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written & illustrated by
MY NEW YORK PUBLISHER
An Imprint of Morgan James Publishing
The Rollicking Adventures of Tam O’Hare
Copyright © 2007, 2008 Scotty Roberts
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ISBN: 978-1-60037-289-6 (Paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-60037-297-1 (Hardcover)
My New York Publisher
an Imprint of
Morgan James Publishing
1225 Franklin Avenue, Suite 325
Garden City, NY 11530-1693
Cover, Dust Jacket and Interior design by:
Scotty Roberts - www.TavernTent.com
Printed in the United States of America
so much. my son. but I hope he brings you much happiness in the years to come. . I love you very much. Abby and Bryn You believed in me when no one else did. Sam You are too young to remember Tam’s beginnings. You’ve grown up with Tam O’Hare.For my daughters. I love you both. And for my son. my little Kindergartner. and this book is for you.
The historical personages contained in this book are true to their characters. embellished with a fanciful. the reader. my children have been the constant.rabbits and raccoons with swords. though I have taken many liberties with their fictional interactions in this story. whimsical tale. Above all. notwithstanding. that these things could not have happened . however. though your’s will be of a much more encapsualized nature. will find as much joy in it.you may find it a very helpful tool in some parts of the book. not spanning the nine years this story has seen from concept to the thing you now hold in your hands. It’s not often that an author will invite you to peek at the end of the book first. MN April 30. And at that. I have included many nautical terms. I leave my book in the very capable hands of your imagination. my Northern Star. living through times of abundance and happiness. Through it all. Scotty Roberts Saint Paul. juxtaposed by the Celtic mythology and mysticism you will encounter on these pages. please flip to the end of the book. times of loss and crisis. There is a great deal of spirituality. This book is for them. 2007 . as well as Gaelic and Scots English..Author’s Forward To say that this book has been a labor of love would be a misnomer. This book is chock full of history. as they have experienced along the way. where you will find a very useful GLOSSARY. if you will. If you encounter any words or terms you do not understand or are unfamiliar with. That is not to say. enjoy the story and the artwork. but if you can flip back there without looking at the end of the story! . I hope you.. It has been my life for many years in the making.
17 A Call for Help .11 A Squirrel with Purpose .135 208 209 WHAT OTHER READERS HAVE SAID 213 TAM O’HARE ART 218 .Table of Contents PROLOGUE ELEVEN ONE TWELVE TWO THIRTEEN THREE FOURTEEN 1 Anticipation .143 Harwich .175 Out of the Mists .207 SEVEN ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS EIGHT GLOSSARY The Road to Edinburgh .65 The Plan .41 FIVE Skullduggery .195 FIFTEEN The Wedding .87 Mary Queen of Scots .201 EPILOGUE 205 EXTRA! EXTRA! Tam O’Hare Goodies . Queen and Country! .101 NINE The Hunt for the Elizabeth Jonas 117 TEN For God.153 The Hole In the Stone .29 FOUR The Mermaid .51 SIX Glenburrow .
To the waters and the wild. O. For the world’s more full of weeping Than you can understand.” from The Stolen Child by William Butler Yeats .“Come away. With a faerie hand in hand. little child.
Malcolm could see his own golden breath on the cooling air. Malcolm could have reached out between the leaves and touched them. The sun was starting to set in the west. he hoped to blend-in and remain unseen. In the bright slanted sunset light. Then wrapping the upper folds of wool around his arms and head. a skill he had been developing for just such an occasion as this. transforming the sky from deep azure blue to hues of gold and pink. Inside his leafy hiding place he curled his body into a tight ball. Three soldiers were standing directly in front of the very bush in which he was hiding. and were they any closer. pulling his knees up under his kilt. He slowly inhaled and exhaled through his mouth with deliberate quietness. 1 . pulling the makeshift hood of his feileadh mor up over his head.Prologue Malcolm MacDervish gripped the hilt of his sword tightly and kept very still.
He was lucky. he imagined. he decided. He looked up at the bird and 2 . the name and deeds of Malcolm MacDervish would be recited around the fires of his clan for generations to come! At that very moment. allowing him to launch a surprise attack on the unsuspecting soldiers.knights! They were knights. not soldiers .” This pleased Malcolm to no end and he grinned gleefully in his silence. The soldiers gave no indication that they even suspected he was there. If he could thwart their plans and slay them before they had a chance to attack his village of Glenburrow. wait. engrossed. the hero of Glenburrow. No. until the perfect moment offered itself. He wanted them to remain oblivious to his presence.. in frustrated conversation. that is. a sparrow landed on the hawthorne branch that hung low over the bush where Malcolm was concealed. A good hero needs an equally bad enemy. knowing that he would need the element of surprise to be victorious against three professional soldiers.. They stood with their backs to him. Scotland. To date.Unseen. so Malcolm decided that these Knights were indeed heinously Evil. they had not yet been able to hunt down “Malcolm MacDervish. Evil Knights who were there to attack the families of his clan while they slept in their beds that night.
tipped his head back and laughed at the Evil Knights. Malcolm bellowed a horrifying war cry and leapt out of the bush with both hands gripping his sword high above his head. As he swung down toward the first of the Evil Knights. While rolling back to his feet. the blade of his sword hit the hawthorne branch above his head. He then put his hands on his hips. making no noise that could possibly attract the Evil Knights’ attentions. glad that none of his friends were there to see him make such a bumbling maneuver. “I’m doomed!” Malcolm yelled inside his head. eh?!” he boomed. wincing and gritting his teeth at the sudden betrayal of his hiding place. sending the weapon flying out of control. “Think that’s the end of me. “I’d best attack now before all element of surprise has faded!” At that. However. who lit in a flourish and flew away in a fluster of flapping wings and falling feathers. Malcolm looked at his empty hands in horrified shock. snatching his sword from the dirt where it had fallen.put a finger to his lips in a futile hope that the small bird would understand that it needed to keep quiet. he made a wicked 3 . the motion of Malcolm’s hand served only to startle the bird. Then in one fluid motion he tucked and rolled to the ground.
A wail on the wind. kicking in all directions the hawthorne sticks that he had used to build his imaginary Evil Knights. Like a banshee keening out the death of some great Irish warrior. and Malcolm was going to celebrate this one to the hilt. And just as suddenly as it had begun. 4 . it was over. taking his legs out from under him. It wasn’t often that a seven-year-old hare saved his clan from destruction. Malcolm brandished his sword and without hesitation began hacking away at the two remaining evil knights. Malcolm tipped his head back and howled the victor’s cry. Then it came. then a hack to that one’s ribs. Now back on his feet. “Yallay-hoooooooooooooooo!!!” He then threw his wooden sword into the air and danced a victory jig. With a broad smile and a champion’s bravado. Too bad his friends weren’t there to share in this glorious victory.slice toward one of the Evil Knights. “Maaaalcolmmmmm. The three Evil Knights lay in a pile at Malcolm’s feet.” Malcolm slumped his shoulders. First a mighty blow to this one’s head.
he turned toward the cottages in the glen and began to walk home. he thought he heard the sound of someone playing the pipes. And wasn’t that the way it always was? Just when he was having the most fun. “Tomorrow. 5 .” he mused while pointing his wooden weapon at the scattered hawthorne sticks. cocking an ear slightly toward the sky. As he passed through the hawthorne grove near the tall blue-grey stones that stood on the bank of the stream. Motherrrrr!” Malcolm called back sullenly. whacking the tops of the long grass with the hawthorne twig as he went. and then we’ll have another go. you Evil Knights. but seemed as if it was being carried on the air from some far-off place.” the voice echoed from down in the glen. “Very weel. The music didn’t sound nearby. Malcolm stooped and picked up his toy sword and one of the hawthorne twigs. Malcolm stopped to listen.“Time to come in for your supper.” Then tucking his sword into his belt. and we’ll rebuild you. “I will come back with Hamish and Grigor. it was always time to come in for the night.
blending into the sound of wind. but somehow unable to move his feet. Malcolm froze. tales of the beautiful mysterious musics that would fill the air on nights when the Good People . A 6 . blue firefly-like orbs filling the air from the midst of the hawthorne grove. Malcolm stood still and alone in the grassy field. his eyes growing wide as the piping became more distinct. It seemed as if the birds. lulling music of the pipes. sweet.The pipes continued to play.the faerie folk of the shadow lands would appear. The longer and louder they sounded. dark bluish-black. His heart was suddenly filled with fear. wanting to run toward the cottages in the glen below. The music was haunting and beautiful all at once. The young hare. He was surrounded by a soft bluish light that came from somewhere behind him. The sun dropped out of sight. the more his memories were roused of frightening bedtime stories told by his parents. the woods and all creation had grown silent around him save for the soft. braved a glance back over his shoulder and saw what looked like flickering. now wishing he had left for home much earlier. leaving a thin band of golden pink on the horizon’s edge while the rest of the sky melted into a deep.
She had bonnie long hair bound about with a strap that glinted like the stars. The beautiful faerie at the front turned aside and looked straight at Malcolm. and he was overcome with a curiosity that would not allow him to succumb to his fright. The faerie at the front of the troupe was a good deal larger than the others. Malcolm had never seen the Good People before. Malcolm observed. The little people all wore green scarves about their necks and shoulders in varying lengths. who was immediately convinced he had lived his last day on this earth. terrifying yet strangely more beautiful and serene than autumn moonlight. brimming full with shimmering wee folk all riding the shaft of light as if it were a magic carpet dancing on the air. to be sure. The bluish iridescence seemed to be alive. crossed himself in Christian incantation and watched the dancing faerie troupe float low on the air. yet still as small as a little child. Then something very strange happened.shaft of light danced over his head.. “Shhhhhh. who seemed to be leading the troupe. cool fingers to his lips..” her whisper echoed softly into the 7 . save for the one at the fore. She was more beautiful than any creature Malcolm had ever seen. He stood frozen in his place. Floating softly on the air before Malcolm. she stretched out her hand and touched her soft.
twilight mist. His little body felt all at once light and heavy. 8 . dark. nor think. nor move. and his legs buckled beneath him. blending into the beautiful melancholy of the pipes. In a fluid motion they all glided up and over the hedge of hawthorne trees then down toward the small cluster of cottages in the glen below. Malcolm could not speak. He slowly closed his eyes and fell into a long. Sinking slowly into the grass he could see the first stars of the new night twinkling in the sky above him. then turned and slowly floated back to the head of her troupe. She gently took the hawthorne twig from Malcolm’s hand. peaceful sleep.
With paws shoved under armpits for warmth. Tam hugged himself and shivered as he tiptoed across the frigid floor looking for the place where he had dropped his clothes. but from the moment he’d laid his head to his pillow. anticipating the adventure that awaited 11 . This was no time of night for a hare to be up and about. he’d done nothing but stare into the dark shadows that engulfed the great oak beams crisscrossing his bed chamber ceiling.Chapter 1 Anticipation Sunrise was still several hours away when Tam O’Hare’s feet touched the cold slate floor of his bed chamber. yet streamlets of icy nighttime air still managed to eek in through the cracks and meander their way down the stone floored halls of HareHenge Castle. All night long his mind raced and imagined. Winter had passed and spring was well underway.
had been brimming-to-thefull with adventure.as if it were a long lost friend . sailed the high seas.and he pulled it hastily over his head.a task he had never mastered. he mused. A broadening smile filled Tam’s face. stood honorably alongside loyal allies. He hadn’t slept a wink. sat down in his chair. and stared into the dying coals. His entire life. He had truly seen the world through his many wonderful wanderings and journeys. He had met incredible people. despite all his years 12 . made lifelong friends. They were lying in a crumpled heap at the foot of his ornately carved high back chair. But the adventure he was about to embark on today was like none he had ever experienced before. mate!” he said to his shirt . and he was eager to get under way. Stopping before the room’s central round fire pit. After slipping into his green leather doublet. “Right where I left you. Tam found his shirt and doublet.him at the cracking of the dawn. he picked up the poker. where the night’s fire had burned down to a few glowing remnants. He was going to the New World. “MacNutt!” he bellowed good naturedly while attempting to stoke a fire out of the glowing embers . fought myriad battles.
at least. “America!” Tam exclaimed under his breath as he poked at the glowing coals in the fire pit. ran as pure silver. The flickering stars suspended in the bluish-black sky outside the window caught his eye. breathtaking mountain vistas and exotic tribes of creatures dressed in brightly woven clothes and feathers. he had completely forgotten that it was still the dead of the night. The New Continent.of adventuring. until the sky began to edge its easternmost horizon with a sliver of golden pink. was filled with strange new woodlands. I say!” Still no answer. it was said. Tam sucked in a deep preparatory breath. and gold and diamonds grew on the trees. The rivers of this new land. In his excitement. He’d heard wonderful stories of the place. “MacNutt. then suddenly stopped short. as it was called. he realized. The air was sweet and fresh. Ready to bellow his young squire’s name for a third time. And he reluctantly decided to let MacNutt remain in the warmth of his bed. Not at all the proper time to roust a young squirrel from his slumber. and the grass underfoot felt as soft as 13 . that is. There was no answer.
They were embarking on the adventure of a lifetime! How on God’s green earth could Tam let him sleep any longer? 14 . There was room to move. hear it and handle it.imported Chinese silk. This would be the first time MacNutt had been anywhere beyond the borders of Scotland and Ireland and the first time ever that Tam would venture further west than the setting sun’s horizon. He must experience this place firsthand! To do so would give him his own stories to tell of this mysterious. Tam simply had to see this marvelous place with his own eyes.and made it back home alive. feel it. At least that’s what was said by the few who had been there . breathe in its rich aromas and taste its intriguing new flavors. and he did not intend to be late. The ship he had hired embarked from Dublintown Port three days hence. “MacNutt!” he called out again at the top of his lungs. faraway land that lay across the still infinitely mysterious western sea. with abundant land for the claiming. He wanted to walk in it. forsaking his resolve to let the lad sleep through the night. breathe and live free.
but only if Tam would take Horatio on as his squire. and after much pleading and bargaining. “If you are to stay with Uncle Tam. you need to earn your keep!” Horatio was only too willing to comply. “No free nuts!” his father had said. For as far back as he could remember. he had been enthralled with the stories his father told him of Tam’s marvelous adventures. He had begged his parents to let him go to Ireland to live with his Uncle Tam. and he was bound and determined to become the hero he knew his uncle to be. they agreed.Chapter 2 A Squirrel with Purpose Horatio Glamis Tamolyn Thatchaway MacNutt was a squirrel of singular purpose. 17 . And he idolized his Uncle Tam.
Both Tam and William bowed their knee to the baby Queen of the Scots. “Never in all my born days. Tam and William. Sadly. This particular battle against England was lost.Now. King James died . Tam O’Hare was not actually clan or kin to his young squire. spitting out the word English as if it were sour milk in his mouth.some say of a broken heart over losing the battle . but he may as well have been. as warriors are often wont to do. swearing an oath of honor and fidelity one to the other. “Tally 18 .leaving his one-week-old daughter Mary as sole heir to the Scottish throne. He then quickly removed his blue bonnet. Long before MacNutt was born.” smiled Tam under his breath during the ceremony. William. became brothers. within two short weeks of the battle’s end. whimsical eyes and whispered. curled his long bushy tail and dropped to his knee. The two looked at each other with wide. had fought together for Scotland’s king. in the Battle of Solway Moss during the infamous Border Wars between England and Scotland. James the Fifth. But as a result. and swore to uphold and defend her. “would I ever have predicted that I would swear my oath of honor and allegiance to a red-haired fox!” “At least she’s not an English fox!” chuckled William in his deep Highland brogue. Tam and Horatio’s father.
who himself had been married to Margaret Tudor. Although they were giggling in whispers. breaking the serious moment with the giddiness of having simultaneously hit upon the same joke. who reigned over England and Ireland. Henry the Eighth. they were just loud enough to prompt a grand “Huh-rrumph!” and an over-the-shoulder. So twice. in as many weeks. Tam O’Hare had found some conflict. Especially in light of the fact that the new-born Scottish Queen was the great-niece of their recent foe. King of England. the previous King of Scotland. stern priest’s glance from the black cassocked bear kneeling in front of them. yet his grandmother’s family ties gave Tam the right of Scottish 21 . Tam’s grandmother was a cousin to James the Fourth. King Henry the Eighth’s sister. However. he was subject to the rule of the English king.Ho!” in unison with a wink and a grin. in this allegiance. These royal relatives of Tam’s grandmother gave Tam a sort of dualcitizenship. He was indeed an English subject. Henry the Eighth. a thing not to be lightly given. most fearsome fox of all! Yet. the wiliest. As an Irish lord. Tam and William instantly fell silent in rebuke. but could not keep from letting an occasional snicker slip out under their breath. the pair had sworn their honor and allegiance.
