Trafika Europe 1 - Northern Idyll

Two Ravens

ALASDAIR OF LOCHBOISDALE WAS KNOWN far and wide as a skilful and canny farmer. His herds grew but the beasts were known as much for their quality as their number. He could sell them for breeding as well as for meat. He was also a strong fellow and would walk the hills for miles. Many a local woman cast a glance in his direction but they all knew he was destined to make a match with a higher circle of Highland society. It was no real surprise when his family met with the Macleods of Dunvegan who, at that time, had an unmarried daughter known for her looks and her wit. That family had perhaps lost some of their wealth but they did have their name and their castle. And the family of Alasdair of the Cattle, now had stock and wealth and a good name in the trade. So there were no real obstacles and the arrangements were made to hold a reitach . That ’ s the engagement ceremony which concludes such an arrangement and I ’ m told required as much whisky as the wedding itself. Alasdair was to cross to it by his own vessel, of course. The family had more than one seaworthy birlinn, well capable of crossing The Little Minch. They set out in fair weather but as soon as they had Dunvegan Head in sight, things began to go wrong. On a sailing vessel, it ’ s often not one thing but a line of events, none of them a great problem in itself but they build towards a disaster. A sheet-rope or


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