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"That's wot I calls rotten luck," he soliloquized. "I might

2023-11-29 07:49:39source:xsn

What remained of the Macdonalds after the battle of Park were completely routed and put to flight, but most of them were killed, "quarter being no ordinar complement in thos dayes."

The night before the battle young Brodie of Brodie, accompanied by his accustomed retinue, was on a visit at Kinellan, and as be was preparing to leave the next morning be noticed Mackenzie's men in arms, whereupon he asked if the enemy were known to be so near that for a certainty they would fight before night. Being informed that they were close at hand, he determined to wait and take part in the battle, replying to Kenneth's persuasions to the contrary, "that be was an ill fellow and worse neighbour that would leave his friend at such a time," He took a distinguished part in the fight and behaved "to the advantage of his friend and notable loss of his enemy," and the Earl of Cromarty informs us that immediately after the battle be went on his journey. But his conduct produced a friendship between the Mackenzies and the family of Brodie, which continued among their posterity, "and even yet remains betwixt them, being more sacredly observed than the ties of affinity and consanguinity amongst most others," and a bond of manrent was entered into between the families. Some authorities assert that young Brodie was slain, but of this no early writer makes any mention and neither in Sir Robert Gordon's Earldom of Sutherland, in the Earl of Cromartie or other MS. Histories of the Mackenzies, nor in Brown's History of the Highland Clans, is there any mention made of his having been killed, though they all refer to the distinguished part be took in the battle. He was, however, seriously wounded.

The morning after the battle Kenneth, fearing that the few of the Macdonalds who escaped might rally among the hills and commit cruelties and robberies on those of his people whom they might come across, marched to Strathconan, where he found, as he had expected, that about three hundred of the enemy had rallied, and were destroying everything they had passed over in their eastward march before the battle.

As soon, however, as they noticed him in pursuit they took to their heels, but they were overtaken and all killed or made prisoners.

Kenneth then returned to Kinellan, carrying with him Alexander Macdonald of Lochalsh, whom he had taken prisoner, in triumph. His aged father, Alastair Ionraic, had now returned from the Raven's Rock, and warmly congratulated his valiant son upon his splendid victory; adding, however, with significant emphasis, that he feared they made two days work of one," since, by sparing Macdonald, who was also a prisoner, and his apparent heir, they preserved the lives of those who might yet give them trouble. But Kenneth, though a lion in the field, could not, from any such prudential consideration, be induced to commit such a cowardly and inhuman act as was here inferred. He, however, had no great faith in the forbearance of his followers if an opportunity occurred to them, and he accordingly sent Macdonald, under a strong guard, to Lord Lovat, to be kept by him in safety until he should advise him how to dispose of him.

He kept Alexander of Lochalsh with himself, but, contrary to the expectations of their friends, he, on the intercession of old Macdonald, released them both within six months, having first bound them by oath and honour never to molest him or his, and never again to claim any right to the Earldom of Ross, which the Lord of the Isles had in 1475 forfeited to the Crown.

Many of the Macdonalds and their followers who escaped from the field of battle perished in the River Conon. Flying from the close pursuit of the victorious Mackenzies, they took the river, which in some parts was very deep, wherever they came up to it, and were drowned. Rushing to cross at Moy, they met an old woman--still smarting under the insults and spoliations inflicted on her and her neighbours by the Macdonalds on their way north--and asked her where was the best ford on the river. "O! ghaolaich," she answered, "is aon ath an abhuinn; ged tha i dubh, cha `n eil i domhain," (Oh! dear, the river is all one ford together; though it looks black, it is not deep). In their pitiful plight, and on the strength of this misleading information, they rushed into the water in hundreds, and were immediately carried away by the stream, many of them clutching at the shrubs and bushes which overhung the banks of the river, and crying loudly for assistance. This amazon and a number of her sex who were near at hand had meanwhile procured their sickles, and now exerted themselves in cutting away the bushes to which the wretched Macdonalds clung with a death grasp, the old woman exclaiming in each case, as she applied her sickle, "As you have taken so much already which did not belong to you, my friend, you can take that into the bargain. The instrument of the old woman's revenge has been for many generations, and still is by very old people in the district, called "Cailleach na Maigb," or the Old Wife of Moy.

The Mackenzies then proceeded to ravage the lands of Ardmeanach and those belonging to William Munro of Fowlis--the former because the young laird of Kilravock, whose father was governor of that district, had assisted the Macdonalds; the latter probably because Munro, who joined neither party, was suspected secretly of favouring Lochalsh. So many excesses were committed at this time by the Mackenzies that the Earl of Huntly, Lieutenant of the North, was compelled, notwithstanding their services in repelling the invasion of the Macdonalds, to proceed against them as oppressors of the lieges. [Gregory, p. 57. Kilravock Writs, p.170, and Acts of Council.]