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set him down a bowl of rich sweet turn is coming yet, or may the nature milk, well drugged with a deadly poi- of woman change within me.” son, and then she lingered in a little “ It is changed already,” said the anteroom to watch the success of her creature, grinning with delight; “ I grand plot, and prevent any other crea- have thee now, I have thee now! And ture from tasting of the potion. Mes were it not to shew my superiority rodach came in, and the house-maid over thee, which I do every hour, I says to him, “ There is your break- should soon see thee strapped like a fast, creature."
mad cat, or a worrying bratch. What “Oho! my lady has been liberal wilt thou try next?" this morning,” said he ; “ but I am “I will cut thy throat, and if I die beforehand with her. – Here, little for it, will rejoice in the deed; deed Missie, you seem very hungry to-day of charity to all that dwell on the face ---take you my breakfast.” And with of the earth. Go about thy busithat he set the beverage down to the ness.” lady's little favourite spaniel. It so “ I have warned thee before, dame, happened that the lady's only son and I now warn thee again, that all came at that instant into the ante. thy mischief meditated against me room, seeking her, and teazing his will fall double on thine own head.” mamma about something which took “I want none of your warning, and her attention from the hall-table for a none of your instructions, fiendish cur. space. When she looked again, and Hence with your elvish face, and take saw Missie lapping up the sweet milk, care of yourself.” she burst from her lobby like a dra- It would be too disgusting and horgon, screaming as if her head had rible to relate or read all the incidents been on fire, kicked the bowl and the that fell out between this unaccounts remainder of its contents against the able couple. Their enmity against wall, and lifting Missie in her bosom, each other had no end, and no mitigashe retreated hastily, crying all the tion; and scarcely a single day passed way.
over on which her acts of malevolent “Ha, ha, ha-I have you now!” ingenuity did not terminate fatally for cried Merodach, as she vanished from some favourite thing of the lady's, the hall.
while all these doings never failed to Poor Missie died immediately, and appear as her own act. Scarcely was very privately ; indeed, she would have there a thing, animate or inanimate, died and been buried, and never one on which she set a value, left to her, have seen her, save her mistress, had not that was not destroyed; and yet Merodach, by a luck that never failed scarcely one hour or minute could him, popped' his nose over the flower she remain absent from her tore garden wall, just as his lady was lay. mentor, and all the while, it seems, ing her favourite in a grave of her own solely for the purpose of tormenting digging. She, not perceiving her tor- him. mentor, plied on at her task, apostro. But while all the rest of the estaphizing the insensate little carcass, blishment enjoyed peace and quietness “Ah! poor dear little creature, thou from the fury of their termagant dame, hast had a hard fortune, and hast matters still grew worse and worse drank of the bitter potion that was not between the fascinated pair. The lady intended for thee ; but he shall drink haunted the menial, in the same mana it three times double, for thy sake !" ner as the raven baunts the eagle, for
“ Is that little Missie?" said the a perpetual quarrel, though the foreldrich voice of the jotteryman, close mer knows that in every encounter at the lady's ear. She utiered a loud she is to come off the loser. But now scream, and supk down on the bank. noises were heard on the stairs by “ Alack for poor little Missie !" conti- night, and it was whispered among nued the creature in a toneof mockery, the menials, that the lady had been “My heart is sorry for Missie. What seeking Merodach's bed by night, on has befallen her-whose breakfast cup some horrible intent. Several of them did she drink?"
would have sworn that they had seen “ Hence with thee, thou fiend !” her passing and repassing on the stair cried the lady;“what right hast thou to after midnight, when all was quiet; intrude on thy mistress's privacy? Thy but then it was likewise well known,
that Merodach slept with well fasten. And often was he hammering over ed doors, and a companion in another the name of “ Evil Merodach, King of bed in the same room, whose bed, too, Babylon,” to himself. He seemed to was nearest the door. Nobody cared have some far-fetched conception that much what became of the jotteryman, his unaccountable jotterymar had a for he was an unsocial and disagree- hand in the death of his only son, able person; but some one told him and other lesser calamities, although what they had seen, and hinted a sus- the evidence in favour of Merodach's picion of the lady's intent. But the innocence was as usual quite decisive. creature only bit his upper lip, wink- This grievous mistake of Lady ed with his eyes, and said, “ She had Wheelhope (for every landward laird's better let alone; she will be the first wife was then styled Lady) can only to rue that."
