Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/232

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[1307 A.D.-
Robert the Bruce.

scribed to Barbour what followed. The Scots, favoured by a thick mist, drew near the line of St. John's march, fell suddenly out of the darkness upon his flank, rode through and through the column three times, and put the English to flight.

This brilliant exploit brought in many of the people of Galloway to King Robert's peace, so that one by one the fortresses of that country fell into Edward de Brus's hands, the English garrisons were driven out, and by the end of the year the land was pretty well subdued. Dougal Macdouall, the native chief of Galloway, had to fly before those whose displeasure he had done so much to earn, and King Edward granted him the manor of Temple-Couton in Yorkshire as a reward for his services.

Edward de Brus having thus humbled the pride of the Macdoualls of Galloway, King Robert turned his attention to the west, where the other branch of that clan, under Alexander of Argyll and his son John of Lorn, still resisted his authority.

It was probably in August, 1308, that Bruce entered Argyll by the foot of Ben Cruachan—

"Crechanben hicht that montane,
I trow that nocht in all Bretane
Ane hear[1] hill may fundin be."[2]

The trusty Douglas was with the King once more, and Bruce, finding the passes strongly beset with Highlanders, detached him to take the defenders in flank, while he himself advanced up the defile. By these tactics he won the pass, and drove Argyll's

  1. Higher.
  2. The Brus, lxxv., 27.