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Title: Spanish John

Author: William McLennan

Illustrator: F. de Myrbach

Release Date: January 23, 2020 [EBook #61224]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Al Haines

Cover art




Being a Memoir, now first published in complete form, of
the Early Life and Adventures of Colonel John
McDonell, known as "Spanish John," when
a Lieutenant in the Company of St. James
of the Regiment Irlandia, in the
Service of the King of Spain
operating in Italy




Copyright, 1897, by HARPER & BROTHERS.

All rights reserved.

Entered according to the Act of the Parliament of Canada, in the year
one thousand eight hundred and ninety-seven, by HARPER & BROTHERS,
in the Office of the Minister of Agriculture, at Ottawa.




"Spanish John" was the nom de guerre of John, son of John, son of Æneas, son of Ranald McDonell of Scottos, or Scothouse, who was also head of the Glengarry family. He was born at "Crowlin," Knoidart, in 1728. He left home to study in the Scots College in Rome in 1740, but in 1744 we find him serving as Ensign in the "Regiment Irlandia" for King Carlo of Naples, and in 1746 he was on his way to Scotland carrying money and despatches for Prince Charles. After his release and the pacification of the Highlands he married and remained in Scotland until 1773, when he emigrated to America and settled in Scoharie County, in the then Province of New York. Three years later he held a commission as Captain in the King's Royal Regiment of New York, the "Royal Greens," under the command of Colonel Sir John Johnson, Bart., and served until the regiment was disbanded about 1784. He then settled in Canada, where he died at Cornwall in 1810, and was buried at St. Andrews, P.Q.

His sons, particularly John and Miles, were famous men in the days of the rival factions engaged in the struggle for the Northwest fur trade, and his name is still widely and honorably represented in Canada. At the request of his friend Bishop Strachan, then the Reverend Mr. Strachan and school-master at Cornwall, Colonel McDonell wrote a short account of his early life and adventures, which was published in The Canadian Magazine, Montreal, May and June, 1825, and forms the basis of the following story.

While I have amplified the old and introduced such new characters, incidents, and situations as were necessary to create a work of fiction out of material which is but a recital of those incidental and generally disconnected happenings that go to make up a man's experience, I have taken every pains to preserve what I conceive to be the character of the narrator and the essential value of his narrative.

From le père Labat and le président Debrosses I learned of the conditions of Italy; from O'Callaghan, the particulars of the Irish Brigade; from Professor Cavan, of Charlottetown, P.E.I., who was a student in the Scots College in the early forties, when the conditions were still unchanged—when the Abbé Macpherson, their Rector, could well remember Prince Charlie in his last days: "he used to visit us and say we were the only subjects he had left"—information that brought me into touch with the life there; from the Rev. Mr. McNish, of Cornwall, the Gaelic toasts; and from "Ascanius," much of the detail of the end of "The Forty-five."




How Angus McDonald of Clanranald and I set out for the Scots College in Rome; how we fell in with Mr. O'Rourke and Manuel, the Jew, and with the latter saw strange company in Leghorn; how we were presented to Captain Creach, "of the Regiment Irlandia," at the Inn of Aquapendente, and what befel thereafter


How, out of a school-boy's quarrel, it came that I kissed the hands of His Majesty, James III.; that I met with H.R.H. the Prince of Wales and other company, both high and low, until, from one thing to another, I took leave of my Books to follow the Drum


Of the soldiering Father O'Rourke and I did in the Regiment Irlandia together; how we fared at the Battle of Velletri, and until the army divided under the walls of Rome, during which time I won more than one promotion


How we met old friends and an older enemy in Rome with whom I was forced to subscribe to a Truce, having passed my word to the Duke of York; how it came that I resigned from the Company of St. James


How Father O'Rourke and I met with the Duke of York, who charged me with a secret mission towards Prince Charles; of our voyage to Scotland, and the dismal tidings that there met us


How we supped with a thief, and the outcome thereof.


How Father O'Rourke and I fell in with broken men and saw the end of a Lost Cause


How I fared in my attempt to recover the stolen money; and how Father O'Rourke and I came face to face with unlooked-for company in the Inn at Portree


How Father O'Rourke kept the Black Pass; of the escape of the Prince and my own mischance that followed; but of how the Day of Reckoning between me and Creach came at last























How Angus McDonald of Clanranald and I set out for the Scots College in Rome; how we fell in with Mr. O'Rourke and Manuel the Jew, and with the latter saw strange company in Leghorn; how we were presented to Captain Creach, "of the Regiment Irlandia," at the Inn of Aquapendente, and what befel thereafter.

"Hoot!" snorted my Uncle Scottos, with much contempt, "make a lad like that into a priest! Look at the stuff there is in him for a soldier!"

Without waiting for a reply, he roared: "Here, mogh Radhan dubh! (my little black darling), shew your father how you can say your Pater-noster with a single-stick!" At which he caught up a stout rod for himself, and, throwing me a lighter one, we saluted, and at it we went hammer and tongs.

I suppose my Uncle was a bit discomposed with his argument, for he was one ill to bear contradiction, even in thought, and so forgot I was but a lad, for he pushed me hard, making me fairly wince under his shrewd cuts, and ruffling me with his half-angry shouts of "Mind your guard!" each time he got in at me, until before long the punishment was so severe I was out of breath, my wrist half broken, and I was forced to cry "Pax!" Indeed, I was so ruffled I made but a poor shewing, and my father laughed heartily at my discomfiture.

"Well, well, Donald," he said, in reply to my Uncle's argument, "I'll at least promise you his schooling will not be any harder than that you would put him at."

"Perhaps not," answered my Uncle, still in some little heat, "but mine is at least the schooling of a gentleman! However, thank God, they cannot take that out of him in Rome, whatever else they may stuff into him. Man! man!" he broke out again, after a moment's pause, "but you're wasting the making of a pretty soldier!"

And he looked so gallant as he stood there before the big fireplace, full of scorn for the ignoble fate he dreaded might be in store for me, that my heart swelled with a great pity for myself, and for my father too, who should be so bent on sending me to Rome, so far away from my Uncle, who knew so many pretty turns with the sword I might learn from no other, and so many songs I might never sing now.

For I worshipped my Uncle, Donald McDonell of Scottos, but always known as "Scottos," as is our custom; he was called The Younger, not to belittle him, but because my Grandfather, old Æneas of Scottos, was still alive. He had been in France and Spain and Italy, first as a cadet and afterwards as ensign in Colonel Walter Burke's regiment of foot, one of the regiments of the Irish Brigade serving under the Duke of Berwick, and many a night have I been kept awake with his stories of their engagements at Cremona, Alicant, Barcelona, and other places—how they beat, and sometimes how they were beaten—till I knew the different Dillons and Butlers and McDonells and O'Rourkes, and other gentlemen of the regiment, not only by name, but as though I had met with them face to face. He had no great love for the Church, for he hated the sight of a priest, and was continually railing against my being sent to Rome lest they should make a "Black Petticoat" of me.

"That 'a McDonell must be either a soldier or a priest' may be a very good saying in its way," he went on to my father, for there was no interruption in their talk, "but mark you which comes first! If all our forebears had bred but little shavelings, and no soldiers, where would the McDonell family be now, think you? 'Tis not in reason you should give up your one son for the sake of an old saw, like enough made by some priest himself. If one of mine chooses to take to it, he will not be missed out of the flock; but depend upon it, brother, God never gave you this one to waste in this way. Let me train him until he is ready to go abroad into the service, and I'll answer for it to stand him in better stead than all the tingle-fangle whimseys they'll teach him in Rome!"

But my father only smiled in his quiet way, and said in his low, soft voice, so different from my Uncle's:

"Donald, Donald, you witch the lad! You have my word that when the time comes he shall be free in his choice; but, priest or soldier, he'll be no worse the gentleman for a little of the book-learning you make so light of. Now, say good-bye to your Uncle, lad, and we'll be off."

As we rode homewards, I on the saddle before him, my father talked all the way of what my going to Rome would really mean. He told me of the Scots College there, what it looked like, where his room was—"and there, if they have not whitewashed the wall, Shonaidh, which may well be the case, you'll find written near the head of my bed:

"'Half ower, half ower to Aberdour,
    'Tis fifty fathoms deep;
And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens,
    With the Scots lords at his feet.'

That I wrote one afternoon at the siesta when my heart was big and I was wearying for home, as you may do, and I thought I heard my mother singing, and wrote down the old words for my comfort. Perhaps you'll find them there still," he added, slowly, as if he were back in the old days rather than talking to me.

"And, Shonaidh," he went on, after a little, "just when your heart fails you is the time to play the soldier as truly as if you had a broadsword in your hand. Homesick you'll be—I'd be sorry for you if you were not—but remember, I went through it all before you, and, though I have done nothing for it, my time in the old Scots College was the best gift my father ever gave me. If God wills it, you will be a priest, but neither I nor yet the Rector will force you. You are going under the care of one of the best of men, a nobleman and one whose slightest word you should be proud to treasure; and, remember, the first duty of a gentleman who would some day command is to learn to obey."

And so on as we rode; he told me much, much more than I had ever known, of all he had done and all he had hoped to do as a boy, but he had given up his own plans that his brother Scottos might go to serve under the Duke of Berwick in Spain; how, though he had borne himself therein as a brave and gallant gentleman, the fighting abroad had brought nothing to those at home, and, after the disappointment of 1715, how he had no longer heart for foreign service, for he was committed to the Royal Cause beyond everything, and so remained at home in spite of danger, hoping for the day when the King would come again.

He warned me that I must not make too much of my Uncle's railings against the Church, for he had seen many things in Spain that were in a measure hard to see, and, whatever were his words, he was a good son of the Church, and in his heart did not believe his own sayings—which made me wonder, I remember, why my father should so punish me for lying—and so on until we reached Crowlin, as our house was known.

It was in the month of August when I left home, I being just twelve years of age, and Angus McDonald of Clanranald, who was to be my comrade, fourteen. He was a much bigger lad than I, and at home could handle me readily enough, but from being so much with my Uncle Scottos, who was never done talking of what he had seen in foreign parts, I was in a measure travelled, and no sooner were we out of the country than Angus gave the lead to me, which I kept in all the years we were together.

My Grandfather, Æneas of Scottos, gave me his blessing and a bright new guinea and much good advice; my father kissed me fondly, and, with many a direction for the road, gave me a letter to Father Urbani, the Rector in Rome; my sister Margaret hung about my neck and refused to be comforted; but at last, with a cousin of Clanranald's and a party of their people, we started for Edinburgh.

My Uncle Scottos rode with us as far as Inchlaggan, and when we said good-bye he commanded me, sternly, "Don't let them make a little priest of you, Shonaidh, or I'll baste you with a wooden sword when you come home!" Then he swore somewhat in Spanish and kissed me on both cheeks, and rode off with his head down, waving his hand at the top of the hill, though he never looked back.

Our stay in Edinburgh with Bishop Hay, and our journey to Boulogne and thence to Father Innes, of the Scots College in Paris, with whom we lodged for three weeks, produced nothing of interest; indeed, we did not fall in with much I can now recall until we drove into Marseilles and were there lodged in the house of the Benedictins.

Here we saw much to wonder at—soldiers in uniforms, sailors in petticoats, galley-slaves in chains, Jews in gabardines, and others dressed in such outlandish habits we could not help staring at them, though had we worn our own Highland clothes I do not believe any would have remarked on us; and we heard, I doubt not, every language on earth save the Gaelic, which is but little spread beyond the Highlands.

A more lively people than the Marseilles would be hard to meet. On the quay one evening we marked a fellow carrying something like a long, narrow drum, which he tapped with his fingers as he strolled. Presently he stopped at a clear space, and, drawing a little pipe from under his arm, began to play both instruments at once cleverly enough. Hardly had he begun before the crowd gathered round, and on some lusty fellow setting up a shout and leaping into the middle of the space and holding forth his hand, it was caught by one, who in turn invited another, and then another, while from the tavern opposite rushed men and women fairly tumbling over one another in their haste, laughing and shouting as they came, till all were at it, footing it merrily as they swung in and out and twisted and turned in a long tail. Round the posts, jumping over the ropes that held the vessels fast, then across the street and into the tavern by one door and out at another into the street again, with such mad laughing and singing and holding forth of hands that Angus and I could stand it no longer, and so caught hold; and, though we could speak no word of their language, we could laugh as hard in English and give as wild skreighs in Gaelic and foot it as lightly as any of them. It was a grand ploy, and only ended when we were all out of breath.

Provided with money sufficient to carry us to Rome, we took passage for Leghorn, or Livorno, as they call it, in a fair-sized barque, but the dirt and the evil smells on board disgusted us beyond measure, and we almost longed for the bone-breaking coaches again. However, we were not long aboard before we fell in with a tall, decent man, a Mr. O'Rourke by name, who was an Irishman, on his way to finish his studies as a priest at the Propaganda in Rome, but the merriest and best-natured man I had ever seen. He was bigger and broader and had a greater hand and foot than any one else on board.

He laughed at our touchiness at what he called "a few smells."

"A few smells, sir?" said I—"it seems to me they are fairly crowding one another so close there's but little room for any more."

"Oh, isn't there? It strikes me you have never put your nose inside a Roman osteria on a wet day in July! Until then, my lad, you are not qualified to speak of smells in the plural. And let me tell both of you," he went on, after he had finished laughing, "you had best get your noses into training at once, for if they are going to cock up at every stink that comes under them you'll be blowing them over the backs of your heads before long, unless you do like the elephant and carry them in your trunk." Which we took to be an excellent jest, the more so as we found by evening he had two hammocks swung for us on deck near the round-house. The weather was so mild and the cabins so unbearable that most of the passengers followed our example, and even in the bow was one solitary old man, who now and then had to put up with a douse of salt water when the barque clipped deeper than ordinary.

The next day we made a closer acquaintance with our fellow-passengers, most of whom were but fearful sailors with but little stomach for anything off an even keel. In the cabin with us and Mr. O'Rourke were an Italian Count and his lady, some priests, and a Spaniard named Don Diego, with whom we soon made friends, though he was ignorant of both English and French, and had no Gaelic; but we could get in a Latin word or two, and we laughed much and made signs for the rest. Mr. O'Rourke we found to be of the same family as the gallant Major O'Rourke who was killed at Alcoy, in Spain, under the Count O'Mahony, which I knew of through my Uncle Scottos, who was an ensign there at the time; this made us fast friends, and I told him much of the Regiment Irlandia and the Irish Brigade of which he was ignorant.

But we came near to falling out at the very beginning of our friendship, which happened in this way. Being that day with Angus up in the bow of the barque to mark the play of the waves, I was trying some little French on the old man, who was still crouched there miserable enough, when up comes Mr. O'Rourke and, without preface or apology, breaks in upon us, taking no more notice of the poor old man than if he had been a dog.

"Do you know who you are talking to?" says he, in a loud, hectoring style of voice, and raps out before I can answer: "This man's a Jew! A Jew!" he says, and spits on the deck as if he had a bad smell by him.

"I don't care if he's a camel!" says I, much nettled at his tone.

"No more would I," says he, "for then he'd be where he deserves, wandering about in the Desert."

"Mr. O'Rourke, when I get to Rome I'll be under a master, but until then I am answerable to no one save myself, and I'll thank you to leave me in peace to such company as I may choose," I returned, making a mighty strong inflection on my words. He moved away, laughing.

I was only a foolish boy, so his laughing hurt me more than his anger, and had he taken no notice I dare say I would have thought little more of the Jew than of any other on board; but now, part from curiosity—perhaps, too, part from mulishness, of which I had my share when a boy—but afterwards from a personal feeling, I was kept nearer the old man than would otherwise have happened.

True, my Uncle Scottos had no great softness for the Jews while in Spain—no more had he for the priests, for that matter—but this was the first I had ever fallen in with, and the old man was so uncomplaining and gentle I felt I was taking his side, and that ended it. His name was Manuel, and he was a Portugal by nation, but lived in Leghorn, about which he told me much. As to his business, I cared but little—as he could not be a gentleman in the nature of things, his occupation was a matter of indifference to me. So, in spite of the laughter of many, and Mr. O'Rourke's gibes about my visits to the "Ghetto," as he called the bow of the barque where the poor old man was, I never missed a day without a visit to him, and learned much that was useful to me afterwards.

We now met with some heavy weather, and were so knocked about on the third day that, as these coasters are not very venturesome, our captain thought it prudent to put back into Toulon, where we anchored in the midst of the fleet of the King of France there lying. The next day we were eager to get on shore, though it was blowing hard, but were dissuaded by Mr. O'Rourke. However, the Jew and a Cordelier friar resolved to risk it with a crew of six sailors, who ballasted the ship's boat with some spare guns; but hardly had they got up sail before the boat was overset and all were thrown into the water.

The first to lay hold of the boat was the Cordelier, who scrambled up on the keel, followed by the sailors, who pulled their fellows up one after another. All this time I was in an agony of fear for the Jew, who, though he laid hold of the boat, was so old and feeble he could not draw himself up, and no one so much as stretched out a hand to his aid. Worse than this, the ship's company and crew screamed with laughter at each new struggle he made, as if it were the merriest game in the world. Meantime the unfortunates were fast drifting into the offing, and would infallibly have been borne out to sea had not a Spanish zebec made sail and succeeded in overhauling and picking them up.

Then, though I was shaking with fright, I turned to and thrashed Angus McDonald for his laughing with the others until he cried mercy.

"A pretty Christian you are to be going to Rome and laughing at a man as old as my grandfather!" I admonished him, when I had finished.

"Pough!" snorted he, still angry. "Mr. O'Rourke says Jews have no souls!"

"Indeed?" said I. "Mr. O'Rourke had better be looking after his own, and make certain of it, before he is so sure about other people." And off I stalked, mighty indignant and mighty hot against Mr. O'Rourke, who but laughed merrily at my saying.

However, the next day we made it all up again on his asking me and Angus to accompany him and Don Diego on shore at his expense; and the Jew now being out of sight, I could not hold my anger long, while Mr. O'Rourke mended my pride by telling me I had surprised him in the handsome outcome of my attack on Angus. Of course Angus and I needed no making up whatever, for he could generally thrash me twice to my once.

So, with Mr. O'Rourke and Don Diego, we went on shore and rambled about merrily enough. In the afternoon we were strolling about in the Place d'Armes waiting for Mr. O'Rourke and Don Diego off on some affairs of their own, when a gentleman passed having on the greatest wig imaginable, most generously powdered. He carried his hat under his arm and minced in his walk like any madam, holding his long cane as gingerly as a dancing-master.

Without a word, Angus pulled a handful of nuts from his pocket and flung them with all his might at the great wig, which gave out a burst of powder like a gun going off. Round wheeled its owner and was after us with a roar; but we separated and ran in different ways, making for the lime-trees along the edge of the Parade.

We dodged round the trees, and the one of us pursued him as he made after the other; but he would not be dissuaded by this, and kept after me until, at last, I began to lose my wind, and shouted to Angus for help, who, however, could do nothing against an angry man armed with a great cane; and I began to grow anxious in my mind, when who should come up but our Spaniard, who, seizing the situation, at once turned the tables completely by a flank attack, and our Frenchman was soon left lamenting, with his wig up a tree, his cane broken, and more Spanish oaths ringing in his ears than I dare say he had ever heard before. It was like my Uncle Scottos swearing.

Off we went post-haste to the port, where, on entering a tavern, being mindful of my obligations as a gentleman, I ordered and paid for a bottle of wine for our rescuer, at which he was greatly pleased, though, like most of his countrymen, he was modest enough in the use he made of it. The little he did take, however, was sufficient to warm him up, when, forgetting we did not know a word of what he was saying, he poured out a long rigmarole to us in Spanish, which he wound up by whipping out a stiletto—a long, thin dirk much used in those countries—and gave us to understand he would have killed the Frenchman with much pleasure. Not content with this show of friendship, he pulled out a purse, very comfortably filled, and offered me a part; but I refused with my best manner, and with the help of my Latin made him know I was sufficiently supplied.

In the midst of all this friendship and wild talk who should discover us but Mr. O'Rourke, who, on hearing of our adventure, broke out, "'Pon my soul, but this is a pretty jerrymahoo you two young barbarians have started up! You're likely to have the peace-officers down on you before you can say Peter Donovan's prayer; and 'tis proud your people will be of you, no doubt, to have you beginning your education under the whip in a French prison, instead of under the holy fathers in Rome!" And with that he hurried us off in all speed to a boat, in a white fear of the officers, making us lie down in the bottom until we reached the ship's side, when we lost no time in scrambling on board.

We found we were the last passengers ashore, and on Mr. O'Rourke's relating to the captain our adventure, and the possibility of our being followed, he had up the anchor even before the moon rose, and we were on our way towards Leghorn again.

The rest of our time on board went fast enough, for we had nearly as many friends as there were passengers. Finding I had begun my education in fencing, Don Diego gave me lessons in the Spanish method, of which I was not entirely ignorant, and in turn I shewed him something of the single-stick, wherein he was altogether lacking. To our surprise, Mr. O'Rourke turned out to have no small skill with both single-stick and the small-sword—a great waste of education, as my Uncle Scottos would have said, for a priest.

Mr. O'Rourke now left me to my own devices with Manuel the Jew, for whom I was more full of pity than ever, as he, poor man! had not got over the effect of his fright and long exposure in the sea. Not a soul on board, save myself and Angus, ever gave him a word, unless when a sailor might curse at him for being in the way.

I was much exercised in my mind that he never seemed to eat anything—he certainly never went to a meal with the other passengers—and the only reason I could conceive being poverty, I proposed to Angus we should help him out of our store, to which he at once agreed, provided I would do the talking. So one day, when we were quite alone, after a hard fight with my shamefacedness, I lugged out my purse and offered him what I thought needed by his occasions.

"Put up your purse, my dear child! Put up your purse! You must never shew your money to people like that," he said, anxiously; and then seeing, I suppose, my disappointment, he added, speaking very slowly, that I might understand: "My child, do not be offended that I do not take your gold; your gift to me is already made without that, and in my heart I repeat the words of the Moabitess and ask, 'Why have I found grace in thine eyes, seeing I am a stranger?'" As he said this his voice became so broken I looked at him in surprise, and to my great distress saw the old man was crying. Why, I did not clearly understand, and he added to my discomposure by catching up my hand, kissing it, and pressing it to his bosom, repeating something in the Jews' tongue, and saying much I did not deserve, in French.

So we continued friends, and every day Angus and I sate with him under the shade of the foresail and listened to his stories of foreign countries, for he had travelled far and took a pleasure in telling of the wonders he had seen.

At last we sighted the port of Leghorn (we were not in reality so many days on board as I may have led you to suppose in my telling, but the impression left on me is of a long time)—we sighted Leghorn, I say, with marvellous fine quays filled with much shipping, and the first craft that passed us was one of the galleys of the Grand Duke, with its crew of horrid wretches of slaves pulling the long oars with an even sweep, like one great machine, under the eye and whip of their captain. Sorry enough were we to put foot on shore, for we realized every day was bringing us nearer to Rome and the end of the pleasant life we had been leading.

In company with Mr. O'Rourke we found a respectable lodging near the Place where the statue of the Grand Duke with the four Turks stands, and here everything was surprisingly fresh and clean after the ship. Indeed, the whole town is wonderfully clean and bright, and in that part called "Little Venice" we loved to stroll, admiring the barges in the canals, which are there in the middle of the streets, and the loading and unloading of the great bales of goods.

On the second day after our arrival, while in that street which serves as an Exchange for the merchants, to our great surprise we saw our friend Manuel the Jew. But how changed from the sickly, poor old man we had known on board the barque! He was decently dressed in sober black, with a long cloak and a well-cared-for periwig, and spake to one who looked like a person of standing, as a man speaking to his equal.

On seeing us he came forward, and, after shaking hands with me and Angus, he saluted Mr. O'Rourke, who returned his bow, but not overwarmly. After a few words he excused himself and spake for a little with a gentleman of good appearance, indicating us the while.

Evidently at his invitation, the gentleman came up to us and addressed Mr. O'Rourke: "Sir, I am Signor Antonio Arnaldi, one of the merchants of this place, and not ill-connected. My friend Manuel tells me he is under some obligation to your young gentlemen for kindness received, and begs your permission to allow their attendance at some festivity among his people to-night. The son of the Grand Duke, I am told, intends to honour it with his presence, so you may judge it is an occasion of unusual importance. He assures me he will take every care of the young gentlemen, and asks my word for his trustworthiness, which I can give from the bottom of my heart, as can any honourable merchant in Livorno." So saying he bowed most graciously, and, after some further words and compliments, Mr. O'Rourke as handsomely gave his full consent, when there was more bowing and compliments on all sides, and the merchant betook himself to his affairs. Though we were in no way bound to Mr. O'Rourke's consent to our comings and going, we did not hold it necessary to protest when others took it for granted he stood in this relation towards us.

Manuel then led us through the Exchange, and though Mr. O'Rourke was somewhat stiff at first, this soon wore off when he saw what people saluted our guide and their manner of so doing. Manuel knew every one; he pointed out to us the most considerable merchants, shewed us the harbour and the Duke's galleys, making plain much we would not have understood, and left us at the dinner-hour, promising to call for us at our lodging in the evening.

That afternoon we went to the great baths, which were managed after the manner of Turkey, as Manuel had explained to us, and though somewhat alarmed at first by so much steam and heat and water, and the slappings and punchings and rubbings of the naked Turks who waited on us, we soon got used to it and came out after some hours feeling like different persons, cleaner I suppose than we had ever been in our lives before. We then walked on the Mole and admired the fine ladies taking the air in their chairs borne by footmen all well liveried and appointed.

Towards evening Manuel came for us, and though he most civilly invited Mr. O'Rourke to make one of us, he pretexed another engagement.

"You see," he explained to us, when we withdrew to make our preparation, "you have no characters at all, and can consort with the Grand Turk, if you choose, but I am respectable and cannot afford to take liberties with myself."

"Indeed, Mr. O'Rourke," said I, "we have a great deal of character."

"So I have perceived; but it is more to the quality I am referring," he returned.

"Well, and did you ever hear anything against my family?" I asked, somewhat heated.

"Nothing but what filled me with terror, being a peaceable man in my quiet hours," he said, with a laugh.

But now I began to suspect him of rallying me, and said I believed he was jealous that he would not share the good things with us.

"Not I, faith!" he answered; "I'd be too much afraid of finding a Christian child done up in a ragout, or their trapanning me to turn me into a little Jew; and 'tis hard lines it would be for me if I couldn't have a taste of bacon with my potato!" At which we all laughed heartily, none the worse for his nonsense.

So Angus and I left in company with Manuel and took our way towards the Jews' quarter.

Unlike Avignon and Marseilles, we did not find the Ghetto locked and barred; indeed, we saw no great difference between the Jews and Christians here, nor in their quarter either, except that it is not so clean and there are more people than in other parts of the town; and, I confess, we met many of those smells by which Mr. O'Rourke says one may always tell a Jew; but, for that matter, I have met as bad in the Sacred City of Rome itself.

Every one knew Manuel, and he was greeted with respect even by the children in the street. We stopped at the door of a high building, and, after climbing some flights of stairs, all open on a great court, he unlocked a door and we entered his rooms. Here everything was very clean, but too bare, as I thought, for a man held in such esteem. On a table was spread a collation of fruits and sweetmeats, of which we all three partook in great merriment by the light of a tall silver lamp.

When our hunger was satisfied, our host led us into another room, where from a high press he took down two rich cloaks, and, telling us we were going to a wedding, where we must not shame our host, he put them over our plain clothes, and bade us see ourselves in a mirror. I never was so fine before; for not only was the cloak of the finest camlet, of a rich blue colour, but was lined with a cherry-coloured silk and had good lace about the neck, while that of Angus was quite as handsome, only more of a mulberry.

For himself, he kept to his black, but his doublet was of velvet, as was the cloak which he now took down, to which he added a heavy gold chain, which so became his gentle face and venerable beard that in my eyes he looked as if he should be always dressed in this fashion. And in the midst of it all I remembered that this was the man to whom I had offered money for a meal, and I was overcome with shame. I suppose he perceived my thought, for he engaged us in talk at once about the festa until my confusion passed off. It seemed mighty strange to us, who had seen Jews so contemned in other places, and heard such stories of their wickedness and cruelty, to listen to one whom we had lately seen so despised and put upon talking as if a festa were his every-day affair, and our appearance the most particular concern he had on hand.

