Page:Yule Logs.djvu/141

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125
THE BADGE OF THE FOURTH FOOT

corner," he remarked. "And where is the portrait of the beautiful Lady Leslie—Bonnie Belinda, they called her—that used to hang up there above that carved settle?"

"Oh, that has been put away," explained Colin, "because—because Lady Belinda was a Jacobite, you know. But how did you know that the picture and the guns and things were ever there? You have never been in this room before, have you?"

The colonel raised his glass to his lips. "Yes," he said.

"When?" demanded Colin.

"Oh, when I was a youth, a little older than you are now. It must be fifty years ago."

At this moment Sir Donald Leslie re-entered the room.

"Grandfather!" cried Colin, "Colonel Ossington has been here before! He was here fifty years ago."

Sir Donald turned sharply to his guest.

"Is this true?" he asked.

"Quite true," responded the old campaigner. "I was here in the year 1746. You, I think, were at that time abroad."

"Yes," acquiesced Sir Donald. "I was in Leyden. I am sorry you did not inform me at once that this was not your first visit. I should have given you a warmer welcome if I had known. As it is, I have treated you as a stranger, and have not even offered you my hand."

"It is hardly too late to repair the omission," said Colonel Ossington, and he thrust forth his hand, which his host grasped.

"Ossington?" muttered Sir Donald, trying to recall the name. "Ossington? Dear me, I'm afraid I must seem very stupid. But for the life of me I cannot remember to have heard of you. If I may be so inquisitive, what was the occasion of your former visit, colonel?"

"I will tell you," returned the soldier frankly. "In-