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History of the Island of Mull
Chapter X - Tales and Legends


In all probability there is no district in all Scotland more fruitful in legendary lore, with its historical episodes, heoric tales, folklore, including' superstitions than the island of Mull even though decimated pf its native population in some of the districts. How rich it must have been before the days of the summary removal of so many of its inhabitants! What is left of the unrecorded product must soon be forgotten, because but little or no attention is now given to its preservation. Hence this record can offer, nothing new, but simply rehearses that which is preserved in various forms and publications. Nor will it be presumed that even this will make an exhaustive compilation. Neither will it even be attempted to give the variants of all the tales, and generally only the substance.

St. Coinmlm: The earliest tradition of Mull is probably that relating to St. Columba, and dates previous to th& year A. D. 597. That saint had made the isle of Bearnary, just off Lismore, a preaching station, and there held services under a large yew tree, which stood on the edge of the land, with half of its branches over the water, and its widely spreading branches would shelter a thousand persons. The people from Mull and Morvern would come in their skin coracles, and therein sat during the services, and the people of Lismore would come on foot and sit on the ground, for the island was accessible at half tide. Columba prophesied that the pride and greed of man would place beneath his feet the noble tree under which he found shelter, and that the guilt of the act would only be expiated by water, blood and three fires. Centuries rolled away and still the yew tree spread forth its foliage and the prophecy was dormant. About the middle of the nineteenth century the proprietor of the estate removed the tree to make out of it a staircase in his house at Ardmhucnis,

Benderloch. The fall of the tree crushed a man to death, and the rocks were dyed with his blood. When the boats left with the tree being towed, the day was calm and the sea smooth,, but on approaching the destination, a sudden storm burst upon them, crushing the boat against the tree, whereby lives were lost. The house in which the tree was used took fire, and everything destroyed but the staircase. The house was rebuilt, and the magnificent stair again used, and again the house was destroyed by fire—all save the staircase. Some sav this occurred the third time, but others say twice.

Another tradition of St. Columbia is connected with the ruins of the old church of Torosay. It is said that this church was founded by that saint. When one of its incumbents died, two of the priests at Icolmkill made application to Columba for the benefice. Not desiring to offend either party, he informed them that the first to obtain possession should have it. The applications had been made in the evening. Early in the following morning both started for the coveted prize. One never reached the destination, but was found by the other lying lifeless by the side of a well on a hill above the loch,—the well now known by a Gaelic name signifying “the well where the priest lay.”’ It was supposed that he drank too freely of the water when overcome by heat or fatigue, and had thus fallen a victim to his imprudence. As is too frequently the case, some hinted that the other priest overtook him, and, being the stronger man, made sure of the benefice. ’

Gillean of the Battle-Ax:  Coming down the ages it is noticed that Gillean, first Chief of Clan MacLean, who flourished about the year 1250, has been preserved in tradition; for it has been related of him that he was on one occasion engaged, with other lovers of the chase, in a stag-hunt on Ben Talla in Mull, and in pursuit of the game became separated from his companions, and the mountain having become suddenly covered with a heavy mist, he lost his way. For three days he sought to recover his route, and on the fourth, exhausted by fatigue and hunger, he entered a cranberry bush, where, fixing the handle of his battle-ax in the earth, laid down to rest. On the evening of that day his friends discovered the head of the ax above the bush, and found its owner, with his arms round the handle, stretched, in a state of insensibility, on the ground.

Another legend of Gillean affirms that a foreigner came to MacDougall of Lorne and staid in his house for seven years without making known his name. He then said to MacDougall: “Seven years have I been here, and yet you have never asked me who I am, nor whence I came.” “I will not ask,” was the answer, “for I am not tired of you yet.” “I will stay seven more years if I may possess what I desire, and that is to marry your daughter.” “What is your name then, and to what land do you belong?” “My name is Gilleain,” he replied, “and France is the country from which I have come, thoug:‘n I am of the race of the Spanish Milesians.” “If the girl is willing,” said MacDougall, “you shall have her, and I will give a dowry with her.” So they were married and obtained a dowry of Ballymon, in the isle of Kerrera, subject to MacDougall as feudal superior. There they lived and had two sons,, Lachlan and Hector.

Lachlan and Hector MacLean: When these two brothers grew to manhood another MacDougall was lord of Lorne. Of him the two brothers asked the possession of the whole, of Kerrera. He summoned to his council the old men of Lorne and solicited their advice. The two brothers were excluded from this council, but they obtained a promise from MacDougall’s son to disclose to them the proceedings of the meeting. There was doubt among the councillers; and one of them, -an old man, held to be very wise, rose and said, “It is becoming that people look well before them lest it happen that they cause trouble in time to come. If MacDougall gives the whole isle to the family, they will multiply, and Kerrera will at last become too small for them, and they will seek land on the mainland, and if they do not get it one way they will by another, and if they succeed Clan Gillean and not Clan Dougall will be the lords of Lorne. My advice is that they get no more land, and if Clan Gilleain be not satisfied, let them go to some other place.” This advice was followed. Young MacDougall revealed to the brothers all that transpired in the council, and the advice of MacLugash was taken. He was then seized by the two brothers, forced into a boat and taken away with them. Being overtaken by MacDougall, they threatened to kill the boy unless Mac Lugash and the isle were both delivered to them. MacDougall promised, but they never received it, and after a time they had to leave, and passed over to Mull, where they became powerful, and married two of the daughters of the Lord of the Isles, one of whom received lands in Mull and the other an estate in Morvern. The first visit paid by the Lord of the Isles was to the daughter in Morvern, and there venison was put before him but no bread. “Bless me,” he said, “have you no bread to put before me?” Soon after he visited his daughter in Mull, and she placed before him venison and fish, but no bread. “Bless me,” he exclaimed again, “have you no bread at all to place before a person?” “No,” answered the clever daughter, “you have given me venison and fish land, but no bread land.” He went away considering this matter, and soon after bestowed on his daughter half of the Island of Islay.

The above story, at some time became mixed with another, generally believed to be authentic. Lachlan and Hector were the sons of John, fourth Chief of MacLean, who held large possessions in Mull. The two brothers flourished between 1350 and 1400. The pleasant disposition of the two brothers gained for them the friendship of John, first Lord of the Isles. This excited the jealousy of the courtiers, among whom was the Chief of MacKinnon, master of the household, who became a most inveterate enemy. In order to satiate his jealousy, he determined to take their lives during one of the hunting seasons of lord John. Having been warned of MacKinnon’s design, the brothers acted accordingly. Soon after the Lord of the Isles started on an expedition from Aros Castle in Mull, to the mainland, intending to prolong his stay at his castle of Ardtornish in Morvern. MacKinnon was to follow after, but meeting the two brothers renewed his quarrel with them. Both parties had their retainers and were well armed. A conflict at once ensued, and while in the act of mounting into his galley MacKinnon was slain and his followers dispersed. Not knowing how the Lord of the Isles would consider this action, the brothers resolved to apply heoric measures, and keep by force that friendship, which might have been forfeited. Immediately they manned MacKinnon’s galley with their own men, and started in pursuit of lord John, whom they overtook a short distance from Ardtornish, captured his vessel and carried him prisoner to one of the Garvelloch Isles. Here he was retained until a promise was exacted that he would remain a true friend. Then they conveyed him to Iona, placed him on the Black Stone, then held sacred, and caused him to vow forgiveness for the death of MacKinnon and also the indignity done his person. He was then made to obligate himself to give his daughter Margaret in marriage to Lachlan and to use his influence with MacLeod of Lewis to obtain the daughter of that Chief for Hector. Lachlan further demanded that a dowry should accompany Margaret. “Speak out and let me hear the price of your demands,” said the captive chief. “Eniskir and its isles,” replied Lachlan. This was promised, and Lachlan made lieutenant-general in war, and his posterity to have the right hand of all the clans in battle. Eniskir is but a small, though towering rock, occupies a central position in the sea, and commands an extensive view of the islands which surround it, thus making a valuable acquisition to his lands in Mull. The event thus related occurred about the year 1366.

Hector Mac Lean; Hector, brother of Lachlan was the first Mac Lean of Loch Buy. It is related that when Hector went to take possession of the estate of Loch Buy he found it was held by the chief of Mac Fadyean, from whom he obtained permits to build a fortalice or keep at the head of the loch. When completed Hector ascended to the top, and taking a bow and arrow took aim at a bone Mac Fadyean was eating from, and pierced it with the arrow. Mac Fadyean simply remarked, “It is time I was leaving,” took his departure and gave no trouble.

Hector Roy Mac Lean; The story of the meeting of Hector Roy Mac Lean and Sir Alexander Irvine of Drum at the battle of Harlow has frequently been told. In the midst of the battle the renowned chief of Mac Lean performed prodigies of valor. His massive sword felled every foe it encountered. In the after part of the day Mac Lean and Irvine singled out each other by their armorial bearings on their shields. “Ha! Chief of Duard, follower of a rebel vassal, have I at length the satisfaction to see thee within reach of my sword’s point?” exclaimed the knight of Drum. “Time-serving slave,” replied Mac Lean, “thou hast, if it be satisfaction to thee; and if my steel be as keen as my appetite for life of thine, thou shalt not have time to repeat thy taunt.” The heroic rivals rushed at each other with fury, met foot to foot, and both fell upon the field ere a friend had time to render assistance. For many years after the Mac Leans of Duard and the Irvines of Drum exchanged swords on the anniversary of the battle of Harlow.

Hector Roy Mac Lean was so celebrated as a swordsma'n that many knights, who had gained great reputation for themselves, came from distant parts to measure weapons with him. One of these was a renowned knight of Norway who challenged him to mortal combat. The two met at Salen, in Mull, where they fought, and where the Norwegian fell. A green mound on the seashore marks the spot where he fell, and where Hector had him buried.

Both the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries are rich in legendary lore, and there is no line of separation between the two centuries. The times were such as to produce story upon story, and also, to create marked differences in the narration of the same event. During that period the Western Isles were in a turbulent condition. Warriors were in abundance, and their restless dispositions were provocative of strife.

Lachlan Cattanach 3Iac Lean: Around the name of Lachlan Cattanach Mac Lean, Eleventh Chief of Mac Lean, cluster many legends, most of them do not add glory or honor to his fame.

There had been feuds between the Stewarts of Appin and the Mac Leans of Duard about certain lands, claimed by both. A reconciliation was agreed upon and Stewart went to Duard to ratify the peace. During the meeting there were games and feats of strength enacted, in all of which the gillie (Solomon MacColl) of Stewart was victorious. As the MacLeans were “neither to hand nor to bind,” they fell upon the victor and put him to death. Then they jeered at the body, saying, “Is it not in him that the neatsfoot ojl is? Is it not in him that the bone marrow is?” and other taunting expressions. Stewart was grieved at the loss of his trusted servant and angered at the taunts uttered, and with great warmth exclaimed, “The pale silverweed of the field and the black whelk of the strand were not at all the sustenance of my man.” The insinuation, from its latent truth, roused the ire of the Mac Leans, and twenty Duard swords fell upon the hapless head of Stewart. His corpse was then suspended against the wall of Duard castle, and death threatened to any one who would dare remove it. The men of Appin fled for their lives, nor did they rest until they had placed the island of Lismore and the sea between them and Mull.

The death of Stewart greatly grieved Livingston of Bach-uill. When night came, with his two red-haired daughters, he entered his skiff and bore away for Duard castle. The three managed to place Appin’s body in their boat, and put to sea. They had scarcely left the shore when the Mac Leans rushed down in tumult, uttering wild imprecations. Immediately launching their boats, they leaped into them, but instantly leaped out, amidst yells of execration for boat after boat filled with water and sank under them. Livingston had taken the precaution to bore holes through the bottoms of the Mac Lean boats. With much difficulty the Mac Leans launched a six-teen-oared war galley, less damaged than the rest. After struggling through the strait, narrow and shallow, that separates the islet of Musdal from the mainland of Lismore, the MacLeans came up with the Livingstons. Just as a crowd of the MacLeans was about to leap into the skiff, a swirling current threw the galley upon a sunken rock, where it was left hard and fast by the receding tide, while the same current rushed the vessel of the Livinstons far beyond reach. By hard rowing the Livinstons reached a creek, where they landed, and buried the body in the shingle of the beach. Afterwards the people of Lismore and Appin buried the body in the catherdal church of St. Moluag.

Another rendering, but more extended, of the same, tradition, has but little in common. It is thus narrated:

MacLean of Mull was three years in arrears in payment of the king’s tax. Duncan Stewart of Ardnamurchan was recommended as a suitable person to collect the same. Duncan saw the king in person and said: “I am in debt, and without a stronghold, and I would like in the first place to build a castle where I might defend myself.” The king said, “I have three years’ rent against the Isle of Mull. I will give you one year’s rent of Mull, and three years’ rent of Ceira Fearna, and this will give you the means to erect a castle.” This commission covered others who were also in debt. The appointment of Duncan as seneschal filled MacLean with envy, and he planned with his friends to get him killed, in order that he might avoid paying the tax. At this time a child was born to MacLean, so he sent a messenger to Duncan, with this message: “The child is to be christened on Sunday first, and will you oblige my chief by going and stand godfather? A great number have been invited. He has much French wine home for the feast, and there is to be much drinking and merrymaking, and when the feast is over you will receive from him the king’s tax.” When the day arrived Duncan chose a man by the name of Mackenzie, and twelve youths. The party rowed over the Sound to Mull, and received a cordial welcome from MacLean. The twelve rowers were dismissed to their homes, leaving the galley in the hands of the men of Mull, who sent the rower back by the ferry-boat. The next day being Sunday, the christening party went to the church, with the child, and Duncan stood as godfather.