be accounted for, by supposing her in Not long after this, to the horror of a state of derangement, or rather un. the family and the whole country side, der some evil influence, 'over which the laird's only son was found mur- she had no control ; and to a person dered in his bed one morning, under in such a state, the mistake was not circumstances that manifested the so very unnatural. The mansionmost fiendish cruelty and inveteracy on house of Wheelhope was old and irrethe part of his destroyer. As soon as gular. The stair had four acute turns, the atrocious act was divulged, the all the same, and four landing-places, lady fell into convulsions, and lost her all the same. In the uppermost chamreason; and happy had it been for ber slept the two domestics,- Meroher had she never recovered either the dach in the bed farthest in, and in use of reason, or her corporeal func- the chamber immediately below that, tions any more, for there was blood which was exactly similar, slept the upon her hand, which she took no young laird and his tutor, the former care to conceal, and there was too lit- in the bed farthest in; and thus, in tle doubt that it was the blood of her the turmoil of raging passions, her own innocent and beloved boy, the own hand made herself childless. sole heir and hope of the family. Merodach was expelled the family
This blow deprived the laird of all forthwith, but refused to accept of his power of action ; but the lady had a wages, which the man of law pressed brother, a man of the law, who came upon him, for fear of farther mischief; and instantly proceeded to an investi- but he went away in apparent sullengation of this unaccountable murder; ness and discontent, no one knowing but before the Sheriff arrived, the whither. housekeeper took the lady's brother When his dismissal was announced aside, and told him he had better not to the lady, who was watched day and go on with the scrutiny, for she was night in her chamber, the news had sure the crime would be brought such an effect on her, that her whole home to her unfortunate mistress ; frame seemed electrified ; the horrors and after examining into several cor- of remorse vanished, and another pasroborative circumstances, and viewing sion, which I neither can comprehend the state of the raviny maniac, with nor define, took the sole possession of the blood on her hand and arm, he her distempered spirit.
" He must made the investigation a very short not go !-He shall not go!” she exone, declaring the domestics all excul- claimed. “No, no, no—he shall not pated.
-he shall not-he shall not !" and The laird attended his boy's fune- then she instantly set herself about ral, and laid his head in the grave, making ready to follow him, uttering but appeared exactly like a man walks all the while the most diabolical exa ing in a trance, an automaton, without pressions, indicative of anticipated feelings or sensations, oftentimes ga- vengeance.—“Oh, could I but snap zing at the funeral procession, as on his nerves one by one, and birl among something he could not comprehend. his vitals ! Could I but slice his heart And when the death-bell of the parish off piecemeal in small messes, and see church fell a-tolling, as the corpse ap- his blood lopper and bubble, and spin proached the kirk-stile, he cast a dim away in purple slays; and then to see eye up towards the belfry, and said him grin, and grin, and grin, and hastily, “ What, what's that? Och grin ! oh-oh-oh-How beautiful ay, we're just in time, just in time.” and grand a sight it would be to see him grin, and grin, and grin!” And “ Hech-wow ! but that is awsome ! in such a style would she run on for And where is it thought they have hours together.
ta'en ber to, Bessie ?" She thought of nothing, she spake “O, they hae some guess at that of uothing, but the discarded jortery- frae her ain hints afore. It is thought man, whom most people now began they hae carried her after that Satan to regard as a creature that was not of a creature, wha wrought sae muckle canny. They had seen him eat, and wae about the house. It is for him drink, and work like other people; they are a' looking, for they ken weel, still he had that about him that was that where they get the tane they will not like other men. He was a boy in get the tither.' form, and an antediluvian in feature. “Whew! Is that the gate o't, BesSome thought he was a mule, between sie? Why, then, the awfu' story is a Jew and an ape ; some a wizard, nouther mair nor than this, that some a kelpie, ora fairy, but most of the leddy has made a lopment, as they all, that he was really and truly a ca't, and run away after a blackgaird Brownie. What he was I do not know, jotteryman. Hech - wow! wae's me and therefore will not pretend to say; for human frailty! But that's just the but be that as it may, in spite of locks gate! When aince the deil gets in the and keys, watching and waking, the point o' his finger, he will soon bave Lady of Wheelhope soon made her in his haill hand. Ay, he wants but a escape and eloped after him. The at- hair to make a tether of, ony day. I tendants, indeed, would have made hae seen her a braw sonsy lass, but path that she was carried away by even then I feared she was devoted to some invisible hand, for that it was destruction, for she aye mockit at reimpossible she could have escaped on ligion, Bessie, an' that's no a good foot like other people ; and this edi. mark of a young body. An' she made tion of the story took in the country; a' its servants her enemies ; an' think but sensible people viewed the matter you these good men's prayers were a' in another light.
