THE CELTIC MONTHLY.
RODERICK MACRAE, BEAULY.
President, Beault Shinty Clui!.
ff^lHE subject of our sketch
VK^ was boru at the farm
"■^ of Baeklenan, Strath-
conan, in 1825 His fore-
fathers belonged to Kintail,
and removed to Stratbconan
several generations ago. His
mother, Margaret, was a daughter of Mr. John
Matheson of Milton, Strathglass, an old and
respected family. Her brother Roderick was a
Captain in the British army, and took part in
the war with America — Mr. Macrae being
called after hiui. He received his education in
the local school, and in course of time could
read English well — but did not understand a
word of what he was reading ! The teacher
could only speak English, the children only
Gaelic, and the result may be easily imagined !
When young Roderick was twelve years of age he
entered into service in the low country, and when,
after six months' absence, he returned home
with his wages (£2) in his pocket he felt himself
to be the richest boy in the strath ! It was at
this time that the people were evicted from the
south side of the river, the land being turned
into a deer forest. The misery which this
harsh treatment occasioned may be readily
understood, and the Macrae family were
ordered to remove from their holding to make
room for one of the factor, Mr. Rose's, favourites.
Mr. iSlacrae went to his uncles who held the
farms of Clunvachie and Kellachie, and spent
two winters with them, eventually entering the
service of Mrs. Matheson of Hedgefield, mother
of that distinguished Highlander, Sir Alexander
Matheson, and one of the handsomest women
of her day. INIr. Macrae owes much of his
success in after years to the kindness of this
lady. When he earned his lirst wages she put
£1 of it in the bank, adding £2 of her own to
it, and she continued doing this during her
lifetime, the passbook being banded back by
her to Roderick on her death bed. On
presenting it at the bank he was told that out
of some thousand depositors his was the largest
amount in their possession. Thereafter Mr.
Macrae spent five years at Ardross Castle, and
two years with Mr. James Mackenzie, who
leased the Lovat Arm Hotel and stables at
Beauly, followed by a three years' exjoerience as
a meal and corn merchant He was then asked
to take over the Lovat Arms stables and horses,
and some years ago he acquired the business of
Mrs. John Grant at Inverness. In partnership
with Mr. Deck the business has prospei'ed
exceedingly, their present extensive premises
being one of the most complete posting
establishments in Scotland.
Mr. Macrae's enthusiasm in Highland matters
is well known in the north, and as President of
the Beauly Shinty Club he is naturally proud
that his club, by defeating the Brae-Lochaber,
should have won the final for the Shinty
Association Cup, and the Championship.
"OLD WIVES' TALES,"
FROM MACLEOD'S COUNTRY.
The Fairy Sweethe.art.
Taken down erom Eric Macdonald.
.TRA.NSL.\TED >'ROM THE (lAELIC BY
(Continued from page 126.)
j3S KNEW a woman, she was an old maid
vjiy and had a fairy sweetheart, her name
=^ was Marsallie Stunsail, dairymaid to
Fear Roag sin Mac Suinu. People would see
him going in at night and coming out in the
morning. They say that he was bonnie in the
face. An old man, Norman Morrison, used to
see the fairy sweetheart going into the house,
Greepland. He was the only one who saw it,
and he put it about the country.
Q. Would that not give her a bad name ?
A. She became wild and queer, and did not
see people. People did not give her a bad
name. They did not mind those things so
much then. They used to hear the fairies
caUing on the hens. jMy father has heard them
calling "Ditic bhui, diuc bhkin." It's in the
night we would be hearing the fairies calling
on the hens. Its likely our night would be
The fairies would be taking away earthly
human children and putting bodachs (old men)
in place of them, with whiskers. The mothers
would leave the bodachs all night where two
roads cross, and in the morning the real child
would be there.
A Tale of a Little Fairy Man.
In Uist a woman was one day j)assing a
knoll, and she was tired and hot and very
thirsty. She said, " O that my thirst was on a
dairymaid (she could at once quench it, and it
would be away from me), or that my thirst was
allayed." She heard a voice, and was astonished
to see a little fellow, red haired and bonnie,
with a "kuman' of mUk in his hand, coming
along the road. He was dressed in breeches and
apron, and his arms were bare like a woman's,