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Summer at the Lake of Monteith
Life of Rob Roy


The morning had dawned on Aberfoyle early in July of the year 1710; and the eastern sun had just burst forth in all the glory of his summer splendour, throwing his golden tints far among the magnificent hills of the country of the Macgregor—when Rob Roy looked out of his cave in the rock-built walls that skirt the western shores of the fairy Loch-Ard. As he gazed over the deep waters of the Highland loch, he laid his rough hand on his red beard and shook the dew from his curly locks; he looked eastward towards the red sun, and westward toward the grey cloud that hung around the top of his native Ben-Lomond. There was no stir in the Pass of Aberfoyle, save among the warbling throng and beasts of prey. On the distant shore trotted reynard; while the otter dashed through the blue waters after its finny prey; behind him prowled the wild-cat deep among its native heather; and above him was heard the cry of the wild eagle as it surveyed the nether air, or floated away to the dizzy cliffs over deep Loch-Chon. There was no sign of life among the honest natives; but as the mist rolled off each rugged glen, the curling smoke might be observed ascending from a dozen smugglers’ stills; while on the watch-rock might be seen the rustic form of a Highlander gazing wistfully down the pass, looking for one whom he hoped not to see, namely, the dreaded “gauger” Macgregor had not looked long on the fairy scene before him till he had matured his plans for the day; and turning back into the cave where his young son lay, with no covering but his Highland kilt, and with the granite rock for his pillow, “Rab!” whispered the Highland chief. Young Rab snored. “Rab!” again muttered the outlaw; but Rab only rubbed his red eyes and turned himself on his hard pillow. “ Rab!” again growled the undefeated hero, in a voice of thunder that rang through the dark recesses of the cave, and the echoes from the distant shore whispered it back. The sleeper sprung from his hard bed and clutched his sgian-dubh, but only to confront his angry father. “Get ready,” whispered Macgregor. The boy sheathed his dirk, and the rocks rang with the gathering notes of the bugle; when, instantly, a score of hardy natives of the hill and glen sprung from their heathery beds, all eager to do the bidding of their chief. As the sound of the bugle echoed far among the shattered rocks of the Glasshart, the watcher started and gazed wildly down the glen; and here and there might be seen the curly head of a smuggler as he peeped from his still, fancying himself surrounded by a score of rangers. Rob Roy and his party having had a fire kindled on the rock overhanging his cave, were enjoying their morning repast. A good Highland wether, snatched the night before from a flock on the neighbouring hill, had been roasted on the red embers, and the bold but warm-hearted Macgregors might have been seen picking the bones on the heath-clad shores of Loch-Ard.

“I’ll pay these refractory lairds a visit to-day!” exclaimed Rob. “It’s not for me to be done this way. I have not pocketed a penny of black-mail for nearly a twelvemonth; but if I don’t teach them a lesson this day, my hair’s not red nor my name Macgregor!” “You mean Auchentroig, I suppose?” asked young Rob. “I do,” answered the chief; “and some of his neighbours also.” “Is that Garden?” asked one of the party. “Yes,” replied Rab; “and I have an old account to settle with the gudeman of Kep-dowrie.” “What is that?” eagerly inquired the youth. “Well,” continued Macgregor, “a few years ago, when you were a mere boy, and only able to attend your father’s flock, or harry the eagle’s nest at Inversnaid—at that time I was engaged in a quarrel I had with the Montrose; and as I could not be there myself, I sent a score of my best lads on a lifting excursion to the vale of Strathendrick, and as I had not been to that country for some time, I expected a good drove. My men, however,” continued Rob, “passed the gudeman on their way south, who, suspecting their intentions, sent a messenger on horseback to warn his friends on the Endrick that the Macgregors had passed southwards. Acting on the hint, the men of the Endrick were hastily gathered, and led by big Jock Din of Fintry, (curses on his carcase!) met, outnumbered, and overpowered the Highlanders, near Balgair. My men fled towards Boquhan glen, hotly pursued; and big Jock coming up to two of them, was about to strike one down with his heavy leaden staff, when my lad instantly wheeled round, and levelled his piece at his pursuer, but the gun missed fire, when he and his companion were instantly felled to the earth by the powerful arm of Din.* Big Jock then rushed to the head of the glen, gave one wild cry, that rang among the rocks like the roar of a lion, and reaching even to Boquhan, it aroused the Cunninghams, who renewed the attack, when seven more of my brave lads were slain.” “And so you have good reason to settle accounts, I guess,” replied several of the gang. “No doubt,” continued Macgregor; “one member of a rival clan has a good right to inform his friends of the intended attack of another; but as I want a year’s black-mail, if he is not inclined to cash up to-day, we shall have the pleasure of his company, and all that he possesses, to Inversnaid to-night.” “I should rather think so,” chimed in young Rob, as he pitched the last bone of “the wether” into deep Loch-Ard; and the gang in general buckled on their swords, wiped the grease from their grizzly beards, and prepared to “ bundle and go.” “We go straight to Auchentroig,” cried Rob, as he snatched his broadsword—that sword which had taken the noted freebooter out of a hundred frays, and left him unscathed, while his rivals lay dead around him; “ thence towards Garden, pass the night at the Kepp, and, God willing, return with the spoil to-morrow.” Rob Roy and his hardy band then started to pay the “ refractory” lairds what afterwards turned out not to be a friendly visit, and to claim that to which, if he had not a right, he by might had a title. When Rob Roy left the shores of Loch-Ard on that somewhat eventful morning, the July sun rose clear and beautiful, the mist had just left the lesser hills of the Grampians standing clear in bold outlines, and was taking a lingering farewell of the craggy summit of Ben-Lomond. On his right lay classic Duchray, famous in the everlasting pages of history, on whose heather hills the standard of the Graham was unfurled, when the brave vassals gathered around their loyal chief to defend the interests of their injured King. Duchray, with its grey castle and hoary strongholds, its ivy-mantled turrets and dark- dungeons, its rocky passes and ferny glens, its deep pools and meandering streams—where the quiet linn contrasts with the roaring waterfall, and the heathery plain with the towering rock, and,

“Here, perched on some o’erhanging rock,
Far from huntsman’s murdering shock—
On some wild cliff that nears the sky—
The falcon rears her young on high,
And feeds with care her tender brood;
Drops from above the dainty food;
A moment looks; then, circling round,
Seeks anew the hunting ground;
Then, far aloft, with outspread tail,
She scorns the keeper’s leaden hail.”

As the Macgregor marched along the heathery banks of the Ard, the loud echoes of the waterfalls were heard deep in the glens, and the dancing spray glittered in the morning sun like a shower of gold.

