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the loch. The water has been drained from the
natural moat, but the rock falls sheer and steep
from the castle gate, and the drawbridge still cross-
es the gulf below. We did not go inside ; we were
told that the present wife of the Macleod objected
to visitors, even though she admitted them. We
believe there are tapestries and old armor and the
usual adjuncts to be seen for the asking, such things
as one can find in any museum ; but it is only by
going to the islands that you can see the crofters'

Almost at the end of the woods, and yet shel-
tered by them, was a pretty old-fashioned flower-
garden, surrounded by well-clipped hedges, and as
well cared for as the garden of an English castle.
Nearer to the inn, on a low hill, was the graveyard
of the Macleod. We pushed open the tumble-
down gate and squeezed through. A hundred
years ago Dr. Johnson found fault with the bad


Our Journey to the Hebrides.

English on Lord Lo vat's tomb ; to-day we could
hardly find the tomb. The stone on which the in-
scription was carved lay in pieces on the ground.
It may be that the Macleod of Macleod has bank-
rupted himself to save his tenants from starvation.

, -V. .

_ ;.,.-


This is most praiseworthy on his part. But we
could not help thinking that if he and all the Mac-
leods, from one end of Great Britain to the other,
are so anxious to be buried here, they might among
them find money enough to free the enclosure of
their dead from the whiskey bottles and sandwich
tins left by the tourist. The resting-place of the
dead Macleod lies desolate ; not far off is the gar-

On the Islands. 157

den, with smooth lawn and many blossoms. A few
flowers less, perhaps, and at least the bottles and
tins that defile what should be a holy place, could
be cleared away. And this graveyard, with its
broken tombs and roofless chapel, is a ruin of yes-
terday. A century ago Dr. Johnson saw it still
cared for and in order. The people in Dunvegan
told us that twenty years since the roof fell in ; it
has never been repaired. We have been to the
graveyard of old St. Pancras in London, where
every few minutes trains rush above the dese-
crated graves ; but here the dead are unknown, or
else, like Mary "Wolstonecraft and Godwin, their
tombs have been removed beyond the reach of
modern improvements. We have been to the
Protestant burying-ground in the cemetery of old
St. Louis in New Orleans, neglected because those
who lie there belong to the despised faith. And
yet neither of these is dishonored as is the grave-
yard where sleep the Macleods of the far and near
past, whose greatness the living Macleods never
cease to sing. Beneath the weeds are old gray
slabs, with carvings like those of lona ; in the ru-
ined weed-grown chapel walls are fresh white mar-
ble tablets. At Dunvegan the dead are not for-
gotten, not despised ; they are only neglected.
The mower comes and cuts the long grass from
above their trampled graves. Let the laird make
hay while the sun shines, for the day is coming

158 Oar Journey to the Hebrides.

when the storms, forcver*brooding over the Isle
of Mists, will break forth with a violence he lias
never felt before, and he and his kind will be
swept away from off the face of the land.

To-day Macleod of Macleod is a poor man. One
year of famine, to keep the crofters from starving,
he emptied his own purse. It is but another proof
of the uselessness of charity in the Hebrides. AVhat
did it profit the crofters that Macleod became for
their sake a bankrupt? They still starve. He
who would really help them must be not only
their benefactor, but their emancipator.

From Duuvegan to


it was all moorland. The shadeless road ran for
miles between the heather, from which now and
again, as we passed, rose the startled grouse. Far
in front were the Cuchullins, only their high,
jagged peaks showing above the clouds that hung
heavy about them. The little Struan inn, which
we had to ourselves, was low down by the water,
at the foot of a wide hill-side planted with turnips.
On the brow of the hill, like so many bowlders in
the mud, were strewn the huts of a miserable vil-
lage. Manse and kirk were at a becoming distance
across the road.

Though this was after the 12th of August, when
the "Wilderness of Skye is supposed to be of some

On the Islands. 159

use, we saw in miles of moorland one man fishing,
and a second shooting ; for the latter a carriage
waited on the road below. In order that these
two, and perhaps half a dozen more like them,
should have a fortnight's amusement, the land
from Dunvegan to Sligachan has been cleared of
its inhabitants. On the high-road between these
two places a distance of about twenty -two or
twenty-three miles there are not above a dozen
huts, and only one or two decent houses. It is
true, there is a large and flourishing distillery.

