THE BADGE OF THE FOURTH FOOT
Suddenly he drew back with a half-smothered cry, gripped his companion's arm, and pointed with agitated finger into the dark shadows of the ruined walls.
"Look!" he ejaculated, trembling in every limb. "Do you see it? Do you see it? See! there it goes—there, in at the old postern gate! Come! come quickly back to the house. I'm afraid!"
Colonel Ossington held the lad's arm, supporting him. "Afraid of what, boy?" he demanded. "There is nothing."
"Did you not see it?" gasped Colin, in a mysterious, scarcely audible whisper. "It went in at the postern, there."
"I saw nothing to alarm you to this degree, my boy," returned the soldier. "What was it? Tell me what it was!"
Colin's fingers crept down the colonel's right arm until they grasped his hand. The lad had implored his companion to return with him to the house, but he himself now stood still as if rooted to the spot.
"What was it?" repeated Colonel Ossington.
Colin answered in the same low, mysterious whisper. "It was the ghost—the ghost of Neil Leslie. It is often seen here. Elspeth has seen it. So has grandfather. I have seen it before, too; but never so plainly as now. It glided along there by the wall, with its plaid wrapped round it. I saw the yellow stone glistening in the hilt of its dirk. Its sword flashed in the moonlight. When it got to the gate it stopped a moment and put out its hand, holding something—something that looked like a little bag. It turned its face this way and then disappeared."
"Come," said the colonel, putting his arm about the lad and drawing him onward towards the house. "Your imagination has been playing you some trick. It was the moonlight and the moving bushes, perhaps. You will forget all about it when we get indoors."