The Glens of Stone – Episode 58

It was as they neared the sentries that Ewan stealthily withdrew the dagger from his belt and touched its point to Robert’s back.

“We are leaving together, Captain,” he whispered. “Tell the guards.”

“For mercy’s sake, your men will kill me! A Redcoat tunic will incite them.”

“You have my word no harm will come to you,” Ewan assured him.

Outside, Robert prayed he could trust that assurance as a crowd pressed around him.

“Captain Marshall is under my protection!” Ewan shouted.

The Highlanders saw the cold glint in his eyes and stood back.

Ewan pushed Robert forward through the piles of debris, and as he idly glanced to his left his heart nearly stopped when he saw the smoking remains of the tavern he’d been sitting in a mere half hour ago. With immeasurable relief he spotted Sandy emerging from the ruins, his face blackened.

The two men exchanged looks.

“Ellie?” Ewan asked.

“Still in there.” Sandy pointed to the blackened interior.

“McCrae!” Robert stepped forward. “What are you doing here? And did you say Ellie Chalmers is inside?”

“Aye.” Sandy grunted. “You must be proud of yourself, firing on innocent folk.”

Ewan strode across to a group of onlookers and pointed to the ruins.

“There are folk buried in there – seek them out.”

As the group set to, Ewan looked at Sandy.

“I have to deliver the good captain, but I’ll be back,” he promised. He turned to Robert.

“Follow me.”

To his relief, Robert found himself being bundled towards Lady Catherine’s doorway. At least he was to be with friends.

Inside, McLaurin was waiting for them.

“You have him safe?” she murmured.

“Aye. Your sword, Captain,” Ewan said.

Reluctantly Robert surrendered his weapon before being locked in a well-furnished room.

“There’s bad news,” Ewan told McLaurin. “Ellie was in a tavern wrecked by the bombardment.”

The old woman gasped.

“’Twould be a cruel twist of fate if anything should befall the lass after all this time! Find her, Ewan, for mercy’s sake.”

Ewan thundered down the stairs and made haste back to the tavern, pushing into the dark interior. He made out a figure kneeling. Sandy was cradling the head of someone lying on the floor. A stab of fear shot through Ewan.

“Ellie,” he whispered, taking the girl’s hand.

Again he said her name and her eyelids fluttered open. She seemed not to know them, but then a slow smile crossed her face.

“Ewan,” she whispered. “Dinna fret; I’m all right.”

But her eyes closed again and she grew limp.

Quickly Ewan lifted her in his arms.

“I must get her to Lady Catherine’s,” he said. “Fetch the doctor,” he told Sandy. “Turner’s his name . . . you’ll find him in the Canongate near the Mission. And tell him he’ll ne’er treat another if he fails us!”

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.