Inverness is an interesting, good-sized town, with an intellectual and pleasing countenance, of somewhat aristocratic and self-complacent expression.  It is considered the capital of the Highlands, and wears a decidedly metropolitan air.  It is well situated on the Ness, just at its debouchement into the Moray Firth, - a river that runs with a Rhine-like current through the town and is spanned with a suspension bridge.  It has streets of city-built and city-bred buildings, showing wealth and elegance.  Several edifices are in process of erection that will rank with some of the best in Edinburgh and Glasgow.  It has a long and pretentious history, reaching back to the Romans, and dashed with the romance of the wild ages of the country.  Oliver Cromwell, or Sledgehammer II., Macbeth, Thane of Cawdor, Queen Mary, Prince Charlie, and other historical celebrities, entered their names and doings on the records of this goodly town.

On Monday, Sept. 21st, I set out with a good deal of animation on the last week-stage of my journey, which I was anxious to accomplish as soon as possible, as the weather was becoming unsettled with frequent rain.  Reached Invergordon, passing through a most interesting section of country, full of very fertile straths.  It was the part of Ross-shire lying on the Moray and Beauly Firths and divided by rivers dashing down through the wooded gorges of the mountains.  I saw here some of the most productive land in Scotland.  Hundreds of acres were studded with wheat and barley stooks, and about an equal space was covered with standing grain, though so near the month of October.  Plantations, parks, gentlemens' seats, glens deep and grand, fir-clad mountains, villages, hamlets and scattered cottages made up the features of every changing view.  Indeed, one travelling for a week between Perth and Inverness comes upon such a region as this with pleasant surprise, as upon an exotic section, imported from another latitude.

The next day I held on northward, though the weather was very unfavorable and the walking heavy and fatiguing.  Passed what seemed the bold and ridgy island of Cromarty, so associated with the venerated memory of Hugh Miller.  The beating rain drove me frequently to the wayside cottages for shelter; and in every one of them I was received with kind words and pleasant looks.  One of these was occupied by an old woman in the regular Scotch cap - a venerable old saint, with her Bible and psalm-book library on her window-sill, and her peat fire burning cheerily.  When on leaving I intimated that I was from America, she followed me out into the road, asking me a hundred questions about the country and its condition.  She had three sons in Montreal, and felt a mother's interest in the very name America.  The cottage was one of a long street of them by the sea-side, and I supposed it was a fishing village; but I learned from her that the people were mostly the evicted tenants of the Duke of Sutherland, who were turned out of his county some thirty years ago to make room for sheep.  I made only eleven miles this day on account of the rain, and was glad to find cheery and comfortable quarters in an excellent inn kept by a widow and her three daughters in Tain.  Nothing could exceed their kindness and attention, which evidently flowed more from a disposition than from a professional habit of making their guests at home for a pecuniary or business consideration.  I reached their house about the middle of the afternoon, cold and wet, after several hours' walk in the rain, and was received as one of the family; the eldest daughter, who had all the grace and intelligence of a cultivated lady, helping me off with my wet overcoat, and even offering to pull off my water-soaked boots - an office no American could accept, and which I gently declined, taking the will for the deed.  A large number of Scotch navvies were at the inns of the town, making an obstreperous auroval in celebration of the monthly pay-day.  They had received the day preceding a month's wages, and they were now drinking up their money with the most reckless hilarity; swallowing the pay of five long hours at the pick in a couple of gills of whiskey.  How strange that men can work in rain, cold and heat at the shovel for a whole day, then drink up the whole in two hours at the gin-shop!  These pickmen pioneers of the Iron Horse, with their worst habits, are yet a kind of John-the-Baptists to the march and mission of civilization, preparing its way in the wilderness, and bringing secluded and isolated populations to its light and intercourse.  It is wonderful how they are working their way northward among these bald and thick-set mountains.  When I first visited Scotland, in 1846, the only piece of railroad north of the Forth was that between Dundee and Arbroath, hardly an hour long.  Now the iron pathways are running in every direction, making grand junctions at points which had never felt the navvy's pick a dozen years ago.  Here is one heading towards John O'Groat's, grubbing its way like a mole around the firths, cutting spiral gains into the rock-ribbed hills, bridging the deep and dark gorges, and holding on steadily north-poleward with a brave faith and faculty of patience that moves mountains, or as much of them as blocks its course.  The progress is slow, silent, but sure.  The world, busy in other doings, does not hear the pick, nor the speech of the powder when it speaks to a huge rock a-straddle the path.  The world, even including the shareholders, hears but little, if anything, of the progress of the work for months, perhaps for a year.  Then the consummation is announced in the form of an invitation to the public to "assist" at the opening of a railroad through towns and villages that never saw the daylight the locomotive brings in its wake.  So it will be here.  Some day, in the present decade, there will be an excursion train advertised to run from London to John O'Groat's; and perhaps the lineal descendant of Sigurd, or some other old Norse jarl, will wear the conductor's belt and cap or drive the engine.