The chief of MacLean was very haughty, and at Duard kept a little parliament like a king, and MacGilvray of Glent-cannel acted as his chancellor during the sitting of the assembly. The two arranged that at dinner they would enrage Duncan and kill him. They reasoned that then the tax could not be collected for there would be no one to receive it. A good dinner was prepared, the wine drunk freely, and the servants in the lower chambers had plenty to eat and drink. Mac Lean’s ghillies had special instructions to pick a quarrel with MacKenzie, whom they induced to drink heavily. They were all merry, and finally challenged MacKenzie to leap with them and see who could spring the highest. It was proposed by the Mull men that- they should go to a peat pit, and try the fartherest jump. Some ran before to the pit, and took peat spade-irons with them, which they concealed in the bottom of the pit, about the distance that one could leap from the edge of the trench. The edges of these implements were placed upwards, but concealed with peat moss. The Mull men jumped first, but avoided the irons, knowing their exact location. MacKenzie, unsuspicious of danger, jumped as far as he could, and fell heavily on the irons, cutting badly his naked feet. He went back to the castle with great difficulty, bleeding freely, with his companions following and making sport of him. Reaching the castle they procured swords and requested the wounded man to leap over one of them. He refused*, saying he was not in a condition. They continued to torment him, and sought to constrain him to endeavor to leap over the sword. Duncan heard the noise and thought his servant’s voice indicated he was in trouble, left the Hall, and seeing how MacKenzie had been treated, he was angered and spoke fiercely to his tormenters, who now answered him in anger. MacKenzie’s injuries were so great that he soon died. Then the men continued their evil conduct, jumped on his body, crying, “Don’t you hear how the hens are rumbling in the carl’s belly? What a bellyful he took of them.” One cut off a slice from the dead man’s shoulder, and said, “Was not the carl fat? What a quantity of fat there was on him!” “Yes,” said Duncan, who had to look on, though white with rage, “he might be fat—skate fish was not his food, and he did not drink salt water from limpet shells.” Then he turned furiously and tried to go, but the Mull men hemmed him in. He drew his sword, and with his back against the rampart of the castle, kept them for some time at arms, length. MacGilvray the younger, of Glencannel, went to the top of the wall, where a heap of loose stones and beams of wood was gathered to serve as missils in case of assult. Providing himself with a heavy beam, he went to the spot over Duncan, and dropped the wood on his shoulder, and broke it. He could no longer defend himself. He was then cast into the black hole in the castle. Some days later he was brought before MacLean’s as sembly, where MacGilvray sat as president. He was tried on a charge of having used insulting language to the MacLeans, and MacGilvray pronounced judgment that Stewart of Appin should be hanged. He was taken to a place where trees grew, called the Grey Stack. Then some of them went to Duncan’s berlin, and taking an oar from it, hanged him by a rope attached to this oar, which they laid across the branches of a tree. He was there left hanging, and men were appointed to guard it, lest any person should remove it.

During this period the Livingstons (Mac-an-Leighinn) lived in Lismore, the head of the family being known as “the Baron of the Crosier,” because he kept a crozier of the cathedral of St. Moluag. The Livingston of the story, had but a small piece of land, and made his living by building boats. At the time of Duncan’s murder, he was building boats in Mull. He was grieved when he saw the body of Duncan suspended to the oar. He had two strong sons and two strong red-haired daughters, all expert rowers. He went home to Lismore, and with his sons and daughters, at sunset he started back to Mull, which he reached after it became quite dark. He first bored holes in every boat he found on shore near Duard castle. The men placed to watch the body of Duncan, not suspecting any intrusion, went to sleep. Livingston, with his children, went noiselessly to the Grey Stack, took down the body, carried it to the shore, and then placed it in the boat. Feeling themselves secure they rowed for home. Triumphing in their success, they shouted for joy. The shout awakened the watchmen at the Grey Stack, who at once saw the body was missing, rushed to the boats, and awoke the crews. A large number hastily put their boats to sea, and had gone quite a distance before they noticed that they were holed. The more prudent returned to land to stop the leaks, but the more impetuous rowed, in search of those who had shouted. They pursued until it was too late to return, and boat after boat filled with water and sank, drowning their crews. One boat contained four Mull men who were very expert rowers, and were rapidly approaching the fleeing party, but as they were passing Lieth Sgeir, afterwards called the Lady’s Rock, one of the men cried, “Stop and take us on board our boat is nearly sinking.” Livingston being a kind hearted man decided to comply, believing his boat would hold them. He stopped rowing until the Mull men caught up with them, when the man at the bow seized the stern of Livingston’s craft, and said, “Now you are taken at all events.” Livingston arose forthwith, struck the man full in the breast with the end of his oar, throwing him back into the pursuing boat, and then directed his children to row rapidly away. Soon the Mull boat filled and sank, and the four men were drowned. Reaching the shore, and still fearful of pursuit, Livingston buried the body in the sand and covered it with sea-weed* Soon after some Mull men arrived, searching for the body, and being unable to find it, re-entered their boats and returned to Duard Castle. Afterward Livingston had the body removed to the church in Lismore, where it has since remained.

A messenger travelled once a month between Appin and Edinburgh. The time the messenger should start was known to MacLean of Duard. He determined that he would precede the messenger to Edinburgh and reach the king before he would receive any message relative to the recent transaction in Mull. He knew if the king should learn that his seneschal had been killed, under the circumstances, he would be angry and place him (MacLean) in jeopardy. So it was highly important that he should speak to the king first. Owing to a storm which prevented MacLean from starting at the time intended, the messenger proceeded ahead. The route of the messenger led through Glen Incha. As soon as the storm permitted MacLean crossed the firth, took horse, and rode as hard as he could inland. When the messenger reached the wayside house of entertainment in Glen Incha, a woman there who knew him, asked the news from Appin, “I have but bad news from Appin,” he replied, “my excellent Master Stewart, has been treacherously killed in Mull by the wiles of the MacLeans. MacLean himself may be in Edinburgh before me.” “Yes,” said the woman, “he passed here himself on horseback.” “Then,” said the messenger, “he will give the king his own story of what has happened, before my arrival with the letters telling the truth.” The woman wept and gave way to loud lamentations, which were heard by Campbell of Calder, then in the house. He inquired into the cause thereof. Immediately he caused the best horse to be brought to him, saddled and bridled, and well armed himself, he mounted the steed and rode rapidly in order to overtake the messenger. Having secured full information, by changing horses and riding hard, he reached Edinburgh before MacLean. He went to the gate of the court of the king and stood waiting therefor MacLean. When MacLean approached he held out his hand to Calder, but the latter drew his sword, struck Mac Lean and killed him.

Young Duncan Stewart was specially enraged that Mac Gilvray of Glencannel had escaped a just retribution. So he agreed with a man called Donald of the Hammers the lands of Margfeorlin (on the top of Inverpol) if he would bring him the head of MacGilvray. With some companions Donald went to Mull that he might secure either young MacLean of Duard or MacGilvray. He arrived on a Sunday, at the hour when the people of Duard were in church attendance. The Appin men were placed in ambush near the castle, and when the people, returning from church, got near them, they arose, rushed upon the people and killed many of them; but Donald had no opportunity to reach either of the two wanted. Mac Gilvray seeing what had happened, with others, got into a boat, and fled up the Sound Ardtornish, and then went up the slopes of the rough land of Morvern, and took refuge in a cave called the Cave of the Great Steep, and there continued to abide and maintained themselves by stealing cattle. Donald continued in Mull searching for MacGilvray, pressing into service an unwilling Mull man to serve as guide. This man was placed in the middle of the band, who had their swords drawn, and was told that if he deceived - them, he would at once be thrust through. Although the MacLeans were usually bold men they did nothing to hinder Donald, for they had no able commander and feared the king’s forces would be sent against them. After a diligent and extensive search Donald gave it up, went home, and took possession of the land.    ‘

Through information given by the MacColls, Stewart of Achnancon obtained information that MacGilvray was in Morvern, and a chosen band with him. A brave man named Oneeyed John MacColl was the leader when Stewart was not present. Some of these men were dwelling in the Appin district. These men went off in boats in search of MacGilvray, and landed at Ardtornish, and there espied a small boy herding cattle, who fled when he saw the men on the shore. Stewart commanded the one eyed man to run and capture the boy. He was soon overtaken and wept piteously. When brought back he was informed that no harm should befall him, and wa-s asked why he wept. The boy replied, “I thought you were MacGilvray’s men and I was afraid you would kill me.” He further stated that MacGilvray “dwells in the cave of the Great Steep. He and some of his men were here yesterday, and they took away with them a cow that I was herding, and they pursued me. It was a widow’s only cow, and the only fat one in the herd.” The boy declared he knew where the cave was and could direct the way. The boy directed the way, pointed out the cave, and the way to the mouth of it. It was in the face of a rock, and it was only by means of a stake that the mouth could be reached, and only by one man climbing at a time. One-eyed John was the first to make the' ascentv MacGilvray and his men were at the farther end of the cave and had a large fire where they were roasting meat. There was a large stone between the entrance and the fire, which prevented those around the fire seeing MacColl enter the cave. One after another entered until many were there. The arms of the dwellers were placed near the entrance, and the new arrivals placed themselves between the arms and the men they sought. One-eyed John then crept along.the side of the rock until he got a good view of those about the fire. Thein he stopped to listen and heard MacGilvray say:    .

“I do think my legs are growing slender since I came into this cave. Do you think that the curses and imprecations of the hag from whom we took that cow can be doing me. harm? Do you think yourselves now that they can be injuring me? I have heard from Mull that Achnancon’s band of the Mac Colls are in pursuit of me, and one-eyed MacColl at the head of them, but we can be thankful whatever that he can’t get at us or know where we are hid, and furnished with arms and food.”

One-eyed John sprang forward to where MacGilvray sat and struck him under the chin, and felled him; and all the MacColls darted into the cave and attacked the rest of the Mull men. One-eyed John put one hand to the nape of Mac Gilvray’s neck, and the other to his legs, and lifting him clean, carried him to the mouth of the cave, and hurled him dowh to those waiting below; calling to them whom he was that he threw down. Those below cut off his head. The Mull men, deprived of all their arms, had no defence, and the MacColls killed all, save three who escaped by hiding. These were apprehended the next day and put to death. Achnancon delivered the head to Duncan, but Donald refused to give up the land. So Duncan gave the value oLthe land to Stewart of Achnancon.

The most widely known of all the traditions relating to Lachlan Cattanach is that called “The Lady of the Rock.” There are several different versions of it,—one radically contradicting the other. Probably the oldest version is that placed in the hands of Joanna Baillie, in 1805, and formed the ground-work of her “Family Legend.” The story had been long preserved in the family of the maternal ancestors of the lady who presented the manuscript. It is thus recorded:

“In the 15th century, a feud had long subsisted between the Lord of Argyll and the Chieftain of Maclean; the latter was totally subdued by the Campbells, and Maclean sued for peace, demanding at the same time, in marriage, the young and beautiful daughter of Argyll. His request was granted, and the lady carried home to Mull. There she had a son, but the Macleans were hostile to this alliance with the Campbells. They swore to desert their chief if they were not suffered to put his wife to death, with her infant son, who was then at nurse, that the blood of the Campbells might not succeed to the inheritance of Maclean. Maclean resisted these threats, fearing the power and vengeance of Argyll; but, at length, fear for his own life, should he refuse the demands of his clan, made him yield to their fury, and he only drew from them a promise that they would not shed her blood. One dark winter night she was forced into a boat, and, regardless of her cries and lamentations, left upon a barren rock, midway between the coasts of Mull and Argyll, which at high-water, is covered with sea. As she was about to perish, she saw a boat steering its course at some distance; she waved her hand, and uttered a feeble cry. She was now upon the top of the rock, and the water as high as her breast, so that the boatmen took her for a large bird. They took her, however, from the rock, and, knowing her to be the daughter of Argyll carried her to the castle of her father. The. Earl rewarded her deliverers, and desired them to keep the circumstance secret for a time, during which he concealed her till he should hear tidings from Mull.—Maclean solemnly announced her death to Argyll, and soon came himself with his friends, all in mourning, to condole with the Earl at his castle. Argyll received him, clad also in black. Maclean was full of lamentations; the Earl appeared very sorrowful; a feast was served with great pomp in the hall; every one took his place while a seat was left empty on the right hand of Argyll; the door opened, and they beheld the Lady of Maclean enter, superbly dressed, to take her place at the table. Maclean stood for a moment aghast, when, the servants and retainers making a lane for him to pass through the hall to the gate of the castle, the Earl’s son, the Lord of Lorne, followed him, and slew him as he fled. His friends were detained as hostages for the child, who had been preserved by the affection of his nurse.’’

