Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
V. A Handful of Heather Henry van Dyke

Common Heather.

Page 3 of 5

Table Of Contents: Little Rivers

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

It was after sundown when I reached the straggling village of Melvich, and the long day's journey had left me weary. But the inn, with its red-curtained windows, looked bright and reassuring. Thoughts of dinner and a good bed comforted my spirit--prematurely. For the inn was full. There were but five bedrooms and two parlours. The gentlemen who had the neighbouring shootings occupied three bedrooms and a parlour; the other two bedrooms had just been taken by the English fishermen who had passed me in the road an hour ago in the mail-coach (oh! why had I not suspected that treacherous vehicle?); and the landlord and his wife assured me, with equal firmness and sympathy, that there was not another cot or pair of blankets in the house. I believed them, and was sinking into despair when Sandy M'Kaye appeared on the scene as my angel of deliverance. Sandy was a small, withered, wiry man, dressed in rusty gray, with an immense white collar thrusting out its points on either side of his chin, and a black stock climbing over the top of it. I guessed from his speech that he had once lived in the lowlands. He had hoped to be engaged as a gillie by the shooting party, but had been disappointed. He had wanted to be taken by the English fishermen, but another and younger man had stepped in before him. Now Sandy saw in me his Predestinated Opportunity, and had no idea of letting it post up the road that night to the next village. He cleared his throat respectfully and cut into the conversation.

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

"Ah'm thinkin' the gentleman micht find a coomfortaible lodgin' wi' the weedow Macphairson a wee bittie doon the road. Her dochter is awa' in Ameriky, an' the room is a verra fine room, an' it is a peety to hae it stannin' idle, an' ye wudna mind the few steps to and fro tae yir meals here, sir, wud ye? An' if ye 'ill gang wi' me efter dinner, 'a 'll be prood to shoo ye the hoose."

So, after a good dinner with the English fishermen, Sandy piloted me down the road through the thickening dusk. I remember a hoodie crow flew close behind us with a choking, ghostly cough that startled me. The Macpherson cottage was a snug little house of stone, with fuchsias and roses growing in the front yard: and the widow was a douce old lady, with a face like a winter apple in the month of April, wrinkled, but still rosy. She was a little doubtful about entertaining strangers, but when she heard I was from America she opened the doors of her house and her heart. And when, by a subtle cross examination that would have been a credit to the wife of a Connecticut deacon, she discovered the fact that her lodger was a minister, she did two things, with equal and immediate fervour; she brought out the big Bible and asked him to conduct evening worship, and she produced a bottle of old Glenlivet and begged him to "guard against takkin' cauld by takkin' a glass of speerits."

Page 3 of 5 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Little Rivers
Henry van Dyke

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004