It was still early in the evening--two bells had just gone--when Duncan and his wife stood by the cabin companionway, gazing to windward and canvassing the possibility of spreading their beds on deck.
Minnie Duncan started, then glanced at her husband's immobile face, took the cue, and remained silent.
"Minnie, you'd better go down," Duncan said gently.
Duncan puffed at his cigar and waited till his wife's voice, in talk with the cabin-boy, came up through the open skylight.
Duncan seized the favorable moment to spring to the body of Gamut, which he bore within the shelter of the narrow chasm that protected the sisters.
"You hear our probable fortunes, Cora," said Duncan, "and you know we have everything to hope from the anxiety and experience of your father.
"Duncan!" said the tremulous voice of Cora, when he had reached the mouth of the cavern.
It was not the first time that Duncan's steady good sense had struck light, under the form of a new thought, in his master's mind.
He sent Duncan with a message, to be given to Blanche's maid.
Duncan returned to the breakfast-room to pour out his master's coffee.
I was half out of bed, and Duncan had been hanging at the elbow of these fighting cocks, ready to intervene upon the least occasion.
Duncan Dhu made haste to bring out the pair of pipes that was his principal possession, and to set before his guests a mutton-ham and a bottle of that drink which they call Athole brose, and which is made of old whiskey, strained honey and sweet cream, slowly beaten together in the right order and proportion.