We started travelling again, across the mountains, and by daylight came to wild, open moors, covered with purple heather. Because anyone on the hills around us could easily see us when we stood up, we had to walk or run on our hands and feet, like animals. It was another hot summer day, and my back ached badly after a few hours. I wanted a rest and a drink of water, but when we stopped, we saw the redcoats of soldiers on one of the hills, and we had to go on.
We walked or ran all day and all night. People who talk of tiredness do not know what the word really means, I did not know who I was or where I was going, and I did not care. I thought that every step would be my last, and I hoped that death would come soon. Alan drove me onwards, and I felt that I hated him, but I was too afraid of him to stop and rest.
When daylight returned, we were stupid with tiredness, and had become careless. Suddenly, three or four wild-looking men jumped out of the heather, and took us prisoner. I was not afraid, only happy to stop running for a moment. But Alan spoke to them in Gaelic.
'These are Cluny Macpherson's men,' he said quietly to me. 'Ye remember him, the head of the Macpherson clan?They fought well against the English in the Forty-Five. After that, he didn't go to France, like the other clan chiefs. No, he's been hiding here ever since, and the soldiers have never managed to find him. His clansmen bring him what he needs.'
We were taken to a cave, well hidden by trees and rocks, and Cluny Macpherson himself came forward to welcome us, like a king in his palace. He seemed to live well in his cave, and he offered us an excellent meal, prepared by his cook. But I was too tired to eat, so I lay down at once and slept. In fact, although I did not know it, I was seriously ill, and could not get up for two days.
I woke up once, in a kind of fog, to find Cluny and Alan playing cards, and a second time, to hear Alan asking to borrow my money. I was too sick and sleepy to refuse, and gave him my purse.
But when I woke up again, on the third day, I felt much better, although not very strong. I noticed that Alan was looking very ashamed, and I realized at once what had happened.
'David,' he said miserably, 'I've lost all our money at cards, yours as well as mine.'
'No, no, ye haven't lost it!' cried Cluny. 'Of course I'll give your money back. It was just a game. I wouldn't keep your money. Here!' And he pulled gold coins out of his pocket.
I did not know if it was right to accept the money or not, but we needed it, so I thanked Cluny and put the coins in my purse. But I was very angry with Alan, and as we left Cluny's cave and continued our journey, I refused to speak to him.
At first Alan tried hard to talk to me. He said that he was sorry, and that he loved me like a brother. He was worried about my health, and offered me a hand when we crossed a river or climbed a hill. But after two or three days,when he realized that I was still angry with him, he too became angry, and laughed at me when I fell, or seemed tired.