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'It was from the minister at Dendeldy, who had been newly chosen to occupy the pulpit his father occupied for a quarter of a century and more.

The call from the congregation originated rather out of respect to the father's memory than any extraordinary liking for the son. He had been reared for the most part in England, and was somewhat distant and formal in his manners; and, though full of Greek and Latin and Hebrew, wanted the true Scotch accent that goes straight to the heart of those accustomed to the broad, honest, tender Scottish tongue.

His people were proud of him, but they did not just like all his ways. They could remember him a lad running about the whole country-side, and they could not understand, and did not approve of, his holding them at arm'slength and shutting himself up among his books, and refusing their hospitality, and sending out word he was busy when maybe some very decent man wanted speech of him. I had taken upon myself to point out that I thought he was wrong, and that he would alienate his flock from him. Perhaps it was for this very reason, because I was blunt and plain, he took to me kindly, and never got on his high horse, no matter what I said to him.

'Well, to return to the letter. It was written in the wildest haste, and entreated me not to lose a moment in coming to him, as he was in the very greatest distress and anxiety. "Let nothing delay you," he proceeded. "If I cannot speak to you soon I believe I shall

go out of my senses." "What could be the matter?" I thought. What, in all the wide earth, could have happened?"

'I had seen him but a few days before, and he was in good health

and spirits, getting on better with his people, feeling hopeful of so altering his style of preaching as to touch their hearts more sensibly.

"I must lay aside Southern ideas as well as accent, if I can,” he went on, smiling. "Men who live such lives of hardship and privation, who cast their seed into the ground under such rigorous skies, and cut their corn in fear and trembling at the end of late uncertain summers, who take the sheep out of the snow-drifts and carry the lambs into shelter beside their own humble hearths, must want a different sort of sermon from him who sleeps soft and walks delicately."

I had implied something of all this myself, and it amused me to find my own thoughts come back clothed in different fashion and presented to me as strangers. Still, all I wanted was his good, and I felt glad he showed such aptitude to learn.

What could have happened, however, puzzled me sorely. As I made my hurried preparations for setting out I fairly perplexed myself with speculation. I went into the kitchen, where his messenger was eating some breakfast, and asked him if Mr. Cawley was


"I dinna ken," he answered. "He mad' no complaint, but he luiked awfu' bad, just awfu'."

"In what way?" I inquired. "As if he had seen a ghaist," was the reply.

'This made me very uneasy, and I jumped to the conclusion the trouble was connected with money matters. Young men will be young men ;' and here the minister looked significantly at the callow bird of our company, a youth who had never owed a sixpence in his life or given away a cent; while Jack Hill-no chicken,

by the way-was over head and ears in debt, and could not keep sovereign in his pocket, though spending or bestowing it involved going dinnerless the next day.

'Young men will be young men,' repeated the minister, in his best pulpit manner (Just as though any one expected them to be young women!' grumbled Jack to me afterwards), and I feared that now he was settled and comfortably off some old creditor he had been paying as best he could might have become pressing. I knew nothing of his liabilities or, beyond the amount of the stipend paid him, the state of his pecuniary affairs; but having once in my own life made myself responsible for a debt, I was aware of all the trouble putting your arm out further than you can draw it back involves, and I considered it most probably money, which is the root of all evil' ('and all good,' Jack's eyes suggested to me), 'was the cause of my young friend's agony of mind. Blessed with a large family-every one of whom is now alive and doing well, I thank God, out in the worldyou may imagine I had not much opportunity for laying by; still, I had put aside a little for a rainy day, and that little I placed in my pocket-book, hoping even a small sum might prove of use in case of emergency.'

'Come, you are a trump,' I saw written plainly on Jack Hill's face; and he settled himself to listen to the remainder of the minister's story in a manner which could not be considered other than complimentary.

Duly and truly I knew quite well he had already devoted the first five-guinea cheque he received to the poor of that minister's parish.

By the road,' proceeded our host, Dendeldy is distant from here ten long miles, but by a short

cut across the hills it can be reached in something under six. For me it was nothing of a walk, and accordingly I arrived at the manse ere noon.'

He paused, and, though thirty years had elapsed, drew a handkerchief across his forehead ere he continued his narrative.

'I had to climb a steep brae to reach the front door, but ere I could breast it my friend met me.

"Thank God you are come," he said, pressing my hand in his. "O, I am grateful."

