When the parson had assisted Jeannie to her feet, and got himself again comfortably seated by the glowing fire, he began to interrogate her about the character and employment of her late visitors, but she evaded these by indirect replies; And the parson, in his anxiety to elicit who or what they were, having let out a hint that people do not always sleep when they seem to do so, Jeanie flew into a passion that astonished as well as alarmed him at its fury. The most finished doomsday sermon of the most reputed thunderer, was as nothing com­pared with the force and fluency of her denunciations; and as the anathemas she showered upon him were as novel as they were horrible to his reverend ears, he tried by every means in his power to throw oil upon the troubled waters of her temper, but all in vain; his ex­planations but added fuel to the flame, for, seizing upon his inoffending shoes, which but a few minutes before she was so solicitous to have well warmed and dried, she made the one follow the other in quick succession out at the door, the hat went next, and alighted in a pool of mud, and then, in the height of her real or assumed frenzy, she seized upon the bewildered clergyman with the grasp and fury of a tigress, and thrust him from the house, exclaiming at the top of her voice, when she saw Davidson and his companion again returning, “Oh! the unhanged villain, to presume upon a lone woman, an’ a minister tee – an’ it warna for yer coat, I wad hae ye hunt’d through the country like a tinkler’s dog for a hypocritical scoundrel.”  Davidson and his companion, no doubt putting a different construction upon the cause of Jeanie’s fury than the reader will do, seemed greatly to enjoy the condemned and alarmed look of the minis­ter, as he plodded through the mire to pick up his hat and shoes, and they covered his retreat with a round of cheers, the heartiness of which seemed to be participated in by the surrounding woods, which continued to prolong them long after they had passed from the lusty lungs that gave them utterance. By this time the grey light of morning was gradually stealing over the land­scape, and, to the astonishment of our traveller, he found that the place where he had been housed could scarcely be said to be out of the Kirktown, and not many hundred yards from the inn where he, the night before, had been so careful a comfortable bed should await him. His reflections on making this discovery were not of the most pleasing character, for, being a man who belonged to that class of philosophers who re­garded personal ease and comfort as one of the principal objects of existence, it was not without a whole series of pangs and groans that he parted with his regrets for the loss he had sustained —not to speak, of the injury inflicted by that luckless stroll he had taken; and he even thought he might have been better in the company of Blackstock, cynic or perhaps worse, though he was, than to have fallen into such hands as he evidently had done ; nor was he sure that he was yet free from the contaminating and polluting atmosphere of poachers and smugglers, for the proximity of the hovel from which lie was so rudely expelled to the capital of Mortlach argued a connivance at, if not a participation in, the nefarious traffic evidently carried on by these ruffians. This con­sideration made him “put a step into his walk,” and he speedily came to the conclusion that the sooner both he and Donald were out of such a place the better. Determined to carry this prudent resolve into execution, he partook of a hasty breakfast, and bestriding Donald, he moved off at a rate somewhat faster than that animal’s wonted pace, yet sufficiently dignified to save it from being denominated a flight.

Two or three weeks after the departure of the clergy­man from Hardhaugh, and while the fields in Iaichie were studded with busy reapers, some panic or strange excitement seemed suddenly to seize upon the whole com­munity. Old and young started up as if by concert, and ran hither and thither in inextricable confusion. Some were running heavily ladened out of houses, and others were as active in going in. Reapers, who had been “temping” and quarreling for supremacy all day long, cast their weapons from them, and ran north and south, east and west—generally disappearing in some ravine or glen.