to blaw away i' the wind, and be nae Asforinstance, when Wattie Blythe, mair regarded ? Na, na, Bessie, my the laird's old shepherd, came in from woman, take ye this mark baith o' the hill one morning, his wife Bessie our ain bairns and ither folk's—If ever thus accosted him." His presence ye see a young body that disregards be about us, Wattie Blythe! have ye ihe Sabbath, and makes a mock at the heard what has happened at the ha'? ordinances o' religion, ye will never Things are aye turning waur and see that body come to muckle good. waur there, and it looks like as if A braw hand she has made o' her gibes Providence had gi'en up our laird's an' jeers at religion, an' her mockeries house to destruction. This grand es- o'the poor persecuted hill-folk !sunk tate maun now gang frae the Sprots, down by degrees into the very dregs for it has finished them."
oʻsin and misery! run away after a “ Na, na, Bessie, it isna the estate scullion !" that has finished the Sprots, but the “Fy, fy, Wattie, how can ye say Sprots that hae finished it, an' them- sae ? It was weel kenn'd that she hatit sells into the boot. They hae been a him wi' a perfect an' mortal hatred, wicked and degenerate race, an'aye an’ tried to make away wi' him mae the langer the waur, till they hae ways nor ane." reached the utmost bounds o' earthly "Aha, Bessie; but nipping an’scartwickedness ; an' it's time the deil were ing are Scots folk's wooing; an' though looking after his ain."
it is but right that we suspend our “Ah, Wattie Blythe, ye never said judgments, there will naebody pera truer say. An' that's just the very suade me, if she be found alang wi' point where your story ends, and mine the creature, but that she has run commences; for hasna the deil, or the away after him in the natural way, on fairies, or the brownies, ta'en away her twa shanks, without help either our lady bodily, an' the haill country frae fairy or brownie." is running and riding in search o' her; " I'll never believe sic a thing of and there is twenty hunder merks of- any woman born, let be a lady weel fered to the first that can find her, an“ up in years." bring her safe back. They hae ta’en “ od help ye, Bessie ! ye dinna ken her away, skin an' bane, body an' the stretch o' corrupt nature. The soul, au' a', Wattie !"
best o 'us, when left to oursells, are nae better than strayed sheep, that Wattie, manifestly in as great terror will never find the way back to their as his wife ; and by a natural impulse, ain pastures; an' of a' things made o' or as a last resource, he opened the mortal flesh, a wicked woman is the Bible, not knowing what he did, and warst."
then hurried on his spectacles ; but “ Alack-a-day! we get the blame o' before he got two leaves turned over, muckle that we little deserve. But, the two entered, a frightful-looking Wattie, keep ye a gayan sharp look. couple indeed. Merodach, with his out about the cleuchs and the caves old withered face, and ferret eyes, o our glen, or hope, as ye ca't; for leading the Lady of Wheelhope by the lady kens them a' gayan weel; the long hair, which was mixed with and gin the twenty hunder merks wad grey, and whose face was all bloated come our way, it might gang a waur with wounds and bruises, and having gate.
It wad tocher a' our bonny stripes of blood on her garments. lasses.”
« How's this!-How's this, sirs ?" “ Ay, weel I wat, Beesie, that's nae said Wattie Blythe. lee. And now, when ye bring me “ Close that book, and I will tell amind o't, the forgie me gin I you, goodman," said Merodach. didna hear a creature up in the Brock- “ I can hear what you hae to say holes this morning, skirling as if some- wi' the beuk open, sir,” said Wattie, thing war cutting its throat. It gars turning over the leaves, as if looking a' the hairs stand on my head when for some particular passage, but apI think it may hae been our leddy, an' parently not knowing what he was the droich of a creature murdering doing. “ It is a shamefu' business her. I took it for a battle of wulcats, this, but some will hae to answer for't. and wished they might pu' out ane My leddy, I am unco grieved to see anither's thrapples; but when I think you in sic a plight. Ye hae surely on it again, they war unco like some been dooms sair left to yoursell.” o' our leddy's unearthly screams.” The lady shook her head, uttered a
“ His presence be about us, Wattie! feeble hollow laugh, and fixed her eyes Haste ye. Pit on your bonnet-take on Merodach. But such a look ! It your staff in your hand, and gang an' almost frightened the simple aged see what it is."
couple out of their senses. It was not “ Shame fa' me, if I daur gang, a look of love nor of hatred exclusive Bessie."
ly; neither was it of desire or disgust, “ Hout, Wattie, trust in the Lord.” but it was a combination of them all.
