Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of Illustrations
 Book I. In snow-clad wilds
 Book II. On Greenland's icy...
 Book III. At the North Pole
 Back Matter
 Back Cover

Group Title: To Greenland and the Pole : a story of adventures in the Arctic regions
Title: To Greenland and the Pole
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00083168/00001
 Material Information
Title: To Greenland and the Pole a story of adventures in the Arctic regions
Physical Description: 350, 32 p., 9 leaves of plates : ill., map (folded) ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Stables, Gordon, 1840-1910
Hindley, G. C ( Illustrator )
Blackie & Son ( Publisher )
Publisher: Blackie & Son
Place of Publication: London ;
Glasgow ;
Publication Date: 1895
Subject: Children -- Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Sea stories -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Explorers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Voyages and travels -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Blizzards -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Dogs -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Friendship -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Juvenile fiction -- Arctic regions   ( lcsh )
Juvenile fiction -- Greenland   ( lcsh )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1895   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1895
Genre: Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Glasgow
Ireland -- Dublin
Statement of Responsibility: by Gordon Stables ; with eight full-page illustrations by G. C. Hindley and a map.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
General Note: Folded map printed in red and black.
General Note: "Nansen, the brave Arctic explorer ... you will have no difficulty in recognizing as the prototype of my chief hero Reynolds."--Preface, p. iii.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00083168
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002393335
notis - ALZ8237
oclc - 228823937

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
        Page i
    Title Page
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
    List of Illustrations
        Page ix
        Page x
    Book I. In snow-clad wilds
        Page 11
        A string of mountain trout
            Page 11
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
            Page 17
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
        Captain Junk of the "Blue Peter"
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 24a
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Page 29
        A lad from the land of the midnight sun
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 37
            Page 38
            Page 39
            Page 40
        In Bonnie Glen Moira
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
            Page 51
            Page 52
        A fall over a cliff
            Page 53
            Page 54
            Page 55
            Page 56
            Page 57
            Page 58
            Page 59
            Page 60
            Page 61
            Page 62
        A wild journey
            Page 63
            Page 64
            Page 65
            Page 66
            Page 67
            Page 68
            Page 69
            Page 70
            Page 71
            Page 72
            Page 73
            Page 74
        The smugglers' cave - Prisoners in the forest - At sea in a storm
            Page 75
            Page 76
            Page 77
            Page 78
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 81
            Page 82
            Page 83
            Page 84
            Page 85
            Page 86
            Page 87
        Norwegian fjords in winter - Birds! Birds! Birds!
            Page 88
            Page 89
            Page 90
            Page 91
            Page 92
            Page 92a
            Page 93
            Page 94
            Page 95
            Page 96
            Page 97
            Page 98
        Face to face with a bear - Adventures on the snow-clad wilds - Torn to pieces by wolves
            Page 99
            Page 100
            Page 101
            Page 102
            Page 103
            Page 104
            Page 105
            Page 106
            Page 107
            Page 108
            Page 109
            Page 110
            Page 111
        Among the wandering lapps - The coming of summer
            Page 112
            Page 113
            Page 114
            Page 115
            Page 116
            Page 117
            Page 118
            Page 119
    Book II. On Greenland's icy mountains
        Page 120
        North and away to the sea of ice
            Page 120
            Page 121
            Page 122
            Page 123
            Page 124
            Page 125
            Page 126
            Page 127
            Page 128
            Page 129
            Page 130
            Page 131
            Page 132
            Page 133
        Olaf's first bear - An ink-black ocean - Seals in their millions
            Page 134
            Page 135
            Page 136
            Page 137
            Page 138
            Page 139
            Page 140
            Page 141
            Page 142
            Page 142a
            Page 143
            Page 144
            Page 145
            Page 146
            Page 147
        "The ivory gull has flown away" - "All is fair in love and sealing"
            Page 148
            Page 149
            Page 150
            Page 151
            Page 152
            Page 153
            Page 154
            Page 155
            Page 156
            Page 157
            Page 158
            Page 159
            Page 160
        Still among the ice - A strange, wild scheme
            Page 161
            Page 162
            Page 163
            Page 164
            Page 165
            Page 166
            Page 167
            Page 168
            Page 169
            Page 170
            Page 170a
        Our would-be explorer is said to be mad - Finds a friend at last
            Page 171
            Page 172
            Page 173
            Page 174
            Page 175
            Page 176
            Page 177
            Page 178
        Battling with the floes and the current
            Page 179
            Page 180
            Page 181
            Page 182
            Page 183
            Page 184
            Page 185
            Page 186
            Page 187
            Page 188
            Page 189
        "For God has given man dominion over even the waves" - A night of terror
            Page 190
            Page 191
            Page 192
            Page 193
            Page 194
            Page 195
            Page 196
            Page 197
            Page 198
            Page 199
            Page 200
        Svolto and his hill-fiend - A queer race of savages
            Page 201
            Page 202
            Page 203
            Page 204
            Page 205
            Page 206
            Page 207
            Page 208
            Page 209
            Page 210
            Page 211
            Page 212
            Page 213
            Page 214
        The dismal prairie of virgin snow
            Page 215
            Page 216
            Page 217
            Page 218
            Page 219
            Page 220
            Page 221
            Page 222
            Page 223
        Startling adventures - The blizzard - Reynolds speaks of crossing the Pole
            Page 224
            Page 225
            Page 226
            Page 227
            Page 228
            Page 228a
            Page 229
            Page 230
            Page 231
            Page 232
            Page 233
        "We will stand or fall together" - The Western Sea - "So God brought you back"
            Page 234
            Page 235
            Page 236
            Page 237
            Page 238
            Page 239
            Page 240
    Book III. At the North Pole
        Page 241
        Fitting out for the pole - the 'fear not'
            Page 241
            Page 242
            Page 243
            Page 244
            Page 245
            Page 246
            Page 247
            Page 248
            Page 249
            Page 250
        At the mercy of God
            Page 251
            Page 252
            Page 253
            Page 254
            Page 255
            Page 256
            Page 257
            Page 258
            Page 259
            Page 260
            Page 261
        The dogs on board - Crossing a dreaded bar
            Page 262
            Page 263
            Page 264
            Page 265
            Page 266
            Page 266a
            Page 267
            Page 268
            Page 269
            Page 270
            Page 271
            Page 272
        "Dead nature in her winding-sheet"
            Page 273
            Page 274
            Page 275
            Page 276
            Page 277
            Page 278
            Page 279
            Page 280
            Page 281
            Page 282
            Page 283
        The great ice palace
            Page 284
            Page 285
            Page 286
            Page 287
            Page 288
            Page 289
            Page 290
            Page 291
            Page 292
            Page 293
            Page 294
        The black death
            Page 295
            Page 296
            Page 297
            Page 298
            Page 299
            Page 300
            Page 301
            Page 302
            Page 303
            Page 304
            Page 305
        The sea of chaos - At the Pole itself - God save the queen
            Page 306
            Page 307
            Page 308
            Page 309
            Page 310
            Page 311
            Page 312
        Sad death of Lord Daybreak - Strange and fearful adventures
            Page 313
            Page 314
            Page 315
            Page 316
            Page 317
            Page 318
            Page 319
            Page 320
        The "fear not" seems doomed
            Page 321
            Page 322
            Page 323
            Page 324
            Page 324a
            Page 325
            Page 326
            Page 327
            Page 328
        A lonesome grave - Svolto's doom - The awful storm - The barque goes down
            Page 329
            Page 330
            Page 331
            Page 332
            Page 333
            Page 334
            Page 335
        Death of Lakoff and Chauss - Poor Henry! - A terrible journey - "The ice was opening"
            Page 336
            Page 337
            Page 338
            Page 339
            Page 340
            Page 341
            Page 342
        The end of all
            Page 343
            Page 344
            Page 345
            Page 346
            Page 347
            Page 348
            Page 349
            Page 350
        Page 351
        Page 352
        Page 353
        Page 354
        Page 355
        Page 356
        Page 357
        Page 358
        Page 359
        Page 360
        Page 361
        Page 362
        Page 363
        Page 364
        Page 365
        Page 366
        Page 367
        Page 368
        Page 369
        Page 370
        Page 371
        Page 372
        Page 373
        Page 374
        Page 375
        Page 376
        Page 377
        Page 378
        Page 379
        Page 380
        Page 381
        Page 382
    Back Matter
        Page 383
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text



The Baldwm LIbrry
:. *
'! 1: j



N~ '
:I *

'' '


i. ..

I C'







(Surgeon Royal Navy)
Author of "'Twixt School and College", Westward with Columbus", &c.













Prefaces, like dentists, are sometimes necessary evils, and
we have to bear with them, putting the best face on the
matter that we possibly can. Now, in this preface I want
only to tell you that, though in some parts sadness and
grief creep into the pages of this book-towards the end,
for this was inevitable-on the whole, you will find little
else save joy and jollity throughout. Nansen, the brave
Arctic explorer-whom may God bring back from his daring
venture-you will have no difficulty in recognizing as the
prototype of my chief hero Reynolds. Rudland Syme is a
Greenland surgeon sketched from life; Sigurd was also a
real live sailor, and may be so still, for aught I know; while
as for honest Joe the mate, he was a shipmate of my own
during my first Arctic cruise, and a hearty happy-go-lucky
fellow he was. We roughed it together years and years ago,
in and on the Sea of Ice, in a way few are called upon to do
nowadays. Let me say, further, that the description of the
ice and ice adventures are mostly taken from journals of my
own. But I must acknowledge my indebtedness to the
First Crossing of Greenland (Nansen), published by Messrs.
Longmans, Green, & Co., for my ideas on "skilbbning", or
snow-shoe travelling as carried out in Norway. I have not
followed Nansen's route across the inland ice, however, for
being a month earlier in the season I have taken my people
farther north, and brought them out at Disko Bay.



CHAP. Page
V. A FALL OVER A CLIFF, ..... . 53
VI. A WILD JOURNEY, . .. . 63
AT SEA IN A STORnM,. .. ... 75


THEIR MILLIONS, ... . .. 134
A FRIEND AT LAST, .. ... .. .171

CHAP. Page



VI. THE BLACK DEATH, . .. .295
THE QUEEN!. .. . .. 306
XII. THE END OF ALL,. ... .... .343





DESTRUCTION," . . . 93


SIDE," . . . .. 142


TO THE WATER," . . . 170




160 10_0_____ 80



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A- 1.1, Fao eIf
"kl O nif~mles j'L
1 8




SLOVELY night in autumn.
And surely no town in all the world is seen to
greater advantage, under the light of a full moon,
than the far-famed Granite City-Aberdeen.
In this particular evening-or, is it not rather morning?
for solemnly in the still air, the clocks in the steeples have
long since boomed forth the midnight hour-every house
in mile-long Union Street stands out like a palace built of
marble, or of frosted silver, while the rows of lamps, that
stretch from end to end and have not yet been extinguished,
look like two chains of gold.
It is indeed a lovely night!
Two great cannons, captured at Sebastopol, stand in
Castle-gate, near to the old romantic cross, and point
threateningly down the splendid snow-white thoroughfare.
But never more will their thunders be heard. The life is
as clean gone from those obsolete guns as from the brave
men who defended them and fell by their side.
But sitting astride of one of them, and apparently lost in
thought, is Colin M'Ivor. 1
SPronounced MacEevor.




SLOVELY night in autumn.
And surely no town in all the world is seen to
greater advantage, under the light of a full moon,
than the far-famed Granite City-Aberdeen.
In this particular evening-or, is it not rather morning?
for solemnly in the still air, the clocks in the steeples have
long since boomed forth the midnight hour-every house
in mile-long Union Street stands out like a palace built of
marble, or of frosted silver, while the rows of lamps, that
stretch from end to end and have not yet been extinguished,
look like two chains of gold.
It is indeed a lovely night!
Two great cannons, captured at Sebastopol, stand in
Castle-gate, near to the old romantic cross, and point
threateningly down the splendid snow-white thoroughfare.
But never more will their thunders be heard. The life is
as clean gone from those obsolete guns as from the brave
men who defended them and fell by their side.
But sitting astride of one of them, and apparently lost in
thought, is Colin M'Ivor. 1
SPronounced MacEevor.


Only a boy is Colin, though, being fifteen, he deems himself
a man. Almost a man in stature, indeed, he is. The moon-
beams are shining on his handsome brown face. The night-
breeze is toying with his rebellious yellow hair, and, though
there is a far-away dreamy kind of look in his eyes, as he gazes
along the silent street, there is a smile hovering round his lips.
Across his back diagonally is hung a large botanical case,
and he holds in one hand, pointed like a spear towards the
starry sky, a fishing-rod in its canvas case.
Colin is at present deep in thought, so deep, indeed, that
he does not hear the footsteps of a night policeman who is
approaching from behind. This sturdy fellow appears to be
somewhat startled at Colin's strange apparition, for several
times as he advances he bends low toward the ground, to
bring the boy between him and the moonlit sky, so as to
make sure his eyes do not deceive him.
"Ahem! Hem!"
Colin looks slowly round.
Weel, my bonnie birkie, that's a funny horse ye ride at
this untimeous hoor o' nicht. But it will be a lang time
afore he gallops hame wi' ye. Would ye no be better in
your bed, my mannie?"
Colin burst into a right merry laugh.
Yes," he said, "it must seem funny to you, seeing me
astride of this old black nag, without saddle, bridle, or bit.
But, bless you, Bobby, this is nothing to the droll things I
do at times."
"Nay, nay?" said the policeman inquiringly.
No, nothing."
"But winna your father and mother think you've tint
"0, Bobby, I have no father and no mother. Father
was killed long, long ago in the Crimean War-he might
have fallen beneath this very gun-and poor mother wore
away last year."
The policeman was visibly softened. He had a big lump
of a heart of his own. Even a policeman may possess a
heart, you know,


"Poor orphan bairn!" he said, drawing his rough coat
sleeve across his eyes. "But ye have somebody that
belangs to ye?"
"I have an aunt in the city, Bobby."
"And the puir auld thing will be worryin' about ye.
Better rin hame, laddie, better rin aff hame."
"0 no, I sha'n't. You see, it's like this, Bobby; I live with
my uncle
'Far lone amang the Hielan' hills',

and he lets me do as I like. As a rule, Bobby, everybody
lets me do as I like. Well, this morning early, Flesher
Coutts drove me all the way to Ben-a-Chie-and his mare
can go, too, Bobby: you should just see her. Sixteen miles
an hour. 0, it was lovely! Well, you see, I had plenty of
food in my case, so I wandered about and fished in the
burns all day, and at darkling I started for the city here."
"And you've walked a' the road your leefu' lane,1 puir
bairn But fu2 do ye no gang stracht hame to your bit
auntie ?"
"0, she doesn't expect me. If I had gotten here sooner
I should have gone to her. But, 0, Bobby, at this dreary
hour, I should scare her life out, and the life out of all the
servants as well."
"But, my conscience, laddie, ye canna sit stride-legs on
that auld rattler o' a gun a' the live-lang nicht."
"Bobby, you mustn't call it an old rattler of a gun.
Mind you, this gun has seen service. Bold Russian soldiers
fought for its possession and dropped dead beside it, under
the clash and rush of our Highland claymores. If you bend
down you can see even yet blood splashes on the carriage
wheels that the dark paint cannot quite cover. And, Bobby,
my father belonged to the Highland brigade, and as you came
up, I was just thinking that he might have died by this
gun. It was a glorious fight! How I wish I had been by
father's side, pistol in hand and red sword waving o'er my
"Wheesht! Wheesht, laddie! Dinna talk o' blood-red
I All by yourself. 2 Why.


swords at sich a solemn hoor o' nicht. Hark! Boom!
Dinna ye hear it One o'clock. Losh! the sound made my
heart jump. And now I maun be aff."
But Colin said, Wait half a minute, Bobby."
Then he quickly whirled his botanical case round in front
of him, opened it, and took therefrom a handsome string of
mountain trout.
"Take these for your breakfast, Bobby."
"Weel, laddie. Mony, mony thanks; but how can I
walk about a' nicht wi' a string o' trouts in ma han' I'll tell
ye, sir-"
"My name is Colin-Colin M'Ivor."
"I'll tell you, Colin, hoo ye can add to the obleedgement
and do yourself' a good turn at the same time."
"Well, Bobby."
"Well, my mither is sitting' up a' nicht, and my sister
Katie, waiting' for my uncle. He is coming' wi' the Queen."
"With the queen, Bobby 2 "
"The Queen steamboat, ye ken."
"0 yes, I've heard of her. And your uncle is coming
with this boat?"
"That he is, if he binna1 droond't. And, man, laddie,
he'll be fearful' hungry, and what a treat they troots would
be to him!"
"Well "
"Weel," continue the policeman, handing Colin an
envelope which the boy read by the light of the moon,
"that is my minney's 2 address. Constitution Street isn't
ten minutes walk fae here. Get aff your iron horse-your
warlike steed-and tak' the troots to her. My minney and
Katie will mak' you hearty welcome, and you can curl up
there a' nicht. Noo I'm aff. Duty is duty."
"And I'm off too. Good-night, Bobby."
Next minute, with his fishing-rod at the trail in one hand
and that string of mountain trout in the other, Colin
M'Ivor, who knew the city well, was marching off en route
for Constitution Street.
It was not long before he reached the place, and he soon
1 Be not. 2 Mother's


found the number. A pretty little granite-built cottage
with a trim garden in front and a brass knocker with which
Colin beat a merry tattoo, for he could hear voices in con-
versation in one of the lower rooms, the light from the
window of which streamed out across the flower-beds, and
tried conclusions with the moonbeams.
There was instantaneous silence, then Colin could hear
someone advancing along the passage.
"Fa's 1 there?"
"It is only me," replied Colin.
"And fa on earth are ye?"
"I'm Colin M'Ivor from the Highland hills, and I've
brought a string of mountain trout for uncle's supper when
he comes in the Queen steamer."
The word uncle was the open sesame.
A chain rattled, and next moment the moonbeams shone
brightly on the cheerful face of a little woman in black, who
wore a widow's cap.
"Come in, laddie, come in; but what a fright ye gave
Katie and me! Ye see, John Jackson-that is my young
son-is awa' on his beat, and I kent2 it couldna be
Colin laughed.
"0 yes," he said, "I've just left your son John."
"Jist left him; and fat was he deein'?"
"Doing? Sitting stride-legs on a big gun in Castle Street
and thinking about his father."
The little widow turned her palms and eyes skywards.
O, my puir son John!" she cried. Stride-legs on a gun !
My John! O, Katie, my darlin', come here. John has
gane fey."4
Colin had expected to see in Katie a tall young lady
about John's own build. Instead, she was but a fragile, fairy-
looking thing of some twelve summers, with big wondering
eyes, and long hair floating over her shoulders.
Colin now made haste to explain that it was he himself,
1 Who is. 2 Knew. 8 Doing.
4 peculiar kind of madness said to attack people who are soon to die aud


and not John, who was astride of the gun, and that John
merely stood beside it, listening to his (Colin's) chatter.
The boy with his string of mountain trout was now
ushered "ben" the house into one of the cosiest wee parlours
ever he had seen.
A cheerful fire burned clear and bright in the grate; a
kettle sang on the hob; on a footstool a monster tabby cat
sat singing and nodding, and on the hearth-rug near lay a
lovely collie dog, who got up, and with his tail wagged Colin
M'Ivor a hearty welcome.
Colin threw himself down on the rug beside the dog, quite
free-and-easy fashion, and then proceeded to explain the
reason of his coming here at all.
"Weel," said the widow, "onybody that my son John
sends here is just as welcome as the gowans1 in May. My
son John is a simple sumph,2 and mair fitted for a ploughboy
than a policeman; but since his poor father's death we have
a' had a doon-come."
"I'm so sorry to hear it."
"Farmer folks we were, ye know "-the little widow was
doing her best to talk English now-" farmer folks from far
ayont the Buck o' Cabrach."
"Why," cried Colin, "my uncle doesn't live a hundred
miles from there."
"And John, he held the plough; and there wasna a bonnier,
or more smilin'-looking farm than ours in all the kintra
side. But woe is me! the bad years came; the wild snowy
springs; the frost that cut the briard;3 the wet, cruel har-
vests; and the foot-and-mouth disease. Then ruin stared us
in the face. John, my husband, bore it well and bravely,
but I could see that the frosts o' affliction were cutting him
down, as the frosts o' spring had cut the briard. He grew
bent and frail and weak, and in the fa' o' the year he wore
awa' to his lang hame in the mools. Heigh-ho! heigh-ho!"
The widow hastily dried the tears that had begun to fall.
"But," she cried, smiling once more, "it is wrang, wrang
o' me to talk about myself, and, laddie, ye must forgive me."
"Yes, certainly."
1 Mountain daisies. 2 A simple fellow. 3 The spring corn.