At length everything was adjusted to his satisfaction, and forth we went in our bravery to win the envy and outspoken admiration of the people as we made our way through the crowded streets towards the house where the festa was held. The stairways up which we went were laid with carpets and the bareness of the walls hidden under rich stuffs, and when once in-doors we were dazzled with the lights in hanging silver lamps and massive candelabra on every hand.

There seemed to be hundreds of people in the rooms, which were hung with the finest of damask; and, more wonderful still, the very floor on which we trod was covered in silver tiles—the father of the bride having removed those of earthenware and replaced them by silver, to do honour to his daughter and to the Grand Duke, a great patron of the Jews, whose eldest son was to be a guest. As we went bowing our way through the crowd we were dumb with amazement at the beautiful dresses, the pearls, and precious stones and jewels worn by both men and women.

The bride was simply covered with them but seemed to me a poor enough little creature in spite of her finery, and we were surprised to find she was little more than a child. To her every one made his compliment in Italian or Portuguese or in the Jews' tongue, but not knowing any of the three, I ventured on the best wish I knew in good Gaelic—"Soaghal fada slainte's sonas pailt do Bhean na Bainnse!"—which means, in English, "May the bride have long life and abundant health and happiness"; at which the wee thing laughed very merrily, though she could not have known a word; from which I gathered a higher opinion of her intelligence than her looks.

On tables and buffets were confections and fruits, wines and sweet drinks in vessels of every form and colour and of inconceivable richness. To music unceasing the dancers advanced and retired, bowed and turned until we could see but a changing maze of silks and velvets, of flashing gold and jewels under the lights that seemed to wave and dance before our dazzled eyes; and when, at last, the hour came to leave, the music kept ringing and the lights flashing about us through the still, dark streets until we dropped asleep in our lodging.

On our awakening the next morning the first thing that met our eyes was our finery of the night before, which, in our excitement, we had forgotten to return to Manuel, and on his appearance later, to our surprise, he would not hear of such a thing, though we pressed him hard.

"When you offered me money to fill an empty stomach, was I ungrateful?" he asked; and part for this, and part that he should not think that we scorned to accept from a Jew, we desisted and made such return as we could.

Mr. O'Rourke now came for us with an invitation to breakfast with two Scottish gentlemen making the Grand Tour, who had sent their servant to our lodging with their compliments and the message. But I cannot recall anything further than one was a Mr. Ramsay, over whose lap Mr. O'Rourke upset a dish of tea, and great was the outcry and many the apologies thereat.

We joined our friend Manuel again, who had undertaken to engage for us a reliable interpreter with whom to journey to Rome, for, much to our disgust, we found the little French we had been at such pains to acquire during our stay at Paris was as useless as our English in these parts, and we were now to lose Mr. O'Rourke, though he gave us a hope of joining us at some point before we reached our journey's end.

After consulting with Angus, I took the precaution to buy two good French folding-knives, one for each, which would serve both for the table and defence, if need be.

In order to avoid the dangers of a bad road across an unsettled country, where many lawless characters abounded, it was decided we should go to Pisa by way of the Canal, and thence hire a caleche and take the main highway to Rome by way of Bolsena and Viterbo.

In the early morning, accompanied by Mr. O'Rourke, we made our way to the Canal, where we found Manuel awaiting us by the boat, somewhat similar to the Coche d'Eau by which we had travelled to Auxerre, with a basket filled with fruit and the sweatmeats we most admired. He begged us not to forget him, and seemed so down at parting that we could not refrain from embracing him, though in Mr. O'Rourke's presence, who behaved very handsomely himself in thanking Manuel, which I thought the more of than our own action, as we were drawn to him and he was not. At last we moved slowly off, waving our adieux to the two best friends we had so far met in our travels.

It must have been Manuel who made the difference, for I remember but little of Pisa or the first part of our journey, save that the open caleche was pleasant, and that we were much taken with Luigi, our interpreter, who allowed neither postilions nor innkeepers to get the upper hand of him or us, and who was always in good-humour. The inns were mostly bad, and we suffered cruelly from fleas, which were nearly as many and as hard to get rid of as the beggars.

About noon, one day in December, we drove into a small town most strongly placed, called Aquapendente, and there, before the door of the Tre Corone, we caught sight of Mr. O'Rourke, standing head and shoulders above the crowd.

We were so overjoyed to see him once more that we flew into his arms, and there was great laughing and outcry for a few moments. At length he shook himself free and pretended to rate us. "Here! Here! You young ruffians! Where are your manners? Don't you see I am talking to a gentleman, or was, until you two Highland caterans fell on me!

"—Now let me see what you have learned by your foreign travel," he continued.

"Captain Creach," said he, turning to the gentleman who was looking on and laughing, but who, on being addressed, at once took an air of attention, "this is Ian—or, in English, John—McDonell of Scottos, of the mature age of twelve, the scion of an illustrious family, whose ancestors have ruled in Knoidart and parts adjacent from the days of Noah downwards.

"And this," he said, waving his hand towards Angus, "is Mr. Angus McDonald of Clanranald, who confesses to fourteen years, whose name is known with distinction in the Highlands, and with fear through the countries towards the south.

"They are travelling to Rome, there to complete their studies in the Scots College, and may afterwards enter into competition for the higher offices in the gift of His Holiness, provided secular callings have not a greater charm. I have enjoyed the honour of travelling in their company, and can answer for their principles, if not always for their discretion...." And so on, with much more of his Irish balderdash, without sense or meaning, until Captain Creach, who was a small, genteel-appearing man, with a very white face, dressed in a habit, half civil, half military, cut him short and shook hands with us, saying he was sure we would prove a credit to our names wherever we might go, though he would be sorry to see two such fine lads hiding their figures in black petticoats—a sentiment which warmed me to him at once; and when I learned he had actually been in the Regiment Irlandia, my delight knew no bounds. I questioned him at once, but found he did not remember my Uncle Scottos—he was too young for that—though he knew his name well, which did not astonish me.

We spent the morning merrily, I paying for a bottle of wine for him and Mr. O'Rourke, and Angus and I readily agreed to wait over the day that we might enjoy their company, as the Captain was on his way north and Mr. O'Rourke was not yet ready for Rome. Luigi we sent off to enjoy himself after his own fashion.

Whilst the dinner was preparing, Angus and Mr. O'Rourke set off to see the fall of water near by, but I remained in the upper room with my new friend, as I had much yet to inquire concerning the Regiment. But after a little he seemed to grow weary of my questioning, and suddenly, without any introduction, asked me if I had any money by me.

"Yes," I answered, honestly enough.

"Well, then, I'll have to accept a loan from you," he said, carelessly, as if we had been long discussing the matter.

"I'm sorry I cannot oblige you, sir," said I. rising from my place and beginning to walk up and down, feeling mighty uncomfortable.

"Come, come, my lad," said he, in a voice he tried to make very friendly, "we soldiers have our ups and downs, and always help each other. Your Uncle Scottos would be proud to help a brother officer."

"That may be, sir, but, according to your own shewing, you never had the honour to know my Uncle Scottos, who is not here to answer for himself."

"You little puppy!" he roared. "Do you know nothing of what should be between gentlemen?"

He saw by my face he had made a mistake, and at once went on a new tack. "But there, there!—you must pardon my heat. I am only a rough soldier and slow to take a jest. Believe me, I had no intent to frighten you."

I was the angry one now. "I know nothing of your intents, Captain Creach," said I; "I am only sure of one thing, and that is, you did not and cannot frighten me. I have just enough money for us to get to Rome, and could not make a loan to you or to any other were I ever so willing. So there the matter rests."

The words were barely out of my mouth before he rushed at me. I was on my guard, and, throwing a chair in his way, nearly upset him; but he recovered before I could get at him, and in a minute more had me by the collar, shaking the life out of me. I did my best to butt him with my head, but could not get room; so I was kicking and striking and biting like an otter, making noise enough to bring the house down, when the door flew open, and in rushed Angus. He never waited a moment, but attacked the Captain behind, catching his legs very cleverly; whereupon I, giving a sudden shove, down we went, all three together, rolling over and over among the chairs and under the table.

Angus and I were both as strong as ponies, and such a fight had no terrors for us; and the Captain, being a small man, we were not so very unequal: thus it was in a trice we had him flat on his back, Angus on his two legs and I straddling on his chest, with my knees on his arms, doing my best to get at my French knife, so I might cut his wicked throat, when in burst Mr. O'Rourke, who, catching my hand just as I had my knife free, upset us both and dragged the Captain to his feet.

"What's all this jerrymahoo about, you young savages?" he shouted; but I could not answer, as I was wild to get at the Captain again, now I had recovered my wind; and a good day's work it would have been for me and others had I done so. However, Mr. O'Rourke held me at arm's-length until I quieted down, and, after sending away the inn people who were crowding through the door, now they saw all danger over, I panted out the story.

"You damned scoundrel!" said Mr. O'Rourke, though he was a most religious man and almost as good as a priest. "You scoundrel; faith I'm sorry I didn't let this baby finish you! But we'll tan your cowardly hide for this or my name's not O'Rourke!

"But look at the creature's ears!" he broke out of a sudden; "he has them as big as the Prophet's ass! And to think of me being taken in by the animal!" Thereupon he turned him round and bade us mark the way in which his ears stuck out from his shaven pate, now his wig was knocked off, while he roared with laughter.

But this all went sadly against my grain, as I was all for punishing the rogue then and there, and I knew Mr. O'Rourke would soon make this impossible if he went on with his jesting. However, he pointed out that to such a man the disgrace would mean as much as his punishment, and he would hand him over to the magistrate himself. "The creature sets up to be a gentleman, but if we can get one of his shoulders stamped with a hot iron, as is their fashion hereabouts, 'twill take a mighty fine coat to cover that same," he explained, much to our satisfaction. So the innkeeper was called and bidden to lock him up securely; and off marched the Captain with his white face, looking half dazed, but offering no words or apology whatever.


When we were alone, Mr. O'Rourke burst out, blaming himself for leaving me alone with such a man, calling himself every name he could lay his tongue to for being taken in with the first scoundrel he picked up. "'Tis a pretty ass I have made of myself, turning up my nose at your consorting with a poor, harmless Jew, and then to take up myself with a picaroon of a captain, and perhaps play second fiddle to the hangman! Job no doubt had me in his eye when he said that 'multitude of years should teach wisdom' (et annorum multitudo doceret sapientiam), but my wisdom was a fool to your folly."

However, after awhile we all cooled down, and by the time dinner was on the table were in our sober senses again. Then in comes Luigi, who must hear the whole story over, and sets us all laughing merrily with his antics, feigning to weep when we told how Mr. O'Rourke would not let me slit the Captain's throat; but when he heard what we had done with the scamp, he was off in a trice and back as soon, dragging the innkeeper with him and bursting with anger. It was soon explained. The Captain had escaped, and Luigi was for haling the innkeeper before the judge; but the poor man cried so piteously, and so besought us not to undo him, that we took compassion, and contented ourselves with ordering our caleche and starting again on our journey, Mr. O'Rourke promising to see us in Rome.

We arrived at Viterbo through a fine stretch of country, more especially about the Lake of Bolsena, but passed through no towns of importance. We had heard such tales of robbers that we here determined to better provide for our personal safety; so we set out from the inn, and, with the help of Luigi, found an armourer, with whom we bargained for a pair of pistols, and had them at a fair price. He had some good blades as well, and, now we had begun to have a hankering for weapons, I desired one greatly, but was dissuaded by Luigi, who pointed out they were much too long for me to carry, and, further, that for young gentlemen going to college we had weapons enough and to spare.

About a mile from the town we came on a hill so steep we were forced to dismount and climb on foot. "At the top we will find a guard of archers," said Luigi, "who have been there ever since the days of Innocent the Eleventh."

"Not the same ones, surely?" said I, quizzing him, after the manner of Mr. O'Rourke.

"I don't doubt it," he returned, gravely; "most of them are old and useless enough to have been there since the days of Nero. But that is not my point; that is in the story, if you can find it."

"Go on with your tale, Luigi; he knows nothing of history," said Angus.

"History, indeed, you dunderhead!" said I, much disgusted. "Can't you see a joke when 'tis under your nose?"

"I've been carrying my nose in my pocket, according to Mr. O'Rourke's direction, ever since I came into the country, and I don't find your joke so fine that I need take it out," he returned, with a silly air of conceit which angered me mightily.

"See here, my fine fellow!" said I, stopping short; "if you have a mind to try any of your Prester John airs with me, you had best put your head where your nose is, or the one will soon be as little use to you as the other."

"Oh, gentlemen, gentlemen!" cried Luigi at this, much distressed; "I have not even yet begun my story!"

"Don't mind us, Luigi," said Angus, quite cool; "go on with your story. We are only getting the laugh in at the wrong end. I did not mean to ruff you, Shonaidh," he added, very handsomely, for Angus could be quite the gentleman when he desired.

"I know you didn't," I returned, without offence; "but you shouldn't laugh at me when I am trying a joke. My temper is short."

On this we made up without further words, and both turned to Luigi, begging him to continue with his tale.

"Well, as I was saying, 'twas in the days of Innocent the Eleventh, when a young Polish friar, on his way towards Rome, was here arrested by two robbers, who, after relieving him of his purse, which they found much too light for one of his comfortable appearance, threatened him with torture unless he revealed where the rest of his money was hid. He thereupon owned to having some gold pieces in the soles of his shoes, on which they bade him sit down and started to strip his feet. Now, he being very powerful, and marking the favourable position of his tormentors, seized his opportunity and the robbers at the same moment, and brought their heads together with so happy a crack that he rendered them senseless. Seeing their state, he repeated his experiment with such success that he soon put an end to their rogueries forever. Rejoicing at his good fortune, he took all their effects, piled them on one of his horses, and, mounted on the other, made his way into Rome with all the honours of war. The Pope, hearing of his adventure, desired to see so remarkable a man, and the young friar was accordingly brought into his presence. When asked how he, a single man. accomplished so extraordinary a feat, he folded his hands and replied modestly in Latin: "May it please Your Holiness, I seized each of them softly by the hair of his head and softly knocked the head of the one against the head of the other until they both were dead!" And His Holiness, who was a man of a merry humour, laughed heartily at the simplicity of the answer, and not only gave the stout friar both the goods of the robbers and his blessing, but posted a guard here as well, that no other student might be put to a like proof of his courage."

However, we saw no robbers, great or small, perhaps because we were so well prepared, though we went through a country full of woods and wild places, well fitted for this class of gentry. We continued our journey without further matter worth mention until, as we drove out of a little village called Baccano, Luigi jumped up in great excitement, and, crying to the postilion to stop, fairly shouted in his joy, "Ecco Roma!" And far away in the distance, over the rising mists of the morning, we saw the cross of St. Peter twinkling like a star of gold.

We were all impatience now and longed for no more adventures, but, despite our longing, it was nearly evening before we drove in by the Porto del Popolo, and black night before we passed our baggages at the Dogana, and Luigi deposited us in safety at the Scots College, in the via delle Quattro Fontane.


How, out of a school-boy's quarrel, it came that I kissed the hands of His Majesty, James III.; that I met with H.R.H. the Prince of Wales and other company, both high and low, until, from one thing to another, I took leave of my Books to follow the Drum.

No sooner was our arrival announced than we were ushered into the reception-room, where, in a moment, the Rector, Father Urbani, came to meet us, giving us such a welcome that our hearts warmed to him at once.

He knew all about our people, and, indeed, had a knowledge of the families as if he had been brought up in the Highlands; he enquired after each one in turn, asking for news of good Father Innes of Paris, and Bishop Hay of Edinburgh, both old friends of his. Nor did he forget even Luigi, but thanked him handsomely and paid him well for his care, bidding him return the next day to take his farewell of us.

When he bade us good-night he said to me: "You will be the youngest boy in the College, and you have a face worthy of your holy name, John; but I shall call you Little John, Giovannini." And by that name it was that I went all the time I was in Rome.

We were given a room together, and I, remembering my father's word, looked at the wall near the beds, but could find no "Sir Patrick Spens," and so knew it was not his room, but resolved to ask the Rector the next day.

Then began our regular round of work. The Rector engaged a private tutor to instruct us in Latin and Italian, and before the winter was over we were deemed ready to go to the schools taught by the Jesuits in the Collegio Romano; for there was no teaching in the Scots College, only the learning of our tasks and submission to the discipline imposed.

It was not long before we welcomed Mr. O'Rourke again, for he was now at the Propaganda, and there and elsewhere he gained much credit for us by publishing the story of our adventure with the Captain, which lost nothing, I can answer, in the telling.

At the Roman College we met with lads from all parts of the world, and I made such progress before the year was out that I was put into a higher class, and there, unfortunately, fell foul of a fellow in a way that nearly put an end to my studies.

This was a swarthy Maronite, from near Mount Libanis, who attempted to palm off a dirty trick on me in school hours. Not being allowed to speak then, I bided my time until the bell rang, when I made for the door, and the moment he came out gave him a boy's punishment, swelling his upper lip and sending him off holding his nose, which was bleeding. All my fellows were rejoiced at the outcome, and promised me their support.

Now there were two punishments in vogue in the Collegio Romano, styled, respectively, the Mule and the Horse—the first of which was to be put into the stocks, hands and feet, and receive as many lashes on the bare back with a cat as might be thought proper; the Horse was for less atrocious crimes, for which the offender was made to stand on a bucket-stool and was flogged on the small of the legs.

Soon after our return from school a message was sent to Father Urbani, giving an account of the crime committed by Giovannini McDonell. I was in due course called for by the Superior, in presence of all my fellow-collegioners, and accused. Without hesitation I avowed my guilt, and was thereupon told by the Superior I must undergo the punishment of the Mule. There was a dead silence at this, and all looked at me and waited.

I write this as an old man who has lived through a life of action, not without its reverses, but as I write I can distinctly recall the wretched misery that chilled my blood and turned my heart to water as the Superior gave his sentence. No distress I have ever gone through since has equalled the helpless despair that wrung my lonely, miserable little heart as I stood there trembling in every limb before my judge. I was sick with the shame and humiliation; I was indignant at the injustice; I was overcome by my powerlessness, but I do not think I was afraid.


"Sir," said I, when I could speak, "I was falsely accused by a coward and a liar for his own dirty trick, and I did the only thing in my power to right myself. If my way was wrong, I am sorry, but I will not be tied up and punished like a soldier or a thief. I am a gentleman born, sir, and I would rather die first!" But here I had to stop, for I could trust my voice no longer.

"Well, well, my lad, we won't talk of any such heroics as dying yet," said the Superior, smiling; whereupon my fellows, taking heart, joined in, vowing they would rather leave the Collegio Romano and go to the Propaganda than submit to such punishments. But the only result of their protest was that they were packed off to school, as usual, and I was kept at home.

After the others were gone, and I alone in my room, I had begun to wonder what was in store for me, when word was, brought that the Rector, Father Urbani, waited for me. I entered his presence with a heavy heart, for a boy in disgrace sees a possible enemy in every one; but that kind old man beckoned me to his side, and, instead of questions or reproaches, patted my cheek, and, calling me his "caro Giovannini," asked me if I would not like to accompany him in his coach and see some of the sights of Rome.

I was so overcome I could not help bursting into tears, through which I sobbed: "Dear, dear Father Urbani. I will go with you anywhere, but I will never take a Mule or a Horse!"

"My dear Giovannini," said he, "the only Horses we will think about are those for the shafts of our coach. Be ready after the siesta, and let me see a more smiling face when next you meet me."

So take me he did, and was so sumptuously received at all the great houses he visited—and I as well—that I soon forgot my terrors.

Father Urbani was a gentleman of birth, connected with many of the highest families, and whatever his real name was, he well deserved that of his profession, for no one could be more urbane than he, and his softness of voice always brought my dear father before me. He was full of drolleries, too, for, when we visited St. Peter's, he told me of the German in Rome who had never seen the church, though he had started several times with that in view, but always found the sun too hot and the taverns too cool for the long walk, and so kept out of the one and in, the other until his day was done before his pilgrimage was accomplished. At length, on being rallied by his friends, he made a great effort and passed safely by his dangers, saw the great church, and returned full of satisfaction. "But," says he, "I think it strange that they should put St. Peter on horseback before the high altar!"—a speech which mightily piqued the curiosity of his friends, until they discovered he had been no farther than the loggia, and had taken the statue of the Roman Emperor Constantino for that of the Saint.

On the third day of our travels we went into the Church of the Santi Apostoli, and there Father Urbani drew my attention to a man kneeling in prayer before a tomb near the high altar. Though I saw nothing more than a dark velvet coat, the soles of his shoes, and part of his powdered head, I asked, with a sudden curiosity, who it might be.

"His enemies call him The Pretender, his friends, the Chevalier de St. George, but many hold he is properly styled His Majesty, James the Third of England," said Father Urbani, quietly, but very dryly; at which my heart broke into a rapid tattoo of loyalty in honour of the House whose fortunes my family had always followed, and for whose sake my Uncle Scottos had sacrificed himself.

We were for withdrawing quietly, and had almost reached the door, when the King finished his devotions and came slowly down the church—a thin, dark-visaged man, very grave and sad-looking, I thought, but his carriage was noble, and the broad riband on his breast looked in keeping. He stopped when he reached us and spoke to Father Urbani, who, to my surprise, did not seem at all put out, and made no greater reverence to the King than he would to any noble of high rank, answering him in his soft, quiet voice, as though speaking to an ordinary man. I only remembered this afterwards, when telling Angus of the meeting. At the time I stood like one enchanted, devouring the King with my eyes.

At last he noticed my absorption, and said, still in Italian, "Ah! an English lad, I see?"

"No, Your Majesty," I made bold to answer, "a Highlander." At which he smiled, gravely, and held out his hand, which I knelt and kissed with my heart on my lips.

We waited until the King had left the church, making his way on foot and alone to his palace alongside, when we took coach again and drove towards the College. I could see that Father Urbani did not wish to be disturbed, for there was a troubled look on his face, so I said nothing, but leaned back with my head full of the glorious vision I had just seen. Had any one dared say there was nothing in meeting with a sad-faced, elderly man alone in an empty church—a man who claimed to be a king and had no throne, who claimed to be a king and had no country—I would have held it little short of blasphemy. To me he was a martyr for honour's sake, the true head of my nation and the hope of all loyal hearts. So I leaned back, I say, with these things running riot through my head, jumbled with old stories of Killicrankie and 1715, with old songs I had heard from a child, and with thoughts of my Uncle Scottos, until I was suddenly brought back to earth again by one of Father Urbani's thin old hands quietly closing over mine.

"And now, Giovannini, do you not think you can go back to school again?" he asked.

"I will, father, I will; for you I will do anything I am able. But you will not ask me to take either the Mule or the Horse?" I asked, my old trouble coming back on me again.

"Have no more fear, my dear child," he said, quietly; "they will never be put to your offer. You have been punished enough by attending on an old man like me for three days." And as he embraced me tenderly at parting in our hall, he bade me, pointedly, not to attach too much to anything we had seen.

So I went back to my tasks quite content, and continued to make good progress and give satisfaction, though I could not altogether obey our good Rector's bidding and forget that lonely figure of the Santi Apostoli. And Angus and I whispered our secret to each other as we lay in the quiet of our room at night.

Now, there was a privilege which our students had above those of all other colleges in Rome, which was that any two of us might, at certain hours, go wherever our business called us. And Angus and I found that the shortest way for all our business, as well as between the Collegio Romano and the via Quattro Fontane, was by the little street of the Santi Apostoli, whence we could feast our eyes on the Palace, and were more than once rewarded by a sight of His Majesty and one of the Princes, whom we afterwards discovered to be the Duke of York, going forth to take the air with a modest following.

Our scheming might have ended here had it not been for Mr. O'Rourke. One day, when we went to visit him at the College of the Propaganda, he said: "I hear you take a great many walks in the Santi Apostoli, young gentlemen"; at which we were much put out, and begged he would say nothing of it, for, although we had not been forbidden, we felt there were good reasons against its being mentioned. But he relieved us with his merry laugh. "Faith, not I! I would not dream of interfering with the leanings of two gentlemen such as you, the more so that they have a bias in what I conceive to be the right direction. Perhaps you do not know I am a descendant of kings myself," he went on, in his lively fashion, "and, having royal blood flowing freely in me, can enter into your feelings better than the best nobleman who ever ruled over your honourable College."

This was a hit at Father Urbani—and I suspect there may have been a certain jealousy between the Propaganda and the Jesuits, for the army is not the only fighting body in the world—so I broke in with, "None of your innuendoes, if you please, Mr. O'Rourke. We have never asked Father Urbani to enter into our feelings, but I hold him qualified to enter into the best thoughts of the best man in Rome!"

"Soft and easy, Signor Giovannini McDonellini," says he, always laughing; "your stomach is high, even for a Highlander! I was only about to propose, on my first free day, a visit to your lode-star, the Palace of the Santi Apostoli, where, thanks to my royal ancestry, I have some small right of entry." And with the words he took the anger out of me at once.

It seemed an eternity until his first congé, or day of liberty, came round, and we were in waiting long before the appointed hour. We lost no time in setting out, but, to our surprise, did not take our way to the Palace direct, but went instead round by a little lane leading off the Piazza Pilotta, and so to a small wicket, whereon Mr. O'Rourke knocked in a private manner, while we held our breath in expectation. The door was opened presently by an old man, to whom Mr. O'Rourke gave some pass-word, and we were admitted, not to the Palace itself, but into the bare and mean hallway of a very ordinary house. Before we had time to betray our disappointment, however, we passed through this hall, and by means of a hidden door—hidden, that is, by a seeming closet or wardrobe—we stepped out into the sunlight again, and, to our great delight, found ourselves in what we did not doubt were the gardens of the Palace.

As we walked up a path, I pulled Mr. O'Rourke by the sleeve.

"What is it?" he said.

"Oh, Mr. O'Rourke," I whispered, "I wish we had our Leghorn cloaks." At which he stopped, and, to my horror, laughed aloud, until the high, empty court seemed filled with the roar of his burly voice.

"Don't, Mr. O'Rourke—pray don't! some one will hear you!" I cried, much distressed.

"Hear me? Lord bless you, they wouldn't give a rotten fig to hear me; but you are worth a whole garden of figs, with the vines to boot! For a mixture of a bare-legged Highlander and a half-feathered priestlet, you are the most prodigious Bird-o'-Paradise I have yet met with, Mr. John McDonell, of Scottos!"

"I am neither a priest nor a peacock yet, Mr. O'Rourke," I said, indignantly, "and I was not thinking of myself at all, but only of what was fitting towards His Majesty."

But he only laughed at me the more. "Your consideration does honour to your heart, but His Majesty has not as yet appointed me his Master of Ceremonies, though I have the Privilege of the Back Stairs. No, no, Giovannini, we'll see no majesties to-day, and the cloak must serve for when you are in better company than that of a poor Irish student, whose only riches is the same loyalty that warrants yourself." And that last touch melted me, and so, hand in hand, we went on together.

Then Mr. O'Rourke explained that the King and the Princes were to attend an audience given by the Pope that afternoon, and we were free to go over the Palace under the guidance of Mr. Sheridan, tutor to the Princes.

We entered the Palace with awe and almost worship, and were made welcome by Mr. Sheridan, who most kindly entreated us to satisfy our curiosity about his Royal Charges, telling us much that seemed almost incredible, for I believe we had an idea that a Prince must have some Divine Right of Learning by which he was excused both table and syllabus. In the Prince's waiting-room we found Mr. Murray, son of Sir David Murray of Broughton, a young man of pleasing address, afterwards so widely known as Mr. Secretary Murray, and then in some position about the Prince. He made much of us, asking us about our people, but had not that knowledge of our families I would have looked for in one in his position. However, we did not attach overmuch to this, as his welcome was hearty, and he lifted us to the height of expectation by saying: "Well, young gentlemen, you fall on a lucky day, for His Royal Highness has not left, and I doubt not will see you"; and, before we could make any reply, he withdrew, leaving us in a state beyond my poor powers to describe.

Before we had recovered, the door opened, and His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, stood before us. He was dressed in full court costume, with all his orders, his handsome face bright with a smile of welcome; and as he came forward and then paused, Mr. O'Rourke gathered his composure first and knelt and kissed his hand.

We were about to follow, but the Prince would have it otherwise, restraining us as he said, laughingly: "No, no; a hand-grasp is ceremony enough between us. In meeting with Highlanders I feel I am among comrades with whom I may stand back-to-back some day, and that, perhaps, not so far distant. But tell me of Clanranald," he said, quickly, to Angus; "his son is a gallant gentleman, I hear, and you, I understand, are his cousin."

