Then you bring us no news of young Mistress Amy?--But what need I ask--your brow tells the story. Ever I hoped, that if any man could or would track her, it must be you. All's over and lost now. But if ever I have that Varney within reach of a flight-shot, I will bestow a forked shaft on him; and that I swear by salt and bread.

- Kenilworth. A Romance, Walter Scott

Scott has something of a reputation amongst modern readers---those few who bother with him at all nowadays---for long-windedness. Kenilworth goes slightly against that grain, as it rattles along from event to event. The ending is rather abrupt, and reminded me of the way that Jack Vance would, growing weary of a tale or having hit his 100,000 words, kill off and tidy away all the characters in the space of two or three pages. These two negative comments aside, I would recommend Kenilworth.

I picked out the quote above because many years ago I knew someone from rural Lanarkshire who used to swear, "As sure as guns and iron". I wonder if they were readers of Scott?