In a foot-note Miss Baillie adds: “The boat was commanded by her foster-father, who knew the cry of his Dalt.

The Pennycross MS. thus renders the legend:

“Lauchlan was a few years married but had no child by her, on which she made every attempt to alienate the Estate of Dowart from the family in favor of her brother, John, who a little before them, had married Marellia daughter of Calder of Calder by whom he got that Estate. Lady Elizabeth finding her husband not to be wrought upon to transfer his family Estate made an attempt to poison him with Cavalle she had made for him upon which she was left on the rock known still by the name of the Lady’s rock. Her brother Colin, Earl of Argyle ever after kept her under a sort of confinement and she was even struck out in the family genealogy from amongst her sisters. She was put away in the year 1529.”

There is still a tradition on Mull which states that the Lady Elizabeth did not desire to marry Lachlan Cattenach, for she had a youthful lover at Inverary. Having considered the matter fully, she thought by marrying the lord of Duard she might gain such an influence over him as in the end would succeed in enriching the estates of her brother. In this view she consented to become the wife of Lachlan. From her lover she would not be parted, so he was disguised as a monk, anid passed for her confessor. In the passage across the firth of Lorn, an attendant belonging to the house of MacLean, sus-picioning something from their actions, pulled off the cowl from the head of the would-be monk, and thus exposed the youth. When the birlinn touched at Duard Castle, MacLean was in the midst of his orgies. He was accustomed to sleep with a sharp sword at his side; to this she strongly objected,, which made him very angry. She commenced to plot for the betrayal of the MacLean estates into the’ hands of Argyle. This, as well as the youth disguised as a monk was reported to Lachlan, and caused much disturbance. One day the Lord of Duard being absent from the castle, his two foster-brothers , thinking to do him a favor, seized Elizabeth, and left her on the rock to perish. From this perilous position she was rescued by a boat passing of MacLeans, and who, knowing the domestic infelicity of the couple, carried her to Inverary.

Gregory, in his Western Highlands, essays the following, notice:

“Either from the circumstance of this union being unfruitful, or more probably owing to some domestic quarrels, he (Lachlan) determined to get rid of his wife. Some accounts say that she had twice attempted her husband’s life, but whatever the cause may have been, MacLean, following the advice of two of his vassals, who exercised a considerable influence over him from the tie of fosterage, caused his lady to be exposed on a rock, which was only visable at low water, intending that she should be swept away by the return of the tide. This rock lies between the island of Lismore and the coast of Mull, and is still known by the name of the ‘Lady’s Rock.’ From this perilous situation, the intended victim was rescued by a boat accidentally passing, and conveyed to her brother’s house.”

The Campbell account is thus told by the Marquis of Lorne in his Adventure in Legend:

“Lachlan Catanach MacLean, Chief of Duart, married a daughter of the Cailin. More. They had no children, and Mac' Lean grew careless about her, and she incurred the dislike of his clansmen. They went to him, and said that he should leave her, and get another wife, who could give him an heir. They got possession of the Lady, and although MacLean made a show of defending her, he was easily persuaded, and they even made him promise to let them do with her as they chose. They took the brooch from her breast, the ring from her finger, and every precious jewel she had, and even her outer clothes, leaving her in her shirt and petticoat. MacLean pretended to be grieved, and said, ‘What then do you intend to do with her?’—‘We shall send her away from Mull and home,’ they said. ‘Any way, take care that you do not hurt her,’ he said—‘No, we will make on her body no mark, red or black, but we will go with her, until we put her forth off this island.’ They took her to an inner room and spoke abusively to her, and one of them then said, ‘Let us get a boat and put her on Leith-Sgeir,’ which was a rock in the sea, near Lismore, covered at high tide. The others consented, and they got a boat and put her on the rock at ebb of the tide, that she might be there drowned by the rising flood. It was never known who took the Lady off the rock; but according to some of the MacLeans, it was some among themselves who had pitied her when she was so vilely treated, and these men they said, had gone secretly at night, and taken her off the rock, and had put her ashore in Knapdale at Obmor; or the big bay. There they sent her to a miller’s house, and she was found by the miller, at the door, with a coat round her shoulders, that had been given to her by a lad, one of those who rescued her, but save for this cloak she had nothing but her under-garment. At the house she received shelter and food, and ’was kept concealed until the wounds that had been given her by the MacLeans were healed. When she had recovered, a horse was made ready for her, and she rode to Invarav, the miller going with her and not leaving her until she had got safe beneath the roof of Cailin More, who rejoiced greatly to see her, giving the miller a great gift, and promising that he should have yet more. She informed her people of her misfortune, but laid no blame on her husband, and would not believe he was guilty, because, she said, she had seen how they had bound him before they had begun to insult her, and she would not believe that he was evilly disposed towards her. But Cailin More himself suspected that MacLean’s men would never have dared to behave as they did, unless they had been privately instructed to do it by their chief himself. He, however, was desirous to hear what Duart had to say. He hushed up the whole affair, lest it should get talked about in the country, and waited to see what story would be got from Mac Lean himself. Now, some of the MacLeans who had been pitiful to the Lady and had rescued her, being unable to go back to Mull, took to their boat and landed at the Leagrua:— red law ground—in Kintyre, and put up houses there. They were asked their name, and answered only by asking another question as to the name of the place where they had landed. When they heard that it was Leagrua they said that they were called by that very name, Clan an Learainie, and Mac an Learan continued to be their surname thenceforth. The Mac Leans in Mull would have killed them had they ventured back and had it been found out that they had shown mercy, for the rest of the tribe would have been bitter against them. It was long after the event that any of them told how they had rescued the Lady from the Rock. When Duart thought his wife had been drowned, he spread a report all through the island that she had died. He got a coffin made, and filled it with earth that weighed about what a corpse would weigh. He then invited a number of gentlemen to the funeral, made a solemn journey to Iona, and there buried the coffin in a piece of ground where he himself wished to lie, and when the ceremony was over he thanked the company for their attendance. Then he went home to Duart, and wrote a letter to MacCailin to keep up the friendship which had subsisted between them, and sent a messenger to Inverary. The Earl received it and read it, and heard from it MacLean’s account of the death of his wife, and how he had not himself brought the intelligence on account of a great storm, which had prevented him from starting at once in person. Argyll replied in a’letter in which he accepted the excuse given, of the storm and then said that death was a misfortune that could not be redressed when it came; but he invited MacLean to come to Inverary and stay there for some time to allay his sorrow. Duart imagined that the Earl knew nothing of the truth, and of the treachery of the Mull men, and he went to Inverary to pay a visit. He was well received, and stayed a few days at Inverary. The Earl and he walked out together, and the Earl asked for the details about his daughter’s illness, death and burial. MacLean devised many lies which he told to the Earl, and pretended to be in sore grief for the loss of his wife. The Earl said, ‘Things of that kind must happen. Death has no regard for one more than for another.’ \vhen all had been extracted from MacLean that he had to tell, many were asked by the Earl to a dinner, in the Hall of Inverary Castle, and MacLean’s wife, wearing a heavy veil, was placed at the head of the table. Young ladies often wore veils at that time, even when sitting at table, and MacLean, who had been placed at the other side of the table was persuaded to talk of his wife, and of his sad loss, she herself being near enough to listen to what was said, and heard him at last say that he himself with his own two hands had placed her in the grave. She listened, and shifted in her seat, ill at ease, as she heard his talk. And MacLean stared constantly at her, until Mac Cailin said to him, ‘You gaze very often at that daughter of mine! Do you think you have ever seen her before?’ ‘Well,’ answered. Mac Lean after a pause, ‘She reminds me of my lost wife, and were it not that my own two hands placed my own wife in her coffin, and lowered her into the grave, I could almost imagine that she was my wife.’ Then MacCailin sent round the loving cup filled with wine, and when the cup had come round to MacCailin’s daughter, she lifted her veil that she might drink, and MacLean saw her face, and his two hands fell down by his sides, as he cried, ‘Oh, I could not help it; they bound me, and took her from me, and I did not know what they did with her!’ Then she, looking straight at him, even as though she still loved him, said aloud, ‘Yes, that they did.’ And Mac Cailin said to her, ‘Rise quickly and leave the room.’ She rose as she was bid, and went out shedding tears. The Earl turned to MacLean and said, ‘Hasten and take yourself off. You are very guilty. But I do not seek to put you to death. It would be easy enough for me to execute you, but nevertheless I will let you go: but be off and out of my country as soon as you can. I seek not to take advantage of you in my own house, but take good care to beware of my son. If he should get an opportunity, he will be avenged for all that you have done.’ MacLean was greatly afraid, and rose immediately and fled. He got to Mull, but did not stay there, but went to Edinburgh, and there lived extravagantly and beyond his means until he was heavily in debt. Then he fell ill at an inn in that town, where it happened that one of the Argylls was passing, and stopped at the inn for some food. The inn-keeper said to him, ‘Your countryman MacLean of Duart is lying ill here. Will you come to see him?’ ‘Yes,’ replied the Campbell, ‘take me up to him. Show me where he is.’ The innkeeper led him upstairs to the room, and Campbell drew his sword, and ran it through Duart, saying, ‘Take that in retaliation for what you did to my sister.’ And thus MacLean died.” According to “The House of Argyll and the Collateral HraneJies of the Clan of Campbell/’ Lachlan MacLean’s wife was taken off the rock by her foster-father, Dugald Campbell of Corranmore, while J. F. Campbell of Islay says it was her brother Archibald Campbell.

The wife of Lachlan Cattanach MacLean dreamt about an Irish chief of the name of William O’Power and in the same way, at the same time, this Irish chief dreamed about her. Then they- began secretly communicating with each other. MacLean discovered the intrigue, and was distressed about the injury done to his honor. In order to test his wife’s love for her secret lover he presented her with a knife and on handing it to her said: “There is a present O’Power has sent you.” Looking at the knife she said:

“My darling who sent me the knife I weary at his delay in coming across the sea, And may I not enjoy health If I do not love it better than the hand that holds it.” This convinced MacLean of his wife’s disgrace; left her and at once sent for his kinsman, Fair Lachlan, son of Fair Neil of Dervaig, who was then in Hynish, isle of Tyree. Immediately responding to the summons, the chief of MacLean said to him: “I sent for you to go to Ireland; you are a clever man and you have seven sons, go and bring me the head of O’Power, and any crime you may commit, or any injustice you may from this time do to any one, will be overlooked by me.” The next day, with his sons, Fair Lachlan, in a galley, set off for Ireland, and on the following day reached Ireland. The first man he met he asked for O’Power. “If you wish to see him,” the man said, “he is coming this way, in a coach drawn by two white horses, and no one in Ireland has that but himself.” Fair Lachlan then went on to meet him, and after having gone a short distance he saw O’Power coming towards him. When they met, O’Power addressing him said: “I see you are a stranger in the place.” “Indeed,” he replied. “Whence have you come?” the Chief asked. “I come from Tyree,” was the answer. “Do you know the Lady of MacLean there?” “I know her well,” was the reply. “Will you bring her a message from me?” “I will,” he said. The chief at once wrote the message, and put his head out of the coach to deliver it, and the other, while taking the missive in one hand struck off his head with the other hand in which his sword was grasped. The servant of O’Power, stupified at the sudden action afforded the opportunity to Fair Lachlan to get away with the head to the galley, and at once set sail and that evening reached the Isle of Islay, and on the day following was at Island House, Tyree. Finding that MacLean and hijs wife were at breakfast, he entered the dining room and placed on the table the head of O’Power, with the face towards Mac Lean’s wife. She looked at it and-fell dead upon the floor.