'He was trembling with excitement. His face was of a ghastly pallor. His voice was that of a person suffering from some terrible shock, labouring under some awful fear.

"What has happened, Edward?" I asked. I had known him when he was a little boy. "I am distressed to see you in such a state. Rouse yourself; be a man ; whatever may have gone wrong can possibly be righted. I have come over to do all that lies in my power for you. If it is a matter of money-"

"No, no; it is not money," he interrupted; "would that it were!" and he began to tremble again so violently that really he communicated some part of his nervousness to me, and put me into a state of perfect terror.

"Whatever it is, Cawley, out with it," I said; "have you murdered anybody?"

"No, it is worse than that," he answered.

"But that's just nonsense," I declared. "Are you in your right mind, do you think?"

"I wish I were not," he returned. "I'd like to know I was stark staring mad; it would be happier for me-far, far happier."

"If you don't tell me this minute what is the matter, I shall turn on my heel and tramp my

way home again," I said, half in a passion, for what I thought his folly angered me.

"Come into the house," he entreated, "and try to have patience with me; for indeed, Mr. Morison, I am sorely troubled. I have been through my deep waters, and they have gone clean over my head."

'We went into his little study and sat down. For a while he remained silent, his head resting upon his hand, struggling with some strong emotion; but after about five minutes he asked, in a low subdued voice,

"Do you believe in dreams?" "What has my belief to do with the matter in hand?" I inquired.

"It is a dream, an awful dream, that is troubling me." 'I rose from my chair.

"Do you mean to say," I asked, you have brought me from my business and my parish to tell me you have had a bad dream?"

"That is just what I do mean to say," he answered. "At least, it was not a dream-it was 8 vision; no, I don't mean a vision. I can't tell you what it was; but nothing I ever went through in actual life was half so real, and I have bound myself to go through it all again. There is no hope for me, Mr. Morison. I sit before you a lost creature, the most miserable man on the face of the whole earth."

"What did you dream?" I inquired.

'A dreadful fit of trembling again seized him; but at last he managed to say,

"I have been like this ever since, and I shall be like this for evermore, till- till- the end comes."

"When did you have your bad dream?" I asked. "Last night, or rather, this morning," he answered. "I'll tell

you all about it in a minute ;" and he covered his face with his hands again.

"I was as well when I went to bed about eleven o'clock as ever I was in my life," he began, putting a great restraint upon himself, as I could see by the nervous way he kept knotting and unknotting his fingers. "I had been considering my sermon, and felt satisfied I should be able to deliver a good one on Sunday morning. I had taken nothing after my tea, and I lay down in my bed feeling at peace with all mankind, satisfied with my lot, thankful for the many blessings vouchsafed to me. How long I slept, or what I dreamt about at first, if I dreamt at all, I don't know; but after a time the mists seemed to clear from before my eyes, to roll away like clouds from a mountain summit, and I found myself walking on a beautiful summer's evening beside the river Deldy."

'He paused for a moment, and an irrepressible shudder shook his frame.

"Go on," I said, for I felt afraid of his breaking down again.

'He looked at me pitifully, with a hungry entreaty in his weary eyes, and continued,

"It was a lovely evening. I had never thought the earth so beautiful before: a gentle breeze just touched my cheek, the water flowed on clear and bright, the mountains in the distance looked bright and glowing, covered with purple heather. I walked on and on till I came to that point where, as you may perhaps remember, the path, growing very narrow, winds round the base of a great crag, and leads the wayfarer suddenly into a little green amphitheatre, bounded on one side by the river and on the other by rocks that rise in places sheer to a height of a hundred feet and more."


"I remember it," I said; 66 a little farther on three streams meet and fall with a tremendous roar into the Witches' Caldron. fine sight in the winter - time, only that there is scarce any reaching it from below, as the path you mention and the little green oasis are mostly covered with water."

"I had not been there before since I was a child," he went on mournfully, "but I recollected it as one of the most solitary spots possible; and my astonishment was great to see a man standing in the pathway with a drawn sword in his hand. He did not stir as I drew near, so I stepped aside on the grass. Instantly he barred my way.


"You can't pass here,' he said.
"Why not? I asked.
"Because I say so,' he answer-

"And who are you that say so? I inquired, looking full at him.

"He was like a god. Majesty and power were written on every feature, were expressed in every gesture; but O, the awful scorn of his smile, the contempt with which he regarded me! The beams of the setting sun fell full upon him, and seemed to bring out as in letters of fire the wickedness and hate and sim that underlay the glorious and terrible beauty of his face.

