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Диксон Хелен

Traitor or Temptress

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«Traitor or Temptress» - Хелен Диксон

Lorne McBryde desperately seeks a means to escape the savage violence of her Scottish Highland home.Her headstrong nature is countered by her instinctive kindness—yet, for Iain Monroe, Earl of Norwood, she will be marked forever by her family's betrayal. Kidnapped in the dead of night, held hostage for justice, Lorne is now in Iain's hands.She protests her innocence—but does her tempting beauty mask a treacherous spirit?
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With his mouth against hers, Iain whispered, “You want me. Say it.”

With his mouth against hers, Iain whispered, “You want me. Say it.”

“Yes,” Lorne breathed, trembling and breathless, sliding her arms round his neck to draw him closer, all her senses becoming limited. “I want you. Though I may be damned tomorrow, I do not want you to leave me tonight.”

Traitor or Temptress

Harlequin® Historical


was born and lives in South Yorkshire with her retired farm manager husband. Having moved out of the busy farmhouse where she raised their two sons, she has more time to indulge in her favorite pastimes. She enjoys being outdoors, traveling, reading and music. An incurable romantic, she writes for pleasure. It was a love of history that drove her to writing historical fiction.


Traitor or Temptress

Available from Harlequin®Historical and HELEN DICKSON

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Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve


Far up in a green glen to the north-west of Loch Lomond the mighty solid limestone rocks rise perpendicular and saw toothed on either side of the burn that tumbles with great velocity to the loch below, throwing foam and spray high into the air. Hidden by a rocky shelf is a low and narrow opening giving access to a small cave, a cave the natives of the area call the giant’s cave. Many centuries ago, so legend has it, a voracious giant had dwelt in the dark chamber, where he could guard the entrance to the glen through which marauding bands of Fingalians would come from the north to rob and burn the villages of Kinlochalen and Drumgow, along the north and south banks of Loch Alen.

It is said that an old woman who lived in Kinlochalen long ago and had the reputation of a witch, under constant threat of raids from the wild northern highlanders, had used all her powers of sorcery to install the giant in the cave. The creature would roar and breathe forth wrath at thieves who came to enrich themselves at the expense of the people of the villages, and, too afraid to confront and defy this dreadful giant, they would tremble and go home again.

The giant was never seen, but the fear of him lay on all the country round about. It was said that on the night the old witch died, a mighty wind had risen and blown the giant off the rock, toppling him into the burn below, and the rushing water had carried him off to the deeper waters of the loch. But his spirit still resided in the glen.

It was no more than was expected for highland clans to fight among themselves and steal each other’s cattle and sheep, and there was no giant to deter the hundred or so raiders who came with stealth under cover of darkness on a night in the autumn of 1691, to plunder the sweet fertile lands around the loch. But the people of Kinlochalen and Drumgow had been warned and took the initiative, and were prepared to hit the hostile raiders before they themselves were set upon.

Looking mighty fearsome and swinging their claymore swords and yelling their battle slogans, they chased the raiders back up the glen to the bleak, flat moor above, a no man’s land, where unfriendly desolation had been successfully fashioned by Mother Nature. The encounter, fought between men gigantic of mould and mighty of strength amidst labyrinths of peat bogs and stagnant pools and squelching morasses, was brief yet bloody, and when the men of Kinlochalen and Drumgow had slain those who had stayed to fight, they took off over the moor in pursuit of those who ran.

On the south side of Loch Alen, which was five miles long and stretched from east to west, stood Drumgow Castle, jutting out into the loch with all the assurance of long association. This sixteenth-century tower house and its entire demesne belonged to the Laird of Drumgow, Edgar McBryde. Here his eleven-year-old daughter Lorne lived with her two older brothers, James and Robert.

When Lorne learned of the night’s happenings she left the castle. Thin wisps of mist still clung to the surface of the water as she rowed, with unwavering tenacity, the half-mile across the loch to Kinlochalen, which spread along the north shore.

Meeting up with her friends, Duncan and Rory Galbraith, talking excitedly about the events of the night, the three of them left the village, where women and children huddled in doorways, waiting anxiously for their menfolk to return. Several already had, some wounded, bringing with them detailed accounts of fierce combat up on the moor. Ascending the steep road up the glen, young Rory was unable to keep up with his garrulous older brother’s long stride and Lorne’s agile steps.

