Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

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.

“ Did Mr Waverley know one Humphry Houghton, a non-commissioned officer in G 's dragoons ?” en ..“ 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 fel, low-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 particularly 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 servant 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 books ?”

“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 thạn 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

treasonable works, of which the manuscripts were found among your baggage?” ." But of which, I give you my honour as a gentleman, I never read six pages.”

“I am not your judge, Mr Waverley; your examination will be transmitted elsewhere. And now to proceed-Do you know a person that passes by the name of Wily Will, or Will Ruthven 5"

“I never heard of such a name till this moment." . . . ;...."

“ Did you never through such a person, or any other person, communicate with Serjeant Humphry Houghton, instigating him to desert, with as many of his comrades as he could seduce to join him, and unite with the Highlanders and other rebels now in arms, under the command of the young Pretender?".

“I assure you I am not only entirely guiltless of the plot you have laid to my charge, but I detest it from the very bottom of my soul, nor would I be guilty of such a treachery to gain a throne, either for myself or any other man alive."

ma

“Yet when I consider this envelope, in the hand of one of those misguided gentle. men who are now in arms against this country, and the verses which it inclosed, I cannot but find some analogy between the enterprize I have mentioned and the exploit of Wogan, which the writer seems to expect you should imitate.”

Waverley was struck with the coincidence, but denied that the wishes or expectations of the letter-writer were to be regarded as proofs of a charge otherwise chimerical,

“But, if I am rightly informed, your time was spent, during your absence from the regiment, between the house of this Highland Chieftain, and that of Mr Bradwardine of Bradwardine, also in arms for this unfortunate cause?”

"I do not mean to disguise it; but I do deny, most resolutely, being privy to any of their designs against the government."

“ You do not, however, I presume, intend to deny, that you attended your host

« AnteriorContinuar »