Page:Robert the Bruce and the struggle for Scottish independence - 1909.djvu/176

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Robert the Bruce.

[1306 A.D.-

In this way they came to the borders of Lorn. The Macdoualls of Lorn were of the same blood as those of that name in Galloway—sworn enemies of Bruce. Moreover, Alexander of Argyle had married an aunt of the murdered Comyn, thus the King was here in great peril. At a place still called Dalry—the King's field—a combat took place, in which Bruce's party, greatly outnumbered, were badly worsted, Douglas and de la Haye both being wounded.[1] The King himself was in great peril at the hands of three brothers called Macandrosser, or sons of the door-keeper, who attacked him as he was riding along a strip of narrow ground between a lake and a steep hill. One of them seized the King's bridle, but his arm was shorn from the shoulder by a sweep of Robert's battle-axe. The second seized the stirrup, but the King set spurs to his horse, pressing his foot so heavily on the fellow's hand that he was dragged along the ground, and the King slew him, having first disposed of the third brother, who attempted to spring up behind the saddle. Afterwards, King Robert managed to cover the retreat of the ladies, whom he sent under escort of his brother Nigel and the Earl of Athol to the fancied security of Kildrummie, the royal castle in Aberdeenshire, which, it will be remembered, Edward had committed to his keeping. Many years were to roll by—many heads were to be laid low—before the King and Queen of Scots were to meet again.

  1. Barbour's narrative is here confirmed by a letter from King Edward to the Prince of Wales, September 14th, heartily acknowledging John of Lorn's services at this time.—Bain, ii., 490.