At the second shot Mr Innes was wounded in the thigh; and it was a close shave on the other side, for Mr Innes's ball went through Mr Cruickshank's whiskers. Mr Innes, however, kept his appointment with Mr Stewart next morning. Mr Stewart said that he met him at Durris House at breakfast.
Mr William Walker, who was afterwards three years overseer to Mr Innes at Durris, tells that he thinks it was in June or July 1819 that his father's servant and himself were carting home fuel from near Bourtreebush, when they observed two carriages on the turnpike from Aberdeen driving at a furious pace.
Mr Innes looked at the town clock, and said, "My time is up; but you will meet me at breakfast to-morrow at Durris at eight." He did not say what he was to be about.
Mr Innes was born at Leuchars in Morayshire; his father was Sheriff of Kincardineshire, and proprietor of Leuchars; his brother, Cosmo Innes, Esq., was Sheriff of Morayshire. The father of Mr James Innes bought the lease of the estate of Durris for ninety-nine years from the trustees of the Earl of Peterborough for £30,000 and an annual feu-duty of a few hundred pounds.
Captain Barclay of Ury and Mr Innes laid a heavy bet with Finzean that they would produce six better men in Durris than Finzean could do in all his estates. The men were selected, and the day was fixed; a long and strong rope was procured, which crossed the Dee, and twelve yards to each side extra, to allow the men to be tied in at regular distances from each other.
They were at Tillyfour a night, and my father bought them in the morning, but they were about a mile on the road before the bargain was struck. No one could have seen Mr Geddes without pronouncing him a man of mark. But the greatest dealer the county could claim, and one at the same time deeply engaged in agriculture and its interests, was Mr James Innes of Durris.
The note of fear being once sounded, the visiters, as is generally the case in all tales of wonder, strove with each other who should witness the most extraordinary occurrences; and within a week, it was generally believed in the parishes of Banchory-Ternan, Drumoak, Durris, Kincardine-O'Neil, and all the circumjacent districts of Mearns and Aberdeenshire, that the devil had been seen in the act of hammering upon the house-top of Baldarroch.