. It was not a great army they had taken, for there were but one thousand four hundred and ninety captured, including noblemen, gentlemen, and officers.

“Many of us were wounded more or less. I had got a slice on the shoulder from a dragoon’s sword. This I gained when rushing out to rescue Leslie, who had been knocked down, and would have been slain by three dragoons had I not stood over him till some of our men rushed out and carried him in. He was not badly hurt, the sword having turned as it cut through his bonnet. My action won his regard, and from that time until a month since we have never been separated. Under a strong escort of soldiers we were marched south. In most places the country people mocked us as we passed; but here and there we saw among the crowds who gathered in the streets of the towns through which we passed, faces which we passed, faces which expressed pity and sympathy

“We were not badly treated on the march by our guard, and had little to complain of. When we reached Barnet we fell out as usual when the march was over, and I went up to the door of a house and asked a woman, who looked pityingly at us, for a drink of water. She brought me some, and while I drank she said:

“‘We are Catholics and well wishers of the Chevalier; if you can manage to slip in here after it is dark we will furnish you with a disguise, and will direct you to friends who will pass you on until you can escape.

“‘Can you give me disguises for two?’ I asked. `I will not go without my captain.’

“‘Yes,’ she said, `for two, but no more.’

“`I will steal away after dark,’ I said as I gave her back the jug.

“I told Leslie what had happened, and he agreed to join me in time to escape, for there was no saying what fate might befall us in London; and, indeed, the very next morning severities commenced, the whole of the troops being obliged to suffer the indignity of having their arms tied behind them, and so being marched into London.

“After it was dark Leslie and I managed to steal away from our guards, who were not very watchful, for our uniform would at once have betrayed us, and the country people would have seized and handed us over. The woman was on the watch, and as soon as we neared the door she opened it.

Her husband was with her and received us kindly. He at once furnished us with the attire of two countrymen, and, letting us out by a back way, started with us across the country.

“After walking twenty miles he brought us to the house of another adherent of the Chevalier, where we remained all day. So we were passed on until we reached the coast, where we lay hid for some days until an arrangement was made with the captain of a fishing boat to take us to sea, and either to land us at Calais or to put us on board a French fishing boat. So we got over without trouble.

“Long before that, as you know, the business had virtually come to an end here. The Earl of Mar’s army lay week after week at Perth, till at last it met the enemy under Argyle at Sheriffmuir.

“You know how that went. The Highland clans in the right and centre carried all before them, and drove the enemy from the field, but on the left they beat us badly. So both parties claimed the victory. But, victory or defeat, it was fatal to the cause of the Chevalier. Half the Highland clans went off to their homes that night, and Mar had to fall back to Perth.

“Well, that was really the end of it. The Chevalier landed, and for a while our hopes rose. He did nothing, and our hopes fell. At last he took ship and went away, and the affair was over, except for the hangings and slaughterings.

“Leslie, like most of the Scottish gentlemen who succeeded in reaching France, took service with the French king, and, of course, I did the same. It would have done your heart good to see how the Scottish regiments fought on many a field; the very best troops of France were never before us, and many a tough field was decided by our charge. Leslie was a cornet. He was about my age; and you know I was but twenty when Sheriffmuir was fought. He rose to be a colonel, and would have given me a pair of colours over and over again if I would have taken them; but I felt more comfortable among our troopers than I should have done among the officers, who were almost all men of good Highland family; so I remained Leslie’s right hand.

“A braver soldier never swung a leg over saddle; but he was always in some love affair or another. Why he didn’t marry I couldn’t make out. I suppose he could never stick long enough to one woman. However, some four years ago he got into an affair more serious than any he had been in before, and this time he stuck to it in right earnest. Of course she was precisely one of the women he oughtn’t to have fallen in love with, though I for one couldn’t blame him, for a prettier creature wasn’t to be found in France. Unfortunately she was the only daughter of the Marquis de Recambours, one of the wealthiest and most powerful of French nobles, and there was no more chance of his giving his consent to her throwing herself away upon a Scottish soldier of fortune than to her going into a nunnery; less, in fact. However, she was as much in love with Leslie as he was with her, and so they got secretly married. Two years ago this child was born, but she managed somehow to keep it from her father, who was all this time urging her to marry the Duke de Chateaurouge.