After Struan we were still on the moors. The
onty breaks in the monotony were the showers,
the mile-stones, and the water-falls. The mount-
ains, upon which we had counted for the beauty
of the walk, were now completely lost in the
clouds. Not until we were within two miles of
Sligachan did the thick veil before them roll
slowly up, showing us peaks rising beyond peaks,
rugged hollows, and deep precipices. But it fell
again almost at once, and for the rest of the way
we saw but one high mountain corning out and
being swallowed up again in the mist and clouds.

Near the inn, and a hundred yards or so from
the road, was a reedy pool. A man stood in the
water, a woman on the shore, both silently fishing
in the rain. It is in duck-puddles like this in
which, were they at home, an American boy would
sail his boat or throw his line to his heart's content

160 Our Journey to the Hebrides.

that guests in Highland inns, by special kind-
ness of the landlord, are allowed to fish, this per-
mission being advertised as a leading attraction of
the inn.

We intended to stay a day or two in


We wanted to see the Cuchullins and the inueh-
talked-about Loch Coruisk. But here we found
that we were again on the tourist route from which
we had gone so far astray. There was not a room
to be had in the inn. It was full of immaculately
dressed young ladies and young Oxford men, all
with their knickerbockers at the same degree of
bagginess, their stockings turned down at the same
angle. We might have thought tliat the landlady
objected to tramps when the company was so ele-
gant, had she not offered to put us up in the draw-
ing-room and found places for us at the table-cThote
luncheon. The talk was all of hotels and lochs
and glens and travels. How long have you been
in Skye ? Is this your first visit ? Did you come
by Loch Maree ? At what hotel did you stay in
Oban ? But there was not a word about cottages ;
for there is nothing in Sligachan, or near it, as far
as we could see, but this swell hotel, which seemed
very good.

Beds in the drawing-room meant to be at the
mercy of the company. We did not hesitate.

On the Islands. 161

And still the moors stretched out before us. N"o
one who has not tramped in Skye can imagine its
dreariness. In Portree, a miniature Oban, we lost
all courage. We might have gone back to Loch
Coruisk. We might have tramped to take a
nearer view of the Old Man of Storr, which we
had already seen in the distance. We might
have walked to Armadale, or steamed to Strome
Ferry. There were, in fact, many things we
could and should have done ; but we had seen
enough of the miserable life in the islands those
great deserts, with but here and there a love-
ly oasis for the man of wealth. Our walks had
been long ; we were tired physically and sick men-

And so, early one morning, we took the boat at"
Portree and steamed back to the main-land ; past
Raasay, where Dr. Johnson stayed, and where there
was a big house with beautiful green lawn and fine
woods ; past Glenelg, where we should have landed
to follow the Doctor's route, but the prospect of a
thirty miles' walk to reach the nearest inn made
cowards of us ; past Armadale, now as when Pen-
nant saw it, " a seat, beautifully wooded, gracing
most unexpectedly this almost treeless tract ;"
past one island of hills after another; and thus
into the Sound of Mull, to get a glimpse of Tober-
mory in sunshine. It was a lovely day ; sea and
sky and far islands blue, the water like glass ;

162 Our Journey to the Hebrides.

though, before it had come to an end, we had
twice fled to the cabin from heavy showers.
There were many sight- seers on board, and we
could but wonder why. The women read novels,
the men went to sleep. But they had done their
duty they had been to Scotland for the holi-
days; they had probably seen the Quiraing and
Dunvegan. But they had not gone our way. The
coach roads are those from which the least misery
is visible.

That evening Oban did its best for us. The
sun went down in red fire beyond Mull's now pur-
pling hills. And as the burning after-glow cooled
into the quiet twilight, we looked for the last time
on the island of Mull. It seemed in its new beau-
ty to have found peace and rest. May this seem-
ing have become reality before we again set foot
on Hebridean shores !