He loved and respected Tam for standing with him and his countrymen against the English king. was Scot through and through. and he defended with vigor. he had no idea just how much he would have to wrestle between those loyalties later in his life William MacNutt. if ever called for. And if that isn’t confusing enough. And all of this placed him in what sometimes seems like a very confusing. and most certainly his life. this long string of mixed up.and peerage . however. Inverness to York. were it his to give.even though he was an English subject of Irish birth. duke or duchess from Belfast to Edinburgh. queen. Dublin to London. So.citizenship . At the time when Tam bowed his knee to the sevenday-old Mary Queen of Scots. His loyalty to Tam was fierce. Ireland and Scotland (as well as the long list of relatives associated with each and every monarch) left Tam somehow related in a distant way to almost every king. Horatio’s father. many years later. his nation’s desire to be free of English rule. and he would have given Tam the world. discombobulated set of loyalties and allegiances. intricately intertwined marriages between the ruling families of England. Horatio. however. asked to 22 . when his son.
He then stood to his full height and nodded his approving farewell. pretending as if he had gotten a fleck of dust in his eye. and since then he 23 . where his Uncle Tam awaited his arrival. for the first time in his young life.” He went on to tell Horatio that he must always deal fairly with others. locking eyes with his son. store enough nuts for the colder months and above all.” William repeated to his son.” A tear slipped out of William’s eye. William was more than happy to let him go.go on a prolonged visit to Tam in Ireland. something he heard from Tam many years earlier. but only if Horatio understood just how fortunate he was to have in Tam O’Hare. and he quickly wiped it away. across the Straights of Dalriada to Dublintown port. “you will see in him the honorable creature I pray you will someday be. “Watch your Uncle Tam. a loyal friend and loving Uncle. “Honor. That had been nearly a year ago. act with forethought and honor.” William said. carry him away from Scotland. keep his word. These were the final words uttered to him by his father as Horatio stepped onto the gangplank of the small ferrying vessel that would. “is the only gift that a creature can give himself.
barely had time to miss his family and his home in the
Highlands of Scotland. Life had indeed been an
adventure with Uncle Tam, and today was going
to prove no different.
A loud bellowing abruptly woke Horatio out of his
cold, hard, deep sleep. He lay there in his bed blinking
fuzzy eyes, wondering incoherently for a moment, just
who and where he was.
There it was again. That hideous wailing. That
monstrous droning that was beckoning him so cruelly
out of his dreams. He blinked twice and gained some
vague recollection of who he was.
The little squirrel jolted upright in his bed.
“On my way, Uncle Tam, sir!” he croaked as he leapt
down out of bed, the shock of the icy floor on his bare
feet eradicating almost all remnants of sleep. He ran at
full speed down the tower steps and across the hall to
the source of the bellowing.
With a horrendous groan, the huge oak door of Tam’s
bedchamber swung open as MacNutt pushed his way
into the room. The iron hinges let out a squeeeeeak that
crescendoed from a low rumbling to a high, shrill pierce
causing both hare and squirrel to wince.
“Ahhhhh!” they both cried in unison. “I hate when
it does that!”
“That needs some grease,” said the young squirrel
sleepily, pointing with his finger at the offending hinge.
MacNutt stood motionless in the doorway for a
moment, still shaking off the last scraps of sleep, waiting
to hear why it was he had been summoned so
suddenly from his dreams.
“Ah...” said Tam, turning away rather dismissidly,
grinning from ear to ear as he continued poking at the
coals in the fire pit, “...you’re awake then.”
MacNutt glanced over his shoulder at the winking
stars that still hung brightly in the sky outside the
window at the end of the corridor. He turned back
toward Tam, blinked hard twice and said, rather
unbemusedly, “Well of course I’m awake, then! ‘Twas
you that played the banshee and...”
“You should thank me for rousting you with my
hideous wailing,” Tam interrupted with a smile. “We’ve
an adventure waiting just beyond the breaking of the
sun, and you will want to be ready by first light.”
He poked again at the embers, trying to coax out a
bit more heat before they went completely cold.
“Here, let me do that, Uncle Tam,” MacNutt said
extending his hand while crossing the room. “Besides,
you need to fix yourself,” he continued as he took the
poker from Tam’s hand. “You’ve your doublet on
“I haven’t either...” said Tam, as he lowered his chin
against his chest, looking down at his clothing.
“Well, I’ll be...” he whispered almost under his breath.
He then removed the green leather garment and flipped
the sleeves inside out with a whip and a flourish.
Having sparked new life into the coals, MacNutt hung
the poker on its hook on the wrought iron rack
standing alongside the pit, then returned and held his
paws above the small fire.
“Much better,” he said with a satisfied smile. “Shall
I fetch some breakfast, then, Uncle?”
“That would be splendid!” exclaimed Tam. “It’s never
a good thing to set off for a new world on an empty stomach.
They smiled at each other for a moment, both fully
aware that they craved each other’s company, and that
Tam only wanted to share his excitement with his young
squire and friend. Then MacNutt swung about and
retreated through the great oak doorway in his usual
bouncy gate, now fully awake and excited to
“Tewksberry!” he bellowed for the household cook as
he marched down the corridor toward the kitchens.
“Tewksberry! Up I say! Uncle Tam will breakfast in his
bedchamber this... ummm...morn!” And then he added
with a bit of lighthearted sarcasm, “...hours earlier than
MacNutt’s voice echoed off down the hall and Tam
burst out with heartfelt laughter that filled HareHenge
Castle with a sincere warmth.
A five-foot-tall pole was secured to each of the four corners of the wagon.the silver Irish Harp with a beautiful female hare as it’s upright.and what a magnificent sight it was! The wagon was a flat bottom rig with no sides save four upright posts on the corners and three horizontal slats on all four sides that firmly held all the contents in place. On the left front and right rear poles there were banners emblazoned with the O’Hare family crest . 29 . and went outside to supervise the loading of the wagon.Chapter 3 A Call for Help After breaking their fast. dressed for the day. MacNutt excused himself. Once in the courtyard. he saw that it was already fully packed and ready for the road . awoke the rest of the household servants.
The young squirrel stood next to one of the wagon’s two wheels. respectively right front and left rear. The wood itself was painted a bright clover green and the wheels were painted black with green knotwork detailing. MacNutt took upon himself the responsibility of double-checking the contents of the wagon against the master inventory list drawn up by Uncle Tam two days ago. and only when he pulled himself to his full height was he taller than the circumference of the wheel. 30 . Some of the servants thought it would be a nice touch to add more color to the rig. he surveyed the load: - One large barrel containing a cache of various greens and vegetables ranging from lettuce and cabbage to carrots and beets. so red and saffron banners were secured by nails and hooks along the topmost slats on the sides of the wagon. Facing the rear of the wagon with one foot down on the step. He walked around to the front of the wagon and climbed up into the seat. All in all.The other two poles. a pretty glorious sight. and one knee resting on the plush leather seat. The load had already been inventoried by the servants. both flew the green flag of Ireland bearing the image of the Irish Harp. but MacNutt wanted to be sure that everything was there.
One large rope tension bed. Twelve woolen blankets. grates and cooking utensils. Two spools of hemp rope spun by the townsfolk. knives. pans. nails and sundry other curious instruments. axes and other weapons. cups and eating utensils. 31 .- One large wooden box filled with assorted nuts and sunflower seeds. A small chest containing various clay pipes and tobacco. and something called a “mosquito net” that Tam had acquired from an old sea dog who’d been aboard a merchant ship that had spent many months in the West Indies. A chest filled with cast iron pots. Uncle Tam’s clothing trunk. One small rope tension bed. mugs. and twenty-six poles for their support. One large barrel of fresh water. Two canvas tents. A leather satchel containing his own clothing. Six pillows. A dismantled table and benches. A tool chest holding hammers. A small box containing everything from fine china to simple wooden bowls. One small cask of wine. A long chest filled with various swords.
the inventory was in order. and very mysterious. The wagon was loaded. Thoughts of evil portents and bad omens filled his mind. golden light. nurturing fears that had been fueled by too many late night stories of the Faerie Folk and their shadowy kingdom of Ti’r N’nog. His heart skipped a beat. filling the sky with bright. His eyes were surely not playing tricks. “Dia ‘r sabhail!” he prayed in a gasp. It was so bright that he could not stare for very long.MacNutt smiled with great satisfaction. something on the rising sun caught the corner of his eye. Just as he turned toward the castle door. At that very moment. and it was definitely moving across the surface of the rising sun! 32 . as if to punctuate the completion of his task. but there was definitely something there. for it was very strange. knowing that he was about to embark on one of Uncle Tam’s famous adventures. the sun peeked over the eastern hills. invoking God for protection as he moved his fingers across his brow and chest in the sign of the cross. MacNutt looked into the slowly rising curve of burning orange and squinted a satisfied smile. and all seemed ready for the great trip. He looked back into the glowing ball and squinted. And it was moving! He took a step forward and stopped short.
. with a chuckle in his voice. my boy?” called Tam after him..something.. MacNutt turned and ran as fast as he could to the castle door. Tam donned his green bonnet. “You’re sure. “You’ve been running away from. “Uncle Tam!” MacNutt bellowed as he bounded up the tower steps. By the time he emerged on the roof of the tower.?” MacNutt 35 asked with some ...Without waiting long enough to even think about what he was seeing...there’s. calling to Tam over his shoulder during his rapid ascent..and the strange black shape that seemed to be coming out of it.” MacNutt’s words puffed and echoed and trailed off the further up the tower steps he flew. lad..” he said to MacNutt. MacNutt was already leaning over the battlements looking toward the rising sun . Tam walked to the wall and put his hand over his brow. “Just come quickly.sun... he hurtled with all the speed he could muster to the top of the castle tower.. squinting into the brightening sunlight. “What is it. a bird!” He chuckled again. “It’s a hawk. leapt onto the steps and followed quickly...the. “Uncle Tam! Come quickly!” Taking two and three steps at a time.
sternly fixing his eyes on Tam. It looks as though he’s coming straight for this tower.. He cocked his head a bit to the side while appraising MacNutt... see. Lowering his gaze.. chieftain of the Highland MacDervishes.” MacNutt jumped back away from the wall just as the hawk landed atop the tower battlement.. his ears and cheeks flushing red as he quickly flicked a glance at Tam then back toward the approaching hawk. then straightened almost to attention. my boy.. See how he’s gliding on the morning breeze?” “Oh. I. crossing his arms..” said Tam. “Oh. “I’ve an urgent message for Tam O’Hare from Argyll Whitebeard MacDervish.” 36 . sir!” snapped the hawk. “Let’s hear your urgent message. turning his head in quick staccato movements. “Thomas Skye. and you may wish to stand back.yes. never removing his gaze from the strange form. assuming a commanding stance. the hawk looked around..” said MacNutt. I. “Take a deep breath.” “I’m Tam O’Hare.reservation and not just a little embarrassment. “Absolutely.” said Tam with a smile as he clapped MacNutt on the shoulder...
” And with a dismissing gesture of his hand. it really is quite urgent.” Tam.. urgently requests your presence in Glenburrow. He was so eager to embark on his adventure that he’d forgotten his manners altogether.” 37 ..After a moment’s pause in which he looked back and forth between Tam and MacNutt. “Please hear my entire message.” continued Skye. sir. And he pleadingly solicits your aid in the recovery of his stolen granddaughter. crossed and uncrossed his arms and clasped his hands behind his back.” “Thank you. the hawk began to speak again.. realizing he’d been hastily harsh.” Tam said politely. sir. Turning away from Skye he continued. “Your late mother’s Uncle Argyll Whitebeard MacDervish.. a bit preturbed. he added. your late mother’s uncle.” The hawk interrupted quietly.. “Argyll Whitebeard MacDervish.. urgently requests your presence in Glenburrow. “please continue. Scotland. “Impossible! I’m off on a very long sea voyage today and can by no means set aside time to travel to Glenburrow. “Forgive my abruptness. pleadingly. “Please send my regrets to dear great uncle.” “Glenburrow? Scotland!? “ interrupted Tam.
MacNutt asked confusedly.” said Skye as he crossed himself broadly. then?” Tam asked. “Aye. “It’s the little one. 38 . for in his very soul he loved Abigail. not Abigail. “Aye. “She’s stolen.” replied Skye. sir.” The hawk leaned in toward Tam. And she’s not ‘kidnapped. The younger granddaughter. then?” asked Tam. The two fixed their gazes on each other without a single word.’ sir.?” Tam let the word trail off knowingly. shocked. and his heart had skipped a beat when in that flickering moment he thought she might be in some manner of danger. Bryndolyn by name. sir. completely ignoring MacNutt’s questions.Tam.” He whispered the last word... “Stolen. “Who’s Bryndolyn? Who’s this Abigail? Who stole whom?” “Faerie work. snapped a look back at Skye. “Abigail? She’s been Kidnapped?!” “No. while Skye punctuated with a nod. Tam breathed in deep and let the air out slowly.
indicating silence.” 39 . Tam turned back to Thomas Skye. but Tam held up his hand. and asked. MacNutt knew and trusted his uncle. to whom?” “Captain Seamus Duggery of the Moruadh.” MacNutt began to speak again. and he obeyed without question. sir.“The Good People. “Can you take a message to Dublintown port for me?” “Aye.
was the fastest sea-going vessel in Dublintown Port. and Seamus Duggery was the finest.for he was reputed to be a pirate of sorts . Seamus Duggery.he had total faith and trust in his seamanship. if not the most notorious hare who piloted a vessel on the Irish Sea. While Tam did not align himself with Duggery’s politics or morals . He was without a doubt the 41 .Chapter 4 The Mermaid The Mermaid . as she was called in the Irish tongue .or. Moruadh. And a voyage to the New World needed the best captain and crew that could be found. had navigation in his blood. gossip and reputation notwithstanding. He could sniff the salty sea air and with eyes closed sail a ship to the Netherlands.
“best that could be found. “Lord O’Hare had me fly here straightaway with this purse of gold coin. a proud hare unaccustomed to taking orders from anyone. “So ‘is lordship is changin’ ‘is plans. sir. tossed the purse to his raccoon first mate and replied.” responded Thomas Skye. who were all standing around listening to the conversation. handing a small leather pouch to Duggery. for he was a fellow Gallowglass. Duggery also bore an old reputation with Tam.” Anywhere. “I don’t takes lightly t’havin’ m’plans changed s’free an’ easy!” “Aye! Free ‘n’ easy!” hissed Duggery’s raccoon crew. You are to make preparations for a short trip to Greenock prior to departing for the New World. 42 .” Duggery. one of the Irish mercenaries who had fought alongside Tam O’Hare and William MacNutt at the Battle of Solway Moss. eh?” scowled Seamus Duggery. and Tam placed a certain amount of weighty confidence in that old battlefield alliance. “Aye. Lord O’Hare will be here two days hence.
leaving the Moraudh below and behind. *** 43 .” Skye snapped back.” Skye spoke down to the captain. no’ fer nothin’. and silently wished godspeed to Tam and MacNutt. and jabbing his pointy finger while spitting into Skye’s face. and n’matter ‘ow much gold jingles in ‘is purse!” Duggery’s crew began angrily chiming in with the captain. “As I said. Skye lit off his perch on the starboard gunwales and flew to the top of the mast. “tha’ I take orders from no hare.not me! Good day to you!” And at that he took flight. rolling his ‘rs’.“You’ll have to take that up with Lord O’Hare. “Well. wanting to complete his business as quickly as possible with Captain Duggery and his salty crew.” Duggery raged. He turned his wing east toward Scotland. sir. uttering a word of prayer for their safety among what seemed to be a surly lot of cutthroats. closing in around the messenger hawk. Unsure of what the hissing crew of raccoons might intend. The captain and his mob crew of raccoons yelled up in anger at the hawk. you tell the grrrrrey-at lairrrrd Tam O’Hare hi’self. “you’ll have to address these matters with Tam O’Hare himself .