Angus gave him such information as he had received of late, whereupon the Prince questioned us on both our families, calling them all properly by name—Scottos, Glengarry, Barisdale, and others—without a single mistake. "Do not be surprised I should know you all," he said, smiling; "His Majesty and I are never tired hearing of the names that are dear to us."

Then he questioned us somewhat—but not too closely—of ourselves, and we were able to answer without confusion, so gracious was his manner and so friendly his dark-brown eyes.

"Do you ever think," he said, changing suddenly, "what it means never to have known your own country? You are happier far than I, for some day you will return home to the land you love, and I, when I put my foot upon it, must do so as a stranger and an outcast, taking my life in my hand."

"Your Royal Highness," I said, "every loyal heart in the Highlands beats for you. and every true arm will draw for you whenever you come!" And the tears stood in my eyes so that I could hardly see him before me.

"God grant it," he answered, fervidly. Then, laying a hand on my shoulder, he said: "And now let me hear the Gaelic. I love the very sound of it!"

My Uncle Scottos' constant toast sprang at once to my lips: "'Soraidh do'n Bhata 'tha âir saille 'y d'on t-soirbheas a tha' scideadh agus do na cridheachan a tha' feitheamh teachd a' Phrionnsa!'"

"What is it?" he asked, eagerly.

"'Good luck to the boat that is at sea and to the breeze that is blowing, and to the hearts that are waiting for the Coming of the Prince!'" I answered, turning it into such English as I might.

"'The Coming of the Prince—the Coming of the Prince,'" he repeated over to himself. But here Mr. Murray ventured to cough, meaningly, and the Prince said, as if in answer, "Yes, yes; I must go," and, with the words that we would meet again, he shook hands with us all and withdrew.

I am an old man now, and have seen every hope of the Cause I once held dearer than life blasted beyond recovery; but no personal knowledge of the pitiable failure, no evil report of the heart-breaking degradation, the selfishness, and self-destruction of all that was noble and kinglike in that beautiful young life—God pity me I should write such words of one so dear!—have availed even to dim the Godlike presence that revealed itself before us so graciously on that November afternoon in the Palace of the Santi Apostoli.

Probably no one to-day can know what such a meeting meant to a lad brought up as I had been. All my life long had I heard stories of devotion for the sake of the exiled family. I knew of no time when life and fortune was not regarded as their rightful due from their adherents. I had been brought up to believe in them and to hope for them until hope had grown into faith and faith into worship.

My heart was full and my head ringing with excitement, so I can recall little or nothing of the remainder of that memorable afternoon save my wonder, when we stepped out into the street again, to find men and women going about their business just as if nothing had happened. It did not seem possible, when my whole life was changed. I was so bewildered I could scarce believe it was the same world again. I could not talk or even listen to Mr. O'Rourke; as for Angus, I paid no heed to his chatter at all, and it was only when we paused in the Piazza di Spagna to bid good-bye to our friend that I found some words to thank him, and promised to see him again on the following Thursday.

Was there ever so long a week? My lessons were poorly committed; not that I was dull, but my head was so full of other thoughts I had no room for anything else, while ever between me and my books there came that glorious figure, brave in silks and velvet, with jewelled sword by its side and flashing orders on its breast, till I could no longer see my task, and in my ears rang that clear, pleasant voice forever calling, calling. Surely, if any one was bewitched in Rome that week, it was Giovannini McDonell, of the Scots College.

My former record alone kept me from losing my holiday, and as soon as I was free I was off to the College of the Propaganda, though Angus was not altogether set on passing another holiday within doors. I was dreaming of another visit, though I hardly dared hope for it; but Mr. O'Rourke put an end to such thoughts by his first words.

"Welcome, my Highland gentlemen! Can you put up with the poor hospitality of this withered sprig of royalty instead of talking real treason face to face with exiled Princes? Were I King George I'd make it a crime to send little Highland bantams to Rome to turn them into rebel game-cocks."

But I saw he was for drawing me on—an exercise at which he was expert, and which gave him great pleasure—and so, refusing to be angered, I answered with much good-nature: "Indeed, Mr. O'Rourke, I believe you to be as great a rebel yourself as any in the Three Kingdoms."

"Why should I not be, boy?" he asked, sternly. "If I and mine had remained at home, no matter what souls God gave us, we would be forced to herd with the swine and die with the foxes. Abroad we can at least wear with some honour the names our fathers bequeathed to us, and when death comes we can die like gentlemen in the faith into which our mothers bore us. But as to your politics," he said, changing to his usual manner, "I would not give a fig for the whole box and dice. I neither whistle for 'Blackbirds' nor run after 'White Horses.' If I had my rights, 'tis an independent kingdom I'd have in my own family. 'Tis Duke or Crown Prince of Brefni I'd be myself, or perhaps a kind of a Pope of my own, and when I'd speak to the likes of you, 'tis weeping so hard for joy you'd be that you'd take the shine out of all my jewels!" And so on, with a brogue as broad as if Tipperary was in the next room, and macaroni and Italian had never replaced the potatoes and the speech he had left behind.

Finding I would take no offence, he was somewhat dashed and gave over his attempt; so we went off for a stroll and were all merry together.

When we parted he told us with much emphasis that Mr. Murray had sent particular word that we would be admitted by the same door on the following Thursday, shewing me the knock and bidding me give the word "Gaeta" to the porter.

It proved a quieter week for me, and Thursday found us in the little lane, whence we made our way into the Palace gardens, as before, where we found Mr. Sheridan awaiting us, who led us to Mr. Murray's chamber. He was wonderfully busy with his writing, but turned from it to entertain us, and shewed us such attention it was no wonder our heads were nearly turned. He questioned us much about our plans, and, when he found I had no leaning towards the Church, made no scruple to belittle the calling of a priest, and seemed much pleased when I told him of my mind to take up arms as my profession.

That same day he made us known to a Lieutenant Butler, a younger man than himself, who was in what was once known as "Burke's Foot," now serving King Carlo Borbone in Naples and styled there the "Regiment Irlandia," after the old brigade in Spain. The very name of my Uncle's old regiment was an intoxication to me, and any man who had to do with it had a claim to my worship; so when Lieutenant Butler very obligingly told me I might wait upon him at his lodging in the via Bocca di Leone, my heart beat with gratitude and delight; and so off we went to wait through another week.

At Lieutenant Butler's another and a greater surprise awaited us, for there we were introduced to Colonel Donald MacDonnell, in command of the Company St. James, of the Regiment Irlandia—a very tall and handsome man, but so swarthy that he looked more like to a Spaniard than an Irishman. But Irishman he was in spite of his foreign looks, for his father, the Lieutenant-General commanding the regiment, was direct in his descent from the Mayo MacDonnells, and as pure a Jacobite as ever drew sword for the Rightful Succession. Here, too, we also met a Mr. O'Reilly, ensign in the same service, whom I looked upon with much envy, as he was not greatly my superior in years.

Colonel MacDonnell at once began to question me touching my Uncle Scottos, and very willingly did I tell the story of his campaigns, especially those of Italy, where, at the defence of Cremona, he was thanked before the regiment and received his first promotion. I told also of Alicaut, in Spain, where he was joined to the dragoons under the Count O'Mahony, and where, battered and starved beyond belief after twenty-seven days' active siege and storming, thirty-six dragoons, with as many French and sixty-eight Neapolitans, surrendered, and marched out with all the honours of war—drums and fifes playing, colours flying, and matches lighted—dragging their four cannon and two mortars after them.

They let me talk on, like the boastful boy I was, until I ended with the attempt of 1715, when my Uncle Scottos left the service until such time came as he might take up the quarrel once more.

"'Tis a good song, well sung," said the Colonel, smiling at my heat; "but how comes it a lad with such a backing behind him is content with a long robe and a book, instead of dancing in blue coat and gaiters to the rat-tat-tat of the drum?"

"Oh, sir, 'tis what I long for more than all else in the world! Let me follow you, and see if I am not a soldier born! I know something of fence now, and as for the rest, I will study at it night and day."

"You would prove an apt pupil, no doubt," said the Colonel; "and what says Angus?"

But to my shame Angus said nothing save "that he would see," and I knew well what that meant—it just meant no, in the most unsatisfactory and weary a manner a man can put it; but he proffered nothing further, and I was withheld by the presence of the company from expressing my thoughts.

But the Colonel only laughed with great good-nature, and said: "Well, well, when you make up your mind, let me know if it is favourable to me. As for you, you young fire-eater," he added, turning to me, "I won't have any runaways about me!" At which I was much abashed, as I could not protest that such a thought was foreign to me, for I was plotting at it even as he spoke. "If you join," he went on, "you must do so in such manner as will not shame your Uncle Scottos. I will see Father Urbani myself and find what he says about you; and if he gives you a good rating, and his permission, then you shall join like a gentleman." So with this I was forced to be content.

"Well, Angus," I began, the moment we were in the street, "a pretty shewing you have made for yourself with your 'we will sees' before gentlemen! I hope you are well satisfied?"

"I'm not exactly put out," says he, very dry.

"Indeed? And you call yourself Clanranald!" I snorted, full of scorn.

"My father always told me I had every right to!" says he, provoking me to the utmost with his pretended quiet. "And what is more, I never yet heard that any of my name must needs take up with the first recruiting-officer he comes across."

"Angus McDonald!" I cried, "if we weren't in the open street I'd thrash you within an inch of your life!"

"Oh no, you wouldn't, nor yet within a mile of it! I'm no more afraid of you than I am of the Irish officers you're so hot after."

Fortunate it was for the good name of the college that we caught sight of the Superior at that moment, for I do not believe human patience could have held out longer than mine had done. Indeed, so much was I exercised that the Superior saw at once something was wrong, and it was with the greatest difficulty we contrived to keep our cause of difference from him.

I was burning for Father Urbani to send for me, but one day after another passed without word, and when next I saw Lieutenant Butler he could give me no hint of when Colonel MacDonnell was likely to speak, for he had already left Rome and his return was uncertain. Had I not been so busy the waiting would have been weary work indeed, but every day I was making new acquaintance—for in a measure I was made free of the Palace, being readily admitted by the little door and made welcome by Mr. Murray, Mr. Sheridan, and other gentlemen. Every day I saw new faces, and soon lost my backwardness, learning to bear myself without blushing or stammering, or any such school-boy tricks. Angus was seldom with me now, and, indeed, I was not sorry, for he seemed to have but small stomach for the business and preferred to stick to his books.

At length, one cold day in winter, as I was hurrying across the Corso, hugging my soprano close about me, on my way to the Santi Apostoli, I caught sight of Colonel MacDonnell and eagerly accosted him.

"Well met, my little church mouse!" he said, passing his arm around my shoulder in such a manner as took the sting out of his jest. "Where are you scurrying to on such a cold day as this?"

"To the Santi Apostoli, sir," I answered.

"To the Church, or the Palace?"

"To the Palace, sir," I said, with some pride.

He stopped short, and putting his two hands on my shoulders, said, very gravely: "I am sorry to hear that, my lad. How did this come about?"

I told him all without hesitation. When I had made an end, he heaved a great sigh and then moved on again. When he spoke it was in a slow, thoughtful manner, as if to himself. "At it already! Well, well, I suppose it could not be helped. But, upon my soul, lad," he said, suddenly, as if waking up, "I would nearly as soon see you a priest as in with these gentry!"

"How so, sir?" I said, in surprise.

"You would not understand," he said, more gently. "When the day comes, out with your sword, if you must, and strike—I would be the last to say you nay—but this chamber-plotting and convert-making, I despise it all! Whom have you met there?"

I told him, and of how kind many of the gentlemen had been to me, in particular Mr. Murray and Mr. Sheridan.

"I know nothing bad of either of them," he said, in a disdainful way. "But you have no call to be in such company at your age. I shall speak to Father Urbani before I leave Rome this time, and, if he permits, you shall have a training that will fit you for something better than any one of this secret-whispering pack will ever come to. I will make a soldier of you, McDonell, which is the best use God ever made of man, and the best use you can make of yourself for your King. But come, I am going to the Palace myself, only you must go through the Piazza and not by any back door, like a lackey or a priest."

So we went on together across the Place and through the main entrance, where the guards saluted the Colonel as we passed hand-in-hand, and I could not but feel I had shared in the honour. I was left in a waiting-room while the Colonel was closeted with the King, and when he joined us again we went through to a large room where quite a company of gentlemen were gathered.

After greeting some of them, and bowing somewhat haughtily to the room at large, the Colonel seated himself at a table, while I remained standing near him looking round the company with some curiosity, for there were many new faces, and the Colonel's words had set me to wondering why he should hold so lightly these men whom I had believed most devoted of all to the King.

I was thus engaged in my survey and speculation, when I caught sight of a face hat struck me like a blow and sent the blood tingling through every vein in my body. There, only separated from me by the width of the room, modishly dressed and smiling, stood Captain Creach conversing with two gentlemen. He saw me at the same moment, but his white face gave no more sign than a face of stone, and he went on with his talk as quietly as if I had been at Aquapendente and he alone in Rome.

I did not hesitate a moment—indeed, hesitation has seldom been one of my faults—but making my way across the room, I stepped close to him and said, in as calm a tone as I could command: "Captain Creach, I am surprised to see you in Rome!"

The three gentlemen all faced me at my speech, and Creach, without a change in his wicked face, said: "Young sir, is your address intended for me?"

"I spoke to you by name, sir," I said, with distinctness.

"Then am I famous, indeed," said he, laughing lightly.

"You may laugh, Captain Creach," said I, and was going on, but he interrupted me, speaking very civilly, but angering me all the more for it:

"I see by your dress you are of the Scots College, young gentleman"—for, as usual, I had on my purple soutane with its crimson sash, and over it my black, sleeveless soprano, with my three-cornered hat under my arm—"but there is one lesson you have not as yet learned, and that is, how to address a gentleman. I am not Captain Creach, as you imagine, but Captain Graeme, late of the Hungarian service, and, to the best of my belief, this is the first time I have ever had the honour of addressing you."

He was so quiet and cool that I was dumfounded; but I knew he was lying, though I had never heard a gentleman lie before.

"Not Captain Creach? Not Captain Creach?" I stammered.

"No, sir, 'Not Captain Creach,'" he repeated, mocking me, whereat some of the gentlemen laughed, but one of them broke in with:

"Damn it! this comes of bringing brats where they have no business. Creach! You little fool! This is no more Creach than you are. This is Captain Graeme, late of the Imperial service. There, beg his pardon now, and don't put your foot in it again, like a wise lad," and his tone was kind, though his words were rough.

"Your pardon, sir," I said, "but this is Captain Creach, of the Regiment Irlandia; I have reason to know him only too well."

"Here, MacDonnell," called out my new acquaintance, "this bantling of yours is doing you no credit; come here and smooth him down."

The Colonel rose, frowning, and came over to where we formed a centre, Creach standing on one foot and tapping the other with his long, fashionable cane.

"What's the matter?" he said, severely.

"Colonel MacDonnell," I cried, "may I say a word to you in private?" and seeing I was in deadly earnest, he took me into an anteroom and bade me speak.

Then I told him the whole story of our adventure at Aquapendente, and that I was as sure this man was Creach as I was I had a soul. "I don't care what he says, sir, that is Captain Creach, of the Regiment Irlandia."

"My dear lad," he said, firmly, "get that notion out of your head at once. We have not, and never had in my day, any Captain Creach, or any man of the name, even in our ranks. There is a Captain Creach in Lord Clare's Regiment, whom I know for a gallant gentleman, but he has not seen Italy for many a long year. Now, wait a moment—will you apologize to this gentleman?"

"No, sir, saving your presence, I will not."

"Very well; that is settled. Will you give me a promise?"

"Yes, sir, I will promise you anything I may with honour."

"That is right. You cannot be too careful of that last," he said, smiling, and then went on gravely: "My boy, I hope some day to have you under my own eye in my own company, and till then I want you to do what is best to bear yourself with credit, Now promise me again you will do as I ask, on your honour."

"I will, sir, on my honour."

"Then you will never come within these doors again unless the King sends for you, and as soon as you go home you will tell Father Urbani where you have been this winter. Do you understand?"

"I do, sir."

"Very well. Now, honour for honour. I will take up your affair with this man Creach, or Graeme, or whatever else he may call himself, and you may rest satisfied that your quarrel will not suffer. And now, God bless you, my lad, and when you are older you will thank me for this day's work. Good-bye!" And he shook my hand warmly, and stood watching me until I passed out into the hall.

I may as well admit here, that at times I am slow at displacing any idea which has once taken root in my mind, and it was not until some years after I conceived the explanation that Creach was never this fellow's name at all, but for some reason best known to himself he had chosen to fare under it when we met with him at Aquapendente, otherwise honourable men would never have answered for him as they did. But this is by the way.

I went forth from the Palace with my head in a whirl; for, though I was satisfied with the part I had played towards Creach, there was my promise to the Colonel, and, despite every effort I might make, my visits did not appear to me so defensible as before. I tried to argue to myself that I had not been forbidden; but, somehow, that did not seem sufficient, and I was the more uncomfortable when I called to mind the Colonel's dislike of the company I had been in the habit of keeping.

However, it must be faced, and so, after the evening meal, I asked to be allowed to see the Rector and was admitted to his room. When I entered he was sitting at his table alone, and somehow, when I saw his kind old face, I knew suddenly why none of my excuses would answer; I had been deceiving this old man who had been like a father to me, who had never treated me save with kindness, and had trusted me without questioning. I was so overcome that I could not speak—overwhelmed with an utter sense of wretchedness—until he stretched out his hand and said, gently, "Come."

"Oh, Father," I cried, "let me leave the College! Let me go away!" too miserable to think of anything else.

"No, no, Giovannini. That would be a coward's way of meeting trouble. Come, tell me what the matter is, and we'll see if there is not some better way out than turning your back on it," and he patted me on the cheek as if I were still a child. Indeed, I felt like one then, and for the matter of that always did when talking with him.

So I blundered out the story of my doings, to all of which he listened in his quiet, gentle way, helping me out when I found it hard to go on, until the whole story was told, whereupon I felt a mighty relief, for the worst was now over and I had quite made up my mind as to what part I would take from now on.

After all, he did not say very much in the way of blame, except that should I ever meet with Colonel MacDonnell again the first duty I had before me was to request his pardon for mixing him up in my affairs, as if the Colonel of a regiment had nothing else to do than look after a school-boy's quarrels. "Among plotters and schemers," he said, with some touch of scorn, "you must meet with strange company, and, if you will take up with such, you may have to welcome 'Captain Creachs' and worse. Now I am not going to talk with you to-night, and I want you to think the matter well over until I have seen Colonel MacDonnell and have determined what is best to be done. I am only sorry, Giovannini, that you have not trusted in your best friend." And with a heavy heart I said good-night, and took my way to my room alone.

In the morning word was brought to me that I was to remain in my room, which I did all the more gladly as it promised well for the gravity of my case, for above all things what I most feared was its being taken as merely a boy's whim. However, I was speedily assured of its importance by the visit of one of our Jesuit fathers, who very soon introduced his mission and began to urge his arguments why I should continue my studies and some day prepare for the priesthood. But this I resented at once, saying, "Sir, I was left here for reflection by the order of the Rector, and I have no wish to be disturbed."

A hint he was wise enough to take; and, grumbling something about "like father, like son," he left me once more alone.

My next interruption was an order to wait on Father Urbani, which I did with great readiness, and to my joy saw that his reflections had not rendered him any less kindly to me or my hopes.

"Well, my dear Giovannini," he said, "so you did not wish to discuss your future with Father Paolo. He tells me that you have caught somewhat of the brusqueness of the camp already." But his smiling reassured me.

"No, Father," I said, "I held, in the absence of my own father, you are the only one to whom I am bound in such matters; but I had no intent to be rude."

So, with this introduction, we began our argument, and to all he said I assented, but assured him I should make but a sorry priest if my heart were always in another calling. "My father promised that neither he nor you would force me to become a priest against my will, and I can never be happy unless I have a right to wear a sword by my side," I ended.

Thereupon, seeing my mind so firmly resolved, he bade me prepare for a visit to the Cardinal Protector, and in all haste I made myself ready. The truth is, now that I saw Father Urbani had yielded, I would have faced His Holiness the Pope with the whole College behind him, without a second thought.

So we took our way in a coach to the Palace, and were ushered into the presence of the Cardinal with the usual ceremonies. He was a thin old man, with a long, dark face and a grumbling voice. We partook of chocolate and sugar biscuits, and made polite conversation until the object of our visit was broached; thereupon, a mighty storm began—that is, a storm from His Eminence, for we stood side by side in the middle of the great room, silent before the torrent of his wrath. After thundering hotly at Father Urbani, as if he, dear man, were to blame, he turned on me.

"What were you ever sent here to the College for? And since when has it been turned from a House of God into a training-school for every worthless cockatrice that would follow the drum? Tell me, sir, what did you come here for?" he stormed.


"Indeed, your Eminence, I cannot tell," I answered, coolly.

"Cannot tell! No, and no one else, I dare say, will answer for it. What in the world do the bishops mean by sending such good-for-naughts here without finding out something about them?"

I was much tempted to say that my family was well known, but Father Urbani's hand was on my arm, and I knew I was to hold my tongue, which I did, although many things were said that, had any other man uttered, I would have held to be insulting.

At length, to our great relief, he made an end, and bidding Father Urbani get rid of me as soon as possible, he dismissed us. We bowed ourselves out, and I was free to enter the service for which I longed.

When we were at home again, Father Urbani said, "My dear Giovannini, now this is ended, I will say no more than I will see myself you are fittingly supplied with clothes and money, and if you desire first to return to Scotland, I will see you are sent thither."

But I told him I would rather join at once, for there was no one to dispute my resolution at home, as my only sister, Margaret, was with Lady Jane Drummond in France, and my father had promised my choice should be free when the time came.

"Well, then," he continued, "I say nothing of the rights of the quarrel the King of Naples has on his hands now, but if you will enter the Queen of Hungary's service, I will see you are strongly recommended to persons of the greatest interest, and a recommendation will mean advancement."

"Oh, Father," I said, "I could not do that! The Regiment Irlandia was my Uncle Scottos' regiment, and I could not join any other."

"You Scots are a famous people for hanging together!" he said, smiling; "and I suppose you wouldn't care if the regiment were fighting for the Grand Turk himself?" and he smiled again.

"No, Father," I said, seeing nothing to laugh at, "it could make no difference to me; I would be only a cadet."

"Well, well," he said, quietly, "such questions are perhaps as well left to older heads. Now to bed, and sleep if you can, for your days will be full until you leave."

True to his word, the Rector sent to me a tailor, by whom I was measured for two full suits of regimentals; a broker, with side-arms and equipment; and, to my great satisfaction, a periwig-maker, who took my size for my first wig, until my hair should grow long enough to be dressed in a queue.

At last all was ready, and I swaggered about in my finery, and bade farewell to my comrades, all of whom greatly envied me—even Angus, though he would not confess to it. However, he had the satisfaction of walking through the streets with me to pay our respects to Mr. O'Rourke, who had just completed his course, and was to take orders immediately.

He at once pretended great astonishment, and begged Angus to introduce him to "the General," and then broke into an old ranting Irish air:

"Wid your gold an' lace
An' your warlike face
    In a terrible fright ye threw me—
Giovanni, me dear,
You looked so queer!
    Oh, Johnny, I hardly knew ye!"

And away he marched up and down the room to his doddering old song, and then drew up before me, making passes as if he were saluting, and bowed almost to his knees, bringing his hands up to his forehead and performed a low salute, which he informed Angus was only given to the Grand Turk on great occasions.

"Well, well," he said, at last, with a great sigh of relief, "my heart is easy now I see they wouldn't trust you with a sword; though I might set you up with the cook's skewer, if they won't do anything better for you!" And here, at last, he succeeded in angering me, for it was a point I was somewhat uncertain about, and only my delicacy had prevented my speaking of it to Father Urbani.

"'Tis lucky for you, Mr. O'Rourke, that I haven't it," I said, "or I would truss you so that the heathen you are going to feed would have nothing more to do than baste you!" For I supposed he would be off as a missionary like most of those from the Propaganda.


"I don't know about the eating, Giovannini, my son, but you are quite right about the heathen, for I am going to follow the Drum like yourself, and if you ever come properly accredited to the Chaplain of the Company of St. James, in the Regiment Irlandia, you may have a surprise."

"Oh, Mr. O'Rourke!" I shouted, embracing him at the same time, "surely this isn't only another bit of your funning."

"Funning? 'Tis genuine brimstone and piety combined, that's what it is, and within a week after I take orders I'll be off. So 'tis only 'good-bye' till 'tis 'good-day' again."

The next morning, when I went to take leave of Father Urbani, I saw before him on the table a silver-mounted sword, at the sight of which my heart gave a great leap, for I could not doubt it was for me. He did not keep me in suspense, but handed it to me at once. "See what you think of that, Giovannini?"

I drew out the beautiful blade, found it balanced to a nicety, and could not forbear making a pass or two, even in his presence, at which he smiled and said, "Carry it bravely, little one, carry it bravely, and sometimes remember the old man who gave it to you will nightly pray that you may be kept in safety in the path of honour. Come, I will see you somewhat on your way," he added, and we passed out into the street together.

Conscious of my brave appearance, I could not help strutting as we passed the fashionables then abroad in the Piazza di Spagna, until I was recalled to a more fitting frame of mind by his gentle voice: "Here I must leave you, mio caro Giovannini. Surely, sometimes, in a quiet hour, you will turn your heart to me, lonely here within these walls, for I love you like a son, Giovannini, my little one. May God and all His saints have you in their holy keeping this day and forever," and he embraced me tenderly.

And so ended my life in the old Scots College in Rome.


Of the soldiering Father O'Rourke and I did in the Regiment Irlandia together; how we fared at the Battle of Velletri, and until the army divided under the walls of Rome, during which time I won more than one promotion.

    "'There's a whirring noise across the night,
            The "Wild-Geese" are a-wing,
        Wide over seas they take their flight,
            Nor will they come with Spring.
        Blow high, blow low, come fair, come foul,
            No danger will they shirk,
Till they doff their grey for the blue and the buff
            Of the Regiment of Burke!

        "'All Spain and France and Italy
            Have echoed to our name!
        The burning suns of Africa
            Have set our arms aflame!
        But to-night we toast the morn that broke
            And wakened us to fame!
        The day we beat the Germans at Cremona!

    "'Would you read our name on Honour's Roll?
            Look not for royal grant;
        It is written in Cassano,
            Alcoy, and Alicant,
        Saragossa, Barcelona—
            Wherever dangers lurk,
You will find in the van the blue and the buff
            Of the Regiment of Burke!

        "'All Spain and France and Italy
            Have echoed to our name!
        The burning suns of Africa
            Have set our arms aflame!
        But to-night we toast the morn that broke
            And wakened us to fame!
        The day we beat the Germans at Cremona!

    "'Here's a health to every gentleman
            Who follows in our train!
        Here's a health to every lass who waits
            Till we return again!
        Here's confusion to the German horde,
            Until their knavish work
Is stopped by the sight of the blue and the buff
            Of the Regiment of Burke!

        "'All Spain and France and Italy
            Have echoed to our name!
        The burning suns of Africa
            Have set our arms aflame!
        But to-night we toast the morn that broke
            And wakened us to fame!
        The day we beat the Germans at Cremona!


In the little inn at Narni, in company with six young gentlemen volunteers who had been enjoying a furlough in Rome, I sate and roared out the chorus as I picked up the words. To me they were glorious, and the air divine. At all events, the song was an improvement on many that went before and followed after.

I was prepared, in a measure, to meet with much looseness among military gentlemen, whose many vicissitudes and harassing calls on their temper and endurance may excuse a heat and vivacity of language that would not be fitting in an ordinary man. Indeed, my Uncle Scottos swore whenever his fancy pleased him. and no one ever thought the worse of him for that. But here were boys, none of them much older than myself, using oaths that fairly made my blood curdle, with all the assurance of a Field-Marshal at the least; and besides this, they did their best to make out they were practised in the blackest vices. Indeed, so ribald did they grow, that I felt it did not become me to sit quiet and listen to such wickedness.

"Gentlemen," I said, "my Uncle Scottos served in this regiment when it was part of the Irish Brigade, led by Colonel Walter Burke himself, and it was then held that no officer under the rank of Lieutenant had the privilege of swearing or using loose language; and I make bold to say it was a wise regulation, and one which I would like to see in force now."

