Their chief, Macgregor of Macgregor, was in exile; the more immediate leader of that part of them about Balquhidder, James More, Rob Roy's eldest son, lay waiting his trial in Edinburgh Castle; they were in ill-blood with Highlander and Lowlander, with the Grahames, the Maclarens, and the Stewarts; and Alan, who took up the quarrel of any friend, however distant, was extremely wishful to avoid them.
You should understand, it was then close upon the time of Alan's coming; the two were little likely to agree; and yet if we sent word or sought to make a signal, it was sure to arouse suspicion in a man under so dark a cloud as the Macgregor.
I would give ye my name in return, sir" he replied, "but it's one somewhat blown upon of late days; and it'll perhaps suffice if I tell ye that I am own brother to James More Drummond or Macgregor, of whom ye will scarce have failed to hear.
Macgregor, it's not a name to be ashamed of," answered Alan.
I am not the only man that can draw steel in Appin; and when my kinsman and captain, Ardshiel, had a talk with a gentleman of your name, not so many years back, I could never hear that the Macgregor had the best of it.
Macgregor," returned Alan; "and in the meantime" (laying a strong accent on the word) "I take back the lie.
But Thomas MacGregor has never been found nor heard of.
In a little cupboard I found a photograph of MacGregor, but it did not lead to his capture.
Surely," I said aloud, quite involuntarily, "the MacGregors must have come here from Edinburgh.
I pledge you my professional word I didn't even know she could dance, till her last benefit, and then she played Juliet, and Helen Macgregor
, and did the skipping-rope hornpipe between the pieces.