Ailean na Sop: Allan, but better known as Ailean na Sop, was the son of Lachlan Cattanach Eleventh Chief of Mac Lean. In all probability he was the most notorious character who ever lived in Mull, and probably more legends cluster around him than that of any other person of that isle. Being a freebooter, or general roving character, stories would gather around his name. He received his sobriquet from his frequent setting fire to buildings, generally using a wisp of straw. Facts did not molest the vivid imaginations of the narrators of legends, which is forcibly illustrated in the case of Ailean na Sop. He was born of lawful marriage, being the son'of Lachlan Cattanach, by his first wife, Marian, daughter of John MacLean of Treshnish. The story, probably a very late one, was a product of an intrigue between Duard’s chief and a daughter of MacLean of Torloisk. When the result was discovered the daughter was dismissed to the kitchen, where she was treated like the humblest menial. Disgraced and ostracised from the family circle the unhappy girl pined away and secluded herself. In consequence of. an old hag at Duard Castle, time passed without the birth of the child. An itinerant tinker having called at the old castle of Torloisk happened to notice the emaciated condition of the young woman. Having been informed of the story he declared that she was under.a spell, and he could bring relief. He advised the father to send a messenger at once to Duard Castle and to inform the chief that a son had been born, of which he was the putative father. The revelation had been made known to the chief’s wife, who, childless herself, determined to take measures to prevent the birth of the child and consulted an old hag near the castle. The tinker suspected all this, and instructed the messenger, on arriving at the castle, to ask for the chief, and to feign a desire to hide from Lady MacLean the object of his mission, but so to disclose i-t that the chief’s wife would overhear the message. The plan succeeded. The chief’s wife flew into a towering passion; rushed to the kitchen; pulled out from a little bag, that hung on the wall an old rusty keye, and threw it into the hag’s face. The moment the keye was taken from the wall Torloisk’s daughter gave birth to a son. The birth was so sudden that the servants had only time to secure a bundle of straw, which was thrown in the corner of the kitchen, on which the mother reclined. As soon as the child was born he seized a handful of the straw that formed his mother’s bed, and from this circumstance he was ever after called Allan na Sop. Inured to a hard life Allan grew to be a strong rugged boy, and excelled all his associates in strength, agility, daring, fierceness and warlike traits of character. While still in boyhood his mother married a member of her clan, for the old folks had died, and being a beautiful woman, and the only representative of her illustrious family, many suitors sought her hand. Allan’s step-father treated him with great cruelty. When a small boy Allan would rise very early in the morning and bake oatmeal bannocks by placing them on edge before a blazing peat fire. One morning after preparing his simple meal, and having left it before a large fire, the step-father entered the kitchen, and under the pretence of great kindness, took a bannock and handing it to the boy, said it was quite ready. The little fellow stretched out his hands to receive it, but as he did so the cruel man seized both hands and pressed them tightly on the hot bannock, and as he held them laughed at the piercing screams which the terrible pains brought from him. The poor boy’s hands were severely scorched,—the skin rising m blisters. Some time after a friend took Allan to reside with him, and for many years did not visit his former home. Arriving at manhood Allan took to a roving life, and still later of a fleet. His name was known along all the seas of the Western Isles. His forays on the lands and his plunderings of vessels on the seas reached his native isle. His step-father lived in constant fear through thought of an unwelcome visit from the sea-rover. One beautiful summer morning Allan’s fleet sailed into the strait separating Ulva from the mainland of Mull, and cast anchor opposite the castle of Torloisk, Allan’s sole object was to vis.it his mother, whose death, long before, was unknown to Allan. The step-father was in a state of consternation believing that Allan designed to requite him for the cruelty he had rendered him. But such thoughts were not harbored by Allan. The step-father put on a bold face and met Allan on the beach, affecting great kindness which was reciprocated. After a few days Torloisk discovered that Allan had no evil intentions, and finally assumed to offer advice, reposing in the relationship between the two. During a conversation he made bold to say:

“Now, Allan, you have been a wanderer on the ocean for many years, and by this time you must have acquired a competency of old age. Is it not much better for you to acquire a cosy home on the land where you can spend your remaining 'days in ease and peace? Over yonder is Ulva, and there at your feet, sheltered by it is Loch Tua. The neck of old MacQuarrie is all that is between you and Ulva, and your good broad sword, which has already cleft many a skull, can easily clear the way to the possession of the island; and just fancy how suitable Loch Tua would be for your fleet to ride anchor in.”

This proposition originated in a long standing grievance between the lords of Torloisk and Ulva. Allan, whose heart was never afflicted by qualms of conscience, readily acquiesced in. the proposal1. Immediately the fleet was ordered to set sail for Ulva, and soon after Allan landed and with his men set off for old MacQuarrie. That chief witnessed the approach and suspected the object, but realized that he must submit. So he met Allan, believing that the many kindnesses shown him during his boyhood, had not been obliterated, and extended a kindly welcome. He affected to be greatly elated, and made for him a great feast; treated all his men in a sumptuous manner, and acted so well his part that Allan’s old friendship finally returned. After much wild carousing Allan prepared to leave, and on bidding farewell to MacQuarrie said: “Your great kindness, my dear old friend, compels me once more to hoist a pirate’s flag, and again seek fortune on the high seas.” Seemingly surprised at this statement, Mac Quarrie enquired the reason. “Because Sir,” replied Allan, “I landed on Ulva intent on slaying you, and taking possession of your snug island home, which would have been suitable for me.” Thoroughly commanding himself, the island chief, realizing the source of the danger he had escaped, in an earnest manner addressed the fierce marauder:

“My dear Allan, those cruel plans were never hatched in a breast as noble as yours, and from what I know of your step-father, old Torloisk, for many years now, I have every possible reason to believe it was he who inspired that ignoble plot. He only wished to avail himself of a good opportunity for avenging himself upon me for private matters. The more I think of it, the greater is the surprise how the boyhood of little Ailean na Sop could ever have developed into that kind of manhood, which, oblivious of all former relationship, could be so warped as to become the weapon which would annihilate the home of one who had sheltered that boyhood at times when the base instigator of such an ignominious scheme could use such an appliance as a hot bannock for its torture. Surely, Allan, you have not forgotten when he pressed your little hands on that scalding oatmeal cake? Surely you have not forgotten his harsh treatment of your now dead mother, and how she could not interfere with his brutal conduct towards her unprotected little boy?”

The recollections of his boyhood flashed vividly upon the mind of Allan, and again he suffered all the cruelties of his brutal step-father, and all this aroused the powerful vindictivness of his character, which only vengeance could allay. Hur-ridly he boarded his ship; the sails were spread, and the gentle breeze soon wafted the vessel to the rocky shore of Torloisk. Torloisk met him on the beach, and with extended arms greeted, as he thought, the new lord of Ulva. The tornado raging in the mind of Allan had not in the least subsided. Advancing he shouted: “You villain! You sent me to kill* a far better man than yourself; a man who was my protector, when you were my tormentor. My fingers still bear the marks of the scalding bannock which you so kindly proffered; so for that and many other memorable events, there”—and suiting the action for words, Allan thrust his sword through Torloisk’s heart. He took immediate possession of the estate. This occupation with the lands of Lehire, gave Allan a more favorable prestige which he did not fail to profit by.

Another tradition affirms that Lachlan Cattanach resided for years with his family on the isle of Cairnburg, situated to the west of the mainland of Mull, and there received the friendly visits of neighboring chiefs, among whom was Mac Neill of Barra and his family. MacNeill had a daughter of great beauty, and on one visit Allan na Sop professed to make honorable love, which was discouraged by the young lady. Allan repulsed in his advances became angered and resolved to have revenge, and taking advantage of the absence of his father and mother, violently seized the lady; she, however, escaped from him, and in her excitement rushed toward the brink of a precipice, closely pursued by her persecutor. The scene occuring in the vicinity of an officer’s house a domestic grasping the situation, rushed forward, seized the lady with one hand, and with the other hurled Allan headlong over the precipice. A considerable projection at that point forms a level shelf, and this caught Allan’s fall. There he remafned and was not extricated until he was compelled to by the lady’s pardon, and also took a vow to forgive the servant who had thrown him upon the perilous roost. The spot ever after has been called “Urraigh Allein na Sop.”

Another legend relates to the wife of Maclan, who was fair and vain; Allan was handsome and cunning. He, although the enemy of her husband, won her affections. She agreed to admit him into Mingary Castle on a given night, to murder her husband, on condition that he would marry her. Accordingly Allan entered the castle and murdered the old chief. However, Maclan left an only son, and Allan insisted on the woman putting the son to death, who, alone, seemed to stand in the way of his subjecting the district to his own sway. The woman agreed to this, and accompanied by Allan reached a wild precipice to throw her child into the ocean, which foamed below. The mother took the child in her arms and twice swung it in the air to cast it from her, but not doing so she was asked the reason for the delay. “The child/’ replied the unfortunate woman, “smiles in my face whenever I attempt it.” “Turn then your face away, and look not at its smiles,” was Allan’s order. The woman did so, and the child was hurled over the rock. No sooner had she accomplished the deed than Allan turned upon her and said: “Away home, woman! You who could thus murder your husband and child might murder me.”

Previous to the year 1509 there was a feud between Allan and Clanranald. Clanranald desired to pass between Mordort and the Small Isles, and sailed with only one vessel. The man on the lookout descried another large birlin rounding the point of Ardnamurchan. “Whose is she?” asked Allan. “Mac Lean’s.” “My dire foe,’1 ejaculated Clanranald. “Shall we put about?” asked the steersman. “She will overtake us,” said the watchman; “She is large and full of men.” “Go on,” said Clanranald; “spread my plaid over me, stretched on this beam: if hailed and questioned, say you are conveying Ailean MacRuari’s remains to Iona. Play the dead march, piper.” They were hailed, and answered as directed. “Let them pass with the dead,” said Allan na Sop, “we are well quit of Allan.” As soon as they were out of sight Clanranald arose, and said: “Row to the nearest point of Mull.” He landed, and taking some of his men, ordered the rest to row to the bay of Aros. Crossing the country to Aros he set fire to the houses. In the meantime Allan na Sop landed in Moidart and commenced to carry off the cattle. Some, who had ascended the highest hills saw the island of Mull in smoke, and immediately informed Allan na Sop. “Ha!” said he, “Allan has come alive; le^ve the cattle, let us back and intercept our foe on his return.” Clanranald having reached Aros, boarded his galley and said: “Row men to Loch Sunart, and avoid a second meeting; quick, ere he doubles the point. They landed on the opposite shore; withdrew the wooden pins, and the birlin was soon in planks and on the shoulders of the men, and soon launched in the waters of Shielfoot, and Allan was in his castle as MacLean was in his own; and thus saved his cattle by burning some thatched houses.

Having possessed himself of the estate of Lehire Allan na Sop forsook the sea and entered upon a quiet life. His restless followers did not approve of this change. On a certain day a large number of them were at dinner in the castle. One of them while at the table picked at a rib of beef on which the meat was scant. He observed to the person sitting next the change that had come upon him when - even bones were so bare. Allan heard the remark and understood its purport. Immediately after dinner he said to his men, “Let every birlin be ready for sea this evening, and we will obtain meat for the coming winter.” Leaving Torbert he directed his course towards the Clyde, and sailed up that river, and landed near Renfrew, and there collected a large number of cattle and returned home with them. This is said to have been the most destructive creach he ever made. It was known as Creach na h-Aisne.

There was a tradition, preserved among the MacDonalds, the leading characters of which were ascribed to Allan, Eighth MacDonald of Moydart and Clanranald, and MacLeans of Duard. This fails to correspond with historic facts. More probably it relates to Allan, Fourth of Moydart and Clanranald and Allan na Sop. Such as it is has been thus recorded:

“Allan MacDonald, in paying a visit with his lady to Mac Lean of Duart, fell in love with a daughter of said MacLean, and carried her off directly in some, of his boats, or birlins, to Castleterrim, leaving his own lady at Mac Lean’s house at Duart, where she did not remain long before MacDonald of Keppoch seeing her, and taking a fancy to her in her misfortunes, took her away to his house. Allan of Moydart, in the meantime, kept MacLean’s daughter with him at Castleterrim, and had two sons by her, and the mother seeing that the former son which Allan had by MacLean’s daughter should be the heir, she fell upon a stratagem to put him out of the way, and make room for her own children to come in his place. It was Allan of Moydart’s custom to pass with her a part of the summer at a place called Keppoch, in Arisaig, which was. hut a few hours rowing from Castleterrim. Near this place the sea forms a lake, called in the country dialect, Loch na keal, much frequented by vast numbers of seals. Allan’s three sons often diverted themselves with shooting these animals upon the rocks, and the mother of the two younger brothers finding this apt opportunity for completing her design, gave her two sons their lesson so well, that, one day as their elder brother was taking aim at one of the seals, they shot him dead upon the spot; so that those two sons were then the only offspring of Allan.

Sometime after the murder of Moydart’s eldest and only lawful son, MacLean’s daughter died, as did also MacLeod’s daughter, who was m Keppoch’s possession, and was properly Allan’s lawful wife. Upon this, Allan, being then free of all engagements married a daughter of MacDonald of Glengary, by whom he had a son, John,” who “not being powerful enough to contend with hi,s two brothers about the right of succession, as they were headstrong men, and he but a youth and without -support, and his father, Allan, in his dotage, was obliged, after some vain attempts, to take what fortune was allotted to him, and was the first of Kinloch-Moydart.”

