Fortunately the embarrassing silence was soon broken by the happy announcement that supper was ready in the kitchen.
"Ah, well, sir, you see, I am not altogether responsible for my actions, for, as a matter of fact, sir, I fear that my affections have run off with my wits, and I feel impelled to lay before you a very important request. For many months I have been exceedingly desirous of approaching your second daughter with a view to marriage, but hesitated to do so without consulting you, sir. I think the time has come when your daughter would consider the matter favorably, and with your consent I shall lose no time in laying the matter before her."
"Eh, mon," he said, "it is a graund cuintree. My auld frien' Sandy Mackenzie, when juist a bit lad, cam' oot frae Inverness tae tak' a poseetion wi' Mr. Gregory at Fort Chipewyan, at the heed o' the Athabasca Lake, in the wild cuintree wast o' Hudson Bay. Sandy sune got wearied o' office life, an' got Greegory tae agree to let him gang explorin'; that ood be about twenty years sin'. Weel, sir, he took wi' 'im fower canoes wi' fower Indians an' twa squaws, an' they left the fort in June. In a week they had gotten the length o' Slave Lake, as muckle as fower hunner an' seeventy miles frae the Fort. After they had stoppit for some days they gaed on for about three weeks mair, an' gangin' roond the side of the lake frae the outgoing o' the river that has been ca'd aifter him, he gaed awa' doon the river, whar they had an unco time drawin' their canoes ower the frozen bits 'an gettin' them again intae the open watter, until at the hinner en' they foond 'oot that it emptit intae the North Sea."