Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/202

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


Robert the Bruce.

[1305 A.D.-

of this land. His foes are pressing him hard now, but the day is at hand when he shall come by his own."

Upon this, the King made himself known, was welcomed into the house, and set down to a good meal. While he was discussing the homely fare, the three sons returned. Their mother made them do obeisance straightway, and they became staunch adherents of King Robert.

The King, so it is said, desired to test their prowess with the bow. The eldest, Murdoch, let fly at two ravens perched on a crag, and transfixed both with the same arrow. MacKie then shot another raven, flying overhead, but MacLurg missed his mark. When the widow's words came to be fulfilled by the King coming to his own, he asked her how he could reward her for her timely succour.

"Just give me," said she, "the wee bit hassock o' land atween Palnure and Penkiln."

Her request was granted, and the "bit hassock" being of considerable extent, about five miles long and three broad, was divided between the three sons. Hence the origin of the families of MacKie of Larg, Murdoch of Cumloden, and MacLurg of Kirouchtrie.[1]

Douglas and Edward de Brus met the King at Craigencallie as agreed on, and about a hundred and fifty of their men gathered to them. Douglas brought word that he had passed a company of some

  1. Murdoch's feat is commemorated in the arms granted to his descendants, and duly enrolled in the Lyon Register, viz. argent, two ravens hanging pale-wise, sable, with an arrow through both their heads fess-wise, proper.