The tale was originally told me by an old servant of my father's, an excellent old Highlander, without a fault. He believed as firmly in the story as in any part of his creed. A grave and elderly person, according to old John MacKinlay's account, while traveling in the wilder parts of Galloway, was benighted. With difficulty he found his way to a country seat, where he was readily admitted. The owner of the house was much struck by the reverend appearance of his guest, and apologized to him for a certain degree of confusion which must unavoidably attend his reception. The lady of the house was, he said, confined to her apartment, and on the point of making her husband a father for the first time. Not so, sir, said the stranger; my wants are few, and easily supplied, and I trust the present circumstances may even afford an opportunity of showing my gratitude for your hospitality. Let me only request that I may be informed of the exact minute of the birth. I will not conceal from you that I am skillful in understanding and interpreting the movements of those planetary bodies which exert their influences on the destiny of mortals. competent estate, and only use the knowledge I possess for the benefit of those in whom I feel an interest...
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