The weather was still unsettled, with much wind and rain.  Resumed my walk, and at about four miles from Tain, crossed the Dornoch Firth in a sail ferry boat, and at noon reached Dornoch, the capital of Sutherlandshire.  This was one of the fourteen cities of Scotland; and its little, chubby cathedral, and the tower of the old bishop's palace still give it a kind of Canterbury air.  The Earls of Sutherland for many generations lie interred within the walls of this ancient church.  After stopping here for an hour or two for dinner, I continued on to Golspie, the residence of the mighty lord of the manor, or the owner, master and human disposer of this great mountain county of Scotland.  It is stated that full four-fifths of it belong to him who now holds the title, and that his other great estates, added to this territory, make him the largest landowner in Great Britain and probably in Europe.  Just before reaching Golspie, a lofty, sombre mountain, with its bald head enveloped in the mist, and which I had been two hours apparently in passing, cleared away and revealed its full stature - and more.  Towering up from its topmost summit, a tall column lifted a human figure in bronze skyward cloud-high and frequently higher still.  I believe the brazen face that thus looks into the pure and holy skies without blushing, is a duplicate of the one worn in human flesh by His Grace, Evictor I., who unpeopled his great county of many thousands of human inhabitants, and made nearly its whole area of 18,000 square miles a sheep-walk.  But I will not break the seal of that history.  It was full of bitter experience to multitudes.  Not for the time being was it joyous, but grievous exceedingly - surpassing endurance to many.  But it is all over now.  The ship-loads of evicted men and women who looked their last upon Scotland while its mountains and glens were reddened with the flames of their burning cottages, carried away with them a bitter feeling in their hearts which years of better experience did not soften.  Not for their good did it seem in the motive of the transaction; but for their good it worked most blessedly.  It was a rough transplanting, and the tenderest fibres of human affection broke and bled under the uptearing; but they took root in the Western World, and grew luxuriantly under the light and dew of a happier destiny.  It was hard for fathers and mothers who were taking on the frostwork of age upon their brows; but for their children it was the birth of a new life; for them it was the introduction to a future which had a sun in it, rayful and radiant with the beams of hope and promise.  Let those who denounce and deplore this harsh unpeopling come and stand upon the cold, bleak summit of one of these Sutherland mountains.  Let them bring their compasses, or some other instrument for measuring the angles, sines and cosines of human conditions.  Plant your theodolite here; wipe the telescope's eye with your handkerchief; look your keenest in the line of the lineage of these evicted thousands.  Steady, now! while the most tranquil light of the future is on the pathway of your eye.  This first reach of your vision is the life-track of the fathers and mothers unhoused among these mountains.  Look on beyond, over the longer life-line of their children; then farther still under the horizon of the remotest future to the track of their childrens' children.  Can you make an angle of a single degree's subtension in the hereditary conditions of these generations, or a dozen beyond?  Can you detect a point of departure by which the second generation would have diverged from the first, or the third from the second, and have attained to a higher life of comfort, intelligence, social and political position had they remained in these mountain cottages, grubbed on their cottage farms, and lived from hand to mouth on stinted rations of oatmeal and potatoes, as their ancestors had done from time immemorial?  Can you see among all the hopeful possibilities of Time's tomorrows, any such change for the better?  You can sight no such prospect with your telescope in that direction.  Turn it around and sweep the horizon of that other condition into which they were thrust, weeping and wrathful against their will.  Follow them across the Atlantic to North America, to their homes in the States and in the Canadas.  Measure the angle they made in this transposition, and the latitude and longitude of social and moral life they have reached from this Sutherland point of departure.  The sons of the fathers and mothers who had their family nests stirred up so cruelly, and scattered, like those of rooks, from their holdings in the cliffs, gorges and glens of these cold mountains, are now among the most substantial and respected men of the Western World.  Some of them to-day are mayors of towns of larger population than the whole county of Sutherland.  Some, doubtless, are Members of Congress, representing each a constituency of one hundred thousand persons, and a vast amount of intelligence, wealth and industry.  They are merchants, manufacturers, farmers, teachers and preachers, filling all the professions and occupations of the continent.  Is not that an angle of promise to your telescope?  Is not that a line of divergence which has conducted these evicted populations, at a small distance from this point of departure, into the better latitudes of human experience?  The selling of this Scotch Joseph to America was more purely and simply a pecuniary transaction than that recorded in Scripture; for in that the unkind and jealous brothers sold the innocent boy for envy, not for the love of pelf, though the Ishmaelites bought him on speculation.  But not for envy was the Sutherland lad sold and shipped to a foreign land, but rather for a contemptuous estimate of his money value.  The proprietor-patriarch of the county took to a more quiet and profitable favorite - the sheep, and sent it to feed on a pasture enriched with the ashes of Joseph's cottage.  It is to be feared he meant only money; but Providence meant a blessing beyond the measurement of money to the evicted; and what Providence meant it made for him and his posterity, and they are now enjoying it.

