Wednesday, November 07, 2012

David Black Mastro - Rob Roy saves a peasant girl

Rob Roy saves a peasant girl

By David Black Mastro (aka TrueFightScholar)


During the reign of that miserable bigot, James II., both civil and religious discord reached their climax, and most odious deeds of oppression and cruelty were constantly enacted under the cloak of piety. At some such scenes Rob Roy had occasionally been present as a spectator, regretting that, strong man though he was, he was not powerful enough to crush down the perpetrators. 

It happened on a time that he had been to Carlisle to receive some money that was due to him, and returning home by way of Moffat, he comes upon an officer and a party of soldiers, who are engaged in hanging on a tree four peasants, whom they describe as fanatics, Covenanters, and Nonconformists; the daughter of one of these unfortunates they have bound to the same tree. Their cruel work being completed, they proceed to unloose the girl, tie her hands and feet, and drag her towards the verge of a precipice, from which, regardless of her cries for mercy, they are about to throw her into the river. It is now Rob's turn; he steps forward and demands why they are treating a helpless woman so barbarously. The officer replies in an arrogant fashion: "Be off, you rascal, or we will serve you the same for your insolence in interfering with His Majesty's commands." This infuriates Rob; he springs upon the soldiers, who are by this time close to the edge, and hurls eight of them into the stream, where they are carried away and drowned in the rapid current; he next whips out his skene dhu, and cuts the cords by which the girl is bound. The officer and the rest of his men are for the moment paralyzed with astonishment, when Rob draws his claymore, attacks him, and promptly stretches him dead on the ground. The soldiers now attempt to surround Rob and avenge their commander; but the herculean Highlander lays about him so vigorously that he soon despatches three more of them to keep the good gentleman company. The remainder take to their heels, and never stop until they arrive at the garrison of Moffat, where they report that, while they were about their holy work, no less a person than Satan himself sprang from the earth, armed with a sword which no mortal arm could resist; that he slew their officer and eleven of their comrades, and that it was all that the remainder could do to save as much as their lives. 

From Alfred Hutton's excellent and very entertaining book, The Sword and the Centuries--500 Years of European Swords and the Duels That Have Been Fought With Them



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