“For o’er thy crags, with sullen gush,
The crystal waters loudly rush;
And dashing o’er, with deafening shock,
Plunges on the granite rock.

Then winding on, both clear and cool—
Eddying round each silver pool—
Till with the Duchray rushes forth
The parents of the infant Forth.”

On his left stood the rocky Craigmore, with the wrecks of a thousand storms at its base, and the ravens floating round its summit. The sheep were bleating on the knowes, while the lambs played in the meadows, and the fragrance of the bluebell was wafted far on the wings of the zephyrs. Before him now rolled the dark waters of the Avendhu, with the finny tribe sporting in its deep pools, and the playful fawn on its mossy banks. Rob Roy and his gang strode onwards, chatting, over past exploits, and hopefully looking to the future. Approaching Craiguchty, and at a turn of the road, they stumbled on a camp of native gipsies. An old cove, who had grown grey in the service, was striking his tent, and otherwise preparing for the day’s campaign. Beside him on the road stood a gipsy girl, covered with what had once been clothes, with brown face and matted hair; on her head the wreck of a cap, an infant on her back, and black pitcher in hand. Perched on a stone sat the female parent stem, with withered hands and wrinkled face, cracking the lice on a, young tinker’s rags. Defiling through a pass in the hills, Macgregor saw approaching some thirty “flaskers,” with cudgels iii their hands and unlawful treasure on their backs, marching on towards Glasgow to dispose of the smuggled whisky.

Macgregor and his party concealed themselves behind a knoll, and watched the flaskers approaching. As they drew near, Rob could observe a band of determined looking fellows, powerful and well armed—each having a heavy oaken stick in his hand, and all carrying knives,—just such a lot of men as would face a body of rangers, or a troop of red-coats, regardless of life or limb, provided the darling treasure on their backs was safe; and woe betide the unhappy gauger who should have the misfortune to fall in their way. As the “flaskers” came full round in view of the Macgregor party, Rob gave one wild halloo, that rang among the rocks, sent the sheep bounding up the hill, and brought the whole gang to a stand-still. “In the king’s name, surrender!” cried Rob. “Hang me if I will!” roared back the leader of the flaskers; and shouting out, “Gaugers! men!” thirty flasks were rolling on the heath and as many cudgels brandishing in the air, and with earnest hearts prepared to defend, against all comers, the darling “wee drappie.” A loud laugh burst from Rob’s men, as they witnessed the confusion into which the smugglers were thrown. “Confound you, Macgregor!” cried one of the flaskers, “we took you for gaugers.” “I’ll be easier put off than these gentry,” replied Rob; “I’ll only ask a part of the goods—not all, as gaugers would do.” “We are only proud to supply you,” responded half-a-dozen voices; and Macgregor and several of his party had their flagons filled; when, bidding each other god-speed,

“They wended each their several way,
In hopes to meet some ither day.”

Approaching Auchentroig, the Macgregors were observed by some of the servants, who immediately informed the Baron of the advance of armed men to the house. Being well aware of their intentions, the Baron proceeded to barricade the doors and windows, to prevent the possibility of their being forced open. The front door was made of red oak, of the most massive description, and filled at regular intervals with strong iron bolts having large round heads, to prevent, if possible, any chance of its being burned. Rob Roy drew up his men in front of the house, and called upon the inmates to Surrender. “Surrender to whom?” cried the Baron. “To Rob Roy Macgregor!” was the bold reply. “Never!” quoth the Baron. “Never will the Baron of Auchentroig yield to robber such as thee; and had I had time to collect my men, one half of your cowardly gang would never return!” “Force that door!” roared Macgregor; and instantly a dozen of his men were at it with their brawny arms, but they might as soon have attempted the mountain rock. “Fire it, then!” growled the enraged freebooter; and instantly the torch is applied; but for a time the massive door defies their efforts. By-and-by, however, the fire catches, and the bolts fall out one by one, and then there ensues a scene of exultation and sorrow. Outside ring the jeers and coarse laughter of the Macgregors; inside is heard the curses of the Baron, the shrieks of the children, and the stifled sobs of the ladies. The women, in despair, clamour to let them in. The Baron rushes forward, seizes the iron bar, in a moment the door, black with smoke and red with flame, reels back on its hinges, and the Baron is a prisoner. The Baron still refused to settle with Macgregor, and Rob handed him over to his men to carry him to Aberfoyle; at same time ordering a party of his men to sweep the estate of the cattle and sheep—an order which was carried out to the very letter. An old member of the house of Auchentroig used to say, “They left not one hoof behind them.” The Baron was kept for some days till Rob’s return, when the ransom was paid, and he returned to his family. The cattle, however, were never returned, which must have been a great hardship. An old farmer, who died within the memory of some parties now living, used to tell, that when he was a boy herding his father’s cattle at Clashmore, near Gartmore, he saw the Macgregors passing with the Auchentroig cattle, and he used to remark that among the drove was a fine young grey mare. He also remarked that the men were very kind to him—“ gave him a lash o’ drink, an’ lots o’ cake and cheese,” a luxury he rarely enjoyed at home.

After instructing his men regarding the disposal of the unfortunate Baron and his cattle, Macgregor, with a number of his men, went to settle matters with the guidman of Kepdowrie, as before arranged. Here, as well as at Auchentroig, Rob had the misfortune to be seen approaching, and preparations were made for resistance. The house at that time was one of those low one-storeyed buildings, the outer door opening in two halves inwards. Built into the wall was a heavy piece of oak, several inches square, which drew out behind the door at pleasure, and which made invasion from that quarter impossible. On the approach of Rob, the guidman, who was then very old, but still of great strength, armed himself with what is known in country districts as “a peat spade,” a most unhappy weapon in the hands of any powerful man, and took up his position behind the door. Presently Macgregor arrived, and demanded admittance. Getting no answer, he became impatient, and cried “Who’s there?” “I’m here,” coolly whispered the guidman. “Let me in,” cried Rob. “I will not,” was the reply. “Come, hand me that siller!” demanded the freebooter. “Not a plack,” was the cool response. Rob, getting very angry, dashed at the door, seized the handle, and made the fabric rattle on its hinges. “Cross but that threshold,” cried the veteran, “and I shall cleave your red head to the shoulders.” Macgregor staggered back amazed; and an old rhyme says that

“Macgregor at the door did stand,
And swore like ‘ Rab the Ranter; ’
The auld man, wi’ his spade in hand,
Did cheerie up his chanter.

‘Come in, man, Rab! don’t look sae douse,’
The auld man he did cry;
There’s no ae soul within this house
But this peat spade and I.’”