” Tam continued. for Tam only called him “Horatio” when he was expressing his deepest. When he opened them again. he placed his hands on MacNutt’s shoulders and said. Horatio. MacNutt ran out in front of Tam. struggling to keep up with Tam as they made their way quickly through the crowded streets of Dublintown. Tam. aware that he’d been self-absorbed. MacNutt.” replied a very distracted Tam. “You’ve said barely a word to me since we left HareHenge.” MacNutt knew he was being sincere. took a deep breath and closed his eyes for a moment.“Why are we canceling our trip to the New World. Uncle?” MacNutt asked.” said MacNutt. “We’re not canceling our trip. “and out of respect I’ve kept quiet. sincerest thoughts. “Forgive my selfishness. “I am indeed disappointed. “that we 44 .” Tam kept walking without a word. who was forced to stop in his tracks. But now I must know what’s going on. just postponing it a wee bit. “Will you please slow down for a moment and tell me something? Anything?” MacNutt pleaded.
but out of respect for his uncle’s feelings on the matter. resuming his silence. putting his arm around MacNutt’s shoulders as they continued to walk toward the docks. “and that frightens me more than facing any foe of flesh and blood.are postponing our trip. After a brief exchange with the raccoon sailors guarding her gangplank.are a creation of the Almighty’s that I do not understand. “I need to have a word with your captain.” sighed Tam. beautiful sailing vessel. tentatively.the ‘Wee Folk’ or ‘Good People. In a very short while they stood on the wharf before the Moruadh. MacNutt running ahead and crossing the deck to look out over the far gunwales. decided to save his questions for another time.” Tam said 45 . “Aye.” “You said she was stolen by the fairies. more importantly. Indeed. I am gravely concerned for little Bryndolyn.” said MacNutt. for the Faeries . She was a sleek.’ as we should properly call them . MacNutt wanted to ask more. for I’ve been looking forward to it for many long weeks. they boarded. However.” Tam then dropped his arm from Horatio’s shoulders and looked straight ahead.
” “Very good. aye. his instincts telling him that something wasn’t right. throwing him a bit off balance.” said the sailor.” said Tam. I’ll be in our cabin. “Aye. Tam caught MacNutt’s eye and said.to one of the sailors coiling ropes. He scowled to himself.” He then winked at MacNutt and turned to the doorway that lead below deck. Sure enough if they weren’t pulling 46 . Cap’n says he’ll see you soon as he’s aboard ship. Then the ship seemed to lurch. he heard a great commotion up above that sounded as if the entire crew were running to and fro across the decks. following the raccoon who was leading the way. “we doesn’t mind young laddie squirrels runnin’ about ‘ere!” At that. “Stay out of the way of these fine gentlemen. “The Cap’n’s not on board ship fer the now. “but we has orders to make ye comf’terble in yer cabin. He went to the porthole and looked out. sir!” MacNutt replied in very sailorlike fashion. “Will my squire be in the way on deck?” “Naw!” smiled the sailor broadly. dropping his ropes. yer lordship. Not long after Tam settled into his cabin.
throwing him headlong into the support post.” Tam started quietly. The two raccoons made an angry hiss and thrust their cutlass blades through the tiny doorway aiming directly at Tam’s chest. then?” mocked one of the raccoons. blurring motion he slapped the raccoon’s blade away from his throat. “.brigands!” And in one fluid. Where’s Captain Duggery?” “‘Brigands’ is it. grabbing the larger raccoon by his ear. only to be faced by two very large. Tam parried both their blades to his right. With the tip of his boot. he pulled him into the cabin.. who immediately 49 . Then. brigands.an’ we’re ‘ere t’ keep ye stayed!” barked the larger of the two.away from the docks! Tam walked to the door and opened it. Tam flipped the fallen sailor’s cutlass up into his left hand. Tam’s first thought was of MacNutt. “Aye. very smelly raccoons with cutlasses drawn. “Out of my way. as he raised his cutlass to Tam’s throat.. The raccoon let out a stunted shriek then crumpled unconscious to the cabin floor. “Cap’n says ye’re t’ stay in yer cabin . Then with both blades he advanced on the smaller raccoon. drawing his own sword.
crying for his life. 50 . Never could handle a blade.” He then bolted up the tight. steep stairway that led to the upper deck.dropped his blade and ran up the stairs to the topside deck. “Raccoons. Tam smiled wryly and chuckled to himself.
assuming 51 . brandishing their various knives and cutlasses. pointing their tips to the deck. trying to look as fierce as they could. The crying guard Tam had chased up from below deck was now amidst the barking crew of raccoons. He pulled himself to his full height. His courage was bolstered by the mob. but no one dared make a move on the famous Tam O’Hare. and the crew of raccoons formed a circle around him. then grinned.Chapter 5 Skullduggery Tam emerged on deck. Tam looked around the circle of raccoons through slit eyes. He suddenly lowered both swords. They hissed and growled. placing his hands on top of their pommels as if they were a pair of walking sticks. but still he kept himself to the rear of the crowd. both swords at the ready.
and once my business is completed. addressing the captain with the familiarity of an old war ally. Tam winked at him. “Holding my squire? Guards at my door?” “Just bringin’ ye down a peg. O’Hare!” came a voice from the upper deck. Seamus?” said Tam.” Duggery overemphasized the word “Laird. “I have urgent business that necessitates my trip to Greenock... Tam looked up and saw MacNutt standing alongside Seamus Duggery. “This ship’s not goin’ t’ Scotland. “Where is my squire?” he quietly demanded. then said. it’s goin’ t’ the Americas . The young squirrel looked a bit nervous.” Duggery cut him off. “‘e’s right ‘ere. but otherwise unharmed. raging.a commanding posture.the New World is where I’m setting m’ course!” Tam thought for a moment. “Who are you to tell me where to take my ship? You and all your lordly airs!” 52 . I’ve paid you well for the inconvenience.” He continued. The raccoons fell silent. Laird O’Hare. “What’s the meaning of all this.
“Order your crew to lower their arms and to turn the Moruadh back to port. then up into the pirate’s eyes. “You have no honor.” 53 . “I gave you no leave to speak!” howled Duggery. and I always the commoner. “We were mates back at the Moss. Seamus. Tam glanced at the cask beneath Duggery’s foot. “You were always the great laird. sinking its sharp point deep into the wood.” Tam added over his shoulder. My squire and I will find another ship.” replied Tam. but we were never equals off the field!” “I have a very different remembrance of our comradery.” Then turning his back slightly to Seamus Duggery he said sternly. “I am in command of this ship. Why all the skullduggery here?” “We were never mates. and now you are under my rule!” For emphasis he stabbed the dirk into the top of the rail.Tam held his tongue for a moment. pulling a dirk from his belt. “Let’s have done with this now. Seamus. Sure we fought side by side in battle. He then put his foot on top of a cask of rum and rested his elbow on his knee. mate!” Duggery spit back at Tam. “You’ve had too much rum. thinking carefully before his next words.” Tam said disgustedly.
The crew looked slowly up at their captain and began stooping down. but he could clearly see that Tam O’Hare commanded it. “I have a better proposal fer ye. “I’ll come down there and cross blades wi’ ye. putting their weapons on the deck.” grinned Duggery with a low growl. but his pride would not let him back off now. Duggery was beside himself with anger. his is this ship an’ all its crew!” The crew murmured.” screamed the enraged sea captain. “Winner’s choice.” replied Tam. He leaned over the railing. sputtering down in a bullying rage at Tam. “As you have said. “I gave you no order to lower your arms!” he spit out at his crew. casting the raccoon’s pitiful cutlass aside and bringing his own sword to the 54 . An’ whichever beast wins. Seamus Duggery demanded respect from his crew. Duggery knew this to be true. “And the loser?” Tam asked in feigned disinterest. “And that’s the last time yer highness will tell me what t’ do with my ship and my crew!” At that he drew his cutlass and leapt up onto the railing.
The surrounding raccoons chuckled and muttered. And you’re thoroughly in your cups. Then.“ Tam implored. He hauled himself to his feet and raised his blade toward Tam. not with your head. Duggery eyed Tam and they circled each other cautiously.en gardé position. waiting for the right moment. who sidestepped the oncoming attack. the pirate leapt toward Tam. nonetheless wary of the unpredictable bravado of a hare who’s had too much rum and no control over his rage. He then leapt over the poop deck railing and down onto the lower deck where Tam was waiting in the center of the raccoon circle. Tam parried his blade 55 . Duggery cut to Tam’s leg. Duggery sat up and glared at them. Seamus. “you’re attacking with your anger.” The only reply from the rummed-up Seamus Duggery was a howl of rage. “I warn you. Duggery passed a wordless command to hold the young squirrel in place. With his cutlass held high over his head. and they all fell to immediate silence. Tam sent the captain sprawling to the deck. who was cool and collected. Pointing at MacNutt and nodding to his first mate. with his left foot planted firmly on Duggery’s passing buttocks.
“I think we can all see who’s won this fight. Seamus Duggery!” And much to MacNutt’s surprise. which served only to enrage the sea captain even further. Tam was exerting little energy. “I don’t think you deserves the right t’ be our 56 . “I think the little squirrel’s right. as Tam stepped back out of the way. “and I have no desire to fight with you. Cut. the momentum of Duggery’s swing twirled him in a circle and threw him to the deck in a dizzy. Cut. Duggery cut again to Tam’s shoulder and Tam parried his blade away to the right. MacKrikk.” Duggery replied by swinging his cutlass harder and more carelessly. shouting. but Duggery was becoming fatigued. All Tam had to do was keep his distance and avoid each of Duggery’s flailings.away to the left. MacNutt broke free of the first mate. parry. parry.” said MacKrikk with disdain. the first mate sidled up alongside him and hollered down at the captain. Seamus. Thrust.” Tam goaded. parry. On one wild brandish. disheveled heap. “You’ve grown flabby. and Tam could see it as clear as the day was young. and stepped up to the rail. attempting to bring the duel to an end.
sheathed his sword and turned away. His blood began to boil.continued chanting. was chanting along with the raccoon crew.captain anymore! Long live Captain Tam!” The rest of the crew slowly chimed in and began chanting. grinning from ear to ear. blood curdling war cry. And with a vicious. MacNutt’s eyes widened and he screamed out. Duggery pulled himself to his feet. With no time or room to draw 59 . “Captain Tam! Captain Tam! Captain Tam!” Tam looked down at Duggery who was utterly defeated. The crew closed in around him as he made his way to the stairway leading to the upper deck. With fire in his eyes and a deep. shook his head from side to side. guttural hiss growling in his throat. “Captain Tam! Captain Tam!” Seamus Duggery sat all alone in a heap on the deck while the crew . Seamus Duggery hefted his cutlass above his head. Gripping his cutlass tighter. “Uncle Tam!” Tam turned with barely enough time to see the mad hare raging toward him. MacNutt. lunged with all his strength and weight toward Tam’s back.his crew .
The little boat bobbed without a sound in the calm waters of the Irish Sea. No answer.his sword. Tam immediately leapt up and yelled for a rope to be thrown over the side. All was intensely quiet. “Anyone see him?” Tam called out to the others. lowering themselves by rope and pulley to the water below. staring into the water. The force and momentum of the attack sent Duggery flying over the side of the ship and down into the cold waters of the Irish Sea. Tam rolled down onto his back and firmly placed both feet squarely into Duggery’s belly. The entire crew ran to the gunwales of both sides of the ship. who had disappeared into the depths of the deep. All eyes were on the water. As the crew rowed out a little distance from the Moruadh. but there was no sign of the defeated captain. hoping for a sign of life. He ordered the sails to be furled and the landing boat to be launched in an attempt to find Seamus Duggery. Tam and several of the raccoon crew climbed over the side of the ship into the small boat. eyes wide. 60 . flipping him over his head. Tam leaned out the prow. Within moments. blue sea.
there was another bubble. Everything grew still. Then another and another.” said one of the raccoons. “I think I sees ‘im. The crew hauled them both into the small boat. Tam issued two orders to his newly acquired crew: set sail for the west coast of Scotland. and gasping for air. and in a ferocious surge. and in a few moments Seamus had his head over the side.Then a bubble rose to the surface just off the port side. “Could be a shark. gasping for air. spewing up sea water. A short while later. Suddenly the water began to bubble and churn just a few yards out from the boat. 61 . Tam broke the surface. Tam removed his hat and doublet and dove below the surface of the cold sea water. Everyone watched for what seemed an interminable amount of time. Cap’n Tam!” Tam stood and looked over the heads of the raccoons into the water. In the crook of his arm he held the chin of the nearly drowned Seamus Duggery. and one of the raccoon’s yelped. Sure enough. back on board the Moruadh. Cap’n. and lock Seamus Duggery in the brig.
” “Well. set out into the Scottish Highlands on a two-day foot journey to Glenburrow. the narrowest stretch of water between Ireland and Scotland. the village of the Clan MacDervish. crossing over into Scottish waters where the lookout spotted the mouth of Scotland’s Firth of Clyde. depositing an absolutely apoplectic Duggery and all his gear. lasted no longer than an early morning’s southerly voyage along Ireland’s east coast from Dublin to the point of Cill Mantainn in Wicklow. Tam. It was here that Tam ordered the landing boat to put ashore. they steered northeast.” as it was to be remembered. He ordered the crew to drop anchor and await his return. at least you’ll have the rest of your life to think about that. MacKrikk. the Moruadh then came about and headed into the North Channel. in charge. Scotland. It was never a pleasant thing to see the downfall of an old ally.“Now that I owe you my life. Just past Belfurst Lough. along with MacNutt. Tam steered the Moruadh starboard and into the narrow straits that brought them to the port of Greenock. Relieved of its former captain.” Duggery growled at Tam. 62 .” Tam replied as he dismissed Duggery and his guards. “I hate you even more. The entire “Duggery Affair. Leaving the first mate.
.” “. “I dinna realize how much I missed the Highlands. sure that the Almighty would enjoy their 65 . After the episode on the Moruadh. They both laughed out loud and crossed themselves. “Aye.leaving the running of the Universe to His Offspring!” completed MacNutt in interruptory giddiness.Chapter 6 Glenburrow The walk from Greenock was beautiful.. but the Highlands of Scotland is where the Lord God will take his retirement. the green hills...” said MacNutt. blue lochs and fresh air of the Scottish Highlands was rejuvenating. “I love my Ireland. his brogue sounding much thicker than usual.” began Tam.
was a broad field of purple heather. Tam and MacNutt stood still for a few moments. Beyond the stream and standing stones. Ancient stone circles like this one could be found all over Scotland and Ireland. Green mountains right and left. Listening to the sound of the stream as it passed over it’s rocky bed. 66 . while children played and adult hares worked in the distant fields out beyond the small village. home of the Clan MacDervish. peppered with bright yellow daisies that melted into a welcoming cluster of whitewashed.little bit of humor at His expense. thatch-roofed stone cottages. bluish-grey. As they hiked down into the glen they came to a small stream on whose opposite bank stood a ring of tall. moss covered stones surrounded by a grove of hawthorne trees. filling the bottom of the glen. Each was adorned with its own unique fieldstone fence and a small garden. but this particular one seemed to stand as sentinal to the village of Glenburrow. they emerged from a wooded hilltop and were confronted with a breathtaking vista. and the smell of fresh bread and sweet flowers wafted on the breeze. Around noon on the second day. Curls of smoke rose from the chimneys. and blue sky above framed the picturesque little valley of Glenburrow. soaking in the peace and wonderful tranquility of the place.
began running and shouting. and. The old. loosely woven scarf was wrapped around his neck. giggling children who. white-bearded hare wore a russet colored leather doublet with worn edges. genuinely happy to see his great uncle after so many years. gravelly voice from the field on the far side of the stream. He leaned heavily on a wooden walking stick almost as tall as himself that was so old with use it had acquired a glossed.“Tam! Tam O’Hare!” echoed a deep. ye’ve coom!” “Uncle Argyll!” boomed Tam in recognition. Emerging from the heather-filled field. despite the warmth of the day. worldly patina. “Thanks tae the Lord. “Cousin Tam! Cousin Tam!” The children called out. as soon as they saw Tam. tickling the ground as he walked. laughing as they hopped from stone to stone while crossing the stream. strapping young hares about the same age as MacNutt. a long. the tasseled ends dropping down his back. 69 . The plaid of his kilt was faded. He was surrounded by small. approaching through the circle of standing stones. was a large hare with a long white beard accompanied by two tall. and a bright white shirt underneath with the sleeves rolled up above the elbows.
