M'Donald had fairly beat M'Combie in the chase. My father got hold of Mrs Geddes, worn-out and disappointed, and got quietly to bed; and I have often heard him tell how M'Donald's peals of laughter rang in his ears as the punch-bowl went round, even to the dawning of the day. Neither M'Donald nor Haddoch knew my father was in the house.

Mr Mitchell, Fiddesbeg, the Browns, the Rattrays, Hay of Little Ythsie, and Wm. M'Donald, were all extensive dealers in cattle in those days. The following anecdote of William M'Donald was told by my father: It had been a very good September Falkirk market, and Mr John Geddes, Haddoch, who was an extensive home grazier and dealer, had a large stock of cattle on hand.

I never pass on the railway from Huntly to Rothiemay, but on casting my eye over the old house I recall the night described so graphically by my father. He and Haddoch had large transactions.

After a bad October Tryst, where my father had sixteen score of Aberdeenshire cattle, and when he lost £4 a-head upon every beast, Mr Geddes returned him £70 as a luck-penny upon a large lot he had bought from him. There have few men appeared in the north of greater influence or of higher moral worth than the late Mr John Geddes of Haddoch.

M'Donald and my father were both anxious for the chance to buy them, and pushed through their business at Falkirk as fast as possible to get to Haddoch. At that time the dealers accomplished all their journeys on horseback, and prided themselves on the fleetness of their saddle-horses. My father thought no one his match in the saddle.

He reached Haddoch on Wednesday at midnight the first cattle-market day at Falkirk being on Tuesday but the first thing he observed on drawing near to the house, which remains on the farm to this day, although a new one has been built, was the main room lighted up. On coming nearer, he heard voices fast and loud, and one was that of M'Donald! It was all over!

Every one made room for his cattle, as he rode before them to the upper wall; it would have been of no use to resist, as the weight of his animals would have soon cleared the road for themselves; and as soon as the large black mass of horned cattle appeared in the valley below, the cry was, "There comes Haddoch! We must clear the way, or else his cattle will soon clear it at our expense."