Dunrobin Castle, the grand residence of the Duke of Sutherland, looks off upon the sea at Golspie.  It is truly a magnificent edifice, ranking with the first palaces in Christendom.  Nearly eight hundred years has it been in building, though, I believe, all that commands admiration for stature and style is the work of the present century.  Whatever the Sutherland family may have been in local position and history in past centuries, one of the noblest women that ever ennobled the nobility of Great Britain, has given the name a celebrity and an estimation in America which all who ever wore it before never won for it.  The Duchess of Sutherland, the noble and large-hearted sister of Lord Morpeth-Carlisle, has given to the coronet she wore a lustre brighter to the American eye than the light of diadems which have dazzled millions in Europe.  When the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Men shall come to its high place in the hearts of nations as the crown-faith of all their creeds, what this noble woman felt, said and did for the Slave in his bonds shall be mentioned of her by the preachers of that great doctrine in years to come.  When the jewels of Humanity's memories shall be made up, she who, as it were, bent down to him in his prison-house and put her jewelled hands to the breaking of his fetters, shall stand, with women of the same sympathy, only next to her who broke her box of ointment on the Saviour's feet.

The next day made a walk to Helmsdale, a distance of about eighteen miles.  The weather was favorable, the scenery grand and varied with almost every feature that could give it interest.  The finest of roads wound in and out around the mountain headlands, so that alternately I was walking upon a lofty esplanade overlooking the still expanse of the steel-blue sea, then facing inward to the gorges of the grand and solemn hills.  Found comfortable quarters in one of the inns of Helmsdale, a vigorous, busy, fishing village nestling under the shadow of the mountains at the mouth of a little river of the same name.  After tea, went down to the wharf or quay and had some conversation with one of the masters of the business.  He cured and put up about 30,000 barrels of herrings himself in a season, employing, while it lasted, 500 persons.  Their chief market is the North of Europe, especially Poland, and the business was consequently much depressed on account of the troubles in that country.  The occupation of this little sea-side village illustrated the ramifications of commerce.  They imported their salt from Liverpool, their staves from Norway and their hoops from London.