“I’m Dierdre.” “I’m Angus. “we a’ ken who you are!” “Och! Do you now. It was sadly obvious to Tam that his Uncle did not have many days left on this Earth. 70 .” replied Hamish with a smile.Old Argyll Whitebeard MacDervish stopped on the opposite bank and smiled as he leaned against one of the standing stones to catch his breath.” “I’m Fiona. then?!” replied Tam in grand humor.” “M’name’s Hamish. “And who have we here?” Tam asked. warm embrace. “Coom wi’ us!” all the little ones said together. all smiles as he was surrounded by the children.” Came the answers all at once with giggles. “I must say that I don’t remember who is whom among you. “Most of you were mere babes when last I was in Glenburrow. The two taller hares stopped with him.” “I’m Mary.” “That’s a’right.” “I’m Grigor. and led him across the stream to Argyll Whitebeard MacDervish. “Gran’far Argyll canna wait tae see ye!” And they all grabbed Tam by a hand or the tail of his doublet or a sleeve. kissed his cheek and engulfed him in a deep. who threw his arms around Tam.” laughed Tam.
“. “I know. “And this is Horatio MacNutt. throwing his shoulders back and wiping his tears.” Tam said. I know. who served with me at the Moss many years ago.. the sons of Argyll’s eldest great nephew. “Do you twa remember yer cousin. introducing his squirrel squire to the MacDervishes.. tears flooding his grey eyes.best as I can. William MacNutt. laddie. “An’ now I have need o’ yer aid the like I’ve ne’er had afore.. Tamolyn?” Argyll 71 . I’m here to help..” Argyll leaned on his walking stick and held out his arm to the two tall kilted hares who helped him with his first few steps. who was off serving the Queen of Scotland at Holyrood Castle.” “But ye maun be a-hungered after such a lang journey. “Coom tae m’ home an’ break bread wi’ us.” Argyll’s voice cracked and trailed off into a soft sob.” Argyll said to Tam..” “I’ve sure missed yer likes aroon’ here.The two tall kilted hares introduced themselves as Douglas and James MacDervish. Uncle Argyll.” Argyll said.. It’s m’ wee Bryndolyn. We will talk more there.” Tam paused. Conor. “my squire and son of my dear friend.
aware of James’ subtle hostility. “Aye.” Argyll said with a bit of growing disdain in his voice.” replied Tam.” “‘Just family. “Ye’re a hero or some such. Tam. dragging MacNutt along with them. Douglas. we do. “I’m no hero. but when he left twa years ago to serve our Queen Mary in Edinburgh.spoke to the tall hares. An’ a’ you children go on wi’ them. yet unsure of why it was directed at him. he also left off bein’ 72 . who was standing closer to Tam. “That’ll do!” Argyll punctuated sternly. “Conor MacDervish may be my gran’ nephew.” Embarrassed by the old chief’s reprimand. “Just family.’ eh? So where hae ye been a’ these years? quipped James rather disrespectfully. “Now you twa go on ahead an’ tell the women tae make ready fer their cousin Tam and his young squire tae eat wi’ us.” said Douglas. James offered apologies to Tam and ran on ahead with his brother. “Sorry ‘boot that. are ye not?” asked James rather smartly. Tam’ll walk wi’ me the rest o’ the way.
’ he says. Uncle Argyll. breaking the silence.a Da! ‘Important business. The air was fresh with spring. and bees hummed in the distance while the long grass danced gracefully on the warm breeze.” replied Argyll. “Tell me about Bryndolyn. After a short distance. then stood and began to stroll through the fragrant heather. ye maun understand. “I don’t understand how anyone could have two wonderful sons and leave them without so much as a word. The two sat in silence for a few moments. equally speaking to no one in particular.” “Only the Good Lord in His Heaven above kens such things.” said Tam. How do you know the Wee Folk took her?” Argyll took in a deep breath and exhaled slowly. and 73 . as slowly as the old hare’s brittle legs would allow. He then pondered aloud. yet to no one in particular. low rock beneath a wide oak tree. He pointed to a large.” “I’ve not seen my cousin Conor since we were childhood friends. undulating like ocean waves rolling in over the heath.an’ wi’ nary e’en a letter to his wife and twa sons! They are just a wee bit hurt in their hearts. Tam stopped and turned toward his great uncle. yeth he has nae been home since .
indeed. His gaze was distant. then drew in a deep breath and spoke quietly. which had begun flowing freely as he recounted the loss of 74 .” Tam put his hand on Argyll’s shoulder and squeezed. “‘Twas the Good People tha’ took her. But the wee lass wouldna’ wake up at her mother’s call. as she was sleepin’ much later than the usual..” Argyll stopped speaking and looked away...it was then that her hands felt the coldness on little Bryndolyn. An’ there was muckle weepin’ an’ wailin’ for our little Bryndolyn had passed in the night. focusing on nothing. When she went to shake her gently and roust her from her sleep .they both sat and rested in the shade. Beside hersel’. this I ken fer sure.. but unfixed. go on.” Argyll nodded and wiped his tears. He said not a word for a few moments. she ran oot o’ the house and cried fer me. off in the mountains somewhere. “It was a black day. she put her face close to the child’s and found tha’ she wasna’ breathing. Uncle. “Please. Her mother went in to wake her twa Sabbaths past. an’ I came runnin’ as fast as my brittle auld legs could carry.. Leaning down..
his granddaughter.” “How did you know that. “The women took the wee lass. puzzled. “It couldna’ be anything else .the Good People placed a glamour on a hawthorne twig tae make us a’ believe it was the wee girl!” The old hare then sat up straight and leaned in toward Tam. The Good 75 . all at once breathless and excitedly animated. They still bore the impression of her wee body.. “A twig?” asked Tam. Then they went to fetch the lads to come carry little Bryndolyn’s body to the grave site. but they were a’ empty an’ flat. his voice nearly a whisper. A’ they found inside the linen wraps was a twig of hawthorn. A twig. “Aye.?” Tam asked. turning to face Tam with his whole body. “But their faerie magicks had worn away too soon..” Replied Argyll. indeed. the grave clothes were empty. washed her wee body and wrapped it in linen cloths. That’s when we kent it was the Good People wha’ took her. “When we returned to fetch the wee lass’s body. his eyes wide and his breathing fast and agitated. Argyll shifted his position on the rock.
” “But yet you found the hawthorne twig. “The Good People wanted her fer their very own.. Tamolyn! Sae careless! We should have kent tha’ the Good People could nae but love one sae wee an’ sweet as she. I’ve heard of these doings before.People looked on the sweet young lass in the night then took her... the charmers were so charmed by the 76 . They left the hawthorne twig in her place. “Aye.” Argyll’s voice trailed off. then Argyll spoke again. They both sat silent for a short time.. An’ they meant fer us to bury the glamoured twig .thinking it was the wee girl! . leaving the glamoured twig in her place.” Tam repeated. Tam.an’ go on as if she was gane from us forever. They meant fer us to think it was her wha’ died in the night. and they took the sweet girl away to live with them. “They took her.. Their magicks wore off too soon. but never would I have thought. Ach! Had we only placed the protections about her windows an’ doors! We were sae careless..” The old hare buried his face in his hands and sobbed.
“And then there’s little Malcolm. he added. Uncle?” “We dinna ken. When he woke the next morn. “ Same night that Bryndolyn was taken..” said Tam. Tam. my fair little gentle is wi’ us still.” “What happened to him.. but there is little doubt tha’ it was the Good People.it’s seems . his voice nearly a whisper. “It’s their way. as weel.. Tamolyn. my sweet robin. Later tha’ night his da found him out on the hillside in a deep sleep. shaking his head. wee Malcolm dinna come hame when called.” 77 . and has na’ said a word since to this very day. as well?!” Asked Tam. and hears only . nodding toward the grassy hillock at the far end of the field.his mother’s gentle voice. “He sits out on yonder hill a’ day lang. a’ alone. “Nay.” said Argyll. “Malcolm was taken . He speaks to no one at a’.sweetness of the little girl. they took her for their own. for sure. It’s their way.” “These things are so out of my understanding. with mounting distress. His da carried him home. But he’s sae changed. Uncle.” started Argyll.” Then. wee Malcolm.” replied Argyll.. he couldna’ speak.
leek and barely soup. and’ll be dining wi’ us tonight.” responded Tam. so she’s home from Edinburgh. “And how is Abigail?” asked Tam shyly. ‘tis. Uncle Argyll. I swear it upon my honor. “I will do my best to find her. “She heard ye were coomin’ up.” winked Argyll.” *** During the entire sumptuous meal of potato. He said no more of Bryndelyn as they stood and walked across the field toward Argyll’s house. looking off to the distant hills. nodded and smiled sadly. His Uncle Tam had a weakness indeed. “I do believe she can tell ye hersel’. MacNutt watched Tam and Abigail. “Aye. knowingly. he’ll nae say a word. and here she 78 . Dinna approach him just the now. Tam turned to Argyll and dropped to his knees before the old White bearded hare. motioning to a small child sitting alone in the distance.“He’s there even now. Tamolyn.” Argyll reached out and placed his hand on Tam’s head. oatcakes and candied apples.” replied Argyll.
And when she looked at Tam. And when she spoke.silvery reflections of the blue sky on freshly fallen snow .she looking out from under long. And the way Tam and Abigail looked at each other . Didn’t Uncle Tam know that all a girl would do is bring an end to his days of adventure? Where was 79 . it was Abigail who raised her napkin to the corner of his mouth to dab it away. even though his years on this earth were not many in number. Oh.. him twirling the ends of his moustache. if Tam dribbled a bit of wine on his lip. her eyes . Her speech and manner were ever so refined that one could have thought her an aristocratic noble. it was Tam who stood to fetch it. graceful eyelashes. MacNutt knew true love when he saw it.sat right in front of his eyes! Abigail had a demure comeliness about her. yet behind that sweet facade of youthful beauty burned the fire of an exuberant scholar and the wit of an ardent philosopher.sparkled the content of her heart. it was poetry alive! She chose her words and handled them as one would fine crystal. It was sickening. Och! If she asked to have a dish passed. And their manners at the table..
indeed. a bit stunned by his humorously odd outburst. setting her napkin on her plate. Uncle Tam!” MacNutt screamed silently at Tam.” He hollered at Abigail inside his head. “Why. “Say no. MacNutt dropped his jaw. “Dinna fall for it. blue-eyed. that would be grand. The room fell silent and everyone stared at MacNutt. Say no. “Och! For the love of the Almighty on His throne!” an exasperated MacNutt shouted out loud.his head?! “Would you care to take a little walk before the sun sets. 80 . “She’s nothing but a wily. “Pardon?” said Tam to MacNutt. coniving. lass?” Tam asked Abigail. Say no. marriage-minded girl! She’ll bring your days of adventure to an end for sure!” “Shall we then?” said Tam standing and extending his hand. sir. She stood and took it.” Abigail smiled demurely.
” “You know I will try. A flock of white birds drifted across the glen. “When I was in Edinburgh long ago. it dribbled out the corners of his mouth.. and as he did.. Outside the air was cool. uh. “but the old 81 . nothing. “Then he took another enormous bite of candied apple and shoved it in his mouth.“Oh.. “She’s my only sister. “Do you think you can find her..” he told her sincerely. fresh and crisp.” mumbled MacNutt. Shafts of slanted. Everyone laughed.” “This badger. Tam and Abigail walked hand in hand along the bank of the stream. I spent some time under the care of an old porcupine who is an apothecary on High Street. He spoke often of an old badger who knows of the Good People and such. and crickets were singing in the fields.” Tam replied. He smiled meekly. “I don’t believe so.. golden light cast long shadows behind them as the sun began the final moments of it’s daily journey to the opposite horizon from whence it rose. “Nothing at all. cheeks puffed out. he lives in Edinburgh?” asked Abigail. He was a mysterious old gaffer who told stories of the Old Ways. Tam?” asked Abigail.
“Here you are! I need help sharpening my dirk. startled. closing their eyes. The billowy clouds on the horizon rolled back to reveal the first stars of evening. “Uncle Tam!” They pulled back from each other. They looked into each other’s eyes as the setting sun cast them in gold.” The sun turned into a flaming orange ball and sank below the trees on the western hills.. Can you come?” Without taking his eyes fro Abigail’s eyes. letting her hand slide slowly out of his. “Uncle Tam!” bellowed MacNutt. “Aye.porcupine seemed to know where he could be found. Tam began to back away. I do. 82 . taking her hands in his. “You know I love you. I intend to set out for Edinburgh in the morning. And as their lips were about to meet.” he said softly.” she replied just as softly. Tam stopped and faced Abigail. They leaned toward each other. Hopefully he is still apothecary there and can tell me where I can find this old badger.. lass.
“Good night. 85 . my Irish laddie.” he whispered as he turned and walked away.. Uncle Tam..?” MacNutt stood all by himself in the afterglow of the setting sun.” she whispered as she turned and walked back to her Grandfather’s house. “Uncle Tam? Uhmmm.“G’night. He dropped his shoulders and started down the hill toward the village... sweet lass.
then turned and walked back toward the village. then Argyll walked him and MacNutt as far as the bank of the stream that bordered the glen. The village herbalist made a final blessing of safety for their little Bryndolyn who was lost amongst the Good People. Abigail bid her farewells to Tam. They offered up a prayer of safe journey for Tam and MacNutt as they travelled to Edinburgh. 87 .Chapter 7 The Road to Edinburgh In the morning Argyll Whitebeard MacDervish gathered the entire clan. waved. At that. Tam and MacNutt set out for the royal city of the Scots. and an incantation of binding protection for Tam and his young squire. and the women bestowed a blessing of safe passage. He wished them Godspeed and good weather.
and I’d truly like to hear what he has to say. “I’ve heard of this Knox fellow.The six-day trek down to Edinburgh was as uneventful as it was beautiful. On the afternoon of the third day. The land around them began leveling off to the moors and hillocks of the lowlands.” “Aye.” Tam said to the badgers. they told Tam. They passed several small villages and lochs along the way as the surrounding hills grew smaller and smaller.” guaranteed one of the black robed badgers. young Henry Stuart . Tam and MacNutt met up with two blackrobed badgers who were also making their way into Edinburgh. The countryside was rugged and green. very suspicious death of her husband. the Reverend Knox is sure to deliver an Holy Assault on the Queen. especially since the very. They were supporters.” “Oh. “we have urgent business in the city that will most likely preclude any side trip to hear what he has to say. 88 . and were hurrying to the city to hear him speak. However. criss-crossed with rivers. you know .who had more right to the throne than she!” Chimed in the other.Lord Darnley. They invited Tam and MacNutt to join them. streams and waterfalls. over-emphasizing the word “reverend. of a fiery religious reformer named John Knox.
pretending equal disgust.that witch’s puppet James Hepburn.” both badgers affirmed. “Queen Mary of the Scots?” “Aye. who died when his house exploded and burned just two months past. quite astonished.” said the first. 89 . “Aye. hand over mouth feigning shock and horror. “They also say that her new consort .” whispered the first badger. “Are you implying that your Queen killed her husband?” asked Tam angrily. and now she sits on a throne that should belong to a king. had something to do with it.soon to be husband .” “They say she had something to do with the death of her husband. pretending to be utterly disgusted. “Haven’t you heard?” both badgers asked together. “as does her cousin Elizabeth in England.” Tam stopped in his tracks.“What do you mean by saying Knox is going to deliver ‘an assault on the Queen?’” asked Tam. “That one and same devil of a woman.” said the second badger. Earl of Bothwell. you know. giddy with excitement over having found a new ear for their overworked gossip.
