Over the centre waved the black galley of Lorne on a gold standard. I expressed some doubt about the steadfastness of the Lowlanders, and M'Iver was in sad agreement with me. "I said it in Glenaora when we left," said he, "and I say it again. They would be fairly good stuff against foreign troops; but they have no suspicion of the character of Gaelic war.
In spite of the Macaulay prophecy, MacCailein and his men came home in the fulness of time. They came with the first snowstorm of winter, the clan in companies down Glenaora and his lordship roundabout by the Lowlands, where he had a mission to the Estates.
We took the bairn in turns, M'Iver and I, and the four of us set out for the opposite side of Glenaora for the eas or gully called the Beannan, that lay out of any route likely to be followed by the enemy, whether their object was a retreat or a hunting.
It was not, however, till we had got down Glenaora as far as Carnus that we found either kindness or conversation.
"And this court censures you, ordains you to make public confession at both English and Gaelic kirks before the congregations, thereafter to be excommunicate and banished furth and from this parish of Inneraora and Glenaora." The girl never winced. Her father cried again. "She can't leave me," said he, and he looked to the Marquis, who all the time sat on the hard deal forms, like a plain man.
I regretted now that my evil star had sent me up Glenaora, or that having met her with M'Iver, whose presence increased my diffidence, I had not pretended some errand or business up among the farmlands in the Salachry hills, where distant relatives of our house were often found But now I was on one side of the lady and M'Iver on the other, on our way towards the burgh, and the convoy must be concluded, even if I were dumb all the way.
For he could see the fat, rich fields of his policies there, and the tumultuous sea that swarms with fish, and to his left he could witness Glenaora and all the piled-up numerous mountains that are full of story if not of crop. To this little knowe M'Iver and I made our way. I would have rushed on it with a boy's impetuousness, but he stopped me with a hand on the sleeve.
"Sir!" said he in a new tone, as cold as steel and as sharp, misjudging my intention. "You yourself are no more than a M'Iver." "And what of that?" he cried, cooling down a bit "The M'ivers of Asknish are in the direct line from Duncan, Lord of Lochow. We had Pennymore, Stron-shira, and Glenaora as cadets of Clan Campbell when your Craignish cross-breeds were under the salt."
Later, the harvest-home and the dance in green or barn when I was at almost my man's height, with the pluck to put a bare lip to its apprenticeship on a woman's cheek; the songs at ceilidh fires, the telling of sgeulachdan and fairy tales up on the mountain sheiling "Let me see," said I; "when I went abroad, were not you and one of the Glenaora Campbells chief?"