“ Aweel, sae I do. But ane's no to It was such a look as one fiend would throw himsell ower a linn, an' trust cast on another, in whose everlasting that the Lord's to kep him in a blan- destruction he rejoiced. Wattie was ket; nor hing himsell up in a raip, an' glad to take his eyes from such counexpect the Lord to come and cut tenances, and look into the Bible, that him down. An' it's nae muckle safer firm foundation of all his hopes and for an auld stiff man to gang away out all his joy. to a wild remote place, where there is " I request that you will shut that ae body murdering another.--What book, sir," said the horrible creature; is that I hear, Bessie ? Haud the lang
you do not, I will shut it for tongue o' you, and rin to the door, an' you with a vengeance;" and with that see what noise that is.”
he seized it, and flung it against the Bessie ran to the door, but soon re- wall. Bessie uttered a scream, and turned an altered creature, with her Wattie was quite paralysed ; and almouth wide open, and her eyes set in though he seemed disposed to run after her head.
his best friend, as he called it, the “ It is them, Wattie ! it is them! hellish looks of the Brownie interpoHis presence be about us! What will sed, and glued him to his seat. we do?"
“ Hear what I have to say first," “ Them ? whaten them?"
said the creature," and then pore your “ Why, that blackguard creature, fill on that precious book of yours. coming here, leading our leddy be the One concern at a time is enough. I hair o the head, an' yerking her wi' came to do you a service. Here, take a stick. I am terrified out o' my wits. this cursed, wretched woman, whom What will we do?"
you style your lady, and deliver her “ We'll see what they say,” said up to the lawful authorities, to be re.
stored to her husband and her place in great fortune for one like him in those society. She is come upon one that days; and not to dwell longer on this hates her, and never said one kind unnatural story, I shall only add, very word to her in his life, and though I shortly, that the Lady of Wheelhope have beat her like a dog, still she soon made her escape once more, and clings to me, and will not depart, so flew, as by an irresistible charm, to enchanted is she with the laudable her tormentor. Her friends looked no purpose of cutting my throat. Tell more after her; and the last time she your master and her brother, that I am was seen alive, it was following the not to be burdened with their maniac. uncouth creature up the water of Daur, I have scourged, I have spurned and weary, wounded, and lame, while he kicked her, afflicting her night and was all the way beating her, as a piece day, and yet from my side she will not of excellent amusentent. A few days depart. Take her. Claim the reward after that, her body was found among in full, and your fortune is made, and some wild haggs, in a place called so farewell.”
Crook-burn, by a party of the perseThe creature bowed and went away, cuted Covenanters that were in hiding but the moment his back was turned there, some of the very men whom the lady fell a-screaming and strug- she had exerted herself to destroy, and gling like one in an agony, and, in who had been driven, like David of spite of all the old couple's exertions, old, to pray for a curse and earthly she forced herself out of their hands, punishment upon her. They buried and ran after the retreating Merodach. her like a dog at the Yetts of Keppel, When he saw better would not be, he and rolled three huge stones upon her turned upon her, and, by one blow grave, which are lying there to this with his stick, struck her down; and, day. When they found her corpse, it not content with that, he continued to was mangled and wounded in a most kick and baste her in such a manner shocking manner, the fiendish creaas to all appearance would have killed ture having manifestly tormented her twenty ordinary persons. The poor to death. He was never more seen or devoted dame could do nothing, but heard of in this kingdom, though all now and then utter a squeak like a that country-side was kept in terror half-worried cat, and writhe and grovel for him many years afterwards ; and on the sward, till Wattie and his wife to this day, they will tell you of The came up and withheld her tormentor BROWNIE OF THE Black Haggs, from further violence. He then bound which title he seems to have acquired her hands behind her back with a after his disappearance. strong cord, and delivered her once This story was told to me by an old more to the charge of the old couple, man, named Adam Halliday, whose who contrived to hold her by that great grandfather, Thomas Halliday, means and take her home.
was one of those that found the body Wattie had not the face to take her and buried it. It is many years since I into the hall, but into one of the out- heard it; but, howeverridiculousit may houses, where he brought her brother appear, I remember it made a dreadful to receive her. The man of the law impression on my young mind. I newas manifestly vexed at her reappear. ver heard any story like it, save one of ance, and scrupled not to testify his an old fox-hound that pursued a fox dissatisfaction; for when Wattie told through the Grampians for a fortnight, him how the wretch had abused his and when at last discovered by the sister, and that, had it not been for Duke of Athole's people, neither of Bessie's interference and his own, the them could run, but the hound was lady would have been killed outright, still continuing to walk after the fox,
Why, Walter, it is a great pity and when the latter lay down the that he did not kill her outright, other lay down beside him, and looksaid he. “ What good can her life ed at him steadily all the while, though now do to her, or of what value is her unable to do him the least harm. The life to any creature living ? After one passion of inveterate malice seems to has lived to disgrace all connected with have influenced these two exactly them, the sooner they are taken off alike. But, upon the whole, I scarcethe better."
ly believe the tale can be true. · The man, however, paid old Wal- MOUNT BENGER, ter down his two thousand merks, a
Sept. 10, 1828.