The late Lady Crawford had been the daughter of a Zetland Udaller, a pure Scandinavian, a descendant of the old Vikings, and she inherited from them a poetic imagination and a nature dreamy and inert, though capable of rousing itself into fits of courage that could dare the impossible.
Whether the Udaller Thorkald wrote to his son anent these transactions, or whether the captain read in the papers enough to satisfy him, he never explained; but one day he suddenly appeared at Dr. Ogilvie's and asked for Margaret. He had probably good excuses for his conduct to offer; if not, Margaret was quite ready to invent for him as she had done for Ronald all the noble qualities he lacked.
They, however, enjoyed the protection and civil rights imparted by the laws, and to their class belonged all the cottars on the land paying a rent in work on the farm of the bonder or udaller, also the house-carles or freeborn indoormen, and the tradesmen, labourers, fishermen, etcetera, about villages and farms. Thralls were slaves taken in war, over whom the owners had absolute control.
Udaller Thorkald was exceedingly angry, and his remarks about Margaret Sinclair's refusal "to trust her bit property in as guid hands as her own" increased very much the bitter feeling against the poor girl. At the end of three years the trial became too great for her; she began to think of running away from it.
At the end of the winter Captain Thorkald again earnestly pressed their marriage, saying that, "his regiment was ordered to Chelsea, and any longer delay might be a final one." He proposed also, that his father, the Udaller Thorkald of Serwick, should have charge of her Orkney property, as he understood its value and changes.