Allan na Sop was ever bent on revenge on account of the murder of his father. He had an engagement with the vassals of the earl of Argyle, which occurred during the time when Hector Mor MacLean was making additions to Duard Castle. Argyle ordered all his vassals to meet him at Clachan-Soal, on the appointed day, for the purpose of invading the island of Mull, and to have their birlins ready for that purpose, Campbell of Duntroon, who was an intimate friend of MacLean, told Argyle he had no vessel, and he was unable to obtain one on so short a notice; but Argyle refused to listen to any excuse. The day before the expedition was to start, Duntroon went to Duard, and on arriving there was invited to enter the castle, but excused himself, as he was obliged to meet his chief early the next morning. He then asked for the loan of a birlin, as he must have one at once, for with one he must be at Clachan-Soal. MacLean asked him the nature of his intended expedition. Duntroon answered, ‘‘To invade yourself.” ‘‘Very well,” returned MacLean, ‘‘you shall have one, and welcome.” A birlin was ordered completely equipped for Duntroon. Just before departing Duntroon asked what answer he should give Argyle if questioned. “You may tell him,” replied MacLean, “if he comes in peace and friendship, he shall be received with a hearty welcome; but, if he comes otherwise, I am equally ready to receive him.” Early next morning Duntroon was at Clachan-Soal. Seeing a fine birlin entering the harbor Argyle went to see who was the owner of it. On finding it was Duntroon he asked where he had been as he saw him coming from the direction of Mull. Duntroon replied that he had informed him that he had no birlin, and since he would take no excuse he had gone to Duard Castle and asked MacLean for one which was given him, and was now ready to obey what Argyle was pleased to order. “Does MacLean know that it is against himself I am going?” “He does, my lord; I told him,” replied Duntroon. “And what said he?” “He was looking over his masons building an addition to his castle,” replied Duntroon; “and he said, if you came in peace and friendship, you and your friends would receive a hearty welcome; but if you came otherwise, he was equally prepared to receive you.” For some time Argyle was silent; but, finally asked Duntroon what his advice would be. In substance Duntroon said that Argyle had no business to keep up a quarrel on account of his aunt’s and uncle’s bad behavior, which, in justice should be consigned to oblivion; that the earl should marry one of MacLean’s beautiful daughters; and that Janet, the earl’s daughter, should be given to MacLean’s handsome son and heir,—all of which came to pass.

Murcliardli Gearr: Murchardh Gearr, was the Sixth MacLean of Loch Buy. He was born about 1496 and died in 1586 The legend concerning him affirms that his uncle Murdoch MacLean of Scallasdale robbed him of his estates. Short, or little Murdoch fled to Ireland and ingratiated himself into the favor of the earl of Antrim. Around him he gathered a party of resolute warriors with whom he returned to Mull, and landed near Moy Castle after dark. He sought out his old nurse who told him of a stratagem by which he could gain admission into the castle. She was to let loose the cattle, and when the men came out of the castle to drive them back to their inclosure, Murdoch and his men were to rush for the gateway of the castle. As the woman’s husband was the gatekeeper, Murdoch protested against the plan, as it would endanger his life. The nurse replied: “Leig an t-earball leis a chraicionn,” let the tail go with the hide. The stratagem succeeded, and that night the castle was in his possession. Little Murdoch aroused all his friends on the estate and prepared to meet his uncle. Murdoch of Scallasdale received support from the Stewarts of Appin, and Little Murdoch was aided by the MacLeans of the Ross of Mull. The contending forces met in battle at Gruline. From there the uncle led his force into a glen just east of Ben Buy and almost in sight of Moy Castle. During the night Little Murdoch took a chosen few of his supporters, stole into the uncle’s camp, and to his tent fastened the couples of an old kiln. Then entering his tent thrust his dirk into his uncle’s hair, pinning it to the ground. In the morning the uncle saw the warning, guessed its meaning, and then retreated quietly to his own estates, and made no further trouble. This occurred about 1540.

Eweii MacLean: Ewen, the spectral horseman is mounted on a small black steed, having a white spot on its forehead, and the marks of its hoofs are round indentations. He has\ been seen even in foreign lands when any of his sept are on; their death-bed. He is heard riding past the house, and sometimes shows himself at the door. On horse back he sits a little to one side and the appearance is that of a water-stoup tied on the horse’s back. Tradition is not at all uniform on. this horseman, but the essentials are the following:—Hugh, or Ewen of the Little Head, or more properly Eoghann a’Chinn bhig was a son of John Og, Fifth MacLean of the sept known as Loch Buy. About the year 1538 he was killed in a clan battle with the Chief of MacLean, along with his father .and a brother. He received his nickname during his life time, owing to his having a small head on a large body. He was a fearless warrior, and active in life. Sayings of his, preserved in tradition, illustrate his curious shrewdness, and keeness of wit. When his mother was being carried for burial he thought the pall-bearers were carrying the body too high, and he told them not to raise her so high, “in case she should seek to make a habit of it,” and ever since the phrase has continued, “to seek to make a habit of anything, like Hugh of the Little Head’s mother.” He married a daughter of MacDougall of Lorn which proved to be unpleasant. Tradition ascribes to her opprobrious names, such as “The Black-bottomed Heron,” “Stingy, the Bad Black Heron,” “The MacDougall Heron.” Hugh had performed prodigies of valor in avenging the murder of Lachlan Cattanach MacLean, Chief of MacLean. But some ten years later, as tradition has it, a ploughman of Loch Buy was at work on the debatable ground between the lands of Loch Buy and those of Duard, when a friend of Duard’s, out hunting, shot him. Sometime later two of MacLean of Duard’s boys visited Loch Buy, and on their return home, Loch Buy’s wife, a relative of the murdered ploughman, accompanied them, and on arriving at a well, since called “The Well of the Heads,” she cut off the heads of the children, and cast them into the well, leaving their bodies on the bank. This foul deed caused a deadly feud, and Hugh’s wife being a foster sister of Duard’s wife, did not care though her husband and the whole house of Loch Buy should be worsted. This feud, and other grievances, caused John Og to give Hugh the lands of Mornish, in Mull, where the latter built a castle in an islet between Loch Buy and Duard. Hugh’s wife made him go ltd his father and demand more land, but on its being explained that he would inherit the entire estate Hugh departed satisfied. But his wife urged him to return and demand more under the plea that what he had was so small that Hector Mor, Chief of MacLean, would come and possess it. He went again and an altercation took place when he struck his aged father a violent blow on the side of the head. This came to the ear of Hector Mor, who, glad of an excuse to cut off the presumptive heir of Loch Buy, and make himself master of that estate, collected his men and marched them against Hugh. In the meantime Hugh prepared himself for the strife. The evening before the battle Hugh reviewed his men, and later on, at the boundary stream saw a fairy woman rinsing clothes, singing the “Song of the MacLeans.” Her long breasts, after the manner of her kind, according- to Mull belief, hung down and interfered with her washing-, and she now and then flung- them over her shoulders to keep them out of the way. The warrior silently crept up behind her, and catching one of them, as recommended in such cases, applied the nipple to his mouth, saying-, “Yourself and I be witness you are my first nursing mother.” She answered, “The hand of your father and grandfather be upon you! You have need that it is so.” He then asked her what she was doing-, and she replied, “Washing- the shirts of your mortally wounded men,” or as others say, “the clothes of those who will mount the horses to-morrow and will not return.” He then asked, “Will I win the fig-ht?” She answered saying- if he and his men got “butter without asking” for their breakfast he would win; if not, he would lose. He then asked if he would survive, which she answered ambiguously or else not at all; and as her parting gift to go about warning approaching death to all his race. The next morning he put on a new suit of armor, and a woman servant coming in just as he had donned it, praised it, and said, “May you enjoy and wear it.” It was deemed unlucky that a womajn should be first to say this, and Hugh replied to the evil omen by saying, “May you not enjoy your health.” For breakfast, his wife—“Stingy, the Black Heron”—sent in curds and milk in broad, shallow dishes, without any spoon, and advised them to put on hen’s bills and take their food. Hugh anxiously waited for butter to come, rubbing his shoes impatiently together, and now and then saying it was time to go, and giving hints that the butter should be brought in. At last, throwing a shoe down the house, he exclaimed, “Neither shoes or speech will move a bad house-wife,” and then commanded, “Send down the butter, and you may eat it yourself to-morrow.” She retorted, “The kicker of old shoes will not leave skin upon palm.” When the butter was brought Hugh said he did not want her curds or cheese to be coming through his men s sides; and then kicked open the milk-house door and let in the dogs; then left, without touching the breakfast. The battle took place not far from Torness in Glenmore. Hugh and his followers were defeated. The sweep of a broadsword cut off the upper part of his head, and instead of falling, he leaped on the back of a small black steed, with a spot in its forehead, and ever since has been going about giving warning to those of his race approaching death. It is further related that on the high road between Calachyle and Salen, in Mull, a strong man by name of MacLean was met at night by Hugh, The horseman did not speak, but caught MacLean to take him away. The latter resisted, and in the struggle caught hold of a birch sapling and succeeded in holding to it until the cock crew. The birch was twisted in the struggle. The same story is told of a twisted tree near Tobermory, and a similar one between Lochaber and Badenoch.

Estates of MacKinnon:  The lower part of Mull belonged to MacKinnon of Strath, and the MacLeans, who owned the rest, were anxious to possess all. Taking advantage of MacKinnon’s youth, and the infirmity of his uncle—MacDonald of Sleat—the chief of MacLean and Loch Buy divided the estate among their friends, and drove out the followers of MacKinnon. Arriving at man’s estate, MacKinnon went to his relative, the earl of Antrim, in Ireland, for assistance in obtaining possession of his inheritance. Forty young gentlemen volunteered to become leaders of his host. On his way to Skye he called at Mull and went to the hut of an old woman of his clan, whom the MacLeans deemed it not wise to banish, for she was reputed to be a witch. The old woman welcomed her chief; and when he confided to her his intentions, she asked the number of his men. “Only forty,” he replied. “It Is enough,” she cried, “and if you follow my advice, your revenge over the MacLeans will be complete before the morning’s sun rises in the heavens. Duard and Loch Buy sleep tonight at Ledaig House without suspicion and therefore without guard. Their men have been making merry, and are now, after much drinking, sound asleep in the birlins. If your men are men, and if you are a true son of your father, you can slay them all without difficulty.” MacKinnon resolved on a different mode of procedure. He asked his men to go with him to the woods, and there caused every one to cut off a bough and denude it of its leaves. For himself he cut off a tall, straight branch, leaving all the foliage and twigs on it;; and carrying these, they cautiously marched to Ledaig House, where they found the household asleep. At the door of the house he planted his own leafy bough, and suspended his sword above the door. At stated intervals around the house, his followers planted their bare poles, after which they quietly retired and re-embarked in their galleys. In the morning, the MacLean chiefs were greatly surprised at what had happened, and for awhile were at a loss to account for it. At length Loch Buy exclaimed:

“I see it all; MacKinnon has been here; that is his branch with the leaves; the bare poles represent forty men that he had with him, and that is his sword which he has left above the door to show how easy it was for him to have slain us. He has been very merciful; and we shall send for him and reinstate him in his inheritance. There shall be no war between us, for he has acted in a noble manner.”

Maclan’s Nuptial Niglit: John Maclan (the MacDonald of Ardnamurchan) not only assisted the Clandonald in a feud against the chief of Duard, but was the immediate cause of the murder of the faithful John Dubh MacLean. A favorable opportunity presented itself to Sir Lachlan Mor MacLean, Fourteenth chief of his clan, for redressing that wrong. Before the breaking out of the feud Maclan had been a suitor for the hand of Sir Lachlan’s mother, who had a considerable jointure in her own right. Peace having been declared Maclan renewed his suit, without opposition from her warlike son, although knowing that the real motive was the possession of her wealth and influence. Sir Lachlan, however, viewed the alliance with disgust, but decided to tolerate the marriage that it might work out its own ruin. When the time came Maclan, with a train commensurate with his standing, proceeded to Mull to claim his bride, who at that time resided at Torloisk House, then one of the residences of the chief of MacLean, where the ceremony was performed. Sir Lachlan was present with several gentlemen of the clan and the day passed in convivialty and apparent friendship. During the evening, after the newly married couple had retired, one of Maclan’s retinue introduced the subject of the late feud in such a way that one of the MacLeans maintained the object was to breed a quarrel, and it ill became the MacDonalds to complain of the results of the feud, for had it not been for the generosity of Sir Lachlan, few leaders would have remained to the Clandonald at the battle of Bacha. Heated with wine, the parties came to high words, and some of the gentlemen of Maclan’s company jeeringly boasted that their chief only married the “old lady” for the sake of her wealth. “Drunkards ever tell the truth,” vociferated a kinsman of MacLean, as he plunged his dirk into the body of the inconsiderate MacDonald. The most barbarous slaughter now ensued; and in the moment of exasperation nearly all the followers of Maclan were killed. The cause cf the quarrel being explained to Sir Lachlan, who was not present at the above occurrence, he made use of the Gaelic phrase having for its meaning, “If the fox rushes upon the hounds, he must expect to be worried.” His followers, comprehending by this that he was quite indifferent even to the fate of Maclan himself, and having imbibed enough wine to make themselves reckless, broke into the nuptial chamber and dragged the unhappy bridegroom from his bed, and would have instantly despatched him, had not the lamentations of his mother for once moved the rugged nature of her imperious son. Maclan, with two of his followers, were then seized and thrown into the dungeon of Duard Castle. The above incident occurred April 12, 1588, and the tradition is practically correct in all its parts. The testimony is recorded in Register of Privy Council, Vol. IV. p. 290.    -