Colin had risen now and pulled his Highland bonnet from
his pocket.
"What!" said the widow; "you're no surely going' awa'.
Na, na, laddie, here ye roost till morning. "
"Mother," said Colin, a merry laugh lighting up his face,
"everybody lets me do just as I please, and so must you.
I'm not going away for good. I'll be back in an hour. Only
I promised myself a look at the sea. I'm very fond of the
sea, and I believe I am going to be a sailor. But on a lovely
night like this I would not miss seeing the waves for a great
deal. Bye, bye; I'll soon be back, and if I hear anything of
the steamer I will run all the way here to tell you, and then
Katie can cook the string of mountain trout for uncle's sup-
per. Bye, bye, Katie."
And out into the moonlight once more went Colin
The Broad Hill is an eminence which separates the Old
Town links from the New Town links, and it was thither
the lad now bent his steps.
He shortly reached it, and quickly climbed to the top and
threw himself on one of the benches, pulling up his legs, the
better to rest, for, young and strong though he was, lie really
felt tired.
How brightly the moon shone over the sea! The waves
sparkled in its rays like molten silver, and a dreamy haze
was cast over the distant lighthouse and the pier-head, that
jutted out seawards like a low, stone-built fort!
There was scarcely a sound to be heard, except the mur-
mur of the snow-white lines of breakers tumbling in upon
the sands. But now and then the weird cry of a sea-bird fell
upon the boy's ears, or up from the city behind him might
be borne the song of some belated reveller finding his way
Colin had sat on the bench for quite a long time and was
almost asleep, when suddenly he started up as wide-awake
as ever he had been in his life. Had he heard someone
moaning as if in pain, or was it but the deception of a
dream? No, it was no dream. For there it was again,
pitiable, painful, prolonged.
I C (988) B


Colin, like all mountaineers, had very acute hearing, and he
now followed the sounds farther up and across the broad green
hill. And soon he can see a human figure, darkling in the
moonlight, stretched beside an iron bench.
He is kneeling beside it now.
A boy about his own age, perhaps, but though well-knit
as to frame, much lighter and smaller. There is a ghastly
wound on the brow, from which the blood has been welling,
and has formed a dark pool near to the bench.
Colin takes the hands in his own to rub and to chafe.
They are very small hands, and are deathly cold. He gently
raises the shoulders. The head falls back like that of a dead
What shall Colin do? For a time he is puzzled, perplexed.
If he leaves the lad here he will soon die.
He can tell by his dress that he is no mere street boy.
But were he the commonest gutter-snipe Colin would assist
him. Near the body lies a broken sextant or quadrant,
Colin cannot tell which. The boy may be a sailor.
But there is no time to waste in foolish conjectures. What
he does, he must do quickly. So he takes out his handker-
chief and binds it across the unhappy lad's brow. Then he
lifts him gently up in his arms, as one carries a child.
"Why, how light he is!" says Colin to himself. "And
how strong am I!"
But light though the little stranger is, before Colin has
carried him a quarter of a mile he is tired, and begins to
pant and stagger.
At this moment, luckily, he sees someone, approaching.
It is a young working-man going thus early to the mills to
relieve someone else; but when Colin explains all, he readily
consents to help to carry the inanimate burden as far as
Constitution Street.
"I was just aff," he says, "to relieve ma neebour's shift;
but he can shift for himself' the nicht; for losh, laddie, this
is an errand o' mercy, and he would hae a hard heart that
would refuse to do the Good Samaritan in a case like
As soon as they got near to the cottage, Colin left the


workman holding the boy in his arms, until he should run
on and break the news to Widow Jackson.
"O, Mrs. Jackson," he said, "don't be alarmed; but I
found a poor young lad on the Broad Hill who has evidently
been attacked and robbed, and I fear he is nearly dead!"
"And you've left him!"
"No, no, mother. A young mechanic helped me to carry
him home, and he is just outside."
Bring him in, my laddie; bring him in. I'll bustle about
and get hot water for his feet."
"This way," she said to the mechanic, who bore the little
wounded stranger as easily as if he had been a baby. This
way, my man. Luckily we have a spare room, and the
nicht1 there is a fire in it."
Upstairs she went, and the mechanic followed; then,
while Mrs. Jackson hurried off to get hot water for the boy's
feet, his rescuers undressed him and laid him gently on the
"Now," said the mechanic, "my task is no a' done yet; I
suppose I maun gang for a doctor."
"O, if ye would! The poor lad's life may be saved."
"Weel, I ken whaur to find the nicest young doctor in a'
the toon. So here's for aff."
"It's a good sign," the widow said, as the strange boy
began to moan again after she had placed the hot-water
bottle at his feet. "I'd rather hear him moanin' like that
than lyin' like a deid thing."
The mechanic was back with the doctor in a surprisingly
short space of time.
"And now," he said, as he ushered him in, "I maun awa'.
My neebour will think me lost."
Colin followed him into the passage.
He tried to force half a crown into his hand, but the
young man drew himself proudly back.
"Whatl" he cried; "tak' payment for an act o' charity
and kindness. No a bawbee!"2
"Well," said Colin, feeling a little ashamed, "you must
forgive me if I have insulted you."

1 To-night.

2 Halfpenny.


"Nonsense! Puir men like me have to pocket mony an
insult, but they're no bound to pocket a penny for lendin'
a helping' han' to creatures in distress. Good-nicht."
"Good-night, and thank you. You'll call to-morrow?"
"That I will."
And the Good Samaritan was gone.
Colin returned to the bed-room. The surgeon was already
busy at work, and had inserted two stitches in the brow.
Colin looked wonderingly on. He was surprised to see one
so young with so cool and collected a manner, and with
fingers so lissom and deft. Why, this surgeon could be but a
few years older than himself.
Presently the dressing was finished, and as the doctor
washed his hands he looked into Colin's face and burst into
a merry laugh.
"I'll wager the leg of the gauger," he said, "I can tell
what you're thinking about."
"Well, then, guess," said Colin.
"You are wondering what right a young fellow like me
has to take a case like this in hand?"
You are right," said Colin.
"Well, I am young. Barely nineteen. But though I'm
only a medical student, I've been out to Greenland in charge
of a ship, and I've treated gun-shot wounds, and cut off a
frosted hand; and, look you, lad, I could whip off your leg
above the knee, tie the arteries, and stitch the flaps all inside
of six minutes! What think you of that?"
Colin shuddered rather. He admitted that it would be
excessively clever, but said that he was willing to take his
word for it, and would much prefer to have the leg where it
"But, I say, Dr.-a-a," began Colin.
"I'm neither Dr. A- nor Dr. B-. I'm plain Rudland
Well, Rudland, I was going to ask if you thought this
poor young fellow would live?"
"Live! Of course he'll live. What's to hinder him?
There is a little concussion, and he has lost a drop of blood.
But, dear me! that is nothing. He is breathing fairly easy


now. And he has a pulse as strong as a sand-donkey's.
To be sure he'll live. Mrs. Jackson, you'll give him a little
beef-tea when he can swallow. But nothing stronger. I'm
off; see you all to-morrow."
Colin went as far as the gate with him, and could hear
the young surgeon singing, even when far up the street.
Then he rounded the corner, and Colin heard him no more.
But hardly had the doctor's voice died away in the dis-
tance than, from the other end of the street, came the sound
of another voice, also raised in song.
It was a song of a different calibre though, and the throat
was of a different calibre also. There was the true ring of
the sea in that song, if ever Colin had heard it. It was a
song that breathed of the brine and the breeze, and there
were notes in it that seemed to have been caught from the
wild sea-mews themselves, and from curling waves that on
nights of storm go shrieking past a ship, their white tops
curling high above the swaying bulwarks.
Here, a sheer hulk, lies poor Tom Bowling,
The darling of our crew;
No more he'll hear the tempest howling,
For Death has broached him to.
His form was of the manliest beauty,
His heart was kind and soft,
Faithful below he did his duty,
But now he's gone aloft,
But, now he's gone aloft."

By the time the singer-who was somewhat tall and very
squarely built, so far as Colin could see in the moonlight-
had sung the last line twice over, he had reached the
"Hullo! my lad, and who are you? And where do you
hail from "
"O, if you please, sir, I'm Colin M'Ivor from the High-
land hills, and I've brought a string of mountain trout for
your supper."
"Brave boy! Why, you've come in the nick of time.
Well, come inside, and you shall sit beside me and share
the string of mountain trout."




"A merry heart goes all the day,
Your sad tires in a mile-a!"

NO doubt my reader has seen the back of an old Cremona
fiddle, and he also knows the colour of a well-burned
brick. Well, if you were to ask me to describe Uncle Tom's
complexion I should get easily out of it by telling you it
was just a shade betwixt the two.
It would have been next to impossible to have told Uncle
Tom's exact age as he sat at table there, he himself laugh-
ing and making everybody else laugh, while ever and anon
he transfixed another mountain trout with his steel-pronged
fork. He might have been five and forty, or he might have
been but little over thirty.
He was Widow Jackson's brother, and had not been home
from sea for two long years, so what with the anxiety of
waiting up for him so long, and the excitement and delight
of seeing him, and one thing and another, I believe the little
lady was half inclined to be a trifle hysterical over the
situation. For she laughed and laughed till her eyes filled
with tears, then she told her brother she felt half inclined
to cry.
"Why should you pipe your eye, my dear old girl? Why,
Mary, woman, this world was never made for tears. I
declare to you, Mary, that if I wasn't far better engaged
discussing these delicious mountain trout, I'd sing you a song.
You know, dear, my motto was always this: 'Be cheerful'.
A merry heart goes all the day,
Your sad tires in a mile-a!'"
It will easily be perceived that Uncle Tom was a sailor of
the good old school-the easy-going, happy-go-lucky school
of seamen that never meet dangers nor difficulties half-way,


but are always ready to do battle with them when they do
appear. Nor must it be imagined that this sort of sailor
has entirely gone out or gone under, or that he lives only in
nautical yarns, or on the stage of a twopenny theatre.
There are many of them to the fore yet, I can assure you,
reader. Yet there may be some slight difference between
him and the Tom-Cringle's-Log sailor or the Jack Tar of
Marryat's novels. He does not nowadays as a rule shiver
his timbers", or "dash his jib", and he is not constantly
hitching up his wide trousers and turning his quid in his
mouth. But he is all there just the same; good-natured to
a degree, always willing at any self-sacrifice to do a kind
turn for a messmate or a fellow-creature of any sort; loving
his duty for duty's sake, and quite as ready to leap over-
board in half a gale of wind to save a man's life, as to swing
himself into his hammock when his watch comes below.
I have said that he would leap overboard to save a man's life
-yes, but I have known a sailor of this kind leap into the
sea to save the skipper's cat. This happened, I may tell you,
out in the east coast of Africa, and it is but fair to add that
superstition might have had something to do with it, for the
cat was a huge black one, scarcely even a favourite with the
men, any more than was the skipper himself, and he was a
sea-tyrant. All honour to Fred Newburgh, nevertheless,
for his brave deed, for in those blue seas sharks abound, and
they are never far away from a ship. Usually three attach
themselves to each vessel with the avowed object of doing
the scavenging. This they do most effectually, grabbing at
and swallowing almost everything that is thrown overboard,
or falls overboard. No matter what it may be, it is their
perquisite, a ham bone, an old blacking brush, or a soda-
water bottle. Everything goes down, its digestibility is a
matter for future consideration, and I am of opinion that
such things as bottles and pieces of hard wood or cork are
afterwards ejected. At the same time these sharks have
tastes. There was one I used to feed almost daily. He
used to look up at me with his sly evil eye in a languishing
kind of way meant to betoken gratitude and affection.
"I love you, doctor," he seemed to say, "0, dearly. And


I love salt beef. But, dear doc, I'd much prefer a leg of
your loblolly boy, if you could spare him."
The loblolly boy was my boy Green, who spread the
plasters-he always burned them-and swept out the dis-
pensary, invariably breaking a bottle or two. I did not
hold that boy in high esteem, and could have spared him
easily, only I did not think it quite the correct thing to drop
him down to a shark.
But about Fred Newburgh and the skipper's cat. A
couple of boats were speedily lowered, and there was a race
towards Fred, who was far, far astern. The skipper having
shouted that he would present a guinea to the winning
boat's crew who saved the cat-he didn't mention Fred.
Well, Fred was picked up. He was laughing, and the cat
on his shoulder was grinning.
"Weren't you afraid of the sharks, Fredl" said a mess-
mate that same evening at tea-time.
Fred loved a joke, and could spin a good yarn, so he
answered as follows:
"Well, matie, it was like this, just. There was I
swimming away easy, merely enough to keep my old hull
above water, and there was the tom-cat on my shoulder,
and there alongside was one of the biggest and ugliest
sharks ever you seen. Pass the sugar, matie."
"And didn't he try to seize you, Fred?"
Several times, matie, but, bless your innocent soul, every
time he raised his ugly snout above the water, 'Fiss!' cried
the cat, and struck out with a will, and off went Master
Shark with a rush and a run; and the play proceeded like
that all the time till the boat came, and Tom and I were
lugged out of the briny. So you see, matie, the cat and I
are kind o' square, because if I saved his life, he saved
This yarn of Fred's has to be swallowed with more than
a grain of salt. I think it will need a drop of vinegar as
Now, Jones was Uncle Tom's name, and it is one that
most of us have heard before. However, he was never called
Jones by any of his crew, or even by his officers, when they

---_- -

ri ~ i~
- .3~*7r~Ir J~s~~_s~~f
a -e~



were not addressing him face to face. He was invariably
spoken of as Captain Junk. This in itself, I think, proves
that he was a thorough old salt. He had entered the mer-
chant service when a mere lad, or rather child, of twelve
years of age. He had run away to sea in the old fashion,
been brought back; ran away a second, and even a third
time; and after this his people, finding it impossible to
strain any more against his strong self-will, apprenticed
him to a brig. This old Dutch-built "dug-out" used to sail
down the Mediterranean, and terrible weather she did make
sometimes. Tom's parents had been induced to place him
in this vessel in the hope that he might soon tire of
A life on the ocean wave,
And a home on the rolling deep,"
and run home to be forgiven.
Tom did nothing of the sort. He had the grit in him, as
the snuffy old man who commanded the brig told Tom's
father. The young sailor took all his hardships as a matter
of course. He heard the older sailors grumbling and growl-
ing at everything, as older sailors will, but young Tom only
looked on and said nothing. The sailors said sulkily that
the biscuits were too hard and much too weevilly,.though
they didn't mind a fair share of weevils; that, on the other
hand, the pork was too soft and too blue. Pork fat
shouldn't be blue, they said, though they didn't mind it
being "highish". The salt beef was as old as the hills of
Jamaica, and of such consistency that when boiled and cold
again it was easy to cut little boats out of it, to be sold as
charms to the natives of Greece when they got there. Then
the ship was wet; she dipped her head under water in rough
weather, and sulked and kept it there for five minutes at a
time, although the green seas were tumbling down the fore-
hatch like a waterfall; and the sails were rotten and also
the sheets; and as for the snuffy old skipper,-why didn't
he go to Davy Jones and be done with it?
But young Tom took all this in good part. Moreover,
he knew his duty, and learned quickly. Indeed, he was
like a monkey in the rigging.


