Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/184

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Robert the Bruce.

[1306 A.D.-

for he was devoted to his cause. This encounter probably saved the lives, or at least the liberty, of the whole party; for they were hard pressed for food, winter was approaching, and they dared not leave the hills, except by sea. Lennox fed and lodged the wanderers, a timely aid, which King Robert did not forget in brighter days.[1]

Nevertheless, the borders of Lorn and Menteith were no safe resting-place for the Bruce. Nigel Campbell had managed to secure some vessels, in which the King and his party embarked somewhere on the Clyde near Dunbarton and sailed for Cantyre. Lennox meant to have sailed with them, but his galley was delayed behind the others, and fell in with the galleys of Lorn. He was hotly pursued, and only escaped capture by throwing overboard all his baggage.

Angus of the Isles received the King and his men at Dunaverty Castle in Cantyre,[2] and entertained them right hospitably. Luckily, however, Bruce did not tarry long with him, but sailed on the third day about three hundred men in all, for Rachrin (now Rathlin), an island off the Irish coast, about fourteen miles south-west of the Mull of Cantyre. They were only just in time, for Lorn had tracked them

  1. In gratitude for this service, King Robert, after Bannockburn, granted Lennox the privilege of sanctuary for three miles by land and water round Luss church, on Loch Lomond.
  2. This castle has wholly disappeared. It was the scene of a horrible massacre in the 17th century, when General Leslie, of the Covenanters' army, slaughtered the garrison of 300 brave Highlanders in cold blood.