17 September, in the year of our Lord 2021
Up, and speak with Mrs. Macbeth that yesterday we found it tricky to break fast in our room, where there is not a table so we must balance every thing upon our knees or on the corners of the bed, all in the hope to avail us of her unused breakfast room. ‘No one else hath complayned,’ says she, which styfles further discourse. After breakfast, it being a rainy day, set out by coach to Glen Finnen, where is a visitor Centre, only the coach park very full with a great many abroad, and find that they are here to see a special trayn pass over a great Vyaduct, which we watch and greatly joyed by all the steam of it and a whistle. By the lake come upon a very high tower with the statue of a man at the top, which I did explayne to Mr. Jones was a Mr. Potter, but he says it is Charles Edward Something Something-else Stuart, who come to ask if he could have his crown back, to which the National Trust said no, but he asked in such a manner that they made an Exhibicion of him and called him Bonny Prince Charming, and then he went to Ireland.
After dinner walked abroad in the village, where many fine houses all of stone, and by an arrangement called upon the neighbores who lived by my parents cottage, though now moved to a new house which is down the hill, the old that they had a sorry sight, more than last I saw it; and come thither about 3 a-clock, and find them in fine form. There we spend two hours, I think, in discourse over a brewed tea and some cakes with much news, and though all older yet as if not a day passed between us, and all very merry. And my father hath sent with me a bottle of golden strong water to give to the mother of them all, which is a Famose Grouse, and they take it graciosely though I think it is like coals to New Castle, only they did not offer us any, which Mr. Jones had hoped they might, it now being the middle of the afternoon.
‘How are your mother and father?’ they ask me, and I tell them their news.
‘Whatever happened to Duncan?’ ask I, recalling the manager of the Estate.
‘Duncan MacCrinnan? Och, he’s still around,’ says Mrs. Macduff. ‘Haven’t seen him for a few days, mind. Stuart, have ye seen Duncan recently?’
‘I can’t say I have,’ says Mr. Macduff. ‘Probably sleeping it off.’
So parted, and by and by to supper, when partoke of a Thaie meal taken away in some bags and containers of light glass that you can squash and recicle, from a house near by where lives a Thie lady who cooks to order, which I did on the Line, and Mr. Jones payed again for it with his Card, which is like it being free, and eat it in Mrs. Macbeths dining room, which we were allowed to do it in.
‘Whose do you suppose to be the bright yellow coach on the gravell by the front door?’ say I, with a mouthfull of pad krapow moo saap. ‘The toy Oater. I have seen no owner.’
‘Mrs. Macbeth tells me it is her husbands,’ slurps Mr. Jones, through noudle soup. ‘She hath sent him upon an errand.’
‘An errand? We have been here two full days,’ say I, and of a sudden find myself a little ill at ease. ‘It seems a long time for a thing such as an errand.’
‘I think your present fears are less than horrible imaginings,’ says Mr. Jones, but the hairs on my neck prickle as if I heard the words before. ‘This spaghettey is rather good. I am glad we went Italian.’
And so I attend to my supper, but quiet, for I cannot shake of a foreboading.
‘I am gripped by a strange apprehencion,’ say I, ‘and an uncommon and unpleasant sensation in my thumbs.’
‘Well, the candles are nearly out,’ sighs Mr. Jones, laying his napkine aside, ‘and I for one have had a surfitt. You must put behind you your needless dysquiet, for we are on holiday and tomorrow we have a boat to catch.’
And so to bed.
The Famose Grouse, by the way, was the name of the liquor that was a present from my father and not a description of the mother of the next door neighbores. She is not famose for any thing.