“At last, as ill luck would have it, he shut her up in a convent just a week before she had arranged to fly with Leslie to Germany, where he intended to take service until her father came round. Leslie would have got her out somehow; but his regiment was ordered to the frontier, and it was eighteen months before we returned to Paris, where the child had been in keeping with some people with whom he had placed it. The very evening of his return I was cleaning his arms when he rushed into the room.

“‘All is discovered,’ he said; ‘here is my signet ring, go at once and get the child, and make your way with it to Scotland; take all the money in the escritoire, quick!’

“I heard feet approaching, and dashed to the bureau, and transferred the bag of louis there to my pocket. An official with two followers entered.

“‘Colonel Leslie,’ he said, ‘it is my duty to arrest you by order of his gracious majesty;’ and he held out an order signed by the king.

“‘I am unconscious of having done any wrong, sir, to his majesty, whom I have served for the last sixteen years. However, it is not for me to dispute his orders;’ thereupon he unbuckled his sword and handed it to the officers. ‘You will look after the things till I return, Malcolm. As I am sure I can clear myself of any charge that may be brought against me, I trust to be speedily back again.

“‘Your trooper need not trouble himself,’ the officer said; `the official with me will take charge of everything, and will at once affix my seal to all your effects.’

“I went down stairs and saw the colonel enter a carriage with the two officials, then I went straight to the major. ‘Colonel Leslie has been arrested, sir, on what charge I know not. He has intrusted a commission to me. Therefore, if you find I am absent from parade in the morning you will understand I am carrying out his orders.’

“The major was thunderstruck at the news, but told me to do as the colonel had ordered me, whatever it might be. I mounted the colonel’s horse at once and rode to the house where the child was in keeping. The people knew me well, as I had often been there with messages from the colonel. When I showed them the signet ring, and told them that I had orders to take the child to his father, they made no opposition. I said I would return for him as soon as it was dusk. I then went and purchased a suit of civilian clothes, and returning to the house attired myself in these, and taking the child on the saddle before me, rode for the frontier.

“Following unfrequented roads, travelling only at night, and passing a day in a wood, I passed the frontier unmolested, and made my way to Ostend, where I sold the horse and took passage in the first ship sailing for Leith. I arrived there two days ago, and have walked here, with an occasional lift in a cart; and here I am, brother Andrew, to ask you for hospitality for a while for myself and Leslie’s boy. I have a hundred louis, but these, of course, belong to the child. As for myself, I confess I have nothing; saving has never been in my line.”

“You are heartily welcome, Malcolm, as long as you choose to stop; but I trust that ere long you will hear of Colonel Leslie.”

“I trust so,” Malcolm said; “but if you knew the court of France as well as I do you would not feel very sanguine about it. It is easier to get into a prison than out of one.”

“But the colonel has committed no crime!” the bailie said.

“His chance would be a great deal better if he had,” Malcolm laughed. “A colonel of one of his majesty’s Scottish regiments can do a good deal in the way of crime without much harm befalling him; but when it comes to marrying the daughter of a nobleman who is a great personage at court, without his consent, it is a different affair altogether, I can tell you.

Leslie has powerful friends, and his brother officers will do what they can for him; but I can tell you services at the court of France go for very little. Influence is everything, and as the nobleman the marquis intended to be the husband of his daughter is also a great personage at court and a friend of Louis’s, there is no saying how serious a matter they may make of it. Men have been kept prisoners for life for a far less serious business than this.”

“But supposing he is released, does he know where to communicate with you?”

