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a Spanish gipsy, with her straight and
stately body, her dark fine features and
glittering black eyes, and the coloured
handkerchief finely setting off a complexion
of tawny olive. Kindly and courteously,
hearing that a "lady" was on board (there
was a lady, reader!), they had brought, as a
present for her, two beautiful birdsa young
male kestrel and a young hooting owl, which
from that day became members of the
already too numerous household on board
the Tern. The kestrel lives yet, rejoicing
in the name of "Joseph" a nautical bird,
tame as possible, and never tired of swinging
on a perch on the deck of a ship. But
the owl, christened "The Chancellor," on
account of his wig, disappeared one day
overboard.

The shepherd was a mountaineer, and
knew much of the ways and haunts of birds.
He knew of only one pair of eagles in that
neighbourhood, and from his vague description,
translated to us by Hamish Shaw, we
could not make out to what precise species
of eagle he referred. He had harried the
nest that spring, but the young had died in
his hands, and he was afraid the old birds
would forsake the mountain. In answer to
our questions about sport, he said that the
small lochans close by attracted a large number
of birds, but if we wished a genuine day
of wild-fowl hunting, we must go to Loch
Phlogibech, two miles in the interior, where
the geese were legion He recommended
us to get the punt carried across the hills
a feat which might speedily be achieved
by the vigorous work of four strong men.

As it was still too windy next morning
to think of lifting anchor and urging the
yacht further on her journey up the open
coast, the punt was taken to shore at an
early hour by Hamish and the Wanderer;
and an aged shepherd and his son, living in
a cottage on the banks of the fj├Ârd, were
soon persuaded to assist in carrying it
overland. It was warm work. The hills
were steep and full of great holes between
the heather, and all were sodden with rain
which had fallen during the night. Fortunately,
however, there intervened, between
the sea and Loch Phlogibech, no fewer
than four smaller lochs, over which the
punt was rowed successively: thus reducing
the land journey from two miles to
little more than half a mile. And lovely
indeed were these little lochans of the
hills, nestling among the hollows, their
water of an exquisite limpid brown, and
the water-lilies floating thereon so thickly
that the path of the boat seemed strewn
with flowers. Small trout leaped at intervals,
leaving a ring of light that widened
and died. From one little pool, no larger
than a gentleman's average drawing-room,
and apparelled in a many-coloured glory no
upholsterer could equal, we startled a pair
of beautiful black-throats; but the guns
were empty, and the prize escaped. There
were ducks also, and flappers numberless;
stately herons, too, rising at our approach
with a clumsy flap of the great black wings,
and tumbling over and over in the air, when
out of the reach of danger, in awkward and
unwieldy play.

What is stiller than a heron on a
promontory? Motionless he stands, arching his
neck, and eyeing the water with a steadfast
gaze. Hours pass: he has not stirred a
feather; fish are scarce; but sooner or later,
an eel will slip glittering past that very
spot, and be secured by one thrust of the
mighty bill. He will wait on, trusting to
Providence, hungry though he is. Not
until he espies your approach, does he
change his attitude. Watchful, and yet
still, he now stands sidelong, stretching out
his long neck with a serpentine motion,
till, unable to bear the suspense any longer,
he rises into the air.

At last, all panting, we launched the punt
on Phlogibech; and delicious indeed, at that
moment, would have been a drop of distilled
waters; but the last whisky bottle had been
empty for days, and was not to be replenished
in those regions. Having despatched
the Highlanders homeward, with a promise
from them to aid in the transport of the
boat on the return journey next day, the
Wanderer and his henchman loaded the
guns and set off in search of more sport to
be duly recorded.

             THE TROTHPLIGHT.

        CRIMSON red behind the hill,
        Day was sinking slowly,
        Hushedly the wild birds sang
        Notes of melancholy.
        Homeward from a bootless quest,
        Went the wild bee humming;
        Earth was weary, day was done,
        And the night was coming.

        Sadly thro' the greenwood way
        Walked a youth and maiden,
        Looking in each other's eyes,
        Fond and sorrow laden.
        "Rudolf, now thy country calls
        And our lives are parted:
        Be thou bravebut keep thy troth,
        And be constant hearted."

        Of the gleaming golden hair,
        One bright lock she sunders;
        Day is dying, far away
        Sound the battle thunders.