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CHAPTER 26. END OF THE FLIGHT: WE PASS THE FORTH (continued)
"She's bound to be across now," I whispered.
"Na," said Alan, "her foot still sounds boss upon the bridge."
And just then -- "Who goes?" cried a voice, and we heard the butt of a musket rattle on the stones. I must suppose the sentry had been sleeping, so that had we tried, we might have passed unseen; but he was awake now, and the chance forfeited.
"This'll never do," said Alan. "This'll never, never do for us, David."
And without another word, he began to crawl away through the fields; and a little after, being well out of eye-shot, got to his feet again, and struck along a road that led to the eastward. I could not conceive what he was doing; and indeed I was so sharply cut by the disappointment, that I was little likely to be pleased with anything. A moment back and I had seen myself knocking at Mr. Rankeillor's door to claim my inheritance, like a hero in a ballad; and here was I back again, a wandering, hunted blackguard, on the wrong side of Forth.
"Well?" said I.
"Well," said Alan, "what would ye have? They're none such fools as I took them for. We have still the Forth to pass, Davie -- weary fall the rains that fed and the hillsides that guided it!"
"And why go east?" said I.
"Ou, just upon the chance!" said he. "If we cannae pass the river, we'll have to see what we can do for the firth."
"There are fords upon the river, and none upon the firth," said I.
"To be sure there are fords, and a bridge forbye," quoth Alan; "and of what service, when they are watched?"
"Well," said I, "but a river can be swum."
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