The Heart of Mid-Lothian
I'll warrant that fellow from drowning,
were the ship no stronger than a nut-shell.
Butler felt neither fatigue nor want of refreshment, although, from the mode in
which he had spent the night, he might well have been overcome with either. But
in the earnestness with which he hastened to the assistance of the sister of
Jeanie Deans, he forgot both.
In his first progress he walked with so rapid a pace as almost approached to
running, when he was surprised to hear behind him a call upon his name,
contending with an asthmatic cough, and half-drowned amid the resounding trot
of a Highland pony. He looked behind, and saw the Laird of Dumbiedikes making
after him with what speed he might, for it happened, fortunately for the Laird's
purpose of conversing with Butler, that his own road homeward was for about
two hundred yards the same with that which led by the nearest way to the city.
Butler stopped when he heard himself thus summoned, internally wishing no
good to the panting equestrian who thus retarded his journey.
"Uh! uh! uh!" ejaculated Dumbiedikes, as he checked the hobbling pace of the
pony by our friend Butler. "Uh! uh! it's a hard-set willyard beast this o' mine." He
had in fact just overtaken the object of his chase at the very point beyond which it
would have been absolutely impossible for him to have continued the pursuit,
since there Butler's road parted from that leading to Dumbiedikes, and no means
of influence or compulsion which the rider could possibly have used towards his
Bucephalus could have induced the Celtic obstinacy of Rory Bean (such was the
pony's name) to have diverged a yard from the path that conducted him to his
Even when he had recovered from the shortness of breath occasioned by a trot
much more rapid than Rory or he were accustomed to, the high purpose of
Dumbiedikes seemed to stick as it were in his throat, and impede his utterance,
so that Butler stood for nearly three minutes ere he could utter a syllable; and
when he did find voice, it was only to say, after one or two efforts, "Uh! uh! uhm! I
say, Mr.--Mr. Butler, it's a braw day for the har'st."
"Fine day, indeed," said Butler. "I wish you good morning, sir."
"Stay--stay a bit," rejoined Dumbiedikes; "that was no what I had gotten to say."