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He was walking about the large central hall of his house one afternoon in the Spring of 1745. The land was lonelier than ruin, but even so, the long strath wore a halo of dandelions, and on the young grass a thousand cattle were straying and feeding. So he rested at the open window watching them, wondering the while how soon his drovers could start southward with their lots of beasts. The sunshine fell on his mighty form, on his white hair and strong face, on the Jacobite tartan he wore; and glinting on his dirk showed on its handle the large silver "S," for Stuart,

in the open-work of

its hilt. All his gar

ments were large and

free, and his checquered hose bound not his stride, for they did not reach his knee

by a span.

The sight of the Spring and the cattle was pleasant to him, and his thoughts were

vivid and hopeful, but his molesting temper could not let him be at rest. In a few minutes he turned impatiently and cast his eyes upon a young man and a young woman who were sitting at the upper end of the hall. The woman was threading a string of beads made of transparent goldenbrown crystals of the Cairngorm mountains; the young man was reading a book. Their occupations were alike trivial and idle in the chief's estimation, and he spoke with an imperious sharpness as he turned:

"Revan, this is no reading time. Are you a clerk or a priest? You have five fingers on each hand, were they made to handle bits of paper?" and he lifted the claymore that lay upon the table, and let it fall again with an angry clang.

"Father of my father," answered the young man respectfully, "do not fret yourself. When it is the hour of the sword, my five fingers will quiver for the sword; then the book will fall from them. I am putting the time past with the tale of Conan."

"Humf-f-f! Then learn a lesson from Conan, and let your kindness to your enemies be like the kindness of Conan to the demons-cuff for cuff, and claw for claw." "I am sunwise (ready) for everything."

"You are not sunwise. 'Twere better you were on the hills counting the herds, than sitting here reading of the Conan. I was a prince among the beasts at your age. Lachlan, and Clythe, and Tavis might teach you something, if you would only listen to them."

"Do you wish Revan to be a drover, grandfather?" asked the girl. "Let him alone. He is doing well"; and she put her elbows on the arm of her chair and swung the string of beads to and fro in the sunshine. As she did so she looked from them to the chief, and he caught her glance and smile and grew uncertain and uneasy, and turning to the open door again, took out his snuff-box and tapped on its golden lid, something he could not bring his tongue to utter. Then the girl let the beads fall to her lap, and with a glance of sympathetic intelligence said softly: "Revan!" and Revan answered only:

"Sara!" The word was full of tenderness, and he put aside his book and sat smiling and looking at his sister.

She was conscious of his admiration and pleased to look lovely in his eyes. She began to thread her beads again, and he watched her movements with delight; for though some might have denied her beauty, none could ignore her charm. She was small, with an uncommonly slender waist, and upright carriage of the head, and her abundant hair was of that shimmering brown which has the effect of a halo, and her complexion was delicate and blooming as a rose. She had the beauty of opening flowers, their softness and sweetness, but withal a gravity and clear austerity of mind, that was akin to physical light. For Sara MacArgall had a spiritual nature of extreme sensibility, evidenced by eyes of that weird blue that can see visions. At times her whole face had this ultra-terrestrial charm, but usually the mystical aspiration of her nature was dominated by the passionate directness of a woman of the world, who regarded daily life and its duties as matters of imperative importance.

Her brother Revan resembled her in some respects; in others he differed widely. He had a towering form crowned with the same beautiful shining hair; great mental and physical vigor, blunt speech, and an icy cold expression, with every now and then a look of fire. His dress was simple, if compared with the splendor of the grandfather's; and was remarkable in that he wore the tartan of his clan, rather than the Jacobite one assumed by his Chief. But he was not insensible to fine clothing, for as he looked at Sara, he recognized a richness in her attire which had also the added charm of novelty.

"This is a beautiful gown, Sara;" he said, drawing his chair close to her, and touching gently the soft, rich silk. "Who could have thought that pale green would have become you so completely? It is like the tender green sheath of a rose."

"Aunt Athol brought me it; many other pretty gowns also a box full of lovely things. But I did not open the lid until this morning, because Aunt was too weary to help me; and I could not deprive her of the pleasure of seeing my gratitude."

"That is like you. I wonder what brought our Aunt over the mountains at this time! It was a great journey to take."

