Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 6 of 8 from 1860 edition - online book

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macpheeson's rant.
assistants; and swift horses were stationed at a conven­ient distance. Donald Macpherson and Peter Brown forced the jail; and while Peter Brown went to help the heavily-fettered James Macpherson in moving away, Donald Macpherson guarded the jail-door with a drawn sword. Many persons assembled at the market had experienced James Macpherson's human­ity, or had shared his bounty; and they crowded round the jail as in mere curiosity, but, in fact, to obstruct the civil authorities in their attempts to pre­vent a rescue. A butcher, however, was resolved to detain Macpherson, expecting a large recompense from the magistrates; he sprung up the stairs, and leaped from the platform upon Donald Macpherson, whom he dashed to the ground by the force and weight of his body. Donald Macpherson soon recov­ered, to make a desperate resistance; and the com­batants tore off each other's clothes. The butcher got a glimpse of his dog upon the platform, and called him to his aid; but Macpherson, with admirable pres­ence of mind, snatched up his own plaid, which lay near, and threw it over the butcher, thus misleading the instinct of his canine adversary. The dog darted with fury upon the plaid, and terribly lacerated his master's thigh. In the mean time, James Macpherson had been carried out by Peter Brown, and was soon joined by Donald Macpherson, who was quickly cov­ered by some friendly spectator with a hat and great coat. The magistrates ordered webs from the shops to be drawn across the Gallowgate ; but Donald Mac­pherson cut them asunder with his sword, and James, the late prisoner, got off on horseback. He was, some time after, betrayed by a man of his own tribe;