These very fitting observations were greeted with a roar of laughter, at the end of which Mr. Fitzgerald, an ensign, said, with a mighty air of gravity: "Your Reverence is perfectly right; the same rule is still in force, and most strictly observed; but the truth is, that, like his Sacred Majesty, James III., our rightful positions are not fully recognized—de facto, as you Collegioners say, we are only Ensigns and Cadets, but de jure, we are Captains and Lieutenants in all the different degrees—just as Your Reverence is in the company of coarse, common soldiers, instead of hobnobbing with the heads of the Sacred College and other holy men." And his ribaldry was rewarded with a burst of laughter.

"Mr. Fitzgerald," I retorted, "you can spare your gibes on me. I neither understand nor like them. But if any of you think you can better me in a bout at single-stick, I'll shew you I can take a drubbing without grumbling from any of you who can give it me."

But Mr. Fitzgerald excused himself, as he had no skill except with the rapier; however, he was replaced by Mr. O'Reilly, who would have had no mean play had he been schooled by such a tutor as my Uncle Scottos. Then they challenged me to the small sword, thinking it my weak point, but I held my own as easily as at the other; and after this, if any one attempted to draw me on with "Your Reverence," I had only to answer "Single-stick" to turn the conversation. Let a lad but take advantage of his early opportunities, and he need not make a poor shewing in any company.

On our arrival at Faro, I was presented to His Excellency General MacDonnell, in command of the Irish troops in the Neapolitan service, which then consisted of the Regiments Hibernia and Irlandia, the latter including the remnant of "Burkes," in which I was entered as a cadet in the Company of St. James, under Colonel Donald MacDonnell, his brother Ranald being Captain en second.

The first injunction laid on me by the General was to dine every day at his table. This, of itself, was forwarding me at once into public notice, as he was constantly surrounded by Spanish noblemen and officers of note in the army, to whom he always introduced me as a young Scotch Highlander from the College in Rome, strongly recommended, come to acquire some knowledge of military affairs. Here I met his brother, Major-General MacDonnell, who was allowed to be the best foot officer and engineer in Spain, Sir Balthasar Nihel, our General of brigade, and many others.

Colonel MacDonnell most handsomely fulfilled his promise of fitting me for a soldier, for I was allowed to go out on active service whenever a company or battalion was given its orders, my duty being to report faithfully to the General every transaction that happened to the command I was in.

I made many and pleasant acquaintances, not only in our own troops, but also among the Neapolitans and Spaniards, who formed the bulk of our army, and was rapidly getting on with my education, a much easier task than any put to me at College.

Mr. O'Rourke, now Father O'Rourke, probably through the high favor he held in the Santi Apostoli, had joined us as Chaplain—although, I believe, such a course was unusual from the Propaganda—and was soon friends with every one from the General downwards. Though he had lost nothing of his old lively disposition, he was a different man from what I had ever seen him when he stood up in his robes before us at the Holy Office of the Mass.

No one who has not seen it performed in the open field, for men who, by their very calling, should have a more lively sense of the uncertainties of this life, can have any idea how grand it is in its simple surroundings. The altar is raised beneath an awning, and the service goes on before the kneeling men, without any of those distractions which meet one in a church; the Host is elevated to the roll of drums, the celebrant is half a soldier, and his acolytes cadets. Surely no more grateful service is ever offered to the God of Battles.

I shall not attempt to go into the detail of my experience in the army; it was that of a lad well introduced and handsomely befriended, and hundreds have gone through as much, and more too; but perhaps it would be hardly honest to pass over my first trial under fire.

In the Spring of '44 our army marched along the Adriatic, by way of Ancona and Loretto, to cover the Kingdom of Naples on that side. The Austrian vanguard came to an action with our rear before we reached Loretto, and pressed them hard. Father O'Rourke and I were marching side by side with O'Reilly, Fitzgerald, and some other young gentlemen near the Colonel.

"This strikes me much like a good imitation of running away, General McDonell of Scottos," said he, at which we only groaned, for the day was hot and we could not understand why the enemy should be allowed to annoy us in this fashion; indeed, we were too strongly impressed by the same thought to answer his challenge as it deserved.

But the answer soon came in an order for a reinforcement, and we all besieged the Colonel—who was good-nature itself and treated us like his own children—for permission to join. "Run off, then, the lot of you, and let the Germans see what your faces look like," he cried, laughing; and off we went, overjoyed at our good-fortune.

The required troops were halted and formed, and at once marched to the rear; the moment we saw the confusion and terror there and heard the groans of the wounded as they were roughly borne on with the hurrying mass, things took on a different look. What added to it was that, for some time, we had to stop and allow our people passage in a narrow way, and, by the balls that went whistling over our heads and the cheering of the enemy, we knew they were coming on with a rush.

Suddenly a man near me gave a sickening kind of grunt and tumbled down in a heap, like a pile of empty clothes. My heart thumped as if it would burst through my ribs and my head swam so I could hardly see. O'Reilly, who was beside me, and, I suppose, moved by the same feeling as myself, put out his hand, which I grasped tightly, and there we stood with our pale faces, when, to our great relief, some old hand just behind us began to sing in a low voice, "The Day we Beat the Germans at Cremona"; then, at the same critical moment, came the sharp command, "Advance, quick!" and we were saved from a disgrace that would have been worse than death.


Out we rushed in some kind of order, I suppose, but I do not remember anything but the great blue back of the grenadier in front of me, and how he worked his shoulders as he ran. Then came the word "Halt!" and almost as quickly "Fire!" My piece went off with the others, and when the smoke cleared I had my senses again about me and could see the enemy about one hundred paces ahead of us checked by our fire. We kept at it until dark came on and the enemy retired, whereon we rejoined our own army and encamped for the night.

That night in the General's tent after dinner he called me to him and asked, "Well, my lad, have you smelt powder to-day?"

"Yes, sir," I said, "and plentifully."

"What, sir," said he, "are you wounded?"

"No, please your Excellency," I answered, feeling somewhat ashamed I had not attained his full approbation in bringing back a whole skin.

"Sir," he said, sternly, "you will never smell powder until you are wounded. But in order to give you a better chance, and as a reward for not running away, you will be rated as Ensign to-morrow in the place of poor Jamieson, killed this afternoon."

So I won my first promotion for not being brave enough to take to my heels, where my heart was during the first part of the engagement at least; I never had the courage either to ask O'Reilly what his feelings had been when he held out his hand to me.

"Well, well," said Father O'Rourke, when I told him of my good-fortune, "Jeremiah was far-sighted when he prophesied 'the wild asses shall stand in the high places' (et onagri steterunt in rupibus). 'Tis Drum-Major they'll be making you next, and never a step for me, though I've the hardest and most dangerous work in the world trying to keep your heathen souls out of the clutch of a bigger enemy than Prince Lobkowitz himself. But 'tis a family party you are, anyway—here's a Major-General MacDonnell, and a Lieutenant-General MacDonnell, and a Colonel, and a Captain and a Lieutenant, and that poor little orphan, Angus, you left behind in Rome, and now they must needs make an Ensign of you. Faith, you're so plentiful hereabouts, I begin to believe the story that you had a boat of your own in the time of Noah."

"Indeed we had not, Father O'Rourke," I returned, indignantly, "that was the McLeans."

"Oh, well, McLeans or McDonells, 'tis all one. And Noah shewed his wisdom there, too, for had he let any more Highlanders into the Ark, they'd have been sailing it themselves inside of a month, for they've a rare scent for all the high places," he went on, with a roar of his Irish laughing. And I went off angry, but thinking how strange it was that so sensible a man in many things should find a pleasure in this childish way of jesting on any subject, and should so often choose me for his funning, who didn't relish it at all.

Colonel MacDonnell confirmed my rank as Ensign on the morrow, and for days we were hard at it marching across Italy to cover the northern frontier of Naples, next the Ecclesiastical States on the Mediterranean, where we got news that the Austrians were advancing in force under Prince Lobkowitz and the famous General Browne. They had an army of forty-five thousand men, Austrians, Hungarians, and Croats, while we were joined by thirty thousand Neapolitan troops, under King Carlo, so our forces were fairly equal. We took possession of the town of Velletri, within the Pope's dominions, the King making his headquarters in the Casa Ginetti, a handsome modern palace fronting on the principal square, while our army occupied the level country and the heights above. The Count di Gages was at the head of the Spanish, and the Duke of Castropignano of the Neapolitan troops, each taking command day about.

By some oversight the enemy were allowed to gain possession of the heights Monte Artemisio and Monte Spina, which occasioned great inconvenience to us, as by this means they commanded the high-road to Rome, and cut off our supply of water by the conduit which fed the great fountain in the principal square, so that we were obliged to search for water every evening at the cisterns and fountains about the country, or at the river, which ran in the great ravine between the two main armies, which lay about four miles asunder. To add to this, there was constant and severe enough fighting almost daily, but without any result proportionate.

About an hour before daybreak one morning, being on sentry, I was alarmed by the tramping of horses and the stir of men advancing towards my post. I challenged, and was answered by Lieutenant-General MacDonnell, whose voice I knew, and he knowing mine, called out:

"Is that you, McDonell?"

"Yes, your Excellency," I answered.

"Get yourself relieved then, and come with me."

While the relief was coming, I asked, "Where is your Excellency going?"

"To beat these rascals from their post," and nothing more was said until I got relieved and joined.

Off we went in the darkness, the General bidding me lay hold of his stirrup-leather; and as we went, he explained our object was to carry a battery of four eighteen-pounders nearest our camp. This we did with a rush, receiving only one discharge, and capturing near three hundred men, who had hardly time to strike a blow. Then, seeing that the battery could not be maintained for a moment, being completely exposed to the heights, he acted without waiting for orders, formed his force into three columns, and instantly led them against Monte Artemisio. Hot work we had of it for two hours, but at it we kept until we had cleared the heights of the enemy, whose force on Monte Spina, seeing our success, retreated to their camp, of which we had a full view, and which seemed to be in great confusion.

The General formed us up without hesitation. "Your work is only half done, my lads! Here's for another touch of Cremona!" and down the hill we swept on the enemy, shouting the song of the old regiment; but they never waited for us, deserting their camp and taking post in a wood hard by. It was a disappointment, but another was quick on its heels, for now who should ride up but an aide-de-camp with the most positive orders from the General-in-command to retreat. Then I heard a general officer swear for the first time!

However, there was nothing to be done; the camp was fired in as many places as possible, and we reclimbed Monte Artemisio and held it until relieved by the engineers under Major-General MacDonnell, who at once set about fortifying it with strong batteries, whereon we returned to camp, and the General to headquarters.

There was some talk, we afterwards heard, of his exceeding orders, which were to take the first battery only, and in a mixed army like ours it will be readily understood there was always a certain jealousy of any personal success; one would have thought it was an error to have beaten the enemy.

"How far would you have gone, General, had you not been recalled?" asked the young Duke of Alba, anxious to settle the matter.

"To the Devil, your Highness, if necessary:" the old soldier answered.

Thereat the King laughed heartily and said he believed him capable of it, and put an end to all further discussion by saying the General had acted under his orders, which was a very handsome way out of the difficulty, and highly approved of by our force when spread about.

We now settled down to continual skirmishing and manoeuvring and constant harassing of each other, with daily loss and daily distress on each side.

It was like living in a great city in this camp nearly four miles in length, resting its left on the town and its right on Monte Artemisio. Across on the other side of the valley lay our enemy, and if we suffered somewhat for lack of water, we knew they suffered still more from scarcity of provisions, as most of the prisoners we took were always eager for a meal; but our greatest suffering was from the incessant heat, for there we lay all the Summer months amid the dirt and other discomforts of a great crowd cut off from all water save for the most absolute needs. The peasants gave us of their stores readily enough, not because of their loyalty, but that any resistance to our foraging parties would have been useless, and have served only to aggravate their distress; so there was little opposition beyond outcries and black looks. The part of the peasant is a poor one in the time of war; but, after all, there must always be some to feed the soldiers, and if there were no peasants, doubtless we would have lived on some one else. I never would have fallen into this train of thought had it not been for Father O'Rourke, who gave himself much concern for them and their affairs, and went so far as to preach one Sunday that all men are equal in the sight of God, a holding I have never been able to make head or tail of, as it is clear against the common sense of any man who goes through the world with his eyes open.

In the beginning of August it was evident some great move was on foot by the enemy; there was constant marching and counter-marching, and we learnt from our spies that the sick, of whom there were many, had been moved to a great distance from the camp.

Our brigade in its encampment lay a little in rear of our left wing and faced the town. It was then the 10th of August, and I was to go on guard before daybreak on the outposts. The night was a sweltering one, rendering sleep wellnigh impossible; so, in company with a young fellow, come piping hot from Ireland to enter himself as a cadet in our regiment, I threw myself down fully dressed under an awning prepared for Divine Service on the morrow. For some cause unknown to me I was not called for guard at the proper time, but was awakened before daybreak by a couple of shots; then came half a dozen, next a couple of volleys, when, on starting up, I told my guest we certainly were attacked.

"Whatever shall I do?" he exclaimed; "I have no arms!"

"Never mind, fall into the ranks; if you are killed at the first discharge, you won't need any; if not, you will find as many as you want."

"But I have not yet been reviewed," he objected.

"No, and ten chances to one you never will be," I called back, as I rushed to order the générale sounded, which was soon repeated by all the drums in the army.

And then began such a confusion as I hope never to see again. Our men and officers turned out as they were, trying to slip into their clothes and find their arms. It was impossible to make out anything clearly, but we did our utmost to carry out the orders we heard screamed in the darkness.

From the sounds which came to us, it was evident the enemy were attempting to force our front, and so cut through our line. We had not half formed before we were nearly crushed by the rush of riderless horses of the two dragoon regiments in our rear, many of which broke away before the men could saddle them; and these were immediately followed by a regiment of Petits Walloons and a great body of cowardly Neapolitans who gave way before the enemy. In spite of it all we formed again, wheeled about, and faced the enemy, to find our army was cut in two, our left was on an impassable ravine, and General Browne with his successful troops in our front. There was nothing to do but retire towards the town, which we did, leaving a number of our officers and men on the field.

For my own share I was one of the last to give way, but when I turned my back I imagined the enemy all fired at me alone, and ran with all my might, feeling as though a weight were tied to each of my legs, till I out-distanced every one, when on looking back I saw the whole coming up. I halted, and every one as he came up did the same, and we soon formed a regular line. We were now joined by our senior officers, who restored order and resolved us to revenge our dead comrades and fight to the last. Our situation we found to be as bad as before. We wheeled to the right and endeavored to enter the town by the nearest gate, in order to defend ourselves by the help of an old Roman wall which surrounded the town; but the guard at the gate and those on the wall fired at us, mistaking us for the enemy in the uncertain light, and just then a column of Browne's men coming up gave us another fire.

To extricate ourselves from this very critical situation, we made another wheel to the left to recover our former ground, which with great loss we accomplished, only to find ourselves in a worse chance than before, for now a body of the enemy was between us and the ravine, by which means we were attacked on both flanks and in front.

The slaughter was terrible, and, being reduced to extremity, we offered to capitulate on honourable terms; at this there was a lull in the action and time to look about. We were so encumbered by our dead and wounded that a regular formation was almost impossible, but this we set about righting with all possible haste. Our Colonel sat straight and erect in the midst of us, in earnest talk with the French Major-General, who was in command. Lieutenant Butler was near me, and O'Reilly I saw attending to the removal of some of the wounded. The men, half-dressed, and many of them covered with blood, were resting as if the affair were entirely over, and already were talking and joking with each other in their usual way as if our lives did not hang on the answer to our terms. At length word was brought that our offer was refused, and we must surrender at discretion. Our chiefs whispered a moment, then Colonel MacDonnell rose to his full height in his stirrups and called in a voice deep with feeling, "Officers and gentlemen of the Company of St. James! They refuse us the only terms which honourable men can accept without disgrace. Officers, Gentlemen, All! I call on you to fight while a charge of powder and ball is left to living or to dead!" And the cheer we gave him carried our answer back to our ungenerous foe.

There was no shirking, as every man stepped firmly to his place; but matters grew worse from the beginning. Our French General was shot down, then Colonel MacDonnell, crying, "I'll open a way for you, my lads! Come on!" spurred his horse straight at the enemy, only to go down torn with bullets, while on every side our officers and men were falling fast.

So far I had not a scratch, but now a ball went through my thigh which prevented my standing. I crossed my firelock under my leg and shook it to see if the bone were whole, which, finding to be the case, I raised myself on one knee and continued firing. I received another shot, which threw me down, but I still made an attempt to support my surviving comrades until a third wound quite disabled me. Loss of blood, and no way to stop it, soon reduced my strength. I, however, gripped my sword, ready to run through the first who should insult me.

All our ammunition now being spent, and not a single cartridge to be found even among the dead, quarter was called by the few who remained alive. Many of the wounded were knocked on the head, and I did not escape; for, observing one approaching, I made ready to run him through, but seeing that five more were close to him, I dropped my sword, only to be saluted with "Hundsfott!" and a rattle of blows on my head, whereupon I fainted.

On coming to myself, I found I was lying with my clothes stripped off, weltering in my blood, twisting and turning with pain in the dust under a blistering sun, and no one alive near me to speak to.

The first who came up to me was a Croat, who, spying my gold-laced hat near by, clapped it on his head, and then had the impudence to ask me how I liked it. Not pleased with my answer, which was short, he turned me over on my face and, cutting off my queue with his sabre, marched away, saying he would remember me by it.

Shortly after this I was visited by another with cocked pistol in hand, who demanded my purse in very bad Italian.

"Where do you think I have hidden it?" I asked, angrily, for I hadn't on me what would have covered a sixpence. "If you can find it about me you can take it."

"Is that an answer for me, you ——," and here he called me a name, bad enough for a living man, but to the last degree insulting to one in my condition, and with this he pointed his pistol straight between my eyes.

I thought no one near, but the word "Quarter" was scarce spoken by me when I saw his pistol arm seized by a genteel young man, dressed only in his waistcoat, who cried, "You rascal, let the man die as he pleases; you see he has enough. Go and kill some one able to resist," and the fellow made off.

"Pray sir," said I to the young man, "what do you intend to make of this town if you take it!"

"Keep it if we can; if not, burn it."

"Then, sir, if you will have me borne to your camp, and my wounds dressed, I will reward you with fifty crowns."

Off he went, and in a few minutes came back with four stout German soldiers, to whom he said something in their language. They seized me by the arms and legs, but no sooner had they raised me from the ground than I fainted with the pain, and on recovering I found myself where I formerly was. The young man was still near, who told me shortly that I could not be removed.

"But, sir," said I, "if you set the town on fire I shall infallibly be burned here," for in our struggle we had been driven back on the walls.

"If I am alive," he returned, "I will prevent that; but I must attend to my duty, as the firing in the streets continues very hot," and with that he left me, and I saw no more of him.

I now observed a regiment of horse drawn up about half a gun-shot from where I lay. They faced the town, and if they advanced a few paces more I was afraid they would crush me under foot. But they faced to the rear, retired a little, and then faced the town again. This manoeuvring surprised me; I listened attentively and heard the cannon and platoons approach, and, raising my head on my hand, looked towards the gate nearest me, which was quite full of our men running out trailing their arms, to form a line between me and the horse; they were followed by another sortie of our people, who formed yet another line, but in this case between me and the town wall.

I looked upon myself then as certain of death, but used every precaution in my power to preserve what little life was left to me as long as possible. I seized two of my dead comrades, for they were thick around me, and with great difficulty dragged myself between them, so as to have some shelter from straggling balls.

I did not remain long in this danger, however, as the enemy, at the second fire from our people, left their ground and galloped out of sight.

I now began to suffer the torments of thirst in addition to my other pains, and called to every one who passed near me for a drink; but from the heat of the day, and the length of the action, their canteens and calabashes were all empty. At last I saw a grenadier of the Swiss guards, whose uniform was very much like ours, with a large calabash, and asked him if he had anything in it. "Yes, brother," he said, mistaking me, I suppose, for a Swiss.

I took a hearty draught of excellent wine and offered it back to him.

"No, no, brother," he said, "I am unhurt and you cannot help yourself," and thereupon he left me.

I was greatly refreshed, and on looking about me saw poor Lieutenant Butler, whom I had not before observed, lying near me on all fours. He was sadly wounded, and begged me in the name of God to let him have a drink. I drew myself a little nearer him, for he could not move, and handed him the calabash. He seized it eagerly and would have certainly finished it, had not I, observing from the horrid nature of his wound it was only a question of minutes till the end, pulled it from him, saying, "It is easy to see, my poor fellow, that your bread is baked. I cannot let you waste this when I may perish for the want of it." It is not that war makes men unfeeling, as many have urged, but in it they attain a judgment in the value of life not so readily acquired elsewhere.

It was now getting towards evening, and I must have fainted or slept somewhat, for the next I remember was feeling what I took to be rain falling, and, on opening my eyes, there was the big face of Father O'Rourke over me. He was crying like a child, and the first words I made out were: "Oh, Giovannini, darling! My poor boy! You're not dead—you're not dead, after all!"

"Who's beaten, Father?" I asked, as soon as I could speak.

"Faith, we're all beaten! First we were smashed into tatters, the King all but taken, and would have been had it not been for Sir Balthasar Nihel. We were beaten at every point of the compass, only we didn't know it! But now we've the town again, and sent General Browne off with a flea in his ear, and all the Croats and Hungarians, Pandours and Talpathians, hot foot after him. But oh, the poor souls that have gone to glory this night! Faith, promotion will be the order of the day now." And all this and much more he gave out, half crying, half laughing.

And there the good man sate, talking his nonsense to keep me up, holding me in his arms covered with his cassock, which he had stripped off when first he found me, in no little danger from the rascally camp-followers and the miserable peasants, who were prowling about ready to put a knife into any one who offered the least resistance. Indeed, the peasants killed, resistance or not; for each soldier dead, no matter what side, they looked on as one enemy the less.


I was too weak to think of such things, but he told me afterwards his heart gave a Te Deum of rejoicing when he saw Lieutenant Miles MacDonnell, of the Regiment Hibernia, looking over the bodies for any chance of saving friends. He at once hailed him, and I was soon, lying on the leaf of a door on my way to the hospital.

Some idea may be gathered of the importance of this engagement when I say that there were near two hundred officers alone in the hospital, which was one of the largest convents in the town. As Father O'Rourke foretold, promotion was rapid and easy, and Captain Ranald MacDonnell was named as Colonel, commanding the regiment in the place of his brother, killed, as already related. He went through the hospital twice a day and never failed to visit me, inquiring particularly of my condition by order of his father, the General, and also brought me news of my own promotion as Lieutenant, with many kindly wishes for my speedy recovery—and I know no more grateful cataplasm for a mending wound than promotion.

It was wonderful how we all improved in spite of the heat, our crowded condition, and the scanty fare. My greatest suffering was from dreaming; for weeks I could not get the awful experiences of that day out of my poor head, and no sooner was I asleep than I was at some part of it again, only to be awakened with a scream and a start which often opened my wounds afresh and left me almost fainting with pain. My experience was only that of others, many of whom afterwards said they too dreaded the coming of sleep, which only increased their torments.

Many a story we had of the day, and gradually we gathered something like a fair idea of the whole. General Novati had carried out his attack on the town successfully, but had been prevented from seizing the person of the King through the obstinate defence of the Irish troops; indeed, we came in for no small share of compliments. Even General Browne, who cut our own detachment to pieces, said he was sorry for our loss, though he admired our gallant behaviour. This was the word brought by Mr. O'Reilly, who saved his life by a stratagem; for being down like the rest of us in our last stand, and fearing lest he should be trampled under foot by a squadron of horse just preparing to charge, he called out to the Germans, "Would you leave the Duke of Alba to perish?" and so was picked up and carried out of danger. When brought before General Browne and his staff, he confessed he was only Mr. O'Reilly, a Lieutenant in the Irish Brigade, and had borrowed the Duke's name when he thought it would do him most good. He was abandoned by the enemy in their retreat and carried in, and afterwards made his apologies to His Highness for the liberty he had taken, who graciously assured him he was glad it served so good an end.

The day had ended by a loss to the enemy of near three thousand men, and General Novati a prisoner, besides many other officers of high rank; our own loss was near as heavy, but, then, we were victorious, and the enemy foiled in every point he attempted.

Father O'Rourke was untiring in his care of us all. Indeed, for weeks he hardly seemed to have any rest, but whether he was up all night with some poor fellow whose time was short, or comforting another in pain, or letter-writing, or listening to complaints, he had always the same lively humour that brought many a laugh from the long rows of beds within hearing.

In about six weeks I was on crutches, but sadly incommoded by want of clothes, for I had not even a shirt I could call my own. "Faith, don't be so mighty put out on account of a few rags and tatters," was Father O'Rourke's comfort; "'tis a blessed state of innocence I found you in! Not even Adam in the Garden of Eden could have had less on him, or been less put out by it. You may thank Providence you are here in this blessed sunshine, instead of skiting about barelegged in your native land, where I'm told on good authority the men wear petticoats even in winter." But I was superior to his gibes a day or so later, for the General, hearing of my straits, most obligingly sent me a suit of clothes and half a dozen of shirts. And to add to his many kindnesses, in a letter he wrote to King James giving an account of the late battle, he mentioned my condition to His Majesty, setting forth my services in terms of such commendation that the King was pleased to order a pretty good sum of money for my immediate occasions.

Weary as I was of the hospital, I dreaded leaving it, as ordinary courtesy, let alone my heavy obligations, necessitated an immediate visit to the General, which I much dreaded, as I had not seen him since the day before the battle, when his son rode at our head, as gallant an officer as there was in the service. But when I stood before that fine old soldier there was only welcome in his look, and he said, jocosely:

"Are you still alive?"

"I hope your Excellency has sent no one to kill me," I answered, falling in with his humour.

"No, by gad! I thought you had enough. But I know what has brought you here to-day; you have come for a good meal after being starved in the hospital. But be careful, I have seen many who have been carried off by overeating in like case."

Dinner was served, and I sate down nearly opposite the General, who eyed me anxiously from time to time; at last he got up, took my knife and fork from me, and, ordering away what was before me, said, "You young devil, you'll kill yourself!" and his roughness meant more to me than soft words from any other man.

From this out I recovered rapidly, and soon was myself again and back in my Company with full rank as Lieutenant. There was no fighting now of any importance, and we wondered what the next move would be. But our spies and the deserters brought us in no news of value, and on the last day of September we lay down while our out-posts watched those of the enemy, their fires burning as usual across the valley; but in the morning we thought it strange we heard no drums and saw no movement, and then it dawned upon us that their whole army had withdrawn during the night, and now were in full retreat by way of Rome.

All the available force started in pursuit, with the hope of bringing them to an action at Torre Metia, about half-way between Albano and Rome, but they outmarched us. Both armies had engaged with His Holiness not to enter Rome, so the enemy passed under its walls, where, our advanced guard coming up with their rear, there was warm skirmishing until they crossed the Tiber at the Ponte Mole and encamped on the far side until the next morning, when they continued their retreat. Our army now divided, one division going forward under the Count di Gages to harass the enemy, while the remainder followed King Carlo back to Naples.


How we met old friends and an older enemy in Rome with whom I was forced to subscribe to a Truce, having passed my word to the Duke of York; how it came that I resigned from the Company of St. James.

Through General MacDonnell's kindness I was allowed to spend a few days in Rome as being on his staff, and at my first freedom took my way to the street of the Quattro Fontane and my old College.

What a welcome I received! Good Father Urbani held me in his arms as if I bad been his own son, and would not hear of my sleeping outside the College, although 'twas a downright breach of their rules; and the old porter, of whom I once stood in such awe, waited up for me, no matter what the hour for returning might be, and nodded and winked knowingly, as if he too had once been young. Not that I would insinuate there was anything of levity in my conduct, for I have always had a too just regard for my position as a gentleman and an officer to indulge in anything unbecoming, more especially where I was so carefully observed.

Angus I found the same as ever, quiet and contented with his lot, as seemed most of the others, though I could see my appearance caused something of a ruffle among them. I seemed to have grown so many years older, and was surprised to find how small and almost mean many of the old surroundings looked; even the Fathers did not appear as formidable as before. All, that is, save dear old Father Urbani, of whom I never stood in awe, and who had only grown older and more frail; to him I told all that was in my heart, not even hiding my first fright from him, which I would not have then confessed to any other living man.

