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wooden press, called in Scotland an ambry, sorely decayed, was a large wooden bed, planked, as is usual, all round, and opening by a sliding pannel. In this recess the Highlanders deposited Waverley, after he had by signs declined any refreshment. His slumbers were broken and unrefreshing; strange visions passed before his eyes, and it required constant and reiterated efforts of mind to dispel them. Shivering, violent headache, and shooting pains in his limbs, succeeded these symptoms; and in the morning it was evident to his Highland attendants, or guard, for he knew not in which light to consider them, that Waverley was quite unfit to travel.
After a long consultation among themselves, six of the party left the hut with their arms, leaving behind an old and a young man. The former undressed Waverley, and bathed the contusions, which swelling and livid colour now made conspicuous. His own portmanteau, which the Highlanders had not failed to bring
off, supplied him with linen, and, to his great surprise, was, with all its contents, freely resigned to his use. The bedding of his couch seemed clean and comfortable, and his aged attendant closed the door of the bed, for it had no curtain, af. ter a few words of Gaelic, from which Waverley gathered that he exhorted him to repose. So behold our hero for a second time the patient of a Highland Esculapius, but in a situation much more uncomfortable than when he was the guest of the worthy Tomanrait. · The sympathetic fever, which accom, panied the injuries he had sustained, did not abate till the third day, when it gave way to the care of his attendants and the strength of his constitution, and he could now raise himself in his bed, though not without pain. He observed, however, that there was a great disincli nation, on the part of the old woman who acted as his nurse, as well as on that of the elderly Highlander, to permit the door
of the bed to be left open, so that he might amuse himself with observing their motions; and at length, after Waverley had repeatedly drawn open, and they had as frequently shut; the hatchway of his cage, the old gentleman put an end to the contest, by securing it on the outside with a nail so effectually that the door could not be drawn till this exterior impediment was removed. "
While musing upon the cause of this contradictory spirit in persons whose conduct intimated no purpose of plunder, and who, in all other points, appeared to consult his welfare and his wishes, it occurred to our hero that, during the worst crisis of his illness, a feminine figure, younger than his old Highland nurse, had appeared to flit around his couch. Of this indeed he had but a very indistinct recollection, but his suspicions were confirmed when, attentively listening, he often heard, in the course of the day, the voice of another female conversing in whispers with his
attendant. Who could it be? And why should she apparently desire concealment? Tancy immediately roused herself, and turned to Flora Mac-Ivor. But after a short conflict between his eager desire to be lieve she was in his neighbourhood, guarding, like an angel of mercy, the couch of his sickness, Waverley was compelled to conclude that his conjecture was altogether improbable ; since, to suppose she had left her comparatively safe situation at Glennaquoich to descend into the low country, now the seat of civil war, and to inhabit such a lurking-place as this, was a thing hardly to be imagined. Yet his heart bounded as he sometimes could distinctly hear the trip of a light female step glide to or from the door of the hut, or the suppressed sounds of a female voice, of softness and delicacy, hold dialogue with the hoarse inward croak of old Janiet, fór so he understood his antiquateda attendant was denominated.
Having nothing else to amuse bis soli
tude, he employed himself in contriving some plan to gratify his curiosity, in despite of the sedulous caution of Janet and the old Highland Janizary, for he had never seen the young fellow since the first morning. At length, upon accurate exa, mination, the infirm state of his wooden prison-house appeared to supply the means of gratifying his curiosity, for out of a spot which was somewhat decayed he was able to extract-a nail. Through this minute aperture he could perceive a female form, wrapped in a plaid, in the act of conversing with Janet. But, since the days of our grandmother Eve, the gratification of inordinate curiosity has generally borne its penalty in disappointment. The form was not that of Flora, nor was the face visible; and to crown his disappointment, while he laboured with the nail to enlarge the hole, that he might obtain a more complete view, a slight noise betrayed his purpose, and the object of his curiosity instantly disappeared, nor, so far as he