“Stop!” shouted Tam. “Well then! We feel it is incumbant upon us as Messengers of the Almighty God. “Of course!” punctuated his fellow cleric.” chimed in the other. otherwise Mary’d be in a prison cell. 90 . And there is no proof. I have not. put his sword back in his sheath and pointed his finger toward the city. Tam.. share with you.. all the juciest tidbits!” said one badger. drawing his sword and pointing it at eye level toward the two badgers. “Are you accusing your Queen of criminal acts?” boomed Tam.” he continued angrily. of course. to . “For your sanctification. not ruling Scotland from Holyrood Castle!” The two badgers.. fearing Tam’s wrath. “Because if you are.“No. the startled badgers fell into a clumsy silence. “You’ll do no such thing!” Never before having been turned down on an opportunity to spread their juicy gossip.” answered Tam sternly. fell to their knees and began begging for mercy. “that’s treason! Especially if you have no proof. who had no intention of hurting them..
hmmmm.. fists on hips. Uncle Tam. tipped his head back and laughed after them. 91 . motioning toward the city. they turned and ran toward the city with all the speed they could muster.“On your way!” he commanded.” shrugged MacNutt. a base criminal.. Lord Bothwell on the other hand. “Neither are they. “And let me not ever hear such treachery from the likes of you again. thanking Tam for sparing their lives. uhhh..indeed!” roared Tam with disdain for the two badgers’ gossip. “The Queen..” The two black-robed badgers tripped and stumbled over each other as they bowed to the ground. I fear he’s using her to achieve his own ends. Now.” “I’m not very astute in these matters. “She’s a twenty-four-year-old beauty trying very hard to establish her monarchy in a country that’s turned upside-down and tearing itself apart with religious infighting.. “Well. Tam. I.” said MacNutt distantly.. unsure of how to react to what he’d just seen.” said Tam nodding toward the two retreating badgers. When they had retreated a safe distance. “Shall we then?” asked MacNutt.
“Do you know when he will return?” asked Tam.” answered Tam. And they headed down the road toward the heart of Edinburgh. *** High Street hadn’t changed much since Tam had last been there many years before. let’s go find our porcupine. “All I ken is ‘e’s not ‘ere the noo. “‘e’s gane to the Covenanters’ meetin’ doon by the auld Yew tree. “What now?” asked MacNutt.” said an old grandmother rabbit from the window above. “Thank you kindly.” she replied.” mused Tam. “Maybe we’ll run 92 .” said Tam. Tam stood in the middle of the street and thought for a moment before saying.“Aye. But when Tam tried the door. it was locked. “Let’s hie ourselves to this Covenanters’ meeting. Horatio. stepping out into the street to get a better view of the window above. and finding the old porcupine’s apothecary shop wasn’t at all difficult.
dressed all in black was speaking to the crowd. don’t you?” Tam winked at MacNutt.” said Tam.” said MacNutt.to promote a woman to rule.into him there. “. Another badger. Not many minutes later they approached a huge gathering on a green adjacent an old Yew tree.” smiled MacNutt. and is despised by 93 . “This must be the place. lad. nation or city is repugnant to the nature of things.” Then he put his arm around MacNutt’s shoulders and they walked back down High Street in the direction they’d come. Queen of the Scots. with a long grey beard. or domination over any empire. Tam and MacNutt drew up to the back of the crowd and listened as the bearded badger delivered his fiery blasts against Mary..” “I’ve come to know that look in your eyes. “You read my mind. nodding toward the animated orator who was shouting in a seeming rage. “You just want to hear that John Knox fellow.. flailing his arms before the crowd. “And that must be Knox. realm. have superiority.
MacNutt rolled his eyes.” retorted Tam who 94 . I have foud no doctrine such as this in the Holy Scriptures. and am loyal only to God! As you should be! If you support this Queen. pointing a bony finger.” Several of the black-robed clerics in front of him turned and scowled at Tam. “I fear no Queen.” MacNutt muttered under his breath.God! That base woman living in Holyrood House has no Divine Right to sit on the throne of Scotland!” roared John Knox. interrupting the Reverend Knox. gritting their teeth. “How can he say such things about his Queen?” asked Tam out loud. “Why is it I always get ‘shooshed?’ I’m not a child. They merely frowned at MacNutt and ‘shooshed’ him with fingers help up tightly against their lips. “My loyalties are my own concern. “In all my studies. understanding all too well his Uncle Tam. you know. “Are you not loyal to your Queen?” shouted out Tam. then you are outside the sheltering fold of God and have aligned yourself with the Evil One!” Knox thundered back.
“Does not the scripture say. ‘God alone is the discerner of the thoughts and intents of my heart’? I saw the name of John Knox mentioned nowhere in those pages of scripture. Reverend. Are you now declaring yourself equal with the Almighty! Was that not Lucifer’s original sin? And was he not cast down for it?” 95 .had no tolerance for self-appointed messengers of God.
” “Even the Devil can quote the Holy Scriptures!” roared Knox from his pulpit under the Yew tree. contorting their faces and uttering threats under the growing intensity of their religous fervor. then you are as guilty as she. “Uncle. “If you support this woman who has leagued herself with Satan to establish her throne. “We met this same demon-of-a-hare on the road earlier this very day! He is a blasphemer and in league with that devil woman who would call herself ‘Queen of Scotland. the same two badgers Tam had encountered on the road. Uncle Tam. Immediately several of Knox’s followers grabbed Tam and MacNutt.“ said MacNutt pulling on Tam’s doublet sleeve. perhaps we ought not disturb them in the midst of their own meeting.’” “Cast this reprobate from our midst!” Knox commanded the crowd. “uhmm. The ones closest to Tam began to mutter their objections to Tam’s statements.The crowd gasped. faliling their arms in the air. Every black robed head turned and gawked to get a look at the troublemaker in the back. hauling them away from the crowd 96 . began to shout out from the midst of the crowd.” Just then.
“Or are you afraid of ideas that differ from your own?” John Knox immediately went back to his political preaching.” 97 . halting his troops as he approached the scuffling. they came face-to-face with a small unit of Royal Scots Guards marching toward High Street. and the old Yew tree. “What’s all this then?” demanded the captain of the guard. “was taunting Reverend Knox during our meeting of the Covenanters. “And his crime is. The small mob of Knox-ites meant to do the pair great harm.” “What a pity. ignoring the vocal hare and his young squire as they were being dragged away from the green. but as they dragged them around the corner of a building. “Is free thinking no longer welcome in Scotland?” Tam challenged Knox with a confident smile. “is one of defending the Queen of Scotland. The badgers stopped in their tracks.” replied the captain of the guard sarcastically.. struggling little group.and the green.” one of them spoke up. immediately releasing Tam and MacNutt..” interrupted Tam.?” “My crime. “This miscreant.
“And with whom do I have the honor. “They’re going to give the Almighty a bad name.?” said Tam.“We’ll take him from here. rather resolutely to the badgers. 98 .” said Tam.” “Conor. Tam remained silent until the clerics disappeared around the corner of the building. Captain Conor MacDervish.” said the captain. upon seeing Tam’s momentary lapse of recognition. “Aye. “I’ll challenge disloyalty in anyone. smiling broadly with a mixture of respect and detachment... laughing out loud..” the captain said. looking into the captain’s eyes for a hint of the childhood friend he used to know. “Go back to your meeting.?” “Someone who knew you when he was a much younger hare many years ago.” smiled the captain... the clerics brushed the dust from their black robes and told Tam that if he didn’t stay away. “I’m your cousin. broke into a genuine toothy grin.” In disgust.. Conor MacDervish. surprised that the captain knew who he was.” Tam said to the captain of the guard. fellow grand-nephew of Argyll Whitebeard MacDervish. there’d be real trouble next time.” “So the great Tam O’Hare has once again defended his Queen.
“Ahhh, there you are, lad!” Tam exclaimed, smiling.
“I remember that laugh quite well.”
Tam embraced Conor, then held him at arm’s length,
looking deep into his eyes.
“As happy as I am to see you, Conor, I must tell you
that I am a bit disappointed in you. You’ve two sons at
home who haven’t seen you for in over two years,” Tam
spoke in a gentle, but stern, rebuke. “And they
The captain, not accustomed to rebuff or correction,
suddenly lost his smile altogether, and became stiff and
“My personal affairs are none of your concern.
Cousin.” He then changed his demeanor completely
from personable to officious, “The Queen was given
word that you have entered Edinburgh, and has
dispatched us forthwith to find and invite you to
Holyrood House. If you are ammenable, Lord O’Hare, do
come with us.”
Tam nodded and smiled broadly at the Captain, who
motioned the pair to fall in behind him. He spun on his
heels, issued a loud command to his troops, and began
marching toward High Street and Holyrood Castle,
home to Mary Stuart, Queen of the Scots.
Mary Queen of Scots
“I’ve never been in the presence of a Queen before,”
stammered MacNutt as he and Tam were ushered
toward Holyrood’s Great Hall, where Queen Mary
“It’s not all that bad if you can imagine her in a pair
+of red underthings,” joked Tam.
“I’m serious!” whispered MacNutt.
“So am I,” smiled Tam.
Conor MacDervish, Captain of the Queen’s Royal
Guard, walked directly ahead of Tam and MacNutt,
stopping before two ornately carved wooden doors.
“Wait here,” he said to Tam.
Then he turned to the doorway where two guards
standing to the right and left uncrossed their halberds,
allowing him entrance to the Great Hall. Once the
captain passed through the doorway, the guards
returned their great, long battle axes to a crossed
position, barring entrance to anyone else. It was nearly
an hour before the doors reopened and Conor
MacDervish’s voice bellowed from inside the Great Hall,
“Presenting to your Majesty, Lord Tamolyn O’Hare of
HareHenge Castle, County Meath, Ireland!”
The guards at the doorway uncrossed their halberds
and glanced over at Tam and MacNutt.
“I think that’s our cue,” smiled Tam.
“But they didn’t call my name,” said MacNutt nervously.
“They never announce the squires, Horatio. C’mon
with you then,” chuckled Tam, lightly cuffing MacNutt
behind his ear.
“Oh, is that so...?” retorted MacNutt, rather indignantly.
The two walked from the dark hallway and into the
grandly lit room of the Great Hall of Holyrood House. It
seemed to MacNutt there were hundreds, if not thousands
The name of Tam O’Hare was well known amongst the gentry of England. It was as bright as daylight. Well. “We are honored by your presence. to boot.” said a beautiful. 103 . Dozens of hares. foxes and a few badgers were crowded into the Great Hall. Scotland and Ireland. mostly at Tam. lilting voice with a strong French accent. After all.and landed gentry.” “Your Majesty.” said Tam in reply as he dropped to his knee and bowed his head low in honor and respect. with peerage. “Lord O’Hare.of candles illuminating the room. squirrels. And they were all whispering. and they were all looking at him and Tam. he was the most famous swashbuckler of them all . but with a more golden hue.
“You passed out on us. “Shh. “Well. When MacNutt opened his eyes again.” lulled Queen Mary. Suddenly he felt sick and dizzy.. now.MacNutt’s heart was pounding in his chest. Then his eyes went wide and he bolted upright to a sitting position. “Just lay back down for a few minutes. “You’ll get yourself all excited again. lad. Horatio?” said Tam’s familiar voice. now more embarrassed than anything. m’boy. smiling. He smiled at her and she smiled back.” “How are you. and his knees began to tremble.” said Uncle Tam. covering his face with his hands.. Mary Stuart. what!?” said MacNutt.” said the Queen.” “I d-did. the first face he saw was that of Queen Mary. She was sitting next to him on a couch applying a damp cloth to his forehead.” 104 .” “Aye. There she was. the Queen of Scotland! And she was more beautiful than he ever could have imagined. “You seem to be feeling much better. Then everything went black.
“As I was saying. The couch he was laying on was of plush red velvet with ram’s head wooden arms.” “My ‘errand of mercy.the Mermaid is it? .MacNutt did as he was told.” the wolf spoke in a stern voice. He looked around and noticed that they were no longer in the Great Hall. His foot was propped atop a very large oak desk. not unlike the one in Uncle Tam’s bed chamber. and my loyalty is as strong now as 105 . wet cloth to his forehead. “is of far greater import to my family at this time. “if you could see your way to postponing your little. shall we call it. A large. There were tapestries on the walls and a small wooden desk full of parchments.” Bothwell cut him off. “You did bow your knee in loyalty and fidelity to our Queen. Today she’s twenty-four years old. And it’s the Moruadh. highback chair.” replied Tam.’ as you say Lord High Admiral Bothwell. but in what could only be the Queen’s private chambers. sat behind the desk. Seated in it was an opulently dressed wolf who was fondling the hilt of a jewelled dagger. ‘errand of mercy. and the Queen reapplied the cool. “Queen Mary was only a week old when I swore my allegiance.on a very short mission. Lord O’Hare.’ Her Highness could use you and your ship . did you not?” “Yes I did.” replied Tam.
insincere grin. Tam had sworn allegiance.” Bothwell snapped his fingers and his attaché approached. “The Moruadh is yours to command.” Tam said. “Thank you with all my heart. As much as Tam disliked James Hepburn. and now his Queen was in need.” said the 106 . I never go back on my word of honor. bowing low with his backside toward Lord Bothwell.and honor. deliberately turning to face Mary.it was then. If they get this message by tonight. And so am I. The gesture was not lost on Bothwell. he had to agree with his reasoning.. “Splendid!” howled Bothwell.” “Then do it out of loyalty. they will be here two days hence. He turned to the side and spoke with him privately. Your Majesty.” replied Bothwell with a toothy. who lurched out of his chair.. who angrily chose to ignore his peer’s mild insult. Lord High Admiral of Scotland. Earl of Bothwell. and slapped Tam on the back. “Our messenger will send word to your crew to set sail from Greenock to the Firth of Forth. Lord O’Hare.
“A little food. “For the Queen of Scotland I would give my life. shot what was meant to be an intimidating glance over at Tam.. and has information that I deem extremely important to my ‘errand of mercy. who then stood tall and straight. “You may go find your apothecary. Then turning to MacNutt she added. Lord O’Hare. “Since I have two days before the Moruadh arrives.” said Tam. 109 .recuperate?” the Queen said to Tam with a spritely smile. but perhaps your squire should stay here and .’” said Tam. eh?” MacNutt glanced tentatively at Tam. “Your fidelity will be remembered to me always.” Tam took Mary’s extended hand and kissed it lightly. eavesdropping. in high courtly fashion. who smiled and nodded his approval.. Bothwell. who looked away dismissidly.Queen with great sincerity. Your Majesty?” asked Tam. shooting an unintimidated glance back at Bothwell. some nice music. may I have your leave to seek an old apothecary on High Street? He was known to me many years ago. “A request.
