The Glens Of Stone – Episode 85

“‘From my friend Ewan Ogilvie and others I am aware that my daughters have caught the amorous attentions of certain young men, and I would have them know that I bless any unions that may take place.’”

Looking in turn at Malcolm and Sandy, Ewan gave a faint smile.

“I am instructed to give you each one thousand pounds should you marry the young ladies.” He glanced at Kirsty and Alison, smiling knowingly.

“What about you, Ewan?” Ellie was looking at him.

“A similar amount to me. Plus a further award for my services to the colonel.”

Ewan turned to the last page of the document before him.

“He has listed his wishes and bequests in a separate writ.” He raised his eyes. “I would add that he has left considerable sums to you, Lady Catherine, and to Miss McLaurin. Lastly, to Mr and Mistress Porteous and Mr McAllan there are handsome annuities which, he admits, will never make up for their respective kindnesses to Alison and Kirsty.

“Finally, his last words are these. ‘While I cannot ask that you remember me with love, I would beseech you to think fondly of your dear mother. She was fated to lose her firstborn in his infancy and never held her three daughters in her arms. I know she would have loved you all dearly. I, too, love you and wish I had watched you grow to adulthood. Think kindly of me, all of you, and forgive me if you can.’”

Ewan stood silent for a few moments. Then, folding the papers, he placed them in his pocket.

“The funeral will take place at two o’clock.”

* * * *

A blustery wind swept the kirkyard but the waiting crowds ignored it. Led by a black-beribboned horse and carriage, the cortège made its way to the gates. Six men of the Scots Royal, led by Sandy McCrae, took the coffin on their shoulders and, to a mournful drumbeat, slow-marched round the side of the ancient kirk to the prepared grave.

Ewan, resplendent in uniform, stood waiting, and as the coffin was lowered to the ground, he raised and dipped his sword in salute.

Robert watched, finding it difficult to gauge his feelings. At first, the knowledge that his true father was a man who stood politically for everything he feared and hated had unsettled him.

But with time had come understanding. Robert’s personal loyalty to the Hanoverian cause had wavered, especially since the incident when Guest had opened fire on innocent civilians, his own sister among them. Thank God she had been saved!

And thank God, too, for Kirsty and Alison. He was lucky to have them for kin. A whole new life loomed before him.

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.