“I am afraid he doesn’t,” Malcolm said ruefully. “He knows that I come from Glasgow, but that is all. Still, when he is freed, no doubt he will come over himself to look for his son, and I am sure to hear of his being here.”

“You might do, and you might not,” the bailie said. “Still, we must hope for the best, Malcolm. At any rate I am in no haste for the colonel to come. Now I have got you home again after all these years, I do not wish to lose you again in a hurry.”

Malcolm only remained for a few weeks at his brother’s house. The restraint of life at the bailie’s was too much for him. Andrew’s was a well ordered household. The bailie was methodical and regular, a leading figure in the kirk, far stricter than were most men of his time as to undue consumption of liquor, strong in exhortation in season and out of season. His wife was kindly but precise, and as outspoken as Andrew himself. For the first day or two the real affection which Andrew had for his younger brother, and the pleasure he felt at his return, shielded Malcolm from comment or rebuke; but after the very first day the bailie’s wife had declared to herself that it was impossible that Malcolm could long remain an inmate of the house. She was not inhospitable, and would have made great sacrifices in some directions for the long missing brother of her husband; but his conduct outraged all the best feelings of a good Scotch housewife.

Even on that first day he did not come punctually to his meals. He was away about the town looking up old acquaintance, came in at dinner and again at supper after the meal had already begun, and dropped into his place and began to eat without saying a word of grace. He stamped about the house as if he had cavalry spurs still on his heels; talked in a voice that could be heard from attic to basement; used French and Flemish oaths which horrified the good lady, although she did not understand them; smoked at all hours of the day, whereas Andrew always confined himself to his after supper pipe, and, in spite of his assertions on the previous evening, consumed an amount of liquor which horrified the good woman.

At his meals he talked loudly, kept the two apprentices in a titter with his stories of campaigning, spoke slightingly of the city authorities, and joked the bailie with a freedom and roughness which scandalized her.

Andrew was slow to notice the incongruity of his brother’s demeanour and bearing with the atmosphere of the house, although he soon became dimly conscious that there was a jarring element in the air. At the end of a week Malcolm broached the subject to him.

“Andrew,” he said, “you are a good fellow, though you are a bailie and an elder of the kirk, and I thank you for the hearty welcome you have given me, and for your invitation to stay for a long time with you; but it will not do. Janet is a good woman and a kindly, but I can see that I keep her perpetually on thorns. In good truth, fifteen years of campaigning are but an indifferent preparation for a man as an inmate of a respectable household. I did not quite know myself how thoroughly I had become a devil may care trooper until I came back to my old life here. The ways of your house would soon be as intolerable to me as my ways are to your good wife, and therefore it is better by far that before any words have passed between you and me, and while we are as good friends as on the evening when I returned, I should get out of this. I met an old friend today, one of the lads who went with me from Glasgow to join the Earl of Mar at Perth. He is well to do now, and trades in cattle, taking them in droves down into England. For the sake of old times he has offered me employment, and methinks it will suit me as well as any other.”

“But you cannot surely be going as a drover, Malcolm!”

“Why not? The life is as good as any other. I would not sit down, after these years of roving, to an indoor life. I must either do that or cross the water again and take service abroad. I am only six and thirty yet, and am good for another fifteen years of soldiering, and right gladly would I go back if Leslie were again at the head of his regiment, but I have been spoiled by him. He ever treated me as a companion and as a friend rather than as a trooper in his regiment, and I should miss him sorely did I enter any other service. Then, too, I would fain be here to be ready to join him again if he sends for me or comes, and I should wish to keep an eye always on his boy. You will continue to take charge of him, won’t you, Andrew? He is still a little strange, but he takes to Elspeth, and will give little trouble when he once learns the language.”

“I don’t like it at all, Malcolm,” the bailie said.

“No, Andrew, but you must feel it is best. I doubt not that ere this your wife has told you her troubles concerning me.”