But for all his willingness, he used to get a rope's-ending
now and then, and this also he took in good part, and as a
portion of the day's work. He never did kick and howl as
some she-boys" do, but just lowered his brows, pursed up
his lips, and bore it as well as he could.
The snuffy old skipper took to Tom at last. A miserable-
looking creature this skipper was, but clever. So he asked
Tom if he wouldn't like to study navigation in the cabin
itself. Tom was delighted, and the skipper himself superin-
tended his studies. The boy began to think that this curious
little man was not so very objectionable after all-bar the
snuff. But this fell over everything, his waistcoat, the table-
cloth, and the books. He had both his vest pockets lined
with india-rubber, and both were always kept filled with
brown rappee, while he used to help himself with both
hands at the same time.
Hah he would chuckle, as Tom looked wonderingly at
the performance. "Makes you open your eyes, don't it?
Well, I've two nostrils, two hands, and two pockets, why
shouldn't I save time? Ehl Hah, hah!"
For four years Tom had sailed with this queer old
skipper, and then a terrible thing happened. They had
been down the Mediterranean, and went next on a voyage
to Madeira. Whether they had caught cholera there or not
it is impossible to say. But at all events they had not left
the place two days before that fearful plague broke out
with great virulence.
The brig was bearing up for Gibraltar, and the wind was
high and somewhat against her. She made dismal weather
for days. Meanwhile her crew were dying fast. But the
first to succumb was the snuffy old skipper himself. Then
the second mate, then hand after hand, till only three were
left alive in the brig.
Then ensued sufferings such as few old sailors have ever
come through. The plague was stayed, it is true, but the
wind was still fierce, and the waves were houses high.
Several square sails were blown to ribbons-a good thing
perhaps, for they could not have shortened them or taken
them in; so they were simply left to rattle in the breeze,


making a noise like volleys of platoon-firing. The trysail
could be easily managed, so could the jibs, but in three
days' time the mate,-who was one of the three the plague
had spared,-was nearly worn out, and this made poor
young Tom's duties all the more onerous.
The mate, too, took to drinking rum, to keep him up, as
he averred. Oh, the foolish, foolish fellow, it only made
him stupid and useless!
Tom was at the wheel one night. A dark and dismal
night it was, for although it was the month of May the sky
was densely overcast, and there was neither moon nor stars
behind the racing clouds. The man was forward on the
outlook, and the ship was running easily and briskly
enough, for such an old tub, before the wind, which was
favourable at last, when suddenly it appeared to be gray
daylight all at once. If the truth must be told, the lad
had fallen asleep at the wheel, and no wonder. But he felt
refreshed now, and hungry; so he shouted to the mate, who
was lying curled up on the leeside of the quarter-deck, to
come and take his trick at the wheel.
There was no reply.
Hearing Tom singing out, the seaman ran aft.
"Wake the mate," said Tom.
The man bent down and shook the first officer by the
shoulder. Then he stood up with a puzzled look on his
face, but grinning nevertheless.
"Why, lad," he said, "the mate's as cold and stiff as the
mainstay I"
It was too true! He was dead.
That same day the boy Tom went aloft, for the wind had
lulled. He had not been up more than a few minutes before
he shouted:
"Land! land!"
It was a glorious sound that! The weary man at the
helm regained courage, and almost wept for joy.
But their sufferings were not yet at an end, for the wind
rose again towards sundown, and how that worn and
weakly man with the boy Tom managed to get their brig
into Gibraltar was more than either could ever tell. But


they did. Ah! what is it a British sailor can't do when
he tries?
There was not a newspaper in England that had not a
paragraph about the adventure, and when Tom got home at
last he found himself somewhat more of a hero than he
desired to be. However, a well-known firm of shipping
people sent for the lad, who at that time was terribly shy,
and offered him a midshipman's berth in a good ship.
He did not remain a midshipman very long; in fact, wear-
ing dandy clothes was not much in Tom's line, but he was
that sort of lad who could conquer self when duty bade
him. He soon passed for second mate, and in time for first
mate with a master mariner's certificate.
He worked up and up, steadily and fairly, and before he
was thirty was in command of a bran-new sailing ship that
was nearly all his own. Some years afterwards his partner
died, and Captain Junk, as we may now and then call him,
found himself in a position to buy up the other shares.
The vessel, though not very large, was full-rigged and
clipper-built. She had been baptized the Rex. Tom never
liked this name; he was, like most sailors, just a trifle super-
stitious, and Rex could be spelt Wrecks; so he determined to
re-baptize her.
Now the pilots had called the ship the Blue Peter, because
she stayed such a short time in port. In fact she had no
sooner discharged her cargo than the Blue Peter, or sailing
flag, was up again.
When it came to Captain Junk's ears that his brave ship
was nicknamed the Blue Peter he laughed, for it pleased
him well.
"It shows what an active pair we are," he told his mate,
"me and my old ship" (it will be noted that Captain Junk
was not over-grammatical in his English at times). So,
bother my wig, if she sha'n't be baptized the Blue Peter."
And the very next day the ceremony was performed, an
old maiden lady who lived in Leith having kindly consented
to break the bottle of wine, and name the clipper.
This lady was dressed for the occasion all in white and
blue, and very much younger than her years.


"I do believe, you know," said Uncle Tom that night in
his sister's house, but addressing Colin, "that the old thing
was setting her cap at me. She was dressed like a girl of
fifteen, but, bless you, boy, she was all skink-just like the
scrag-end of a leg of veal, you know. But I gave a splendid
luncheon down below, then I told off my mate to take Miss
Stivers home."
"You might have gone yourself, said Widow Jackson.
Uncle Tom had finished his supper, and was seated in
the easy-chair smoking.
He waved his hand in front of him to clear his sight
before he exclaimed:
"Me, sister! Me go home with a young lady or old
maid! Why, bother my wig, Mary, she might have pro-
posed to me in the cab, and-I should have been far too
good-natured to say her nay. No, no, sister; a sailor needs
no wife save his ship. And I have my own bonnie Blue
"I suppose," said Colin, "you have been everywhere in
the world, sir?"
"Well, I wouldn't like to say that, you know, but I've
seen a good deal of it."
It must not be supposed that the wounded stranger was
being neglected while Uncle Tom was having supper, a chat,
and a smoke. No, he was being carefully tended by Katie
herself, whom her uncle had bidden good-night to, thinking
she was going off to bed, for Mrs. Jackson had determined
to say nothing to her brother to-night about Colin's adventure
on the Links.
Captain Junk was exceedingly tender-hearted, more espe-
cially towards boys; and the knowledge that a poor lad,
wounded almost to death, was lying under the same roof
with him would have kept him awake all night. Or rather,
I should say, all the morning, for it was already verging on
four o'clock.
Presently Uncle Tom (N..-I must reserve to myself
the right to call him either Uncle Tom or Captain Jones or
Junk as it suits me or my story) pulled an immensely large
gold watch from his pocket; then started up.


"I declare, sister," he cried, "it has long gone seven bells
in the middle watch. I'll turn in at once."
He might have said "half-past three" instead of seven
bells ". Your very modern sailor would have spoken thus,
but Tom would have considered such a way of talking mere
affectation, an impudent aping of landsmen on shore.
"Come, Colin, where do you hang out to-night?"
"I've slung him a hammock in your room, Tom. I
thought you wouldn't mind."
"Wouldn't mind, sister? Why, I'll be delighted."
Colin had a new experience that night. He had never
slept in a hammock before. He managed to wriggle in all
right; but shortly after, he thought he would alter his posi-
tion and ease it. Well, the alteration was speedily a faith
accompli, though I have my doubts about the easedom, for
as soon as he turned partly round, the hammock did the
rest, and landed him on the deck-I should say floor-with
all the bed-clothes and pillows on top of him.
Uncle Tom, who was just getting into bed, laughed
heartily at Colin's mishap, but he helped him into his
hammock again, tucked him in, and told him how he must
lie for comfort and safety.
Then he said, "Good-night, and pleasant dreams ".
In two minutes more both Colin and Uncle Tom were
as sound asleep as a pair of humming-tops.



ISS DEWAR'S house was in Union Street and pretty
far out towards the West end-towards the Free
Church College. It therefore occupied a position of con-
siderable respectability. With its tall stone steps leading
up to it, its polished ebony-like door, glittering brass
knocker and bell-pull, and its great curtained windows, it


was called by street boys "a grand, grand hoose wi' mebbe
a ghost intill't"', and looked up to with a species of awe.
The early sweep, who came up the street shouting "Bee-
eep! bee-eep! beep! beep!" long before seven o'clock, al-
ways lowered his voice when he came near Miss Dewar's
mansion. The carter who sold coals by the sackful, and in
less respectable neighborhoods cried "Coals! coals! coal-
loal-loal-oals!" at the top of his voice drove silently past
Miss Dewar's.
The sand-boy with cart and cuddy never stopped to invite
business here, unless beckoned to by one of the smartly-
capped female domestics. The grocer's man always put on
his cleanest-apron when bringing purchases to this house.
The burly policeman never permitted noisy boys to play
marbles in front of it, and when the postman arrived he
ran up the granite steps on tiptoe, and instead of knocking
gently rang the bell, because it communicated with the
kitchen. But none of these men were forgotten at Christmas-
time, and I am not sure, indeed, that their exemplary conduct
was not regulated by a kind of prescience, that this festive
season did really come once a year.
Was Miss Dewar's house, then, one of the severely genteel
Oh, no, not in the least. And Miss Dewar herself was
a very pleasant person indeed. She was an old maid-she
frankly confessed to being so-but one of the nice kind.
She did not mind telling people that she was five-and-thirty,
and I feel quite sure that if the lady had been five-and-forty
the information would have been equally at the disposal of
her friends.
She was neither scraggy and lean nor too stout, she had
bright blue eyes, a rose in each cheek, teeth like pearls-
oh, yes, they really were her own-and dark hair, with a
silver thread or two about the temples, and surmounted
always by a tiny net cap of great neatness.
There really was no nonsense nor humbug about Miss
"Well, Miss Dewar," said her friend Mrs. M'Arthur one
1 In it.


evening at a tea party that the old maid was giving, "I'm
sure it puzzles me why you never married."
Miss Dewar laughed lightly and amusedly as she made
Why, my dear Mrs. M'Arthur, it isn't a woman's privilege
to marry, but to be married; it isn't her privilege to ask,
but to be asked. Perhaps," she added, with a little sigh, as
she took up the dainty white china teapot, "if the right man
had come at the right time. Pass your cup, Mrs. M'Arthur."
"Well," said Mrs. Mac, feeling perhaps a little sorry she
had given her friend cause to sigh, you are, no doubt, just
as well as you are. The married life isn't all strawberries
and cream."
"Indeed that is true!" said another lady.
But Miss Dewar's life at all events seemed a very
happy and contented one, and it was certainly peaceful
enough. She kept up a daily round of visits nevertheless,
and few dinner parties among the good people of the town
were considered altogether complete if Miss Dewar was
not there.
The young men, and young maidens as well, used to con-
sult her on all kinds of matters, and if a girl were going to
be married Miss Dewar very frequently had a hand, or an
eye and voice, in the choosing the trousseau. So, on the
whole, she was the person nobody would have liked to have
missed seeing.
The doctor, even, used to send her upon errands of mercy,
which she gladly took in hand, and the minister often asked
her advice on matters connected with the church.
Old maids are often called fussy and particular. There
was nothing of this sort about Miss Dewar. Old maids
frequently have cats and parrots as pets. Miss Dewar's
taste lay in another direction. At the time our story
commences she had just come into possession of a splendid
Landseer Newfoundland. To be sure, he was barely twelve
months old, and hardly so well-mannered as he might have
been, but a right good heart gazed out through his hazel
eyes,.and his mistress had determined to take every pains
with his education.


He was already of immense size, and would be bigger.
His white legs were very massive, he had paws like a young
bear, white and black as to body, and with a tasteful blaze
down his forehead. He was what would have been called
in a collie dog bawsint-faced.
I think that Caesar thoroughly loved and appreciated his
gentle mistress, and had made a vow to himself that he
would do all in his power to become a good dog and a
respectable member of society. If he did make such a vow
he certainly kept it, though, of course, this is only my way
of telling you that he turned out a very obedient and
clever dog indeed, as his future history will tend to prove.
Now, about eleven o'clock on the day after Colin's
strange adventure, who should run up the granite steps of
Miss Dewar's mansion but Colin himself. His aunt had
seen him coming, for her favourite seat was by the window,
and just outside hung a mirror, in which she could note
everything that was going on even a long way down the street.
So she ran to open the door to him, and was there before
even Jane herself, smart though that tidy little servant
maiden was.
She was positively glad to see him. She held out both
hands to him, and welcomed him in right heartily. No,
she did not kiss him. The fact is that people in Scotland
are not so fond of saluting in this way as they are in Eng-
land, and I am very glad of it.
You could have noted at a glance, however, that Colin
was a favourite here. Annie, the handmaiden, had a nod
and a smile for him, and he had a nod and a kind word for
Annie. Before he got inside a dark gray cat came and
rubbed herself against his leg, and when he entered the
room Casar, the Landseer Newfoundlander, jumped up from
the bearskin rug on which he had been lying, put his two
great paws on Colin's shoulder, nearly pulling him down.
Then he started for a run, a habit these dogs have. There
was little room, however, even in Miss Dewar's big drawing-
room for a wild and excited dog of Cesar's size to stretch
his legs and allay his excitement. But the door was open,
so out he bolted; downstairs to the basement he ran, upstairs
(988) C


again, up and up as far as the attics, here he turned on the
landing and came thundering down once more, and at such
a pace that the marvel was he didn't break his neck. Into
the drawing-room now, twice round it at the gallop, then
out again and up and downstairs again. This mad game he
continued until he was fain to lie down and pant.
"And how are you, my dear boy? And how is your
uncle and aunt? And when did you come? And-"
"Wait, wait, auntie; I couldn't even remember so many
questions all at once. Let me try, though. First and
foremost, I'm jolly, and Aunt M'Ivor is jolly, and uncle is
jollier, and-and-what was the other question, Auntie
Dewar "
"When did you come? This morning, of course?"
"Well-well, I believe it must have been this morning.
But I don't think that much of the morning had gone, for
I remember that one o'clock struck while I was sitting
astride of a gun in Castlegate talking to John Jackson, the
"Boy, boy, you speak riddles. Come, seat yourself on
the ottoman and give a proper account of yourself."
"Well, Auntie Dewar, I have such a lot to tell that I
think I had better begin at the beginning, and go straight
through my wonderful and adventurous tale."
While Colin is talking to his aunt, we may as well return
to Constitution Street.
Captain Junk didn't get up very early, but he ate a
hearty breakfast when he did turn out. Then he was told
about the wounded boy, and on tiptoe went straight away
to see him.
Now, captains of ships like the one which this honest sailor
commanded don't carry doctors as a rule-that is, not
unless they have forty souls on board all told. So, very
often, they have to be captains and doctors as well. They
are supplied with a medicine chest and a mariner's guide
thereto, and it is needless to say that they just as frequently
give the wrong medicine as the right one. But as regards
wounds, bruises, fractures, and dislocations, they are usually
pretty handy.


So, as he approached the bedside where the boy lay quiet
and still, Captain Junk assumed quite a professional air.
He took the boy's wrist to feel his pulse, and pulled out his
big chronometer of a watch to consult as he did so. Then
he touched the lad's cheek with the back of his brown hand,
listened for a moment to his breathing, then, beckoning to
his sister, left the room on tiptoe just as he had entered it.
Widow Jackson was overawed by her brother's assump-
tion of professional knowledge. Even the young doctor
himself had not impressed her half so much.
"Will he die?" she whispered, when they were once
more out on the landing.
"Die, sister? Never a die till his day comes, and that
won't be for a while yet, if we can manage aright. His pulse
is normal."
"Is that a good sign or a bad, brother?"
"Good, of course. His breathing is pretty regular-just
a trifle of a hitch in it, as one would naturally expect. But
his skin is warm and moist. He'd do, but for one thing,
"Tell me, Tom, and I'll send to the druggist's for it at
"The druggist doesn't keep it. I mean fresh air. That
room is too small. To keep the window constantly open
might endanger his life. You see, sis, the boy has been a
sailor, I think, young as he is-well, he won't do with
stuffiness, so- Listen!"
It was the sound of the iron gate, a rat-tat-tat at the
door, and a bold young voice trolling out some lines of the
old song:
old song: Come where my love lies dreaming,
Dreaming the happy hours away."
The door was opened.
"Hillo, Katie! how is the patient? Has he spoken yet?"
and then hardly waiting for an answer, the young doctor,
for it was he, began to whistle; and then he came trotting
Certainly not a very dignified, nor a very professional way,
of entering a patient's house.


"So glad you've come, sir!" said the widow.
"So am I. How's the lad?"
He did not wait for a reply, but went straight in, not on
"So-ho," he said after a slight examination. "He is
doing well."
He lifted first one eyelid and then another. Then he
went and lit a candle, and repeated the examination of the
eyes, drawing the candle away and approaching it to the
boy's face several times.
"Beautiful!" he said. "He'll talk this afternoon. Or
he would if-why, you had better open the window."
"Ha! ha! ha i" laughed Uncle Tom. "Didn't I tell you
so, Mary? Didn't I tell you so?"
"Are you the boy's father, sir?"
"No, I'm nobody's father as yet. I'm Jones, master
mariner. They call me Junk for short. Captain Junk,
of the Blue Peter, at your service, young sir. But I am
entirely of your way of thinking; the lad wants a few more
cubic feet of air."
"Well-" the doctor began.
Rat, tat, tat, tat. Once more the knocker was being
briskly plied, and Katie came running into the room, push-
ing her hair back behind her ears.
"0, mither!" she cried.
"Fat [what] is't, lassie ?"
"0, a carriage and pair!"
"Weel, rin doon and open the door to the gentle
A minute afterwards Colin himself ran upstairs.
"She wouldn't hear of anything else," he began. "My
aunt, I mean," seeing his audience looked puzzled. "She
says that if the lad can be lifted at all he must be conveyed
in the landau to her house, where he will have every attention
and care; and she says also, Captain Jones, that she would
like very much to see you."
"See me; but-how did-"
0, of course, I told her all about you. Now what
answer, doctor, shall I give my aunt?"


"I will call myself this evening after I have seen my
patient again, but I think it can be managed."

Two days after this Olaf Ranna, for that was the unfortu-
nate boy's name, was comfortably ensconced in one of the
very largest bed-rooms in Kilmorrack House-the residence
of Miss Dewar was thus named-and there he was tenderly
nursed by Uncle Tom and little Katie; while Miss Dewar
herself glided in and out at any time, but as silently as a
ghost might have done.
The lady was really in her element; she had got some
one to nurse, and there was, moreover, a spice of mystery
and romance about the case such as she confessed she dearly
Yes, Olaf had spoken. He had told his name, but could
as yet give no very coherent account of himself; only he
frequently whispered the words Sigurd and "Inverness ".
Then he would doze off again, so that the young doctor was,
on the whole, somewhat anxious about him.
He might, so he told Miss Dewar, take a turn for the
better at any moment-or a turn for the worse. In order
that the noise and rattle of passing carts and carriages
might not fall upon the wounded lad's ears, his hostess had
the street covered some distance up and down with refuse
from the tan-yards. It must be confessed, therefore, that
Olaf Ranna had fallen among good Samaritans from the very
And thanks to all the capital nursing he received, and all
the attention from young "Doctor" Rudland Syme-really
he deserves the courtesy of the appellation, albeit it would
be a long time yet ere he could assume the title as a right-
Olaf was soon out of danger.
Rudland was in no hurry to pass for doctor, he told
Captain Junk, adding that he might possibly take another
voyage to sea, to America or Greenland or somewhere before
passing, for he had plenty of time as far as age was con-
Now that his brow was healing beautifully, and every
particle of swelling was gone from his eyes, and he could


sit up in bed, and smile, and talk, Olaf turned out to be a
good-looking and bright lad.
Of course, he had a story to tell, and one evening he was
permitted to tell it. There was nobody there but Uncle
Tom, Colin, Katie, and Miss Dewar. Rudland had promised
to come, but was doubtless detained somewhere.
"And now, dear child," said Miss Dewar, as she folded
her hands on her black silk apron, "we are all wishing to
hear your story. Even honest Csesar there is all atten-
It really did seem so, for the great dog was leaning his
monster head on the boy's bed, and looking into his face
with those speaking hazel eyes of his, as if he knew every
word that was being spoken, and was only waiting to hear
"Story, Miss Dewar said Olaf, with a faint smile.
"Then I am truly sorry, because I have none to tell."
"0, but you have, boy. You are, we know, a Nor-
wegian. Then how came you to speak English so well?"
This gave Olaf a commencement.
"0, you know, Miss Dewar, my mother is English, at
least she is Scotch. Her father's home is near Inverness.
We often stay there in summer, and there I have been to
"And your father?"
"0, poor father died some-many years ago. He was
captain of a Norwegian sealing and whaling ship. Dear
Miss Dewar-" there were tears now in the lad's blue eyes,
and seeing this evidence of grief, kind-hearted Uncle Tom
said "Poor boyl poor lad!" and patted the pale hand that
lay outside the coverlet-" Dear Miss Dewar, father was
killed by an ice-bear while out shooting on the pack ice."
He paused for a moment, then resumed his brief narra-
"I have sometimes thought, since coming to my senses,
that, having been to Greenland, Dr. Rudland Syme might
have known my father."
"0, no, no," said Miss Dewar. "Dismiss that idea from
your head. Rudland was out only quite recently."


