Flora Macdonald rode on to Portree by another road, leaving her servant, Neil MacKechan, and a little herd-boy to act as guides to the Prince. In the meantime, Donald Roy had been active in the Prince's service. At Portree he had met young Rona MacLeod of Rasay and his brother Murdoch, and, as he had expected, found them eager to face any danger or difficulty for their Prince.
Is it not possible that some of the customs I have mentioned, though barbarous and debased, may have been derived from ancient tradition? Whence has sprung that strange expectation of the return of their long-lost god, Rona, to bring a blessing on their nation? What means that longing for a better land far away in the east, entertained by the Marquesas islanders?
The New Zealanders conceive, also, that what we call a shooting star is ominous of the approaching dissolution of any one of their great chiefs who may be unwell when it is seen. Like the vulgar among ourselves, too, they have their man in the moon; who, they say, is one of their countrymen named Rona, who was taken up long ago, one night when he went to the well to fetch water.
Tawhaki took the right ladder, and climbed successfully. At the top he met with adventures, and had even to become a slave, and carry axes and firewood disguised as a little, ugly, old man. At last, however, he regained his wife, became a god, and still reigns above. It is he who causes lightning to flash from heaven. The man in the moon becomes, in Maori legend, a woman, one Rona by name.
The north end of Rasay is as rocky as the south end. From it I saw the little Isle of Fladda, belonging to Rasay, all fine green ground; and Rona, which is of so rocky a soil that it appears to be a pavement. I was told however that it has a great deal of grass, in the interstices. The laird has it all in his own hands. At this end of the island of Rasay is a cave in a striking situation.
Thence the fleet ran across to the Lewis, whence it proceeded on a southerly course by Rona, into the Sound of Skye, and brought up at the Carline, now the Cailleach, Stone, in Kyleakin or the Kyle of Hakon.
He entered into the scheme as heartily as the other two, and only suggested prudently that Rona should leave the matter to himself and Murdoch, who were 'already as black as black can be. But Rona was not to be baulked of his share of the danger and glory of serving the Prince, and vowed that he would go even if it should cost him his estate and his head.
Goodbye for the present, Wade, old man I am not so proud of my new dignity I am to be supercargo of the brig Rona as to refuse to drink with you, though you are but a cashier.
The north end of Rasay is as rocky as the south end. From it I saw the little isle of Fladda, belonging to Rasay, all fine green ground; and Rona, which is of so rocky a soil that it appears to be a pavement. I was told however that it has a great deal of grass in the interstices. The Laird has it all in his own hands. At this end of the island of Rasay is a cave in a striking situation.
Some buildings of the same sort have been lately revealed in the island of Lewis: one is named Teampul Rona, and another, which is dedicated to St Flannan, Teampul Beannachadh.