‘Keep up,’ Duncan told his brother crossly, having just told Lorne that his older brothers’ parting words had been that they would hunt the thieves down, and when they were caught they would string them up and leave their carcasses to rot and the birds to peck out their eyes.

‘My legs are tired,’ Rory complained sullenly, hating Duncan’s tale of blood and gore.

Lorne paused and, looking back, smiled at him. Rory was a quiet boy with a gentle, sensitive nature, unlike Duncan, who was imperious and strutted about Kinlochalen as though he owned it. He constantly bullied Rory, which drew severe reproach from Lorne. She was fond of Rory and always ready to defend him with a smile and a kind word, which earned her his unquestioning devotion.

‘We won’t go all the way up to the moor, Rory. I have no wish to see where our fathers and brothers have played out their foolish charades either. We’ll sit on the rocks halfway up and wait for them to come back.’

‘No, we won’t,’ Duncan objected stubbornly. ‘I want to see where the fighting took place.’

‘I’ll go if you want me to,’ Rory said bravely, but his eyes fell and he clenched his small jaw tightly to keep it from trembling.

‘You go if you must, Duncan,’ Lorne retorted. ‘Rory and I will sit and wait by the burn.’

Torn between going up on to the moor and staying with Rory and Lorne, when they reached an elbow in the burn, Duncan grudgingly sat beside them on a large boulder, folding his arms across his chest and scowling down at the rushing water.

Suddenly, from the mist that still clung to the bottom of the rising hills, something drew their attention. Lorne blinked until she recognised it as a human form almost hidden in a clump of bracken. Quickly all three left their perch. Lorne was there first and fell to her knees beside the inert form, noticing that blood soaked the ground where the man lay on his side. Her hand trembled as she reached out and gently pulled him on to his back, gasping on seeing a youth of no more than fourteen or fifteen.

Her heart almost ceased to beat as she gazed down at his face with a passionate intensity, never having seen a face so fair or so perfect in every feature. Indeed he was as beautiful as the Archangel himself. But his handsome face was white and pinched with pain. She noted that he wore tartan trews and plaid, instead of the simple, loose, flowing kilted plaid the common folk wore in the Highlands, and she could see no point of sword or dirk beneath the tartan. His eyes flickered open, the blue orbs rolling upwards, as if the effort proved too much. Realising the danger and what this youth’s fate would be if he were to fall into the hands of the returning angry men, Lorne looked at her companions, her soft voice holding an urgency when she spoke.

‘We have to move him. We can’t leave him here.’

‘Is he going to die?’ whispered Rory, his dark eyes wide and apprehensive with fear.

‘No. We’re not going to let him,’ Lorne answered fiercely. ‘We’re going to look after him—but we’ll have to get him away from here before anyone sees him.’

Observing the way Lorne was looking at the youth, jealousy, fierce, hot and raw, smote Duncan’s heart. ‘No, Lorne. We can’t. He’s one of the raiders. My father and brothers won’t like it if we hide him.’

‘Aye!’ she flared scornfully. ‘I know your brothers—and we both know what they would do to him when their tempers are hot from battle. They’ll hurt him cruel. He’ll hang for sure.’ She cast her eyes up over the surrounding rocks, her eyes lighting on the rocky ledge concealing the entrance to the giant’s cave. ‘We’ll hide him in the cave. No one ever goes there.’

Rory’s eyes opened wide. ‘But what about the giant?’ he gasped.

‘There is no giant, silly,’ Duncan said with scathing impatience. ‘That’s nothing but a stupid fairy tale.’

Lorne glared at Duncan through narrowed eyes, which softened when she turned her gaze on Rory. There was no place on earth like the Scottish Highlands where superstition and magic were mixed into everyday life. The drama and fairy tales gave Lorne an immunity from a genuine fear of the Highlands—unlike Rory, who was more fearful than a rabbit of some of the mysterious creatures of folklore.

‘Don’t be afraid, Rory. We were all brought up on fairy tales—of giants and brownies and witches—and if there was a giant living in the cave he’s long since gone.’

‘He’ll be telling us he believes in magic and miracles next,’ Duncan muttered scornfully.