"Well," said Olaf, "I'm very stupid as yet, but after
father's death, mother could not bear to live in Norway for
years, so we came to Scotland, but father's house was not
sold. It is still kept up. I go often there now, and mother
has been sometimes. I dearly love Norway-its dales and
glens, its hills and mountains, its dark and gloomy fjords,
ay, and its great snow plains,-and I am going back soon.
You know, Miss Dewar, I and Sigurd Walsen came over here
to Aberdeen in our little yacht?"
"Yes, boy, and who is Sigurd?"
"0, Sigurd is the bravest and the cleverest man in the
world, Miss Dewar. He was my father's third officer or
spectioneer. He was with father when the awful ice-bear
struck him down, and although Sigurd had nothing but a
seal club,' he attacked the great bear, and after a fearful
struggle, wounded him terribly. But, for all that, the bear
got away, and after a month, he came back to the ship and
killed a boy, but no one could kill or even wound the ice-
bear again.
"Poor father was placed in a coffin, and hoisted into the
foretop. Three or four months after, Miss Dewar (and I
remember that day well), the ship came into the fjord with
her flag half-mast. My mother knew then that father was
dead, and she was frantic with grief. Our house is built on
a brae quite in sight of the sea."
"Dear boy "
"Well, Miss Dewar, father was frozen, you know, and I
could hardly believe he was dead, but only just asleep.
Poor father I
"But Sigurd hasn't gone to sea again, though he will
some day, perhaps, but for quite a long time mother couldn't
bear him out of her sight, and always would have him talk
of father. You see he was a favourite of father's, and nearly
always with him. And now Sigurd lives at our house in
Norway, and looks after it in mother's absence, except when
he is at sea with me in our little yacht."
"Is it a nice yacht?" Colin ventured.
"0 no, at least you would hardly call it so; but it has a
IA kind of pole-axe used for killing seals, and not really a club.


tiny cabin amidships, and on the whole it does well to go
fishing cruises in, all around the fjords. Well, we came over
here in it. Yes, Miss Dewar, it is a somewhat venturesome
voyage, because there were only myself and a boy-I'm
sixteen, and a man, though not big-and Sigurd. But I'm
never afraid on the stormiest nights when Sigurd is near."
"And where is Sigurd now V"
"Sigurd brought me in here the night of my accident.
Then he went away round to Peterhead where he has
friends among the seal-fishing people. By this time he
must be in Inverness, but I am glad mother doesn't know
that I am hurt.
"What did you say, Miss Dewar? Oh, he left me
here to have a look at the Granite City, because I had often
heard of its wondrous beauty. He took me to our little
hotel on the quay where my box is, and at moonrise I went
out to wander by the sea and to take a lunar observation.
I had climbed the green hill, and was taking an observation
as well as I could, when I was knocked down from behind.
I don't know who did it. Yes, I had a splendid watch.
It was father's. And I had a purse, but there was but a few
pounds in that. So I have not lost much, except the
watch. I'd like to see that again!"
"Well," said Colin, "John Jackson assures me he will do
all he can to find it. He says he has put Tam Gibb, the
detective, on the track, and that Tam will recover it if it be
in the city, and find the thieves too."
Olaf now lay back somewhat wearily, and Miss Dewar
made haste to get him some nourishing refreshment, after
which he dozed off, and Colin sat by his bedside to watch.
A score of strange but pleasant thoughts kept running
through Colin's head as he sat there. This boy Olaf then
was a year older than himself, though ever so much smaller.
But he seemed very brave and intelligent. How he (Colin)
would like to run over to Norway with Olaf in his little
yacht! He felt sure enough that his uncle would allow him
to do so.
"How would it do," he said to himself, "to take Olaf
up home with me to the Highlands to begin with? Yes, I


will do it. Uncle M'Ivor will make him heartily welcome.
I shall write about it this very evening."
And so he did, and we shall presently see what came of



OME, my laddie, come and bring your new-found friend.
One breath of our mountain air will do him more good
than a bottle of doctor's physic."
The letter altogether was not a long one, and the above
short sentence gives the gist of it.
Colin's father had been Laird M'Ivor's favourite brother.
He had been a younger brother, and like a good many
younger brothers among the upper ten of Highland society,
had chosen to go on the war-path, considering it far more
honourable than the country house or advocate's office. He
had married when still young, and then died sword in
hand fighting the Russians on a blood-stained hillside in the
Laird M'Ivor, who had no children of his own, gladly
threw his doors open to the poor young widow and her
child. She lived many years in this Highland home, then
"wore away" as Scotch people expressively put it.
Well, if Colin had been spoiled, as some said, before
his poor mother's death, he was spoiled still more when
that gentle lady was gone.
But I do not like the expression "spoiled" applied to
any hero of mine, and what is more, I won't have it. Colin
M'Ivor, I say boldly, was one of those boys whom kindness
will not spoil. It is because such lads have sensitive souls,
and because in those souls kindness begets gratitude instead
of selfishness, that they cannot be spoiled.
A boy of this kind-would that there were more of them!


-is worth a king's ransom. A right-thinking man cannot
behold or consider such a boy without something akin to
awe and reverence. He is almost fresh from the hands of
his Maker, contact with a sinful and deceitful world has
not yet sullied his soul. Perhaps the angels that guard him
shall keep him pure in the midst of sin, perhaps they will
cause sin to be abhorrent to him instead of alluring him, so
that he shall grow up a pure-minded, brave, justice-loving
man, and men like this are indeed the salt of the earth.
No. Colin was not a spoiled boy by any means, and yet,
as he told John Jackson, the policeman, on that night he
was found astride of the gun, everybody permitted him to
do pretty much as he pleased.
Young M'Ivor had been, up till very lately, at the parish
school of Glen Albin.
In Highland parishes like that where Laird M'Ivor dwelt,
the parish school may well be called a classical school.
There may be two, you know-one connected with the Free
Church, the other with the Established Church of Scotland,
and both are good. It was to the latter Colin had be-
longed. The teacher was a hard-working, most industrious
young fellow called Stewart, and a great favourite and al-
most constant companion of the minister of the parish, at
whose manse he frequently dined. And Stewart took a
very great interest in Colin. He had him learning not only
Latin, but Greek, before he was nine years of age, so that
now at the age of fifteen this boy might easily have entered
the university, and might have even won a bursary.1
Colin's uncle had proposed that he should do so. The lad
had looked at him for a few moments in silence, but rather
Wouldn't you like to?" said his uncle.
"I was thinking-"
"Well, think away. I'll give you a whole night to think
it out."
"No, no, uncle. I'll do it now."
"Well, then, wouldn't you like a 'varsity education?"
"What would it end in my becoming?"
IA scholarship is so called in Scotland.


0, lots of fine things would be at your choosing if you
stuck to your studies."
"Mention some, uncle."
"Well, first and best comes the church. Just think what
a nice position that is, viewed only from a worldly point of
view. There is our Mr. Freeshol here-by the by, he's
coming to dine with me to-night-well, look, to begin with,
at the fine house he lives in. Why, it is nearly as big as
mine. Then look at the nice gardens all round it, and the
lawns and shrubbery in front, and look at the glebe or
farm, all free, Colin, all free, lad; two pairs of beautiful
horses, besides cows and pigs, and fowls and ducks, gabbling
geese all in a row, and red-necked turkeys. And all the
week long he has nothing to do except to look after his
belongings, officiate at a marriage or baptism, or pray with
a dying parishioner. And as to his status in life, why a
duke hasn't a finer. He is considered fit company for a
king. Why, Colin, when Prince Albert came here and
wanted to visit the Falls of Moira, it wasn't me he called
upon, but Mr. Freeshol, and it wasn't with me he dined, no,
it was with the minister.
"And 0, Colin, think also of the glory a minister has in
winning souls to Christ!"
Stop, uncle, stop; that is just it. I'm not good enough
to win souls to Christ. No, no, I won't be a minister; any-
thing else, uncle."
"Any other career, you mean. Lots, lad. There's the
"0, uncle, I wouldn't be a lawyer for anything. I've
been seeing a young fellow in town who is going in for that,
and I pitied him. Why, our old turkey-gobbler can roost
on a tree And get fresh air; poor Mr. Thompson can't. A
dingy, dirty office, a wooden floor, an ink-stained desk,
musty ledgers, frowsy parchments, hard words to write and
learn, and cobwebs. Faughl"
"Be a doctor, then, boy."
"No, uncle, no; I couldn't bear to live always among
suffering, sickness, grief, and pain. I couldn't physic the
cat, and when Harry, the stable-boy, lanced our game cock's


bumble-foot I suffered far more than the cock himself did.
I couldn't be a doctor. If I didn't make mistakes and kill
my patients, the sight of my patients' sufferings would soon
kill me."
"Well, you wouldn't like to be a schoolmaster?"
"No, uncle, I should lose my temper, and should be
whacking away all day long with cane and tawse. There
would be no time for teaching. Then the bigger boys
would mutiny, and I should be locked up all night in the
cellar for the rats to eat; there would be nothing left of me
in the morning except my knuckle ends and the soles of my
boots. No, uncle, I believe I am going to be a sailor, and
it doesn't need a 'varsity education to plough the sea."
"Well, perhaps I shall let you plough the sea till you are
twenty-one, after that-"
"After that, uncle?"
"Well, you're my heir, you know, and I shall be getting
old, and, having learned to plough the sea, you might settle
down and learn to plough the land."
"I'll do anything for you, uncle, only don't speak about
getting old."
From the above conversation I hope my readers will
gather that Colin was anything but a spoiled child.

On the day Colin M'Ivor received that letter from his
uncle, Olaf was unusually bright. He was allowed to get
up now and come downstairs, and on this particular fore-
noon he was going for a drive with Miss Dewar. She was
going to take him all over the beautiful Granite City.
She, too, had received a letter that morning. It was
from Olaf's mother, and this lady was profuse in her thanks
for all the kindness that had been bestowed upon her boy.
She had not been told, however, how very narrow his
escape from death had been.
"What do you think, Auntie Dewar?" said Colin at
"I think you are looking unusually happy and bright
about something, and I think I should like to know what it
means ?"


It means this."
He handed her his letter. She read it and smiled, and at
a nod from Colin gave it to Olaf. As he read it his whole
face became lighted up with joy and animation.
"Is it," he said, "that you would take me far to your
beautiful home and your wild Aberdeenshire Highlands.
O, there is joy in my heart. I will write Sigurd not to
come round for me yet-not for a few days."
"A few days!" cried Colin laughing. "Why, a Highland
invitation extends over weeks, sometimes over months."
Miss Dewar drove Olaf to see all the lions of both new
and old towns; the chief lions, of course, being the univer-
sities. Then she took him to the house of a celebrated
surgeon-Dr. Pirrie, to wit. This gentleman most carefully
examined Olaf.
"Yes," he said, "mountain air will do him much good,
and he cannot have too much of it. After that he will be
fit for a sea voyage, if his bent lies in that direction."
He himself-the surgeon, I mean, who was a most
gentlemanly man-bowed the lady to her carriage, not even
permitting her servant to open the door for her.
But Olaf had another surprise that forenoon which gave
him great delight. For, as the carriage stopped for a few
minutes in Castle Street, near the cross (near the very gun
that Colin had been riding when "my son John" found him),
the very identical John marched up and saluted.
Colin bent over and shook hands with John.
"Would the young gentlemen come into the office for a
few minutes?"
They would only be too delighted if Miss Dewar would
permit. Miss Dewar would not only permit, but would go
herself. She had never been inside a police office, and had
feminine curiosity enough to wonder what such an office was
"My son John" bowed them in, and, sitting in a side
room at a desk, they found a very tall, well-made, clean-
shaven man, who looked like an actor. This was Tam
Gibb. He got up and bowed. He was not accustomed to
have real ladies come to see him.


"You wanted to see the boys?" said Miss Dewar.
0, yes, madam. This watch-a large and very valuable
gold one, you will observe-was traced by Policeman
Jackson, that young man in the doorway, to a pawn-shop up
Broad Street."
"O," cried Olaf with sparkling eyes, "it is mine. It is
my dear, dead father's watch."
"I am happy to restore it to you," said Tam Gibb.
"How can I ever thank or reward you?" began Olaf.
"By saying nothing about it. Duty is its own reward.
Just put it in your pooch,1 youngster, and take my advice:
when next you go star-gazin' on the Broad Hill, don't put a
gold watch in your fob."
As he left the office, after the interview, the boy Olaf
paused to shake hands with John and thank and praise him
for his cleverness. Probably Olaf's thanks assumed a solid
form, for John's hand sought his pocket after shaking that
of Olaf.

As far as farming was concerned, probably Grant M'Ivor
of Glen Albin was neither wiser nor cleverer than any of the
other farmers who dwelt in that wild and romantic valley.
But he had this advantage, the land he farmed was his own,
to hold and to have as long as he lived. How it had been
called a glen I am unable to conceive, for though the grand
old hills and mountains were everywhere around it, they
were at some distance. It was, therefore, a strath or vale,
and a very lovely one it must be called. Broad green
meadows, waving woods, and smiling farms; a beautiful
lake in the centre some miles in extent, and many a wild
pass or glen proper opening into it.
Each of these passes brought a brawling brown streamlet
to feed the river Uisge, which, after leaving the lake or
loch, went meandering gently through a peat morass till it
reached the end of the strath. Then, with a series of mad
leaps and bounds, called cataracts and waterfalls, it rushed
headlong to the plains below, and onward then through
many a woodland waving green till it fell into the Dee itself.


There had been many and many a laird at Moira before
Grant M'Ivor, and to some considerable extent it seemed
that each had exhibited different tastes, as far as architec-
ture was concerned. And perhaps the only portion of the
original house that could have been sworn to was the wide
and spacious hall, which Grant had converted into a billiard
room, and where, on a low hearth, a roaring fire of wood
burned nearly all the year round. But wing after wing and
gable after gable had been added on, and even a great
square tower. This last was very old, and was said to
harbour a ghost; but it must have been one of a somewhat
retiring disposition, for, with the exception of old Elspet,
the housekeeper, and old Murdoch, who combined the
duties of butler with those of henchman-in-general, nobody
had ever seen the spirit of the tower.
Grant M'Ivor had, however, been content to let the house
hang as it had grown. He confined his attentions to out-
door work and beautification-gardens, lawns, walks, and
shrubberies, were his chief delight, and the grand old brown-
stemmed pine-trees that elevated their heads almost as high
as the tower itself.
So, on the whole Moira was not only a beautiful but a
very quaint kind of a mansion, all the more so in that it
occupied a position on a terraced height at the head of the
Fifteen miles from a station. That did not signify in the
least. I do not think that anyone in the glen ever longed
to be a bit nearer to the roar of the iron wheels and the
shriek of the engine whistle. The farmers had their gigs
and their dog-carts, the laird had carriages to drive and
horses to ride, while the poorer folks, when they chose to
make a pilgrimage from home, which was seldom, drove
their own pair, the same that Adam and Eve made use of
-their legs.
Had Colin been coming to Moira all by himself he would
have laughed at the idea of his uncle sending a carriage to
the railway station to meet him. But he had friends. He
had not only Olaf, who was now nearly well, but bold Captain
Junk also. Captain Junk's ship, the saucy Blue Peter, was


snug in Leith harbour,-and, knowing that he could trust his
mate, the skipper had given himself a month's holiday till
the ship should be loaded up. Colin had not said a word to
his uncle about his intention of bringing his old sailor friend
with him.
"You'll have a hearty Highland welcome," he told him,
" and it will be a surprise and a pleasant one, too, for my
Uncle M'Ivor."
Ah! but Uncle M'Ivor had prepared a surprise for the
boys, and a pleasant one it was certain to be, as far as Olaf
was concerned.
When, therefore, the carriage drew up at the hall-door,
after a drive that delighted the young Norwegian beyond
measure, so different were those crimson heath-clad hills
and braes to anything he had ever seen in his own country,
the second person, if not the first, to bid Olaf welcome was
-his own mother.
Why, mother, am I awake or am I dreaming?"
It had been a pretty thought this of the old laird's to
have Olaf's mother sent for in order to meet him. And I
do believe that her companionship did almost as much to
restore him to perfect health as the bracing mountain air
itself. Be this as it may, Olaf grew stronger every day and
hour almost, and was soon able to accompany Colin on long
delightful fishing excursions on the loch or down the river's
As for Uncle Grant and Captain Junk, they became very
much engrossed in each other indeed. They were constantly
out-of-doors together, or on the hills with their guns, and
after dinner every evening in company with Mrs. M'Ivor,
the laird's wife, and Mrs. Ranna, Olaf's mother, they
enjoyed a delightful rubber at whist. The boys did not
think the evenings long, for, when they were tired playing
chequers or draughts, they could read to each other or talk.
Olaf had travelled quite a deal in his own country, and
Colin was never tired of listening to his stories of that wild
land, where, in days of old, the Vikings used to dwell.
Olaf was an excellent tale-teller, and, being slightly
imbued with superstition, he could give full lingual force to


the strange traditions that hang around the fjords, and
vales, and waterfalls, as the morning mists hang around
the mountain's brow.
Fishing did not, however, absorb all their daylight amuse-
ments; and I do not think that boys could ever weary at a
country house where there were ponies, dogs, and other live
stock. And here at Moira there was plenty of every species
of domestic animal clad in hair, in feathers, or in fur.
There was one Shetland pony who was undoubtedly the
daftest little scamp ever seen in the strath. There was no
end to his tricks or to his fun. The fact is, that Colin had
had the training of him, and the pony would run after him
like a dog, and, with the dogs, follow him afar to the hills,
and so, when tired of walking, he could ride home. Bare-
back, however. Frolic didn't mind bridle and bit, but he
vowed he would never be saddled. But this had not signified
much to Colin, who had a good knee-grip, nor did it signify
much to Olaf, whom Frolic graciously permitted to ride
Colin often rode Frolic right into the great hall with half
a dozen dogs-collies, deerhounds, and sky-terriers-at his
heels. Round and round the billiard-table the wild pack
would fly, with many a bark and whoop, then out again, and
off down the glen like the wind itself. This caper always
delighted the old laird, though it did not improve the floor
of the hall, but then Frolic was but lightly shod.
This daft pony used sometimes even to follow Colin into
the drawing-room. But here he never behaved wildly. He
seemed overawed by all the bric-a-brac he saw around him,
and kept on his company manners.
Moreover, Colin had taught this pony many droll tricks.
He had taught him to kneel when told; to lift his feet one
at a time, thus executing a kind of dance, and to neigh when
asked to; to neigh, or perhaps I should saywhinny. Strangely
enough, he would do any of his common tricks for a slice of
carrot, but he would not neigh under a nut-a Brazil nut
without the shell-and he must see it first. A nut or nothing,
that was Frolic's motto.
Olaf was a naturalist born, so he took great pleasure not
(988) D


in Frolic only, but in the horses, and in the cattle. There was
one great Highland bull, however, who inhabited a certain
field with high stone walls all round, that Olaf would not
venture near. He was a bull of very powerful build, though
not so high as a short-horn. Jock Towse, as he was called,
was a long-horn. Indeed, his horns were longer than your
arms, reader, stretched to their greatest extent. The horns
were covered as to their points, for they were very sharp, in
the same way as are foils used in fencing. His eyes were
red and fierce, and his whole body covered with long hair,
which on his face and brow was as shaggy as that of a skye-
Colin was the only one about the place, bar the cow-boy
and the laird himself, who could approach Jock Towse with
safety. Jock used to run to meet Colin, with his head low
to the ground and thundering all the time as bulls do. But
it was all fun. Colin walked to meet him, and Jock was so
delighted to have his towsy neck scratched and his ears
pulled, that he used to lick Colin's hand and even his neck.
Then Colin would say:
"Down head, Jock Towse."
Immediately the great bull would lower his nose to the
Colin would then stand right between the horns with a
hand on each. Then he gave the next command.
"Lift, Jock Towse!"
And up the boy went, high in the air.
This performance was repeated about a score of times.
After which Jock received a huge piece of bannock,' which
his soul loved, and Colin kissed him on the muzzle and
The pigs even were a source of pleasure to Olaf, and he
became so well acquainted with the breeding sow, that
whenever she saw him she used to throw herself down on
her side to be scratched with the end of his stick. The
languishing look in her almost human-like eyes, and the
satisfied grunts she emitted, showed how much she appre-
ciated Olaf's kindness.
1 A thick oaten cake baked on a griddle or iron plate.