Set out again immediately after breakfast, feeling that I was drawing near to the end of my journey.  I was soon in the treeless county of Caithness, so fraught with the wild romance of the Norsemen.  Passed over the bleakest district I had yet seen, called Old Ord, a cold, rough, cloud-breeding region that the very heavens above seem to frown upon with a scowl of dissatisfaction.  Still, the road over this dark, mountain desert, though staked on each side to keep the traveller from wandering in the blinding snows of winter, was as beautifully kept as the carriage-way in the park of Dunrobin Castle.  The sending of an English queen to conciliate the Welsh, by giving birth to a son in one of their castles, was not a much better stroke of policy than that of England in perforating Scotland to the Northern Sea with this unparalleled and splendid road, constructed at first for a military purpose.  I heard a man repeat a couplet, probably of unwritten poetry, in popular vogue among the Highlands, and which has quite an Irish collocation of ideas.  It is spoken thus, as far as I can recollect -

     Who knew these roads ere they were made 
     Should bless the Lord for General Wade.

I doubt if there are ten consecutive miles of carriage-road in America that could compare for excellence with that over the desert of Old Ord.  I was overtaken by a heavy shower before I had made the trajet, and was glad to reach one of the most comfortable inns of the Highlands, in the beautiful, romantic and picturesque glen of Berriedale.  Here, nestling between lofty mountain ridges, which warded off the blasting sea-winds sweeping across from Norway, were plantations and groves of trees, almost the only ones I saw in the county.  Nothing could exceed the hospitality of the family that kept the large, white-faced hotel at the bottom of this pleasant valley; especially after I incidentally said that I had walked all the way from London to see the country and people.  They admitted me into the kitchen and gave me a seat by the great peat fire, where I had a long talk with them, beginning with the mother.  Having intimated that I was an American, the whole family, old and young, including the landlord, gathered around me and had a hundred questions to ask.  They related many incidents about the great eviction in Sutherland, which was an event that seems to make a large stock of legendary and unwritten stories, like the oldSagas of the Northmen.  When I had dried my clothes and eaten a comfortable dinner before their kitchen fire and resumed my staff, they all followed me out to the road, and then with their wishes for a good journey as long as I was in hearing distance.  Continued my walk around headlands, now looking seaward, now mountainward, now ascending on heather-bound esplanades, now descending in zig-zag directions into deep glens, over massive and elegant bridges that spanned the mountain streams and their steep and jagged banks.  After a walk of eighteen miles, put up at an inn a little north of the village of Dunbeath, kept by an intelligent and industrious farmer.  The rain had continued most of the day, and I was obliged to seek shelter sometimes under a stunted tree which helped out the protecting power of a weather-beaten umbrella; now in the doorway of an open stable or cow-shed, and once with my back against the door of a wayside church, which kept off the rain in one direction.  This being a kind of border-season between summer and autumn, there were no fires in the inns generally except in the kitchen, and I soon learned to make for that, and always found a kindly welcome to its comforts; though sometimes the good woman and her lassie would look a little flushed at having their busiest culinary operations revealed so suddenly to a stranger.  Some of these kitchens are fitted for sleeping apartments; occasionally having two tiers of berths like a ship's cabin, slightly and rudely curtained.

The family of this wayside inn, seemingly like every other family in the country, had connections in America, embracing brothers, uncles and cousins.  I was shown a little paper casket of hair flower-work, sent by post!  It was wrought of locks of every shade and tint, from the snow of a grandmother over one hundred years of age to the little, sunny curls of the youngest child in the circle of kindred families.  The Scotch branch had collected specimens from relatives in Great Britain and forwarded them to the family in America, one of whose daughters had worked them into two bouquets of flowers, sending one of them by post to this little, white cottage on the Northern Sea, as a memento of affection.  What enhanced the beauty of this interchange was the fact, that forty-eight years had elapsed since the landlord's brother left his native land for New England, and had never seen it since.  Still, the cousins, who had never seen each other's faces, had kept up an affectionate correspondence.  A son and son-in-law of the brother in America were in the Federal army, and here was a sea-divided family filled with all the sad, silent solicitude of affection for beloved ones exposed to the fearful hazards of a war sundering more ties of blood-relationship than any other ever waged on earth.

