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Unformatted text preview: ll was pulled down by an unknown agency. The story is extant in a pious old pamphlet called "Sadducees Defeated," and a great deal more to the same effect--a masterpiece by the parish minister, signed and attested by the other ministers of the Glen Kens. The Edinburgh edition of the pamphlet is rare; the London edition may be procured without much difficulty. The site of this ruined cottage, however, had no terrors for the neighbours, or rather for the neighbour, my shepherd. In fact, he seemed to have forgotten the legend till I reminded him of it, for I had come across the tale in my researches into the Unexplained. The shepherd and his family, indeed, were quite devoid of superstition, and in this respect very unlike the northern Highlanders. However, the fallen cottage had nothing to do with my own little adventure in Glen Aline, and I mention it merely as the most notable of the tiny ruins which attest the presence, in the past, of a larger population. One cannot marvel that the people "flitted" from the moors and morasses of Glen Aline into less melancholy neighbourhoods. The very sheep seemed scarcer here than elsewhere; grouse-disease had devastated the moors, sportsmen consequently did not visit them; and only a few barren pairs, with crow-picked skeletons of dead birds in the heather now and then, showed that the shootings had once perhaps been marketable. My shepherd's cottage was four miles from the little-travelled road to Dalmellington; long bad miles they were, across bog and heather. Consequently I seldom saw any face of man, except in or about the cottage. My work went on rapidly enough in such
68 ANGLING SKETCHES an undisturbed life. Empires might fall, parties might break like bursting shells, and banks might break also: I plodded on with my labour, and went a-fishing when the day promised well. There was a hill loch (Loch Nan) about five miles away, which I favoured a good deal. The trout were large and fair of flesh, and in proper weather they rose pretty freely, and coul...
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