I need not say how much the boy delighted in the com-
panionship of the dogs, especially the collies.
"We have no dogs so perfect in Norway," he told Colin,
"as these beautiful creatures.
"Perhaps," he added, "they will one day talk."
The barn-yards, as the farm-buildings were called, formed
a kind of square, but all was gravel between; not a dunghill
like badly-kept farms in England. Around this square fowls
and feathered stock of all kinds congregated at sunset to
receive some grain before going to roost. They would even
wait up till after gloaming if the grain were not sooner
forthcoming. Olaf and Colin used, however, to come very
regularly each with a bag. If they were from home the
feeding devolved on the cow-boy as soon as the fowls
appeared in the yard.
Anyone who is narrow-minded enough to deny to our
feathered friends either common-sense or sagacity, ought to
have seen that waiting and expectant mob in the barn-yard
square of Moira mansion, just as the sun was going down,
his beams glimmering red through the dark masses of the
tall pine-trees.
There they all waited, to the number of about two hundred
or more, and anyone brought up on a farm might be excused
if he imagined that he actually knew what they said.
Behold, to-night the boys are somewhat later than usual,
and the hens are all huddled together in the centre, with
drooping tails, discussing the situation in low and somewhat
discontented tones. The cocks themselves, whether game,
Dorking, or Cochin, for there are many sorts, were all
pugilistic enough by day, but now a fellow-feeling of hunger
makes them wondrous kind, and there is not an atom of
fight in them. Even the big game cock, a splendid bird, who
could kill all the others in a very short time, one by one,
stalks around, but makes no attempt at assault or battery.
"He won't come to-night," grumbles an old hen.
"I'm getting my death of cold," says another.
"And I'm dying of sleep," cries a third.
The ducks flank the crowd of hens. They are nearly all
lying down, some fast asleep with heads round among their


feathers. Only the drakes are wide enough awake and on
the alert, because that great red-necked gobbler often attacks
the ducks from sheer wantonness, while the drakes defend
the squat and waddling flock by viciously pinching the
gobbler's toes.
The hen turkeys now look as discontented and disconsolate
as the female barn-door fowls, only the restless geese and
gander strut round at a distance, making echoes ring every
now and then with their everlasting song of Kay-ink!-
The sun sinks lower and lower, and finally disappears,
though the glorious clouds he leaves behind are still reflected
from the dark bosom of the loch in broad patches of crimson,
bronze, and gold. But, listen! there are footsteps heard be-
yond the square, and the voices of the boys themselves in
laughing conversation.
They come! they come!
"Now is the winter of our discontent,
Made glorious summer by this sun of York."
What a change comes o'er the spirit of the dream of that
feathered multitude! Every head and every tail is erect
in a moment. The ducks spring to their big flat feet.
"Qua-ack, quack, quack, quack," they cry.
"Kay-ink! kay-ink!" shriek the geese, coming with a
rush, which, with their outspread wings almost resembles a
"Habb-a-bubb-a-bubb-a-bub screams the gob-
bler as he and his turkey hens run next.
The barn-door fowls are there already.
And now Colin and Olaf stand in the very centre of a
feathered lake, and from their canvas bags, in every direc-
tion of the compass they shower the golden grain, while the
noise, and the fighting, and scrambling make up a scene
that it is impossible to describe.
But the last handful has been thrown, and now the birds
retire to their roosts or beds, and soon all is peace and
Then Colin whistles a peculiar whistle, and down from a


tree that grows near to the corner of the square floats a
beautiful bird. It is the pet peacock. He roosts up there of
a night to save the splendour of his tail from defilement.
And Colin finds a handful of pearl barley for him. He picks
this out of the boy's hand; then, after strutting around for
a short time with tail erect, he nods his head, as if saying
good-night, and flies lazily back to his roost.



AUTUMN has gone.
The days are getting short and shorter now. The
crimson glory of the hill and brae has faded into dull browns
and bronzes. The farmers' fields are all bare and bleak;
from the higher mountain tracks the shepherds have brought
down their sheep, that they may feed upon the stubble or
the herbage in the strath. The loch now oftentimes assumes
a gray and leaden hue even at midday, and the river that
flows into it is oftentimes a brown and raging torrent, bring-
ing down in its foaming tide branches of trees, logs of wood,
healthy turfs, and even boulders of stone. The river that
flows from the loch is sometimes now a river indeed, and
one, too, that sets at defiance the boundaries that man has
put to it, and, escaping from its bed, overflows the fields and
moorland. Yet it seems overjoyed when it reaches the end
of the strath and plunges madly over the rocks. Here in
summer there were four or five small waterfalls, for every
ledge of rock formed a linn or cataract. But now all those
little waterfalls have become one great waterfall, and while
the roar, the noise, and turmoil are appalling, and can be
heard by night for many a mile away, the force of the water
seems to shake the very hills around, and the lofty pine-trees
quiver and nod in the forest near the banks of that raging


The higher mountains are now white with snow or frost
nearly all day long; the pine-trees that essay to scale their
sides look very black against the rocks. High up there the
ptarmigan may still be found, but he and the alpine hare
are now assuming their winter's coats. They will soon be
dressed in white. Lower down the cosy coneys still frisk
and play among the stones and boulders, but from the glen
itself the song-birds, with few exceptions, have long since
flown away.
The trees near Grant M'Ivor's ancestral home harbour
a rookery of which the laird is justly proud. The crows or
larks are still there and noisy enough at times, and every
evening food is placed for them where they can find it at
early morn.
Colin and Olaf were still both together at Glen Moira, but
instead of lamenting for the decay of nature and the dying
year, they were both longing for snow time. They were
going to have great doings this winter; snow time was going
to be for them glow time, else they should know the reason
Somehow, I ought to tell you that Colin and Olaf had
taken very much to each other. They had become the
fastest friends in the world. When, about a month before
this, Olaf's mother had gone back to Inverness, Colin begged
so hard of her that Olaf might be left behind, his uncle
supporting his pleading and plea, that Mrs. Ranna had
been fain to give in.
"But I fear," she had said, "that you will find him a
trouble after a while. Your hospitality is really very
Grant M'Ivor laughed.
"Our hospitality," he replied, "if properly analysed,
would be found, I believe, to have a somewhat selfish
foundation. Why, my dear Mrs. Ranna, we all positively
love your lad. But looking at the matter from another
point of view, just note the improvement in his health that
has taken place of late, all the result of our pure mountain
air, believe me, and nothing else."
Well, and as to Uncle Tom-Captain Junk, you know-


he had gone away long ago, and many months would pass
before the Blue Peter sailed once more into the Firth of
Forth. He had gone down the Mediterranean to Malta, to
Alexandria, to Constantinople, and Greece, and might pos-
sibly-so he had told the boys-"take a turn" round to
Had chance not thrown him into the company of Olaf
Ranna, it is possible that Colin might have expressed a
wish to go a voyage with Captain Junk. For he loved the
sea just as many boys love it, who have never been on blue
water in their lives; he loved it from reading about it in
books. Well, to be sure, he had been once or twice as
far as Leith in a steamboat, and once to Inverness, but
there is no blue water, as sailors understand it, until you
get out and away far on the bosom of the wide Atlantic
But Olaf had in some measure changed Colin's inclina-
tions. He still loved the sea in a dreamy, poetic kind of a
way, but it was not so much the blue and sunny seas of
southern climes, as the wild dark ocean that stretches from
the islands of Shetland to the mysterious regions of ice and
snow that surround the pole.
All the stories that Sigurd had told Olaf by the fireside
of his Norwegian home in the long fore-nights of winter, Olaf
retailed to Colin, and it is needless to say that they lost
nothing by the repetition.
"In October," said Olaf to his friend one day, "our winter
begins in Norseland. And yours?"
There was at one corner of the barn-yard square a small
room devoted to carpenter's work, and which also could
boast of a good turning-lathe. Here, when alone, Colin
had whiled many an hour away, and especially in wet
weather, when there was small encouragement to betake
himself to the hills or forest, to the riverside or to the
The two lads were in that room when Olaf put the ques-
tion. The day was somewhat dark and gloomy, and the
rain every now and then beat and rattled against the panes
of glass. When they stood in the doorway and looked away


across the marshy valley, they could see sheet-like showers
borne along the mountain sides by the fierce gusts of an
easterly gale, while the loch itself, across which clouds were
ever and anon being driven, was all a-smother with foam
and spray.
"Our winter?" replied Colin, pointing to the hills and
then to the wind-tortured pine trees in the forest above
them. "Our winter? Do you not think that that is a fair
sample of wintry weather?"
"0, no, no; I would call that but the herald of winter.
I would see the snow on your plains, I would see the
branches of the larch and the spruce borne groundwards
with the burden thereof, I would see all the land white, the
cataracts solid, and a mantle of ice and snow thrown over
your chafing lake yonder."
"Ah, Olaf, you talk like a book or a bard! My English
is unhappily more humble and matter of fact, but I think I
can answer your question. Winter, then, is often ushered
in by wild gales of wind like that which is blowing to-day.
It may be that in a short week's time you may see more
snow than you would care to face."
"I am glad."
"It is delightful to be out in it, Olaf, when the sun
shines bright and clear, when the sky is cloudless and blue,
and the frost hard, and when there isn't enough wind to
blow one snowflake on top of the other; but when a bliz-
zard comes on-ah! then."
"Yes, yes," cried Olaf with animation. "Tell me, tell
me. Oh, it is that I love to hear of this."
Colin laughed at his companion's enthusiasm.
"I can't tell you," he said; "it needs poetic powers to
describe a Highland snow blizzard."
"But you have been out in one?"
Yes, worse luck, and wished myself anywhere else.
High banks of snow across the road, Olaf, that no mortal
could get over, a wind that cuts one like a knife, that pene-
trates through the thickest plaid, and seems to freeze the
very marrow in one's bones; a wind, too, that is more than
a wind, for it is everywhere filled with clouds of whirling


snow-snow in which every flake is reduced to icy powder,
snow that is falling from clouds which are so low to the
earth that a shepherd might stir them with his crook, snow
whirled from off the forest trees and the bushes, snow
caught up from the ground, snow that blinds you, that
chokes your breath away, as if a cold snake were round
your throat; snow that stupefies you till you totter and fall
and have no wish to rise again, only to go to sleep, and
wake-no more."
"Who is the hard now? Aha! Colin, you only need a
harp and long white hair. But, come, you give me hope-
the snow will soon be here."
Olaf picked up a long piece of wood as he spoke and laid
it on the bench. It was the stem of a birch tree.
Olaf struck it critically with a little hammer.
"Is it well seasoned?" he inquired.
"Fairly well seasoned and tough."
"Ah! that is it. Good!"
"But what are you going to make? A boat model?"
asked Colin.
"Oh, no, a ski (pronounced she).
"A she? What on earth is a she?"
"'Tis a kind of snow-shoe or snow-skate on which you
and I-for I shall teach you the mysteries and delights of
".':. ., and you shall love it as much as I-will make
many expeditions on the hills and valleys of your beautiful
"Well, go on; I am all attention. You have excited my
"Oh, but I am not going to talk, I am going to work.
Luckily you have all kinds of good tools here. I shall soon
make my skier" (she-er).1
"Whatever a man dares he can do," said Colin.
"You have plenty more wood?"
"Plenty of oak. Not much more seasoned birch.'
The birch-wood, which Olaf had already begun to mani-
pulate, was at once thrown down.
"Well," he cried, "produce it. The work will be harder,
1A pair of ski.


but the ski will be the better, though, for my own part, I
love the birch with very thin slips of iron underneath to
make the ski glide still more easily."
Colin soon produced the oak.
"Well," he said as he did so, "you will soon make me a
Norwegian altogether. I believe you have already taught
me so much of your language-so very like broad Scotch it
is-that I want to get away over to your wild land to air
"You shall have plenty of opportunities. We have only
to wait a little. But first you must be a good skilbber."
"She-lover No, Olaf, I don't care a bit for girls. They
are all right indoors, but on the hills or in the forest they
are a drag. I would rather have a good dog any day."
"Ah! you joke. A skilaber is one who runs or glides on
snow-shoes. And-but I am talking and trifling."
Olaf now set himself seriously to work to make his
Much though I should like to tell you how he made,
fashioned, or formed them, I fear that any attempt to do so
in words or on paper would only end in failure. Yet so
delightful is the exercise obtainable by means of these skier
that I would like very much to hear of their being intro-
duced into this country as a means of winter sport.
In England, even, there is usually a considerable deal of
snow in the season, and in Scotland always. Skilbbning
is not so very difficult to learn after all. In the country
districts of Norway the children as soon as they are able to
toddle learn the art of ...-:,.' : but Nansen tells us of a
party of rustics who arrived in a town in Norway, the
inhabitants of which had hardly ever seen a ski. These men
gave many displays of their skill, and the sport "caught
on", as the Yankees say. Well, .'. i..i became so fash-
ionable that boys and girls, men and women took to it, and
became so proficient that in a year's time-I think it was a
year-they challenged and beat the very team that had first
introduced the sport to them.
I shall not be in the least surprised if, therefore, in a few
years' time, skildbning becomes fashionable in this country,


which, if not the cradle-land of all healthful outdoor games
and exercises, is at least their nursery or home.
There are several varieties of skier used in Norway.
The ski I figure here videe fig. 1) is a plan of that used by
Nansen in his first crossing of Greenland. It is not precisely
the same as that made by Olaf with Colin's slight assistance,
but it will give the reader a very fair notion of the general for-
mation of a good oak ski capable of sustaining plenty of work.
Each ski, then, was about seven and a half feet long and
nearly four inches broad, just a trifle broader in front than
right under foot or behind. You will note that on the upper
A b

surface a kind of ridge runs right along from stem to stern.-
This gives strength and a certain amount of rigidity. I have
not figured the under surface of the ski, but I should tell
you that it is not perfectly plain, but has three tiny grooves,
the centre one under the ridge, then one at each side.
These grooves are not more than about I of an inch wide
and very shallow. At A in fig. 1 you see the leather band
into which the foot fits, and the strap and buckle-B-
better seen in fig. 2, which goes round the heel of the boot
and keeps the foot in position.
The heel-strap may be of softish leather, or it may be
made of cane or withy-work.
This description of the Norway snow-shoe, I admit, is but
a meagre one, and I confess also that it is written or given
somewhat half-heartedly, because I am impressed with the
belief that no youth, unless he has a pattern, will be able
to make a good ski for himself.
But Olaf Ranna could have made a ski blindfolded, and
indeed many blind men in Norway do make these snow-


shoes, and make them well too, just as in this country blind
people make baskets.
Olaf, however, believed that nothing could be done well
in a hurry, so that he took great pains in the cutting out of
his skier. When at work he was wholly engrossed, and
Colin could hardly get a word out of him, so that he had
often to fall back upon the dogs for amusement. They were
always ready for a romp.
After Olaf had finished one pair of shoes, he handed them
over to Colin, to be nicely smoothed, oiled, and polished.
Elbow-grease and oil are two fine things to perfect either a
bat or a snow-shoe.
A whole week passed away. It was now nearly the middle
of November, but winter, real winter, had not yet arrived.
Then came a new moon. I am not going to say that the
new moon brought clear weather or a change of wind. But,
nevertheless, one night a scimitar of a moon hung over the
hills in the west, in a sky as clear and pure as one could
wish it, while the little wind there was blew from the nor'-
nor'-west. There were mountain-like clouds-called cumulus
by scientists-lying along the horizon. They were snow-
white, and old Elspet, who was a reputed witch as far as
the weather was concerned, asserted boldly that there would
soon be frost and snow, and neither bite nor blade for bird
or sheep.
Ever and anon one of those clouds would start on a voyage
of adventure, apparently with the intention of blotting out
the moon; but small though the moon was, it made short
work with these clouds.
Meanwhile the glass went down, and next day the Laird
gave orders that the sheep should be driven up from the
haughs' and brought near to the home farm, where they
could have turnips to eat, and so be able to defy the worst
that might come.
Olaf's skier were finished, and no boy ever looked more
pleased than he. Only his face grew gloomy again when he
looked at the hills, and wondered when the snow would fall.
"We have only to wait a wee," said Colin, smiling at hiF
1 The low lands adjoining the river.


friend's impatience. "Elspet is wondrously weather-wise,
and says it is coming-and soon too."
Elspet was right. It seemed as though the clerk of the
weather had only been waiting until Olaf had finished his
skier to treat the country to a downfall.
The snow-storm, however, was not of long duration; nor
did it blow and drift much, except away up among the higher
reaches of the mountains, where there is nearly always a
breeze even while it is perfectly calm in the straths and
glens below.

"Now for the rejoicement!" cried Olaf, who, it must be
confessed, made use of some strange words and expressions
when in any way excited. "Now for the rejoicement!"
There was little to be done, however, for on the first and
second days the snow was altogether too fine. Moreover,
the snow fell so fast that it was impossible for Olaf, although
he put on the skier, to see where he was skidding to. Colin
did not venture to put on his. But he ran out with his
friend. He kept alongside for some time on level road, for
Colin was somewhat of an athlete.
By and by, however, they came to a down-hill or inclined
plane, and Olaf shot ahead in a way that certainly was
somewhat foolhardy, considering that he was in an unknown
Colin followed on in his trail, a double trail it was for
fully half a mile, and then, lo and behold, the trail sud-
denly disappeared! It disappeared, to Colin's horror, close
to the brink of an ugly precipice. Well, Olaf had often told
him that skilbbers in his country thought nothing of leaping
over considerable embankments, and alighting safe and sound
in the snow beneath. But surely his friend would not be
mad enough to venture a leap over a precipice of unknown
height. No. The probability was that he had met with an
Colin shouted again and again. There was no response,
and then his heart began to beat high with fear.
Once again he shouted. Then listened. And this time
from up the valley, faint and far, there sounded a kind of echo.