Saturday, September 27th.  Resumed my walk with increased animation, feeling myself within two days' distance of its end.  The scenery softens down to an agricultural aspect, the country declining northerly toward the sea.  Passed through a well-cultivated district, never unpeopled or wasted by eviction, but held by a kind of even yeomanry of proprietors.  The cottages are comfortable, resembling the white houses of New England considerably.  They are nearly all of one story, with a chimney at each end, broadside to the road, and a door in the middle, dividing the house into two apartments.  They are built of stone, the newest ones having a slate roof.  Some of them are whitewashed, others so liberally jointed with mortar as to give them a bright and cheery appearance.  These, of course, are the last edition of cottages, enlarged and amended in every way.  The old issues are ragged volumes, mostly bound in turf or bog grass, well corded down with ropes of heather, giving the roof a singular ribby look, rounded on the ridge.  In many cases a stone is attached to each end of the rope, so as to make it hug the thatch closely.  I noticed that in a considerable number of the old cottages, the stone wall only reached up a foot or two from the ground, the rest being made up of blocks of peat.  Some of the oldest had no premonitory symptoms of a chimney, except a hole in the roof for the smoke.  These in no way differed from the stone-and-turf cottages in Ireland.

Again occasional showers brought me into acquaintance with the people living near the road.  In every case I found them kind and hospitable, giving me a pleasant welcome and the best seat by their peat-fire.  I sat by one an hour while the rain fell cold and fast outside.  The good woman and her daughter were busy baking barley-cakes.  They were the first I had seen, and I ate them with a peculiar zest of appetite.  Told them many stories about America in return for a great deal of information about the customs and condition of the working-people.  They generally built their own cottages, costing from £40 to £50, not counting their own labor.  I met on the road scores of fishermen returning to their homes at the conclusion of the herring season; and was struck with their appearance in every way.  They are truly a stalwart race of men, broad-chested, of intelligent physiognomy, with Scandinavian features fully developed.  A half dozen of them followed a horse-cart containing their nets, all done up in a round ball, like a bladder of snuff, with the number of their boat marked upon it.

At about four p.m., I came in sight of the steeples of Wick, a brave little city by the Norse Sea, which may not only be called the Wick but the Candle of Northern Scotland; lighting, like a polar star, this hyperborean shoreland of the British isle.  I never entered a town with livelier pleasure.  It is virtually the last and farthest on the mainland in this direction.  Its history is full of interest.  Its great business is full of vigor, daring and danger.  Here is the great land-home of the Vikings of the nineteenth century; the indomitable men who walk the roaring and crested billows of this Northern Ocean in their black, tough sea-boats and bring ashore the hard-earned spoils of the deep.  This is the great metropolis of Fishdom.  Eric the Red, nor any other pre-Columbus navigator of the North American Seas, ever mustered braver crews than these sea-boats carry to their morning beats.  Ten thousand of as hardy men as ever wrestled with the waves, and threw them too, are out upon that wide water-wold before the sun looks on it - half of them wearing the features of their Norse lineage, as light-haired and crisp-whiskered as the sailors of Harold the Fair-haired a thousand years ago.  They come from all the coasts of Scotland, from Orkney, Shetland, the Hebrides and Lewis islands, and down out of the heart of the Highlands.  It is a hard and daring industry they follow, and hundreds of graves on the shore and thousands at the bottom of the sea have been made with no names on them, as the long record of the hazards they run in the perilous occupation.  But they keep their ranks full from year to year, pushing out new boats marked with higher numbers.

The harbor has been dangerous and difficult of access, but of late a great effort has been made to render it more safe and commodious.  The Scotch fisheries now yield from 600,000 to 700,000 barrels of herrings annually, employing about 17,000 fishermen; Wick stands first among all the fishing ports of the kingdom.  It is a thriving town, well supplied with churches, schools, hotels, banks and printing-offices.  Several new buildings are now being erected which will rank high in architecture and add new features of elegance to the place.  The population is a vigorous, intelligent, highly moral and well-read community, as I could not fail to notice on attending service on the Sabbath at different places of worship.  Wick is honored with this distinction - it assembles a larger congregation of men to listen to the glad Evangel on Sunday than any city of the world ever musters under one roof for the same purpose.  It is the out-door church of the fishermen.  They sometimes number 5,000 adult men, sea-beaten and sun-burnt, gathered in from mountainous island and mainland all around the northern coasts of Scotland.