Destruction of the Florida: Soon after the above occur rence a Spanish vessel, belonging to the Invincible Armada, put into Tobermory Bay for supplies. The1 MacDonald sept, called Clanranald, flew to arms to avenge the unfortunate Nuptial Night, and thus caused Sir Lachlan MacLean to negotiate with the Spanish commander for assistance in repelling the renewed feud'. The story of the Spanish vessel has been frequently told in print and continues to be an object of interest. The position of the vessel in the harbor is known; attempts have been made to raise it, and various objects, from time to time have been taken from it. It appears to have been one of the largest vessels of the fleet and commanded by Captain Fareija. The captain, presuming on the floating power of his vessel, sent peremptory orders to Duard Castle, commanding Sir Lachlan MacLean to supply his ship witn such provisions as he might require, or as the island could afford; but as his demands did not receive attention at the hands of the lord of Duard, he then threatened to use the means within his power to help himself. This aroused the indignation of the chief of MacLean, who returned answer to the effect that the wants of the distressed stranger should be attended to after he had been taught a lesson of more courteous behavior; and in order that he might have such lesson as speedily as his wants seemed pressing, he was invited to land and supply his wants by the forceable means threatened; for it was not the custom of the chief of MacLean to pay ready attention to the wants of a threatening beggar. The Don took a wiser course and promised payment for all necessaries as might be supplied him. The people of Mull were then permitted to furnish such supplies as were required. The Don further agreed to furnish a hundred marines from his ship partly in return for the supplies furnished by the inhabitants. With these auxiliaries added to his own forces Lachlan proceeded against MacDonald whom he defeated in every engagement, and laid waste the enemy’s land with fire and sword. In the midst of his success the Don requested the return of the Spanish troops as he was ready to take his departure. At the same time MacLean of Treshnish sent a messenger with the statement that the Don was about to leave without set-ling with the inhabitants for the supplies. Sir Lachlan remonstrated with the Don on the injustice contemplated, bur was assured that full satisfaction would be rendered ere he took his departure; but insisted on the immediate return of his force engaged in action. Sir Lachlan determined that all obligations must be met, and therefore detained three of the principal officers of the ship, and permitted the rest of the Spaniards to return to the vessel. He then sent Donald Glas, son of John Dubh MacLean of Morvern, on board the ship to receive an adjustment of the demands of the people. No sooner had Donald set foot on board the ship than he was disarmed and made prisoner, and cautioned on peril of his life not to attempt any communication with his friends. Exasperated to the utmost fury by such treatment, and finding that preparations were being made for immediate departure, Donald resolved that the commander should not escape unpunished, even though the fearful step he designed to take would deprive him of his own life as well as that of his foesu Discovering that the cabin in which he was confined to be> near the powder magazine, he found an opportunity during the night to force his way into the magazine and laying a powder train in a concealed line, he waited the period when the final decision of Don Fareija might force him to the desperate step contemplated. At daylight, on the following morning, Donald was, in derision, summoned on deck to take a last farewell to the towering hills of Mull and Morvern, the beloved mountains of his native land. Becoming convinced by the preparations going on that his own abduction and treachery to his kinsmen was fully decided on, he requested a few attendants, who had accompanied him, to make the land as speedily as possible; and then slipping a letter to his chief, in the hands of one of them, he returned below, under pretense of mental suffering, on account of the forcible separation from his native land. Allowing a sufficient time for his friends to reach a safe distance, he set himself to accomplish his dreadful purpose; and then firing his train, this remnant of the ill-fated Armada, with upward of three hundred souls on board, was blown to pieces in the bay. Of the Spaniards, only three escaped, one of whom was so mutilated by the explosion that he died next day.

Among the many traditional tales concerning Don Fareija and his loingeas (ship) is that relating to a dog belonging to one of the Spanish officers, and which the people appear to have regarded with superstitious reverence as long as it lived. The poor animal was thrown ashore upon a fragment of the deck to the distance of a mile and a half, and was discovered in an apparently dying state by one of the inhabitants; but by care it recovered, and no sooner did the faithful creature revive, than the shore immediately opposite where the wreck of the Florida sunk, became its constant resort. Here it would sit, looking- toward the spot, howling most piteously, and by force alone could it be removed from the place. The remarkable manner displayed by the dog so wrought upon the superstitious that it has formed a more lasting impression, through the ages that have elapsed, than the retribution which swept over three hundred of their fellow creatures.

Malcolm (lorry's Revenge: The scene of this legend is laid at a headland on the east coast of the Ross of Mull at a place called Malcolm’s Point. The bluff is a thousand feet high. Malcolm Gorry was a henchman of the land of Loch Buy. One day the chief of Loch Buy had been deer-stalking and gave directions to Malcolm Gorry to guard a certain pass, and on no account to let the deer through. Like a rushing torrent the deer poured through, notwithstanding all the efforts Malcolm put forth. Loch Buy was frantic with rage, and ordered Malcolm to be seized and punished. He was bound with ropes and severely whipped. Malcolm vowed vengeance on his chief, and that he should leave no heir to his estate. The moment he was loosened, he sprang for the laird’s only son and heir, and with the child in his arms fled to the peak that bears his name and threatened, if any one approached he would throw the boy off the cliff. Loch Buy writhed with grief, and begged his servant to spare the boy; and offered anything he could part with if he would spare his son. Malcolm demanded that Loch Buy, then and there, in his presence, he should receive an equally as severe a flogging, which was immediately complied with; but he still refused to surrender the son. Then he demanded that if Loch Buy did not immediately submit to mutilation, the child would be thrown headlong into the raging sea below. The moment that Malcolm saw that the demand had been meted out, he grasped the child tightly, leaped far out and fell into the abyss below.

The Harper of Mull: The Harper of Mull is one of the favorite traditions of that isle. The earliest record of it I have found is in Garnett’s Tour through the Highlands. It was told to him by a native of Mull, and afterwards he read it. in a publication called the Bee, which he copied from. A harper lived in former times in Mull, was celebrated in his profession, and was married to a young woman of exquisite beauty whom he tenderly loved. He excelled all his cotemporares in taste and execution, which he owed in part to an instrument so admirably constructed that no artist could hope to equal much less surpass it. Next to his wife it was the pride of his life, and his constant companion. One winter the man and his wife set out on a visit to a relation who was sick and resided on the opposite coast. A snow storm overtook them and the wind blew keen and cold. Struggling forward, at last they reached the summit of a high hill they could not avoid passing. Here, being quite exhausted, the wife fainted. The harper exerted his efforts, with the utmost tenderness, in order to preserve her life; and perceiving traces of life he hastily gathered dry heather and-with a flint struck a fire, and in the scarcity of fuel he broke up his harp to feed the flame with its fragments. While thus most anxiously engaged, a young man happened to be hunting in that vicinity, and seeing the smoke made towards it. He was greatly struck at seeing the situation of so beautiful a woman in distress, whilst she was so much distressed at sight of the stranger, that the husband dreaded a relapse. The youth made many protestations of sympathy and concern; and offered them some spirits and provisions he had with him, which were accepted with gratitude; for they were ill provided. After partaking of the refreshments, her spirits revived, and she seemed to make light of her situation. The joy of her husband was excessive, nor did he regret the loss of his favorite harp. He was pleased to see his wife exert herself to entertain the youth to whom they were so greatly indebted. The conversation soon became animated and particular, and even to an ex< tent as might arouse one of a jealous disposition, but there was no such tincture in the harper’s temper. The fact was, they were old acquaintnances arid lovers, but both deemed it prudent to play the stranger. The woman had been brought up by a grandmother, whose name she bore, and from whom her family had expectations. The grandmother’s house was in another island, and very near that of the youth’s father. From early infancy they had been companions, and in all the pursuits of childhood had ever chosen each other as associates. In the pastoral life of the Highlanders, the chief employment was hunting, fishing, and listening to Keltic songs and tales. This way of life gave the youth frequent opportunities of seeing his fair one whose beauty continued to increase. This friendship was ripening into love, when her grandmother died, and then she returned to her native island, and her father’s house. From that time until this meeting the two had not seen each other. He belonged to the class called “gentlemen” and she was a “vassal,” or commoner of an inferior class, and between, there were not mixed marriages; but this had been no bar to their friendship. It was two years after their separation that the marriage took place, and on her part it was a prudential one. She had'no objection to the harper, who was a man of property, and respected; she gave him her hand but he had no interest in her heart. Her first love lurked there, though reason and virtue exerted to expel him. She had acted her part in the marriage state with propriety. The meeting under such strange and romantic a condition, was too strong a temptation. The young man was also equally captivated; and guessing by her demeanor, and the language of her eyes that he still had a place in her affections, he listened, enamored, to her conversation, which in the presence of her husband, was lively and innocent. Hurried by the impulse of passion, he resolved to carry her off to a distant island, where both were unknown. The husband proposed to his wife that they should proceed on their journey, and the youth politely offered to accompany them for a few miles. On the way he found means to whisper his scheme and was glad to find her as impatient as himself to abandon her husband. At length they came to the foot of a mountain, where there was a deep woody glen. The woman now complained of thirst, and the husband, ever ready to please her, ran to a stream, which he saw at a distance, to secure for her the water craved. When he returned they had gone, leaving no trace behind them. Bereaved, both of his wife and harp, the defrauded man exclaimed, in an agony of grief, “Fool that I was to burn my harp for her.” The harper’s heart was broken, and never did he play on that instrument again. His gentle spirit had received a cruel blow, and he lived a solitary, listless life for a few months, and then died a broken-hearted man.

MacPhee’s Escape: About the year 1623 Malcolm Mac Phee was one of the lairds of the isle of Colonsay. It is said that once he was about to enter Duard Castle, where a plot was formed to assassinate him; when entering, he was asked by the door-keeper, a MacGilivray, what road he had come. He replied that he had come down Glen Cannel. MacGilivray then inquired, “Am facadh tu m’eich-sa, agus t’eich fhein?” By a very slight change in the pronunciation of the last the words meant, “Have you seen jny horses, and escape yourself?” MacPhee, who was a man of unusual quickness, took the hint, and making some excuse, turned back and escaped.

Clan Battle of Port Blieatliain:  A man by the name of MacGillivray lived in Glencannel who was a great favorite cf the chief of MacLean. Very early in the morning one of Mac Lean’s clansmen called at MacGillivray’s house and desired to see him. He was informed that he was in Glen More deerstalking and he could be recognized by his dog being white with one red ear. Arriving at Glen More he saw MacGillivray a short distance away walking along one of the mountain spurs. The man at once levelled his gun, and his victim at once was writhing in the heather. The murderer knew the esteem in which his victim was held by the Chief of MacLean, and fully realizing the consequence of his crime, took to flight, and on his way through the Ross of Mull, he stopped at Pennyghael and placed a burnt stick in the thatch above the door of a brother of his victim; then meeting another man he said to him, “Tell MacGillivray when he gets up, that a fine buck lies dead in Glen More.” Arriving at the shore he found a boat, and in it passed over to Colonsay, expecting protection from MacPhee, its chief. When MacGillivray discovered the burnt stick and hearing the story of the dead buck in Glen. More, he said, “For certain my brother is dead,” and immediately proceeded to Glen More, and found his conjecture to be true. All the facts were placed before MacLean and he caused a searching inquiry to be made. Having discovered the ruffian was in Colonsay, he dispatched a messenger to that island to demand the head of the fugitive. MacPhee caused the murderer to be decapitated and sent the head to Mull with a slender twig passed through the eye-holes, to serve for a handle. This indignity to his dead clansman made the Chief of MacLean furious. “I told you to send me his head,” he wrote to MacPhee, “but I did not want you to insult me by passing a twig through his eye-holes.” The old enmity burst into a flame, and soon after the watchman on Dun-a’-Gheird saw a number of square sails bearing down on the coast of Mull. The little fleet had cleared away from Colonsay, filled with warriors, mail-clad, and armed with swords and spears. The destination was Mull, and the MacPhees intended to invade the glens and carry off the sheep and the cattle. That night the peaks of Mull were lighted up by signal fires, the first from Mam Kilfinichen, overlooking the spot where the invading host had landed, and was encamped for the night. The signal was repeated at Mam Kilfinichen, a ridge above Killiemore House, and three other peaks repeated the message. The response was instantaneous. From the glens and the clachans every one capable of bearing arms came forth with enthusiasm, fully armed and ready for battle, and before.the break of day a small army was mobilized in the vicinity of Kilvickeon, with recruits continually arriving. The Chief of MacLean, an experienced warrior, was in command, and without delay the army advanced, with a reserve force left behind under cover of a small hill. The MacPhees resolutely marched forward to meet the advancing force. The impact of the contending forces was fearful as the clash and clang of spear and clamor resounded, with grim and hideous din and shouts of rage. On a given signal the Mull men began to retire, which led the men of Colonsay to believe that victory was at hand. Now the division hid behind the small hill, moved round the hill and furiously rushed upon the flank and rear of the Mac Phees. This movement was wholly unexpected. Although outnumbered, outgeneraled, and wholly unable to withstand the terrible assault, the MacPhees whirled round, broke through the lines and made their retreat to the shore, hotly pursued by the enemy. While launching and boarding thejir boats the Mull men fell upon them with uncontrollable fury,, and slaughtered a great many. The tradition says that arms and fingers were lopped off in such numbers when the men were boarding their vessels that when they reached Colonsay that bucketfuls were taken out of the galleys. This battle was called “Blar Phort Bheathain.”

