What might have ensued it would not be easy to say; but just at this very critical juncture, and while the drunken latheron was casting herself into antic shapes of distress, and flourishing with her hands and arms to the heavens at my imputed cruelty, two of the town-officers came up, which gave me courage to act a decisive part; so I gave over to them Mrs Beaufort, with all her airs, and, going myself to the guardhouse, brought a file of soldiers, and so quelled the riot.
We then had the latheron summoned before the session, and was not long of making her confess that the father was Nichol Snipe, Lord Glencairn's gamekeeper; and both her and Nichol were obligated to stand in the kirk: but Nichol was a graceless reprobate, for he came with two coats, one buttoned behind him, and another buttoned before him, and two wigs of my lord's, lent him by the valet-de-chamer; the one over his face, and the other in the right way; and he stood with his face to the church- wall.
I am a woman an auld maid if you like but I am a Minto, and here I am braving the great ones of the earth to look after Patsy me that would a thousand times raither be at Ladykirk with Eelen Young and that silly Babby Latheron, weighing out the sugar and spices for the late conserves the bramble and the damsons and the elderberry wine."
It was, however, made manifest, that Mrs Fenton had offended the law, in so much, as her flags had not been swept that morning; and therefore, to appease the offended delicacy of Miss Peggy, who was a most respectable lady in single life, I fined the delinquent five shillings. "Mr Pawkie," said the latheron, "I'll no pay't.
Honest Marion Sapples worked like a Trojan to the gloaming, but the light latheron never came back; at last, seeing no other help for it, she got one of the other women at the washing-house to go to Mrs Girdwood and to let her know what had happened, and how the best part of the washing would, unless help was sent, be obliged to lie out all night.
Hugo probably received this grant after William the Lion's first conquest of Sutherland and Caithness in 1196, shortly before the time when, as we shall see, Harald Ungi obtained in right of his mother a grant of half Orkney from the Norse king, and another from the king of Scotland of half Caithness, and probably a confirmation of his title to the Moddan lands in Strathnaver and in Halkirk and Latheron, to which he was heir in right of his father and grandmother Audhild of the Moddan line.
They were also probably descended more remotely from Moldan, Maormor of Duncansby, a kinsman of Malcolm II, but had all been driven back from the coast, save Earl Ottir, who lived at Thurso, and probably owned its valley up to its source in the Halkirk and Latheron hills. The death of Harald the Glib by poison left Paul de facto sole jarl of Orkney.
It is suggested that the ownership of these lands in Strathnaver and of the other upland territories in Halkirk and Latheron parishes, held by her descendants and sequels in all her estate, the Chens, connects the Lady Johanna with the family of Moddan "in dale" in Caithness and with Earl Ottar, and with Frakark and Audhild her niece, and that Johanna was entitled to these lands in their entirety in her own right as the sole descendant remaining in Scotland after 1232 of Harald Ungi's younger surviving sister Ragnhild, possibly through her son Snaekoll by Gunni, and that Snaekoll was next heir to these lands before he went abroad, and either that he was Johanna's father, or that she became Ragnhild's heir in his place.
After Thorbiorn Klerk's death, Olvir Rosta being "out of the story," Eric's children, who were mainly Norse in blood, were the only heirs left in Caithness not only for Jarl Ragnvald's lands, but also for the upper parts of the river valleys of Strathnavern and Ness, which the Moddan family had held through the whole Norse occupation of Caithness and Sutherland, along with the hill country in Halkirk and Latheron and Strathnavern and probably also in Sutherland, lands on which few Norse place-names are found, and which came to Eric through Audhild his mother on the deaths of Earls Ottar and Erlend Haraldson without issue.