The Glens Of Stone – Episode 74

Alison Porteous watched the scene impassively then raised a hand.

“Mr Ogilvie, you’re enjoying this. Have you anything else to reveal?” She shot a glance at the chancel. “What about Sandy McCrae there? What part does he play in all this?”

“Sandy? Oh, he’s been a powerful ally. We’ve known each other for years, serving in the same regiment. Together we worked our way throughout England seeking support. Then, on reaching Scotland, we decided – in fact, it was his idea – that he should change sides, so to speak. Isn’t that so, my friend?”

“It’s as you say, Ewan.” Sandy looked across at Alison. “I told you I was born and raised in Achahoish, which is true, so when we crossed the border and the time was right, I joined the Argyll militia, full of Hanoverian Campbells and their supporters. They welcomed the prodigal back and I was soon promoted to sergeant. Then I volunteered for intelligence duties.”

“Which placed him in an ideal position to help me,” Ewan added.

“As the time for the Prince’s journey to Scotland drew near I was sent here to Edinburgh,” Sandy said. “For obvious reasons, Ewan and I agreed to continue the deception, until now.”

“After having made fools of me, General Guest and the garrison as a whole in the process!” Robert protested.

Ewan shrugged.

“From your point of view I suppose that’s true. But would you believe he was responsible for your transfer from Carlisle to the castle? We have friends in high places, even in the Hanoverian army.”

Ewan relished the look of shock on Robert’s face.

“Sandy had a quiet word with a certain gentleman and lo! You found yourself in Edinburgh.”

Robert could only gape.

Lady Catherine coughed gently.

“Might I ask what part Jean Forbes played in all of this, sir? It would seem that I harboured one viper . . .” She turned to glower at McLaurin. “So, tell me, was my maid another?”

“No, my lady,” Ewan assured her. “Jean was an innocent party apart from her stupidity in becoming involved with a man called Thomas McLean, of whom we’ll speak later. True, she carried messages from time to time, but she was unaware of their import.” Frowning, he added, “Your reference to Miss McLaurin is somewhat unfair, you know. The dear lady has played an important role in all this.”

McLaurin inclined her head but did not glance at her mistress.

It was Malcolm’s turn to stand and call out.

“This is all very interesting, but surely you didn’t need to summon us all here to tell us of spies and duplicity? You could have told us this at the Mission, surely?”

Laughing, Ewan nodded in agreement.

“You’re right, of course, but you see there’s more – much more.”

“Then get on with it!” Robert had recovered from the shock of the revelations and was again in truculent mood.

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.