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CHAPTER 18. I TALK WITH ALAN IN THE WOOD OF LETTERMORE
Alan was the first to come round. He rose, went to the border of the wood, peered out a little, and then returned and sat down.
"Well," said he, "yon was a hot burst, David."
I said nothing, nor so much as lifted my face. I had seen murder done, and a great, ruddy, jovial gentleman struck out of life in a moment; the pity of that sight was still sore within me, and yet that was but a part of my concern. Here was murder done upon the man Alan hated; here was Alan skulking in the trees and running from the troops; and whether his was the hand that fired or only the head that ordered, signified but little. By my way of it, my only friend in that wild country was blood-guilty in the first degree; I held him in horror; I could not look upon his face; I would have rather lain alone in the rain on my cold isle, than in that warm wood beside a murderer.
"Are ye still wearied?" he asked again.
"No," said I, still with my face in the bracken; "no, I am not wearied now, and I can speak. You and me must twine," I said. "I liked you very well, Alan, but your ways are not mine, and they're not God's: and the short and the long of it is just that we must twine."
"I will hardly twine from ye, David, without some kind of reason for the same," said Alan, mighty gravely. "If ye ken anything against my reputation, it's the least thing that ye should do, for old acquaintance' sake, to let me hear the name of it; and if ye have only taken a distaste to my society, it will be proper for me to judge if I'm insulted."
"Alan," said I, "what is the sense of this? Ye ken very well yon Campbell-man lies in his blood upon the road."
He was silent for a little; then says he, "Did ever ye hear tell of the story of the Man and the Good People?" -- by which he meant the fairies.
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