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The House of Turriepuffit stood about a furlong from David's cottage. It was the abode of theLaird, or landed proprietor, in whose employment David filled several offices ordinarily distinct. Theestate was a small one, and almost entirely farmed by the owner himself; who, with David's help, managed to turn it to good account. Upon week-days, he appeared on horseback in a costume morefitted for following the plough; but he did not work with his own hands; and on Sundays was atonce recognizable as a country gentleman.David was his bailiff or grieve, to overlook the labourers on the estate; his steward to pay them, and keep the farm accounts; his head gardener-for little labour was expended in that direction, there being only one lady, the mistress of the house, and she no patroness of useless flowers: Davidwas in fact the laird's general adviser and executor.The laird's family, besides the lady already mentioned, consisted only of two boys, of the ages ofeleven and fourteen, whom he wished to enjoy the same privileges he had himself possessed, and towhom, therefore, he was giving a classical and mathematical education, in view of the University, bymeans of private tutors; the last of whom-for the changes were not few, seeing the salary was ofthe smallest-was Hugh Sutherland, the young man concerning whom David Elginbrod has alreadygiven his opinion. But notwithstanding the freedom he always granted his daughter, and his goodopinion of Hugh as well, David could not help feeling a little anxious, in his walk along the roadtowards the house, as to what the apparent acquaintance between her and the new tutor mightevolve; but he got rid of all the difficulty, as far as he was concerned, by saying at last: "What richt hae I to interfere? even supposin' I wanted to interfere. But I can lippen weel to mybonny doo; an' for the rest, she maun tak' her chance like the lave o's. An' wha' kens but it micht jistbe stan'in' afore Him, i' the very get that He meant to gang. The Lord forgie me for speakin' o'chance, as gin I believed in ony sic havers. There's no fear o' the lassie. Gude mornin' t'ye, MaisterSutherlan'. That's a braw beuk o' ballants ye gae the len' o' to my Maggy, this mornin', sir."Sutherland was just entering a side-door of the house when David accosted him. He was not oldenough to keep from blushing at David's words; but, having a good conscience, he was ready with agood ans.