‘Why? It can’t hurt. Why can’t there be giants or miracles? If you believe in magic, anything might happen,’ Lorne said defensively, having prayed for a miracle to happen to her all her life that would spirit her away from this inhospitable place and her cold and lonely existence at Drumgow Castle and her father’s and brothers’ barbaric ways.

Gently she shook the youth’s shoulder. ‘Come on—you can’t stay here. You must get up. I’m sure you can manage if we help you.’

Their strength nearly spent, it was all they could do to haul him on to the flat rock at the mouth of the dark chamber and drag him inside. Lorne fell to her knees beside him, peering into his pale face.

‘How badly are you hurt?’

The youth licked his lips. ‘My side,’ he gasped, speaking in Gaelic. ‘I—I stopped a sword—I think. I wasn’t with the raiding party. My companions and I were travelling from Oban when we were set upon by the men from Kinlochalen, believing us to be with the raiders. I—I don’t know what happened to my horse or to my friends. They rode back up the glen on to the moor. My brother is riding to meet me on the road from the south.

Try and get word to him—please—and tell him what has befallen me. My—my name is David and my brother’s name is Iain.’ Finding it difficult to speak, he closed his eyes. ‘Iain Monroe—of Norwood—south of Stirling.’

Lorne stared down at the youth, unable to believe what he said—that he was a Lowlander. The McBrydes’ and the Galbraiths’ grievances and prejudices against the powerful English-speaking Lowlanders by whatever name they came were old and unhealed. But Lorne was capable of feeling the softer emotions that make living worth while.

‘I’ll do my best,’ she promised, trying hard not to look at Duncan, knowing full well the fury and hatred that must be burning in his breast on finding he had just helped a detested Lowlander.

‘If he wasn’t with the raiders, then he’ll have nothing to fear,’ Duncan said haughtily to Lorne, his resentment of the youth having more to do with the way Lorne was gazing down at him than finding he was a Lowlander.

Lorne looked to where Duncan stood, a slender, pale-eyed figure of hostility. ‘Yes, he does,’ she retorted crossly. Duncan was being as rude and ill mannered as his brothers were. ‘Your brothers wouldn’t believe him. They would cut him down without questions asked.’ She fixed her gaze on the youth once more, her eyes tender. ‘Were you, a Lowlander, not afraid to pass through Kinlochalen? You must know that any man from there is not welcome here.’

‘I pass through as friend, not enemy, and I know that in the Highlands, should it be requested, food and shelter will always be given—even to the most bitter of enemies.’

‘That is true. Highland people pride themselves on their hospitality to those who are admitted to their homes. But it’s a hazardous journey at the best of times, and at night—with Highland rebels and outlaws roaming the hills—it is doubly so.’

‘That I know—and the longer route to Stirling would have been safer. But my brother sent word telling me that my father is dying—which is why I return home by the shorter route and why I travel at night.’

It was not until Lorne had made the youth as comfortable as she was able that she followed Duncan and Rory back down to the glen.

‘No one must know he’s here. It’s going to be our secret.’ Her green eyes blazed when she met Duncan’s belligerent expression. ‘If you tell anyone about him, Duncan Galbraith, I’ll never speak to you again. As God is my witness, I swear I won’t.’ She looked at Rory’s petrified face. ‘You won’t tell, will you, Rory?’

‘No, Lorne. You know I won’t.’

Later, after obtaining medicaments from Widow Purdy in the village, and food and blankets, Lorne and Rory returned to the cave. Duncan refused to go with them. Lorne glowered back to see him morosely throw himself down on to a boulder to await his father’s return.

In the small cave David lay with his eyes closed, breathing heavily with sharp gasping sounds. He was trembling, his face shiny with sweat. Lorne’s youth and inexperience exasperated her, for she did not know how to deal with anything as serious as the exposed and blackened suppurating puncture wound. Dread shivered through her with a coldness that was oppressive when she thought that he might die because of her ignorance, but it was a thought she angrily pushed away as she resolutely set about tending the ravaged flesh as best she could.

‘Why is he shaking, Lorne?’ Rory whispered when they had finished.

‘Because he’s weak and cold, I think,’ Lorne replied, covering the youth with the blanket and tucking it securely around him, wishing she could do more. ‘You go now, Rory. I’d like to stay with him a bit longer.’ She tried to smile reassuringly as she nestled close to the unconscious youth in an attempt to warm him with her own body heat.