"I felt afraid; but I managed to say,

"Stand out of my way; the river-bank is as free to me as to you.'

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Not this part of it,' he answered; 'this place belongs to me.'

"Very well,' I agreed, for I did not want to stand there bandying words with him, and a sudden darkness seemed to be falling around. 'It is getting late, and so I'll e'en turn back.'

"He gave a laugh, the like of

which never fell on human ear before, and made reply,

"You can't turn back; of your own free will you have come on my ground, and from it there is no return.'

"I did not speak; I only just turned round, and made as fast as I could for the narrow path at the foot of the crag. He did not pass me; yet before I could reach the point I desired he stood barring the way, with the scornful smile still on his lips, and his gigantic form assuming tremendous proportions in the narrow way.

"Let me pass,' I entreated, ' and I will never come here again, never trespass more on your ground.'


No, you shall not pass.' "Who are you that takes such power on yourself?' I asked. "Come closer, and I will tell you,' he said.

"I drew a step nearer, and he spoke one word. I had never heard it before; but I knew what it meant, by some extraordinary intuition. He was the Evil One; the name seemed to be taken up by the echoes and repeated from rock to rock and crag to crag; the whole air seemed full of that one word; and then a great horror of darkness came about us, only the place where we stood remained light. We occupied a small circle walled round with the thick blackness of night.

"You must come with me,' he said.

"I refused; and then he threatened me. I implored and entreated and wept; but at last I agreed to do what he wanted if he would promise to let me return. Again he laughed, and said, Yes, I should return; and the rocks and trees and mountains, ay, and the very rivers, seemed to take up the answer, and bear it in sobbing whispers away into the darkness."

'He stopped and lay back in his chair, shivering like one in an ague fit.

"Go on," I repeated again; "'twas but a dream, you know."

"Was it?" he murmured mournfully. "Ah, you have not heard the end of it yet."

"Let me hear it, then," I said. "What happened afterwards?"

"The darkness seemed in part to clear away, and we walked side by side across the sward in the tender twilight straight up to the bare black wall of rock. With the hilt of his sword he struck a heavy blow, and the solid rock opened as though it were a door. We passed through, and it closed behind us with a tremendous clang; yes, it closed behind us;" and at that point he fairly broke down, crying and sobbing as I had never seen a man even in the most frightful grief cry and sob before.'

The minister paused in his narrative. At that moment there came a most tremendous blast of wind, which shook the windows of the manse, and burst open the hall-door, and caused the candles to flicker and the fire to go roaring up the chimney. It is not too much to say that, what with the uncanny story, and what with the howling storm, we every one felt that creeping sort of uneasiness which so often seems like the touch of something from another world-a hand stretched across the boundary-line of time and eternity the coldness and mystery of which make the stoutest heart tremble.

'I am telling you this tale,' said Mr. Morison, resuming his seat after a brief absence to see that the fastenings of the house were properly attended to, exactly as I heard it. I am not adding a word or comment of my own; nor, so far as I know, am I omitting any incident, however trivial. You

must draw your own deductions from the facts I put before you. I have no explanation to give or theory to propound. Part of that great and terrible region in which he found himself, my friend went on to tell me, he penetrated, compelled by a power he could not resist to see the most awful spectacles, the most frightful sufferings. There was no form of vice that had not there its representative. As they moved along his companion told him the special sin for which such horrible punishment was being inflicted. Shuddering, and in mortal agony, he was yet unable to withdraw his eyes from the dreadful spectacle; the atmosphere grew more unendurable, the sights more and more terrible; the cries, groans, blasphemies, more awful and heartrending.

"I can bear no more," he gasped at last; "let me go!"

With a mocking laugh the Presence beside him answered this appeal; a laugh which was taken up even by the lost and anguished spirits around.

"There is no return," said the pitiless voice.

"But you promised," he cried; "you promised me faithfully."

"What are promises here?" and the words were as the sound of doom.

'Still he prayed and entreated; he fell on his knees, and in his agony spoke words that seemed to cause the purpose of the Evil One to falter.

"You shall go," he said, "on one condition: that you agree to return to me on Wednesday next, or send a substitute."

"I could not do that," said my friend. "I could not send any fellow-creature here. Better stop myself than do that."

"Then stop," said Satan, with the bitterest contempt; and he was turning away, when the poor

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