"Olaf! 0-0-0-la-f!" cried Colin again and again,
prolonging the first letter and raising the last syllable to the
highest key he could compass.
"Coo-ee-!" came back through the blinding snow-mist,
for the flakes were falling faster than ever.
In about five minutes' time a collie dog ran up to him, his
coat so full of snow that he looked like a little white bear.
Then, leaning heavily on his tall crook, a man appeared,
rolled and muffled in a Highland plaid of the M'Ivor tartan.
"0 Duncan, is it you?"
"It's shuist her nainsel' and nopoddy else, Maister Colin."
"Was it you who shouted in reply to me?"
"Shuist my nainsel' and nopoddy else."
"0, Duncan, I'm all in a lather of perspiration with per-
fect fear. Look, Duncan, at these marks. My dear friend
Olaf was trying the snow-shoes, and has gone over the
precipice. He is down there now, Duncan, down there-
dead, else he would have answered."
"Pooh!" said Duncan; "what for should ye be after
making' the big baby of yourself ? Duncan will shuist dig
the laddie oot. Och! many and many is the sheepie she
has dug oot afore noo. Come, Colin, else indeed, indeed it
is smotherin' in earnest the bit of a boy may be."
"Wowff? wowffl" barked Collie inquiringly.
A dog can express quite a deal even by means of a bark,
and if that "wowff" did not say to the shepherd, "Any-
thing I can do, good master?"-then I have never heard a
dog talk.
Duncan addressed him in a few words of Gaelic, that
most expressive of all European languages, at the same time
pointing first to the ski marks, then over the precipice.
The dog snuffed for a moment at the latter.
"Wowff!" he barked again, throwing back his head, as
much as to say, "I have it, and now I'm off."
And off he ran, Duncan and Colin following.
In a very short time they were both down the hill to the
left, and, following the dog's track, soon found themselves
at the foot of the precipice. It was forty feet high at the
very least, but luckily it was clean cut. Had there been on


it any projecting ledges, ten to one Olaf would have been
dashed to pieces.
They found the dog hard at work tearing up the snow with
his fore-paws and giving many a little whining bark, which
told plainly that he was on the right scent. And so he was.
Duncan and Colin both now helped him to drag away the
snow. Ere long they found something hard and dark stick-
ing up.
"It is the sci," cried Colin, working faster than ever.
And now they have reached the body and drag it out.
Drag it out ? Have they found a corpse, then ? How cold
Olaf is! How pale the face and blue the lips, and no pulse can
be felt at the wrist!



ODO you think he is dead, Duncan?"
I wouldn't wonder at all, at all, whatever. But, bless
you, Maister Colin, many is the sheepie I've brought to life
afore now."
As he spoke Duncan was by no means idle. He had
divested himself not only of his big warm plaid, but of his
thick coat as well. It had luckily ceased for a while to
snow. Then on this comfortable, extempore bed Olaf was
laid; the skier were taken off, then the boots and stockings;
and while the shepherd applied vigorous friction with snow
Sto feet and legs, Colin did the same as regards hands and
For a time there were no signs of life. Then there was a
slight sigh.
"She is no dead yet," cried Duncan joyfully.
"Wowff, wowff!" barked Collie, and began to apply his
warm tongue vigorously to the lad's cold cheek and ears.
Then Olaf gasped, and presently his eyes opened.
"May the Lord's name be praised cried Duncan.


This he well might say, for Olaf now sat up and smiled.
Duncan had placed the stockings in his own bosom to
keep them warm, and he now drew them on.
Shuist a wee thochtie o' a dram now," said Duncan. He
pulled out a flask of whisky and applied it to Olaf's lips.
"No, no," said the boy. "I am a Good Templar, and I
Shure if it was fifty Templars rolled into ono you was,
you would have to take it, my lad. Shuist if you'll not be
takin' it I'll throw it in your face. Her nainsel' is your
doctor, and the dram is the medicine evermore."
Then Olaf drank several mouthfuls.
In about a quarter of an hour he was able to walk.
But he did not put on the skier again that day. He con-
fessed to feeling a little stiff the same evening at dinner,
and Grant M'Ivor said it was no wonder; that if he must
practise leaping over cliffs, a forty-feet jump was somewhat
risky for the first day's practice.
Next morning Olaf was stiffer than before. But the snow
still fell. So far as .'. .'; -j was concerned he lost but little.
Early that evening the sky cleared, and at sunset near
the horizon it was of a deep sea-green, merging into pale
blue above. In that sea-green sky the evening star shone
with a refulgence that the strange colour around it rendered
ineffably sweet. There was not a breath of wind, nor was
there next day.
Olaf's cure for his stiffness-a cure suggested by Colin
himself--was one that some of my readers may think
strange, but after a hard day's sport or walking, I can assure
them it often acts like a charm. Old Elspet brought up a
pailful of snow, and this was placed in his bath. Then Olaf
plied the big sponge with vigour, and after rubbing hard
for many minutes with rough towels, a little oil was well
worked into limbs and joints.
No Viking ever ate a heartier breakfast than did Colin
and Olaf that morning, and just as they were leaving to try
their skier, the laird laughingly threw a word of warning
after them with regard to the height of the cliffs they might
come across--and go flying over.


And now these two young heroes of ours were to be
toward each other in the position of teacher and pupil-Olaf
the former, Colin the latter. The snow was in famous con-
dition for practice. Newly-fallen snow is not appreciated
by the skilaber, nor is soft, thawing snow. But the sun of
last evening had just sufficed to melt the finer snow-crystals
and pack the flakes, then the frost that followed had hardened
the surface.
Olaf put on, or got aboard of, his skier at once. Colin
refused to, on the plea that he felt sure he would make a
fool of himself to begin with, and he would rather be in
some place where the servants would not see him. So he
took his skier on his back.
Olaf skied along the road, and Colin trotted beside him
with the deerhounds and a Scotch terrier, Keltie by name,
who thought Olaf no end of a joke. Then they left the
beaten track and descended to the haughs by the river.
Here was splendid ground for amateur practice, and Olaf
helped Colin to buckle up.
How do you feel?" said the former, for Colin was stand-
ing swaying about a little, and looking in anything but a
very decided frame of mind.
"Feel?" he replied, smiling faintly, "I feel as if I were a
barn-door fowl going to market with my feet tied."
"Well, that feeling will wear off in time. You don't
feel at present, I suppose, that you could dance your Ghillie
Callum or the Highland fling with these things on your
"Not with any satisfaction to myself, Olaf, or the on-
lookers, I fear."
"Well, now, we are ready to skid. Are you ready?"
"I daresay I am," said Colin disconsolately; "but I am
thinking of the little bear when its mother put it down and
told it to walk."
"Yes, I remember, and the mother never told it how to,
but I am going to show you. Look at me now."
"I'm looking at you."
"Well, don't look so grief-ful. You are not going to be
hanged, or done anything disagreeable with. Behold! I
(988) E


forge ahead a little way. It is level ground. Do I hop ?
Not much. I know better. Do I lift my feet at all I do
not. I but shuffle or slide along. See?"
"Yes. It is very pretty, and looks easy."
"Now, for a time, the inclination to lift your feet from
the ground will be very great, but you must keep it down,
and keep down your toes also. You hold your pole in your
right hand, as you have it now. You will find various uses
for this. But of this more anon, as books say. The pole
may help you in going uphill or on level ground, and it
may keep you from falling while going downhill. I like
a long one, and I have made both ours long.
"With your toes you steer the ski, as it were. Here
on the level ground you observe my skier are kept parallel
with each other, and my body as well balanced and erect as
possible, though I may lean a little forward. I could not
progress so well on level ground if I lifted my feet, besides
the snow would stick to the skier, and that would retard my
advancement. You follow me, Colin?"
"You mean I am to move on after you?"
"No, follow me mentally for the present. Then we will
endeavour to reduce the lesson to practice. The stroke, if
I may so call it, is given with the hips and thighs. So-and
so. You observe how I move? Now the snow to-day being
in such fine condition, I will show you what can be done in
the way of speed. You will wait a little, won't you?"
O," cried Colin, I feel as if I could willingly wait here
all day long. I kind of dread the future."
But Olaf was nearly out of hearing before he had finished
speaking. It was beautiful. Colin envied him, as a tortoise
might envy the flight of a sand-martin. Presently the young
Norse lad was back again. He did not stop though, but
went easily flying past. However, he soon returned and
pulled up.
"At what rate were you moving just now?" said Colin.
"About ten miles an hour or nearly."
"And is that the fastest?"
"0 no; going downhill we may do twenty-five or even
thirty miles an hour. But going uphill it is simply a walk,


and sometimes a hard one it is. Well, once more, are you
ready ?"
"I am resigned," said Colin, with a sigh.
"Come on, then."
Colin came on. But, 0 dear! he came on in a very lame
fashion indeed. His legs would lift, and his body would
keep swaying about in the most ungainly fashion, while every
now and then he felt sure he had dislocated both his ankles.
"You are doing beautiful! You are getting on lovelily."
Just as Olaf delivered himself of that new adverb
"lovelily", one of Colin's skier came over a hillock or some-
thing, he threw out his pole to stick it in somewhere, any-
where, and next moment he made a hole in the snow, legs
and skier waving helplessly in the frosty air.
Olaf only laughed.
"Looking back at you," he said, "you put me in mind of
the child's illustrated alphabet."
"And what letter did I illustrate "
"Well, with your legs and skier you made a first-rate
capital letter 'W'."
However, he helped his friend up, and the lesson went on.
And in less than two hours Colin really began to master
the rudiments of skilbbning.
"I feel more hopeful now," he said.
"I believe," cried Olaf encouragingly, "it will be that
you shall beat your teacher soon."
Well, nearly all that day, off and on, Colin continued his
practising on the level. By sundown he was so tired that
he could hardly walk home. He felt now as if he had been
broken on the wheel, so he said.
"My ankles, anyhow, are both out of joint. I'm sure my
big toe is swollen to five times its usual size, and as to my
heels, I know they are just like a couple of frosted turnips."
Well, they were not so bad as that altogether, but Elspet
became his doctor. He had a warm bath, and went to bed
early, and next morning, after the snow-water bath, he told
Olaf he felt as "caller" as a trout, and as strong as a colt.
By the fourth day all tiredness had vanished, and he be-
came almost an expert on the level ground.


Olaf now initiated him into the mysteries of hill-climbing,
and here he was allowed to lift his feet somewhat, because
the balling of the bottom of the ski with snow tended to
prevent its slipping back down hill.
He was also taught to throw the skier outwards instead
of keeping them parallel, and to advance one in front of the
other. Then his pole came in handy here. But in spite of
all precautions, Colin managed to spill himself most effectu-
ally many times on this never-to-be-forgotten day, and many
times he succeeded in illustrating the big "W".
Somehow the heels of the skier got overlapped now and
then, after which there was a catastrophe.
"I am determined, though," said his teacher, "that you
shall be accomplished in hill-climbing. But," he added,
" you may walk up sideways sometimes like a crab,
Olaf gave him an illustration of the method, and Colin
once more grew more hopeful. And to his credit be it told,
that he stuck to his lessons so well that in about a week's
time he could manage the skier pretty fairly either uphill
or downhill.
But he, as yet, ventured on no such terrible downhill
flights as did Olaf, whose progress down a steep declivity
was sometimes astonishing, and quite took Colin's breath
away. When the incline was extra long, and the angle
acute, Olaf would ease matters by putting his pole between
his legs, as children make a horse of a long stick, and riding
it down. This checked in some measure the headlong speed
of the skier.
It is needless to say that Colin "spilt" himself a great
many more times in learning downhill work than in climb-
ing. But he possessed the bold heart of the mountaineer;
in his veins ran the best blood of the fighting clan M'Ivor,
and he was not to be daunted by any number of mishaps.
And so by the middle of December Olaf's pupil was almost
fit for any kind of ski work.
Snow had fallen several times since the first slight storm,
so that there were plenty of opportunities for practising.
The only branch of skilibning that Colin had not as yet


gone in for was leaping over precipices. Of this, I must
confess, he felt rather shy, and no wonder, when he remem-
bered his friend Olaf's fearful leap. This certainly had been
an involuntary flight, but it had nearly ended in death.
Might not a leap of less altitude result in a broken leg?

Shortly before Christmas a heavy fall of snow set in, and
this was general all over, not only in the Highlands of Aber-
deenshire, but in Inverness-shire as well.
Christmas day was bright and clear, and the wind had
gone round to the south, bringing up therefrom light fleecy
clouds that boded a thaw. This was just what Colin and
Olaf did not want, so they went somewhat timidly to consult
old Elspet.
"There'll be nae1 thaw o' ony signeeficance, my laddies,"
said the weather-witch.
"But how can you tell, Elspet?"
"By my jints and taes. I've had the rheumatics in my
taes for forty years and mair, and they just ache awfu' afore
a thaw comes. Speir at auld Murdoch, and he'll tell ye the
same, my bonnie bairns."
And once again Elspet sustained her reputation of being
a witch as to the weather, for back again into the north
went the wind, only it scarcely blew at all. The sunset
skies were a frosty green, and the night beautiful beyond
measure with bright shining stars and a pearly moon.
Never had the snow been in better condition for skilbb-
ning, so Olaf informed his friend Colin, and that night (the
twenty-seventh of December), the two cronies put their heads
together, and prepared for a long-projected expedition right
across the mountains to Inverness.
Neither Colin's uncle nor his aunt made any objection.
"If I were a hundred years younger," said the Laird
laughing, "and could skid along on those laths, I'd go with
you myself, my lads. Only," he added, "'ware the cliffs.
Mind that our mountains are for the most part higher than
even yours, Olaf."
1 In all Scotch words ending in ae, as "nae", "hae", "brae", &c., the vowels
are pronounced almost like "ay" in "hay".


When our young heroes started upon this adventurous
journey-which was to fit and prepare them, though they
knew it not, for a far longer and ten times more perilous
one-they had no idea how long it would take them, because
they could not tell how many hours the snow might retain
its present condition. This, however, only lent an additional
spice of danger and doubt to the undertaking, and therefore
an extra charm.
They did not trouble with much of an outfit, nor did they
take more than one day's provisions in their haversacks.
They wore strong boots and knickerbockers, Glengarry
bonnets, and plaids worn shepherd-fashion-I ought to say
lowland shepherd-fashion-that is, plaited across the back,
and with the two ends hanging down in front and tucked
under the portion of the plaid going round the waist.
Worn thus, it would protect the most vulnerable portions of
the body against the keenest winds that could blow, and it
would not be any hindrance to work and progress. In a
waterproof satchel they also took a change of underclothing,
and an extra pair of strong stockings.
The morning of the twenty-eighth was beautiful beyond
description. Not a breath of wind to stir even a snow-
flake in the forest, a blue sky above, and sunshine that, but
for the hard frost-for the mercury got down within a few
degrees of zero-would have been hot.
Old Elspet gave them her blessing, and said, "The Lord
be wi' ye, my bonnie bairns!" The Laird gave them a purse,
and Aunt M'Ivor gave each a kiss as she bade them "good-
bye". But old Duncan, the shepherd, met them at the end
of the wooded avenue. He doffed his cap, and then addressed
them as follows:
"Ye'll shuist be after taking Ghillie wi' ye for safety,
laddies "
Ghillie was the collie dog who had excavated Olaf when
he fell over the cliff
"The bit doggie," he went on, "is wiser far, sure enough,
than mony a Christian pody. He'll be a comfort to ye, and
if you'll pe lost at all, sure the collie will pe after finding
ye again, whatever."


Both boys shook Duncan by the hand, and thanked him,
gladly accepting the dog's company.
"Wowff, wowff!" barked Ghillie. This sounded like a
good-bye salute to his master.
Then off they started. They kept the highway for several
miles. This afforded fairly good skilabning, for although it
had been traversed by sleighs innumerable, wheels had not
been on it for many a day. But they soon found it neces-
sary to desert the highway, and to take as straight a course
as possible westwards.
Now, a journey like that which our heroes have just
commenced is like none other that I know of. There is
assuredly a deal of romance about it, but there is a good
deal of uncertainty about it also, to say nothing of the
hazard or danger. By the aid of maps alone they have to
traverse one of the wildest regions in Europe, hills and
moorlands deeply buried in snow, frozen lochs innumerable;
frozen streams too. Ay, the very cataracts themselves, that
in the sweet summer-time, or in autumn when the heather
is all in crimson bloom, roar over the lofty cliffs or slip down
the braes like cords of frosted silver, would now be locked
in the firm grip of winter, and scarcely perceptible amidst
the snows that flanked them.
They have to skid across endless mosses and plains, where
path there is none; through forests seldom trodden at this
bleak season of the year by foot of man, the home of the red
deer, the hawk, the eagle, and the great owl; and they have
to skirt mountains whose lofty, jagged summits pierce the
sky nearly a mile above the level of the sea. A country,
too, so sparsely inhabited that one may travel a whole day
sometimes and not meet a human being nor see a hut or a
Ah! what a glorious thing is youth. Olaf and Colin
skid along as brimful of happiness and joy as the laverocks
that fan the snow-white clouds in spring-time, and as heed-
less of dangers to come as was honest Ghillie, the collie, who
runs joyfully by their side.
They crossed over the brow of a well-wooded hill by mid-
day, and descended carefully to a glen beneath. The brae


they were now on was somewhat steep. Both Colin and
Olaf would gladly have shot away at breakneck speed, but
they knew not the ground. Besides, there were trees on
each side, and at any moment they might reach the brink
of an unseen precipice and shoot over into-into eternity.
But they came to the edge of the pine wood at last, and
could now see a long distance down the valley or glen.
Smoke was rising from a little farm-house on the opposite
side. This they determined to reach, and, if possible, pur-
chase a little milk to wash down their dinner withal.
In less than an hour they stood at the door of the house
or cottage. There was a considerable air of comfort about
the place. The door was in front with a window on each
side, and the house could boast of chimneys also. The hus-
bandman himself came to the door, to welcome the strangers
in, and both he and his sonsy wife and brawny children
examined the skier with much interest and not a little
The man preferred to talk in Gaelic, so that the con-
versation, with the exception of some sentences that Colin
translated, was entirely lost upon Olaf. But none the less
did he make a hearty meal. The crofter would not permit
them to use the luncheon they had brought in their satchels.
His wife produced a trayful of beautiful, crisp, white oat-
cakes, a plateful of delicious butter, a kebbuck' of her own
manufacture, and two immense basins of rich and creamy
Money? Did they want to insult him? Did they not
remember what the Good Book said, "Be not forgetful to
entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels un-
Nor had Ghillie been forgotten. Oat-cake was broken
up for him in a basin of warm milk, and he made a hearty
meal; then, by way of thanks, he licked the bairnie's cheek
who had fed him.
After resting and chatting for a time, and telling these
humble folks,-who never in all their lives had been ten
miles beyond their own glen,-many of the wonders of the
1Big cheese.