Lorne was not aware of falling asleep, but suddenly she jerked, lifting her head and looking at David. She was lying beside him with her arm flung across his waist, and even through the thickness of the blanket she could feel the heat of him. Scrambling to her knees, she could see his skin had no relieving moisture. Now it was stretched dry and fiery with heat. The dim light seemed to accentuate the hollows of his face, and when his eyes flickered open she could see they were fixed and staring, with no sign of recognition. He had the fever, and she was not too young or ignorant to know the reason for this was because the wound must be poisoned and that he could die.

With fear in her heart, immediately she got to her feet and left the cave, knowing David’s only hope of survival lay in his brother reaching Kinlochalen in time. She would wait for Iain Monroe on the road past the village and direct him to the cave when he arrived. On reaching the glen, she felt her heart sink when she saw Duncan’s father, Ewan Galbraith, and two of his older brothers, Fergus and Lachlan, riding towards her. Duncan had been hoisted up behind Fergus and Rory sat behind Lachlan, his short arms clinging to his brother’s stout waist. Their father led a horse with the body of Donald, the oldest of all the Galbraith brothers, draped over its back.

With his flame-red hair and imposing stature, Ewan Galbraith was perhaps the most fearsome man Lorne had ever seen. All the Galbraiths were hot blooded and quarrelsome, and it was plain to Lorne that they had been roused to a black fury at being deprived of one of their own kin.

Wearing the kilted plaid and a blue bonnet on his head, an eagle’s feather kept in place by the silver badge of the Galbraiths, Ewan scowled down at the young girl. ‘What are you doing, wandering in the glen when your father and brothers have ridden down from the moor just minutes ago?’ He growled deep in his throat, taking note of her nervousness and that her eyes darted from Rory to Duncan. ‘Did you not see them?’

‘Yes,’ she lied, knowing her voice sounded high and nervous, ‘but I was too far away. I—if I run I’ll catch them.’

When Lorne turned and fled, Ewan Galbraith did not urge his horse to ride on. Instead he looked at Duncan and followed his gaze, raising his eyes and focusing on what he could just make out to be a red plaid dangling over the edge of the rock concealing the cave. He looked at it long and hard before dismounting and indicating for Fergus and Lachlan to do the same, his questioning gaze coming to rest on Duncan once more.

‘The McBryde lassie has been up to something. Do you know what it is, Duncan?’

Unable to lie to his father even if he wanted to, Duncan stuck out his chest boldly. ‘Aye. She found a wounded man—one of the raiders—in the glen and hid him in the cave.’

‘Then we’d best take care of him ourselves, eh?’

When they were alone Rory turned angry, accusing eyes on his brother. ‘He isn’t a raider and you said you wouldn’t tell,’ he said fiercely, close to tears. ‘You promised Lorne. You promised,’ he cried wretchedly, wanting to pound his brother with his bare fists.

Duncan jumped down from the horse, glaring at Rory. ‘I promised no such thing. You did.’ Haughtily he strutted up the hill after his father and brothers, trying to look bold, but unable quell the feeling of unease of having betrayed Lorne’s trust quivering inside him.

Unbeknown to Ewan Galbraith or Lorne McBryde, who was running along the road to the south to await the arrival of David’s brother, hidden in a thicket high up across the glen crouched the lone figure of John Ferguson. With his eight companions murdered by the men of Kinlochalen and Drumgow, he had come down from the moor to search for the injured David.

John was no stranger to these parts, having been born and raised not far from Drumgow before going south. He knew Ewan Galbraith and Edgar McBryde, lairds of Kinlochalen and Drumgow respectively. Two of the most troublesome, incorrigible families in the Highlands, they were of a warring nature. Having been kept apart from the rest of the world within the Grampian mountains for centuries, these men considered themselves to be true Highlanders—the original possessors of Scotland—and harboured a smouldering resentment for all Lowlanders.

The Galbraiths and the McBrydes were a curse. Their names were frequently brought before the Privy Council in Edinburgh, on charges of robbery and fire raising, and they were ordered to appear before the Justices, but the order—when someone was brave enough to convey it to them—was always ignored. What might appear as criminal behaviour to the more civilised men in Edinburgh and the Lowlands, was, to the Highlanders, who were reluctant to acknowledge any authority but their own, the settlement of an affair of honour.