"I have not been motive hunting. Say that she wanted to see our grandfather. He is her brother, and the last of her household-that is on the swordside; there are women, but there is no man left of her father's sons, save her brother Murdo."

"I know, but grandfather goes once every year to see her."

"I ask not why she came. She is ever welcome for herself, and she always brings with her a sough of the great, good world, beyond these mountains."

"Then you think the great world is a good world?" "Yes. I shall never forget the four years I spent with Aunt Athol in Edinburgh. They were a romance, a tale better and stranger than any the clansmen tell of the olden time."

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As she spoke she was listening, and she added, with a smile, "I hear Aunt Athol coming; rise, Revan!"

Then the young man went to a door and opened it and, bowing and offering his hand, led Lady Atholia Gordon into the room. She was the youngest and only living sister of the Chief; a tall, stately woman, about sixty years old, with a fresh, handsome face full of good humor and shrewd common-sense. A coif of white lace covered her hair, her gown was of violet silk, and she carried a long ivory cane, though she had not the least real necessity for it.

"Children," she said cheerfully, "a good day to you! Brother, is it well with you?"

"When you are here, it is always well, Athol." Then he took her to the open door, and pointed out the drovers urging the cattle closer, and the quick-springing grass, which would make the southward journey for them near at hand. And as he said this, he looked into his sister's face with an intelligence she understood, for she asked softly:

"Coming from the North and West, will the roads now be passable?"

"Men who want to pass over them can find a way; men not sure of their hearts may have stumbling feet." "You are still on the same side, Murdo?"

"There is only one side to me."

"Right or unright?"

"Right or unright, I am on the same side forever."

"You are a good man."

"There are worse than me-at times." Then he left her, and went striding down the strath, and she watched him a few moments, while a shadow of sadness passed over her face. The brooding power of the great hills, the murmur of running waters, the silence, and pastoral melancholy filled her soul with prayer.

"Bring my chair into the open, Revan," she said; "the wind streams out of the mountains like living water. And oh, children, the mountains themselves! They are like a great stairway going up to the skies. You lose sight of the ordinaries of life as you look at them. I wonder if they did reach as far as Heaven, how many of us would try to win over the heights and depths of such a fearsome road!"

"I would try it joyfully, even if I perished in the effort;" said Sara.

"That would be just impossible, my little lambie. No perishing on that road; for the good Shepherd would be everywhere; both down in the depths, and up on the heights. He is the 'Way.'"

There was no answer to this remark. Sara looked far off, and far upward to the mystical stairway of mountains; and Revan sat with his arms on his knees and his head dropped thoughtfully forward, putting his thumbs and forefingers together. The sensitive pause was broken by Lady Gordon, who asked in a tone of solicitude:

"When shall we have more news? I can see the anxiety of the Chief; he is very near the end of patience."

"Hector MacDonald should have been here five weeks ago. His delay means evil. Something has gone wrong, or this house and strath had now been full of

fighting men; " said Revan. "The meeting at the sign of The Blue Bell' was trysted for the twenty-fourth of last month. The tryst is broken; we can only wait for the reason."

As he spoke there came down the strath a long, clear whistle, which they heard the Chief instantly answer.

"Hector has come at last;" said Sara joyously. She stood up and waved her scarf, and Lady Gordon also rose; but Revan hurried down the steep path to meet whatever news was coming.

It was not good news. That was plain enough to the two women before they heard a murmur of it. The Chief's passionate voice and carriage, and Revan's air of reserve or dejection, told some story of defeat and disappointment. But as the men came closer it was evident that the messenger was not himself much troubled. He said afterward, he had had his fit of despair, and that invincible hope had only grown stronger in it. Certainly at this hour, joy was the master emotion; he gazed at Sara with a lover's adoration, and was not then conscious of anything in life to make him miserable.

Travel stained and weary with his long tramp through the mountain passes, he was nevertheless singularly attractive. He wore the splendid scarlet and black tartan of the MacDonalds, and on his black hair the picturesque Glengary with the noble ensign of an eagle's feather in it. A soldier every inch of him, with all his good qualities in evidence the handsome face, the cheerful temperament, the aristocratic manner of one born to command, the brightness of fiery youth, the black moustache soft as silk, shading lips

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full and tender. His faults were less obvious, for they were of that negative order held in abeyance, until circumstances develop them. He was never as great as he led people to imagine he would be. He was self-indulgent, and not able to practise any self-denial. Faithful unto death where his clan's traditions, or his political opinions were concerned; he was not faithful to his feelings; and after all has been said, it is feeling which lies at the foundation of every man and woman, and which makes them individual. Male and female friends alike called him fickle, and very likely with good reason.