outside world, our heroes got up, resumed their plaids and
skier, and prepared to renew the journey.
The crofter said, before they set out, that if they would
only stop all night they would be right welcome. They
should have the best bed, and he and his wife would make
shift on the floor. They declined the offer with many
thanks. The kindly fellow, however, could not give them
very much information concerning their route. It was a
wild, wild country, that was all he could say, and he hoped
the Lord would be around them and protect them from
every danger.
So with this blessing ringing in their ears they took their
They soon crossed another hill, which led them to the
edge of a narrow defile, in the centre of which was a little
loch and a stream, both grimly locked in frost. So steep
was the declivity that they did not venture to ski down, and
it was fully half an hour before they found themselves at
the bottom. It was, indeed, what would have been called a
" canon" in the Rocky Mountains or in California. It was
entirely uninhabited; and rose steadily towards a table-land
in the north-west.
That was a long and a weary climb, and both our heroes
were somewhat tired before they reached the table-land
above, which they did just as the sun was sinking low
behind the south-western hills. The scene that now pre-
sented itself to their view was one of the wildest desola-
tion. No doubt "wildest grandeur" would be the proper
words to use were the time summer or autumn, for the
moorland would then be covered green or crimson, the tufted
snow-white toad-tails would be waving in the breeze, and
many a sweet little floweret would be nodding over the
pools and ponds. Had it been the gentle spring-time, they
would have heard the grouse and the ptarmigan calling to
their mates; the linnet singing plaintively on the stunted
but fragrant myrtle; the mountain laverock singing high
against the clouds, and the voice of the mire-snipe or "goat
of the air" laughing or whinnying as it flew swiftly over-
head; they would have seen the lambs frisking with their


dams, and as they neared the brown rushy pools they would
have startled the whirring wild-duck and the timid coot.
But now, in the dead of winter, all was bleak and desolate,
and a silence reigned all around, almost as awesome as the
silence of Space itself.
The moor was many miles in extent, and round about it
rose the everlasting hills and mountains. Yonder, indeed,
his gigantic summit tipped with the tenderest tints of the
rose, casting shadows grey and blue, shot high in air that
mighty monarch of mountains Ben Macdhui itself, and
many others of but little less importance. Indeed, it was
hill piled on hill, mountain rising over mountain all around
-a glorious and indescribable picture indeed.
But our heroes were only human after all, and though they
stopped for a short time to rest and gaze about them,
impressed and even awed by the majesty of God's great
works, nature soon began to assert itself; they felt not only
cold, but just a little hungry.
On they must press therefore, for though the twilight is
long in these regions, it is not indefinite, and they knew
not where they were to sleep.
It was very easy work on the hard surface of the snow, and
across ground that was almost level. This moor was quite
level in the centre indeed, for here was a loch. A deep dark
loch; so deep was it that'shepherds believed it bottomless;
there were, moreover, ugly stories and superstitions con-
nected with this Loch Dhui. A dreadful water-kelpie dwelt
in the black depths of the lake, in under the banks in a
fearsome cave, and his pastime used to be, whenever chance
threw it in his way, to drag in and drown the unwary and
belated traveller, and then pick his bones. The moor itself
was haunted by tiny sprites, who showed a light before the
human wanderer, until they succeeded in luring him into a
morass. As soon as he began to sink in the quagmire,
those terrible bogies used to form a circle and dance madly
round him, laughing and shrieking meanwhile in the most
eldritch way. This was but a signal to the water-kelpie,
telling him that his supper was ready, then the awful spirit
would come striding over the moor. As tall as two men


was he, with fearful claws on feet and hands, and wings
like a bat's between. Then he would seize the shrieking
traveller, drag him forth from the quagmire, and bear him
away to the darksome loch.
Often and often shepherds have heard the terrible shriek-
ing, the eldritch, unholy laughter of the brownies, and the
sullen plash as the kelpie sank with his victim in the loch.
But our heroes were all unconscious of these dark doings,
and unconscious indeed that they were skiltbning over the
They reached the end of the moorland at last. And now
the country seemed to get wilder and wilder, though some-
what lower, and though stunted patches of pine-forest
leaned here and there upon the mountains' sides. But the
rose tints had fled from the brow of the lofty Ben, one star
was already out, so night came on apace, yet there was no
sign of either house or habitation.
They were tired indeed, for the day's journey had been
long and toilsome.
Where should they sleep?



W HERE should they sleep? That was the burning
question, if anything could be called burning in frost
and cold so bitter as that which now gathered around the
hills and glens. Where should they sleep? Well, if they
had asked the question loud enough, Echo would have
answered. But the answer would have.been far from satis-
There are no huts or houses," said Colin, "and we can't
go on much longer. I fear we'll have to creep under a stone
and curl up in our plaids."


"Well, it isn't likely to snow to-night," said Olaf, "and
so we needn't fear being buried alive."
As they spoke they were descending an incline as speedily
as the uncertain light, and the uncertainty of what might
be before them in the shape of cliffs, allowed. Soon they
found themselves at the foot of a steep precipice, and the
entrance to a kind of cave formed by snow-laden branches
of trees.
"This will do," said Olaf. "We will sleep under these
trees, as I have often done before. Snow is wondersome warm."
"Very well," said Colin, bending down to undo his skier
straps. "Let us leave our boots at the bed-room door for
the servant in the morning."
When he looked up Olaf was gone.
"Where are you, old man?" he shouted.
And a muffled voice replied:
"Come here, Colin, come here."
Colin followed, and soon found himself inside a real cave,
the entrance to which it seemed that Ghillie had found. It
was not dark, for Olaf, after striking a match, had found
a fir candle ",1 and, lighting it, held it like a torch above his
"Olaf, we're in luck. Let's explore."
The outside cave was a mere passage compared to the
immense chamber they presently found themselves in.
"Some shepherd's habitation, no doubt," said Colin.
"Well, it is lucky we found it. And here is a big train-oil
lamp. Light it, Olaf, and put down your fir candle."
The lamp once lit, they could see better around them.
There was a hearth on which a fire of wood and peat had
recently burned. Colin stirred up the ashes and found red
embers underneath, so he soon had a splendid fire. Ghillie
curled himself up in front of it after shaking the snow from
his coat.
Instead of distributing itself all throughout the vault-like
chamber, the smoke was sucked up a wide flue and went
the boys knew not whither. Nor did they care. All they
1 Huge pieces of old fir are found in the mosses and morasses that have lain
there for ages and ages. They are split up and used as candles by the peasantry
of the north. This fir is very full of "oil".


did know was, that they were exceedingly snug, so they
sat down on some boxes and prepared to eat their supper,
sharing it with Ghillie.
In one corner was a bed of dried ferns, raised on a wooden
trestle about a foot and a half above the ground, which the
boys determined to make use of. They found a pailful of
water and a tin pannikin. After smashing the ice they had
a hearty drink. They filled a basin and gave Ghillie a drink
next. Then arranging the fire, so that it should not die
down quite, they both knelt and said their prayers.
In a short time they were sound enough asleep.
The evening-for it was not late-wore away, the fire
burned lower and lower. But the boys slept on. It must
have been about one o'clock, when they both sprang sud-
denly up. They had been awakened by Ghillie's loud and
fierce barking.
A tall and stalwart Highlander, plaided but not kilted,
stood in the entrance. There was just light enough to see
his figure, as well as the faces of two others who peeped
round his shoulders.
"Down, dog, down!" shouted the man in Gaelic, "or I'll
put a bullet through the brains of you."
"Who is here he continued in English. "Look you,
now. I'm seeing the two of you on the bed in the corner.
But there's four of us, and there is more coming Now,
Messrs. Excisemen, it's you that's our prisoners. Make but
a single movement, and as sure as the gor-cock craws on the
top of Ben Tilt, you'll never see the morning light, and your
nearest and dearest will never find out where the bones of
you are buried."
As the giant spoke, the boys could see that in his right
hand he held a revolver, while in his left gleamed a very
murderous-looking dirk.
Both lads were frightened enough.
Perhaps it was Colin who first regained his self-possession.
He shouted to Ghillie to keep quiet, then he stood up.
You will see," he said; when I stir up the fire and light
the lamp, how far you're mistaken. We are not excisemen,
only boys on a tour."


"Spies, then ?"
Colin made up the fire and lit the lamp. Not coolly cer-
tainly, but he did it. Then he confronted the men, who
had now crowded into the cave. It took some time to
convince them, however. But the boys told the plain,
unvarnished truth, and were believed at last.
It was no other than a smugglers' den into which they
had unwittingly wandered.1 But they were nevertheless
treated with kindness.
Evidently, however, the men had come here to-night
intent on business. For many more arrived, and from an
inner cave or recess small cask after small cask was taken
out, just enough for one man to carry. These were mounted
on the shoulders of the sturdy fellows, and they went
silently away with them.
The interior of a smugglers' cave, when the owners are
there, is generally described by ranting writers as a scene of
revelry and wild orgy. On the contrary, it is more often
than not, remarkable for order and quiet. These men
to-night,-though, had they confronted real excisemen or the
police, they were prepared to fight,-looked more like sheep-
farmers or crofters than the smuggler of your "penny-
dreadful" and two-penny-halfpenny theatres.
"Boys, you'll lie down and sleep," said the giant after a
time. "I suppose you won't have a drop o' the crayture?
Well, you're better without. Sleep, you're as safe as if you
were in the arms of the mothers that bore ye."
It was still early in the morning when the lads were once
more aroused by someone shaking them by the shoulders.
The giant towered above them smiling.
There was a roaring fire on the hearth, and three men sat
near it eating a hearty breakfast of porridge and milk.
Colin and Olaf were by no means loth to join them.
Then the giant stood up.
"Are you ready he said. "Very goot. No harm is
goin' to happen you. You needn't put on your skates;
you'll have to walk a mile or two. Donald, tie up their eyes."
1 There are, even yet, very many such places hidden among the Highland hills,
especially in the more central districts, and towards the west coast.


The lads submitted quietly, after putting on their plaids,
and taking their skier under their arms.
"Good-day, lads, and the Lord be wi' ye!"
I have yet to learn the value of a smuggler's prayer or
blessing, but it was given heartily enough anyhow.
Two men accompanied our heroes, and, judging by the
very long time they were kept blindfolded, they must have
been conducted seven miles at least from the cave that had
afforded them shelter.
Then they were allowed sight and freedom.
It was barely daylight even yet; but they stood on a road
that led through a wood near to a roaring waterfall and
"Which is our way said Colin.
"The sun rises yonder, and you're about five-and-thirty
miles from Struan."
This was spoken in Gaelic, the only language these men
understood. Then they said Good-day", and immediately
disappeared in the wood.
"Beautiful!" cried Olaf, "O, Colin, the romancesomeness
of it!"
"Yes," said Colin; "it is very romantic, but I fear we
have come considerably out of our way, and gone farther
south than we required to."
"Never mind. The longer the road, the more the adven-
Olaf consulted the map. Struan, or a part of it, lay some-
where on the great highway twixtt Perth and Inverness
across the Grampians. They must try to strike this road
They now got their skier on once more, and set out along
the road or path, for at times it seemed little more than a
mere sheep-track. But, as far as they could judge, it was
leading them directly south. It was exceedingly toilsome
too, and the whole forenoon passed away without their
having made very much progress.
About one o'clock, after they had dined in a frugal way,
eating snow after their repast, as they could find no water;
they came to a very tall boarded and wired fence, inside of


which was a wide expanse of beautiful spruce trees, their
branches all leaning earthwards with their burdens of
The road was then taking a bend quite to the east, as far
as they could judge.
"Bother!" cried Colin at last. "Why, Olaf, we're going
back home again. Come, let us get over the fence, and go
directly through the forest."
"But won't that be trespassing?"
"Yes, but we must chance it. Come."
It was not without considerable difficulty, not to talk of
torn garments, that they succeeded at last in mounting the
If this," said Colin, when they had once again started,
making more or less of a bee-line towards the west, or what
they took to be the west; "if this be one of the great High-
land forests, Olaf, it is under a tree we will have to sleep
Olaf laughed lightly. Nothing, it seemed, caused that
lad's spirits to sink to zero. So, on all the afternoon they
skidded through the forest, up hill and down dell, on and
on and on. But never a house nor signs of human habitation
did they come near.
They were making very fair progress, however, consider-
ing the wildness of the forest. The English reader may be
pardoned for thinking that they were all the while passing
through a woodland on a comparative level. It was quite
the reverse. In this great forest, which could hide the largest
in England in one corner of it, are streams and lakes and
waterfalls, lordly pine woods, lonely, bleak, bare moorlands,
on whose herbage the wild deer in herds do browse in
summer, and tall mountains raising their lofty summits till
they pierce the highest clouds.
In imagining that they could make a bee-line through a
forest so wild as this, the boys were greatly mistaken.
The days are very long in summer time in the northern
part of Scotland, but very short in winter, for then before
four o'clock darkness begins if the sky is cloudy.
Colin and Olaf were descending a hill towards a wooded


ravine, in which they hoped to find shelter for the night.
They were nearly at the bottom when bang went a gun
quite close to them, the shot singing and pinging close over
their heads.
"Some one firing at a rabbit," said Colin.
"Somewhat near my head though," said Olaf.
"Stop! halt!" cried a voice. "It is through the legs of
ye I'll be putting the next shot."
Then a tall, strapping Highlander in kilt and belts rushed
into the open.
"Who are ye, at all, at all? It is after the deer you'll
be. I'll take ye before the duke."
"No, you won't," said Colin laughing.
"Well, it's cool you are anyhow. And what is it at all
you are wearing. Sure I niver in all the life of me saw
boots like these before. Och! the heels and the toes that
are on them."
"Well, we'd be glad of a drink of milk," said Colin.
"And it's that you'll both have, for I see now it is only
boys enjoyin' a frolic you are."
"That's it. You have guessed aright."
"My house is within a gun-shot, and, troth, there isn't
another till you come to the road twixt the hotel and
Struan, a dozen long Scotch miles, so it's sleep on the
snow-clad heather you'll have to unless you take a shake-
down wi' myself."
Glad enough were the boys to find themselves once more
within doors. The shelling where this keeper dwelt was
but a small one, and very lonesome. A little fair-haired
bonnetless boy shared his solitude and helped him to feed
the deer when they were driven down in their thousands
by the storms. This lad looked as wild as a ferret, and far
more frightened.
In putting their hands into their satchels, the boys found
flasks of whisky! Put there by the smugglers.
They handed these to the keeper, and very pleased he
seemed. Then they spent all together a very happy ,- ,in.-,
singing songs and telling stories till bedtime.
The keeper knew all the forest, and after a breakfast of
(988) Y,


oatmeal porridge and milk-for the keeper kept a cow-he
put his gun over his shoulder and convoyed them for more
than half a dozen miles through the forest.
He gave them an envelope as he bade them good-bye.
"If you'll meet another keeper," he said, "let him see this
same, and you'll not forget the watchword 'Koureagh'!"

When they had reached the road, which they did in less
than two hours, the most hazardous part of their journey
may have been said to be over.
From Struan, however, far away to the lonely hotel of
Dalwhinnie, which stands about two thousand feet above
the sea-level, the road was solitary and wild in the extreme,
and for nearly thirty miles hardly was a house or even hut
to be seen.
Arrived at Dalwhinnie, a right warm and motherly wel-
come awaited them. The landlord himself was kindness
personified, but he handed the lads over to his wife, a
bustling, pleasant-faced, and somewhat nervous little body,
who soon succeeded in making Colin and Olaf not only
comfortable, but as happy as ever they had been in their
It was long past eleven o'clock before they retired for
the night, for honest John, the landlord, had many a story
to tell himself, but kept the boys talking and yarning also.
"It does seem strange to sleep between sheets once more,"
said Olaf. "Why, it appears to be a whole month since
we left dear old Moira mansion."
Next day they were preparing to resume their journey,
but John said: "No boys, no. This is Hogmanay,' and
guests of ours you've got to be, so content yourselves. We
don't see two such bright happy faces every day at this
dreary time of the year."
So the boys stayed in this wild upland not only for
Hogmanay, but New Year's Day as well, and one day more
for luck. Then with many kindly words of farewell, they
started on their way once more.
The country continued wild and very beautiful, albeit
1 The last day of the year.


all dressed in a garment of snow. But they had many a
romantic pass to get through, and many a dangerous spot
before they reached Inverness, which they did safely, how-
ever, in two days' time.
They were not even yet at their journey's end, but they
stayed for a whole week in the beautiful capital of the
Scottish Highlands, then passed on along the banks of the
river Ness, and the hard frozen and snow-covered Caledonian
Among the woods on the side of a bonnie brae stood the
beautiful house which Mrs. Ranna, Olaf's mother, called her
Highland home. A grand specimen of a true Highlander
was Olaf's grandfather, and a hearty welcome, I need hardly
say, was accorded to both our young skildbers.
"O," said Colin, "we did try so hard to be here on
Hogmanay night, or to be first-foot to you on New-Year's-
Day morning, but we did not expect the road would have
been so long, and so rough and wild."
"Well," said Mrs. Ranna smiling, as she kissed her boy
again, "here you are safe and sound, Heaven be praised,
and here you shall remain, both of you, till you get fairly
tired of us!"
"0, that we never will," said Olaf, "only, dear mother,
mind, our Sigurd is coming over with the yacht about the
end of the month to take us both to Norway!"
"0, you rambling boys!"
"But, mother, we are both going to be sailors anyhow,
then we shall ramble more. But, meanwhile, Colin must
see something of my country in snow time, as I have seen
so much of his. I want to make him envious, you know."
And Colin simply laughed. He was a true Scot, and
the bare idea of any land on earth being one whit more
romantic, or more beautiful than his own was simply pre-
There was plenty of winter enjoyment for the boys to be
had in the country all round Belle-Voiach as his grand-
father's place was called.
It was just the time for sleighing, and then there was
skilbbning, and skating on the canal, a mile of which was kept


swept for the purpose, to say nothing of curling on the loch,
a great portion of which was that winter frozen hard.