On the second day of our stay, the General and I took our way by the Corso and through to the Piazza Santi Apostoli to pay our respects to His Majesty King James. As we ascended the staircase I thought of the two poor awe-struck collegioners who in soutane and soprano had climbed the same stairs two years before, and the amazement that had filled their hearts when they saw and talked with Royalty for the first time. Now I was a man, though but sixteen, for I had carried a sword honourably in company with some of the bravest men in Italy, and had been personally presented to King Carlo as worthy of his gracious notice.

The General was in full dress, with his Spanish and Neapolitan orders, and I wore the full uniform of a Lieutenant of our brigade, which was genteel enough even for a presentation.

In the anteroom the General was welcomed on all hands, and I met many I knew, including Mr. Secretary Murray, Mr. Sheridan, and the Abbé Ramsay, and was much made of, though without flattery, save by those at whose hands I could fittingly receive it. What was my disgust, though, to see the white face of Creach again in the crowd; he, however, did not come near me, and, out of consideration for the General, I refrained from speaking of him, as it might lead to mention of my former meeting when with his son, the Colonel. I may say here that I never knew the result of the meeting between Creach and the Colonel, as the latter never saw fit to refer to it and I could not well question him.

The sight of the man was so distasteful that it fairly took away all the pleasure of my presentation, and even the gracious presence and words of His Majesty, and of the Duke of York, who accompanied him, did not altogether dissipate my uneasiness. In words as fitting as I could choose, I thanked His Majesty for his generous and unexpected succour, whereupon a smile passed over his grave, dark face, and he said, "But hold! are you not my little Highlander of the Santi Apostoli?"

"I am, please your Majesty," I answered, reddening at my childish adventure.

Then the King smiled again, and, much to my discomfiture, told the story which all seemed to find mighty amusing, save myself, who could see nothing therein but a very natural and exact distinction. In telling a story, however, a king has this advantage over others, in that all must laugh whether they find it to their liking or not.

I had hoped we would have seen the Prince of Wales as well, for in my heart he was the member of the Royal Family I most longed to see again, but we were informed he was engaged in a tour of Northern Italy.

When the King and the Duke withdrew, they signified to General MacDonnell that he was to follow, and when we bowed them out, and the doors closed upon them, conversation at once became general.

I withdrew to a window, for I was in no frame of mind for talk, when, to my astonishment, I saw Creach advance towards me, holding out his hand with an assured air. I drew myself up at once and looked him over slowly, seeing everything but the outstretched hand.

"This is a place for friendship and not for boyish quarrels, Mr. McDonell," he began. "I wish to congratulate you on your promotion.

"No place, Mr. Creach, can be for friendship between us, and as for congratulations, they are not only out of place but insulting from you," I said, quietly, and in a low voice, so no one might overhear.

"In the first place, my name is not Creach," he said, trying hard to keep his temper, "and in the second, you may find it not only foolish but even dangerous to try any of your airs with me. Remember, you can't always have a man at your back to fight your battles for you."


"You clay-faced hound!" I said, "don't dare to take the name of the dead into your mouth, or I will strike you where you stand. What your object is in thus seeking me I do not know nor care, but as sure as the sun is above if you dare speak to me again I will forget the roof we stand under and treat you like the dog you are."

His face turned greyer than ever, and he stood hesitating a moment, but presently bowed ceremoniously, and moved off before my anger got the better of me.

I stood staring out of the window trying to recover myself, when who should come up but Father O'Rourke. "Well, well, my little Highlander, who has been ruffling your feathers?" said he.

"Look there! Father O'Rourke," I said, paying no attention to his nonsense; "do you see that man?"

"I'm not hard of hearing yet, my son, thank God! and you needn't make a sign-post of yourself. Do you mean the claret-coloured coat and the bag-wig?"

"Yes," I said, more quietly. "That is Creach!"

"The devil it is!" he said, and then he became confused, and glanced at me to see if I had observed his slip; but I have always held that an honest statement of opinion may excuse the expression. He was silent for a moment, looking hard at the man, and then went on in his old lively manner. "Well, Giovannini, we are not responsible for the company; they cannot be all lieutenants and priests. Let us wander about and get a mouthful of air." So, taking my arm, he led me off, nor would he speak on the subject until we were alone on the terrace. There he changed his tone, and said, shortly:

"Are you sure of the man?"

"As sure as if I had seen his ears."

"Faith! they were big enough to swear by," and to my impatience he began to laugh at the thought. "Do you remember how they stuck out? The handles of a jug would be flat beside them," and he laughed again. "Now I suppose you promptly insulted him?"

"Indeed I did not. I only told him he was a dog, and if he spoke to me again I would not answer for myself."

"Humph! I have frequently noticed a Highlander's conception of an insult is materially altered by the fact whether it proceeds from himself or from another; but I don't suppose you ever got as far in metaphysics as this. Now comes the question, what you intend to do? Remember the gentleman seems fairly well established here. Will you fight with him?"

"Fight with him? A thief? Indeed I will not! I will simply keep my word."

"You're a rare hand at that, and I'm not saying 'tis a bad habit. But here comes the General. To-morrow I'll be at the College about eleven," and so we parted.

The General was in great spirits. "Hark you, McDonell, something touching 'the North' is on foot. I'll not say more now, and this is in strict confidence, but you'll know what it means some day when I signify to you that you may apply for leave of absence. To-morrow, at four, you will attend again at the Palace; the Duke desires to see you. You will enter by the door you know of, and the word is 'Velletri'—but you know nothing," he added, with emphasis.

The next morning Father O'Rourke came as promised, and was introduced by me to the Rector with some little pride. Indeed, he was no mean figure of a man, this Chaplain of ours, with his broad shoulders and great head, that looked fitter for a soldier's tricorne than a priest's calotte.

After the usual compliments we fell to talking, Father O'Rourke as much at home as if he had known the Rector all his life, and it was easy to see the old man warmed to him as he told him of his work as chaplain in a marching regiment, though making light of it, as was his manner.

"Ah, Father," said the Rector, smiling, "I am afraid it is somewhat to you that the College owes the loss of this scholar; he would have been a credit to the schools some day."

"I doubt it, Most Reverend," answered Father O'Rourke, dryly, "as he is lacking in one of the senses."

"In what, pray?" asked the Rector, a little stirred. "I have never observed any lack; Sight, Sound, Taste, Touch, and Speech, he has them all."

"Your pardon, you have omitted Humour," returned Father O'Rourke, quietly; "and he has no more of that than a crocodile has of mathematics. A deplorable lack in a scholar, and useful any where—though for the banging of guns and the cracking of skulls there's less required than in almost any other profession"; and at this he burst into one of his foolish roars of laughter, much to my dislike, for I wished him to make a good figure before my protector. But, to my surprise, the Rector did not seem half as much put out as myself, and said, smiling:

"Well, well; this killing is a serious business in any case."

"But not so serious it could not be tempered by a little cheerfulness. 'Suaviter in modo' goes a long way towards making your enemy's end comfortable," ranted on Father O'Rourke, with much more that I have not the patience to put down. Indeed, I hold him wrong throughout, as I have quite as keen a sense of humour as is fitting for any gentleman in my position.

But to go on. When we were alone he listened quietly enough to my remonstrances to his late conduct, merely saying he understood that the Rector had not been born north of the Tweed, which was no answer whatever.

He then recurred to our matter of the day before, saying:

"I have been making some inquiries about this man Creach."

"Yes, and what do you find?"

"I find, Mr. McDonell, that if you are going to have the run of the Santi Apostoli you must number him amongst the Elect, for His Saintship is in high favour. He not only is there day in day out, but is a bosom friend of the Prince of Wales to boot."

"That I cannot credit," I returned. "His Highness could not be so mistaken."

"Faith, I'm not so sure of that," he returned, bitterly; "he has some sorry cattle about him, and, to say the least, he is easily pleased in the way of company."

"Father O'Rourke, it is not for the likes of you or me to discuss the doings of princes, and I'll thank you to say no more on the subject."

"Very well, Your Highness. I merely thought a word in season might save you from a like error, and that, coming from a descendant of kings, like myself, it would not give offence. But to leave that aside, you'll have to humble your stomach and swallow this Captain, claret-coat, chalk face, big ears, and all, or I will prophesy that you'll cut but a small figure with your betters."

This was as unpleasant a piece of news as I could well receive, and though I could not quarrel with it, I at least could resent the manner of its conveyance, so I turned upon my informant at once: "Perhaps this is an example of your 'suaviter in modo,' Father O'Rourke; if so, I'll be obliged if you'll put things in plain, sensible English, as between gentlemen."

"Oh, very well, Mr. John McDonell of Scottos—do you think it sounds better to say that his Royal Highness has not ordinary common taste in choosing his companions, and if you follow him, you must be hail-fellow-well-met with a blackguard like Creach, who happens just now to be in his favour?"

"'Pon my soul, Father O'Rourke, you are the most provoking man I ever met! If you wore a sword, I'd make you answer for this!" I roared, beside myself with anger.

"Oh, I can waggle a sword, if need be," he answered, very cool, "but I was thankful it wasn't a sword but a calabash of good chianti I had strapped on me the night I fell in with you after Velletri. There, there, Giovannini; 'tis nothing to make such a pother about, only you and I are too old friends to quarrel over such gentry as Mr. Creach."

"But it wasn't Mr. Creach, Father. I never would have lost my temper over him; I thought you were poking fun at me."

"Ah, Mr. Lieutenant, in humour, like in file-firing, a sense of direction is a great thing."

And so we made it all up again, and with Angus we had the chanti and fruit which the Rector had thoughtfully provided in my chamber.

At four o'clock I took my way to the secret entrance of the Santi Apostoli, found the familiar passage and a lackey awaiting me in the garden to conduct me to the Duke.

He was then about nineteen, though I did not think he appeared much my elder save in his manner, which was that of a Prince, though most lively and engaging. He soon opened the reason of the visit.

"Mr. McDonell," he said, "I am sure you are faithful and can be trusted."

"Your Royal Highness," I answered, "my people have been true to you and yours for generations, and it would ill become me to have any principles other than those we have always held. You can count on me to the very end."

"I was sure of it," he answered, smiling, holding out both his hands, which I grasped with emotion. "Now to business," and he civilly invited me to be seated in an embrasure of a window.

"My brother, the Prince of Wales, is travelling, it is true, but not in Italy; he left here secretly in January last, and since then has been in France, and at any day an expedition may be formed for Scotland, for we have the surest hope of the hearty co-operation of the French Court.

"Now I and His Majesty must have messengers at hand on whom we can absolutely rely; and my request to you is that you will not volunteer for service when the news comes, but will remain with your company here in Italy; we have positive assurances you will be permitted to leave at any moment we may signify. I know that I am asking you a hard service, but it is an important one, for there are but few men whom we can trust for such a mission.

"It is impossible to say when you may be needed, but your reward will be such when the time comes that others will envy your choice, and I and the King, my father, will ever remember the man who was ready to sacrifice the empty glory of the parade of war for the trust laid on him.

"You must keep yourself free of all entanglements, for your absolute freedom to move at once will be of the utmost importance to the Prince and to your country. Surely I may count on you for this?"

And I swore faithfulness from the bottom of my heart.

Then changing his tone, he began more lightly: "There is another small favour, a personal one, I would ask of you yet. There is a gentleman here in our court named Mr. Graeme—"

"Mr. Creach, Your Highness," I could not help interrupting.

"Mr. Graeme, I said," he returned, with something of hauteur. "You will be required to meet him, possibly to have business with him, and I desire as a personal favour to me," and he laid much stress on the words, "that you will lay aside all previous difficulties or misunderstandings between you until your engagement with me is at an end. Surely I am not asking too much in urging a favour at this beginning of your service," and I was so overcome with the graciousness of his manner that I promised, although sore against my will.

We then had a private audience with the King, who was pleased to recall the services of my grandfather, old Æneas of Scottos, and his brothers Glengarry, Lochgarry, and Barisdale, whom he knew personally in 1715, and flattered me by saying he congratulated the Duke of York on having a messenger of such approved fidelity; "for, Mr. McDonell, your General tells me he would trust you with his own honour."

"His Excellency has been like a father to me, Sire," I answered; and shortly afterwards our interview closed, the Duke paying me the honour of accompanying me to the door and insisted on shaking hands, nor would he admit of any ceremony at leave-taking.

The next morning some one knocked at my door, and, on opening it, there, to my surprise and disgust, I saw Creach, dressed in the most foppish manner. However, I dissembled my feelings, and to his greeting said, with civility:

"I wish you good-morning, Mr. Creach."

"By God! sir, if you repeat that name to me, I will run you through!" and he laid his hand to his sword.

I glanced quickly to see my own was within easy reach on the table, and then, "Mr. Creach," I said, "I promised His Royal Highness the Duke that I would not quarrel with you, and nothing will make me break my word, so don't go on pretending to find insults in my conversation, Mr. Creach, or it will become one-sided. I am a man of very few ideas, and one of them is that 'Mr. Creach'—no, 'Captain Creach'—was the name by which you were introduced to me, and so Creach you must remain till the end of the chapter, Mr. Creach."

But he had recovered himself with great address, and said, with an air of much openness:

"Mr. McDonell, what is the sense of keeping up this farce of quarrelling? We must meet, therefore let us do it with decency, as befits the cause to which our honour is pledged."

"Mr. Creach, if I were not a man moderate in all things, and were not my word pledged to the Duke, nothing in the world would prevent me throwing you down these stairs, and I could have no greater pleasure than to see you break your neck at the bottom; but since I am forced to treat you as a gentleman, kindly deliver yourself of your business and leave me to mine."

"I am doubly fortunate then, Mr. McDonell, first to the Duke and second to your high sense of honour. But I will not bandy compliments. His Highness bade me deliver this letter and his regrets that he will not see you again, as he hears General MacDonnell leaves for the army at Spoletto to-day."

"My humble duty to His Highness, sir," and I bowed to him mighty stiff, and he withdrew, leaving me very thankful that I had not been betrayed into any heat nor broken my word to the Duke.

On hurrying to the General's quarters I found the news was true, and that he had already sent for me; so, after short farewells, we rode through the Porta del Popolo and took the highway towards Spoletto.

I will not follow our campaign through the winter, except to say we were fairly successful and saw some brilliant service, particularly at La Bochetta and during the investment of Tortona.

During this winter I lost my best of friends, General MacDonnell, who died of a fever occasioned by the fatigue of our forced marching on Genoa; and a few days afterwards he was followed by his brother, the Major-General, of a fever also, resulting from the breaking out of an old wound he had received in the shoulder some fifteen years before.

All this time I had been anxiously expecting orders from the Duke, but the only word which came was a letter containing the disheartening tidings of the failure of the expedition under Marshal Saxe, and then we were all startled at the news of the Prince's embarkation in the Doutelle and the Elizabeth.


"It is simple madness," said Father O'Rourke, when the tidings were announced in the General's tent at dinner—indeed, one of the last occasions when he had us all at his table, as he loved.

"'Tis the kind of madness that heroes are made of," said the General, heartily. "Here, gentlemen! glasses all! Here's to Royal Charles, and may he never stop till he sleeps in St. James'!" and, warmed by his enthusiasm, he broke into the old Irish Jacobite song:

"'He's all my heart's treasure, my joy and my pleasure,
    So justly, my love, my heart follows thee;
And I am resolved, in foul or fair weather,
    To seek out my Blackbird, wherever he be.'"

Such was the enthusiasm that we were all ready to volunteer, but as the General said, dryly enough, "What is to become of the Austrians if you all leave? You might as well desert to the enemy at once and have done with it."

While we awaited with impatience an answer to our application, word came to me from the Duke that I was on no account to apply for leave until such time as he sent me certain word himself. It was a bitter disappointment, but I was not alone, as the military authorities saw fit to refuse all applications until the matter was further advanced.

At last, in the month of January, letters came saying the Duke was about starting, that leave was granted me as well as certain others, with instructions to report to Mr. Sempil, the King's Agent at Paris, who would direct us further.

Conceiving my future duties called for freedom from immediate service, I sent in my formal resignation, and received from our Colonel, Ranald MacDonnell, a certificate testifying in flattering terms to the services I had performed, to my honour as a gentleman and my conduct as an officer while under his command in the Company of St. James:

"Nous, Colonel du Régiment d'Infanterie d'Irlande de St. Jacques, certifions que le Sieur Jean McDonell de Glengarry, sous-lieutenant au dit Régiment, s'est toujours comporté pendant tout le temps qu'il y a servi en Gentilhomme d'honneur, brave officier, et avec une conduite irréprochable à tout égard; en foy de quoy nous lui avons donné le présent. Fait à Plaisance le douzième janvier, mil sept cent quarante six.


To my surprise I found the name of Father O'Rourke amongst those allowed to volunteer, and when we were alone I said, rallying him:

"I was not aware you were so strong a Jacobite, Father."

"Well, to tell the truth I am not, except in the way of sentiment; but sentiment, my dear Giovannini, as you are aware, will induce a sensible man to do more foolish things than any other power in the world. Still, I regard myself as in the path of duty, for I conceive there may be some Jacobites who will be none the worse for a little extra morality dispensed by even my unworthy hands."

I did not question him further, as I dreaded one of his usual rodomontades.

We left at once with the good wishes of all, took barge at Genoa as far as Antibes, and thence by post to Lyons, where we put up at the Hôtel du Parc.

Here we met a number of French officers, who brought news of the Battle of Falkirk, wherein Prince Charles had beaten the English cavalry and infantry off the field; and though, at the same time, we knew he had retreated from England, it did not serve to dash bur spirits, and we supped merrily together, drinking toast after toast to the success of the Cause.

All the old songs were sung lustily, and the French officers were much amused at our enthusiasm; but it was Father O'Rourke who carried off the honours of the evening by singing the following, to an air that was new to me:

        Oh the water, the water,
        The dun and eerie water,
Which long has parted loving hearts that wearied for their home!
        O'er the water, the water,
        The dark, dividing water,
Our Bonnie Prince has come at last, at last—to claim his Own.
        He has come to hearts that waited,
        He has come to hearts that welcome,
He has come though friends have wavered, with the foe
                upon his track.
        But what loyal heart will falter
        When our Bonnie Prince is standing
With his banner blue above his head and his claymore
                at his back?

        Then gather ye, Appin, Clanranald, Glengarry!
        Cross has gone round! Will a single man tarry
When we march with our Prince against Geordie's Dutch carles?
        We are out for the King!
        We will conquer or swing!
    But the bonnie brown broadswords will klink and will kling
From the Tweed to the Thames for our Bonnie Prince Charles!

        Oh! the waiting, the waiting,
        The cruel night of waiting,
When we brake the bread of sorrow and drank our bitter tears,
        It has broken at his coming
        Like the mist on Corryvechan,
In the sunlight of his presence we have lost our midnight fears.

        When the Prince unfurled his standard
        In the green vale of Glenfinnan,
Beneath a sky as bright and blue, blown clear of storm and wrack,
        The Loyal chiefs came thronging
        To where their Prince was standing
With his banner blue above his head and his claymore at his back.

        Then gather ye, Appin, Clanranald, Glengarry!
        The Cross has gone round! Will a single man tarry
When we march with our Prince against Geordie's Dutch carles?
        We are out for the King!
        We will conquer or swing!
    But the bonnie brown broadswords will klink and will kling
From the Tweed to the Thames for our Bonnie Prince Charles!

        Oh! the heather, the heather,
        Our modest hill-side heather,
Hath donned her royal robe again to welcome back her Own.
        The roses bloom once more in hearts
        That hope deferred was wasting
That will march with Bonnie Charlie, to halt only at his Throne!
        We have suffered, we have sorrowed,
        But our joy has come with morning,
And all is shining gloriously that late was drear and black.
        Then up and out, ye gallant hearts,
        To where your Prince is standing,
With his banner blue above his head and his claymore at his back!

        Then gather ye, Appin, Clanranald, Glengarry!
        The Cross has gone round! Will a single man tarry
When we march with our Prince against Geordie's Dutch carles?
        We are out for the King!
        We will conquer or swing!
    But the bonnie brown broadswords will klink and will kling
From the Tweed to the Thames for our Bonnie Prince Charles!

When he ended we cheered and cheered, breaking our glasses, half crying, half laughing, until we made the room ring again; and the people in the square listening to us began to cheer in sympathy, and, unable to control myself, I jumped up, and, catching the big form of the priest to my bosom, fairly hugged him in my arms, "Oh, Father O'Rourke! How could you ever do it and you not a Highlander at all?" I cried, in my wonder.

"Faith, I could do the same for a Hottentot if I could only manage his irregular verbs," he shouted, struggling out of my embrace. "And now, gentlemen! If you don't stop this hullabaloo, you'll be arrested for disturbing the peace of this good town of Lyons, and if you don't stop cracking those bottles your heads will be as easy cracking for the English when it comes to hard knocks!" And off he went with a storm of cheers after him.


How Father O'Rourke and I met with the Duke of York, who charged me with a secret mission towards Prince Charles; of our voyage to Scotland, and the dismal tidings that there met us.

The next morning Father O'Rourke's words came true, for there were many aching heads amongst us, of which my own was one, and the jolting of the Paris diligence did not in any way improve their condition nor their owners' tempers. It is surprising how mightily the hot enthusiasms of overnight will cool down by daylight—and here was an example. Last night there was not one of us but would have embarked to the Prince's support without a second thought of the chances, and not one would have admitted that the chances, if any, were aught but rose-coloured; but with the morning everything took on a different complexion, and the whole of our way to Paris was filled with nothing but the most dismal forebodings.

I addressed myself to Mr. Sempil, and found that the Duke would expect me in about a week at Boulogne; and in the mean time I did what I could to raise the spirits and determination of my companions.

At length we had a general consultation, and, much to my disgust, they one and all began to plan, not for our joining the Prince, but for offering the most excellent reasons why they should then and there return: "the Prince had retreated from England; the passage was dangerous on account of the English fleet; the French could not be relied upon for any material aid; and, lastly, Spring was approaching, and they would lose their chances of promotion in the ensuing campaign," and so on.

"In short, gentlemen," I said, out of patience at last, "you all came here prepared to sing the same song, and you do it to perfection. Your arguments do more credit to your heads than to your hearts. If the Prince were safe in London you would be the first to flock after him; but now, when he most needs your assistance, you are like a pack of old women inventing terrors to excuse your cowardice."

There were some of them who pretended to take exception to my words; but as I assured them I would be only too pleased to make any or all of them good, and the sooner the better, they did not go beyond their protest.

But if they found my words unpalatable, Father O'Rourke gave them something more difficult to digest.

"I object to the gentleman's manner of putting it myself," he began; "he is altogether too mealy-mouthed, which comes no doubt from his diet in boyhood. If he were only a blathering Irishman like the rest of you, he would be shouting Jacobite songs, and guzzling Jacobite toasts, and whispering Jacobite treasons, and never venture an inch of his precious carcass, until the moon turned into a Jacobite cheese and was ready to drop into his mouth. I'm ashamed of you all! Go back to your macaroni and polenta, and brag about Cremona and other battles you never fought, and see if you cannot breed some mongrel mixture that will make you ashamed of the way you have behaved this day. There! that's what I say to you; and if any of you don't like it, get down on your marrow-bones and thank Heaven that the rules of his Church prevent Father O'Rourke, late Chaplain of the Company of St. James, wearing a sword, or, by the Powers! you would go back like so many pinked bladders!"

And to my surprise, these men, who were wont to smell an insult afar off, and whose courage in the field was unquestioned, received this intolerable tirade as quietly as school-boys after a whipping—and so the matter rested, and they went their way and we ours.

I wrote to Mr. Constable, then Secretary to the Duke of York, of the resolution of my comrades, and, by return of post, I received orders from His Royal Highness to repair to Boulogne, which I immediately complied with, accompanied by Father O'Rourke.

On reaching Boulogne, we enquired our way to Mr. Constable's lodgings, and upon knocking at his chamber-door it was opened by the Duke himself.

"Welcome, Mr. McDonell, welcome; and you, too, Father O'Rourke. You see we are so few we have dispensed with ceremony here in Boulogne." he said, giving a hand to each of us.

"We ourselves dispensed with it, and most of our following as well, in Paris, your Highness," said Father O'Rourke, laughing, "though I don't know that we'd have been any more had we used all the ceremony of the Court of Spain;" and then, without waiting to be introduced to the other gentlemen present, he began the story of his farewell speech to the volunteers from Italy, and set them all a-laughing heartily with his impudence.

I was somewhat taken aback, but thought it best to offer no remonstrance; indeed, I could not imagine any company which would have put Father O'Rourke out of countenance. I felt ill at ease, not having shifted myself, as I had not expected to see any one save Mr. Constable; but Father O'Rourke talked and moved among them all in his rusty cassock without an apology for his condition. However, I soon forgot such trifles in my interest in the company gathered. Besides His Highness, there were the Duke of Fitz-James, son of the great Duke of Berwick, and many noblemen of distinction and general officers, among whom I was introduced to the Count Lally-Tollendal, whose unjust execution at the hands of his enemies some years later aroused the sympathies of all Europe.

The plans of the Prince and hopes of aid from King Louis were discussed with the utmost freedom and with much hope, for it was confidently expected an expedition for Scotland would be equipped immediately, which the Duke was to command, as it was on this promise he had come from Italy.

But one week went by, and then another, and yet we had no satisfaction from the Court, not even excuses, and I could not but observe that, though others still had implicit faith in some action by King Louis, the Duke began to lose heart.

"Ah, the poor young man," said Father O'Rourke, "my heart is sore for him. He has more sense than the rest of them, and faith, I think, has more heart, too, and so takes it harder. Do you know, Giovannini, 'tis a great misfortune to be born in the ranks of princes; they're the only class of men I know of that are untrustworthy as a whole. King David knew the breed well, and did not he write 'Put not your trust in princes' (Nollite confidere in principibus)? and here is the Duke eating his heart out because he is learning the bitter text King David preached thousands of years ago."

We were seated in a lonely place outside the town, overlooking the sea, and watched the lights below us gently rising and falling on the fishing-vessels and other craft at anchor, and marked among them the bright lanthorns of a man-of-war which topped all the others.

Presently we heard footsteps, and the Duke came up alone; it was not so dark but he could recognize us, which he did very quietly, and, advancing, seated himself between us, saying, "Do not move, gentlemen, and forget I am the Duke for an hour. My heart is sick of empty forms which mean nothing," and he sate in silence for a long time with his elbows on his knees and his chin in his hands gazing out over the sea.

At length he said, slowly, as if to himself, "I would give ten years of my life to be on board that frigate with the men I would choose and a fair wind for Scotland. To think of my poor brother longing and wondering why some support does not come, and I idle here with empty hands," and something like a sob ended his words.

Then Father O'Rourke spake in a voice as gentle as if he comforted a woman. "Your Highness, when we were children, the story we loved best to hear was the one our mother never told us—about 'The Little Red Hen.' Who 'The Little Red Hen' was, or where she came from, or what she did, we never could learn. She was just 'The Little Red Hen,' and had no story at all. But her story which no one ever heard was better than that of 'Brian Boru,' or 'Malachi of the Collar of Gold,' or 'Rookey the Water Witch,' any of whom would come out without much coaxing and parade up and down until we knew them through and through, while the very name of 'The Little Red Hen' would quiet the biggest trouble that ever broke our hearts. My own belief is that she stayed at home and kept the breath of life in the family by laying her eggs and scratching up food for the chickens; but wherever she was, there was no cackling to lead us to her. She was just doing her work, helping the tired hearts and healing the sore ones, and all these years no one ever set eyes on her, more than on the dew that falls at night on the thirsty land."

And that was all; no beginning, no end, and I wondered what he was at, with his silly stories of Red Hens, fit only for a lot of bare-legged children; but the Duke must have seen something else, for after a little he broke into a more lively humour and said, half laughing, "Upon my word, Father O'Rourke, you Irish are a wonderful people!"

"We are all that, your Highness," he returned, with great complacence. "We are a terrible convenient people to have about when everything is going right, and, for the matter of that, when everything is going wrong as well, if we only have some one with a strong hand to lead us; but make us all equal and we are no more use than a lot of chickens with their heads cut off."


"Father O'Rourke," said the Duke, suddenly, "sing me that song I heard of your singing at Lyons."

"I will with all my heart, your Highness," and, making his big voice as soft as a girl's, he began without any further words:

"Oh the water, the water."

