THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE. 249
Then Randal tugged at the cloths, and then they all heard a little shrill cry.
" Why, it's a bairn ! " said Lady Ker, who had sat very grave all the time, pleased to have done the English some harm ; for they had killed her husband, and were all her deadly foes. " It's a bairn ! " she cried, and pulled out of the great heap of cloaks and rugs a little beautiful child, in its white nightdress, with its yellow curls all tangled over its blue eyes.
Then Lady Ker and the old nurse could not make too much of the pretty English child that had come here in such a wonderful way.
How did it get mixed up with all the spoil ? and how had it been carried so far on horseback without being hurt ? Nobody ever knew. It came as if the fairies had sent it. English it was, but the best Scot could not hate such a pretty child. Old Nancy Dryden ran up to the old nursery with it, and laid it in a great wooden tub full of hot water, and was giving it warm milk to drink, and dandling it, almost before the men knew what had happened.
" Yon bairn will be a bonny mate for you, Maister Randal," said old Simon Grieve. " 'Deed, I dinna think her kin will come speering* after her at Fairnilee. The Red Cock's crawing ower Hardriding Ha' this day,
* Asking. 17