Monday, Sept. 28th.  The weather was favorable, and I set out on my last day's walk northward with a sense of satisfaction I could hardly describe.  The scenery was beautiful in every direction.  The road was perfect up to the last rod; as well kept as if it ran through a nobleman's park.  The country most of the way was well cultivated - oats being the principal crop.  Here, almost within sight of the Orkneys, I heard the clatter of the reaping machine, which, doubtless, puts out the same utterance over and upon the sea at Land's End.  It has travelled fast and far since 1851, when it first made its appearance in Europe in the Crystal Palace, as one of the wild, impracticable "notions" of American genius.  In Wick I visited a newspaper establishment, and saw in operation one of the old "Columbians," or the American printing-press, surmounted by the eagle of the Republic.  The sewing-machine is in all the towns and villages on the island.  If there is not an American clock at John O'Groat's, I hope some of my fellow townsmen will send one there, Bristol-built.  They are pleasant tokens of free-labor genius.  No land tilled by slaves could produce them.  I saw many large and highly-cultivated farms on these last miles of my walk.  The country was proportionately divided between food and fuel.  Oats and barley constitute the grain-crops.  The uncultivated land interspersed with the yellow fields of harvest, is reserved for peat - the poor man's fuel and his wealth.  For, were it not for the inexhaustible abundance of this cheap and accessible firing, he could hardly inhabit this region.  It would seem strange to an American, who had not realised the difference of the two climates, to see fields full of reapers on the very threshold of October, as I saw them on this last day's walk.  I counted twelve women and two men in one field plying the sickle, all strongly-built and good-looking and well-dressed withal.

The sea was still and blue as a lake.  A lark was soaring and warbling over it with as happy and hopeful a voice as if it were singing over the greenest acres of an English meadow.  When I had made half of the seventeen miles between Wick and John O'Groat's, I began to look with the liveliest interest for the first glimpse of the Orkneys; but projecting and ragged headlands intercepted the prospect.  About three p.m., as the road emerged from behind one of them, those famous islands burst suddenly into view!  There they were! - in full sight, so near that their grain-fields and white cottages and all their distinguishing features seemed within half a mile's distance.  This was the most interesting coup d'il that I ever caught in any country.  Here, then, after weeks and months of travel on foot, I was at the end of my journey.  Through all the days of this period I had faced northward, and here was the Ultima Thule, the goal and termination of my tour.  The road to the sea diverged from the main turnpike, which continued around the coast to Thurso.  Followed this branch a couple of miles, when it ended at the door of a little, quiet, one-story inn on the very shore of the Pentland Firth.  It was a moment of the liveliest enjoyment to me.  When I left London, about the middle of July, I was slowly recovering from a severe indisposition, and hardly expected to be able to make more than a few miles of my projected walk.  But I had gathered strength daily, and when I brought up at this little inn at the very jumping-off end of Scotland, I was fresher and more vigorous on foot than at any previous stage of the journey.

Having found to my great satisfaction that they could give me a bed for the night, I went with two gentlemen of the neighborhood to see the site of the celebrated John O'Groat's House, about a mile and a half from the inn.  There was only a footpath to it across intervening fields, and when we reached it, a rather vigorous exercise of the organ of individuality was requisite to "locate" the foundations of "the house that Jack built."  Indeed, pilgrims to the shrine of this famous domicile are liable to much disappointment at finding so little remaining of a residence so historical.  Literally not one stone is left upon another.  A large stone granary standing near is said to have been built of the debris of the house, and this helps out one's faith when struggling to believe in the existence of such a building at all.  A certain ridgy rising in the ground, to which you try to give an octagonal shape, is pointed out as indicating the foundations; but an unsatisfactory obscurity rests upon the whole history of the establishment.  Whether true or not, that history of the house which one would prefer to believe runs thus: -