But he came into the melancholy old hall like a shaft of sunshine. He brought movement and speech with him. Life that had seemed half dead was suddenly alert, noisy, busy. A score of men were running hither and thither, preparing his room, cleaning his clothing, hastening the meal, setting the table, bringing in wood for the fire. Somewhere near, the pipes began to play; and though the Clan quickly understood that young Hector had not brought good news, the music was the defiant march of MacDonald, Gainsay Who Dare."

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As the Chief took his place at the table, Dugald, the piper of MacArgall, proudly entered with the famous black chanter of his clan; a pipe whose strains were said to inspire all who heard them, with more than mortal courage. Round the table he marched three times, filling the room with wild, passionate music. Then Chief Murdo put into his hand a great silver beaker full of Farintosh, and, raising his own glass, he stood up and cried :

"God save King James! Gainsay who dare!"

The enchanted pipes reiterated in frenzied crescendos the dauntless challenge, until the room was in a delirious excitement. The Chief was snapping his fingers, as Highlanders do when under great emotion. Lady Gordon was weeping. Sara had risen to her feet, and every strand of her lovely hair seemed instinct with an individual life; it waved, it glowed, it appeared to have luminous emanations, to make a veritable glory round the fair oval face, that had grown white as a lily with feeling. On the contrary, Revan had utterly lost his cold appearance; his cheeks were like a flame, his eyes like living furnaces, and his radiant hair had the same characteristics as his sister's. Hector, quivering and noisy in his enthusiasm, urged on the piper with the untranslatable vehemence of the Highland battle cry-"Sa! Sa! Sa! Sa! Sa! Sa!"

A few moments of such vivid life is all the spirit will endure and be restrained in its clay tabernacle! and it was well for the aged Chief that the tumult of the gathering clan in the court brought a diversion of feeling. They made no call on him, but he knew they would wait until he appeared. Unbonneted he went to the open door, and stretched his hands out over them. A soft murmur, a perfect silence followed the action, and gathering his life forces together he said:

"Children of Clan Argall. There is news, and some will be saying that it is not very good news. I tell you that it is very good news. Yes, indeed! the best news that has come yet.

Listen to me. The French King, as you well know, swore to James the Seventh, as he lay dying, to stand by his son, and help him to his rights. Very well; a promise made to the dying must be kept, or great ill from the dead to the living, and King Louis was not caring to have the ill-will of the dead-who would? So to make good his word, he sent with our Prince Charles the great Mareschal Saxe, and fifteen thousand French troops. They were to land in Scotland, and we have been waiting for them, more than two months. They will never come. Things went black ill with them from the first. The devil was in the winds and waves, and between the devil and the deep sea, and the English navy, they went to wreck and carrion. So far, it seems to be bad news; now comes the good of it. One is here young Hector MacDonald — who was with Prince Charles, and who escaped with him to Paris. And he brings word that Prince Charles will never again look for help from the stranger. He will get more gold and arms, and will come

here to his own and trust to our love and valor, and to no others. Then he will come to the beginning of Fortune, for the Highland host will bear him on their claymores to Perth; they will crown him King of Scotland; they will seat him in old Edina. And then we will have no Union' with England; not we! We will have our own crown and sceptre, and our own royal line; and when I see that day, I will pray to depart in peace, for I shall have seen the salvation of Scotland."

A suppressed sob, which quickly grew to a prolonged shout, answered this speech, and the Chief turned away and went back to his delayed meal. There was obvious weariness of both flesh and spirit in all, and it was only fitfully and gradually that conversation was resumed. MacArgall eat his pea brose and butter in silence, while Sara and Lady Gordon drank their tea, and talked softly to each other, and to Hector, about the appearance of Prince Charles. But when the Chief had finished his bowl of brose, and was dipping his oatcake in his toddy, Lady Gordon said to him:

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Murdo, you spoke well to-night, as well as you did fifty years ago—and how the Clan adore you! Who would be a King, if he could be Chief of his clan? If I was Prince Charles, I should come back as Chief of Clan Stuart. But do you really think he will try again next year?” "If I did not think so, I had not said it. To Clan Argall I speak nothing but the truth-if I know it."

