We all stayed that night at the house of Shaws. But while Alan and Torrance and Mr Rankeillor slept on the hard beds upstairs, I lay down on the kitchen chests, which now belonged to me. I, who had slept out on the hills for so many days and nights, was now the owner of a large house and several farms.
My head was full of exciting plans and ideas, and I found it difficult to sleep.
The next day, while Mr Rankeillor and I were having breakfast together, I talked to him about Alan.
'Mr Thomson is still in danger,' said the lawyer. 'He must leave the country as soon as possible, and stay with his friends in France for a while. I'll give you money to buy him a place on a ship. He'll have to stay hidden until then.'
'And his clansman, James Stewart, who's in prison?' I asked. 'I know he didn't kill Colin Campbell. I saw the murderer! I must speak for James Stewart in court!'
'My dear boy,' said Rankeillor, 'it's dangerous for anyone to speak for a Stewart in Campbell court. But you must do what you think is right. I'll write you a letter to a good lawyer who will be able to help Mr Thomson's clansman.' He stood up. 'Well, I think that we've finished our business here. I must leave now, and go back to my work. Come and see me often, Mr David! Goodbye!'
Alan and I started walking towards Edlnburgh, while Mr Rankeillor and Torrance turned back to Queensferry. We talked about what would happen next. Alan was going to hide in the countryside near Edinburgh, until it was safe for him to take a ship to France.
When I had found him a place, I would send him a message. Then I planned to go back to the High lands to help James Stewart return to his family.
Alan and I walked slowly. We were both thinking that soon we would have to leave each other. And we had been through so much together! We stopped when we came to the top of the Corstorphine Hill, and looked down at Edinburgh. We knew that this was the moment to say goodbye, but we stood there silently for a while.
'Well, goodbye,' said Alan, and held out his hand.
'Goodbye,' I said, and took his hand.
Then I went off down hill. I did not look back at him, but I felt very miserable, and wanted to sit down and cry like a baby.
Edinburgh was full of noise and traffic and people, but I did not notice any of that. All the time I was thinking of Alan on the hill, and there was an ice-cold feeling inside me.
In the months that followed, I kept Alan's silver button safe and often looked at it, remembering our escape through the heather in the wild Highlands. I felt proud to call Alan Breck Stewart my friend, and wondered if I would ever see him again. When I returned to the Highlands to help his clansman, James, I found that my adventures with the Stewarts were far from finished... but that is another story.