When he had finished, the Duke sate silent a little, then he rose and said, "Gentlemen, I thank you for the first hour of quiet I have had for weeks. Come, let us go back." And at the door of his lodgings he bade us good-night, saying to Father O'Rourke, "Don't be surprised if I should come to you some day to hear the rest of the story of 'The Little Red Hen.'"

The forebodings of the Duke came true; no expedition was forthcoming, and he was obliged to send in single vessels such aid as could be procured. One left Dunkirk in the beginning of April with three hundred men and many officers, but I was still bidden to remain.

Shortly afterwards the Duke commanded me to repair to Dunkirk and there await him. He there sent me the grateful assurance that I was to start almost at once charged with considerable monies, which he was about raising, and also letters for the Prince, and at the same time confided to me that he had almost transmitted a large sum by the hands of Creach, or "Mr. Graeme," as he styled him—news I was sadly disappointed to hear, for I could not bring myself to trust the man in any particular.

In a few days the Duke arrived, and the next day was invited to dinner by my Lord Clare, then in command of the French troops in and about the place. As Father O'Rourke and I were considered to be in the Duke's retinue, we were also asked. Lord Clare, observing my uniform, enquired of the Duke who I was, and was informed I was a Highland gentleman named McDonell, a Lieutenant in the Spanish Army in Italy. After some further conversation with the Duke, he addressed himself to me, saying, without any introduction:

"Mr. McDonell, I have a company now vacant in my regiment, and if you will accept, it is this moment at your service."

I rose, and, commanding myself as well as possible under this surprise, said: "Your Excellency has my most humble thanks for your handsome offer, but I only left my late service, wherein I had gained some recognition, in order to devote myself to my protectors and benefactors, the Royal Family, to whom I am bound by the strongest ties of gratitude."

The Duke looked at me with a real pleasure in his eyes, and I was proud that I could afford him even a passing gratification.

Presently the Duke requested his Lordship to grant him a favour.

"I am sure your Highness will not ask anything beyond my poor powers," he answered.

"There are no political complications in this," laughed the Duke. "I would only ask that my friend, Father O'Rourke, be requested to sing for us a song which has been running through my head since I first heard it from him the other night."

Whereupon Lord Clare requested him to sing, and straightway he began, for the fiftieth time that I had heard him, at the same old song. And herein lies the poverty of these rhymers, for if by any chance they hit something that tickles the ear, they must be harping on it until the patience of their intimates is wearied beyond words. But I could afford to let him win his reward, for I considered I had cut no inconsiderable figure before the company myself.

Two or three days later we left Dunkirk for St. Omer, where I at last received my orders. I was to return secretly to Dunkirk and there take passage in a swift sailing cutter, lately captured from the English, and carry a sum of three thousand guineas, together with important despatches and letters for the Prince.

The Duke was very down the last night we spent together, and once or twice repeated:

        "Oh the waiting, the waiting,
        The cruel night of waiting,
When we brake the bread of sorrow and drank our bitter tears."

"Mr. McDonell," he said, "it is impossible to tell how things may turn, but should they prove against us, give me your word not to desert the Prince."

"Your Royal Highness," I answered, "I swear by my mother's soul I will not leave Scotland while he is in any danger, and neither threat nor peril will tempt me to be unfaithful to him in word or thought."

"It is enough," he said; "I can trust you without the oath."

The next morning we parted from him, embracing him like any private gentleman, as he wished to keep his incognito absolute; so he took his way into Flanders, and we to Dunkirk, there to join some twenty-five officers, all volunteers for Prince Charles. We found our vessel ready for sea, and before sunset were safely on board, meeting old friends and making new ones.

It was night by the time we ran out of the harbour, and many an anxious hour we had of it, for it was no easy matter to make the run from France to Scotland in the year '46, when every sail was looked upon with suspicion.

I need make no apologies for our anxiety when we were signalled to lay to by the first English ship we met; and the invitation was quickly followed by a puff of smoke and the boom of a gun. A sense of danger is largely quickened by unfamiliarity, and though any of us would have made little of attacking a battery on shore, this sea fighting was a new and uncomfortable outlook. But when we saw what a pair of heels our privateer, fitly named the Swallow, could show, we soon recovered our confidence, and after this it was a mere matter of speculation how long anything we met could stand up to us at all.

Our crew of about fifty was a mixed lot, French and Scotch, but they were thorough at their business, and it was curious to see how true the Captain could judge of the exact room he must give to any suspicious sail—it was a game of hare and hounds all the time, for no sooner were we rid of one than we would fall in with another to take up the running; but none of them served to do more than raise our spirits and take our minds off the discomfort most landsmen find at sea. We encountered various weather, but the worst only brought out the sailing qualities of the Swallow, until at length we made the coast of Scotland, and all eagerly looked to the end of our voyage, which was to be at Inverness; indeed, the Captain counted on making Cromarty Head before night, and to lay there till the morning.

That day at dinner Father O'Rourke gave us another taste of his song-making, which was greatly appreciated on account of the reference to the "White Cockade," always a favorite quickstep with the Jacobite Regiments:

Merrily, merrily blows the wind from off the coasts of France;
The Channel open wide before, God send us now good chance!
Give us the green seas rolling free and but way enough to steer,
And we'll leave the swiftest foe in the wake of the
            Swallow Privateer!

        Then here's to the Swallow, flying true!
        And here's to the Prince and his Bonnets Blue!
        And here's to the heart of each wife and maid
        That is beating for the Laddie with the White Cockade!

Drearily, drearily sets the wind down from the Northern Seas,
But she dips to the rollers big and black, and her bonnie
            breast she frees,
From her tapering mast she flies on the blast her signals
            fluttering clear
To the friends that pray for the coming home of the
            Swallow Privateer!

        Then here's to the Swallow, flying true!
        And here's to the Prince and his Bonnets Blue!
        And here's to the heart of each wife and maid
        That is beating for the Laddie with the White Cockade!

Mightily, mightily booms the wind out of the setting sun;
We will double the great ships like a hare, we will
            fight where we cannot run,
Till we win to land, and with sword in hand we will
            follow the Chevalier
Who will bless the winds that filled the wings of the
            Swallow Privateer!

        Then here's to the Swallow, flying true!
        And here's to the Prince and his Bonnets Blue!
        And here's to the heart of each wife and maid
        That is beating for the Laddie with the White Cockade!

It was with the highest expectations that we looked forward to landing on the morrow and joining the Prince, of whose movements we were in ignorance, except that we were to rendezvous at Inverness.

In the latter part of the night I was awakened by an ugly scream from Captain Lynch, one of the officers of our company.

"What is the matter?" I asked, in some alarm.

"I dreamed the Devil had hold of me by the heels, and about to dash my brains out."

"Perhaps the Devil is not so very far off," I returned; and then, being somewhat restless, part from the heat and part from our being so near our landing, I thought I would take a turn on the deck. No sooner had my eyes got accustomed to the light than, to my alarm, I made out the dim outline of a great ship, which must have come up during the night, unseen and unheard by our sentinels, and was lying-to between us and the entrance to the bay. I at once made my discovery known to the Captain, who, coming hurriedly on deck, swore with a great oath I had saved their lives, for she was no other than an English man-of-war on the outlook for such as we. Then, without more ado, he slipped his anchor, got up sail as quietly as possible, and, in a fever of anxiety, we waited to see whether the tide which was setting on shore or the light winds which were moving would prove the stronger. At length our sails gently filled and began to draw, so we crept round under the shadow of the land until we got the full wind, and stood out to sea with thankful hearts for the danger we had so narrowly escaped.

Great was the surprise of my comrades when aroused to find we were again making for the open instead of ending our voyage; but, as Father O'Rourke said: "Captain Lynch, your patron saint evidently thinks that even a little extra salt water is better for you than the inside of an English prison. The truth is that Irishmen are such favourites that even the Devil himself will do them a good turn at times."

Though I thought to myself there were others fully as deserving as the Irish, I said nothing.

As our intended landing was now impossible, our Captain determined to stand round the Orkneys for Loch Broom, in Cromarty, on the West coast.

We had an easy run, and as soon as we were signalled from the shore, and on lying-to, a boat was put out. In the stern there were seated two gentlemen, one of whom, the Captain informed me, was a McKenzie, and in the other Father O'Rourke and I only too soon recognized Creach.

"This means trouble of some sort," I remarked; "we would never find him so far afield if things were going right."

"I fear it, too," he answered, and before long our worst apprehensions were realized.

We withdrew at once to the cabin where I met Creach, or Graeme, as he still called himself, without remark, for I recalled my word to the Duke and felt there was something too weighty on hand for even the remembrance of a personal quarrel. In a few moments we heard, to our dismay, that Culloden had been fought and lost the very day we had sailed from Dunkirk; that the clans were scattered and no one knew what had become of the Prince.

After the dreadful news had been given time to sink into our benumbed senses, I asked for personal friends, and heard, to my sorrow, from McKenzie, that my Uncle Scottos, who had been among the very first to join the Prince, and was much esteemed by him, had died like a soldier and a gentleman in his service in the first charge at Culloden.

When the body of his clan refused to answer the signal to charge, and stood still and dumb under the insult which had been put upon them in placing them in the left instead of the right wing, he cursed and swore like one possessed, as did others. But finding it of no avail, he changed of a sudden, and, turning to his own men, threw his bonnet on the ground, crying to them, with tears in his words: "Let them go! But my own children will never return to say they saw me go to my death alone!" and with that he charged, every one of his own following him. It was fine, but of no effect, for the English swept them off the face of the earth by a point-blank fire before ever steel met steel. He was picked up and carried off by two of his men; but finding the pursuit grow too hot, he called a halt.


"Put me down here!" he said, and quickly taking off his dirk, sporran, and watch, he sent them to his son with the message that his end had come as he had always wished, "Sword in hand and face to the foe," and bade them leave him.

And so died one of the gallantest gentlemen, and probably the best swordsman in all Scotland.

Besides, I lost many other of my friends and kinsmen, as I afterwards learned; but this was no time for private mournings, and I turned at once to the business in hand. My comrades decided there was nothing to do but return, and proposed our action should be unanimous.

"Gentlemen," said I, "in the face of such tidings as we have received, no one can doubt but your resolve is justified, and had I simply volunteered for military service, as you have done, I would not hesitate to give my voice to your decision, which I hold to be honourable in every way. But I am charged with private despatches and other matters for the Prince by the Duke of York, and I am not free until I have at least attempted to carry out my mission, for which I know I have your good wishes, and so must go on alone."

"Not alone, my son," broke out Father O'Rourke, and stretched out his big hand to me across the table. "I am curious, gentlemen, to see Scotland, and am sure I cannot do so better than in company with our friend here."

"But, sir, how can you expect to travel about here in your cassock? You would only have to meet the first loyal man to be arrested," objected Creach, the first time he had spoken to either of us.

"Thank you for your suggestion, sir, though doubtless the word 'loyal' was a bit of a slip on your part. I am too well accustomed to meeting blackguards of every description to fear even a 'loyal' man!" Whereupon every one looked at him in surprise to hear him so address Creach, who, however, thought well to make no reply; and shortly after our conference broke up, Creach returning to shore, whilst Mr. McKenzie remained with us until we had formed some plan.

Father O'Rourke arranged with Captain Lynch, who had volunteered from the Hungarian service, and was near as big a man as himself, that he should provide him with a spare uniform, and, when once arrayed, he presented so fine an appearance that we, one and all, made him our compliments upon it.

"Captain Lynch," said he, at dinner, "I have another favour to ask before we part, and that is for the loan of your name while I am playing at this masquerade. I know it is a ticklish thing to ask, this loaning of names, but as I have always been particular of my own, I can promise you I know how to care for yours."

"Faith, you can have it, and welcome, provided you are careful not to mislay it, for 'tis the only bit of property my poor father ever left me," replied the Captain, with great good-nature.

"Never fear, you'll have it back safe and sound. I'll make good kitchen of it, so it won't be worn out, and if they hang me, I'll take care they'll do so under all my true name and title."

Seeing that Father O'Rourke approved, I determined that half the sum I carried was quite enough to risk, so I did up one thousand guineas in one bag, five hundred in another, and confided the remaining fifteen hundred to Captain Lynch to return to the Duke, together with a letter explaining our intentions, and with farewells all around, followed by many a good wish from our comrades, Father O'Rourke and I clambered down the side, followed by Mr. McKenzie, and were rowed ashore. We gave the boat's crew something, and waving a farewell to those on ship-board, picked up our portmanteaus and struck inland.


How we supped with a thief, and the outcome thereof.

There were one or two ragged creatures near by watching us as we landed, but though we shouted to them and made signs, they not only refused to come to our aid, but made off amongst the rocks as we advanced.

"Well, Giovannini, is your heart bursting with pride over your country and countrymen?" asked Father O'Rourke, in Italian, as we struggled and panted with our loads over the rough track up the hillside under the hot spring sun.

"Indeed, this is none of my country, thank God! This only belongs to the McKenzies," said I, ashamed somewhat of the reception we had met.

"Oh, indeed! and to what particular tribe of cattle do they belong?" he asked.

I stopped short in my way and dropped my portmanteau, determined to put an end to his nonsense at once.

"Now, Father O'Rourke—" I began, but he interrupted me with:

"Captain Lynch, if you please, Mr. McDonell, and your superior, remember, as regards rank!" drawing himself up to his full height. He looked so droll standing there in his fine uniform, with his sword and cocked hat and bag wig quite à la mode de Paris, that I could not help bursting out laughing.

He waited until I was done, and then said, very gravely, "Well, 'pon my word! but I'm rejoiced that I've found my way to your funny-bone at last. But if the sight of a fist like this and a foot like that are the only approaches to a Highlander's sense of humour—and I am bound to apply the back of the one and the toe of the other whenever I am forced to a jest—I take it, my better part is to make poor Captain Lynch a sad dog like yourself."

"Mr. McKenzie," he ran on, addressing our guide, who, it was plain to see, was much puzzled at our behaviour, "are you much given to humour in these parts?"

"No sir," he answered, "none that I ever heard of."

"Then why in the name of the Isle of Man did you take up with that creature you brought on board ship?"

Seeing the poor man was bewildered, I explained that his companion, Mr. Graeme, was meant.

"Och, him—-he would just be coming to Colin Dearg with the others after the battle."

"Is that old Colin Dearg, Laggy?" I asked.

"None other," he answered; "and it is to him, very probable, that Ardloch will be sending you."

Ardloch, I explained to Father O'Rourke, was a Mr. McKenzie, to whose place we were bound, and Colin Dearg, or Red Colin, another, both staunch Jacobites.

"Well, well, 'tis a puzzlesome country this, where the men not only do without breeches, but throw off as well the names their fathers gave them; had I known more, I needn't have used such punctilio in borrowing the Captain's. Would not O'Rourke of Brefni, or just Brefni, tout court, have a grand sound; seeing it wouldn't be decent for me to go in petticoats, and I am anxious to make a good impression?"

But I would not answer him, for I could see he was in one of his most provoking humours; so I shouldered my portmanteau and trudged on, and he was forced to follow.

He was not abashed, however, and tried to draw out McKenzie; but the latter was shame-faced and could hardly answer to his follies, so I had to beg him to desist, as the poor man could not understand his funning.

"I don't find him different from the rest of his countrymen," he returned; but I would not answer.

Ardloch received us warmly, and gave us a hearty meal, with good whiskey to follow, and then proposed we should hire a boat—leaving McKenzie behind, as it was better Father O'Rourke's transformation should not be talked over—and go up Little Loch Broom to Laggy, where we would find a number of officers, fresh from the Prince, who might give us some directions where to look.

"Do you look upon everything as lost?" I asked him, at parting.

"That depends on what you mean by 'everything,'" he answered, slowly. "If you mean any attempt to bring the rebellion to life again now, I would say yes. But if you mean to keep the fire alive, then no. The clans cannot all be scattered as yet, for nothing goes to pieces in that way, and I doubt not but there will be some for making a stand in spite of all. But money must be had to keep them together. They have been out since August last, and no Highlander will stay away from home long, even for fighting. 'Tis against all custom. What plunder they got is long since gone, and they will be wearying for home. For home! God help them, many will never see it again! But money, Mr. McDonell—if money can be had, men can be had too, and the Prince can, at the worst, be safely covered until the time opens for escape."

Then my heart rose within me for the first time, for in my hands lay the possible means of safety for the Hope of all loyal hearts.

We at once proceeded, and before nightfall reached Laggy, where we were met by old Colin Dearg, a burly, bearded ruffian with a great shock of red hair, Big William McKenzie of Killcoy, a major, and Murdock McKenzie, a lieutenant in the Earl of Cromarty's Regiment, with about sixty men, and thought ourselves as safe as in the heart of France.

We learned that some were still in arms for Prince Charles, especially the regiment of Glengarry, in which were my kinsmen and friends, and that of Cameron of Lochiel. So we begged for an early supper, and engaged guides and a horse that we might set out at once to join them.

Our baggage and little stores we had carried up from the beach, but I was much annoyed at hearing one of the men, on lifting my portmanteau, remark it was "damned heavy."

"Do you think we are such fools as to travel without powder and ball in time of war?" said I, and hoped it had passed unnoticed; but the fellow threw it down outside the house door, saying lead would not suffer for a little fresh air, at which old Colin Dearg laughed, and said:

"No doubt such gentlemen will have their ruffles there. I will carry it in myself."

"Don't think of it," said I, much put out, and, raising it, I placed it in a corner of the room where I could easily keep my eye on it, and wished from the bottom of my heart we could set off.

Old Colin Dearg was most offensive, although pretending to an extreme courtesy. He disclaimed having seen Creach, or Graeme, since the day before, but we were certain this was a blind, as we could see he knew who the supposed Captain Lynch was, and kept pushing him with questions about the Imperial service, until I feared for the latter's temper. But nothing could move Father O'Rourke when he had not a mind to it, and he rattled on as though he noticed nothing.

The old man pretended to rate the women who were preparing our supper, but I knew well it was all a pretext, though why he was anxious to keep us I could not make out. At length, when he could delay no longer, we sate down in a great room, but, to my dislike, in total darkness, save for the little blaze on the hearth and what light could reach us through the open door. This was bad enough; but on sitting down with the officers, and a Mr. Gordon, who was to be of our company, the room was speedily filled with the riff-raff of men idling about, who took their places behind us.

Colin Dearg would not sit down with us, but pretended to busy himself bustling about and shouting out orders to the women and encouragements to us to eat heartily of his fare, which he called by all the wretched names in the world, though it was good enough. I was most uneasy, but Father O'Rourke held the company with his talk, while I quietly assured myself that my portmanteau was safe, though I chafed sadly at the precious time we were wasting. At length I put ceremony aside and insisted we must be off; whereupon we drank a single glass from our store to Prince Charles's health and better fortunes, and I rose from the table and went to the corner where I had left my portmanteau, and my heart almost leaped into my mouth when I saw it was gone; but at the same time, old Colin said, behind me, "Never fear, McDonell! You'll lose nothing here; I have fastened your things on the pony myself."

So out we went into the starlight, and there found the pony loaded with our belongings, and with short farewells set off with Mr. Gordon and our guides on our night march.

We could not speak of our feelings before Mr. Gordon, but I knew Father O'Rourke had enjoyed our entertainment as little as myself; so all night long we tramped, gathering such news as we might from our companions of the battle, which was vague but disheartening enough. At daybreak we arrived at a very considerable house—indeed, a gentleman's seat—which Mr. Gordon informed us was that of McKenzie of Dundonald, to whom we were recommended by old Colin Dearg, who was his uncle. Dundonald was at Inverness, whither he had gone that he might not be suspected of favoring the Prince's cause, but his lady was at home.

We led our pony into the court-yard, and there unloaded him, where Mr. Gordon declared he could accompany us no farther, his shoes being worn out.

"Very well," said I, "after we have a nap I will provide you with a second pair I have in my portmanteau."

But no; he would have them now, so he might try them on, and, accordingly, to humour him, I undid the upper straps of my portmanteau. Scarcely had I done so than I saw the leather had been slit.

My cry of dismay brought Father O'Rourke and Mr. Gordon over me at once, and with shaking hands I undid the straps and threw it open. The larger canvas-bag, which held the thousand guineas, was gone!

"O God in Heaven," I groaned, sinking on the ground, "that there are such damned scoundrels in this world!" And for the first time since a child I could not restrain myself, and burst into tears.

Father O'Rourke turned over the things, but I knew it was useless, and then said, in the strangest, dryest kind of voice:

"Well, I call on you to witness this happened in Scotland, and in the Highlands."

"Stop, sir," I cried; "this is intolerable! None of your insulting reflections on countries. There are more rogues hanged in Ireland than ever existed in Scotland."

"Yes, we find the quickest end to put them to is a rope's end."

"Look you here, sir, you have done nothing but insult me from the day you met me, and had you any right to the sword you carry, I would read you a lesson that would last you to the end of your life!"

"Thankful am I," he returned, as cool as ever, "that I never was under such a school-master. But let us spare our iron for those scoundrels, and especially for that smooth-tongued, red-headed, black-hearted Colin Dearg. If I could only have my left hand comfortable on his dirty throttle. I wouldn't need the other to feel his pulse with. Cheer up, Giovannini! If we've any luck we'll have it safely back, and you'll hand it to the Prince yet. Courage, my lad! Surely old campaigners like you and me are not to be outfaced by a lot of sneaking blackguards like these!"

"I'll lay my soul," I said, slowly, having forgotten all my rage—and I believe now Father O'Rourke only provoked me to distract my attention from my trouble—"I'll lay my soul that scoundrel Creach is at the bottom of this!"

"Like enough," he answered, for he had been back, though that smooth tongued fox denied it. "And what's more, Giovannini, I'd be curious to know if the Prince ever received the money he carried. I doubt it."

"So do I; but let us get back. First, though, I must put the rest of our money in safety. I must see Lady Dundonald."

"Faith, I don't suppose her ladyship is thinking of stirring for hours yet."

"Never mind, she must stir this time, for I cannot stand on ceremony."

So I sent a message to her chamber, with Captain McDonell's compliments—my rank as Lieutenant commanding my late Company entitled me to claim the title—and saying that he must instantly have speech with her.

She very civilly returned that I might use the freedom I asked; upon which I went to her bedroom, where I found her maid in attendance.

"Madam, only the distressing circumstances in which I am placed will excuse my intrusion, for which I offer my apologies." Thereupon I told the circumstances of the robbery. "I return at once with my comrade, Captain Lynch, and, please God, will recover the money; but I am quite aware, if circumstances so fall out, these rascals will not hesitate to add murder to robbery. Therefore, madam, I place these five hundred guineas in your honourable keeping. If I am killed, I bequeath them to you to be handed on to One you know of"—not caring to be more particular, for in such times "least said is soonest mended"—"if not, I will return to claim them. The only satisfaction I have is that we discovered the theft on arriving at your house, for I must certainly have blamed your people and not those passing under the denomination of officers and gentlemen. Madam, may God be with you, and I wish you a good-morning."

So I bowed myself out of the room, handing the gold to the maid.

I found our guides refused to return, and evidently Mr. Gordon had no stomach for the business, though he was clearly innocent. However, we offered so high a figure that at length one volunteered, and, wearied though we were, we set out.

We wasted neither time nor words by the way, until we came in sight of Laggy, when we called a council of war.

"My advice is to send the man in, call out the officers—particularly Colin Dearg, whom I would shoot on sight—and then make inquiries," said Father O'Rourke.

"You're learning the ways of the country quickly," I said, with some raillery. "No; we'll tax Colin Dearg with the theft, and pretend we do not suspect the others in the least, and so can urge them to use their influence with him to return the money. Much may be done by an appeal to their honour, if they think we don't suspect them."

"Then they've the finest sense of honour for a lot of truculent cowards I ever met with," he answered.

"Now there you are mistaken, Father O'Rourke; a Highlander may be truculent, but he is not of necessity a coward, and it is rarely that his sense of honour entirely deserts him."

"Not even when he is a thief?"

"No, not even then—if you know how to take him. And besides this, remember, if my people are still in arms, we will have that money wherever they have stored it, and a vengeance on every McKenzie in the country. As it is, no one knows of my return as yet, and if we are killed these scoundrels have only to produce the letters which they will find on me from the Duke of York, and not only escape all punishment, but probably claim a reward as well."

"Well, well, I agree. You know the breed better than I," he said; and so we came out in front of the house and sent our man in with word to Colin Dearg and the officers that we would speak with them.

With a little delay they appeared, and after them trooped out about thirty men, all armed.

"The top of the morning to you, gentlemen! What service can I and my poor house render you?" sneered that old scoundrel, Colin Dearg.

We saluted the officers, but took no notice of him or his words, and I addressed myself to them.

"Gentlemen, I have been robbed of one thousand guineas as we supped with you in this house. Were it a trifle of money of my own, I would rather lose it than bring any honourable man under so vile an imputation, but I was entrusted with the money for Prince Charles, God bless him! and I know I can rely on your aid in its recovery."


There was not a move, and I looked at each face in vain for some response, but they only glowered at me as if I had never spoken. Then throwing all pretence aside, I went on:

"Do I need to urge that with this money men can be kept together, who will otherwise scatter, if not for safety, at least to provide for families helpless and alone? That this money will keep them at their posts? That each guinea of it may mean a drop of the Prince's blood? And that the man who has robbed me of it to-day may be as guilty of murder before his God as if he had pistolled the Prince with his very hand? Gentlemen! Gentlemen! I would not plead for myself! I plead for One who has the highest claims over us all that one man can have over another. I ask your help in the name of God's anointed King, and in the name of the Prince, his son!" And there I stopped, for I had no other words in my heart.

Old Colin Dearg immediately broke into loud lamentations: his house was disgraced forever; he would never lift up his head again; never had such a thing happened to a McKenzie; and it was a black day that ever brought such a tale to his old ears, and so on. He would search the house till not a stone remained standing; he would strip his people of their skin, if need be, rather than such an imputation should lie against his honour, and that of his name; and forthwith disappeared among his people, pretending to search and question them.

We allowed this empty work to go on, until he saw fit to return with word that the money could not be found.

"No, it cannot be found, you lying, red-headed, old scoundrel," said I, "because you think yourself safe now! But you keep it at your peril! for a day will come when you will wish your thieving fingers were burned to the bone before they touched the Prince's gold, you double-dyed traitor!"

"Fine words! Brave words!" he sneered, planting himself well in front of his following, with arms a-kimbo. "A likely story that the likes of you, two broken men, skulking over here from France with baggages loaded with stones, trying your foreign thieves' tricks with quiet gentlemen, should have a thousand guineas! I don't believe a word of it!" And thereon he turned off into the house with a good show of carelessness, no doubt thinking it unwise to trust our patience any further.

"Now, gentlemen," said Big William Killcoy, "the country is unsafe, and you are far from home, but your road is open before you!"

"The game is up," I said to Father O'Rourke, in Italian, "we had better beat a retreat," which we did with sore hearts but in good order; and they said not a word further, nor did they attempt to molest us as we once more plodded the bitter miles that lay between us and Dundonald.


How Father O'Rourke and I fell in with broken men and saw the end of a Lost Cause.

The morning broke into as fine and merry a day as ever smiled on two miserable hearts; my own seemed dead in its utter brokenness. Besides this, we were so wearied with our long exertions that walking had become a pain. "What will the Duke think? What will the Duke think?" ran through my head without ceasing, for I could find no answer. But the worst of things must end at length, and we arrived at Dundonald.

Here we were welcomed by a hearty breakfast, and after asking for men who could be trusted, we posted two of them as sentries under Mr. Gordon, for we could not feel our lives were safe while in the McKenzie country; then throwing ourselves on a bed, dressed and armed as we were, we slept for some hours without moving.

When we awoke somewhat refreshed, we were able, through the kindness of Lady Dundonald, to procure guides on whose faithfulness she assured us we might rely. She further advised us to make our way to Loch Airkaig, in Lochiel's country, "for there you will find those you seek, though I am not supposed to know such things, and still less to be harbouring the Prince's men in Dundonald's absence," she said, smiling.

"Madam," said Father O'Rourke, "you have only done an act of Christian charity of which your own good heart must approve, and which has done much to comfort us in our own hard case. We have a right to look for kindness in woman, but we do not always look for sensibility such as you have evinced."

"Captain Lynch, you make me ashamed of my poor efforts, and I pray you and Captain McDonell to receive them as some token of my regret this thing should have happened among my own people."

"Madam," said I, "you cannot be held responsible for being a McKenzie."

"No more than you for being a dundering blockhead," said Father O'Rourke, rudely.