"Prince Charles will succeed where his father failed"; said Hector. "He has what his father notably lackedconciliating and charming manners."

"His father is your King, Hector MacDonald. Speak no ill of the King even in your bedchamber. A man that was wiser than you said that."

"And yet Hector is right," answered Lady Gordon. "My lord thought a man must love the Stuarts well, to bear his presence; and I heard you say yourself, Murdo, that it was hard to fight for such a man.'

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"I will give you good-night. Blessing to you, one and all, but the talk suits me not. He is the King; King by grace of God-I do not put my opinion before the divine will."

Every eye was fixed on the positive old man, and Revan and Hector stood up, until he closed the door. After a few moments' silence they drew closer together, and began to talk with a freedom not possible in the Chief's presence.

"Children," said Lady Gordon, "it is not easy to make your grandfather listen to a dissenting word; and yet some one should speak to him. I came here for that purpose, and I hope my few words will bring certain things to his remembrance, that he ought not to forget."

"Concerning the King?" asked Revan.

"Concerning the King. The hatred and scorn King James inspired thirty years ago have not been forgotten. I am not a malicious body, but my disappointment and anger is as great to day as it was when my lord went into hiding after Sheriffmiur. From the first hour of his landing in Scotland, King James made men's hearts faint and sick. Lord Gordon was in the camp at Perth when he entered it on the 6th of January, 1716; and as soon as men looked on him, their enthusiasm for the Stewarts melted away. You must remember that Highlanders have no belief in the divine right of kings. They have always associated power with strength, wisdom and courage. Their legends are full of instances where weak chieftains have been replaced by some hardy, daring kinsman, who could effectively lead their clans to forage and victory. When King James showed himself to these little kings of the highland clans, his appearance filled them with the coldness of despair. They could hardly believe him to be a descendant of the heroic race of Stuart; and they asked each other if this apparition of a king could speak or move."

"You are very hard on King James the Eighth, Aunt Athol," said Revan; "was he indeed so physically wanting in all good qualities?"

"His body, always weak and shaffling, was shaken by his dissipations; he had dull, lazy eyes, sallow cheeks, an imbecile smile, slow, listless movements. He was as haughty

If this Prince Charles is anything like his father, we want none of him. I would travel from the Hebrides to the Shetlands to keep men from going out with him. I came resolved to hold back your grandfather, but I fear I shall utterly fail."

"But I assure you, Lady Gordon," said Hector, "that Prince Charles has the opposites of all his father's qualities. He is affable, courageous and capable of friendship. I have been much with him, and I assure you that his character has inspired me with an enthusiastic affection."

Why can't we leave the Stuarts alone?" said Lady Gordon. "A plague on them all! To touch them is to catch calamity. The living force of Jacobitism is dead forever."

"Not so! Not so, Lady Gordon!" cried Hector hotly. "You will see in a few months that it is very much alive. I am now on a mission to all hopeful clans, and will proceed even to Orkney and Shetland, to raise men and money for the cause."

"Good Heavens, Hector! Has not one expedition with the King of France behind it just been blown to the land of Nowhere? Can you not see that you are fighting against Destiny?

"Then we will conquer Destiny. She cannot always have her dice loaded. The youth of Scotland are Jacobites at heart. A few days ago I had a message from young MacLauchlan, and he speaks for the whole youth of the highlands, when he writes a stone lies near to the earth, but tell Prince Charles, nearer than that is our aid when called for.' Remember not an hour ago, not a man of Clan MacArgall would have hesitated, if called then and there to the battle field."

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and despotic as if he was an acknowledged king with unlimited power. He answered all men, and all bodies of men, in brief, chilling words, as if assured authority had made the adulation of obsequious subjects tiresome to him. He surrounded himself with the most particular etiquette and ceremony, and the number of his dinner courses created a hearty contempt for him among men, who when in arms found a little oatmeal and water sufficient."

"But I never heard his courage questioned, Lady Gordon," said Hector.

