The Glens of Stone – Episode 49

As she made her way upstairs Alison felt mixed emotions. Though trying to be happy for Kirsty and Malcolm, she couldn’t help feeling envious.

Oh, she was sure Sandy loved her, just as she was sure she loved him. But would the silly man ever say anything?

Indeed, would he ever come to see her again at all? Since the night he had tussled with Ewan there had been no sign of him.

Agnes Porteous was making up her bed and smiled broadly.

“You’re looking much better.”

“I’m feeling better,” Alison agreed, “though I look terrible.” She peered in her small hand mirror. “My skin is pasty and my hair’s a mess, and these bruises . . .”

“There’s nothing wrong that can’t be righted. You’ll look good enough to receive a prince soon enough.”

“Huh, I’d settle for Sandy. I wish he’d come.”

“I thought you’d finished with Sandy McCrae?” Agnes said.

“I had! He tricked me and used me. Thanks to him my –” she hesitated “– my father and Ellie have been imprisoned.”

“So what’s changed your mind?”

“I don’t really know,” Alison admitted. “I swore I’d never see or talk to him again but that night, when I heard the shouting downstairs and saw that big lummox hitting him . . .”

“That big lummox, as ye call him, is Ellie’s friend,” Agnes protested, “and he was only protecting himself.”

“Anyway, when I saw poor Sandy being struck down I knew I loved him.”

“Would you like me to fetch him?” Agnes asked. “Kirsty and I are going to try to visit your father and Ellie at the castle.”

Alison’s eyes gleamed.

“Oh, I’d give anything to see him.”

“Then I’ll be off, to tell your beloved that you’re pining for him.”

“Perhaps you should tell him to come in the morning. I’m still rather tired. And it’ll do him no harm to stew for another night.”

“If that’s what you want,” Agnes agreed. “Doctor Turner should be here shortly in any case. I’ve never known a doctor be so attentive! And he won’t accept money. Says he’s already been paid. You must have a guardian angel.”

* * * *

Duncan McAllan sat at his bedroom window, head in hands. The revelation that his old friend John Porteous had been arrested for treason was a shock. That John might support the Jacobites at all had been surprising.

It was a shattering blow, as, of course, was Ellie’s arrest.

There came a knock at the door.

“In you come,” he called out.

Kirsty entered, tugging Malcolm behind her.

“What can I do for the pair of you?” he asked.

The couple exchanged glances.

“Go on.” Kirsty gave the young lad a gentle push.

When the words came, it was in a rush.

“I’ve come to ask you for Kirsty’s hand in marriage. We’re in love and she’ll have me if you . . .”

Kirsty ran forward and hugged the old man, burrowing her head in his shoulder.

“Do we have your blessing?”

“My dear, this is the best news I’ve had these last few days. Everything else has been calamitous.” Duncan grasped Malcolm’s hand. “I’d like nothing better than to see you and Kirsty wed.”

Then he paused.

“But what of your parents? Your poor father . . .” His voice trailed off. John Porteous was in no position to approve the marriage or otherwise.

“We’ll away to see my mother first,” Malcolm said, “after which Kirsty and she are off to the castle.”

Duncan’s face took on a sombre look. Happy though he was for Kirsty, her impending marriage meant he would have to tell her the truth of her origins – that she was not his daughter . . .

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.