NOTE. The Crofters' Act of 1886 was supposed to do
away with the crofters' wrongs. As yet it has accomplished
little. In some cases the Commissioners appointed for the
purpose have lowered the extortionate rents which crofters
have been starving for years to pay. Now that agitation in
the islands has made it absolutely necessary that something
should be done for the people, in one or two test cases, those
clauses of the act which prevent landlords evicting tenants
at their own pleasure have been enforced. Beyond this the
condition of the people is absolutely no better than it was
before the act was passed. They have not enough land to
support them, and when they appeal for more, their land-
lord answers, as Lady Matheson has just answered her
small tenants in the Lewis, " The land is mine; you have

On the Islands.


nothing to do with it." Nothing has been done for the cot-
ters who have no land at all; nothing for fishermen, who are,
if possible, worse off at the end of the fishing season than they
were at the beginning. The money appropriated for the
building of piers and harbors and the purchase of boats has
not as yet been put to its proper use.


ONE always hears of Highland scenery at its
best ; one usually sees it at its worst. We found
the trip from Oban to Inverness up the Caledonian
Canal as tedious as it is said to be charming. The
day was gray and misty and rainy. In the first
boat we sat in the cabin, in the second under an
awning. Occasionally we went on deck to look
for the sights of the journey.

As we steamed up Loch Linne a Scotchman
pointed out Ben-Nevis.

" Well," said J , critically, " if you were to

put a top on it, it might make a fairly decent

After that w r e were left to find the sights for

The day would have been unbearably dull but
for the exertions of a Mr. Macdonell. He was, I
am as ashamed to say as he seemed to be, our fel-
low-countryman. He did not look in the least
like an American, nor like an Englishman, though
his ulster, coat, trousers, collar, necktie, gloves, and
hat were all so English. He was a middle-aged

168 Our Journey to the Hebrides.

man, handsome, and gentlemanly enough until he
began to talk. At the very start he told every-
body on board in general and each individual in
particular that he was a Macdonell. As all the
people about here are Macdonells, no one was
startled. The name in these parts is rather more
common than, and about as distinguished as, Smith
in the Directory.

" I'm a Macdonell," he said, " and I'm proud of
it. It's a great clan. No matter what our nation-
ality may be now, sir, we're all Macdonells still.
I'll tell you the way we do in our clan. Not long
ago one of the Macdonells of Lochaber was married.
He was not very rich he had about 12,000 a year
perhaps and the Macdonells thought it would be
a nice thing to give him a present of money from
Macdonells all over the world. There was not a
Macdonell who did not respond. I was in Mel-
bourne at the time, and I was proud to give my
guinea. Now, how different it was with Grant,
that man who was President of the United States.
The clan Grant tried to do the same thing when
one of their chiefs family was married, and the
factor sent to this Grant, and said they would be
very proud and had no doubt he would be very
glad to contribute to this happy occasion in the
old clan. And what do you think he answered ?
He indorsed on the letter sent him I saw it my-
self that he was not one of the tenantry, and

To the East Coast, and Back Again. 169

therefore would not contribute. That shows what
a snob he was. But it's very different with the
Macdonells. I'll tell you what happened to me the
other day near Banavie. I lost one of my gloves ;
they were driving gloves expensive gloves, you
know. I gave the odd one to the driver, and said
if he could find the other he would have a pair.
The next day he came to me with both gloves.
* Sir,' he said, ' I cannot keep them ; I too am a
Macdonell !' I gave him the other glove and a
guinea. That shows the fine clannish feeling."

We have heard that there is a proverb about
fools and Americans.

Mr. Macdonell stood on the upper deck to look
towards the country of the Macdonells, which he
could not see through the mist. He took out
his guide-book and read poetry and facts about his
clan, to two American girls, until, quite audibly,
they pronounced it all stuff and him a bore. He
praised the Macdonell chiefs to Englishmen until
they laughed almost in his face. " The Duke of
New York," they called him before evening. He
sang the praises of his Macdonell land to any one
who would listen. " I like it better than Switzer-
land or our own country," he said ; " I'm coming
back next year to rent a shooting-place. But the
trouble is the people here don't like us. It's the
fault of men like Carnegie. He comes and gives
them 20,000 for a library. And then what does

170 Our Journey to the Hebrides.

he do? He makes a speech against their queen.
It's shocking. It's atrocious."