“By the Lord,” roared Rob, “and there’s one too many!” And, ordering his men off, he left the guidman to his reflections. Rob, not to be done, however, surprised the guidman next day, and carried him and his neighbours of Easter Kepdowrie prisoners to Gartmore, where, promising to cash up for the future, he left them to return home.

After being paid in “peat spade coin” by the guidman, Rob continued his march towards Garden. The then house of Garden stood on a small eminence, a little to the north of where the present mansion now stands, in what was at that time a small lake, but now converted into a beautiful and fertile meadow. The building was of the circular tower kind, the walls being very strong, and, when surrounded on all sides by deep water, must, in early times, have been impregnable. The principal entrance to the tower was by a drawbridge, leading towards the north, and connected with an avenue that is still called “The Causey-head,” a number of the old trees being still growing. On Macgregor’s arrival at the castle, he ordered his men to open the drawbridge, to prevent any surprise, while he himself deliberately walked into the hall. “Is the laird at home?” demanded Rob of the servant. “He is not, just now,” was the prompt reply. “Do you tell me the truth or a lie?” cried Rob. “I tell thee the truth,” retorted the servant sharply. “Well, I shall see,” muttered Macgregor; “and if you do not, I shall hing you by the heels from the balcony window.” The servant rushed to the door to call assistance to expel the intruder, but was surprised to find the house surrounded by armed men, when he became painfully aware of the character of his visitor. Presently Rob stalked at pleasure through each room in the house, peering into every corner, looking for the absent laird, or anything else worth, should he not find the object of his search. Looking out at one of the windows of the upper storey, he saw the laird and his lady slowly walking down the avenue, and he coolly awaited their approach. “What men are these?” asked the lady of her husband, as they drew near the house, and saw Rob’s men marching around it “Good heavens!” exclaimed the laird, “that’s the Macgregors, and there is no other than Rob Roy himself looking out of the window!” As they approached the drawbridge, Macgregor cried, “You have long refused me my reward of protection, Garden, but you must render it now.” “I will not,” cried the undaunted laird; “I never had protection from you, and you never shall have reward from me.” “You shall rue it, then,” growled Rob in accents that made the pass ring with their echoes. “I never shall,” cried back the laird; “you will not have a penny from me.” Macgregor made no reply, but rushing into the nursery, seized a child from the nurse, and dashing out on the balcony, held, with his long orangoutang-like arm, the child far in mid air, and swore he would plunge it in the gulph below, if they would not instantly comply. The laird still refused, well knowing that Rob would disdain to injure a helpless babe; the lady, however, as soon as she beheld her infant heir sprawling between heaven and earth (the cries of the boy and the curses of Rob Roy mingling in awful contrast, being too much for any mother to bear), burst out with hysteric yell, “Garden is at your will; only save my son!” Macgregor being made sure of his protection money, ordered the drawbridge to be lowered, and the laird and his lady admitted to the house. After being paid the full amount claimed by him, Rob handed his tender charge over to his affrighted mother, bestowing a Highland benediction on the laird, and advising him to be more attentive to his just debts for the future, lifted the drawbridge to prevent pursuit, and set off for Arnprior, where he intended to pass the night. Rob Roy and his men took up their quarters in the only public-house in the village, and prepared to make themselves comfortable after the day’s fatigues, by indulging in a little of the mountain dew. Captain Cunningham, of Boquhan, chanced to be in Arnprior on the same evening, accompanied only by a friend and his servant, and, unaware of the presence of the Macgregors, stepped into the house. A short time previous to this there existed a deadly feud between Rob and Cunningham, on account of a severe chastisement a party of Rob’s men received at the hands of Cunningham. They had met, however, on one occasion before this, and although by no means friendly, they were certainly on better terms. Cunningham, who was a retired officer, was a tall and handsome man, rather more sinewy than powerful-looking, and acknowledged to be the best swordsman in the King’s service, he having put to flight an Italian who challenged the English army. Besides being a skilful swordsman, he was gifted with great stretch of arm, and had a peculiar squint, which, while it rather dumfoundered his antagonists, often proved of great sendee to him. On Cunningham entering the room, Macgregor exclaimed, “Glad to see you, Cunningham.” "Halloo, Rob Roy!” was the reply. “What’s up to-day?” “Not much,” answered Rob. “I have just been calling on your neighbour laird, and I guess his lady will not ask to see my red face this twelvemonth.” “Rob Roy Macgregor does not mean he has done anything serious to the lady?” replied Cunningham. “Not at all,” quoth Rob; “I only frightened her a little.” “Take the other side of that table,” cried Macgregor; “it’s a while since you and I met in such friendly quarters.” “Proud to do so, and ready to face you at all times,” cried the free and warm-hearted Cunningham; at the same time shaking Rob warmly by the hand. Rob shrugged his shoulders as if he did not altogether relish the word “ready,” but made no reply. There sat the two proud and warm-hearted chieftains in the little front room of the “corner house” at Amprior, quaffing their reeking punch, and “fighting their battles o’er again.” At each side of the table sat the outward friends, but inward rival chiefs; while round the room sat the rustic Highland corps.

“There each the social cup did quaff,
Each mingled in the merry laugh.
There sat the lawless, dauntless corps,
Their former battles fought once more.
On went the fun, as each declared
How many fights and spoils he shared—
How many foes he’d put to flight,
When standing up in single fight—
How each came out free skaith from harm,
By dint of skill and strength of arm.
Macgregor told, in long detail,
His grand exploits when levying mail:—
He’d viewed the prey with eagle eyes,
Had caught his victims by surprise;
He’d rushed, like wolf from out his den,
And seized upon thy heir, Garden;
He’d, like a deluge, with his staff
Swept the hill country round Dundaff.
He’d oft been proud to check the pride
Of haughty chiefs on Lomondside;
He’d met Argyle and faced Colquhoun,
And wagSd war with clansmen round.
Oft had he, to speed his fame,
Measured lances with the Grseme.”

