The Counties of Compton and Beauce, in the Province of Quebec, were first opened up to settlement about fifty years ago. To this spot a small colony of Highlanders from the Skye and Lewis Islands gravitated. They brought with them the Gaelic language, a simple but austere religion, habits of frugality and method, and aggressive health.
You must know that a fortnight ago, Lord Skye gave a great ball to the Grand-Duchess of something-or-other quite unspellable. I never can describe things, but it was all very fine. I wore a lovely new dress, and was a great success, I assure you. So was Madeleine, though she had to sit most of the evening by the Princess such a dowdy!
Still I was comfortable enough in a thick Skye Tweed, and waited patiently till the rain abated; then took my way homeward, and admired the pass of the Trosachs more than when I first traversed it. If it has a fault, it is one that few scenes in Great Britain share with it, that is, the trees and shrubbery, with which the precipices are shagged, conceal them a little too much.
Lord Skye begged her to try it, which she did, and with great gravity remarked that it was about five per cent. she presumed. This, too, was caught from her Secretary, though she knew no more what it meant than if she had been a parrot. The luncheon was very lively and very good.
Macleod by the fugitive when he left the Isle of Skye; the Prince's pocket-book, many of his pistols, and a piece of his Tartan disguise; a curious relic in the form of two lines of music, sent as a warning to one of his lurking-places when folded in a particular way the following words become legible, "Conceal yourself; your foes look for you."
Lord Skye had run the risk of making two blunders; of offending the Senator from New York by neglecting his wife, and the Senator from Illinois by engrossing the attention of Mrs. Lee. A young Englishman would have done both, but Lord Skye had studied the American constitution.
For now, clearer every moment and clearer, came ringing across the water the words of the Skye Boat Song, sung by joyous voices of a youth and a maiden. "Speed, bonny boat, like a bird on the wing, Onward, the sailors cry. Carry the lad that's born to be king Over the sea to Skye." "But Roger is not a king!" said Gerald, with a queer little break in his voice. "He is only a codger!"
Even the savage cannot account for this experience by the wandering of the soul in space; nor do I suggest any explanation. I give, however, one or two instances. They are published in the 'Journal of the Caledonian Medical Society, 1897, by Dr. Alastair Macgregor, on the authority of the MSS. of his father, a minister in the island of Skye.
Skye was ever a hostile country, as its chief, Sir Alexander Macdonald, who had at first wavered, was now a warm supporter of the Hanoverians, and was with the Duke of Cumberland. Nevertheless Flora appealed to his wife, Lady Margaret, a daughter of the Earl of Eglinton, and informed her that her attendant was Prince Charles in disguise. Lady Margaret nobly responded to her appeal.
"The night before, all the fires in the country were carefully extinguished, and next morning the materials for exciting this sacred fire were prepared. The most primitive method seems to be that which was used in the islands of Skye, Mull, and Tiree. A well-seasoned plank of oak was procured, in the midst of which a hole was bored.