"That is merely his way of saying, madam," he continued, with a bow, "that your kindness to us will place you in our minds above all other women, whatever name they may ornament."

So thereupon I left the compliments to him, as I never made any pretence to skill in the art, and proceeded to get our baggage in order.

I received the bag of guineas again into my charge, and taking a respectful leave of this most amiable lady, we set forth.

We had no cause to complain of our guides, who were faithful and intelligent, and led us almost due south over wild and almost inaccessible mountains, for all the roads and even open places had to be avoided on account of parties of the English who were scouring the country in all directions; and, to our impatience, we wasted many days lying close when the danger was too pressing, so that we were nearly three weeks in making the journey.

At last we drew near to Loch Airkaig, and from where we looked down I saw a body of Highland troops. We came forward without hesitation, and, on answering their sentries in Gaelic, which had come back to me readily enough after a little practice, I satisfied them of our intents and they allowed us to approach.

"Whose command are you?" I asked.

"Young Coll Barisdale," was the answer.

"We are in luck; come on," I cried, "these are my own people, and are commanded by my cousin, Coll McDonell of Barisdale."

"I suppose you'll be related to nearly every man of note we'll meet in the country now," Father O'Rourke said, with a laugh.

"Very near," said I; "but come on."

As we approached my cousin came out to meet us, and I remembered his face though I had not seen him since I was a lad.

"Well, Barisdale, and how are you?" said I, not making myself known, but willing to put a joke on him.

"Sir, you have the advantage of me," says he, drawing himself up mighty stiff; "I do not remember that I ever had the honour of seeing you before."

"Man, man!" I said, "and is that the way you will be disowning your kith and kin—this comes of consorting with Princes," I said, aside, with a droll look to Father O'Rourke. "Things have come to a pretty pass when Barisdale does not know Scottos because he wears a foreign uniform."

At this he saw my end and received us most courteously. "Come away, come away, you and Captain Lynch, too! Well! well! to think of my meeting with Little John, grown up into a man. 'Tis enough to make me feel like a grandfather!" and we all sate down under some pines and heartily discussed the meat and drink his people set before us.

His news was bad enough, but I was greatly relieved to hear Mr. Secretary Murray was with Lochiel at his seat of Auchnacarrie, and that though Lochiel had been badly wounded through both legs, he was recovering, after having made the narrowest of escapes as he was borne thither. That a meeting of Lord Lovat, Lochiel, Glengarry, Glenbucket, and others had taken place at Murlagan, near the head of the Lake, on the fifteenth of May—we were now at the twentieth—that it was decided to gather what men could be found, and either make a stand or obtain terms from the Duke of Cumberland, now at Fort Augustus. Lochgarry, Colonel Donald McDonald, would be here to-morrow with the rest of Glengarry's regiment, and he, Coll, had just gathered these men in our own country, Knoidart, and was on his way slowly to the rendezvous at Glenmallie, but he could not count even on his own men with any certainty, as there had been no pay, and the want at home was heart-breaking. It was the same story that drove the loss of the money deeper and deeper into my heart like a crying that would not be stilled. He did not know what had become of the Prince, but assuredly he had not been killed in the battle, as he had passed by Loch-na-Nuagh, in Arisoig, on the twenty-first of last month, and that doubtless, ere this, Lochiel would have had tidings of him. I told Barisdale we would proceed on the morrow to Auchnacarrie and see Mr. Secretary Murray, and would then determine on our future movements.

After a long night, we took a guide and men to carry our baggage and set out—the first comfortable marching we had yet done, for the weather was fine and there was no more danger of meeting an English soldier here than in the Corso. We recovered our old spirits; indeed, we had done so the moment we fell in with our own people.

That same evening we arrived at Auchnacarrie, and were most kindly received by Lochiel, a perfect figure of a Highland gentleman; indeed, he reminded us much of our own gallant Colonel MacDonnell, who fell at Velletri. There he was, lying in a state most men would have found evil enough, with most likely a reward out for his capture, dead or alive, his fortunes broken and his house falling about his ears. But he banished all thought of his personal loss and suffering in his anxiety to fittingly provide for the entertainment of his guests, who were constantly arriving; to soothe those who were finding fault with everything from the beginning, and they were many; to hold together his men, who were desperate and almost at the point of mutiny for arrears of the pay so sadly needed; and, above all, to inspire somewhat of his own great spirit into the downhearted. Truly, a man one might worship!

I had almost a hesitation in meeting him, for it was my Uncle Scottos whom the Prince had sent to induce him to join his Cause, and I could not but reflect on what the outcome had been. But at his first words my apprehensions vanished. "Welcome, McDonell!" he said, "we have a common loss, and that is enough for friendship. Donald McDonell was as good a gentleman as ever drew sword, and I am proud to welcome his nephew."

Mr. Secretary Murray we found very different from the gentleman we had seen in the Santi Apostoli; he had lost all his fine airs, and, as Father O'Rourke said, had as much rattle to him as a wet bladder. From the bottom of my heart I wished that my business had been with his host instead of him. Indeed, I remember the curious feeling came over me that I would with as much confidence hand over the money to Creach as to him. Not that I then had any doubt of his honesty—for I will not pretend to be a prophet now that everything is over—but I had rather pin my faith to a stout scamp provided he have some sense of honour—and I have met few men without it in my time—than to an indifferent honest man who is badly frightened.

However, as I had my orders, and it was not for me to question them, I handed over the five hundred guineas with the Duke's letters and took his receipt for them, at the same time promising to give him a statement in writing of the robbery at Loch Broom, signed by Father O'Rourke and myself, in the morning.

"And now, Mr. Secretary, I would like to ask a private question," I said. "Did Creach—or Graeme, if you like—ever deliver the money he was entrusted with?"

"I do not know; I never received any," he answered, hurriedly, and then asked, anxiously, "have you heard anything of him?"

"Heard of him? Damn his smooth, white face! We have heard of him, and seen him, and had a taste of his quality, too! He was at the bottom of this robbery, or my name is not McDonell! And hark you, Mr. Secretary. Your head, and better heads too, I will add without offence, are not worth a tallow dip while that scoundrel is above ground. Think you vermin of his kind will run any risk while safety is to be bought by a little more of his dirty work? He will sell you and Lochiel, and, God help him, the Prince too, if he has opportunity, and you only have yourselves to thank for it."

His own face was as white as Creach's by this time, and, seeing nothing was to be gained by going farther, now that I had relieved my mind, I left him to sleep on the pillow I had furnished and returned to Lochiel's, where I found him and Father O'Rourke in as lively a conversation as if there were not a trouble within or without the four walls.

"Well, McDonell," he said, "I have to thank you for the day you joined forces with Father O'Rourke and marched on my poor house of Auchnacarrie. 'Tis the best reinforcement I have had for many a long day."

"Faith, 'tis a long day since we began campaigning together," laughed the priest. "It all began in the inn at Aquapendente," and thereupon he must tell the story of our adventure with Creach, at which Lochiel laughed heartily; indeed, Father O'Rourke's stories seemed to jump with his humour, and he was never tired of his company during the time we spent with him.

A day or so afterwards, it was proposed that I should cross the Lake with Mr. Secretary Murray to hold a consultation with Lord Lovat, at Glendesherrie, bearing messages from Lochiel. Thither we went and found an old man bent with illness and his own weight, and of a temper most uncertain. Indeed, he did nothing but grumble and swear most of the time we were there, and at first would return no sensible answer to the projects we laid before him.

"Why in the name of all that is evil do you come to me with your fiddle-faddle plans when I am ready to step into my grave?" he grumbled. "Whom am I to believe? Where in the devil are the sixteen thousand men that were coming from France? Where are the ships with supplies and money that were only waiting for a fair wind? Has no wind blown off the coast of France since it blew the Prince here last July with a beggarly following not fit for a private gentleman? Had he come absolutely alone it might have been better, for then he would have been without some of his rattle-brained councillors, not even excepting yourself, Mr. Murray of Broughton," the old man said, with a sneer and a low bow that brought the blood in a rush to Mr. Secretary's face. "If even money had been sent, something might have been done—might be done even yet; but here are these men clamouring for return to their homes, where their wives and little ones have been starving and dying for want of support, and this, too, when no man can say how long his head will be above his shoulders. Pay the men who are here! Let them send something to their homes in the hills, and I'll answer for it they will stand even yet. But, my God! how can you ask human creatures to do more than they have done, with starvation at home as well as in their own bellies?

"And what has your Prince done? Pranced and prinked at balls, and chucked silly wenches under the chin. Listened to the blatherings of Irish adventurers, greedy only for themselves. Estranged, if not insulted, every man of weight and sensibility. Made paper proclamations and scattered paper titles that will rob the men who receive them of life and lands and everything else."

"Not everything, my Lord," I objected, for I was tired of this long tirade; "honour is left."

"Honour!" he snorted, "and who are you to talk of honour? A fine specimen you have given us of it, not to carry a sum of money that I would have entrusted to one of my drovers."

"I know nothing of your drovers, my Lord, and I beg leave to withdraw, as I cannot stay and listen to insults, which your age and infirmities prevent my answering as they deserve."

"You can answer them till you're black in the face, if that's any satisfaction to you! And, what's more, if you will but provide me with a new backbone and another pair of legs, nothing would give me a greater pleasure than to see some of your new-fangled tricks at the fence. Tell me now," he went on, in an entirely new tone, "did you ever learn anything abroad better than your Uncle Scottos taught you at home?"

"Never," I answered, somewhat softened. And the strange part is that before I parted from his Lordship I was only full of admiration for his courage and address; for, now that he had blown off all his black vapours, no one could be more engaging, and he discussed each plan with a keen insight that was admirable. He questioned me much on Rome and my experiences, and was very apt with his bits of Latinity, which I made no effort to cap, I think a little to his disappointment, until I saw that he began to weary, for his infirmity was visible upon him. So we took leave, and I shook hands for the first and last time with Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat.

We returned to Auchnacarrie that same evening, and the next day one Donald McLeod came and was closeted for a long while with Lochiel and Mr. Secretary Murray. When he left, I was told he was from the Prince, who was in a safe place, and that my letters were confided to his care. I never dreamed at the time of enquiring about the money I had handed Murray, supposing it had gone too, but long afterwards was told by McLeod himself that Mr. Secretary had informed him that he had only sixty louis d'ors, which was barely sufficient for himself, so he went back to the Prince without a shilling of the money that the Duke had raised with so much pains, and which I had so hardly delivered.


At the time I discovered this, I put Mr. Secretary down as low as Creach; but feeling then ran high against him, and nothing was too black to lay at his door; but since then I have considered it like enough that old fox, Lovat, may have wheedled it out of him, for he was in such miserable fear that he was easy to work upon; and, at all events, the man had quite enough on his weary shoulders without this addition to carry about through the rest of his miserable life. And if I am right that Lovat got it, it was a rare turn of justice that Mr. Secretary should be the one who swore away his life.

At daybreak—it was the 27th of May—we were expecting to be awakened by the General Gathering on the pipes, but instead we were awakened by the warning notes of the "Cogadh no Sith" (War or Peace) and rushed out to hear the news that Lord London was advancing upon us, hardly a quarter of a mile distant. Our eight hundred men were gathered at once, and Lochiel, being borne by four stout Highlanders, made his escape in a boat which was kept for such an emergency, while we set out in all haste for the west end of Loch Airkaig, which we reached just in time to escape another body of soldiers sent to intercept us.

At dusk we separated with sad farewells but brave wishes, and by bodies, which quickly dwindled smaller and smaller, every man took his own way, and the last stand for Prince Charles was at an end.


How I fared in my attempt to recover the stolen money, and how Father O'Rourke and I came face to face with unlooked-for company in the Inn at Portree.

We, in company with my kinsmen, pushed our way rapidly towards Knoidart. Although it had been perfectly plain to us both—for Father O'Rourke had picked up no mean bit of soldiering in his campaigning—that any successful stand was out of the question—for the cordon was every day tightening round Lochiel, and, worse than this, some of the principals, like Lovat, were disheartened, and only anxious to make their peace on any terms—Murray, who was to some extent the representative of the Prince, was badly frightened, and most of the Highlanders were wearying to return home. This was all patent to us, and yet we could not help feeling a sense of dejection with the others, most of whom knew no reason whatever for anything they did, beyond that they were ordered to it by their chiefs.

But nothing like a spice of danger will cheer a lagging spirit, and for the first twelve hours we had enough of it and to spare. But though at times nearly surrounded, being able to scatter on any approach, we had an advantage over what troops we met, and were not slow to avail ourselves of our opportunities. "Faith, I've not done so much running away since I was at school!" Father O'Rourke declared; and, indeed, to see him one would swear he had the heart of a school-boy in him still.

However, we were soon beyond actual danger, and now made our way openly enough, until one evening we stood on the highway, and before us I pointed out to Father O'Rourke the chimnies of Crowlin, my father's house, which I had left as a boy of twelve, six years before.


Eighteen may not seem a great age to my reader, and does not to me to-day, when I can cap it with fifty years and more, but on that June day in the year '46, when I stood and knocked the dust of the road off my shoes, I felt like a man who had spent a lifetime away from all he had known as a boy, and my heart grew so big within me that I could hardly say the words, "There! that is Crowlin."

"Aye, Giovannini, and the man is blessed that has a Crowlin to come back to," Father O'Rourke said, laying his hand on my shoulder.

"Oh, I don't mean that, Father; 'tis a poor place enough," I answered, for fear he should think I was vaunting it.

"And I didn't mean that either, Giovannini," he said, smiling. "But let us be going."

So on we went, each familiar object breaking down the first feeling of separation until the years between vanished before a voice within, saying, "I saw you yesterday! I saw you yesterday!" as we passed the big rock by the bend of the road, and followed the little path with the same turns across the fields and over the brook, with the same brown water slipping between the same stepping-stones. "You crossed o'er yesterday! You crossed o'er yesterday!" it seemed to say; and so on, until the dogs rushed out barking at us from the house itself.

"Go in first, lad—go in. I'll stay and make friends with the collies," said Father O'Rourke, seating himself, and I left him.

I found my father sadly changed; much more so than I had gathered from the news I had received; indeed, it was easy to see that his disease was fast nearing its end. He was greatly brightened by my return, and heartily welcomed Father O'Rourke, the more so when he learned his true character, and they took to each other at once.

When I saw the great, bare house—all the more forlorn for the lot of rantipole boys and girls, children of my poor Uncle Scottos—wanting the feeling of a home, that somehow seems absent without a woman about—for my sister Margaret was the same as adopted by Lady Jane Drummond—and my poor father waiting his end among his books, alone, year in year out, I first realized something of what my absence had meant to him, and of the effort it had cost him to send me away.

It was decided we should remain where we were for the present, until something definite was heard from the Prince, which might lead to further action. As it would only have courted danger, which I hold a man has no right to do, we put off our uniforms and soon were transformed by the Highland dress.

To me it was nothing, this change to a kilt and my own short hair, replacing the bag wig with a blue bonnet, but Father O'Rourke would fain have returned to the cassock he had left behind him on board the Swallow, and was most uncomfortable for many days until he learned to manage the kilt "with decency, if not with grace," as he said himself.

"Oh, Isaiah, Isaiah!" he groaned; "little did I dream you were preaching at me when you commanded, 'Uncover thy locks, make bare the leg' (Discooperi humerum, revela crura)," and he would pretend to cover up his great knees with his short kilt, to the delight of the children, who were hail-fellow-well-met with him from the hour of his arrival.

Many was the pleasant talk he had with my father, who was full of his remembrances of Rome and the College he so loved in the via delle Quattro Fontane. With him he stopped all his tomfooleries, and I was surprised to see what excellent reason he would discourse, and take a pleasure in it too. But it must not be taken he only amused himself and my father, for more than one weary journey did he make into the hills to minister to some wounded unfortunate there in hiding, sore needing the spiritual consolation he alone could carry. As the "Sagairt an t-Saighdeir" (the Soldier Priest) he was soon known and demanded far and near, and no request ever met with a refusal, no matter what danger might offer.

I may mention it was now the common people began to speak of me as "Spanish John," a name that has stuck fast to the present; indeed, such names serve a purpose useful enough where a whole country-side may have but one family name, and I can assure you, the McDonells never wanted for Johns. There were Red Johns, and Black Johns, and Fair Johns, and Big Johns, and Johns of every size and colour and deformity. Had they known a little more geographically, they might have come nearer the mark; but it is not for me to quarrel with the name they saw fit to fasten upon me, as most of them knew as little difference between Spain and Italy as between Mesopotamia and Timbuctoo.

The English were about at times, and more than once we had to take to the heather, and lie skulking for days together in the hills; but no harm came to Crowlin. Indeed, I thought but little of the ravages committed, though they have been made much of since, for waste many a mile of country had I helped to lay, and that a country like to the Garden of Eden compared with this tangle of heath and hill. It was only the fortune of war; and, after all, there was many a one who lived on without being disturbed, always ready to lend a hand to those less fortunate.


Early in June we heard the news of the capture of old Lord Lovat, in Loch Morar, and before the end of the month that Mr. Secretary Murray had also fallen into the hands of the Government, About this time too we heard some ugly reports of one Allan McDonald Knock, of Sleat, in the Isle of Skye, and, though a cousin of our own, it was said he was the head of the informers and spies, and from the description we suspected that Creach was his coadjutor.

As soon as our country began to get more settled, I resolved to go North and see if I could come on any chance of recovering the stolen money; for now the Prince would need it more than ever, as the last news we had of him was in South Uist, in great straits for every necessity. Accordingly, I set out alone, and, on arriving in the McKenzie country, I put up for a night with a Mr. McKenzie, of Torridon, who had been out as a Lieutenant-Colonel in my cousin Coll Barisdale's regiment.

I made some inquiries, and found old Colin Dearg was still in the country, but was careful not to disclose the object of my visit, which was an easy enough matter, as our talk ran on the troubles of our friends and the Prince.

The next morning, while the lady of the house was ordering breakfast, I went for a solitary stroll, to turn over my plans and decide how I might best approach the matter. I had not gone far before I met a well-dressed man, also in Highland clothes, taking the morning air, and with him, after civil salutations, I fell into discourse about former happenings in the country.

What was my astonishment to hear him of his own accord begin the story of the French officers who came to Loch Broom, and how the thousand guineas had been cut out of their portmanteau by Colin Dearg and the others, Major William McKenzie of Killcoy, and Lieutenant Murdock McKenzie, from Dingwall, both officers of Lord Cromarty's regiment.

"A pretty mess they made of the matter," he said, "and were well despised through all the country for their behaviour; but had they only taken my advice there would never have been a word about it."

"Indeed!" said I, astonished beyond measure. "And pray, sir, what did you advise?"

"Och, I would have cut off both their heads and made a sure thing of it, and there never would have been another word about the matter."

I looked at him with a good deal of curiosity, for I can assure you it gives a man a strange feeling to hear his taking off talked over to his face as a matter of course.

"Who were they," I asked, "and from what country?"

"The oldest, and a stout-like man, was Irish. The youngest, and very strong-like, was a McDonell, of the family of Glengarry," he answered.

"How did they know the money was there? Did these officers speak of it?" I asked, thinking I might as well get at the whole story.

"No," said he, "but another officer, who had been with old Colin since the battle, went on board their ship when they landed and told him the youngest one was sure to have money."

"Was his name Creach or Graeme," I went on.

"I don't just remember, but his face was as white as a sick woman's," was the answer, which fixed my man for me beyond a doubt.

"And what was done with the money?"

"Colin Dearg got three hundred guineas, William Killcoy three hundred, and Lieutenant Murdock McKenzie three hundred."

"And what of the other hundred?"

"Two men who stood behind the Irish Captain with drawn dirks, ready to kill him had he observed Colin Dearg cutting open the portmanteau, got twenty-five guineas each, and I and another man, prepared to do the like to the young Captain McDonell, got the same," he answered, very cool, as if it were a piece of business he did every day.

"Now, are you telling the truth?" I asked, sternly.

"As sure as I shall answer for it on the Last Day," he said, warmly.

"And do you know to whom you are speaking?"

"To a friend, I suppose, and one of my own name."

"No, you damned rascal!" I roared, and caught him by the throat with my left hand, twitching out my dirk in my right, and throwing him on his back. "I am that very McDowell you stood ready to murder!" And I was within an ace of running him through the heart, when I suddenly reflected that I was quite alone, in a place where I was in a manner a stranger, and among people whom I had every reason to distrust. I got up, thrust my dirk into its sheath, and walked off without a word, leaving the fellow lying where I had thrown him.

I met Mr. McKenzie in the entry, who asked me where I had been.

"Taking a turn," said I.

"Have you met with anything to vex you?"

"No," said I, smiling.

"Sir," said he, "I ask your pardon, but you went out with an innocent and harmless countenance, and you come in with a complexion fierce beyond description."

"Come, come, Mr. McKenzie," said I, laughing, "none of your scrutinizing remarks; let us have our morning."

"With all my heart," said he, pouring out the whiskey.

I made some cautious inquiries about the man of my morning adventure, to which Torridon replied he was a stranger to the place, but he believed him to be probably a soldier in Lord Cromarty's regiment.

As soon as I could decently do so, I took leave of my host and hastened to put into execution a plan I had formed.

My cousin John, Glengarry, was the head of our family and my chief, and to him I determined to apply. I therefore set out at once for Invergarry, where I found the castle entirely dismantled and abandoned, so that when the Duke of Cumberland appeared somewhat later he found only bare walls to destroy; but destroy them he did, so completely that he did not even leave a foundation.

I found Glengarry easily enough, living in retirement in a safe place among his own people, and paid my respects to him with great good will; indeed, few chiefs had greater claims than he.

His father, Alastair Dubh, was one of the best warriors of his day, and had performed feats at Killiecrankie that a man might well be proud of. There, too, the chief's elder brother, Donald Gorm, fell gloriously, having killed eighteen of the enemy with his own sword.

His eldest son, Alastair, was now in the Tower of London, a prisoner, and Æneas, his second, had been accidentally shot at Falkirk six months before, whilst in arms for the Prince.

He, himself, had not been out, but no more had Clanranald; indeed, in many cases it was thought best the heads of the families should not be involved, in the event of the rising not proving favourable; but this turned out to be a sorry defence in more cases than one, amongst which was Glengarry's own.

After hearing my story, he said, laughing, "Man! but this would make a pretty quarrel with the McKenzies if we only had these troubles off our hands. I would send with you men enough to turn their whole country upside down, and you might consider the money as safe as if you had it in your own sporran. But what can I do? You dare not take any body of men across the country, and, more than that, I haven't them to send, even if you could. But let us sleep over it, and we will see what can be done in the morning."

I told him my plan was to go straight to Dundonald, who was an honourable man, and through him try and work on his uncle, old Colin Dearg; and could he but provide me with five or six men, by way of a life-guard, it was all I would ask.

When we parted on the morrow, Glengarry said: "There are your men! but promise me there will be no lives wasted unless something can be gained. I have given you five picked men, and they must not be thrown away; but if the money can be got, and fighting is wanted, you have five better swords at your back than ever were dreamed of among the McKenzies; and whether you send them all back or not, I'll be satisfied so long as you make good use of them."

We made our way with all possible speed and precaution until we arrived at Dundonald's, and with him I was well pleased, more particularly at his reception of my plans, and his promise to send for old Colin and have him meet us at a place appointed.

Thither we all repaired, and after inquiring from Dundonald the particulars of the house, which I found simple enough, for it was all one floor without partitions and but a single door, I laid out my plan of action to my men.

Should old Colin keep the appointment, it would most probably be after dark, and he was sure to come with a strong following, more particularly if he suspected I was in the matter, which well might be the case after my meeting of the previous week. So I determined as follows: my men should seat themselves just within the door, not allowing any one to separate them, and see they kept their arms clear that they might be drawn the moment I made the signal. At this, the two I named were to keep the door, and the other three pass out and at once fire the house at both ends, and then return to back up the others at the door, where they could easily cut down the McKenzies as they attempted to make their way out.

As for me, I would seat myself between Dundonald and old Colin Dearg, and at the first serious offensive motion I would do for both of them at once with my dirk and pistol, knock out the light, and try to make for the door. If I chanced to get there alive, they would know my voice, as I would shout our rallying cry, "Fraoch Eilean!" but if I failed, to see that every soul within perished along with me. There was a good chance of escaping, as I held the start of the fight in my own hands, and I counted that between the surprise and the dark I ran no risk beyond the ordinary. I regretted that my plan should include Dundonald, but as he was a McKenzie that could not be helped.

I was right in every particular, for it was dark when old Colin appeared, and he was followed by forty or fifty men, carrying, apparently, only short sticks, but under their coats I perceived they had their dirks ready. They entered the house, and, without giving them a moment to settle or to disconcert our plan, I entered boldly and seated myself as I proposed, my men keeping together near the door.

After a short pause, every one eying me and mine, and we returning it, though without offence, Dundonald mentioned the cause of our visit in as becoming a manner as the subject would admit of, speaking in English, so that what was offensive might not be understood by the men.

"And why, Dundonald, should you come inquiring of me about a matter of which I know nothing?" asked Colin Dearg, in a silky voice, like the old fox he was.

"Now, Colin Dearg McKenzie," said I, shortly, "I have neither time nor stomach for smooth words. You cut that gold out of my portmanteau with your own hands and kept three hundred guineas of it, while the other six went to your fellow-thieves. I have it from the wretch you bribed with twenty-five more to murder me if I saw you at your dirty work. So none of your lies, but make what restitution you can, and prove you have some honesty left in you by handing over the Prince's money."

The old man never made an attempt to defend himself, but after a minute said, sulkily, "Och, well! There's no use making such a pother about the matter now; the money is gone, and I cannot give it back if I would, so there is an end of it all."

"No," I said, in Gaelic, so all might understand; "because the thief has spent the money that does not end the matter."

"What more would you have?" asked the old man, still sulky.

"The gallows!" I said, firmly; and with a growl the crowd caught at their dirks; but at the same moment I whipped out my dirk and pistol, and, covering both old Colin and Dundonald, swore I would kill them both if the first step was made towards me, and, as I spoke, my men took possession of the door.

"For the love of God, my children, stand you still—stand you still!" screamed old Colin, and not a man moved.

Every man in the room was on his feet, crowding towards the table where we stood, I facing them all, holding both Dundonald and old Colin as my sureties at the point of my weapons, my men keeping the door as I knew, though I dared not so much as glance towards them, and every one strained up to the point of outburst, only waiting for the next move.

I chose to keep the lead in my own hands. "Now, then! What have you got to say for yourself?" I demanded from old Colin.

"I might say I have only taken my own," he returned, with amazing quiet. "But 'tis ill talking with a dirk against one's ribs. Move it a little from me and let me talk as a gentleman should," he went on, with a coolness that brought forth a murmur of admiration from his people.

"Your own?" I cried, amazed at his audacity.

"My own, certainly; and not only mine, but my children's as well! Think you a few paltry gold pieces will pay the debt of the Prince towards me and mine? We have given what your gold is as dirt beside! We have given lives that all the gold under Heaven cannot buy back. We have broken hearts for his sake that all the louis d'ors in France cannot mend. I and mine have ruined ourselves beyond redemption for his Cause, and, when we have winter and starvation before us, why should I not take what comes to my hand for those nearest to me, when it can be of no use elsewhere?"

There came answering groans and sighs of approval from his following at this fine-sounding bombast, and I was at a loss how to cut it short or see my way to an end, when, taking advantage of my distraction, he suddenly gave some signal, and, quick as thought, a blade flashed out beside him, and I only saved myself by a chance parry with my dirk.

Then I lost control of myself. "Take that, you Red Fox!" I shouted, and, raising myself, I struck Colin Dearg McKenzie above the breastbone, so that he went down under my hand like an ox that is felled. With my pistol-hand I knocked over the only light, and jumped for the door, shouting "Fraoch Eilean!" and before they could recover, I had passed out under the swords of my men.

"Fire the thatch now! Fire the thatch!" I shouted; but even as I spoke the red flame began running up the roof, and our men joined us again.

Every heart was beating and every arm tingling to begin, for we knew we could hold the door against any number, but, to our surprise, no man attempted to make his way out, though the dry thatch was beginning to crackle and discommode us with its glare. There was a silence like the dead within.

I approached the door. "Dundonald! What is the matter with you, within? Come out yourself alone, and I give you my word of honour you shall go unharmed. Then let the others come as they can."

"McDonell!" he called back. "Colin is dead. They have no heart for fighting."