“I understand,” cried Macgregor, addressing Cunningham, “you had a set-to with an Italian?” “I had a slight brush,” replied Cunningham. “Tell us it,” cried half-a-dozen voices at once. “Well,” continued the Captain, “immediately before I left the King’s service, an Italian landed in England, who had been creating a great sensation on the Continent by his extraordinary feats of the sword. He had never been defeated, and, in fact, had either killed or maimed all who opposed him. Landing at London from France, where he had defeated some of the most expert swordsmen of that country, the fellow had the audacity to challenge the British army! For a time there was no response; as no one seemed to have the courage to face the undefeated foreigner. Seeing the dishonour that would accrue from the non-acceptance of such a challenge, I resolved to meet him myself and abide the issue. We did meet, and he seemed a terrible foe— tall and strong, and carrying the most awful-looking sword you ever beheld. As soon as I saw him prepared, I suddenly sprung upon the stage, swung my sword out at full length, and stared him wildly in the face, calling him to come forward. He advanced one or two steps with a bold and careless air, when he suddenly stopped, and surveying me from head to foot, stood for a moment as if paralysed; then, sheathing his sword, he uttered a most hideous yell, and fled from the stage;—thus ended my meeting with the Italian.” “Hurrah for the Sassenach!” burst from a dozen Highland throats, as Cunningham finished his story, while his health was pledged in as many drained tumblers.

“Then, Captain,” cried Macgregor, “it was that squint of yours, and not your sword, that frightened the poor Italian.” “Then, Rob Roy, was it that squint that makes the bones of seven of your men lie bleaching on the banks of Bouquhan Glen?” “What! do you know whom you insult 1” roared Macgregor, as he started to his feet and clutched his dagger. “I do,” replied Cunningham, starting from his chair and confronting the outlawed chief. “Where is your sword, and I will teach you a lesson?” growled Macgregor. “That’s what no Macgregor ever could do,” returned Cunningham. Cunningham, having come unarmed, had sent his servant home for his sword; his family, however, suspecting some foolish broil, refused to give it, and he returned without it. Observing an old sword in a corner of the room, the Captain instantly dashed at it, and insisted on fighting. Macgregor put his back to the wall, and swept his sword around him. Cunningham ordered him to the field in front of the house; an order which he reluctantly obeyed. It was early morning when these two rival chiefs rushed to the glen-side of Arnprior, to seek each other’s blood. The eastern sun had just burst forth in more than summer brightness, was casting golden tints along the braes of the Kepp, and revealing the hidden beauties of the lowland glen. No stir, save the murmur of the stream, as it played among the ferny rocks, till the clash of swords— as those two warriors, mad with jealousy and their eyes red with wine, rushed at each other with wild-cat fury—awoke its slumbering echoes. But the ever sagacious Rob Roy found, at the very first onset, that he was no match for him who had been

“Trained abroad his sword to wield;”

and instantly dropping his blade, held out his hand to Cunningham, who grasped it warmly. The two again returned to “the Corner,” where they drank till far on in the afternoon—a practice prevalent in Arnprior till the present day.

In the month of August of the year 1691, Rob Roy, then in the pride of his youth and zenith of his fame, encouraged by a desire for plunder, emboldened by successes, and undeterred by a feeble government, headed what is called in local history “The herriship of Kippen.” The daring Macgregor on this occasion is said to have been followed by a band of marauders five hundred strong. It does not appear that this was a raid on Macgregor’s own account; and Mr. Macgregor Stirling, in his notes to the “History of Stirlingshire,” says,—“This was nothing more than a military diversion in favour of his legitimate Sovereign;”—a sentence, it must be confessed, I cannot fully comprehend. At the head of this large and daring band, Rob swept the country around Balfron, the valley of the En-drick, and the whole western half of the parish of Kippen, at his will; lifting horses, cattle, and sheep, and anything else of value he could lay his hands upon. Resistance was impossible. To attack him was madness. The only way of reaching his Highland heart, was to plead poverty. One poor man who had followed him from beyond Balfron to near Gartmore, and there told him a “tale of woe,” had his two cattle returned to him. When leaving the village of Fintry, Macgregor saw a man coming along the road with a burden on his back, who afterwards turned out to be a weaver, on the road home with a web of cloth to some of his customers. Riding up to the traveller, Rob asked what he carried. “ What’s that to you?” replied the fellow. “I’ll let you know what’s that to me,” cried Macgregor; and, springing from his horse, took the traveller by the neck, and gave him such a shake that made his nerves rattle to his very heels. “It’s a bit wab,” gasped the terrified weaver. “ Let’s see it,” cried Rob. Rob being pleased with the pattern, helped himself to as much as would make a kilt, after which he allowed the weaver to go. Getting the web on his back, he had only proceeded a few yards, when, looking over his shoulder, he exclaimed, “Ye’ll answer for that yet, Rab.” “Ay, my man, when will that be?” asked Rob. “At the last day,” cried the weaver exultingly. “Ye gi’e lang credit, man; I’ll just take a pair o’ hose,” roared Rob; and the unhappy weaver had to submit to a further demolition of the web.

Returning through the western portion of the vale of Monteith, Macgregor and his men halted for the night on the fann of Kinachlachan, about two miles west of the village of Gartmore. Hearing of this incursion, a party of military, or Western Militia, as they were called, then stationed at Cardross House, were ordered out to follow the marauders. There had been some festivities going on at Cardross, and when the soldiers were ordered out they were in no fit condition for the task, the tradition being that they were all more or less intoxicated. As a striking proof of this it is said the officer in command left his quarters with only one round of ammunition per man. Getting notice in the evening that the Macgregors were likely to pass the night to the west of Gartmore village, the commander of the military led his men up the valley of the river Forth, to a point where it is joined by the water of Kelty; then passing up the strath of the latter, he reached the western portion of the Dram of Drumit at early dawn. Under the cover of this ridge he could now see the northern marauders at a distance, making rapid preparations for starting—the rising sun shining brightly on the motley camp. The plundered sheep lay bleating among the heather, the stolen cattle were grazing on the plain; and here and there could be seen a kilted Highlander driving back the wandering steeds. The sound of the bugle had just ran along the Dram, calling the slumbering clansman to march, when, like startled hares, five hundred kilted warriors sprang from their heathy beds; while, mounted on a hardy steed, and sword in hand, could be seen the giant form of the great freebooter himself. Unperceived, the soldiers crept very near the Macgregors. Rob’s own servant, Allister Roy Macgregor, was the first to observe them, and creeping back behind a dyke, shot an advancing soldier dead. This bold stroke on the part of Allister had two very different effects: it woke the Macgregors to a sense of their danger, while it sent a thrill of terror to the hearts of their pursuers. Rob, seeing the military, instantly galloped back to his men, and ordered them to draw their swords. The commander of the soldiers, although seeing the bold attitude of Rob’s men, fancied they would flee at the first volley, and ordered his men to discharge their muskets; but instead of daunting the Highlanders they became the more infuriated, and dashing at the soldiers, who were now entirely out of ammunition, caused them to flee in the wildest confusion. One of the soldiers engaged Rob single-handed, but finding he was no match for the giant Highlander, he instantly turned and fled. Macgregor galloped after him, with the intention of cutting him down, when the soldier suddenly stooped, tore a heavy shoe from his foot and hurled it with great violence at his pursuer, which striking Rob upon the breast, nearly threw him from the saddle. Seeing a man mowing grass in the field close by, the soldier rushed behind him and craved protection. Rob came up and demanded his surrender. “ Never,” cried the man of the scythe. “Do you know,” roared Rob, “that I am Rob Roy Macgregor? And I have sworn an oath that no red coat shall stand this day.” "I care not for your oath,” returned the noble-hearted peasant; “but,” continued he, and turning to the soldier, “I’ll relieve him of his oath. Put off your coat, and put on that of mine.”