I wonder why Americans, as soon as they borrow
the Englishman's clothes, must add his worst traits
to their own faults. " That kind of American."
a Londoner on board said to us, " has all the arro-
gance and insolence of a lord combined with the
ignorance and snobbishness of a cad." lie was
right. Of all the men who rent the great deer
forests of Scotland, none are such tyrants as the
American millionaires who come over, as Mr.
Macdonell probably will next summer, for the shoot-
ing. More than one Scotchman we met told us
so plainly. There is a famous case where the
cruelty of an American sportsman, who plays the
laird in the Highlands, so far outdid that of the
real laird that the latter came forward to defend
his people against it ! Now that the war of eman-
cipation is being fought from one end of Great
Britain to the other, it is to our shame that there
are Americans who uphold the oppressors. One
might think we struggled for freedom at home
only to strive against it abroad. Mrs. Stowe could
write " Uncle Tom's Cabin " on behalf of slaves in
the United States ; in Great Britain she saw only
the nobility and benevolence of the slave-driver.
From the plantations of the South there never
rose such a cry of sorrow and despair as that which
rang through the glens and straths of Sutherland

To the East Coast, and Back Again. 171

when men were driven to the sea to make room
for sheep. And yet to Mrs. Stowe this inhuman
chase was but a sublime instance of the benevolent
employment of superior wealth and power in short-
ening the struggle of advancing civilization, and
elevating in a few years a whole community to a
point of education and material prosperity which,
unassisted, they might never have attained. You
might as well call the slavery of negroes a sub-
lime instance of the power of traders to shorten
the natural course of human development, since if
left to themselves the blacks could not have ad-
vanced beyond the savage state in which they
were found. I fear the American love for a lord
is not exaggerated, if even Mrs. Stowe could be
blinded by it.

There was little to break the monotony of the
journey except the Macdonells. " If the sun only
shone," Mrs. Macdonell explained, " there would be
the lights and shadows." As it was, however, wa-
ter and sky and shores were of uniform grayness.
Now and then we passed the ruins of an old castle.
At a place whose name I have forgotten the boat
stopped that everybody might walk a mile or more
to see a water-fall. It may have been our loss that
we did not go with the rest ; certainly a party of
Frenchmen on their return declared it une cas-
cade vraiment charmante. At Fort Augustus
the boat was three-quarters of an hour getting

172 Our Journey to the Hebrides.

through the locks, and in the mean time enter-
prising tourists climbed the tower of the new Bene-
dictine monastery, which stands where was once
the old fort. We went instead to the telegraph
office, and secured a room in Inverness, and gave
the landlord an order for the letters we hoped
were waiting for us at the bank. Young Bene-
dictines in black gowns, like students of the Prop-
aganda on the Pincian, were walking out two by

These were the day's excitements.

As we neared Inverness, Mr. Macdonell was again
on deck. " I always go to the Caledonian Hotel
in Inverness," he told us. "What I like is to
stay at the best hotels, where I meet the society
of England and Scotland the real society. There's
the Royal Hotel in Edinburgh ; it suits me be-
cause you are sure to find it full of good English
and Scotch society. I must always have the best
society. Besides, they're very good hotels, both
of them. In our country we boast of the products
of the Chesapeake ; but we have nothing so de-
licious, nothing so delicate, as the fresh herring
they will serve you for breakfast at the Caledonian."

As we drove from the boat to


we passed the stage of the Caledonian Hotel. In it
sat the Macdonell with a family of Jews, and an

. To the East Coast, and Back Again. 173

Englishman and his daughter who, throughout the
journey, had shown themselves so superior, we
should not wonder some day to find them behind
the counter of an Oxford Street store. They were
all on their way .to mingle with the real society of
England and Scotland.

It probably was a pleasure to Mr. Macdonell to
find that the tobacconist next to the hotel, and the
dry goods merchant but a few doors off, were his
fellow-clansmen. In fact, every other banner I
mean sign flung out on the outward walls of In-
verness bore his name.

Our social pretensions were more modest. We
went to the Station Hotel for comfort, and trusted
to luck for society. In the great hall of the hotel
we first realized the full extent of our shabbiness.
Our knapsacks shrank out of sight of porters and
maids. The proprietor was too busy distributing
rooms to decently dressed travellers the most gor-
geous of whom gloried in his allegiance to the
Police Gazette of Xew York to notice .us. But

as he paused for a moment, J asked if there

were any letters for Mr. Pennell. "Where is
Mr. Pennell ?" asked the proprietor, with interest.
When he heard where he was, then came the
transformation scene. Two gentlemen in dress-
coats, each carrying a diminutive knapsack pre-
ceded us up the stairs ; two gentlemen in dress-
coats, each carrying a huge bundle of letters, the

174 Our Journey to the Hebrides. t

accumulation of weeks, followed us. We felt like
a lord mayor's procession, but we did not look it.
We were led into the best bedroom, but before
the door was closed we thought we saw disappoint-
ment in the eyes of the proprietor. We at once
consulted the tariff on the wall to learn what it
cost to send a telegram in Scotland. We can only
say that it did not prove very expensive, that the
hotel was very good, that everybody was very at-
tentive, and that the society may have been the
best for all we knew.

