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- Self-Raised - 100/128 -


'till your toilet. Aweel, there is a stone jug and bowl of water, and a hempen clout ahint the stove, gin that will serve your purpose," said the dame, setting down the breakfast, and gathering the empty cans from the floor as she left the cell.

Faustina, poor wretch, made such a toilet as her rude providings enabled her to do, and then, with what appetite she might, made her morning meal. And then she sat on the edge of her bed and cried and wished herself dead.

At about eleven o'clock she heard footsteps and voices approaching the cell. And the door was opened by the turnkey, who ushered in Mrs. MacDonald, followed by a servant from the castle, bringing a large box and a basket.

The servant set down his burdens and retired with the turnkey, who immediately locked the door.

And not until then, when they were left alone, did this precious pair of female friends rush into each other's arms, Faustina bursting into tears and sobbing violently on the bosom of Mrs. MacDonald, and Mrs. MacDonald wheedling, caressing, and soothing Faustina.

"Mine pet, mine darling, mine bonny bairn," were some of the epithets of endearment bestowed by the lady upon her favorite.

"Oh, madame, what a purgatory of a place, and what demons of people!" Faustina cried.

"Yes, my sweet child, yes, I know it! but bear up!"

"Nothing fit to eat, or drink, or sleep on, or sit down, or even to wash with; and no one to speak a civil word to me!" wailed Faustina, still dwelling upon present inconveniences rather than, thinking of the future perils.

"Yes, my dear, yes, I know; but now, sit you down and see what I have brought you," said Mrs. MacDonald, gently forcing Faustina to seat herself upon the side of the bed.

"Look at my poor dress," said Faustina, pointing down to the delicate white evening dress in which she had been arrested, and which was now crumpled, torn, and stained.

"Eh, but that's a woeful sight! But I thought of it, my bairn, and I have brought you a plain black silk and white linen collars and sleeves. Let me help you to change your dress, and I will take that white one home with me."

Faustina agreed to this, and when the change was effected she certainly presented a more respectable appearance.

Mrs. MacDonald next unpacked the large basket, taking from it a dressing-case, furnished with every requisite for the toilet; a work-box, with every convenience for a lady's busy-idleness; and a writing-desk, with every necessary article for epistolary correspondence.

"Now where shall I put them?" she inquired, looking around upon the bare cell.

"Ah, the beastly place!" exclaimed Faustina; "there is no table, no stand; you will have to leave them on the floor or set them on the window sill."

Mrs. MacDonald ranged them on the floor, against the wall, under the window.

And then she rolled up the spoiled evening dress and crowded it into the empty basket. Next she took the trunk and pushed it under the bed, saying:

"In that trunk, my dear, you will find every requisite change of clothing. The basket I will take back."

"Ah, but I want many more things beside clothing. I want tea and coffee. I want bed linen and china; and--many more things," said Faustina impatiently,

"And you shall have everything you want, my dear. Your purse is in your writing desk. There are a hundred and forty guineas in it. Money will buy you all you want. And I will see it brought," said Mrs. Dugald, going to the cell door and rapping.

Dame Ferguson came and unlocked it.

"I wish to come out," said Mrs. MacDonald.

"Aye, me leddy," said the dame, courtesying and making way for the visitor to pass; for the carriage, with the Hurstmonceux arms emblazoned upon its panels, the servant in the livery of the Earl of Hurstmonceux, and the haughty air of the lady visitor, all impressed the female turnkey with a feeling of awe.

"I wish to speak with you, dame," said Mrs. MacDonald.

"Aye, me leddy, and muckle honor till me!" replied the woman, with another low courtesy, as she led the way to her seat at the window at the extreme end of the corridor.

"I wish to bespeak your attention to the lady I have just left," said Mrs. MacDonald.

"Aye, me leddy! Ye will be ane o' the beneevolent leddies wha gang about, seeking for the lost sheep o' the house o' Israel, meaning sic puir misguided lasses as yon! Ye'll be aiblins, ane o' the leddy directors o' the Magdalen Hospital?" said Mrs. Ferguson.

"The--what? I don't know what you mean, woman. I am speaking to you of a lady-the Honorable Mrs. Dugald."

"A leddy? The Honorable Mistress Dugald? Ou! aye! forgi'e me, your leddyship. I'm e'en but a puir, auld, doitted bodie. I e'en thocht ye were talking o' yon misguided quean in the cell. The Honorable Mistress Dugald. She'll be like yoursel', intereested in yon lassie; and aiblins ain o' the leddy direectors o' the Magdalen."

"I think you are a fool. The misguided lassie, as you have the impudence to call her, is no misguided lassie at all. She is the Honorable Mrs. Dugald, of Castle Cragg," said Mrs. MacDonald impatiently.

"Wha--she--the lass in yon cell, the Honorable--Mistress--Dugald?"

"Herself!"

"Hech, that's awfu'l"

"So I wished to give you a hint to treat her with the consideration due to her rank."

"Eh, sirs! but that's awfu'!" repeated the dame, unable to overget her astonishment.

"She has money enough to pay for all that she requires and to reward those who are kind to her besides," continued Mrs. MacDonald.

"Nae doobt! nae doobt! bags o' gowd and siller! bags o' gowd and siller! What a puir, auld, doitted, fule bodie I was, to be sure," said the dame, in a tone of regret.

"Now, I want to know whether she cannot have a few comforts in her cell, if she is able and willing to pay for them, and to reward her attendants for bringing them?"

"And what for no? The bonny leddy sail hae a' that she craves, whilk is consistent wi' her safe-keeping."

"And certainly her friends would ask no more."

"What would her leddyship like to begin wi'?"

"She is to remain here for a week; therefore she would like to have her cell fitted up comfortably. She will want a piece of carpeting to cover the floor; some nice fine bedding and bed linen; a toilet service of china; a single dinner and tea service of china; and a silver fork and spoon. Can you recollect all these articles?"

"What for no?"

"But stay, I forgot; she will want a small table and an easy-chair and footstool. Can you remember them all?"

"Ilk a ane!"

"Twenty pounds, I should think, would cover the whole expense. Here is the money; take it and send out and get the things as soon as you can," said Mrs. MacDonald, putting two ten-pound notes in the hand of the dame.

"I'll has them all in by twal' o' the clock," answered the dame zealously. "Be guid till us! The Honorable Mrs. Dugald! Yon quean! Who'd hae thocht it? But what will be the reason they pit the bonny leddy in prison? It's wonderfu'! It canna be for ony misdeed?"

"No, dame, it is for no misdeed. Ah! you have not read history, or you would know that ladies of the highest rank, even queens and princesses, have been sometimes put in prison."

"Guid be guid till us! For what crime, gin your leddyship pleases?"

"For no crime at all. They have been accused of treason, or conspiracy, or something."

"And sic will be the case wi' this puir leddy?"

"Yes," said Mrs. MacDonald, whose regard for the truth was not of the strictest description.

"And what did they do wi' the puir queens?"

"Cut off their heads."

"Hech! that was awfu'! And what will they do wi' this puir leddy?"

"Release her after a while, because they can prove nothing against her, and because she has powerful friends."

"Eh, but that's guid."


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