Then raising his scythe with his brawny arm, he held it far in mid-air, and cried, “Be you Rob Roy, or demon, come but one step further and I shall make your red head dance on the bog!”* Rob gazed for one moment at the awful weapon as it flashed in the morning sun, and reining up his horse, turned back towards the battle-field. A wounded soldier took refuge in the farm-house of Gartnahodick. The good wife of the house ran and stood in the door, with her hands resting on either side, when a Macgregor came up and demanded admittance. “You may get in,” replied the woman, “but it will be through me.’’ The man did not insist, and thus the soldier escaped. A young boy, the son of an officer, being pursued by one of Rob’s men, ran behind some bystanders, and cried wildly to be saved; but the ruthless Highlander dashed at him and shed his young blood on the dark moor of Kinachlachan. Till within a few years the graves of those slain were marked by green spots among the long heath, but with some recent improvements they are now not so easily seen.

This was the most serious misdemeanour Rob Roy was ever accused of. It seriously attracted the notice of Government, and a reward of one thousand pounds was offered for his head. At the same time, large bodies of cavalry were marched into Monteith, Aberfoyle, and other parts of the Western Highlands, to check the lawless chief. Macgregor, however, valued his head far more than the Information from Mr. James M‘Donald, Gartfarran, whose grandmother was present at the time.

Government could afford to offer for its capture, and after being made aware of the proclamation, he for a time dispersed his band, and, along with a few chosen ones, sought the sweets of retirement among the wild rocks and woods on the shores of his native Loch-Lomond. After a time, and at the intercession of some of Rob’s friends, the proclamation was revoked, and Rob was once more a free man.

In consequence of the harsh and cruel treatment Rob received at the hands of Montrose and his factor, he considered it his duty, both to himself and family, to take ample revenge on the authors of his misfortunes; and with this end in view, he was neither slow nor slack when occasion suited. He would, with his “ lads,” as he was wont to call them, emerge from his rocky fastnesses, like the wild eagle from her eyrie, on his doomed prey, lifting the cattle of his enemy, and sweeping his estates of everything of value for his lawless life. For many years he kept up a regular system of annoyance, and which must have told heavily on the resources of Montrose. Year after year, he called on the tenantry farming the northern portions of the Duke’s estate, and compelled them to deliver up the rents then due to his Grace, at the same time taking good care to grant receipts for what he had lifted on the part of the Duke; thus keeping the tenants all right with the factor, and freeing from all responsibility those helpless individuals. Although Macgregor delighted to plunder and annoy Montrose, and the other neighbouring proprietors who refused to pay him the stipulated “black mail,” he was the friend of the oppressed, and the ready benefactor of the poor and needy; and many a hard-up tenant did he relieve in the dark hour of adversity, when there was no helping hand but his own. Coming down through Aberfoyle from Inversnaid one day, about the year 1716, and approaching a small farm which was at that time tenanted by a widow of the name of Macgregor, he was rather surprised to see a number of men near the cottage. Being anxious to know what was likely to take place, he and his chosen ones drew their swords and stepped boldly into the house. “What’s up with you the day, Mrs. Macgregor?” exclaimed Rob, as he entered. “Oh, Mr. Macgregor,” cried the sobbing dame, “I ha’e faun ahin’ wi’ my bit rent, and the factor’s cornin’ the day tae sell my things, and there the folk gatherin’ tae the roup." Rob Roy Macgregor had a heart that could feel for every pang of human distress, and a tear stood in his noble eye as he heard the mournful tale, thought of the horrid oppression, and gazed on the three helpless children, as they clung to their lone mother’s knee and cried for bread. “How much are you behind, Mrs. Macgregor?” asked Rob. “I am just twenty pounds,” replied the widow. “Oh, is that all?” replied Macgregor cheerily; “I’ll soon make you all right—I always carry something in a hugger for folk of your sort;” and, plunging his hand into his long waller purse, he handed the widow the required sum. “And now,” said Rob, “you will get a receipt, and leave me to settle with Mr. Graham;” and Rob took his leave, while a thousand benedictions were being showered on his head. Rob Roy and his men concealed themselves in a small public-house that then stood on the roadside near the Gleshard, on the classic shores of Loch-Ard. Presently Graham arrived, and was rather surprised to find the widow prepared to settle his claim. On asking who had been kind enough to help her with the money, the widow replied, “I hope the siller will do you as meikle guid as it’s done me, factor.” Graham, feeling he was rather cut short, granted the receipt, and, along with his clerk and servant, took his way home. Macgregor, who had all the while been watching the factor’s movements, cautiously awaited his opportunity, and, as he drew near, stepped out on the road to meet him. “Well, Graham, how did the sale go on?” cried the sarcastic freebooter. Graham looked daggers, gazing as if he had beheld an apparition; and, seeming fully to realise his position, muttered out, “We had no sale.” “Oh, she would settle up, I suppose, then?” returned Rob. “No, she did not,” replied Graham, getting afraid of his cash. “Come, come, factor, no more of your lies; I know she did, and hand me my money at once,” cried Macgregor, getting somewhat impatient. “I got no money; and, you ruffian, you shall pay for this interference,” retorted Graham. “Tell your lies to your master, but not to me,” roared Rob Roy; and, dashing at the bewildered factor, clutched him by the ears and shook him like a withered reed, till his screams rang through every glen, and the rocks threw back the echoes. Seeing there was no escape, Graham handed Rob “the widow’s mite,” being in perfect terror of his life. “Now,” said Macgregor, as he pocketed the money, “see you do the like of this no more, for as long as there is life in this heart, nerve in this arm, and steel in this sword, no Sassenach shall dare insult the poor in the country of Rob Roy. You may trample out the lives of your serfs at Killearn, but not on the soil of the Macgregor.” After this very sensible advice on the part of Rob, he allowed the factor to proceed on his way; and, I presume, he would plod his path to Killearn rather crestfallen.

