I grued more at the sound of the soughing than at the sight of the hanged fellows, for I've seen the Fell Sergeant in too many ugly fashions to be much put about at a hanging match. But it was such a poor home-coming! It told me as plain as could be, what I had heard rumours of in the low country, riding round from the port of Leith, that the land was uneasy, and that pit and gallows were bye-ordinar busy at the gates of our castle. When I left for my last session at Glascow College, the countryside was quiet as a village green, never a raider nor a reiver in the land, and so poor the Doomster's trade (Black George) that he took to the shoeing of horses.
"There must be something wicked in the times, and cheatery rampant indeed," I thought, "when the common gibbet of Inneraora has a drunkard's convoy on either hand to prop it up."
But it was no time for meditation. Th