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John Splendid

Neil Munro

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .He got no answer from any of the three strangers, who looked ghastly eerie in their silence on the wall.

"Mar freagar sibh mise bithidh m'inthaidh aig an fhear as gile broilleach agaibh" ("My arrow's for the whitest breast, if ye make no answer "), said my man, and there was no answer.

The string twanged, the arrow sped, and the stranger with the white breast fell—shot through her kerchief. For she was a woman of the clan they name Macaulay, children of the mist, a luckless dame that, when we rushed out to face her company, they left dying on the field.

They were the robber widows of the clan, a gang then unknown to us, but namely now through the west for their depredations when the absence of their men in battles threw them upon their own resource.

And she was the oldest of her company, a half-witted creature we grieved at slaying, but reptile in her malice, for as she lay passing, with the blood oozing to her breast, she. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I have read the author's Para Handy tales many times over the last forty years but the only other stories I had come across by him were some short stories in an anthology so I was pleased to see this novel in the library.

It is set in the seventeenth century during the civil war and although it wa...more

Longwinded, but the story was enjoyable at the core, and was an interesting invocation of the highland culture in Argyle