About this time Montrose had a meal-store at Miling, a farm on the western shores of the Lake of Monteith; and when Macgregor was in any strait, this store was of considerable value to him, as it often supplied himself and his men with a very necessary article. It having come to the knowledge of Rob Roy on one occasion that a number of the cottars on the Duke’s estate in Monteith were in rather poor circumstances, he instantly issued orders to a number of the Duke’s tenants to meet him at Miling, on a certain day, and on horseback. The tenantry, although rather surprised at this demand, had more sense than disobey it, and they all met him at the appointed time. After meeting, Rob asked the names of all the most deserving poor in the neighbourhood of each of the tenants present, and after being informed on the point, he ordered the storekeeper to hand over to the men a stated quantity of meal for each poor family, and desired the tenants to convey it on the horses’ backs to the individuals. At the same time Rob gave the storekeeper a regular receipt that the distribution was by order of his Grace, thus keeping the storekeeper all right as to his accounting for the meal. The storehouse is still standing, and is carefully preserved by the noble proprietor.

*Information from Mr. Alexander Miller, Aberfoyle, who had it from an old man who died about 70 years ago, at a very advanced age, and who knew Rob Roy in early youth.

Whether this “generous” action on the part of Macgregor was solely for the interests of the poor cottars of Montrose, or with a desire to annoy his enemy for the cruel persecution he and his family had received at the hands of his Grace’s factor, is not known. One thing, however, is certain, that his great sagacity contrived to make all his transactions clink together for his own interest; and although he was in reality the poor man’s friend, yet in most cases he took good care to be no loser by the transaction; and it is said he turned this “raid” into good account, although at the end it very nearly cost him his life. Macgregor, thinking that a little in the cattle-lifting line would be a good finish to the meal transaction, and as it might save him a trip some other time,—made a dash at the village of Gartmore, and succeeded in lifting a number of cattle belonging to the villagers. Among the spulzie were some animals belonging to one Miller, a resident of the village. Miller being himself a bold and daring man, resolved to pursue Rob Roy, and retake his cattle, or perish in the attempt. Accordingly, he armed himself with his dagger and pistol, and, accompanied by a single servant, set out on the hazardous enterprise. Miller tracked Macgregor as far as Glendhu; but there, having lost track owing to the darkness of the night, and being considerably tired by the journey, he resolved to pass the night. Entering the inn (?), Miller and his servant partook of some refreshment, after which they retired to bed, having heard nothing of Rob or the lost cattle—the servant sleeping in front of the bed, and Miller at the back. The travellers had been but a short time in bed, when the trampling of feet, the noise of several voices, and the lowing of cattle were heard around the house. “Do ye hear that, maister?” muttered the servant, at the same time giving his half-sleeping master a punch with his elbow. “What is it?” whispered Miller. “It’s the rout o’ yer ain stirks,” replied the watchful servant. “Keep quiet till we see what will turn up,” whispered Miller. In a short time Rob and his men entered the house, having secured the cattle for the night. After some conversation with the landlord, and being regaled with a horn or two of the mountain-dew, Rob asked for his favourite bedroom. In passing to the room allotted to him, Rob had to pass through the one in which Miller and his man lay, and seeing a fire in the grate he stepped forward to light his candle. Hearing some one in the room, Miller raised his head and there beheld the thief of his cattle stooping at the grate. Thinking this was now his opportunity, Miller raised himself gently up, and with nervous arm took aim at the noted freebooter. He drew the trigger, and clack went the hammer; but, alas for the Gartmore hero! the powder only flashed in the pan, and left him helpless. Rob, who was perfectly unconscious of any one being in the room, instantly “smelled powder,” and, clutching his pistol, fired, when a yell burst from the dark bed, and Miller fell dead on the pillow. [Information from Mr. James M‘Donald], Gartfarran. Early one May morning in the year 1716, Rob Roy Macgregor, then residing at Glengyle, near the head of Loch-Katrine, ordered into his presence his faithful and trusty servant, Allister Roy Macgregor. Allister was instantly in the presence of his chief, and was at all times only too glad to be of service to him. This individual is said to have possessed almost the great sagacity of Rob himself, and being of the true Macgregor stamp, was intrusted by him on many an important mission, and was held in great esteem by his master, as on many occasions his services were of very considerable value. “Allister,” said Rob, as the servant drew near, “I am a little hard up, and it is now about the time Montrose’s rents are due; and as he has taken the precaution of lifting them privately this last time or two, and that too before they fell due, you will go down to Drymen, and cause to be proclaimed at the church door, on Sunday first, that I Łave gone to Ireland, and will not be home for some weeks; and this will no doubt induce Graham to collect the rents at once. Before you return, you will, if possible, get word when and where the factor is likely to collect. And now’, Allister, be to me as you have been before.” “Just leave that to me, chief,” replied Allister, proud to be sent on such a mission; and a few minutes after the faithful servant was hurrying down the rugged side of Loch-Katrine on his way to Drymen. Allister reached the village of Drymen late on Saturday evening, and as the people were assembling to the church on the following day, he caused the officer to proclaim at the church door that Rob Roy had gone to Ireland a few days before, on business of great importance, and could not be back before some weeks; and that said proclamation was to inform his friends in that quarter the cause of his absence. Having got this part of the mission completed, Allister stayed that night and the following day and night in the village, but without getting any information regarding the rent collection. Leaving somewhat early on the following morning, and coming across what is known as the Moor of Drymen road, leading towards the village of Gartmore, and as he turned down the hill, commanding a beautiful and extensive view of the surrounding country, Allister stretched himself on the green grass to enjoy the scene. Before him, in all its varied enchantments, lay the lovely vale of Monteith—the lake, like a fairy thing, slumbering on its bosom—and rivers watering its plains,—with the Castle rock of Stirling and the Abbey Craig looming through the morning mist, and the Ochil hills filling in the back ground. Allister, too, could see^ the battle-ground of Sheriffmuir, on whose bloody field he took part only the year before. On his left, rolled the infant Kelty deep o’er its rocky bed, with the finny tribe sporting in its dark pools. There, too, lay the battle-field of Kinachlachan, where, by his own dexterity and watchfulness, Allister had, when in the full bloom of his youth, slain an advancing enemy, and saved his master and spoil from capture. The village of Gartmore lay basking in the morning sunshine, with its curling smoke rising far in mid air, while the bald head of the Grampians towered beyond. On his right was heard the cry of the moor-cock and the song of the shepherd, mingled with the bleating of the lambs as they sported among the long heather, or the bark of the shepherd’s dog, as it drove back some wanderer from the flock. Above him was heard the carol of the lark, as it soared upwards towards the blue vaulted heaven, and the falcon, with outspread wing, floated over her eyrie on the Gowlan rock; while the peeweep and the plover filled the air with their doleful cries.

