Clifford. – What a dreadful tempest out of doors? Forgive my interruption, Serjeant; but ere you go farther with your interesting story, I think we had better get in some more wood and peats lest the fire should get hopelessly low, a thing that is very likely to happen where people are so engaged as we are.
Grant. – The Serjeant’s stories might well make one forget everything else.
Clifford. – Come, Mister Serjeant, whilst the fire is mending and the Earl and the Knight are retiring to their repose, you may have leisure to wet your whistle a little.
Serjeant. – I shall not be sorry to do that, sir; my mouth is a little dry to be sure. Keep us all, such a night of wind and rain! How the blast thuds against the windows! That is awful indeed! God help the poor man that may be out in such a night! ‘Tis well for us to be in bigged land.
Grant. – As you say, it is well for us to be under a roof Archy; and yet I wish that the roof of this old house may not be blown away. How furiously the tempest howls along!
Author. – ‘Tis fearful to listen to it; yet I suspect that this is nothing to the blasts which its walls must sometimes endure.
Serjeant. – Ou! bless you, sir! The wind comes down the trough of this glen at times enough, one would think, to blow every house and living thing out of it, stones and rocks and all, like peas out of a pop-gun. But this house has stood many a blast, and I hope it will weather out this one yet.
Author. – It came on very suddenly. It is not half an hour ago since all was quiet, and hear how the wind rages and the rain rattles now.
Clifford. – Our friend Willox must be abroad with his kelpie’s bridle.
Author. – Aye, or Andrew the Flemish Astrologer may have done it.
Clifford. – Andrew the Astrologer! yes, I daresay he was quite equal to kicking up such a rumpus among the elements. I would fain know more of that fellow.
Serjeant. – Be assured, sir, I shall tell you all I know about him in due course of time. Meanwhile I am ready to take up the clue of my discourse whenever you please.
Clifford. – You may do so when you like, Serjeant; for, as I suppose that this terrible night puts all hope of an early start in the morning out of the question, we may e’en sit up as late as we like.
Serjeant. – If the rain holds on at this rate the rivers will all be up, and the mosses swimming, so that out travelling further to-morrow will be impossible.
Clifford. – Come away, then, Serjeant, proceed with your legend, and let the storm roar and rattle as it will.