"But, try good girl, I am a stranger, and my business express--Will you tell me where I can find him?"
"His honour," said the chairman, "will be at Clerihugh's about this time--Hersell could hae tell'd ye that, but she thought ye wanted to see his house."
"Well, then, show me to this tavern--I suppose he will see me, as I come on business of some consequence?"
"I dinna ken, sir," said the girl; "he disna like to be disturbed on Saturdays wi' business--but he's aye civil to strangers."
"I'll gang to the tavern too," said our friend Dinmont, "for I am a stranger also, and on business e'en sic like."
"Na," said the handmaiden, "an he see the gentleman, he'll see the simple body too--but, Lord's sake, dinna say it was me sent ye there!"
"Atweel, I am a simple body, that's true, hinny, but I am no come to steal ony o' his skeel for naething," said the farmer in his honest pride, and strutted away downstairs, followed by Mannering and the cadie. Mannering could not help admiring the determined stride with which the stranger who preceded them divided the press, shouldering from him, by the mere weight and impetus of his motion, both drunk and sober passengers. "He'll be a Teviotdale tup tat ane," said the chairman, "tat's for keeping ta crown o' ta causeway tat gate--he'll no gang far or he'll get somebody to bell ta cat wi' him."
His shrewd augury, however, was not fulfilled. Those who recoiled from the colossal weight of Dinmont, on looking up at his size and strength, apparently judged him too heavy metal to be rashly encountered, and suffered him to pursue his course unchallenged. Following in the wake of this first-rate, Mannering proceeded till the farmer made a pause, and, looking back to the chairman, said, "I'm thinking this will be the close, friend?"