Allister was thus enjoying the sylvan scene, when his attention was attracted to a youth as he came tripping over the heath. The Highlander lay watching his approach, when suddenly, and as if by magic, the youth disappeared among the long heather. Allister started to his feet and gazed in .the direction where he was last seen, and presently beheld him floundering up through the heath, and shaking the fog and moss from his shoulders. With the agility of the mountain cat the strippling sprung on to the road, and instantly recognising Allister as the man he had seen at the church-gate on Sabbath, he exclaimed, I Man! I wish Rob Roy, instead of going to Ireland, had come and lifted the Duke’s rents, as he’s done mony a time before, an’ no haen me lost among thae mortal peat holes.” Allister instantly picked up the idea, and the thought that he had now fallen on the right scent shot through his brain with meteoric flash, and he eagerly replied, “Did ye say ye was warnin’ to the rents?”    “Atweel am I; an’ I ha’e been knockin’ amang cottars an’ peat holes the hale mornin’,” replied the careless boy. Allister was now fully satisfied that the whole matter could be got by a little extra pumping, and, as they strode on towards the village, he look every precaution to drag from the unsuspecting boy when and where the rents were likely to be collected. “When did ye say the rents are to be gathered? I’m a wee Hielan’; I didna understand you very weel,” said Allister. “There’s some o’ your sort no sae very Hielan’ after a’; our herd callan’s Hielan’, and when ye tell him to mind his wark, he looks as if he was as Hielan’s the very deevil; but when ye say, ‘Its dinner-time, Donald,’ he understands ye fine.”

Allister laughed deep in his own sleeve, and the boy continued, “The factor’s to lift the rents on Friday.” “It’ll be at Drymen?” chimed in the cautious Highlander. “No, it’s no; it’s to be down there at the Chapelarroch,” replied the youth. “Is there an inn there?” asked Allister. “Yes,” continued the boy; “an’ there’s a letter tae the man in the inn to have the factor’s dinner ready for him.” “Ay, an’ I’se warrant he’ll tak his dinner hearty,” replied the Highlander. Approaching the chapel, Allister was anxiously taking stock of the country, and planning to himself the most convenient way of surprising the house without being observed; and seeing a considerable quantity of broom growing on the Dram of Drummit, he whispered to his companion, “There’s a good deal of broom on that brae.” “Man, an’ it’s richt deep,” was the quick response. “Will it tak ye ower the head?” asked Allister. “Ower the head!” muttered the boy. “If ye were in the middle o’t ye wid neither see sun nor win’.” Allister having thus fully satisfied himself on all the more important points connected with the rent collection, took leave of his young companion, and hastened on to Glengyle, to inform his chief of his success. The faithful servant reached home in due time, and recounted to Rob his adventure with the boy, and the information he succeeded in drawing from him; when Macgregor at once determined on seizing the money, and securing the person of Graham himself. Accordingly, he mustered a strong band of choice “lads,” and marched down through Aberfoyle the night previous to the rent collection; and, to prevent being observed, he took the moor by Clashmore to the west of the village of Gartmore. Arriving at a place called “Balloch Roy,” or the “Red Pass,” the hardy band sat down in the early dawn to sharpen their swords. Macgregor and his party next reached the Dram of Drummit unobserved, and took up their position among the long broom, where they lay concealed till well on in the afternoon. In this hiding-place Rob had a full view of the house, and saw all the transactions going on. He watched with more than eagle’s eye the tenantry as they went to and from the inn. As the day wore on, and the last tenant had apparently left, Rob thought the convenient time had now come for him to be up and doing, and, as he always liked to do things in a becoming manner, he ordered his piper to play before him to the house. On hearing the sound of music, Graham, who was seated at dinner, surrounded by a number of the tenantry, started up to learn the cause, and was thunderstruck to see his old enemy, instead of being off to Ireland, in the very act of entering the house. “Good heavens!” exclaimed Graham, as he beheld Rob, “here’s Rob Roy! all’s up!” The roast beef fell from his teeth. “What shall I do with my money?” cried the factor in despair, and turning as pale as death. “Throw it into that loft,” whispered one of the tenantry; and instantly the bags containing the collected rents were rattling on the sooty rafters. Macgregor entered with a bold but careless air, naked sword in hand. “Come awa, Mr. Macgregor,” cried one of the company. “I’m just coming; I’m one of those folks that require little treating,” replied Rob. “Will you have some dinner?” asked Graham, anxious, if possible, to get the fair side of Rob. “I will—I have had a long day o’t,” was the quick response; and Rob sat down at the table, thrusting his sword far ben among the plates. Macgregor and the factor, with those at the table, made a most agreeable dinner, chatting over the events of the period, which were then very stirring, and never once alluding to the rents. Dinner being finished, Macgregor thought it was about time to begin business, as the afternoon was wearing on. “Have you any objections to a tune, factor?” asked Rob. “Not in the least; would only be delighted with a tune,” replied Graham. Rob instantly ordered his piper to play up a certain tune, and which he did with stirring effect. This was the preconcerted signal for his men to surround the house, and six instantly entered the room with drawn swords. The tenants looked at the factor and the factor at the tenants; and it then began to dawn on his hardened heart that all was not over. Starting to his feet, and clutching his sword as if in the act of leaving, Rob turned to the factor and exclaimed, “By-the-by, Mr. Graham, how did you get on with the rents'?” “Oh, I have got nothing; I have not yet begun to collect,” replied Graham. “No, no, chamberlain; your lies will not do for me. Rob Roy always counts by the book; out with it,” rejoined the hero. The book was accordingly produced; and it having been seen that the money was collected, it was instantly ordered up. Graham, shaking like a shattered reed, produced the bags, which were immediately pocketed by Rob, in presence of the dumfoundered chamberlain. “And now, Mr. Graham,” continued Macgregor, “it’s a long time since I saw you at Loch-Katrine; ye’ll come along and see how I am getting on there?” “No, no; I beg pardon; I pray to be excused,” muttered the trembling chamberlain. “ You pray to be excused; what effect had the prayers of my Helen on your hardened heart, when you insulted her, drove my children from their home, at Craigroystan, and wrongously seized upon my estate—long the land of the Macgregor? And it shall yet be theirs. There was no pardon for my boys, when you drove them out, helpless, amid the storm, when their father was far away in England, when there was no helping hand for the Macgregor, and no mercy with the Graham. Now there shall be no mercy with the Macgregor. Allister, seize him! I will settle with the rogue when I get him to the shores of Loch-Katrine.”