Will you take him on a little tour of the gardens?” The Queen winked to Caroline and smiled. helping him to his feet. MacNutt. “Feeling better.. But MacNutt was already gone. Your Majesty.. “Very good!” smiled the Queen. and will be dining with us this evening.” has taken a bad fall. who smiled at MacNutt then moved over and took him by the hand.” the Queen said gesturing to MacNutt. Your Mary. I see. errr.. “Our young guest. Queen Majesty.” Tam said to MacNutt. Your Majesty!” said MacNutt... who stood to her feet and called out. “Caroline!” Within moments a beautiful young squirrel entered the room. both excited and extremely befuddled all at once..” replied Caroline.. who merely rolled his eyes. *** 110 .. looked over at Tam. She was clothed in High Court attire and glanced at MacNutt as she bowed to the Queen. all smiles.. uhhhm.“I would be most honored. “Mais oui..
through the hazey window. Tam left Holyrood Castle and made his way back to the old porcupine’s apothecary shoppe on High Street. After a few moments a crinkly. and Tam hoped the porcupine had returned home by now.Just after sunset. The Covenanters’ meeting down by the old Yew tree was long over.. The dim light meandered its way to the front door. Tam stepped out to the middle of the street and looked to the upper window. “Pardon the lateness of the hour. revealing the smiling face of the old porcupine in it’s dusty glass window. sir! I’ll be right down!” Tam smiled to himself and waited in the street with arms crossed until he saw. a flickering candlelight emerge in the darkness from the back of the apothecary shoppe. There was a light flickering dimly. “Who is it?” “Tam O’Hare. Tam went back to the door and knocked loudly. old voice called down from the window. and a shadow moved across the covered window. sir.” “Tam O’Hare?!” interrupted the porcupine with glee. but I was hoping I could ask you. There was no light inside and the door was locked and barred. 111 .. Tam smiled back. sir. “Wait right there.” replied Tam.
” Tam entered the shoppe.“ answered Tam. following the old porcupine who led him past cluttered. come!” chortled the old shopkeeper as he opened the door. “Remember you?” exclaimed the porcupine with amazement.. sir?” asked Tam with amusement. flask and bottle.” responded the old porcupine. “What brings the great Lord O’Hare back to my shop?” “You remember me then.” “And why would you be elated to see an elderly old apothecary on High Street?” asked the porcupine. “There’s a chill in the spring air tonight.” “Well. seeking the likes of me?” “You’d best have a seat. “What brings you to my door.“Come. sir. “There’s quite a little story to tell. then come in and share a glass of port by the fire.? Twenty years since you were in my shoppe?” “Almost twenty-four. you have! What has it been. “How could I forget you? You’ve become quite the living legend.” said Tam. “And I’m truly elated to see you are still here.. but chagrined that the time has passed so quickly. over-full shelves stocked with every shape of vile. filled with all 112 .
dark bottle with a rounded bottom. red Port wine from the bottle. After stoking the fire in the fireplace. One entire shelf that stood from floor to ceiling was filled with nothing but odd shaped glass jars. blew the dust out of them and poured them to the brim with sweet. they bore a grotesqueness that was exaggerated by the distortion of the glass and the flickering candlelight. each filled with a yellowish liquid and containing every sort of small creature imaginable. The porcupine set down the candle and motioned for Tam to sit in one of the chairs. from shiney stones and ancient weapons. he went to a shelf and pulled down a tall.sorts of herbs.even in places where there wasn’t. the pair rounded several tall stacks of old leather-bound books. Under. As they passed the shelves. arriving at a sturdy table surrounded by various styles of wooden chairs. He also took down two small. to various types of measuring cups and scales and drymounted animals. Though they were all floating dead in the liquid. Toward the back of the shoppe. beveled glasses. the candle illuminated all sort of artifacts. over and in-between the myriad containers were sheaves of parchments and piles of old books crammed onto the shelves anywhere there was space . salves and ointments from every corner of the known world. 113 .
heady port. or if he is even still alive?” The porcupine put his chin in his hand. what brings the great Tam O’Hare to my humble. yellow light cast by the candle. You had said that he was familiar with all the Old Ways. Go down along 114 . you may be able to find him in the woodlands an afternoon’s walk west of Aberfeldy. for I’ve not been to Loch Tay in years. “ continued Tam. tipped it to his lips and took a sip of the sweet. “I haven’t any idea if the old badger is still alive. and squinted into the darkness beyond the dim. folding his hands on the table in front of him. He then set the glass on the table and pushed it a few inches away. as I asked earlier. and knew all there was to know about the Good People. Tam picked up his glass.“So. “you spoke of your acquaintance with an old badger who lived in the greenwood somewhere around these parts. asking a few questions now and again. Do you know where I can find this old badger. “When I met you twenty-four years ago. stroked his stubbly beard. But if he is still among the living. He told of all he knew and understood regarding Bryndolyn’s abduction by the Faeries. The old shopkeeper sat and listened intently. little shoppe?” asked the apothecary as he settled into the chair across the table from Tam.
he’ll know you’re coming. blowing out the candle. Saints preserve us. But look sharp. crossing himself. “Just head into the greenwood. it’ll be obscured by greenery. a cold draft swept through the shoppe. If he’s there. It will have a large hole through it’s center.” the porcupine continued. 115 . leaving only a curling wisp of smoke. sure. “he may know even now.” And at that very moment.” “Then where from there?” asked Tam.the south side of the loch until you see a man an’ tol standing stone in the underbrush.
Tam headed down the hillside to the Sheep’s Head Inn.Chapter 9 The Hunt for the Elizabeth Jonas Early evening the next day. who wanted to be apprised of the ship’s arrival. where he would be waiting for his prearranged rendezvous with his raccoon first mate. and went immediately to Lord High Admiral Bothwell. 117 . MacKrikk. MacKrikk. just a stone’s throw from the center of Edinburgh. ignoring protestations from the crew. One of Bothwell’s men had also been watching from another hillside. Tam watched from the hillside as the Moruadh sailed up the Firth of Forth and dropped anchor at the port of Cramond.
such as it is .” began Tam. slaking his thirst from a fresh tankard put in front of him by the innkeeper. “So here it is. “From pirate to Royal Navy in the bloomin’ wink o’ an eye.” chimed in MacKrikk. She’s nearly incapacitated the Scottish naval fleet . lads. “And you’d best not be referring to yourself as a ‘pirate’ in the presence of Lord High Admiral Bothwell. Then. eh?” chortled MacKrikk. MacKrikk. “Aye. the Elizabeth Jonas. right.” replied Tam. “The Queen of England’s greatest warship.single handedly.” 118 .ordered them to stay aboard ship. all business. Cap’n Tam. “We’ve been drafted. Am I right?” “You’re a quick study. eh. he went ashore and headed to the Sheep’s Head Inn.” piped in MacKagg. sir.” replied Tam. “So we’re off on Queen’s business.” the first mate winked and nodded in understanding. with second mate MacKagg in tow.” “I ‘ear it coomin’. “We have been drafted indeed. has been molesting the Scottish coast between Berwick and Montrose.” “Oh.
” “May I ask. why does his Lord Admiralship want us for this mission?” asked MacKrikk. Cap’n.” replied MacKrikk.” “An’ wha’ if we refuses to go on this little mission of the High Admiral’s?” asked MacKagg. “I dinna think we’d be a fair contest for the English Navy.” added MacKagg. and two of those are but wee deck guns.” MacKagg dropped his jaw while MacKrikk sat back. settling back in his chair and pushing his hat back on his head. “She’s a forty gunner. “The Moruadh has only twelve cannon. while the Scottish fleet is not. Lord High Admiral Bothwell wants the Elizabeth Jonas captured and brought to Edinburgh. “Because.“‘ow many gun is she?” asked MacKagg. puffed out his cheeks and whistled. “Then you will all be slapped in irons for the pirates 119 . Cap’n Tam.” Tam responded with no nonsense. “and can compliment a crew of three hundred. “An’ our entire crew’s ‘boot a hundred.” said Tam dismissidly. “we are dispensable.
“I am no pirate. and I’ll speak with my blade to any who calls me such . Lord High Admiral Bothwell always loved a dramatic entrance. Bothwell. of course.” Tam said deliberately. And because of my loyalty to her. “While it’s true I have no love for you or your like. wolfen voice from behind them. “Of course.” added Bothwell.present company excluded. and filled the doorway of the Sheep’s Head Inn. The two never let their eyes stray from the other as they slowly sat down.” 120 .you are. Bothwell. “... and this was no exception His huge frame silhouetted the incoming light. Tam leapt to his feet.” repeated Tam. and your ship will become the property of the Scottish Navy!” came a burly.rank or no!” Tam was not one to wear his social status on his sleeve. “I honor the Queen. you have in me and the crew of the Moruadh a loyal ally. understanding all too quickly Tam’s issue concerning rank. but he would not be spoken-down-to so publicly by someone who was his equal.
bowing over the table toward Tam. who locked an icey glare into his eyes. “I will have the Elizabeth Jonas as a wedding gift for the Queen. but thought better of it. Then Bothwell did a thing that seemed wholly uncharacteristic to Tam. my Lord. “I know I seem hard and arrogant to you. Lord O’Hare..” Bothwell placed his hand on his sword hilt.” Bothwell began. “But do not trifle with me. but was interrupted by a vehement Tam. That’s all I require for. wishing to have the last word. The great wolf stepped closer and leaned on his great paws.” rasped Tam through clenched teeth..“Good.” said Bothwell. “You just have the Moruadh ready to sail tonight. Lord High Admiral.” replied Tam. “for I am of your class and station.” Tam and Bothwell locked gazes for several uncomfortable moments. and you would find in me a formidable foe. “Don’t disappoint me. “but I want you to know 121 .” Bothwell said softly. “She’ll be ready. His face softened and he spoke in nearly a whisper.” Bothwell said with intensity.
the moment passed. He may love the Queen in his own way.” growled Tam. “and he has always seemed to me to be opportunistic. I love my Queen with all my heart. yes.. “.” Bothwell disappeared through the door.. I only hope he is not her downfall. and I would defend her to my death.something.. turned on his heel and headed for the door..” Bothwell barked over his shoulder. he paused. Stopping in the middle of the doorway. “Oh.” MacKrikk said to Tam. with My Queen’s prize.. “I can see why ye have nae love fer his High Admiralness.. and the Lord High Admiral snapped to his full height. I also have known him to act honorably. despite his many faults..” Tam looked deep into Bothwell’s eyes and saw a passionate sincerity there. “I’ve known Bothwell for years.I’ll be keeping your little squirrel friend in my company until your return. and turned his head slightly. Sir.” No one said a word in disagreement. 122 . nodding to the guards who immediately followed him.. Then just as quickly as it had begun.
The sound of the oars blended into the lull of the lapping waters of the Firth of Forth. settling into the dark. its windows pinpoints of golden light. looking like a million little diamonds poured out on a swath of velvety deep blue sea. MacKrikk and MacKagg would have blended into the shadowy waves were it not for the lantern that Tam held out over the prow of the landing boat. lads. it appeared as though Tam was a glowing face floating across the surface of the water. in the dark. When they reached the ship. Tam’s mistrust for the Great Wolf brought on a sick uneasiness. the Earl of Bothwell. MacNutt was up there enjoying the “hospitality” of the James Hepburn. Tam looked back toward the cliffs of Stirling where Holyrood Castle was a purple silhouette. making their trek out to the Moruadh very serene.“Drink up. “we’ve a warship to capture tonight!” *** The full moon glittered on the water. With it. 123 . Tam issued immediate orders to unfurl the sails and head out to the open sea. Tam.” smiled Tam charmingly. Lord High Admiral of Scotland.
around mid-afternoon. Calm seas. and no sign of the Elizabeth Jonas. calm and quiet. and had the crew rotate by the hour in the crow’s-nest high up on the mast. They knew a confrontation was coming.where he hoped . Nothing. things began to change quickly. Then. as well as the following day. but no sign of the Elizabeth Jonas. He ordered a constant lookout. The second day they sailed down the coast to Berwick. The crew was beginning to grow restless and nervous. Tam. The third and fourth days brought rain and choppy seas. That first night was calm and uneventful. “Ship off the port bow!” bellowed the lookout from high up in the crow’s nest. MacKrikk and most of the crew went to the port side gunwales. untangling ropes and sharpening their weapons. The fifth day was sunny. fair breezes.and feared . they just didn’t know when. Tam kept them busy cleaning the decks. Withdrawing a spyglass from his belt.he would engage the Elizabeth Jonas as quickly as possible. 124 .
but we’d best be ready for a fight. staring intensely through the extended scope. port and starboard.” Tam commanded with a calm urgency. Make it so. aye. if we can see her. Have the gunners prepare canon. But you can be sure of one thing. replaced it in his belt and walked to the rail facing midships. all business. “Can’t make out her colors yet. Captain!” barked MacKrikk. First Mate. I want all guns standing by. Sure if it wasn’t a ship. she can us. “Can’t tell who’s she is. “Here are your orders. “We don’t know if that’s the Elizabeth Jonas out there.” “Aye.” said Tam. He immediately turned to the midship’s rail and called 125 .Tam looked out at the speck on the horizon.” He then closed up his spyglass.
referring to the flag of England by it’s proper name.. George?” Tam asked. During the few moments it took Tam to issue his orders. wha’ carried out the business of pirating. lowering his chin and grinning. 126 .” Tam smiled broadly. looking up to the tops of the masts. Cap’n . “Do you have a Cross of St... “If they sees us. The deck of the Moruadh was hopping with pent up energy and adrenaline. thinking. Everyone’s senses were piqued. has a complete store o’ about any colour you’d want to fly.and obviously they does.. “Cap’n. and they seemed to Tam to be as ready as any trained Navy on the high seas. “then ye can be sure that they’ll very soon know that we’re no’ an English ship.” said MacKrikk.out Tam’s orders to the crew. reporting the maneuver. The lookout called down. the ship out on the horizon had turned to its starboard in an obvious intercept course with the Moruadh.” “Right you are. Tam again pulled out his spyglass. MacKrikk.” replied MacKrikk.” said Tam. “.a ship the likes o’ ours.
’Z’. MacKrikk” “All ‘ands at battle stations!” MacKrikk shouted to the crew. one could have heard a pin drop and hit the deck. the English flag was hoisted up and flew on the wind. “‘E’.. He looked down her prow and could start to make out some very tiny letters.” The two ships drew closer and closer. was flying the Cross of St.“One St. smiled. the red cross of St. who turned on his heel and issued an order to the cabin boy standing next to him. The Elizabeth Jonas drew closer to the Moraudh. George standing out like fire against the white field of the flag. “There!” said Tam..she’s the Elizabeth Jonas.. Tam pulled out his spyglass and looked again at the approaching vessel. Were it not for the sound of the waves and the creaking of the ship.. then 127 .. and very calmly said to his First Mate. He then turned and leaned back against the gunwales.’I’. George! She was English alright.. Mr. “Welcome to the English Navy.’L’. Within minutes. She. No one uttered a word.. alright!” shouted Tam. “All hands at battle stations. George’s Cross comin’ oop!” said MacKrikk. as he immediately spun around and snapped into action. too..
that way they’ll have a smaller target to aim for. Cap’n?” asked MacKrikk a bit nervously. Slow us down. 128 . “Keep us pointing straight on at her. it may buy a few minutes of time. should they start firing their cannons at us.. “You know for sure that until they’ve established our identity. but along with St.” MacKrikk issued the order and the appropriate jack was hoisted. “This is the point when we pirates usually lay on the sail and fly as fast as possible. He could feel his heart beat in his chest. lads.” “Fly a distress signal.. and his crew’s anxious apprehension was palpable.” snapped Tam off the top of his head. “It may not work.” The other vessel was now so close that Tam could see sailors running across the decks and climbing the ropes.began to swing to her own starboard. they want their guns aiming right at us when we come into range!” “What’s our next move. in the opposite direction. but do not open our broadside to cannon fire!” ordered Tam. “She’s turning her broadside to us!” shouted Tam. “Keep her steady. George’s Cross.