"You were not born, Hector, when men's hearts were burning with the shame and wrong King James wrought them. I was in the middle of the quarrel, for I was at Perth the whole of that fateful month. I remember the day this royal James was persuaded to attend a council of war; and Lord Gordon told me after it that the King's terror of any warlike preparation which would put him in danger, filled the hearts of the highland chiefs with disgust and despair." "But had he no good qualities, Lady Gordon?" asked Hector.

66

"He had one positive quality-the bitterest, narrowest bigotry. For the rest," she said, with rising anger and disdain, he was neither Cæsar nor Nullus; neither a man nor a mouse; neither soldier nor sailor; nor cardinal, without brains or bravery, made in the figure of a man, but just alive, and that's all. He was brought to Scotland to fight battles and lead good soldiers to victory, and he skulked and whined, and speeched, and cried, and having smelled gunpowder and dreamed of a fight, ran away at midnight.

But

"You must remember also, Hector, that they were under the spell of Dugald's chanter. It beguiled even me. reflection follows the music, and in this case, reflection does not step to the war shout."

"Nevertheless," said Sara, "God save Prince Charles! Gainsay who dare" and as soon as she uttered the words the wild music went dirling through their ears and hearts; for Dugald began to play the clan to their homes, and the night silence was invaded and filled with the frenzy and fury of the warlike challenge. Tingling in every nerve they sat listening to the passionate strains, as they went up and down the mountain, and into the corries, and along the strath until they died away in a long drawn note that made everyone ready to cry out in sympathy.

"The devil is in Dugald's pipes," said Lady Gordon, "I'll not listen to them again; they would make me recant every word I have said. They're not canny. They make men wild. They call for the dirk and the broadsword!" And she wrung her hands, and her voice trembled like the voice of one overcome with emotion and on the point of weeping aloud.

"King Edward," said Revan, "was obliged to slay the Welsh harpers, ere he could bring the Wesh nation to submission. King George will have to get rid of the pipers, if he wants peace in the highlands. Music is the voice of Freedom, and those old bards and harpers, and our pipers also, are just to-day what a Gaelic poet described them a thousand years ago:

"They can play tunes,

Trampling things, tightened strings,
Warriors, heroes, and ghosts on their feet;
Ghosts and spectres, illness and fever.
They could set in sound lasting sleep
The whole great world,

With the sweetness of the calming tunes,
That the pipers could play.'

66 C Warriors, heroes, and ghosts on their feet,' Revan," said Lady Gordon; "you have named ghosts, and now I shall see them in every corner of this haunted house. Sara, light the candle and we will go to bed ere the night grows dreadful with the coming of the bodiless."

She rose sighing and gave her hand to Revan. Hector lit the candle and walked with Sara to the foot of the stone stairs; and there the young men stood and watched the two women ascend the narrow, spiral road that wound round the central tower, until their forms and voices were lost in the void; and even the dull light of the candle was swallowed up in the darkness.

Then they went back to the hall, and Hector threw more wood on the fire, drew his chair before the blaze, and began to explain more particularly his mission and his hopes. Revan listened silently and without enthusiasm. His attitude was that of a man who faces a destiny which he accepts, rather than approves, and when Hector spoke of his proposed visit to Orkney, he interrupted him sharply with an adverse opinion:

"You need not carry a single hope to the Orkneys," he said; "you are only taking it into the mouth of disappointment. The memory of Earl Patrick Stewart, his brutalities and tyrannies, is as fresh as ever. One hundred and fifty years have passed over his crimes, and the Orcadians have neither forgiven nor forgotten them. I was in Lerwick with the Master of Nairn two Summers ago, and the islanders spit on his name with as hearty a hatred to-day as they ever did. They will neither give a man, nor a penny to a Stuart, and you need not ask them."

"There is no knowing that, Revan. I have a letter to a certain Captain Paul Varrick, who has a notably swift vessel. Did you happen to hear of him?"

"Yes."

Revan spoke with reluctance, and Hector looked inquiringly at him, keeping silence that Revan might add to his his simple affirmative. But Revan did not volunteer another word, so Hector asked:

"Is he a man to be-managed?"

"Not if you took the length of a day, or a year, to manage him." Then with a sudden flash of feeling-" he has a daughter worth going to Orkney to see. Oh, lovely, lovely, Thyra Varrick! If her eyes meet yours, you will be spirit bound, and your feet will not carry you away from Orkney, and your boat will rot and rock at its anchor. Lovely, lovely, Thyra!"