Colin was delighted with the Viking, on the whole. The
Viking was the name given to Olaf's yacht.
Let me tell you at once that she was no beauty. Dis-
miss from your mind all ideas of fine lines, clipper bows,
tall raking masts, jibboom and keel up to date, and all
racing perfections. The Viking had bows more like a
Dutchman's lugger, her stern, too, was round and somewhat
clumsy. Her one mast was thick and heavy, her sails of
the heaviest canvas, but-strength had been studied every-
where. She was built for strength and safety. She looked
all over a Viking. The seas, you would have said, as you
gazed upon her, were never raised by wind or storm that
could "batter her bows to boards or carry her mast away ".
Swamp her? Impossible. Only give Sigurd time to batten
down, and she was safe from all danger of swamping, or
getting pooped.
You have heard of the Thistle. Well, a most charming
witch of a yacht she is, and could walk to windward of a
yacht like the Viking hand over hand. But the Viking
could outlive a storm in which the Thistle would founder,
and if the Thistle collided with the Viking then the sooner
her crew scrambled on board the Norwegian the better would
it be for the crew.
Down below? Well, she was as rough as rough. No
gilding, no elegance, no finery, but solid comfort everywhere.
Then on a wind, and even in something of a seaway, the
boy-a wild unkempt fisher lad called Svolto, that Sigurd
had caught in one of the fjords on the north-west coast-
could steer and manage her easily. This boy was probably
about sixteen years of age, and very short and squat. He
was supposed to be a half-bred Lapp, and he was as faithful
as Duncan's collie Ghillie, and that is saying a good deal.
So, as I say, Colin on the whole was delighted with the
They sailed from Inverness on the 25th of January, and
it was evident from the first that they were going to have


a stormy passage. But Sigurd took it very coolly. He
close-reefed the main sail, and bent a storm-jib, and bid the
wind and sea do their worst.
The wind and sea seemed determined to respond to the
invitation. It blew half a gale-at least as the storm came
from the north, the lay of the land placed the Viking on a
lee shore. But a lee shore is not to be feared if you have
plenty of offing, and Sigurd fought the wind to its very
teeth, and before he put very much eastering in it, he
reached away up north a goodly way, and then began to
stretch outwards in the direction of his own land.
For her build-though it may not be believed-the
Viking sailed fairly near to the wind, although she was
bound in such a breeze to make some considerable leeway.
When Sigurd came down below to the little cabin amid-
ships, dignified by the title of saloon, he looked as calm
and fearless as if no wind at all were blowing, despite the
fact that every now and then the saucy wee craft was hit
by a buffeting sea right abeam, with a force that appeared
to jump her clean out of the water, or off her legs as Colin
phrased it.
"Judging from your face," said the latter, "we are pretty
Sigurd nodded and smiled. He was a man who never
spoke more than there was any necessity for.
"We might run into something, that is all," he added.
Then he proceeded to make some coffee. Sigurd gave
himself the credit of making as good coffee as ever was
brewed or drank, and no one who ever tasted his coffee felt
inclined to deny him the honour he claimed.
Fiddles were needed to-night on the saloon table to keep
things on. For the Viking not only rolled, and plunged,
and dipped, and reeled, but in Sigurd's own phraseology,
"she skipped even like unto a little lamb".
A doorway opened abaft the saloon into a small cabin,
which was also the galley, and could be entered from a
companion-way in the deck near the big heavy tiller. But
the Viking was battened down to-night. This door Sigurd
left open that he might hear what the boys said.


The delightful odour of fried bacon that soon proceeded
from this galley convinced the lads that supper was being
Although he had never been much at sea, Colin was con-
stantly in a boat in all weathers-and storms do arise on
Highland lakes at times-so although the Viking played at
pitch and toss to-night, he did not feel at all ill, and was
able to do ample justice to the repast of bacon and eggs that
Sigurd now placed upon the table.
Colin afterwards expressed a wish to go on deck to have
a look at the weather, but Sigurd would not hear of it.
Olaf and the boy and himself could all hold on, he said, by
the skin of their teeth, but there was no bulwark around
the deck worth speaking of, and so safety below was pre-
ferable to risk above.
It was indeed a dark and a dirty night! The sky was
heavily overcast with clouds, and it was moonless. Next
week there would be a new moon, and every probability
of a spell of fine weather, but this was the dark week.
There was scarcely a possibility of seeing anything from
the deck, except the foam-crested billows.
The noise was almost deafening. Colin was allowed to
put his head out from under the tarpaulin and look about
him, for although there was not the roar we are used to
hear on board big ships when it blows great guns, the wind
shrieked and whistled, and the waves sang. This is plain
language, but had you been on board the Viking that night
and had you put your head on deck, you would have said
that it just suited the situation.
I doubt, however, if you would have cared to have kept
your head in that position very long. Colin did not, for
the spray that dashed on board was blinding-not that eyes
were of very much use, however, on a night so black and
dark. Then a sea caught him in the teeth, and another
nearly cut his head off, so he disappeared like a Jack-in-the-
"Had enough?" asked Olaf, who had both legs on a
locker, and was sipping more coffee.
Yes, thanks," said Colin; enough to last me all night."


"Well, sit down and be social like Sigurd and me and
Ghillie here."
Ghillie was making himself at home on the other locker,
so Colin stretched himself there, and the collie willingly
became his pillow.
"Now, Sigurd, it is a long time before we can think of
turning in, so light your cigar-one of those I bought you,
for your own old pipe would smother bees-and tell us a
"A true story?"
0, yes; I know that my friend Colin would like to hear
something about the wondrous regions round the Pole,
where you have spent so many years of your life."
"My English is not very good," began Sigurd.
"O," cried Colin, "on the contrary, I think it excel-
lent. I have been studying hard for months with Olaf to
acquire a little Norwegian, but I doubt if I can as yet bless
myself in your norlan' tongue."
So Sigurd began.
I am not-not at present, at all events-going to put in
print the story Sigurd told Colin, for it was to him he
especially addressed himself; but it was, to some extent, the
story of his own life and adventures in that great white
country beyond the Arctic circle, the which if anyone visits
but once he ever longs to see again.
As he listened, a glamour or spell seemed to be flung
around our hero Colin. It was the glamour of the spirit of
the ice.
But Sigurd was silent at last.
"Are you done?" said Colin.
Sigurd smiled and nodded. "Done?" he said. "Why,
master, it will soon be to-morrow."
Whether to-morrow ever comes is a question, but at this
moment Olaf, smiling, held up his father's watch. It was
perilously near to the midnight hour.
"I could not have believed it," said Colin.
Then with knitted brows he sat for a little while drum-
ming the table with his fingers and nails.
"What are you thinking 'about V" said Olaf. "Don't


answer: I know. You are thinking that if ever you have
the chance you will visit the sea of ice, and witness for
yourself some of the wonders that Sigurd has been good
enough to tell us of."
"You are right, Olaf."
"I knew I was. Well, an opportunity may arise sooner
than you imagine."
"That is true," said Sigurd.
"I do not quite understand," said Colin.
"Well, I have heard Mr. Olaf say you were an excellent
rifle shot."
"I may say," quoth Colin, "that I was almost born with
a rifle in my hand."
"What a dangersome child you must have been," said
Olaf laughing.
"My uncle can and has brought down an eagle on the
wing with his rifle. He taught me first to pull a trigger."
"And Olaf, too, can shoot well," continued Sigurd. That
is good. I know men who command sailing-ships who
would gladly give both of you board, and probably wages
as well, in return for the use you might make of your guns."
"Hurrah!" cried Colin. 0, don't say much more either
of you. I shall turn in now. I shall fall asleep thinking
about the great white land, and dream I am there."



OLIN slept long and soundly. Whether he dreamt of
the great white land or not I cannot say; but, if so,
his dreams must have been so pleasant that he found it
difficult to tear himself away from them, for it was past
eight and nearly broad daylight before he awoke.
The first thing he was sensible of was that he felt
hungry-the second that breakfast was cooking.


The wind had gone down, and with it the sea, so that
the Viking was stretching merrily off and away across the
foam for Bergen. Olaf was up and dressed, and even Ghillie,
although he certainly was no sailor, had ventured on deck.
It did not take Colin very long to perform his ablutions
and to dress. The little yacht was no longer battened
down, so he went up at once, and Olaf met him with a
merry smile.
"See," he cried, "the wind has gone round to the west;
so right soon we shall see the hills and the mountains of
my dear native land!"
The morning was crisp, clear, and cold, so that our
heroes were not at all sorry when Sigurd's rather plain
figure-head was popped above the companion, and breakfast
was announced.
The wind kept fair all the rest of the passage, and in due
time the Viking's anchor was let go near an island not far
from Bergen. On this island lived Sigurd's old mother,
and it was to permit the worthy fellow to visit her that
the Viking was anchored in the bay.
Sigurd came of a good old family of fisher people, who
were so clannish in their way, that they had married and
intermarried among each other for generations. These
frugal folks were as brave as brave could be, and at sea
nothing could exceed their courage and daring. They sup-
plied many a sturdy sailor to the ships that, year after year,
sailed northwards to the Greenland seas, and, as far as one
can judge, the forefathers of this very people may have
been seamen with, and fought under the Vikings themselves.
Well, Colin landed at Bergen in a very contented and
good-natured frame of mind. He was quite prepared, for
Olaf's sake, to praise and admire all he saw. At the same
time, he did not expect to find Bergen a city so nicely laid
out as it really is.
There is a little town called Buckie, in Scotland, rather
celebrated for its dried haddocks, and Colin told his friend
that he had in reality expected to find Bergen a kind of
enlarged edition of Buckie.
But here were three good harbours, shipping innumerable,


quays that put him in mind of those in Aberdeen, spacious
streets and churches, to say nothing of a Gothic-built
The whole was imposing to a degree. When tired of
wandering through the town, Colin and Olaf dined at an
excellent hotel, then paid a visit to the suburbs, and to the
forts, castles, and ramparts, that mount many a heavy and
formidable-looking gun, and are as well manned as armed.
But, after all, it was in the hills and mountains which formed
the back-ground of the view, and stood out bold and white
against the blue of the sky, that Colin seemed most interested.
"Ah!" said Olaf, "thither we shall go to-morrow, and
you shall see a sight that will make you once more green
with envy. Ha! ha!"
Olaf was as good as his word, and, in company with
Sigurd and Ghillie, the lads started next day to climb one
of the highest mountains.
The forenoon was bright and glorious; then what shall I
say of the view that was spread out before them when they
gained the summit of that peak of snow? What shall I
say Why, simply confess my inability to do justice to it
with this poor pen.
To the south, to the north, and east
"Hills on hills successive rise ".
Amongst them is many a lake, many a rapid stream, and
many a cataract, now ice-bound, for the hard frost is here as
in Scotland.
Far down beneath is the city itself, with its mansions, its
forts and battlements, and its great warehouses jutting into
the water. The red roofs of many of the houses form a
peculiar and beautiful feature of the view. Then beyond
are the strangely-shaped islands, and, farther off still, the
darkling, restless waves of the Northern Sea.
The scene on the whole was so wild and majestic that for
a time Colin was silent. He was wrapped in admiration.
Then the teal. sprang to his eyes, and he turned right
round and faced his friend.
"Thank you, Olaf; thank you," he said.


And, indeed, that was about all he could say just then.
There are times, you know, when one's heart feels far too
full for words, and this was the case at present with Colin.
Colin probably felt a little sorry that he had given way
so far to his enthusiasm, though he need not have been.
But your true Highlander, be he young or old, is ever
ashamed of anything so effeminate as a tear. So he bent
down low to pat and smooth Ghillie, and when he once
more stood erect-Richard was himself again.

On board the little Viking once more, they leave the har-
bour and city of Bergen far behind, and with a light westerly
breeze somewhat abaft the beam, they are steering north-
wards now. Sigurd keeps well out to sea. The voyage
they are on is but a brief one; but the coast here is dan-
gerous, and at any moment it might come on to blow and
the little yacht be dashed upon the rocks to leeward.
Squalls may not come on quite so suddenly in these lati-
tudes as in the Indian Ocean, but they are fierce and terrible
enough when they do blow. Caution is one of the traits of
the Norseman's character; it is a good quality. It is but
right one should look before one leaps-only, I must add
that when a Norwegian does make up his mind to leap, he
does it with a will, and success is nearly always the reward
of his daring.
Whither now was the "-'.,., bound? If you look at a
map of Norway you will speedily perceive that the whole of
its northern and north-western coast is deeply indented by
arms of the sea. It is a rock-bound and mountainous shore,
and against these rocks the North Sea, backed up by the
whole inconceivable force of the Atlantic, has been making
war for ages. Its object would seem to be to suck Norway
foot by foot beneath the ocean.
These arms of the sea are called in Scotland lochs; but
here they are called fjords (pronounce the "j in that word
as if it were "y"). Some of these fjords run quite a long
way into the interior-not always in a straight course, by
any means-so that oftentimes they appear to be entirely


It was for one of these that Sigurd in the Viking was now
Our heroes had left Bergen so early in the morning that
the stars were still shining brightly overhead, and reflected
in the dark waters of the-bay. Few would have dared to
go to sea at such an hour without a pilot. But Sigurd him-
self knew every landmark, and could have piloted a whole
fleet of battle-ships safely out into the open water.
Before the afternoon sun had begun to decline in the
south-west, the Viking was heading away for the fjord, and
shortly afterwards entered it. But although the wind was
now fair it had begun to go down with the sun, so that
the Viking's progress was slow indeed.
What a glorious scene was that now opening out before
them! Perhaps glorious" is scarcely the adjective I ought
to use. It was a wild and gloomy picture. The fjord itself
was but a narrow one; at its entrance probably not much
over half a mile in width, and sometimes narrowing, some-
times widening as it went farther inland.
The rocks rose sheer up from the deep clear sea, forming
black, wet, beetling precipices, with here and there a tiny
waterfall, like a silver thread falling over them sheer down
without a break into the water. One of these precipices
might run inland for a hundred yards or more, then be cut
up into a series of rocks that rose out of the waves like tiny
mountains, and of all kinds of fantastic shapes and forms.
As the Viking sailed on, the wind fell more and more.
The reefs had long since been shaken out, of course, and a
larger jib set, yet even with this advantage, she was making
barely two knots an hour.
But she had a dreamy, soul-soothing kind of motion as
she rose and fell on the swell that nearly always rolls into
these fjords. Colin, as he lay on deck wrapped up in his
furs, liked it, and cared not how long he might take to reach
his destination.
Gazing overboard down into the deep translucent water,
he could see many kinds of fishes, some alone, and some in
shoals; but what attracted and riveted his attention most
were the dozens and scores of beautiful medusse, or jelly-





fishes. These were sometimes as large as ladies' sunshades,
and swam about in every direction: they floated lazily up-
wards; they dived or sunk; they swam in circles, and swam
on their sides. It was while on their sides, that Colin noted
with wonderment that, near the places where their strange,
elongated, tentacular legs joined their bodies, they were
studded and gemmed as with precious stones of every tint
of the rainbow.
When tired of gazing down into the sea, Colin had but
to cast his eyes upwards to sky or to rocks. The sea-birds
were here in their thousands, for the nesting season had not
yet commenced.
Seeing his friend so much astonished at the multitude of
birds around them, Olaf placed his hand on his arm.
"Wait a little," he said, "you haven't seen half. Pre-
sently the fjord takes a bend. Have your field-glass focused
and ready. These birds are my wild pets, and I know them
It seemed, shortly afterwards, that the fjord had come to
an end, and that the Viking was running straight to destruc-
tion against the cliffy rocks, but suddenly Sigurd gave an
order, the boy put the helm hard down, and the little vessel
came round and floated away in between two castellated
rocks; and now the fjord grew wider, but the scenery none
the less wildly beautiful. They could see the head of this
strange ocean-loch now, although it was still five miles away.
It ended at a beach that was but an opening to a wide
and romantic glen, down which, with their glasses, the
boys could notice a wild, tumultuous stream tossing and
foaming in a series of cataracts as it made its way to the
fjord. The stream was lined by woodlands that rose and
rose to the hills on each side. The glen itself rose as it
trended eastwards till it was backed by lofty rugged moun-
tains, their white bosoms and summits glittering in the rays
of the setting sun. The fjord just here was not all clear water.
At each side the lofty rocks still rose sheer from the depths
below, but here and there were little islands, some almost
flat, others a mass of fantastic rockwork, as if Mother
Nature had been amusing herself in her idle moments in


trying to fashion the curious and grotesque. But it was
not these islands so much as their strangely-beautiful in-
habitants that interested Colin most. These were birds-
Birds everywhere, clustering on the rocks, wheeling in
the air, floating lazily on the swell, running on the beach-
birds, birds everywhere. And yet the noise was not so
loud and disagreeable as we sometimes hear it on islands on
the western shores of Sutherland.
"The nesting time," said Olaf, "will soon be here, and
so the birds are on their best behaviour."
"Why," said Colin, "those islands will be covered with
eggs a little later on."
"True, Colin; you would scarce be able to walk on the
lowest of the islands without doing damage, and so tame are
the birds at times that they will scarcely move except to
peck at your legs as you pass. But the beautiful feathered
creatures you see yonder do not all build here," he con-
tinued. "0 no; many species are but resting, and anon
will go inland to the lakes among the silent hills."
The Viking had now got close enough to some of the
islets for study, and, at a word from Olaf, Sigurd got the
mainsail ashiver, and they were soon almost motionless on
the water.
"Look, Colin, yonder on the little rock or boulder are
some loons or black-throated divers. They will go inland.
Eggs ? Ah! I see that, like myself, you are interested in
birds' nesting. They make a nest close to a pool, not unlike
your wild ducks, though they lay but two brownish eggs,
prettily mottled and dotted with black. The loon nearly
always kills one of her chickens,1 but becomes very fond of
the other, and teaches it to dive by taking it on her back to
the bottom of the water."
"Cruel mother!"
"Yes, but I always think the loons are half silly, and you
would say the same if you knew them as well as I do.
We do not find here either the red-necked or small loon,
IThis statement should, I think, be taken with a grain of salt and a little
vinegar. I am loath to believe that either the black-throated diver or great
northern loon are so unnatural.


or the great northern loon. But I have found nests of
both when Sigurd and I wandered far up towards the land
of the Finns. It has only two eggs, of a yellowish colour,
ticked with black.
"The grebes, Colin, are quite a large family with us on
inland waters. 0, you shall see them later on in their
hundreds, and I always think they are among the loveliest
water-birds we possess, but so shy it is almost impossible
sometimes to study them.
"See yonder, in a row on the beach, are puffins. Funny
birds, but very fierce at the nesting season. And higher
up yonder are some guillemots. I don't know what they
want here. They generally breed farther north, in Finland.
We call them herring-hunters. Eggs They don't lay eggs,
and don't have a nest."
"Well, they just lay one, and hatch it on the bare rock.
A pretty egg it is, though. Sea-blue in colour, with
spots of black and brown.
See that droll bird yonder. No, to the right. That is our
sea-swallow. It is the gannet. It tells the fisherman where
the herring are. One egg only, but a nest of dried sea-weed
and grass, and, though the egg is small compared to the size of
the bird, it is shapely, and of a beautiful greenish-white colour."
"Why, Olaf, you are quite an ornithologist."
"I know nearly all the birds in Norway, Colin, by their
shape, size, and plumage, by their nests alone, by their eggs
alone, or by their songs and cries. It must seem to you that
I am boasting, but then, Colin, remember I am but a wild-
some boy myself, and have had birds and beasts as my com-
panions since I could crawl."
I only wish I had space to tell you one half, or less than
half, of all that Olaf told to Colin this evening. He was
indeed a bird-lover, and here, near to these islands, he was
in his element. But he rattled on as fast as his tongue
could wag for well-nigh an hour, describing the appearance,
the habits, the tricks and manners of gulls, such as the her-
ring-gull, whose eggs are so numerous on the coast as to
form quite an article of commerce, the Iceland and ivory

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