Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/166

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[1304 A.D.-
Robert the Bruce.

Comyn replied that he would never be false to his fealty to the King of England.

"No?" retorted Robert; "I had other hopes of you, because of the promises made by yourself and your friends. But as you will not fulfil my will in life, you shall have your guerdon!" and with these words he struck the fatal blow.

We have here two accounts, one from a Scottish, the other from an English, point of view. They are not contradictory, although different in the details. Whatever may have been the immediate cause or the order of events, there can be no doubt about the fact that, on February 10th, de Brus came to Dumfries, where the Red Comyn was. The two barons met, either by arrangement or by chance, in the church of the Minorite friars, and engaged in conversation before the high altar. High words passed between them; de Brus drew his dagger, stabbed Comyn, and hurried out of the church. At the door he met his attendants,[1] Kirkpatrick and de Lindsay, who, noting his agitation, asked how it was with him. "Ill," replied de Brus, "for I doubt I have slain the Comyn." "You doubt!" cried Kirkpatrick, "then I'll mak siccar";[2] and, rushing into the church, plunged his dagger into the wounded knight's breast. Sir Robert Comyn (not Sir Edmund,

  1. According to Hailes, Gospatrick de Kirkpatrick; but local tradition makes it Kirkpatrick of Closeburn. This is confirmed by heraldic authority, for the crest of this family is a hand holding a dagger, distilling drops of blood, with the motto, "I make sure."
  2. "I'll make sure." It should be noted that Kirkpatrick, like other feudal Knights, probably spoke Norman French, certainly not Lowland Scots.