At that very moment. this captain. he could see that the other captain was reading something on a piece of parchment. the Moruadh. trying to appraise the situation. and now he’s checking us against a manifest of English vessels.. “Highly efficient and by the book.” Then shouting out to MacKrikk. He.“Steady. Then it hit Tam. bring us a-leeward.” said Tam.. Tam saw a sailor approach the captain and hand him something. “Do it!” Tam shot back in urgency. drag that anchor and swing us starboard around her bow! Bring us broadside! 129 . as close to her bow as you dare! Mister MacKrikk. Through it.. Cap’n?” asked a surprized MacKrikk. like Tam.. “Drop the aft anchor!” “The anchor. hard to starboard. could only be the captain of the Elizabeth Jonas. was standing with his first mate. but perhaps to his own undoing. due to the fact that he was surrounded by several crew members. “Helmsman. Tam again brought out his spyglass. “He’s seen our name. and you can be sure there’s no English ship with the Gaelic name of Mermaid. To the aft of the approaching vessel Tam could make out a tall ferret who.” Tam ordered. he ordered.
but the rudder held true and the Moruadh responded grandly.” Tam prayed out loud crossing himself.Run us up against her if you must!” MacKrikk bellowed out the orders and the crew responded with lightning efficiency. the wooden hull creaked against the strain of the dragging anchor. “preserve us from her cannons!” The Moruadh steered a bit to the port. When Tam shouted the order to come hard to starboard. toward the waters out front of the Elizabeth Jonas. swinging in an almost perfect arch ‘round the fore of the English warship. 130 . “Lord. Almighty.
The Moraudh drew up alongside the Elizabeth Jonas. and he suddenly recognized him. “Prepare your lines for boarding!” ordered Tam. facing the English ship. starboard to starboard. former pirate drawn into royal privateering by the Queen of England’s councilor. He looked hard into his eyes. He knew this ferret. Andrew!” Immediately the English flag hit the deck and the blue Scottish flag emblazoned with the white cross of St.. It was Martin Frobisher. William Cecil. he knew it was a command to the gunners. George!” Tam bellowed at the top of his lungs.. 131 . and saw fear there. “Strike the St. Tam grabbed a rope and jumped atop the gunwales. “and hoist the Cross of St. Andrew flew up the line to the top of the mast. He knew him well. with naught but a slight bump and a few flying splinters as the hull of the Moraudh ripped off the open cannon hatches of the Elizabeth Jonas. The gun ports on the Elizabeth Jonas began to swing open. He could hear the English captain shouting orders. Tam looked hard at the old pirate turned Naval officer. The impact served to bring Tam’s ship to a full stop alongside the Queen of England’s flagship. and without being able to discern every word. Tam’s eyes met the eyes of the English captain.
132 . Then with a fierce battle cry he drew his sword.Tam smiled. gripped the rope and swung across from the Moruadh to the Elizabeth Jonas with nearly a hundred screeching raccoons swinging in behind him. “Prepare to be boarded!” Tam howled out to the English captain.
Queen Mary of the 135 . The raccoons of the Moruadh fought valiantly against the ferrets and weasels of the English Navy. this battle was very personal. Queen and Country! A thunderous clash of sword and beast mixed with frenzied shouts and cries.Chapter 10 For God. Anyone standing on the Scottish shore at that moment could have heard the din of the battle as it carried over the waves. his mind was flooded with faces. Although the Elizabeth Jonas had nearly three-hundred sailors. As he fought with the sailors of the Elizabeth Jonas. Argyll Whitebeard. MacNutt and his father. little Bryndolyn. William. For Tam. the crew of the Moruadh handily took a quick advantage due to their ferocity and sheer determination.
all rested very heavily on what would happen over the next few minutes. knowing that he must personally engage and defeat the English captain in order to win the ship. Frobisher saw him coming. Tam looked around and saw that his raccoons were gaining ground on the English.Scots. lads! Fight on!” At that. meeting Tam at the top of the steps. and it seemed as though the intertwining of their fates. grabbed a rope and swung over the top of the battle. pushing them closer and closer to the far side of the main deck. “How dare you lead an assault on the Queen’s Navy!” yelled Captain Frobisher as he thrust his sword at Tam. yelled out to his crew.” Tam 136 . he leapt up to the rail. landing on the opposite stairway that led to the upper deck. “You may represent Queen Elizabeth’s Navy. Abigail and that rogue Bothwell. Tam smiled confidently. and drew his sword. was looking down on the fray from his position on the poop deck. as well as his own. Tam had given his word of honor. Tam. Martin Frobisher. To all of these. “The ship is ours. The English captain.
never your rage. “but I am here in the name of Mary. This served only to anger Frobisher. Queen of the Scots!” He then advanced on the ferret with a few cuts of his own. parried away his opponent’s blade. who had worked very hard to make the transformation from common pirate to Queen’s Navy. relinquishing excellent footing to Tam on the poop deck. however. his feet glided with the grace of a dancer.thundered back as he parried away the captain’s thrust. and he sought to throw the captain off his game. coming in for a low. “From one pirate captain to another.” taunted Tam as he brought his blade straight up in front of his face in mock salute. pointing its deadly tip directly at Tam. chin high and nose in the air. who was equally well trained in the sword. Captain Frobishar was pushed back a few steps. who then advanced quickly. for he fought with the skill of a naval officer who had been seasoned for battle. Tam knew this. The captain. that Captain Frobisher was no Seamus Duggery. When he moved. In his other hand was his hat which he used to parry Tam’s blade. It was apparent to Tam almost immediately. held his blade out. extended boar’s thrust to 137 . Tam. for the first rule of hand-to-hand combat was: Strike with your wits.
Tam thrust at the captain.Tam’s midsection. while dropping his own blade in a low horizontal parry. perhaps in a different reality. The English captain instantly 138 . Tam grimaced from the pain. The English captain had no option but to duck and pull back. parried Tam’s blade away. taking advantage of a momentary opening. nicking him in the arm. unphased save for a slight wince. cut his sword across his opponent’s chest. He then pushed the captain away and thrust his sword. Tam leapt upward and backward.. slicing open a long slash in Tam’s doublet. again with his hat. their blades ringing out with each thrust and parry. and Tam saw in Martin Frobisher a worthy opponent.. then caught Tam in the ribs with his boot. which Frobishar parried away to the left. The two looked into each other’s eyes. sending him flying hard against the wheel of the ship. The pair circled each other. Then Tam threw a cutting slice of his own at Frobisher’s head. and Frobishar was on top of him before he had time to regain his balance. The captain. avoiding the captain’s blade. Captain Frobisher. Unharmed. an able ally. or lose his head. Their blades were locked and their faces inches apart. and. pinning Frobisher’s blade to the deck at his feet.
Frobishar lost his footing and stumbled. “You will have other battles to fight. “Cease hostilities!” Almost immediately the battle froze in place and all 139 . sending it flying through the air. taking advantage of that brief second of imbalance. Tam immediately thrust the point of his sword up against the captain’s chest and smiled with a deliberate. caught the hilt piece of the captain’s sword with the tip of his blade.” Tam admonished the captain. He did not wish to take his life. Frobisher. “Do it!” hissed Tam.followed up his parry with an intended thrust but as he took his forward step. pressing the point of his sword just a little bit harder. the heel of his boot slipped on a rope lying on the deck. Frobisher winced then opened his eyes and stared hard at Tam. the captain glanced tentatively at the fight below. over the rail and down onto the main deck. and in one mighty arc. icy stare. “if you order your crew to drop their weapons. yanked it out of Forbsiher’s hand.” Without moving his head. but he would if he must. Tam. “Lay down your arms!” barked the English captain.
Tam took it and gave a quick.” “You are an honorable creature. then stood to attention. Queen of Scots!” shouted Tam. brandishing their swords . in true pirate fashion. When he received it. The crew of the Elizabeth Jonas. “and I shall treat you with the respect and honor your royal appointment deserves. The captain gave a courteous nod back. he laid it across both his outstretched palms and offered it to Tam in official surrender. put his nose in the air and slid his hand into the gap between the buttons of his doublet. began gathering them up.high above their heads. Captain Frobisher then motioned for his sword to be brought to him. Tam looked to the sky and silently thanked God that the Elizabeth Jonas was taken without so much as one cannonball 140 .grew quiet. puffed out his chest. courteous bow of his head. lowered their swords to the deck and stepped back. The raccoons let out a deafening cheer.” said Frobisher to Tam..as well as those captured from their English opponents . raising the captain’s sword above his head. much to Tam’s amazement.. “The Elizabeth Jonas is now the property of the Scottish Navy and Mary. “is yours.” said Tam to Frobisher. “The Elizabeth Jonas. as the raccoons of the Moruadh.
“No disrespect. “Set a southerly course for the harbor at Harwich. Tam looked out toward the sea. all the way to the bloomin’ Queen of England’s front porch?!” “Aye. Turning suddenly to MacKrikk he said.” “What?!” barked MacKrikk in shock. The others were put to the task of sailing the English warship under supervision of the raccoon pirates turned Scottish privateers. and issued orders sending half of the raccoons back to the Moruadh. choking on the singular word. thinking. but you want us *cough* to sail this prize ship right down into English waters. Tam ordered non-essential members of the English crew locked in the holds below deck along with food and a barrel of fresh water. “but why do you want to bring us right into the enemy’s busiest seaport? Why did we just risk life and limb capturing this vessel .” came back MacKrikk. “And I want the Moruadh to wait here for our return. “What next?” asked MacKrikk. He placed Captain Frobisher under guard in his cabin.” replied Tam. sir. sir.to give ‘er right back and 141 .being fired.” “Beggin’ the cap’n’s pardon.
” Then he dismissed a bewildered MacKrikk to carry out his orders. “. “I have a plan.and I hope to Heaven I’m not making a colossal mistake...” Tam smiled.get slapped in irons for piracy?!” “Trust me. 142 .” Tam said to himself as he stood alone looking out to the open sea.
and decided to 143 . the royal residence of Queen Elizabeth of England. The gallant four-master had been built many years earlier by King Henry VIII of England. and was now the flagship of Queen Elizabeth’s fleet.was eager to hear of her grand warship’s exploits. As soon as the tallship was seen approaching the port of Harwich. The young Queen . runners were sent to Greenwich Palace in London.Henry VIII’s second daughter to assume the throne after the successively short reigns of her brother Edward VI and sister Mary Tudor .Chapter 11 The Plan The homecoming of a great English warship like the Elizabeth Jonas was always a grand affair.
clothing and various objects and baubles suitable for her monarchical status. Queen Elizabeth. and the seventy-some miles was all the more glorious on horseback. It was. crafters and dressmakers. Martin Frobishar. Elizabeth used her progressions to find furniture. Elizabeth. and spend time milling through the shoppes of jewelers. in a very real sense. She absolutely loved these trips away from court.make a personal appearance in Harwich to honor the captain of the Elizabeth Jonas. to the status of Royal Privateer. her trusted councilor. and he had a personal interest in Frobishar’s successes.” as 144 . and commanded him to prepare the Royal Court for travel. It was Sir Cecil who had promoted the once-pirate. though officially eager to speak with Captain Frobishar. It was on these little excursions that Elizabeth was able to tear herself away from the heavy affairs of state. saw this as a great opportunity to take her court on one of her aptly-called “progressions” through the English countryside. towns and hamlets far from London. The road from London to Harwich was well travelled. a vacation shopping spree . She called for Sir William Cecil.only on a much more royal scale. as well as to solidify her presence with her subjects who lived in the cities. or “Good Queen Bess. and her heart jumped in her breast as she prepared herself for the journey.
the folk in the countryside eventually came to know her. First the Elizabeth Jonas. all of them giddy with excitement. All Harwich was buzzing with the excitement. The prospect of several days on horseback through the countryside was frightening for the Queen’s personal guard. loved to travel by horse. and now the good Queen herself! A wealthy merchant ship owner by name of Thomas 145 . They would leave for Harwich on the morrow. *** The Royal Herald had ridden on ahead to deliver word of the Queen’s visit and arrange for her lodging. and there was much to prepare before the rising of the next sun. but wholly exciting to the exuberant young monarch. “Those stuffy carriages make me nearly vomitous.” she had confided in good humor to her Ladies in Waiting. “I would as soon spend four days in one of those foul contraptions as I would have my hair pulled out strand by strand!” The ladies laughed with the young queen as they accompanied her to her private rooms.
” 146 .. “I’ll speak a bit more slowly for you: I am Queen Elizabeth’s personal herald and she is approaching Harwich with all haste to honor Captain Frobishar and the crew of this great warship.” said the nervous raccoon guarding the ship’s gangplank. tied up at the moment. was one of Harwich’s most esteemed citizens. ‘eraldship.” improvised the not-so-fast-witted pirate-cumEnglish-sailor. the Herald went directly to the wharf to see Captain Frobisher of the Elizabeth Jonas. “No one’s allowed on board the Elizabeth Jonas. er.” the herald said with nose-in-the-air disdain.. The honor was unmatched.” He punctuated the words “at once” through grit teeth.er.. Austin’s Lane in Harwich... “the. and More set about immediately preparing his home to receive the Queen... yer.. He received a visit from the Royal Herald and was to be host to the traveling Queen and court in his home on the corner of High Street and St. “Perhaps you didn’t comprehend my words... “Well. cap’n’s all. middle-aged bear dressed all in black with a gold chain hanging about his shoulders. I must speak with the captain at once... sailor. After meeting with the household of Thomas More.More. a stout.
” “Brilliant!” boomed Tam with a broad.” said the raccoon. after four days of traveling the dusty roads between London and Harwich. 147 . “Return to your post. who was with Tam on the poop deck. “and impress upon him the urgency of his making ready for her presence in the morning. to eat a sumptuous meal. puffed out his cheeks and whistled. smoke his pipe. the herald spun his horse around and headed back to More’s house in Harwich. soak in a hot bath. The tongue-tied raccoon sighed and nearly fainted from the strain of his encounter with the royal herald. sir. Cap’n.” Message delivered. where he intended. then turned and ran up the gangplank yelling for Captain Tam. and retire to a comfy chair before the hearth to drink his fill of wine.” retorted the now exasperated herald. “The Queen.“I suggest you inform your captain of the Queen’s visit. satisfied smile. facing midships. “she’s coomin’ ‘ere in the mornin’. “What is it?” asked Tam coming to the poop deck gunwales.” MacKrikk.
What I dinna understand is why you wid want the Queen o’ England to greet ye? Especially since as soon as she lays eyes on ye. sir.” said MacKrikk slowly. He looked out as far as 148 . MacKrikk followed at his heels.” Tam explained. she’ll know ye’ve imprisoned her captain and stolen her ship!” Tam didn’t answer right away. Cap’n?” “It was a risk I needed to take. looking away from Harwich and out to sea. “the Elizabeth Jonas was sent to molest the Scottish Naval Fleet and merchant vessels.“The bloomin’ Queen. “After years of warring with Scotland. shaking his head in bewilderment. Now she’s coming back to port as glorious as the day she left! Only now she’s become legendary in the conflict with our neighbors to the north. do ye know what ye’re doin’. Of course the Queen would come to honor her!” “I’m no’ followin’ ye. Not only does this ship return in glory.” started Tam. eh? Wi’ all due respect. “but I was quite sure her Majesty would do just as she has done.” Tam paced the poop deck. “I understand fully why the Queen would want to greet her own ship. she returns with a string of successful engagements over which to boast.
“I want Queen Elizabeth on board this ship. “I am counting on the fact that she knows who I am.” “Beggin’ yer pardon.” 149 . Tam looked to the deck in thought. let out a shrill squawk and flew off toward the shore. a gull floated by on a warm updraft seemingly carefree and calm as the draft of air lifted it higher and higher above the waves. then put his arm around MacKrikk’s shoulders. When he opened his eyes again. It flapped its wings in a sudden flurry. “Because I need to ask of her a favor. When the wind died. “Och! Now ye’ve really lost me!” choked MacKrikk. Tam turned to face his first mate. sir. closed his eyes and breathed deep the fresh ocean air. the gull fell toward the water. quite perplexed.” replied Tam. placing both hands on the burly raccoon’s shoulders and said. “I want her to greet me face-to-face.he could see to the mountainous white clouds piled up like snow where sky touched sea. A balmy breeze wafted in and he lifted his head. I am relying on her grace and love.” said Tam matter-of-factly. and that she knows I am a creature of honor. but why?” asked Mackrikk. I am relying on that bit of nobility in her heart that transcends her place in the great order of things.
