Skip to main content

‹‹‹ prev (238)

(240) next ›››

(239)
  
  THE CELTIC MONTHLY.
  105
  unfurled their sails as if they were drying them ;
  and then every man went below, and keeping
  out of sight, held himself in readiness.
  The man of-war came round the island and
  into the harbour, and seeing everything quiet
  and snug, and no appearance of any living soul
  on board the smuggler, they thought they
  should have an easy matter to capture their
  rich prize. So they went in shore, moored
  their ship, "handed" the sails, launched the
  boats and manned them with the ship's crew,
  well-armed, in order to board the smuggler.
  But while they were doing so, the smuggler's
  crew crept upon deck, shook out the sails,
  hauled up the anchor, and, like lightning, sent
  their vessel frothing through the deep. She
  made such way that it was in vain for the man-
  of-war's boats to give chase, so they returned
  to the ship with all speed, got up anchors and
  sails, and made after the smuggler in hot haste.
  By this time she had got out of the harbour
  and past the island. The herring-tishers, who
  had watched all these proceedings with the
  greatest interest, climbed their masts and
  viewed the chase so long as the two vessels
  remained in sight. I need hardly say that,
  although they drew the king's bounty, their
  sympathies went with the chased, and not with
  the pursuers.
  The night drew on, and by the time that it
  was dark the man-of-war had gained so greatly
  on the smuggler, that its capture was inentable,
  unless those on board of her could devise some
  expedient to mislead their pursuers. And, as
  they were always ready with their ingenious
  tricks, they were not much at a loss for a
  device on the present occasion. As the night
  drew on, they had fixed a light at the stern of
  their vessel ; and as the darkness increased,
  this light greatly assisted the man-of-war in
  keeping to the right track. But, although
  their pursuers thought them very stupid for
  showing this light, the smugglers had done so
  for a purpose of their own. They had prepared
  a tar-barrel and put a flame to it, at the same
  moment that they dowsed their light, craftily
  substituting the one for the other. They then
  quietly lowered the lighted tar-barrel into the
  sea, and, cutting the rope adrift, altered their
  course, and steered in the dai'kness on another
  tack. The man-of-war sailed steadily on after
  the light, and, when at last they came up with
  it, found it to be nothing more than a blazing
  tar-barrel, and that theii- rich prize had slipped
  out of their very grasp.
  In a few days the smuggler was in another
  loch, disposing of her goods to the herring-
  fishers, and neither regarding the law, nor
  fearing the man-of-war.
  I have been made acquainted with several
  other stories, iii connection with this subject of
  smuggling in Cantire, one of which will
  appear in next issue.
  (To be continued.)
  ALEXANDER MACKAY, ABERDEEN.
  sJ^W^R. ALEXANDER
  ^J^ MACKAY may
  .^VEL fairly claim to be
  "The Real Mackay," his
  wife being a Mackay, and
  his father and grandfather
  having both married ladies
  of the clan. He was born
  in the parish of Killearnan,
  Black Isle, in 1844, where he received such
  education as the local school alYorded, and at
  the age of sixteen found his way to the Low-
  lands in search of suitable employment. Here
  he spent ten years, but in 1870 he decided to
  venture further afield in search of fortune.
  Landing at Quebec, he turned his hand to
  every variety of work that came his way, and
  eventually was manager on the home- farm of
  the widow of Admiral Gregory of the IT. S.
  Navy, at New Haven, Conn. In 1872 he
  removed to the north west, the Dakotas being
  then unsettled, where he bought some land,
  and along with General Campbell, a worthy
  scion of the Argyll clan, assisted in laying out
  the town site of the now important town of
  Scotland. In 1877 he returned to Scotland
  and settled in Glasgow, where he married ; and
  started business as a contractor. After a brief
  visit to America to dispose of his land, he
  finally removed ten years ago to Aberdeen,
  where he has established a successful business.
  During his wanderings in the new world, he
  came across many of the old Highland settlers,
  whom he found to retain the language and
  customs of the Highlands to a greater degree
  than is the case among his countrymen at home.
  Those who have seen Mr. Mackay arrayed in
  the kilt could not help noticing his splendid
  physique, for he is really an athlete of celebrity.
  He has competed at the leading sports in
  Canada, the States and in the West of Scotland,
  where he has met the most prominent athletes,
  and never failed to be included in the prize
  Ust. Mr. iSIackay is an enthusiast in Highland
  matters, and when in America was a member
  of the New Haven Caledonian Club, which he
  represented for several years at the Interna-
  tional Conventions. He is a member of the
  Clan Mackay Society and supported his Chief,
  Lord Reay, at the recent great gathering of
  the clan in Glasgow. He is also a member of
  the Aberdeen Highland Association.

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence