Page:Yule Logs.djvu/154

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138
THE BADGE OF THE FOURTH FOOT

are to be delivered to the messengers by my brother Neil at the postern gate in the castle garden. They will be delivered, Jack, if—if I don't prevent it, as I mean to do.'"

Colonel Ossington paused in his narrative. His gaze was fixed upon the earnestly attentive eyes and the white face of Colin Leslie. The boy seemed mentally to be associating this fact of the delivery of arms at the postern gate with the recently seen apparition of Neil Leslie. As for Sir Donald, he had now ceased to doubt Colonel Ossington's affirmations, and was as deeply interested in the narrative as was his grandson, although the sympathies of the two were directly at variance.

"Ten thousand pounds in gold!" ejaculated Sir Donald in astonishment. "Where on earth did it all come from?"

"I do not know," returned Ossington. "Probably it represented the contributions of the wealthy Jacobites of the immediate neighbourhood."

"And did the Highlanders get those guns and things in time to use them in the next day's battle?" Colin ventured to ask. He breathed a sigh of disappointment when Colonel Ossington answered, with more conviction than the mere words implied—

"I believe not. Alan Leslie remained behind with the purpose of frustrating their delivery."

"Ay, and did frustrate it, I'll be bound," interposed the grandfather. "Alan was brave, he was strong and determined. He would stick at nothing! When did you next see him, colonel?"

"I never saw him again," replied Ossington. "Since that night when I left him his fate has been to me a complete mystery. On the next day, at Nairn, when the muster-roll was called, he was absent. We advanced to Culloden, and the battle was fought—if battle it may be called which was a mere rout. But Alan Leslie was nowhere on the field. When the Highlanders had re-