The next morning we started on foot, all our
baggage on our backs, to thedisgust of the gentle-
men in dress-coats. We walked at a good pace out
of the town, and on the broad, smooth road that
leads to Culloden. The country was quiet and pas-
toral, and the way, in places, pleasant and shady.
It was a striking contrast to the western wilderness
from which we had just come.

But twenty miles lay between us and Nairn ;
like Dr. Johnson, we were going out of our way
to see Culloden Moor and Cawdor Castle. The
road was too good. It set us thinking again of a
tricycle on which we could travel at stimulating
speed over country monotonous in its prosperous
prettiness. Walking meant steady trudging all
day, and a hasty glance at castle and moor when
we came to them.

It was unbearable. Weeks of experience had

To the East Coast, and Back Again. 175

taught us all the drudgery of tramping, none of
its supposed delights. We asked people we met
if there was a cycle agent in Inverness. No one
knew. Then the trees by the road-side gave place
to open country with waving wheat-fields ; and oh,
how hot it grew ! Peddlefs whom we had passed
the only people, besides ourselves, we saw tramping
in Scotland overtook and passed us. Two men
went by on bicycles. How cool and comfortable
they looked ! How hot and dirty and dusty and
miserable we felt ! This was too much.

" Confound this walking ! If ever I walk again !"

said J ; and, almost within sight of Culloden,

he turned. After looking over to where I knew
the moor must be, I meekly followed him, and in
silence we went back to Inverness.

The roads about here being particularly good,
there was not a cycle agent in the town. There
was no getting a machine for love or money. It
was now too late to attempt to walk to Nairn.
There was nothing to do but to train it. In the
interval of waiting we saw Inverness. It is a
pretty city, with a wide river flowing through it,
many bridges one with a great stone archway a
new cathedral, and a battlemented, turreted castle
high above the river. Clothes dry on the green
bank that slopes down to the water's edge, women
in white caps go and come through the streets,
which, with their gabled houses, show that curious

1 76 Our Journey to the Hebrides.

French feeling found all over the East of Scot-
land, and even the costumes of the women help
to carry it out.

In Inverness, and in fact all the way to Fraser-
burgh, J - made many notes and sketches, the
best, he says, of onr journey. All but a few have
been lost, and so the world will never enjoy them.
This is sad, but true. If any one should happen
to find the sketch-book he need not return it in

hopes of a reward. J has no use for it at this

moment. In fact, the finder had better keep it ;
it may be valuable some day.

When the train reached


"Well," said J , in triumph, "we've got

through a day's work in half an hour;" and we
dropped our knapsacks at the hotel and set out
for Cawdor, which is five miles from the town.

The day so far had been fine. Once we were
on the road again the sun went behind the clouds,
mist fell over the country before us. A lady in a
dog-cart warned us of rain, and offered us a lift. To
make up for the morning's weakness, we refused
heroically. There was nothing by the way but
broad fields of grain, which seemed broader after
the wretched little patches of Skye and Harris,
and large farm-houses, larger by comparison with
Hebridean hovels. When the roofs and gables of

To the East Coast, and Back Again. 177

the castle came in sight, had we had our Macbeth
at our fingers' ends, I have no doubt we might
have made an appropriate quotation. A Jong
fence separated two fields ; on each post sat a sol-
emn rook, and hundreds more made black the near
grass. But we did not call them birds of ill-omen
and speak of the past as we should have done ;
J only said it was right to find so many caw-
ing things at the gate of Cawdor Castle.

I wish that we had found nothing worse. Just
as we reached it the mist turned to heavy rain.
This is the depressing side of sight-seeing in Scot-
land ; you must take your holidays in water-proofs.

J made several sketches, for the rain poured

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