As the bailie on the preceding night had listened to a long string of complaints and remonstrances on the part of his wife as to his brother’s general conduct he could not deny the truth of Malcolm’s supposition.

“Just so, Andrew,” Malcolm went on; “I knew that it must be so. Mistress Janet has kept her lips closed firm to me, but I could see how difficult it was for her sometimes to do so. It could not be otherwise. I am as much out of place here as a wolf in a sheepfold. As to the droving, I shall not mention to all I meet that I am brother to one of the bailies of Glasgow. I shall like the life. The rough pony I shall ride will differ in his paces from my old charger, but at least it will be life in the saddle. I shall be earning an honest living; if I take more than is good for me I may get a broken head and none be the wiser, whereas if I remain here and fall foul of the city watch it would be grief and pain for you.”

The bailie was silenced. He had already begun to perceive that Malcolm’s ways and manners were incompatible with the peace and quiet of a respectable household, and that Janet’s complaints were not altogether unreasonable. He had seen many of his acquaintances lift their eyebrows in disapprobation at the roystering talk of his brother, and had foreseen that it was probable trouble would come.

At the same rime he felt a repugnance to the thought that after so many years of absence his brother should so soon quit his house. It seemed a reflection alike on his affection and hospitality.

“You will take charge of the child, won’t you?” Malcolm pleaded. “There is a purse of a hundred louis, which will, I should say, pay for any expense to which he may put you for some years.”

“As if I would take the bairn’s money!” Andrew exclaimed angrily. “What do you take me for, Malcolm? Assuredly I will take the child. Janet and I have no bairn of our own, and it’s good for a house to have a child in it. I look upon it as if it were yours, for it is like enough you will never hear of its father again. It will have a hearty welcome. It is a bright little fellow, and in time I doubt not that Janet will take greatly to it. The charge of a child is a serious matter, and we cannot hope that we shall not have trouble with it, but there is trouble in all things. At any rate, Malcolm, we will do our best, and if at the end of a year I find that Janet has not taken to it we will see about some other arrangement. And, Malcolm, I do trust that you will stay with us for another week or two. It would seem to me as if I had turned you out of my house were you to leave me so soon.”

So Malcolm made a three weeks’ stay at his brother’s, and then started upon his new occupation of driving Highland cattle down into Lancashire.

Once every two or three months he came to Glasgow for a week or two between his trips. In spite of Andrew’s entreaties he refused on these occasions to take up his abode with him, but took a lodging not far off, coming in the evening for an hour to smoke a pipe with his brother, and never failing of a morning to come in and take the child for a long walk with him, carrying him upon his shoulder, and keeping up a steady talk with him in his native French, which he was anxious that the boy should nor forget, as at some time or other he might again return to France.

Some weeks after Malcolm’s return to Scotland, he wrote to Colonel Leslie, briefly giving his address at Glasgow; but making no allusion to the child, as, if the colonel were still in prison, the letter would be sure to be opened by the authorities. He also wrote to the major, giving him his address, and begging him to communicate it to Colonel Leslie whenever he should see him; that done, there was nothing for it but to wait quietly. The post was so uncertain in those days that he had but slight hope that either of his letters would ever reach their destination. No answer came to either of his letters.

Four years later Malcolm went over to Paris, and cautiously made inquiries; but no one had heard anything of Colonel Leslie from the day he had been arrested. The regiment was away fighting in the Low Countries, and the only thing Malcolm could do was to call upon the people who had had charge of the child, to give them his address in case the colonel should ever appear to inquire of them. He found, however, the house tenanted by other people. He learned that the last occupants had left years before. The neighbors remembered that one morning early some officers of the law had come to the house, and the man had been seized and carried away. He had been released some months later, only to find that his wife had died of grief and anxiety, and he had then sold off his goods and gone no one knew whither. Malcolm, therefore, returned to Glasgow, with the feeling that he had gained nothing by his journey.

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