The Legend Of Old Silfax
From: The Underground City
Six months after these events, the marriage, so strangely interrupted,
was finally celebrated in St. Giles's chapel, and the young couple, who
still wore mourning garments, returned to the cottage. James Starr
and Simon Ford, henceforth free from the anxieties which had so long
distressed them, joyously presided over the entertainment which followed
the ceremony, and prolonged it to the following day.
On this memorable occasion, Jack Ryan, in his favorite character of
piper, and in all the glory of full dress, blew up his chanter, and
astonished the company by the unheard of achievement of playing,
singing, and dancing all at once.
It is needless to say that Harry and Nell were happy. These loving
hearts, after the trials they had gone through found in their union the
happiness they deserved.
As to Simon Ford, the ex-overman of New Aberfoyle, he began to talk of
celebrating his golden wedding, after fifty years of marriage with good
old Madge, who liked the idea immensely herself.
"And after that, why not golden wedding number two?"
"You would like a couple of fifties, would you, Mr. Simon?" said Jack
"All right, my boy," replied the overman quietly, "I see nothing against
it in this fine climate of ours, and living far from the luxury and
intemperance of the outer world."
Will the dwellers in Coal Town ever be called to witness this second
ceremony? Time will show. Certainly the strange bird of old Silfax
seemed destined to attain a wonderful longevity. The Harfang continued
to haunt the gloomy recesses of the cave. After the old man's death,
Nell had attempted to keep the owl, but in a very few days he flew away.
He evidently disliked human society as much as his master had done, and,
besides that, he appeared to have a particular spite against Harry. The
jealous bird seemed to remember and hate him for having carried off Nell
from the deep abyss, notwithstanding all he could do to prevent him.
Still, at long intervals, Nell would see the creature hovering above
Could he possibly be watching for his friend of yore? Did he strive to
pierce, with keen eye, the depths which had engulfed his master?
The history of the Harfang became legendary, and furnished Jack Ryan
with many a tale and song. Thanks to him, the story of old Silfax and
his bird will long be preserved, and handed down to future generations
of the Scottish peasantry.
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