"Did you so?" said he, and gave a little whistle. "Well, on my life, Jock, I'm not sorry. I was thinking of coming up to West Inch this very day, and having it out with you. Maybe it's better as it is."
"You've been a fine friend!" said I.
"Well now, be reasonable, Jock," said he, sticking his hands into his pockets and rocking to and fro as he stood. "Let me show you how it stands. Look me in the eye, and you'll see that I don't lie. It's this Way. I had met Edi – Miss Calder that is – before I came that morning, and there were things which made me look upon her as free; and, thinking that, I let my mind dwell on her. Then you said she wasn't free, but was promised to you, and that was the worst knock I've had for a time. It clean put me off, and I made a fool of myself for some days, and it's a mercy I'm not in Berwick gaol. Then by chance I met her again – on my soul, Jock, it was chance for me – and when I spoke of you she laughed at the thought. It was cousin and cousin, she said; but as for her not being free, or you being more to her than a friend, it was fool's talk. So you see, Jock, I was not so much to blame, after all: the more so as she promised that she would let you see by her conduct that you were mistaken in thinking that you had any claim upon her. You must have noticed that she has hardly had a word for you for these last two weeks."
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