ao6 PRINCE CHARLIE'S CAVES.
tin- steep beach, and then over rocks covered with grass and ferns, between the sides ol a narrow gorge. At the top a still steeper path led downwards to a cave, at the bottom of which we could see a glimmer of light. Scrambling upwards again, we reached a place where we could hear the sea murmuring on the other side. We afterwards climbed to the top of the cliff and sat down on the ground which formed the roof of the cavern. It was covered with heather and ferns, and patches of short grass ; a pleasant breeze was blowing, the sea birds were uttering their cries, far beneath us we could hear the beating of the surge. Across the Loch on both sides, the dark cliffs rose to a great height, and in the background stood the mountains of Skye and of the mainland. Had the air been very clear, we might have seen on the north-west the wooded hills of Dunvegan.
Two or three days later, when I was giving two Highlanders an account of this cavern, one of them asked with a humorous smile : " Did they not tell you it was Prince Charlie's Cave ? He must,' I am thinking, have been sleeping everywhere." His companion laughed and said : " They have lately made a new one near an hotel which they have opened at - ." The innkeepers should surely show a little originality. Why should they not advertise Dr. Johnson's Cave, and show the tea-pot out of which he drank his two-and-twenty cups of tea when he picnicked there ? They would do well also to discover the great cave in Skye which Martin tells of. "It is supposed," he writes, " to exceed a mile in length. The natives told me that a piper who was over-curious went in with a design to find out the length of it, and after he entered began to play on his pipe, but never returned to give an account of his progress." l
From Ulinish our travellers sailed up Loch Bracadale on their way to Talisker. " We had," says Boswell, " good weather and a fine sail. The shore was varied with hills, and rocks, and corn- fields, and bushes, which are here dignified with the name ot natural wood" They landed at Ferneley, a farm-house about three miles from Talisker, whither they made their way over the hills, Johnson on horseback, the rest on foot. The weather, no doubt, had been too uncertain for them to venture into the open sea round the great headland at the entrance of the loch. Skirting the stern and rock-bound coast, a few miles' sail would have brought
1 M. Martin's Western Islands, p. 150.