Legend of Alas ter Colkitto: Throughout the lands of the MacDonalds in the Western Highlands the favorite hero, during the times of Montrose, was Alaster Colkitto. He was a MacDonald, but connected by blood with the Campbells, with whom he quarreled. On his way to fight for King Charles he sailed to the Ross of Mull, where two of his sisters dwelt, and the son of one of them, a child, went to the shore to welcome his uncle. The child climbed up to the keel of an upturned boat on the shore in great joy at seeing Alaster, who beholding the boy on the boat asked his men if they knew who he was. Being answered in the negative, Alaster said, “Whoever he is, the grey eye of a Campbell is in his head. He at all events is not going to enlist with us, and he is the first living thing we have met on landing in Mull.” So saying, he pointed his gun at the child, and fired, killing him on the spot. The mother was living in a cave at Sannaig, and he went to Jier and asked her if she were well off. “At times yes, at times poor enough,” she replied. “Who are good to you? Is Gilbert MacCormick, the farmer near you, generous with the milk of his cows?” “He is kind to me himself,” she answered, “but his wife, when he is away, will not give me a drop.” Alaster, turning to his men, said, “Go down, lads and hough under the knees every second cow in MacCormick’s herd.” The men strictly obeyed, houghing every second cow, as belonging to the wife, and leaving the others as belonging to the husband. Alaster gave her some silver; but she soon found out that he had killed her child, and was filled with grief. She .cursed him, and when Alaster learned what he had done, he was very sorry, but thought he was justified by his belief hi omens. The Mull men preferred to rise for King Charles under the banner of MacLean rather than Alaster, so he did not increase his force in Mull, and then sailed for Ardnamur-chan.

Famine in Mull: The “Old Statistical Account of Scotland” records a tradition that the country side on both shores of Loch Scridain was densely populated in olden times, but during the Civil Wars in the time of Charles I. the able-bodied young men were called away, and only the old men were left to supply the homes, and these not being able to cope with the situation, a famine ensued which carried off the entire population bordering Loch Scridain save two families. Men and women fell by the roadside, and were buried where they fell, on account of the inability to remove them to the burial grounds of their fathers.

Loch Luy’s Two Herdsmen: In 1602 Hector MacLean was laird of Loch Buy. He had two herdsmen, and the wife of one went to the house of the wife of the other herdsman, who had a pot on the fire. The first inquired, “What have you in that pot?” “Well it is,” she said, “a drop of brochan which the good man will have for dinner.” “What kind of brochan is it?” “It is dubh-hhrochaii,” said the hostess. This was a thin mixture of oatmeal and water. “Isn’t he,” said the first, “a poor man? Are you not giving him anything but that? I have been for so long a time under the laird of Loch Buy, and I have not drank brochan without a grain of beef or something in it. Don’t you think it is but a small thing for the laird of Loch Buy though we should get an ox every year? Little he would miss it. I wi]l send over my husband to-night, and you will bring home one of the oxen.” When the night came the husband went over. The wife then sent the other away. One said, “You will steal the ox from the fold, and you will bring it to me, and we will be free; I will swear I did not take it from the fold, and you will swear you did not take it home.” The two herdsmen then started forth. In those days they hanged a man on small provocation, without waiting for judicial procedure, and on the day mentioned Loch Buy had a man hanged in the woods. The herdsmen kindled a fire near a tree in the woods as a signal to the one who went to steal. One sat by the fire, and the other went to steal the ox. The same night a number of gentlemen were in the castle at Loch Buy. During the evening a wager was made with the Laird that there ^as not one in his castle who would take the shoe off the man who had been hanged that day. The laird laid a wager that he could produce such a man. He called up his big lad MacFadyen and said to him if he intended to let the wager go against him. ' The big lad asked the value of the wager, and this was explained to him. MacFadyen agreed to take off the shoe and bring it to the castle. MacFadyen sallied forth and when he reached the spot, he saw the man who had been hanged, warming himself by the fire. He went no farther but returned in haste. He was asked for the shoe, but he replied he did not have it for the man who had been hanged “was with a wethy basket of peats before him, warming himself.” “We knew ourselves,” said the gentlemen, “that you had only cowards.” A crippled servant said: “It is a wrong thing you are doing in allowing him to lose the wager. If I had the use of my feet, I would go and take his leg off as well as his shoe before I would let Loch Buy lose the wager.” “Come you here,” said the big lad, “and I will put a pair of feet that you never had the like under you.” He put the servant round his neck, and off he went. Coming in sight of the man warming himself the crippled man begged to return, which MacFadyen refused. Then they went nearer to the man who was warming himself. The one sitting lifted his head and observed the ones coming. He thought it was the one who had gone for the ox, and addressing him said, “Have you come?” “I have,” said MacFadyen. “And have you got it?” “Yes,” replied MacFadyen. “Is it fat?” “Whether he is fat or lean, there he is,” screamed Ma2-Fadyen, throwing the cripple into the fire, and taking to his heels, followed by the cripple on all fours, making his escape. The one at the fire presumed that he had been watched, and was now found out, at once started for the castle to make his peace with the laird. He was seen following by the cripple* who thought it was the man who had been hanged. MacFad-yen reaching the castle first, was asked if he had taken the shoe off the man. He said they had not, but was asked if the cripple was fat, and by this he was sure he had been eaten up. Then came the cripple, crying to be let in for the hanged man was after him. No sooner was this done than the man from the gallows begged admittance. The laird refused. “I am your herdsman,” came the cry. Then he was let in. He then explained the plot to steal the ox, and he thought it was the other herdsman who had returned, and it was that made him ask if it was fat. All this was a source of much merriment with Loch Buy and his guests during the remainder of the night, keeping the herdsman telling how it all happened. The one who went to steal the ox returned to the tree where he had left the other herdsman, but found no one. He began to make a thorough search and finally saw the one dangling from the tree. “Oh,” said he, “you have been hanged since I went away, and I will be to-morrow in the same plight that you are in. It has been an ill-guided object, and tempting of women that sent us on the journey.” He then took the man down, and going over the hill, through dirt and mud carried the body to the house of the other woman. He knocked’ at the door and entered. The woman addressing him said, “How have things happened with you?” “Never you mind, whatever; but, alas! he has been hanged since we went away.” The woman raised a great outcry. “Do not say a word,” said he, “or else you and I will be hanged to-morrow. We will bury him in the garden, and no one will ever know about it. And now I will be returning to my house.” The one who had gone to the castle returned to his home early in the morning and knocked at his door. His wife remained silent. He then called out for admittance. “I will not,” said the wife, .“for you have been hanged, and you will never get in here.” He then went to the house of the other herdsman, and there called to be admitted. “You will not come in here,” was the answer. “I got enough carrying you home on my back, after you Jiad been hanged.” At the end of the house was a large window, and there he went and said, “Get up and get a light, and you will see that I have not been hanged any more than yourself.” He recognized his companion and kept him until morning. Then they talked together, telling each other-all that had happened, and then went to the castle and informed Loch Buy all that had occurred. When Loch Buy heard their story1 all was forgiven and every year after he gave each of them an ok and a boll of meal.

A Creacli: A creach was a common affair in the Highlands, and a favorite method of Mull men for obtaining cattle especially from their enemies. There was greater or less danger attending it. A party of Mull men set out for the island of Luing on a predatory expedition, and when the night was far advanced landed at Camus-cairble, with all possible 'secrecy. Near that port, Marquis, tenant of Baile-chiiain, hM a herd of goodly cattle, upon which the party laid unsparing ‘ hands. Having placed on board their barge all the cattle it would hold, they slaughtered one on the shore for immediate use. Marquis had been following them, and obtaining a good view from a height near at hand, discharged an arrow, which pierced the hand of one of the men engaged in flaying the ox. Fearing an attack in force, the marauders took to their boats, and without delay, put to sea, leaving the slaughtered anirfral on the shore. At the time there was a breeze of north wind blowing which rapidly moved the boat, and hugging^the shore they were at an advantage. Marquis anticipating theif course, crossed Cuan Ferry, hastened to the north end of Easdale Sound, where it was narrowest, and hid himself at a point ever after called, Rudha Mhic Mharcuis—Marquis Point. When the barge came within range he shot into it, arrow after arrow, with such fatal effect that not one escaped with life. He then secured the boat with all that it contained.

Another story states that in the eighteenth Century seven men set out from Crogan, Mull, on a maurading expedition and landed at a point two and one half miles south of the present site of Oban. They directed their course inland until they arrived at Muckairn, and then proceeded to lift cattle. They first seized a white cow belonging to a poor man who resided at a place called Larach-a’-Chuodall, a short distance above a waterfall that tumbles into the river Neaunta. Driving the white cow along with them, they turned to Glenlonain where they lifted cattle as they passed along. Their spoil consisted of four cows and three stirks. The cattle being missed, five men started in pursuit, and easily traced them, as the ground was covered with snow. The party was overtaken at Gallanach-beag, some of the cattle on the shore and some in the boats. The parties immediately joined in combat, resulting in five of the marauders and three of their pursuers being slain. All the cattle were secured and taken back to their homes.

Creach of Malise MacLean: Malise MacLean was the second heir of MacLean of Torloisk, in Mull, and sometime before 1745, made the last raid into the island of Tyree, which had always an inviting prey for plunderers and pirates. The given name of Malise MacLean is a most uncommon one among the MacLeans, and also of any of the West Highland clans. The name was bestowed owing to the younger member of Torloisk’s dying early in life. The sages of the country advised Torloisk to give the new addition of his family the name of the first person he met on the way to have the child baptised, which proved to be a poor beggar by name of Malise. A name thus given was deemed proof against evil. Being without prospect of an estate, Malise thought he would go to Tyree, and piece by piece he would obtain landed property for himself. He came to have the half of the township of Baile-meadhonach, married and had descendants. One day a galley, with sixteen men on board, came to Soraba beach, the men landing and collecting every animal about the place. At the time Malise was fishing at the rocks in Kenavara Hill, and on coming home learned what had been done, and asked his neighbors what they meant to do, and would they go with him to turn the raid. All refused through fear of being killed., as the raiders were strong. He said to them, “I prefer to fall in the attempt, rather than let my cattle be taken.” Seizing his sword he followed the marauders. Arriving near the freebooters he was ordered to leave the road, or he would feel the consequences. He answered, “I will not leave, and the consequences will be to you, until I get my own.” This he received, and then asked for the cow of a poor woman of the same township as himself, and getting this, he said they might do with the rest as they pleased. The robbers drove the rest of the animals to the beach, threw them down, tied their forelegs together, placed them on bearers or planks and carried on board the boat, and rowed' away. No one knew whence they had come nor whither they went.

It is a tradition in Scotland that the MacLeans of Loch Buy, Mull, were the worst cattle thieves in that country. True, they did not look upon the creach in that light.

The Big Lad of Dervaig: The story of the Big Lad of Dervaig is one of comparatively recent times, and is thus narrated:

