And then the beauty of the landscape that enclosed this wonderful mirror the soft green foliage above the Ulva rocks; the brilliant yellow-brown of the sea-weed, with here there a gray heron standing solitary and silent as a ghost over the pools; ahead of them, towering above this flat and shining and beautiful landscape, the awful majesty of the mountains around Loch-na-Keal the monarch of them, Ben More, showing a cone of dark and thunderous purple under a long and heavy swathe of cloud.
And then, in the broad and still waters of Loch Tua, with the lonely rocks of Ulva close by them, they were again becalmed; and now it was decided that they should leave the yacht there at certain moorings, and should get into the gig and be pulled through the shallow channel between Ulva and Mull that connects Loch Tua with Loch-na-Keal.
The voice, while harsh, was not disagreeably so, and neither the words nor the manner of using them smacked of the rustic. "And where are Loch-na-Keal and Ulva and Scridain?" demanded Haward. "Somewhere in North Britain, I presume?" The second question broke the spell.
Now these references to foreign parts only stung Hamish's pride, and when they did arrive at London Bridge he was determined to show no surprise whatever. He stepped into the four-wheeled cab that Colin Laing chartered, just as if four-wheeled cabs were as common as sea-gulls on the shores of Loch-na-Keal.
The Umpire, all smartened up now, had been put in a safe anchorage in Loch-na-Keal; the men wore their new jerseys; the long gig, painted white, with a band of gold, was brought along to Dare, so that it might, if the weather were favorable, go out to bring the Fair Stranger to her Highland home.
And I will tell you this, Colin; that it is this very year she had that cabin; and was in Loch Tua, and Loch-na-Keal, and Loch Scridain, and Calgary Bay. And as for Christina oh, it is much you know about fine ladies in Greenock! I tell you that an English lady cannot go anywhere without someone to attend to her." "Hamish, do not try to make a fool of me," said Laing angrily.
The lads of Mull are very clever, Hamish, I know; but do you think that any one of them can steer the Umpire all the way from Loch-na-Keal to the river Thames?" "Is it the river Thames?" said Hamish, with great contempt. "And is that all the river Thames?
Do you know this, Sir Keith, that my cousin Colin Laing, that has a whiskey-shop now in Greenock, has been all over the world, and at China and other places; and he was the mate of many a big vessel; and do you think he could not take the Umpire from Loch-na-Keal to London?
"Why," he said, as if he had asked the question of himself, "with this sand I have traced the shores of Loch-na-Keal. This turf is green Ulva, and this is Gometra, and the shell is Little Colonsay. With this wet sand I have moulded Ben Grieg, and this higher pile is Ben More. If I had but a sprig of heather, now, or a pebble from the shore of Scridain!"
And there was no end to the sports and pastimes that occupied day after day. On their first expedition up the lonely corries of Ben-an-Sloich young Ogilvie brought down a royal hart though his hand trembled for ten minutes after he pulled the trigger. They shot wild duck in Loch Scridain, and seals in Loch-na-Keal, and rock-pigeons along the face of the honey-combed cliffs of Gribun.