These last words of Rob Roy were delivered with a sternness of character that told he meant what he really spoke. Graham understood them well; and he looked anxiously around him, but there was no helping hand there. He well knew that to attempt resistance was to annihilate the only hope of saving his life, and he resolved at once (though he deserved none) to throw himself on the mercy of his captors; and, quivering like an aspen leaf, the bewildered chamberlain crawled from the dinner-table at Chapelarroch more dead than alive. “Play up a tune,” cried Macgregor to his piper. “He’ll be the first Graham ever was played up the Boreland brae.” The order was instantly obeyed, and the Macgregors pushed on their way to Loch-Katrine, with the crestfallen factor in their front, cheered only with the stirring strains of the bagpipe. As he passed the village of Gartmore, and entered the dark defiles of the Highland mountains, Graham’s heart almost sank within him. On either side were frowning hills and yawning glens; above him towered the rocks, as, like naked skeletons, they hung in shattered masses over his unhappy head; beneath him roared the waterfall, as it foamed over its rocky bed; behind him the sun was fast sinking below the western horizon; before him he saw the shades of evening gathering around the hill-tops of the Trossachs, and on either side the mist began to wade among the stinted hazel, and to linger on the bosom of Loch-Auchray; while here and there a twinkling star could be seen high up in the heavens, telling plainly that night had already began “ to tread the heels o’ day.” Alone, in a wild and lawless country, with foes on every side, Graham now began to reflect on his sad position. He had shown but little mercy himself; and now he could look for none. In front strode Rob Roy, the sworn enemy of his master; on either side were his trusty retainers, with drawn dirks; while at his back was Allister, with a naked sword. Graham felt that his life hung by a single thread. One word of Rob could set him at liberty—another send his carcase to feed the eagles; and the bewildered chamberlain knew not but the first rock might be his block, or the first tree his gibbet. Rob Roy strode onwards before his captive in sullen silence; and, reaching Loch-Ivatrine, Macgregor, in a voice that echoed far across the loch, sending the wild drakes quacking from the reedy inlet, ordered Graham into a boat, and his men to pull him to the island. The men pulled away through the deep waters of Loch-Katrine, Graham knew not whither. Around him in the boat were his sullen captors. Silent also sat the captive, as he gazed out on the ruffled waters, and looked around him on the wild Highland scene. Above him in solemn grandeur towered the shaggy form of Ben-Venue, its bald head hidden by a cloud, and its black shadow lying far across the loch. Among the rugged hills was seen the blaze of the heather, as, like some mighty serpent, it hissed and darted its fiery tongue among the long heath, and spread its red wing on the breeze, sending its fiery glare high into the clouds. The shallop, steered by brawny arms, sped on through the still waters; and as they neared the island, the darkness was deepened more by the shades of the thick copsewood. Bounding away among the dark recesses, was heard the light foot of some startled deer, while from the forest came the wail of the tawny owl, as it floated after its evening prey; and as the piercing cry rang in his ears, Graham fancied it the last howl of some dying captive less fortunate than himself. Before he had time to reflect, the boat struck on the rocky island, and a gruff voice ordered him on shore. Crawling out among the rocks, the half-dead factor found himself on a lonely island on the “ Loch of the Robber.” “Follow me,” cried Macgregor sternly, as he led the way to Graham’s future prison-house. The captive moved on in Rob’s track, and rising above the thick underwood he saw looming before him a gloomy ruin, dismal and dark as the forebodings of his own soul. “Put him in the old room, Allister,” cried Rob Roy, “and set two of the lads to keep watch and ward over him till I settle matters with him in the morning.” The faithful servant bowed to his chief, and led his charge up a short flight of steps, and along a dark and narrow passage—the only light being that of the moon, as it glimmered through the broken roof. A few more steps, and Graham found himself within a dreary-looking abode. A cold shiver shot through his whole frame as he sank down exhausted on a broken stool, while Allister turned the key in the rusty lock, and retraced his steps down the dusty stair. For a time Graham sat half unconscious. The journey from Chapelarroch had told on his not too hardy frame. The peril of his own life, and the thought of his wife and family, nearly drove him to distraction. Reviving a little from his gloomy condition, he rose and looked at the narrow window. The moon had just burst through a shattered cloud, revealing the hidden glories of the Highland loch, and Graham gazed rapturously on the scene. Around him was water, only water; beyond, in proud pre-eminence, rose the grand old Highland hills, the mist lying on their sides, with here and there the bald scalp of a rock peering through the silken covering, like islands in a sea. In the distance was heard the cry of the startled sea-gull, as the plunge of the prowling otter had scared it from its nest. Ever and anon came from the glens the hoarse calls of the parents of the flock, as the wild cat dashed on some unoffending lamb. On a corner of the old “keep” the barn-owl sat and watched, while the bats played around the walls. Below him, on the grass, sat the two sentries, muttering their Highland dirges, and chanting their war songs; and he could hear them whispering curses on the Sassenach for keeping them out of their heathery beds. Retiring from the window, Graham flung himself down on some heather in the corner of the room, and passed the night in sleep and reflection. Early in the following morning, Rob ordered the chamberlain to be brought into his presence. Rob, however, only taunted him about his present position, mingled with threats, and again ordered him back to his room. This continued from day to day for about three weeks, after which Rob Roy allowed him to return home. Before sending him away, however, he addressed him thus, “ Now, chamberlain, if I had done what your usage of my family demanded in return, I should have hung you up by the neck; but, as Rob Roy never avenges himself on defenceless men, I allow you to return home. Remember, however, that the soil north of the Kelty is ours. The Macgregors lost it by unfair and cruel persecution, and by a gross breach of the right of succeeding generations; but so long as Rob Roy Macgregor lives, and his clan breathes in these glens, he shall not cease to take care of the rents himself. And you may tell your false master that, so long as he holds these lands, I shall continue to be his open enemy—and not of him alone, but of all who dare to seize the sacred soil of my fathers. For years my poor clansmen have been hunted, shot, and murdered; but remember, there is one head in Glengyle, and swords in Strathfillan, and God shall defend the right!” After the very merciful treatment which Graham had thus received, Montrose, partly in consideration of the leniency shown to his factor, and on account of the unjust treatment which Rob had been subjected to at his own hands, in a great measure ceased to persecute Rob. Macgregor,-in turn, ceased to annoy Montrose, and for many years before his death Rob had given up all raids into the country of his old enemy.


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