John had observed Lorne McBryde emerge from the small cave and scramble down the steep incline. Her bright golden hair shining like a beacon in the night made it easy to identify her. He had watched her speak to Ewan Galbraith and when she had gone that same man had immediately climbed up to the cave with his sons and dragged David down the glen to Kinlochalen. Unable to help the youth, John silently cursed Lorne McBryde, fully believing that she had betrayed David’s hiding place to the Galbraiths.

Darkness was creeping over the hills when Lorne tore her gaze away from the road to the south and dejectedly made her way back to David Monroe. She was disappointed and saddened that his brother had failed to appear and didn’t know what she could do to help the injured youth. The glen was quiet, uneasily so. With a dart of terror she climbed up to the cave. David wasn’t there. With an awful constriction of her heart Lorne knew her trust in Duncan had brought about this horror. That was the moment she began to hate him.

As she scrambled back down to the glen she saw nothing, heard nothing. Running with every nerve at full stretch, her heart and soul in her feet, she approached the village, one picture of what the Galbraiths and her own kin would do to David—might already have done to him—burnt on her brain in agony. Death stalked the quiet streets of Kinlochalen. She was too late.

A burning curiosity to see the prisoner who had been brought down from the glen had induced the citizens out of doors. They were silent, huddled in groups, but Lorne saw only David’s wretched corpse where it lay in the square by the Mercat Cross, a place where witches and adulterers were scourged. His face was upturned to the sky, as fair and perfect in death as it had been in life.

There was silence in Kinlochalen for a small space of time as the people and her father and brothers watched the small girl fall to her knees beside the youth and tenderly place her hand on his frozen cheek, her heart seized by a terrible anguish. Tears of hopelessness traced their way down her face, which she raised, fastening her accusing eyes on her father and brothers, noticing that none of the Galbraiths were present.

‘Daughter—get up off your knees,’ Edgar McBryde demanded, looking at her with bitterness and contempt.

Lorne saw the murderous gleam in his eyes, clearly angry at the compassion she showed so unashamedly for this Lowlander, but it did not frighten her. She had gone beyond that. Her small chin jutted courageously upwards and her flashing eyes met his.

‘Why? Why did you do this?’ she cried. ‘He was not one of the raiders.’

‘The lad was dead when Ewan brought him down from the glen,’ her brother James told her gently, having sensed from what Ewan had said before going home to mourn his son that Lorne had tried to befriend the youth. Once young Rory had told them the young man’s name, a name familiar to them all, they knew that as a consequence of his death, they could expect no mercy from the powerful Monroes in the south.

Galloping hooves broke the silence. Lorne scrambled to her feet and stood back when a party of about twenty men rode into the square. They stopped, their contemptuous gazes passing over the band of tough, unpolished warriors before finally coming to rest on David. Slowly the man at the head of the rest—a man accustomed to instant attention—rode forward and dismounted, going down on one knee and bowing his head over the dead youth, remaining silent for a moment as in prayer.

Without looking at those around him, he lifted the boy up into his arms and carried him to his horse. No one attempted to stop him. The implacable authority in Iain Monroe’s manner and bearing caused the Highlanders to fall back. Assisted by one of his friends, he gently placed his brother over his horse’s back and swung himself up into the saddle behind him.

Lorne moved forward, a small, slight figure in the midst of so many men. Averting her eyes from the youth whose life she had so valiantly and ardently tried to save, she looked into the face of his brother, Iain Monroe. At twenty years old, with his towering build and well-muscled chest, his hair and beard as black as jet, his brilliant silver eyes blazing with hellfire and damnation, some might say he had the face of Satan himself. Yet Lorne refused to lower her eyes or step away. It was important to her that this man should know she had meant his brother no harm and that she had tried to help him.

‘Please—wait,’ she begged him, unconsciously speaking in English and moving to the side of his horse. Her emerald eyes were awash with tears, her gaze riveted on the glittering violence in his own.

Looking down, Iain saw a child. His eyes raked her stricken face. Without taking his eyes off her he listened as one of his companions—John Ferguson, who had met him on the road and directed him to the village—leaned towards him and said something in his ear. But recalling John’s description of the girl who had revealed his brother’s hiding place to Ewan Galbraith, the gold of her hair had already told Iain who she was. Lorne watched in agony as his eyes, refusing to relinquish their hold on her own, registered his hatred, a hatred so intense that all the muscles in his face tightened in a mask.