"Now you have settled the matter. I should like to see a woman that could come between me and Prince Charles! Oh, that is a thing that never can be!"

"Hector, I am weary of war, and the rumor of it. Let us go to rest. The day is over, and

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He was lighting his candle as he murmured the words, and as he stood a moment holding Hector's hand, a watcher rose silently from the floor and covered up the fire. few minutes all was dark and silent in the house of MacArgall. Then came those shades of the bodiless who ask for no man's leave, but lift the latch unseen, and enter and sit down, peopling the dark and solitary space that girds every day of life around.

The most dangerous temptations nature is liable to are melancholy and impatience. The Chief was impatient, but far from melancholy. He had that dauntless mind that fears no mischance. The destruction of the French fleet did not dash his hopes, for the cause was in his heart, and it is the heart which creates faith. Therefore, he could not be sad beyond a certain measure, nor do his soul such great

injury as to permit it to fall from its dignity and firmness. In the morning he was very early on the hills with the drovers. If there was no fighting to be done, there was money to be made; and money would be very necessary when the time for fighting came. With Revan and Hector

he went from drove to drove, directing which lots were to go to Falkirk and Crieff, and which were to travel as far southward as Barnet and Smithfield. It was a busy and animated scene, and the ladies watched the start from the terrace before the house. Before noon, at least a thousand beasts had begun their long journey, and the Chief was in excellent spirits.

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They will not lose hoof nor horn by the way,” he said to Lady Gordon. "The good creatures are in excellent condition, and Tavish says he'll bring me back the price of every head of them."

"Can you trust Tavish?" she asked.

"Can I trust myself?" he answered. "Who ever heard tell of a dishonest drover? Oh! but the men were glad to get away. I wish I could have gone with them! They'll be having a grand time and be bringing back plenty of gold and silver. So, when the day comes, MacArgall can be making up with money what he lacks in men and that's fair, you know, Athol. Hector," he cried, but Hector had disappeared, and Sara was also missing; and the Chief looked indignantly at his sister, and said:

"You should have kept your eye on the lassie." "Hector is with her. He will take care of her." "He'll be making love to her."

"He has made love to her all their lives."

"We are going to have war, and is war time a time for love making?"

"Men mostly make love then. As soon as they get a commission in arms, they look for a commission in matrimony. That is my observe, Murdo. And if two young hearts are to be one, you'll not keep them apart with a mouthful of words. That's a fact before divines."

"You should have gone with them."

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Up to Loch Argall? What way would I climb seven hundred feet? Is not Hector MacDonald to your liking ?" "He is, and he is not. Much good he has, but withal that he is like the magpies, and has a drop of devil's blood in his veins."

"Be discreet, Murdo, in any opposing of this matter. Sara has set her heart upon Hector, and what will you do with a woman who has made up her mind? You'll not move her an inch."

"It is an astonishing world, Athol; but I'll be away from it, ere long. Look, woman, at the grass; could anything be greener? And yet a few hot suns, and where will it be? He was a wise man that said, All flesh is as grass.

"Yes; for do you not see, Murdo, that in saying so, he likened us to the most living creature made by God? The feet of trouble pass over it, and trample it, the storm beats it, the wind bleaches it, the mower cuts it down, but it always springs again; never tarrying for man to sew it, or care for it." Then she went to him, and put her hand on his shoulder, and a mist came over his eyes, and he looked down the strath, and up to the jagged peak of Ben Argall, and asked softly:

"Do you see them?"

"I can see the glimmer of Sara's dress."

They will be by the hart's well, no doubt."

The Chief judged rightly. Not very far up the mountain side there was a bubbling spring surrounded by trees, and knee deep in bracken; and there the lovers were resting. The murmur of water, the soft sough of the wind, and the brooding call of birds filled the cool air. They had talked restlessly, as they walked, of the coming struggle, of the loyal clans, and of Hector's mission; but a spell of silence fell over them as soon as they were seated in the green spot. Sara gazed into the crystal pool with dreamy, intent eyes, as if it was a divining glass in which she might read her future. Hector clasped her hand and was speechless awhile; and the air grew sensitive between them, and the ripple of the water touched their hearts-as fingers touch the strings of an instrument-until their souls rose from the depths of

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