Child's, The English And Scottish Ballads

Volume 3 of 8 from 1860 edition -online book

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THE LAIED OF 'WAHISTOUN.             317
At length, on his being called a third time, he was introduced to her presence. Before this time she had found an accomplice in the nurse of her child. It was then arranged, that Weir should be concealed in a cellar till the dead of night, when he should come forth and proceed to destroy the laird as he lay in his cham­ber. The bloody tragedy was acted precisely in ac­cordance with this plan. Wier was brought up, at midnight, from the cellar to the hall by the lady her­self, and afterwards went forward alone to the laird's bedroom. As he proceeded to his bloody work, she retired to her bed, to wait the intelligence of her hus­band's murder. When Weir entered the chamber, Waristoun awoke with the noise, and leant inquiringly over the side of the bed. The murderer then leapt upon him; the unhappy man uttered a great cry; Weir gave him several dreadful blows on vital parts, particularly one on the flank vein. But as the laird was still able to cry out, he at length saw fit to take more effective measures: he seized him by the throat with both hands, and compressing that part with all his force, succeeded, after a few minutes, in depriving him of life. When the lady heard her husband's first death-shout, she leapt out of bed, in an agony of min­gled horror and repentance, and descended to the hall: but she made no effort to countermand her mission of destruction. She waited patiently till Weir came down to inform her that all was over.
" Weir made an immediate escape from justice; but Lady Waristoun and the nurse were apprehended be­fore the deed was half a day old. Being caught, as the Scottish law terms it, red-hand,—that is, while still bearing unequivocal marks of guilt, they were