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relieved her of great trouble, by enabling
her to appear at Caerinnys as became her
father's daughter. " You have too often accused
me of being too proud in these matters," she
said; "and I am humble now, through pride;
because I should not like to have it said or
thought that we went to Lady Stewart's help
from mercenary motives." The blush upon
her cheek, as she said this, showed that her
mother's speculations on this head had
wounded her high spirit to the quick.

At nine o'clock in the evening, the moon
nearly at full, we were bidding farewell to
our friends by the quay side. My brother,
laughingly, suggested terrors to our Harriet,
who fully expecting Lady Stewart's rebels to
submit at the first summons, was not to be
daunted. " If harm should threaten us," she
added, with much feeling, " we shall have an
able knight and many doughty squires ready
with aid." As she spoke, the clear cold
moonlight fell upon her face, and it seemed
to me that she never looked more beautiful.
Nor to me alone, I suspect did she seem
beautiful; for Captain Culver had approached
us quietly, and there was that in his look
and voice as he thanked her for her good
opinion of himself and his crew, which set me
speculating, as all girls of seventeen will do,
upon the future. Till that moment I had
been anxious about the success of this
cruise in the Vixen; but now I felt satisfied
that Harriet was in good hands, and that if
love was an efficient helper, she was safe from

William and I lingered on the quay long
after our friends left us, watching the clever
little Vixen as she crossed the bar, between
Inchkarne and the coast, and vanished in the

Time passed on: and I began to think it
unusual for the Vixen to be so long absent
from Rathkelspie; but it was not till a month
had elapsed that any of us confessed
ourselves to be really anxious on our friends'
behalf. Then, even my father seemed to think
matters serious, and even spoke either of sending
across to Portpatrick to inquire whether
there were no tidings of the cutter, or of
writing to some person in authority to ascertain
whether the Vixen had received fresh orders.
Before any fresh step was taken, came an order
from the revenue station at Kilkrummoch,
desiring that a certain number of carts should
be in readiness at the quay-side of Rathkelspie,
to remove some heavy packages out of
the Vixen cutter, then hourly expected. The
revenue-officer who brought the order set the
whole town in commotion by strange rumours
which he brought with him. Kilkrummoch
fishing-boats, which had been blown by the
late storm across the narrow channel between
Scotland and Ireland, had been told at
Donaghadee that the Vixen was storm-stayed in
Strangford Lough, being unable to cross the
bar during the late south-east gale; but that
she had made some wonderful captures
during her long cruise. Some whispered
that not only had she taken the smuggler of
which she had been so long in chase, but that
she had also captured a French privateer,
laden with Spanish gold; which, together
with a great number of prisoners of rank
among whom were three ladiesshe was
bringing in triumph to Rathkelspie; others
denied the privateer; but said, that in her
chase of the smuggler she had come upon, a
haunt of buccaneers, commanded by a female
captain, who had bravely defended their
little island, but had finally surrendered after
both their Amazon leader and brave Captain
Culver had been wounded. It was for their
treasures, said the people, that so many carts
were wanted; and it was to carry the
wounded lady-captain to the hospital that Mr.
M'Donald had been ordered to bring down,
his sedan-chair to the quay-side.

Towards evening of the day after Captain
Culver's orders reached Rathkelspie, a change
in the wind caused the knowing ones to
prophesy the prompt arrival of the cutter. The
array of carts drew up at the quay-side, the
sedan was set at ease behind the look-out
house; the crowd, attracted by the strange
reports that had been current, were gathered
in masses on the pier; and, as the glowing
light of sunset fell upon their eager and
expectant faces, the whole scene was picturesque
enough, to me a most exciting one, as soon
as word was given that the Vixen was spied
rounding Inchcarne point.

The little ship swam into the bay stately
as a swan. In an instant she was surrounded
by a crowd of boats; every boatman offering
assistance, and asking innumerable questions.
When the first party came ashore out of the
cutter, the high-wrought expectations of the
spectators was shown in the deathlike stillness
that succeeded the late hum of voices.
Their whole souls seemed concentrated in
their eyes. They never thought now of
making inquiries; they were only too
content to look. Judge, then, of their
disappointment, when the first person who landed
was Mrs. Delancy. But, at the same time,
attention was attracted to the movements of
Captain Culver and Mr. Delancy, who were
carrying, rather than assisting, a tall veiled
figure from the boat. " It's true, it's true.
See, the captain's arm is in a sling; and the
lady must be sore wounded to let herself be
carried in that fashion. What for have they
rolled her up in veils and mantles? I would
like rarely to see a she-captain, but
I cannot get a glimpse of her face. Nay! if
that's not Miss Harriet coming out of the
boat, with two bonny little dogs in her arms.
She-captains are fine folk, to have such fine
attendance! Just see how tender-like they
are carrying her. Softly, Captain, softly!
The sedan is ready, and M'Donald has had
two or three extra drams; so he'll be as
steady as a rock."

The laugh that followed did not prevent