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“ By one which you must not dispute, nor I disobey."
He handed to Waverley a warrant from the supreme criminal court of Scotland, in full form, for apprehending and securing the person of Edward Waverley, Esq. suspected of treasonable practices and other high crimes and misdemeanours.
The astonishment which Waverley expressed at this communication was imputed by Major Melville to conscious guilt, while Mr Morton was rather disposed to constrưe it into the surprise of innocence unjustly suspected. There was something true in both conjectures; for although Edward's mind acquitted him of the crimes with which he was charged, yet a hasty review of his own conduct convinced him he might have great difficulty in establishing his innocence to the satisfaction of others.
." It is a very painful part of this painful business,” said Major Melville, after a pause, “ that, under so grave a charge, I
must necessarily request to see such papers as you have on your person.” :
“You shall, sir, without reserve," said Edward, throwing his pocket-book and menjorandums upon the table; "there is but one with which I could wish you would dispense."
"I am afraid I can indulge you with no reservation," : “You shall see it then, sir; and as it can be of no service, I beg it may be returned.”
He took from his bosom the lines he had that morning received, and presented them, with the envelope. The Major perused them in silence, and directed his clerk to make a copy of them. He then wrapped the copy in the envelope, and placing it on the table before him,"returned the original to Waverley, with an air of melancholy gravity. • After indulging the prisoner, for such our hero must now be considered, with what he thought a reasonable time for re
flection, Major Melville resumed his examination, premising, that, as Mr Waverley seemed to object to general questions, his interrogatories should be as specific as his information permitted. He then proceeded in his investigation, dictating, as he went on, the import of the questions and answers to the amanuensis, by whom it was written down. Her
"Did Mr Waverley know one Hum. phry Houghton, a non-commissioned officer in G- 's dragoons ?" ...“ Certainly; he was serjeant of my troop, and son of a tenant of my uncle."
"Exactly,--and had a considerable share of your confidence, and an influence among his comrades?”
“I had never occasion to repose confidence in a person of his description. I favoured Serjeant Houghton as a clever, active young fellow, and I believe his fellow-soldiers respected him accordingly." .“ But you used through this man to
communicate with such of your troop as were recruited upon Waverley-Honour?" :“ Certainly; the poor fellows, finding themselves in a regiment chiefly composed of Scotch or Irish,' looked up to me in any of their little distresses, and naturally made their countryman, and serjeant, their spokesman on such occasions.” ." His influence, then, extended parti. cularly over those soldiers who followed you to the regiment from your uncle's estate?"
“Surely ;-but what is that to the present purpose ??.. .
" To that I am just coming; and I beseech your candid reply. Have you, since leaving the regiment, held any correspondence, direct or indirect, with this Serjeant Houghton?"
-"I!-I hold correspondence with a man of his rank and situation !-How, or for what purpose ? ,, " That you are to explain ;~but did
you not, for example, send to him for some books?"
“You remind me of a trifling commission which I gave him, because my seryant could not read. I do recollect I bade him, by letter, select some books, of which I sent him'a list, and send them to me at Tully-Veolan.”
“ And of what description were those book's ?”
" They related almost entirely to elegant literature: they were designed for a lady's perusal.”
“Were there not, Mr Waverley, treason. able tracts and pamphlets among them?"
" There were some political treatises, into which I hardly looked. They had been sent to me by the officiousness of a kind friend, whose heart is more to be esteemed than his prudence or political sagacity: they seemed to be dull compositions."
“ That friend was a Mr Pembroke, a non-juring clergyman, the author of two