In the reign of James IV. of Scotland, three brothers, Malcolm, Gavin, and John de Groat, natives of Holland, came to this coast of Caithness, with a letter in Latin from that monarch recommending them to the protection and countenance of his subjects hereabout.  They got possession of a large district of land, and in process of time multiplied and prospered until they numbered eight different proprietors by the name of Groat.  On one of the annual dinners instituted to commemorate their arrival in Caithness, a dispute arose as to the right of precedency in taking the door and the head of the table.  This waxed very serious and threatened to break up these annual gatherings.  But the wisdom and virtue of John prevented this rupture.  He made a touching speech to them, soothing their angry spirits with an appeal to the common and precious memories of their native land and to all their joint experiences in this.  He entreated them to return to their homes quietly, and he would remedy the current difficulty at the next meeting.  Won by his kindly spirit and words, they complied with his request.  In the interval, John built a house expressly for the purpose, of an octagonal form, with eight doors and windows.  He then placed a table of oak, of the same shape, in the middle; and when the next meeting took place, he desired each head of the different Groat families to enter at his own door and sit at the head of his own table.  This happy and ingenious plan restored good feeling and a pleasant footing to the sensitive families, and gave to the good Dutchman's name an interest which it will carry with it forever.

After filling my pockets with some beautiful little shells strewing the site of the building, called "John O'Groat's buckies," I returned to the inn.  One of the gentlemen who accompanied me was the tenant of the farm which must have been John's homestead, containing about two hundred acres.  It was mostly in oats, still standing, with a good promise of forty bushels to the acre.  He resided at Thurso, some twenty miles distant, and found no difficulty in carrying on the estate through a hired foreman.  I never passed a more enjoyable evening than in the little, cozy, low-jointed parlor of this sea-side inn.  Scotch cakes never had such a relish for me nor a peat-fire more comfortable fellowship of pleasant fancies, as I sat at the tea-table.  There was a moaning of winds down the Pentland Firth - a clattering and chattering of window shutters, as if the unrestful spirits of the old Vikings and Norse heroes were walking up and down the scene of their wild histories and gibbering over their feats and fates.  Spent an hour or two in writing letters to friends in England and America, to tell them of my arrival at this extreme goal of my walk, and a full hour in poring over the visitors' book, in which there were names from all countries in Christendom, and also impressions and observations in prose, poetry, English, French, Latin, German and other languages.  Many of the comments thus recorded intimated some dissatisfaction that John O'Groat's House was so mythical; that so much had to be supplied by the imagination; that not even a stone of the foundation remained in its place to assist fancy to erect the building into a positive fact of history.  But they all bore full and sometimes fervid testimony to the good cheer of the inn at the hands of the landlady.  There was one record which blended loyalty to palate and patriotism - "The Roast Beef of Old England" and "God save the Queen" - rather amusingly.  A party wrote their impressions after this manner - "Visited John O'Groat's House; found little to see; came back tired and hungry; walked into a couple of tender chickens and a good piece of bacon: God save Mrs. Manson and all the Royal Family!"  This concluding "sentiment" was doubtless sincere and honest, although it involved a question of precedence in the rank of two feelings which John the Dutchman could have hardly settled by his eight-angled plan of adjustment.

The next morning, for the first time for nearly three months of continuous travel, I faced southward, leaving behind me the Orkneys unvisited, though I had a strong desire to see those celebrated islands - the theatre of so much interesting history.  Twenty years ago I translated all the "Sagas" relating to the voyages and exploits of the Northmen in these northern seas and islands, their explorations of the coast of North America centuries before Columbus was born, their doings in Iceland and on all the islands great and small now forming the British realms.  This gave an additional zest to my enjoyment in standing on the shore of the Pentland Firth and looking over upon the scene of old Haco's and Sigurd's doing, daring and dying.

Footed it back to Wick, and there terminated my walk, having measured, step by step, full seven hundred miles since I left London, counting in the divergences from a straight line which I had made.  In the evening I addressed a large and intelligent audience which had been convened at short notice, and I never stood up before one with such peculiar satisfaction as in that North-star town of Scotland.  I had travelled nearly the whole distance incog., without hearing my own name on a pair of human lips for weeks.  To lay aside this embargo and to speak to such a large congregation, face to face, was like coming back again into the great communions of humanity after a long and private fellowship with the secluded quietudes of Nature.

At four p.m. the next day, I took the Thurso coach and passed over in the night the whole distance that had occupied me a week in travelling by staff.  Stopped a night in Inverness, another at Elgin, and spent the Sabbath with my friend, Anthony Cruickshank, at Sittyton, about fifteen miles north of Aberdeen.