"Then let them burn! But come you out!" for I could not bear that he, a gentleman, should perish with cattle such as these.

"That I will never do! We either go out together, or my blood will be on your hands with theirs!" he answered.

"My God, Dundonald! What folly is this?" I cried, much distressed at his obstinacy. But there came no sound save the crackling of the thatch.

My men said never a word; it was my private quarrel, and though I knew they would be satisfied with whatever I might decide, I was in a sore quandary what to do, and in my perplexity I leaned towards mercy.

"Dundonald! If they will say together, 'He was a thief and came to his death by my hand honestly,' and if you will come out to us, we will stand by and let them depart unharmed. There is no time to lose; the roof is wellnigh gone!"

At this there was a babel of tongues within, while my men grunted their approval behind me. Then came a cry from the house: "Red Colin was wrong, and came to his end fairly and honestly at the hand of Little John McDonell!"

"That will do!" I cried. "Come you out first, and the others may follow!"

We stood off to one side, prepared against any sudden rush; but Dundonald stepped out of the door alone, sheathing his sword as he did so, and placed himself in our midst. Then appeared four men bearing the stalwart body of old Colin Dearg between them in a plaid, and after trooped the others. They passed us without a word or look, and kept on their way in silence up towards the hills, not even turning when the roof crashed in, sending a shower of sparks and flame into the darkness overhead.

"Dundonald," I said, when the night had shut them out from us, "I trust you bear me no ill-will for this business? My hand could not reason when it baulked his last treachery."

"No, McDonell," he answered, with much openness, "he was my kinsman and I owed him my support, but, now that he is gone, I will never lay his going against you." And thereupon we shook hands and parted very good friends.

On my return to Glengarry, I was supported by his approval of my action. And, after giving suitable acknowledgments to the men, dismissed them and made my way back to Crowlin, where I found them much disturbed at my long absence, and fearful I had fallen into the hands of the English.

It was now about the beginning of July, and hearing that the Prince would most likely be in Skye, Father O'Rourke and I determined we should take our way thither to volunteer our services, and accordingly took leave of my father. He was most willing we should go, and never complained of our leaving, although we could see that he was daily drawing nearer to his end. But he was anxious about our apprehension, as many had been taken of late. Major Ferguson had laid waste the lands of Lansdale, and, among others, my cousin Coll Barisdale's fine house, Traigh, was burned to the ground. This my father felt keenly, and felt too that the next blow might fall even nearer home.

So we crossed over, intending to make for Trotternish, on Lord McDonald's estate, but heard news soon after landing that the Prince had gone on, probably to the main-land.

However, we kept on, and after spending the first night with Rory McDonald of Fortymenruck, pushed as far as Portree, as I thought Father O'Rourke might as well see the principal place in the Island.

When we reached Portree, we went into a tavern to obtain refreshment after our march of twenty miles, and desired the landlord to fetch us something to drink. Upon this he informed us there were gentlemen in the next room who would like to have the pleasure of our company if we thought proper to indulge them. I inquired their names, and, on hearing them, desired him to present our compliments and we would join their party.

In the next room we found nine or ten gentlemen, some of whom I knew and others I had heard of, and, after partaking of what they had, I called for more liquor to our account. While the landlord was preparing this the door opened, and who should appear on the threshold but Captain Creach. At the sight of us his white face turned even a shade paler; however, I could not but admire the address with which he recovered himself and entered with perfect assurance, greeting the company, all of whom evidently knew him, calling him Graeme, as usual. My first impulse was to seize and denounce him before them all, but Father O'Rourke's hand was on me under the table, and I reflected that my mission from the Duke not being yet at an end, I was still bound in my word; so I managed to conceal my feelings, and when he was introduced I bowed as if I had never seen him before, which he returned as collected as a tax-gatherer.

What I had called for now came in, but I noticed that Creach did no more than touch his lips to his glass, upon which one of the company rallied him, and I heard him say he did not choose to drink more.

"Why is that, sir?" I said, pretending to be somewhat gone in liquor.

"I try to avoid giving offence," he said, very pointedly, "and sometimes if I am warmed with liquor I am apt to blunder out something which might not please."

"Oh, I am not particular as to my company, Mr. Creach," I said, hoping he might take me up on the name, but he made no move. "I am a peaceable man myself, and promise you not to take offence at anything, provided you apologize immediately afterwards. Now, here's a health I cannot let pass—to my host of last night, Rory McDonald Fortymenruck!"

He drank with the rest.

I began again at once. "Here's to the Prince and his better fortunes, and a curse on any one who plays him false!"

He drank this too.

I was thinking out something, more pointed, when he stopped me by asking why I did not propose the health of my cousin, Allan McDonald Knock.

Here was an opening as good as another, and I took it.

"Is he a friend of yours?"

"He is, sir."

"Then, sir, I do not drink to him, because he lies under grave imputations."

"And pray, sir, what may they be?" he asked.

"Oh, I only have them on hearsay," I said, drawing him on.

"And what do you hear?"

"Only that he is a coward and an informer, and, of course, a scoundrel, whose health any gentleman would refuse to drink," I answered, mighty cool.

"What!" said he; "do you really believe him a coward?"

"That is his general character."

"Then, sir," said he, "if you will send him a challenge I will bear it, and if he will not fight you, I will."

"Oh, do not trouble yourself. If you are anxious for fighting, you have a sword by your side, and so have I. Why lose any time? Out with you at once, and I will give you all the fighting you can stomach between this and doomsday," and I made as if I would rise.

As a matter of fact, I would not then have fought with the reptile for worlds, but since I could not lay hands on him, it was some little satisfaction to outface him before his company, and I made no objections when the others interfered, but only thought that Mr. Creach had added a long bit to his reckoning when he asked me to drink to the health of Allan Knock in the inn at Portree.


How Father O'Rourke kept the Black Pass; of the escape of the Prince and my own mischance that followed, but of how the Day of Reckoning between me and Creach came at last.

We felt that Skye was not the safest place for us after my brush with Creach, for, with such a creature in leash with Allan Knock, no decent man's liberty was worth a rush in days when a whisper was sufficient to secure his arrest, so we made our trip a short one and returned to the main-land.

We and all felt relieved that the Prince had returned from the Islands, whither he had gone much against the wishes of his best friends, and his escape might have been effected long since had he not taken wrong advice from those who knew nothing of the country. And if I may criticize, without blame however, His Royal Highness, perhaps from too great an openness in his own temper, was not a discerning judge of those about him, many of whom were men of no character whatever, and to-day I can see the truth of Father O'Rourke's words which I had resented so heartily in Rome.

But such advantage as he now gained from being amongst his friends was in a measure balanced by the nearness of his enemies, and he was obliged to lie exceeding close, and at times ran narrow chances of capture. This was the more evident as but few now knew his whereabouts, and while on the Islands his movements were known so wide that at times I have been tempted to think it was possible the English were not in truth over anxious for his capture. Indeed, I cannot think what they would have done with him had he fallen into their hands. To execute him would be an impossibility, for we felt such a murder as that of King Charles was something the civilized world would never see again, and the horrid crimes of the French in these last days were as then undreamed of; and to imprison him would have been to place him on the highest possible pinnacle of martyrdom, the last thing his enemies could desire.

Be this as it may, we found the activity of the troops had been greatly increased, and it was only with the greatest caution we could visit Crowlin; so we kept moving about the country, seldom passing two nights in the same place, keeping as near the coast as possible to be on the outlook for friendly ships.

We soon had evidence, too, that Creach was at work, for even before we left Skye it was clear we were spied upon, and now it was only the scarcity of troops that prevented him and Allan Knock from carrying out their private revenge. We were dogged night and day, and knew an attempt would be made upon us the moment the necessary men could be spared for such service.

It was on the first of September that we got news of a vessel off the coast, near Loch Carron, where we were then hiding on a property which belonged to our family, and we forthwith sent word to Glenaladale—Alexander McDonald—who had just left the Prince in charge of Cluny Macpherson among the hills, that all was ready. We made a night visit to Crowlin and bade good-bye to my father, whom I never expected to see again on earth, while over the sleeping children Father O'Rourke said a prayer in Irish, and left his blessing on the house. We slipped out into the night again and made our way to the coast to find that the vessel had gone out to sea, but had signalled she would stand in again after dark the next day.

This we spent most anxiously among the hills. We knew we were watched in every movement and an attempt would be made to prevent our embarking, if possible; and, to add to our anxiety, word was brought from Glenaladale saying he had no knowledge of where the Prince was, as Cluny had moved away from the hiding-place he last knew, but that we were all to be aboard and lie to until the last possible hour in the morning, and then, if he did not appear with the Prince, to sail without him, instructing any other vessel spoken, to stand in farther to the south near Arisoig, so he might prepare and get word into the hills in time.

Shortly before midnight we saw the signal of a red light low on the water shewn twice for a moment, and made our way to the beach, where the boats met us, and we embarked without molestation. We found her to be the Alerte privateer, and her Captain fully prepared to run any reasonable risk to bring off the Prince. We met with a numerous company of gentlemen and some ladies on board, who had been picked up at different points along the coast, and together we watched in the greatest anxiety for some signal from the shore; but our hopes vanished as the dawn grew stronger in the east, until we could not justify a longer delay, and made ready to return in our boat, which we had kept alongside. Such was their devotion that some, when they heard of our resolution, were only deterred from joining us by my assurance that I was charged with a special commission by the Duke, and their presence would only endanger the safety of the Prince as well as our own; on this they allowed us to depart, with many a prayer both in Gaelic and English. With dull anger in our hearts we climbed the hills, eying all the cover whence we knew false eyes were following us; but not a bush moved, nor was there a sound, as we lay on the open hill-top and from our old hiding-place saw the sun redden the sails of the privateer as she stood on her way towards France and safety.

Our first thought was to get back to Crowlin, for, now the Prince had failed to appear, we held our duty was to my father until another opportunity offered.

We were quite unable to approach the house in daylight, as it lay in the hollow well open to observation; and when we at last made our way down and entered, we were shocked at the change that had taken place in my father's condition.

"It was a kind Providence that led us back, Giovannini," said Father O'Rourke, as we knelt beside the plainly dying man, "for these hours will mean much to him and to you afterwards."

When my father recovered from the shock of seeing us, it was with the greatest thankfulness I saw Father O'Rourke go into him alone, and when he appeared again his face was that of the holy man he was.


"Now, Giovannini," he said, "I am going to your cousin"—this was Dr. McDonald, of Kylles—"for I have done all that is in my power for your father. He wants you now, my son, and he wants such relief as the Doctor may perhaps give him."

"But, Father," I said, "that is impossible; you do not know the road over the hills well enough, and the country is alive with troops you can never pass."

"Nonsense," he said, with a short laugh, "I can pass anything on a night such as this. Let me take Neil with me, and we will be back before daybreak."

Knowing that argument was useless, I sent for Neil, as good and safe a man as there was in the country, and who spoke English perfectly, gave him his directions to go by the Ghlach Dubh—the Black Pass—saw they both were well armed and supplied with cakes and whiskey, bade them god-speed, and then turned back into the dark house.

The poor little ones, soon to be fatherless for a second time, were sleeping quietly, knowing nothing of the great sorrow creeping over them, and I passed on into the chamber of death, sending old Christie, the servant, to keep her lonely watch in the kitchen.

That last night alone with my father is as distinct to me to-day as if it were but just passed; it is full of things that are sacred—too sacred to be written about—and at the change of the night into day, I closed his eyes and prayed over his remains in peace.

When I could, I rose, and, calling Christie, opened the door softly and stole out into the cool, clearing morning air. It was so still that a great peace seemed over everything, and only the cheep of distant birds came to me; but soon I made out a moving figure on the hill-side, and, remembering Father O'Rourke with a start, I set off and hurried to meet him. But as I drew nearer I could make out that it was Neil alone, and hurried forward much alarmed, and, as I saw him better, my fears grew.

He was running at his best, without plaid or bonnet, and when we met all he could gasp out was, "Oh! the Soldier Priest! the Soldier Priest!"

"Stop, man!" I said, sternly. "Neil, Neil! What new trouble do you bring?"

"He is dead!" he cried, with a groan. "No, not dead, God forgive me! but dying there alone, and him the finest swordsman I ever stood beside."

"Come!" I said, and he turned with me, and as we went he gave out his story in gasps:

"The Doctor was not at home. Skulking in the hills again. We left our message and started back. Just at the top of the Black Pass they met us, and he never thinking of them at all! An officer and six men. We were too quick for them, though, and had our swords out and our backs to the hill-side before they could stop us.

"They called to him to surrender, taking him to be you.

"'Come, come, Mr. McDonell!' says the officer. 'Give up your sword like a gentleman!'

"And oh! Master John! With his death before him he laughed. And what do you think were the words he said? 'Sir,' says he, 'I never knew a McDonell yet who could give up his sword like a gentleman!'

"And then he warned the officer to be off and leave such work to the likes of Allan Knock and Creach, and the hot words flew back and forth between them till we were all at it together.

"He ran the officer through as cool as if he was at practice; he put two others down, and we were making grand play, when there was a flash, and down he went, shot like a dog!

"'Neil! Neil!' he shouted, 'go, for the love of God!' and I broke through and rolled over the side of the cliff; but by God's help I caught and held myself just when I thought I was lost. And I held there while they crawled to the edge and threw a torch down—making sure I had gone with the stones that rolled till they struck the black water below—and until I heard them gather up their wounded and tramp. Then I climbed to the top again, and left him only when I found he was still breathing, and remembered he meant I was to carry his message to you.

"Oh, Master John! never, never did man fight better, and you may comfort your heart with the name he made for you this night."


I could see it all clearly: that scoundrel, Allan Knock, set on by Creach, had been on our track ever since we left Skye, and knowing of our return from the ship through his spies, had thought to have taken me, or both of us, at Crowlin; the rest was plain from Neil's story, and it was only through the mistake of the English captain that my father had closed his eyes in my arms.

By the goodness of God, when I knelt beside the man so dear to me, I found him still alive, though wounded so that at the first sight, I saw even to raise him meant a quicker death.

The moment I spoke he opened his eyes. "Ah, Giovannini, my son," he said, in a voice surprisingly strong, "it was a grand fight!" And then, after a moment, "It was a pretty fight until they put an end to it with their shooting. But, poor creatures, I drove them to it. They couldn't get in at me in any other way."

"Oh, Father," I cried, "why didn't you tell them who you were?"

"I've been borrowing names all along," he said, drowsily; "tell Lynch I kept his. I didn't make a bad use of yours either," he said, very slowly, and seemed to doze.

We raised his head more and covered him with the plaids.

In a little while he woke up quite clear. "Giovannini, lad, what of things at home?"

I told him, and he muttered a short prayer to himself, and then went on: "I am thankful I have neither kith nor kin, and not a soul to give a thought to my going to-night save yourself. But that is much—is dear to me. What claim has a wandering priest save on his God, and your being with me is the excess of His goodness.

"Now don't be fretting about the way my end has come; it was as much God's work to bar the door by my sword, and keep the father in peace with the son, as to stand beside His Altar."

And then the drowsiness began to steal on him again, but he roused himself to say, as if in answer to my sorrow, "Courage, lad, courage; the sun has not gone because a rushlight is snuffed out."

It was a long time before he spoke again, and then it was in the same quiet voice.

"'Tis a strange pass to come to a man who a few years ago thought of nothing more dangerous than the sunny side of a street! But, do you know, I always believed I had a bit of the soldier in me. Many a time have my fingers itched for a sword-hilt when I thought I might have done more than praying, and now it has been given to me, and I have done it well. I can say with St. Paul, 'I have fought a good fight' (Bonum certamen certavi)"—and these were the last words that brave heart said on earth.

We bore him home to Crowlin on our shoulders, and laid him and my father side by side in the one grave, where my tears and those of the children fell on both alike.

Broken as I was in every way, I had to think and act, for the same necessities were before me. So after seeing my uncles, Allan and Alexander, the nearest relations left to the children, and making some provision for their safety, I returned again to the coast near Loch Carron, for I could now move with greater freedom until such time as the real facts of my supposed death at the Black Pass might be discovered.

Not more than ten days went by before I had news of two ships hanging off the land, and I arranged to board them should they come close enough to signal. This they did, and I found them to be the Princesse de Conti and L'Hereux, from St. Maloes, under command of Colonel Warren, of Dillon's Regiment, expressly come and determined to carry the Prince back with him at all hazards.

I told him of our disappointment of the Alerte, and, in accordance with the instructions from Glenaladale, we stood south for Arisoig, and I was put on shore near Loch-na-Neugh. I found Glenaladale without difficulty, but to our uneasiness there was still the same uncertainty about the Prince; and at first the search brought no result, but by chance he got the information necessary, and the joyful news of the vessels' arrival was carried in all haste to the "Wanderer."

It was late at night—the night of the nineteenth of September—when we came to Borodale, where a numerous company had gathered awaiting him. He was accompanied by Lochiel, now nearly recovered, his brother the Doctor, and others; but my heart was sore when I heard of the condition he was in, although far better than what he had known for months. However, Glenaladale said he was in grand health and spirits, and clean linen, a tailor, and a barber, would soon change him into as gallant a looking gentleman as ever stepped in the Three Kingdoms.

I could not go near the house, and begged Glenaladale not to mention my name to the Prince until they sailed, and then only that the Duke might know I had at least kept my promise not to leave Scotland while the Prince was in danger. My trouble was too heavy upon me for the drinking of healths, and I had no heart for the framing of encouragements.

From where I sate I could see the lighted windows in the house darken as figures crossed them. I could even catch faint snatches of song, and with some envy in my heart for those who could so rejoice, when behind them was ruin and before only the uncertain safety of the two ships I could faintly make out against the dark waters of the Loch. As for me, the whole world seemed closing down in the darkness, and I could see no cheer and no light beyond. My thoughts were the formless thoughts of a hopeless man, and they were my only companions till the dawn broke and the embarkation began.

Then my broken thoughts took shape. What place had I among these men? They had fought, and, if they had lost, had lost gallantly, without reproach, and were still about their leader, while I had never even drawn my sword for the Cause I loved as truly as any of them all, and my efforts had only ended in failure in every particular. I was a broken man, and the best friend I had in the world was lying, murdered for my sake, in his unconsecrated grave at Crowlin.

Those were the blackest hours that ever had come to me, and I would not wish my worst enemy to pass through the like.

I counted over one hundred who passed to the ships until the Prince, Lochiel, and their immediate following appeared. Then I rose and stood bareheaded, and I remember it was in the Gaelic my mother had taught me that the words came when I prayed aloud for his safety. Poor, ill-fated, Bonnie, Bonnie Prince Charlie! All the gallantry, all the fortitude, all the sensibility with which God Almighty ever dowered human creature had been shewn forth by him from the hour his misfortune came upon him, in a measure that redeemed his former faults, and should blot out all that followed the day he sailed from Loch-na-Neugh.

Bareheaded I stood and watched L'Hereux and the Princesse de Conti get under weigh, until I could not bear to look at them longer and threw myself face downwards amid the heather.

At length sleep came to me, and when I awoke the quiet of the night was again about me, and I rose and took my way alone.

I now settled myself at Loch Carron, and was visited by such as knew of my whereabouts, who did what they could to raise my spirits, and, amongst others, by Dr. McDonald, of Kylles.

One afternoon, when out fishing with him at the entrance of the Loch, we were surprised by the appearance round a headland of a sloop of war, which we at once recognized as the Porcupine, Captain Ferguson, well known on the coast for his activity in the apprehension of suspected Jacobites.

To attempt to escape was only to invite pursuit and ensure certain capture, so we put a bold face on the matter, and the Doctor, without hesitation, stood up and signalled to her with his hat.

"Ferguson will not molest me, if he has any bowels at all, for I did him a good turn this summer when I set his arm for him in Knoidart," said the Doctor.

"That is all very well, but what of me?" I asked. "I am in no state to go on board. I am dressed like a ploughman."

"Well! what better would you wish? You have nothing to do but hold your tongue, for you don't know a word of English. I'll tell Ferguson I am short of lemons and sugar, and appeal to him not to drive me to drinking my whiskey pure. I know the idea of a rebel coming on board a King's ship on such an errand will tickle his fancy, for he is not such a monster as they report. In any case, we can do nothing else."

There was nothing for it but to go on, and in truth the matter did not appear in any way serious, so I rowed on towards the sloop, which was coming up smartly, and before many minutes we were alongside, the Doctor shouting out his instructions to me in Gaelic.

It turned out much as he had said, for Captain Ferguson laughed heartily when he whispered his message, and invited him into his cabin to have a glass together, whilst I waited on deck.

Now, unfortunately, the Doctor had a strong taste for conviviality, which was part reason why his story of the lemons was so easily swallowed, and one glass followed another, until I could see that he was getting well into his cups.

I was anxious to be away, and so ventured to speak to him at the door, saying, by way of excuse, that the weather looked threatening; but he only pooh-poohed the matter, and I saw he was further gone than I supposed, and so spoke with more sharpness than I intended.

"That's a pretty kind of servant, 'pon my word!" said the Captain.

"Servant, indeed!" snorted the Doctor, to my dismay. "Servant, indeed! He's as good a gentleman as I am!" and then, sobered at once, as it flashed across his fuddled brain what his words might mean, he went on, earnestly: "You know, Captain, in the Highlands service does not necessarily mean that a man is not a gentleman. Why I have known—" but the Captain cut him short with: "Come, come, Doctor, you can't throw dust in my eyes. 'Tis bad enough to have you here imposing on me on your own account, but I will have no tricks with unknown gentlemen who choose to run their necks into the noose."

The poor Doctor was completely overwhelmed with his blunder, and only made matters worse with every word he uttered; but I refused to open my mouth, and was not sorry when they put him over the side of the ship and we saw him drifting fast astern, still lamenting.

The Captain then turned to me. "Now, sir," said he, "'tis an unpleasant duty to detain you, but I will make your detention as easy as may be. Of course, if you care to explain who you are, and can prove to me that you are innocent and your representations correct, I will put you on shore; if not, you will go with us to Skye, where I will certainly obtain information, so you will gain little by your silence."

However, I did not see fit to answer him, and only stared as if I did not understand a word.

"Very well," said he, "if you will play the servant you will live forward; when you choose to declare yourself a gentleman, I will treat you as leniently as I may."

So forward I went, and gained but little by my obstinacy except uncomfortable quarters and rough company, for we made for Sleat, and there were boarded by Allan Knock. The Captain was convinced he had secured Barisdale in my person, but Knock was forced to declare that he was wrong in this, though he could not name me; but the next day he returned with Creach, before whom I was paraded like a beast on market-day.

The game was up now, but I did not care to speak; indeed, I had nothing to say before such a scoundrel. Words were not what I counted on to settle my reckoning with him.

After they left, Ferguson came up to where I was sitting on deck.

"You are my prisoner, Mr. McDonell," said he.

"On what authority, sir?" said I.

"Oh, ho! You can talk English, I find," he laughed.

"Yes, and perhaps more than you may relish, Captain Ferguson," I replied; "and if English be not sufficient, I have one or two other tongues beside. Now, there is no use in trying to frighten me; I have gone through too much for that. I am an officer in the Spanish service, and have not drawn sword in this quarrel, and if you detain me without any authority or warrant beyond the words of this creature who has just left, I warn you your action is unjustifiable and will be most strictly inquired into."

"Now, now, Mr. McDonell, don't try any of your hectoring with me," he returned. "You can make your complaints when you see London."

"Well, then, London let it be. I have always had a mind to visit it," I answered, shortly, and thereupon our talk ended.

I will do him justice to say he treated me with much civility during the four weeks I was on board the Porcupine—very different treatment from what I received at the hands of Captain Gardner, to whom he handed me over in the Sound of Mull. But this he apologized for before I left him, saying he had only acted under orders, as otherwise, could he have followed his inclination, I would have been of his mess.

However, I will not dwell on these personal inconveniences, and only record a kindness received from Mr. Maitland, a midshipman on board. When orders were received from Edinburgh to land me at Fort William, I took leave of Captain Gardner without any hard feeling on either side, and placed myself in the boat ordered to convey me on shore. The sailors, who were Irish, pitying my situation, said, in that language, if I broke away when I was landed, they would take good care no balls would reach me. But I thanked them, in the same tongue, and assured them I was in no danger.

On taking leave of Mr. Maitland he said, in French, "I suppose you know, Mr. McDonell, to whom you are indebted for this? To Allan McDonald Knock."

"Thank you a thousand times for your interest," I returned, "but I know that already."

I was accordingly imprisoned in Fort William, but suffered little, save from the confinement, which lasted over four months, when, by the exertions of my sister Margaret and her protector, Lady Jane Drummond, I was released.

I then returned to Knoidart, but shortly after, hearing that Allan Knock was at Glenelg, I took Neil and Duncan, his half-brother, and started for that place.

Things fell out better than I had expected, for, by what I have always held to be a direct Providence, no less an enemy than Creach himself was delivered into my hands when I least looked for it. I was on my way to Glenelg, as I say, to meet with Knock, and never thought to meet with the greater villain, Creach, in the country, as I knew he must be aware of my release, and that he would not be safe within my reach. But, by what I am not impious enough to name a chance, when in the house of one of our own people I heard of him being in the neighborhood, and so laid wait in a place by which I knew he must pass, safe from interruption or observation.

When he and his three men came up, we rose, and, planting ourselves in the way, called a halt.

I have spoken before of his address, and even now it did not fail him, for I could mark no sign of surprise on his white face; he might have come to a rendezvous for all he shewed.

I spoke at once to his men in Gaelic, who held themselves ready for attack the moment we appeared.

"Skye men! I am a McDonell, of Glengarry. I and mine have no quarrel with you, but this gentleman and I have a matter of blood between us. Take no part in it, then, for it is no affair of yours, and it will not be stayed in any case."

Then, either because they had small stomach for useless fighting, or, what is the more likely, that they saw it was a private matter and did not touch their honour, they drew to one side in silence with Neil and Duncan.

Creach understood what I was at, and as I threw off my coat and vest he did the like.

A fierce joy was rising in me. "Come, sir!" I said, and he fell into position.

He was a good swordsman enough, but my wrist was of iron and my heart of fire, and the tinkle and grate of the steel was like music to my ear.

He was fighting for time, waiting to see my play, and parried with great judgment, but at last I reached in at him and touched him above the right breast.

"That is for Aquapendente!" I cried, in satisfaction, as I saw the stain grow and redden on his shirt.

In a little I touched him again, on the opposite side. "That is for Rome!" and I was completely master of myself, for I held his life in my hands, like a ball, to throw away when I pleased.

He said not a word, but fought on with the same courage, but it was hopeless. Again I got in at him just where I had planned, and shouted in my joy, "That is for Loch Broom!"


Up to this time he had not shewn the slightest sign of faltering, but now in a sudden move backwards he struck his heel sharply and staggered wide. I could have run him through with the greatest ease, but I was not ready for that as yet. He regained his feet, but to my dismay and surprise the shock had broken his courage, like a glass that is shattered, and he fenced so wildly that I withheld from attack, hoping he would recover. Instead of this he only grew worse, until, losing hope of any betterment, I locked his sword, and with a sudden turn broke it short off. With a groan, the first sound he had uttered, he fell, and covered his face with his hands.

I stood over him, and had he screamed or made a move I would have ended it then and there. But I could not kill the creature lying, waiting his fate in mute terror at my feet, though for months I had longed for this moment above all things else in the world.

"Get up, you coward!" I said, but he made no move. Suddenly I threw my sword down, and, stepping towards him, drew my dirk, at which he screamed and prayed for mercy with shrieks of terror.

"Have no fear, you dog! I am not going to put murder on my soul for a wretch such as you! But I will mark you so that you will be a by-word amongst men for the rest of your days!"

Whereupon I seized him, and, despite his screams and struggles, with two clean sweeps I cut off his ears close to his head.

Leaving him rolling on the ground, I called Neil and bade him bind up his wounds. Then, placing his ears in my silver snuff-box, I threw it to him. "Take these to your fellow-spy, and tell him whose hand did this! Tell him, too, that his own run much danger of a like fate if they hear aught he may ever be tempted to repeat to the harm of me or mine!"

My story is told. I did meet with Allan Knock, and I did not cut off his ears; but I poured into them words that made him wish he had been born without.

Because I have lived on into a time that has changed much from what I knew in those days, I have sometimes felt I should have killed Creach, instead of taking a revenge which may now be looked on as barbarous. But those who know will understand, and those who do not, I must leave to their prejudice. I have tried to tell things as they were, without excuse.


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