“The Big Lad was living at Dervaig, in Mull, with his father, son of Fair Neil of Dervaig. This lad, as he grew up to manhood, became noted for his great strength and prowess, as well as for his handsome person** At the same time he was reckless and foolish. Despising his father’s reproofs and heedless of his counsel, advice or admonitions, he went on in his mad career until at last he purloined money from him, with which he bought a ship and went sailing away, none of his friends knew whither. After some years he returned home, broken-down in appearance, empty-handed, and a complete ‘tatterdemalion,’ having wrecked his ship on the coast of Ireland, and lost the wealth he had accumulated to repay his father, who was now dead. The grieve had the land. The grieve told him about his father’s death, and advised him to go to his father’s brother, Donald, son of Fair Neil, who had Hynish, Tyree, at that time, and whatever advice he would get from him, to follow it, and he (the grieve) would give him clothing and means to take him there, on condition of being repaid when he returned. As there was no other way open to him of redeeming his past errors, he agreed to the grieve’s conditions and went to Tyree to his uncle, by whom he was coldly received. ‘What business has brought you, and where are you going when you have come here?’ ‘To ask advice from yourself,’ he said. ‘Good was the advice your father had to give, and you did not take it; what I advise you to do is, to go and enlist in the Black Watch, and that will keep you out of harm. You will stay here to-night, and I will give you money to-morrow morning to take you to the regiment,’ his uncle said. His uncle was married to a daughter of MacLean, Laird of Coll. Her husband did not tell her of his nephew’s arrival, as he was displeased at his coming. When the Big Lad was leaving the house next morning, she saw him passing the window and asked who the handsome-looking stranger was. On being told, she made him return to the house, gave him food, drink, and clothing, and on parting, money to take him on his way. He returned to Dervaig, paid the ploughman his due, and went off to the wars. At the first place he landed, said to be Greenock, a pressgang was waiting to seize whoever they could get to suit the king’s service, and on seeing this likely man they instantly surrounded him, to carry him off by force. He turned about and asked what they wanted, with him. They said, ‘To take you with us in spite of you.’ When he understood their intentions he opened his arms to their widest extent and drove all those before him, eighteen men, backwards into the sea, and left them there floating to get out the best way they could. He then made his way till he enlisted in the Black Watch, then on the eve of leaving for America, where it remained for seven years. During that time the Big Lad won the esteem and commendation of his superior’s in rank, by his exemplary conduct and good bearing, as well as the admiration and affection of his equals, to whom he was'courteous and forbearing. When the regiment was returning to England, the officers frequently spent their leisure time, on board the man-of-war that brought it home, playing dice. One day, when they were at their games, the Big Lad was looking on, and he saw a young man, one of the English officers, insolently, but more in jest than in earnest, striking on the ear the colonel of the regiment, who .the Big Lad knew, was a Highlander, When he saw the insult was not resented, he said in Gaelic to the colonel, ‘Why did you let him strike you?’ ‘You are then a Highlander,’ the colonel said to him, ‘and you have been With me for seven years without telling me that you are.’ ‘If you would do what’ I ask. you, I will make yon one that he will not do the same, thing to you again,’ he said to the colonel. ‘What do you want me to do?’ the colonel said. ‘That you will write out my discharge when we reach London,’ he said. But a soldier cannot get his discharge without an order under the crown,’ the colonel said. ‘Write what you can for me and I will not plead for more,’ he said. ‘Write that itself,’ he said; and he got it written. Next time the play was going on, the Big Lad looked on, and when he saw the same one striking the colonel again, he went to him and asked him why he did it. The reply he got was that soldiers were not allowed to question their officers. ‘This is my way of excusing myself,’ the Big Lad said, giving him a blow he had cause to remember all his life, if he ever recovered from it. The soldier was sentenced to be severely punished, but on arriving in England, he deserted and became a fugitive. The great esteem in which he was held prevented anyone from hindering his flight. He got ashore at night among the baggage, and harbor lights not being numerous in those days, he could not easily be seen making his escape. Whenever he got his foot on land he set off, and during the remainder of the night he r,an on flying from pursuit. In the day-time he hid himself under hedges and haystacks, and next night fled on. On the following day he was becoming exhausted, and he ventured to ask food at a wayside house. As his appearance was that of a poor soldier he got scanty fare, but he asked with civility for better food, and it was given to him. While he was taking it two strangers came into the same room with him; and seeing his table well supplied while their own was poorly furnished, one of them said, ‘It is strange to see a Highland soldier with good food,. while we have next to nothing,’ and he went over and swept away all the meat from the soldier’s table to his own. The soldier called the mistress of the house and asked her who the men were. She said they were travellers, and she asked them why they took the meat from the soldier’s table, and told them if they had in a civil manner asked better food for themselves they would have got it, instead of raising a quarrel. The soldier said he would settle the quarrel; and finding a large iron hoop at hand, he straightened it (a fathom in length) and flung it round the head of the one nearest him, then twisted in a noose and put the other one’s head in the remainder. He then drew them both out after him, and left them on the high road. ‘Now,’ he said to them at parting, ‘you can travel on, for you will not come out of that tie till '' you are put in a smithy fire.’ He then returned to pay the hostess, who said to him, ‘You do not appear to have much money.’ ‘I have seven day’s pay of a soldier left to pay my way,’ he said. ‘Good youth,’ she said, ‘here is double the amount to you, to take you on your journey, and I am sufficiently repaid by your ridding my house of disagreeable) guests. He took the gift thankfully, and turned his face northwards, to come to Scotland. The next evening, he saw a fine house, to which he went in the dusk, and asked permission to warm himself. He was allowed to enter, and while standing with his back to the fire, the daughter of the house saw the handsome stranger, and she told her father. He desired food to be given to him, and that he was to be sent where he was. When she went with this request, the soldier asked who her father was. She said he was a nobleman. ‘A soldier is a bad companion for a nobleman,’ he said. He went with her and saw her father, a grey-haired man in a chair, looking about him. The soldier was asked to sit down. After conversing some time, the old man said, ‘Young man, I have, a daughter here who gives me much trouble to keep her company. If you can play cards, take my place at the table; there is a money reward for every game won.’ ‘I have no money,’ the soldier replied. ‘I will lend you some,’ she said. The play went on till he won six games, one after another. He then wanted to stop playing, and ottered her back all the winnings, but she would only take the sum she lent him, saying the rest was rightly his own. He was to remain there that night, and was not to go away in the morning without telling them. Being afraid of pursuit, he went away at daybreak. He had not gone far when he knew that a horseman was coming after him. He waited to see if he was sent to get back the money he had won at the card table; but it was a messenger with a request to him from the nobleman to return to the castle. When appeared the nobleman chid him for leaving the castle unknown to him, and told him how his daughter had fallen in love with him, and had resolved never to marry anyone else. The soldier said, ‘A soldier is a poor husband for her.’ The nobleman was convinced' that he was not a common soldier whatever circumstances had placed him in that position, and said he preferred his daughter’s happiness to wealth or rank. He remained with them and married the daughter; and when he laid aside the soldier’s dress, there was not his equal to be seen in the new dress provided for him. He was esteemed for the dignity of his demeanor as much as he was admired for his fine appearance, and he lived without remembrance of his past misadventures, in the enjoyment of happiness and prosperity. In those days news travelled slowly, newspapers appearing only once or twice a year in populous villages, and they did not reach remote places. In one which came to the nobleman at this time, there was an account of two men tied in an iron rod who were being exhibited at a market town in England. He went with the- nobleman and his friends to see this wonder, the two who were in the union. Whenever the men saw the Highlander -they said to him, Tf you were dressed in the kilt, we would say you were the man who put us in this noose.’ Tf you had been more civil,’ he said to them, opening the coil, ‘when you met me, you would not to-day be fools going through England with an iron rod round your necks.’ On this he was cheered by the people, and if he was held in esteem before, he was much more on his return home, where he remained and became a great man, beloved and esteemed to the end of his life.”

The Press Gang: The press-gangs, employed by the English government for the purpose of forcing men into the army and navy, were composed of the most desperate characters. They were the terror of all poor men, but well supported by the government and its officers. The infamy of the navy had reached Mull, for half a dozen seamen who had been impressed lived there, and had related their sufferings. William MacLean and his sons, Ranald and Roderic, were successful fishermen of Mull. One night the father, in company with other fishermen prepared to smuggle some whiskey from a neighboring isle to the mainland. On reaching the beach they were terrified by the arrival of two boats that belonged to a ship of war in the offing, and had come for the purpose of impressing the fishermen along the coast. MacLean advised his friends to warn at once all the fishermen to meet him at a given place to deVise means for protection. He went to his own house, armed his two sons and himself with broad-swords and then repaired to the trysting-place, where fifty men and boys had assembled. MacLean, whose terror had given place to indignation, counseled to cut off the gang, which numbered thirty men, all fully armed and led by a lieutenant. “It is well said,” replied one of his neighbors. “You lead us William.” Boys gave the report that the gang had broken into a house, and was terrifying women and children. The fishermen, led by the undaunted William, crawling upon their hands and knees, surrounded the house. On a given signal, the fishermen sprang to their feet, and in less than a half hour had annihilated the entire gang. The fishermen retired to the hills, and William called upon the laird, an old soldier, and informed him what happened. The laird was not at all displeased, but, being apprehensive of the consequences, advised William to leave the island with his family, and proffered him money to bear his expenses. The next morning the brig signaled for the return of the boats. The commander landed and was soon informed by Sir Archibald MacLean of the fate of the press-gang. “I will shoot every one of the murderers!” exclaimed the commander. “So you may,” replied Sir Archibald coolly, “If you can catch them.” ‘Til land my whole ship’s company, and hunt them to death.” “How many men have you, sir?” “A hundred.” “You will require a thousand,” responded Sir Archibald. “The whole island is in arms, and mind sir, these men are Highlanders, men who would rather fight at any time than eat.” “Are there no civil officers here?” “None, when a man does not behave himself he is expelled from the island, and if he returns he is killed, and no questions asked.” “How can you live in such a community? What safeguard have you for your life and property?” “Safeguard enough. These wild folks are my kinsmen. There is not one of them who would not risk his life to serve me.” “If such be your influence, then, in the king’s name, I command you to produce the murderers of my boats’ crews.” “Name them, sir, and so I will.” This was the last attempt at impressment in Mull during that war with Napoleon. Taking the advice of Sir Archibald, William embarked his wife and two sons in a fishing boat, and, after much privation, landed on the island of Pomona, the mainland of the Orkneys. Here he settled upon a small farm, and changed his name fo Bruce. He went upon several whaling expeditions and was successful. On the return voyage of the last one, he, and all the rest of the crew, were impressed by a frigate. He was then forty-five years of age. His wife, when this fresh disaster befell her, cursed the house of Hanover as the cause of her bereavement, and told her sons if the Stewarts were on the throne their father would not have been dragged away like a thief. In less than a year her two sons were torn away and impressed into the service. Both sons were possessed with good natural endowments and by exemplary conduct and daring arose to the rank of lieutenant. The father filled the office of gunman. As all three were separated, they were ignorant of the other’s fate for five years; but all three senjt money to Mrs. Bruce, the name by which she was known. In 1801, the fleet was sent to Egypt to act in concert with the land forces. Seamen were frequently employed on shore to cover the movements of land forces. In one of these operations a boat’s crew, consisting of fifteen belonging to the admiral’s ship, was surrounded by a French force numbering two hundred. The sailors, cutlass in hand, violently threw themselves on the French, making great havoc. Conspicuous among the sailors was the gunman, who, at every blow, brought down a man, and made a broad pathway in the conflict. When the French fled, the gunman, far ahead of the rest, was in pursuit, and actually ran down twenty of the enemy and made them prisoners. Sir Sidney Smith witnessed the heroic daring of the gunner, and sent his lieutenant to inquire his name. “My brave fellow,” said the lieutenant, slapping him familiarly on the shoulder, “Sir Sidney Smith wishes to know your name, that he may report you to the admiral. “My name is William MacLean; no, wait there, I’m adrift, its Bruce.” The lieutenant started back; he could not believe his eyes; his father stood before him, and knew him not. “Bruce, did you say? and from the Orkneys?” The gunner raised his eyes; he knew his son, his first born, Banold, at a glance, and in a moment they were locked in each other’s embrace. Sir Sidney Smith hastened to the spot, and congratulated them. The father was promoted to be sailing master of one of the ships, and by the close of the war the father and sons attained post rank and retired to the Orkneys. Notwithstanding the wealth and honor which the young men had acquired, they never forgave the press-gang that impressed them. All concerned in it they publicly kicked and hqrss-whipped. The bitterness of their feelings when dragged from their homes was never forgotten.

A Ceilidli Story: A story has thus been told:

“There once stood a kiln on the southwest coast of Mull, where men and even boys were accustomed to meet for the purpose of playing cards, telling stories, singing songs, and other amusements. It was, in fact, a rough kind of Cailidh house. It happened one night they were telling stories, and the law, as they called it themselves, that they had, that every one who entered the kiln should have to tell a story. They were'sitting in a row round the fire, with the owners of the kiln at their head. It was he that had to tell the first story, and the nearest to him the next, and so on till they would all tell one story each. Some fellow unaccustomed to their manners came in among the company on that night. When his time came for telling a story he hadn’t any to tell, and the other fellows were on the point of offering him violence, when the old man relieved him from his troubles by telling him to go out and put some straw in a hole that was in the wall to keep out the wind. As he was standing out at the window, he happened to look towards the shore, and to his great dismay saw a ship on the point of being cast on the rocks by the storm. He hastened down to the shore as quickly as possible, and on finding a punt near at hand, he jumped into it and rowed out towards the ship. But before he got half-way out, the wind shifted and drove him away from the land, in spitŠ of all the efforts he made to regain it. He was driven away past Colonsay, Islay, and Jura, and all the way until he landed on the north coast of Ireland. The point in which he was cast ashore in a little creek, where a little cottage stood about twenty yards above the shore. This cottage was inhabited by an old woman and a young girl, and along with it they had a small craft. The girl’s father had died about a month before the young Mull man came, so that they hadn’t any one to keep the craft in order. Therefore the young girl and the castaway fellow made an agreement and were married within the short time of a week after his landing in Ireland. He lived very happily with his wife and mcther-ih-law for four years, and was the father of four children, before he left them. But as ill fortune had driven him thither, he was driven back again by the same means. For, as he was out one night fishing, a storm came on so suddenly, that he was driven from land, back the same way as he had come, until he had landed in Mull1, where he had started from. He went ashore and walked up to the kiln, where he was greatly astonished at beholding the same individuals he had left there when he went away sitting in the same place, and everything exactly in the same condition as he had left them. The old man asked him if he had any story to tell now. He told him that he had, and he related his adventures since he left them. The young fellows began to laugh at him, but their laughing was soon brought to an end, when the old man told them that the young fellow had only seen a vision which was caused by his means, for he was the possessor of what they called Sgoll dhubh—black art. But the deep impression wrought on the young fellow’s mind could never be effaced. So he went home that night, mourning for the wife and children that he had left in Ireland.”


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