To Iain Monroe, these Highlanders were a different species from his own, whose force of nature threatened the law-abiding civilisation of Scotland. In their tribal ignorance they conformed to no patterns of behaviour but their own. Their disdain of the rest of the world, their habits and manners, prejudices and superstitions, made them peculiar, and Iain cursed the whole lot of them to eternal damnation. But he would not be beaten by the likes of Edgar McBryde and Ewan Galbraith, Highlanders who would stick their murderous knives in your back as soon as look at you, men he vowed to see hanging from a rope’s end before he was done.

‘Stay where you are,’ he ordered, speaking with a cultured English accent, his words halting Lorne’s steps, his teeth, when he spoke, showing white and even in the midst of his black beard. He inspected her as if she were some repulsive creature crawling in the dirt.

‘I curse you, Lorne McBryde—I curse you all,’ he shouted, letting his cold eyes sweep the frozen faces of the onlookers, dwelling at length on Edgar McBryde, probing deep into his eyes, as if seeking something to weigh and to judge. His voice was awful and piercing deep, clutching the heart of every man, woman and child. Even the mighty Edgar McBryde and his sons bristled and stepped back before his icy wrath. ‘I shall make you pay for this day’s work, McBryde. You—and yours—will pay dearly. You slew my brother out of hand, unarmed as he was. Waging war on a defenceless lad is the work of mindless savages.’

Iain was right. Edgar McBryde and the men gathered around him did resemble savages. Some had thrown off their plaids and stood half-naked, bristling with arms, a wildness in their eyes, their hands and bodies bloodied from the affray up on the moor.

‘We were not to know he was not one of the raiders. He should have had more sense than to ride down the glen at such an hour. It was impossible for the men of Kinlochalen to distinguish between them in the dark.’

Omnipotent and contemptuous of his unworthy enemy, Ian’s voice was scornful. ‘Those men were under your control, McBryde—yours and Galbraith’s. Not even the plaid you disgrace can hide the fact that murder is your true vocation. You resemble a tribe of uncivilised, marauding barbarians, enmeshed in your blood-feuds and indiscriminate murder and content to remain there. The world is changing—Scotland is changing—and it will not be long before the lot of you are broken men and humbled. I—for one—am impatient to see that day.’

The square was filled with tension and a dangerous hostility in the face of Iain Monroe’s contempt and bitter condemnation for the Highlanders’ way of life. Every fibre of Lorne’s body was vibrating with her need to have him know the truth about how she had tried to save his brother. In desperation she moved to go after him when he turned his horse about, but James’s hands grabbed her, jerking her back.

‘No—stay, Lorne. It’s over. Let him go.’

She struggled in James’s grip, freeing herself and running after Iain Monroe, reaching up and grasping his bridle, her short legs moving quickly in an attempt to match the horse’s stride. ‘Please wait,’ she cried, almost choking on her sobs, so distraught was she. Halting his horse, he glared down at her and the expression in his eyes made her want to die. ‘You must listen to me. Please—I didn’t hurt him—’

‘Remove your hands from my horse,’ he seethed.

When she refused to do as he ordered, he grasped her hand and forcibly uncurled each of her small fingers, one by one, from the bridle and thrust her from him. Like a broken doll she fell to the ground, where she lay and watched him ride away, the feeling of wretchedness and defeat lying on her young heart surpassing anything she’d ever felt before.

Not until they were gone did James approach her and gently lift her up, his warrior’s heart strangely touched by her silent weeping. His sister had a tender heart moulded by every impression, a natural curiosity and a memory so retentive that whatever took place or affected or interested her was engraved on her mind for all time. He knew the impression made on her by this unhappy occurrence would remain with her for ever.

Iain Monroe remained true to his word. When the Privy Council in Edinburgh heard what had occurred in Kinlochalen they ordered the arrest of Edgar McBryde and Ewan Galbraith, intent on ridding the Highlands of these two rebellious men. Edgar escaped to Ireland and then to France, but Ewan Galbraith took to the hills and it was two years before anyone could put a rope round his neck. He was caught and taken to Inveraray, the seat of the Crown’s authority in the Western Highlands. Shackled and thrown into the Tollbooth, he was eventually hanged on Gallows Hill from the great tree.


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