Neither Elizabeth nor Mary want this continued unrest. “For years Mary’s mother waged war and havoc in her attempt to keep English rule out of Scotland.” “Which is. MacKrikk.” Tam explained to MacKrikk..” punctuated Tam. They both want resolution and peace.” Tam said as he outstretched his arms and turned in a big circle gesturing to the ship around him. awaiting the Tam’s punchline.. “something that belongs to Elizabeth.” said MacKrikk.. love.” said MacKrikk.. his mouth wide open. “I’m beginnin’ to see yer point. MacKrikk stood silent.. I have something. “Elizabeth’s cousin Mary rules as Queen in Scotland. Perhaps she will see the honor in my returning it and grant me a request... 150 .“‘Love’. voice trailing off. Mary wants only to be recognized as queen of her country. go on. “Aye.” “You see. “A letter of truce to her cousin Mary.. Elizabeth wants recognition of her authority over Mary” “Alright. not yet fully understanding.” said Tam all business. sir?” queried MacKrikk.
no matter how many Tam O’Hares and Lord Bothwells stand to defend her. She is surrounded by enemies who wish to see her downfall. I will appeal to her love as Mary’s cousin. She is delicate and fragile. she will fight to stay aloft. looking up. with MacKrikk alongside. paced to the far aft railing of the ship.Tam again looked up into the sky. Only Elizabeth can keep that from happening.” replied MacKrikk. Without the warm air of England supporting her.” Tam. The big raccoon just looked down at the deck with a bewildered frown and shook his head. “Mary is that gull floating on the breeze. 151 .” Tam smiled broadly and slapped MacKrikk’s back. “Aye. “Do you see the gulls above our heads?” he asked MacKrikk. she is finished . motioning with his eyes to the tops of the masts. “I will appeal to Elizabeth’s sense of what is noble and right. If Elizabeth opposes her.
and despite their very different stations in life. 153 . stretched and called for her morning tea. The new day. The warm brightness lit on Elizabeth’s face waking her.Chapter 12 Harwich The next morning dawned to the sound of lapping waves and the call of gulls. their mornings took on a curiously similar tone. was imposing itself on both Tam and Queen Elizabeth. waking him. He called for his morning tea while golden tendrils of light crept up the streets of Harwich making their way to the window of the Queen’s bed chamber in the house of Thomas More. Yellow light streaked across the water. She sat up. into the portals of the Elizabeth Jonas and onto Tam’s face. never to be disuaded.
Since her days of imprisonment in the Tower of London when her now six-years-dead half-sister thought she was trying to steal her throne. for it gave her a beautiful view of the sea. Magnificent ship. Elizabeth strolled along the terrace that surrounded the rooftop of her Harwich lodgings. He left his swordsliced doublet hanging over the back of Frobisher’s desk chair. called for her personal attendants to dress her. As the dawn turned to early morning. were a far cry from the Tower and its walkway on the eastern wall. hands clasped behind his back as he breathed in the fresh sea air. in the house of Thomas More. Elizabeth. At that same moment. Elizabeth had been in the habit of taking a walk at the crack of dawn.Tam opened Captain Frobisher’s closet on board the ship and respectfully borrowed clothing more appropriate for an English sea captain. Tam went for a stroll around the decks of the Elizabeth Jonas. Today she would live as though those old days had served no other purpose than to create a stark 154 . Elizabeth closed her eyes and breathed deeply of the clean sea air. she could see the tops of the masts of the Elizabeth Jonas. As he did so. This house and this little town. however. in the harbor. And there. washing old bitter memories from her mind.
with much fanfare and a trumpeting parade.” Tam decided.” determined Elizabeth. “Today is our future. Though totally separate and with wholly personal agendas. creating entirely new paths for them both. It was just a feeling. along with Thomas More and his entire household. the Queen’s entourage. expectant of the day’s events. “Today holds the future. Little did they know how soon their worlds would intertwine. *** Around midmorning. It was a day for making quiet history.contrast to the happiness and fulfillment she now felt as Queen. stopped before 155 . they both breathed a heavy sigh in their private chambers. Tam and Elizabeth both felt an inner hum of anticipation that made them feel as if today held something important. but it seemed as though they each held a secret gift in the palm of their hands. and they were eager to see what it was and with whom they could share it.
raced up the gangplank and disappeared.” everyone droned out in overly dramatic unison. The Queen rolled her eyes. bowing deeply. 156 .” “Yes. With one courtier walking backward before the Queen. “This will be my first time aboard one of my warships. “How do you know where you are going if you are walking backward?” she inquired of the ferret coutier in front of her. I didn’t travel all this way to grow pink in the sun by the seashore. your Majesty. holding her hand.the gangplank of the Elizabeth Jonas. After a few silent moments the anxious Queen spoke. and another behind her. let us just proceed. The raccoon guard turned on his heel.” and she nodded toward the gangplank. and I’ll not be delayed another solitary moment. “Announce the Queen to Captain Frobishar!” commanded the Queen’s herald. “Oh. Elizabeth started her slow ascent up the narrow gangplank.
blocking off the gangplank. suddenly frightened. bemused. The Queen. Before the rest of her entourage could follow. but in her haste to get onboard. and highly dangerous.” she said. of course. Due to her impatience. as he stepped off the side of the gangplank and fell to the waters below. looked around for her guards. “Let’s have done. Elizabeth rolled her eyes for the second time in as many minutes. “Somebody do fish him out. pulling it onboard. Highly irregular. Your Maj---” replied the ferret confidently.“Why. she had gone up the gangplank before them.” Then she hiked the skirt of her dress above her ankles and practically ran to the top of the gangplank and onto the deck of the Elizabeth Jonas. He sputtered and puffed while thrashing in the cold water. She really had no idea what to 157 . She could hear the shouts of her royal guardsmen down on the docks below. several of Tam’s raccoons closed in ranks behind the Queen. Elizabeth froze. experience. she had ignored protocol and placed herself in a predicament she had never encountered before.
“I hear you have offered your allegiance to my cousin Mary . sounding regal and authoritative.” Tam fell to his knee and lowered his head before Queen Elizabeth. threw her chin up and faced her captors. 158 . Ireland. Elizabeth turned. Putting on all the royal airs she could. it was nobility in the air of opposition. suddenly looking away. “What is the meaning of this!?” demanded the Queen.she who would have my throne in my place. “The great Tam O’Hare is it?” she said pausing with respect and anger.” said Tam. I am Lord Tamolyn O’Hare of HareHenge Castle.expect next. but she would face it like a Queen. then back down at the kneeling hare before her. Your Majesty. “but I humbly request that you grant me this irregular audience. descending the stairs from the upper deck. “Please pardon me.” she said. Stunned. and let me not feel your anger. If there was one thing her father Henry had taught her. the Queen looked around the deck at the small army of raccoon sailors. while at the same time attempting to hide her fear. County Meath.
161 .” said Tam. “He is safe in his cabin. He told her of his plans to visit the New World. We will hear you on this ‘matter of heart. “Where is Captain Frobishar?” Elizabeth asked. “Rise.” continued Tam.’” She then strolled to the side of the ship and motioned her guards into silence down on the wharf. not for politics’ sake...although politics have certainly muddled my ‘matters of heart.your ‘matter of heart. “Go on. that is true.’ of late.’” Tam told Queen Elizabeth all that had transpired up to that very moment. Lord O’Hare. But I come here seeking your heart on a matter.” The Queen stood silent for a moment. of the messenger from Argyll Whitebeard MacDervish and of his episode with Seamus Duggery and subsequent acquisition of the Moruadh. “and will be returned healthy and unharmed.. Your Majesty. She listened in long silence with growing intrigue.. “I did lend her fealty many years ago while still a youth. Elizabeth touched Tam on his head and said.“Aye..” Interested by his odd request. omitting nothing.
“And you are planning to steal Our warship for Lord Bothwell?” she asked angrily. “And all you wish to do is find your little. is it?” she asked. “Bothwell and I are none 162 . and as such. Tam nodded and continued. Your Majesty. He told her of how little Bryndolyn had been stolen by the Good People. of Mary’s request and Bothwell’s plottings.” began Tam. Bryndolyn. The Queen folded her hands and paced as she listened intently. “Your Majesty. When Tam finished his tale.He also recounted his family ties to Mary of Scotland. a subject of the English crown.” “Not to mention your dislike of the Earl of Bothwell. Bryndolyn. Due to a series of events in my youth. and I can do none else but honor my word.. I swore my allegiance to Mary when she was but a babe. the Queen spoke. “as I explained. “Aye. and finally of his capture of the very ship on whose deck they now stood.” added the Queen. I have returned your grand warship out of respect and honor for you and your throne. I am Irish. “ replied Tam..
“all I ask is three humble things of your Majesty. but I do know that he loves his Queen Mary. But I won’t! I bring this glorious ship and its crew . While I do not ascribe to his methods.” “Ah. attempting to push his cause. Why must he always invlove himself? What drives him to act.” said Tam. indeed. who dropped immediately to his knees and stared down onto the wooden decking. on the deck of an English warship. as a prize for Bothwell. And in return. “along with Your Majesty. was he standing here.” he softened his tone. Your Majesty. when he could have been well on his way to Loch Tay...back to you as a gift.. to speak. awaiting the mercies of the Queen of England.unharmed . I cannot fault his motives.too fond. “We are in no good humor over these matters! You overstep your bounds even further. to fight? Why.” replied the Queen. Matters of the heart. As his eyes traced the patterns in the woodgrain. to think.. Tam began to think he should have remained in Scottish waters and towed the damned warship back to Bothwell without haste. hoping beyond hope to fulfill his vow to a baby 163 .” “The impertinence!” interrupted the Queen. “I could sail this ship right out of Harwick and back to Scotland. Lord O’Hare!” Elizabeth then turned her back to Tam.
dropping now to both knees. Your Majesty. If you judge me by anything.. before this Queen.” Elizabeth turned her head slightly. When she spoke again it was with cold. but that luxury was not to be his at this moment. Tam noticed the nuance. You know me. She stood very quietly and very stately. “The life of this little girl. 164 . he spoke. judge me by this!” The Queen did not alter her stance. I am a hare of honor. When faced with crisis and sorrow. “I humbly plead for your forgiveness and indulgence. raising his eyes to meet hers.Queen made so many years ago? He wished for a moment to ponder the true nature of loyalty and honor. “has been placed into my care. sometimes desperate measures are called for. the mind is blinded to all else but the servicing of those taskmasters. “Your Majesty. and unwittingly along the way I have been drawn into fulfillment of loyal vows made long ago. on this ship. utter sternness.” Tam said.” he continued.. as if considering the sincerity of the humbled hare over her shoulder. When love and honor are at stake. Collecting his wits. attempting to hide the slight tremor his now violently beating heart had added to his voice.
?” replied Tam. “First. “Three. unsure if he should even speak.” the Queen said slowly as she turned slightly toward Tam.” continued Tam. “I did.. “grant me and my crew a pardon for attacking and capturing the Elizabeth Jonas. humble. things... still not allowing him her full gaze..” she repeated.” she said with all authority. gaze fixed upon Tam. voice soft and cracking. I would humbly ask that you grant my ship the Moruadh a Royal writ of safe passage through English waters. “Ask me.” Tam replied. turning fully to face Tam. “Your Majesty. It was not a request. Still she 165 .” Elizabeth stood without a single movement. Your Majesty. “You asked of us three things.” the hare said.” The Queen continued to stare at Tam intently. “Second.“Three things.. “Humble indeed. Tam began.” she said emotionlessly. but a command..
You sail Our ship into Our harbor.made no movement nor expression of intent.. “Thirdly. You hold Us as hostage! Then you have the unmitigated brashness to ask of Us a threefold reward!?” Tam said nothing. clearing his throat. right under the noses of Our troops.” replied Tam.. and it had gone completely awry. “First you attack Our warship with designs on taking it to Our enemy as a prize.. 166 . then paced for a moment back and forth along the gunwales.” Queen Elizabeth stared hard at Tam. “Then you place Our captain under arrest in his own quarters. and to seek a peaceful resolution to this conflict between your countries. who was now sure in his heart of hearts that his plan was not a very wise one. “Thirdly?” she asked sternly. locking her gaze hard into Tam’s eyes with the fire of a monarch. but bowed his head low while the Queen paused for what seemed an eternity. “and most importantly. She suddenly stood tall and straight. give me a letter beseeching your cousin Mary to implore Bothwell to release my young squire safely into my hands.” she boiled at Tam.
MacKrikk threw his hat into the air and cried at the top of his lungs. Lord O’Hare. “as well as my Royal pardon for you and your. almost impulsively.. smiling at Tam. I will grant your requests!” the Queen declared enthusiastically. Lord O’Hare. “God save the Queen!” Elizabeth then looked back into Tam’s eyes and all humor left her face. gallant crew.” she said with all stern soberness. never taking her eyes from Tam’s. She took his hands in hers and raised him to his feet. Elizabeth blurted out in the midst of a peal of laughter.. “You will have your safe passage. “By God. “I have been 167 . and began to laugh with her. He smiled. “God save the Queen!” The rest of the crew chimed in.Then suddenly.” Tam heaved a sigh of relief. throwing their own hats skyward. and you have brass. “I like it!! Hahaha!” Tam looked up into her eyes and saw her sincerity. you have courage. She bowed her head slightly. “I place only one condition on your requests. as did the rest of his raccoon crew who stood about him.” she continued.
If my cousin Mary will recognize my authority as sovereign over her country. 168 .to hell and back establishing my throne.and only then . “Three cheers for Good Queen Elizabeth!” “Huzzah!” “Huzzah!” “Huzzah!” “And may God save the Queen of England!!” added an exhuberant Tam O’Hare.” said Tam.will I recognize her crown.” She then once again raised Tam up. “Your love for your people.” Elizabeth smiled and with a twinkle in her eye replied. and I have sworn to Heaven that there would be only one mistress in my court. bowing low. “Tonight Lord Tamolyn O’Hare of HareHenge Castle and his loyal crew will dine with me at the home of Thomas More!” Once again MacKrikk led the crew in a rousing. “It is honor and loyalty such as yours. that brings hope to our future. and your love for your cousin holds the key to the future. Lord O’Hare.” “As Your Majesty wishes. then . Then he looked into her eyes and said. and looking to the crew gathered around her she cried out.
shiftless and below her station.had never. Queen Elizabeth had never danced with a raccoon before. Tam and Elizabeth looked into each other’s eyes and smiled. ragtag nature of these raccoon pirates. swinging circular steps of the French Branle. or even the quick-paced. with hat in hand and head bowed low. who each humbly requested. she had slowly-but-surely shed her prejudices and shared the parqueted floor with most of Tam’s crew. And even more egregious was the offense they caused to her artistic sensibilities. Lady More and her servants were attempting to revive the fainted Thomas More.“God save the Queen of England!!” everyone shouted. who most probably . unsavory. Intensifying her feeling of distaste was the salty. *** The house of Harwich’s Thomas More was filled with revelry that eve. as she considered them surly.she was sure . by the wee hours. Down on the wharf. learned the finer turns of the Pavane. and it made them laugh out loud.” she had earlier pontificated to the ladies of her court. the Galliard. “A raccoon simply cannot overcome his heavy-footed and oafish ways on the dance floor. to be sure. at least one turn of heel with England’s 169 . Yet. ever. They had found what it was they were meant to do this day.
he made his way to the doorway of the kitchens. the firey. Elizabeth . her equally racooned-out ladies in waiting found their ways to various chairs. working racoon of lesser means. vigorous.youthful. coursing its way through the calloused exterior of this stout. had gazed across the crowded room and locked eyes with an enchantress Thomas More’s kitchen wench. About the time the sun was beginning to peek over the horizon. tamborine and drum. and all the way to her heart. and found that she had never had a more exhaustingly enjoyable time moving to the flute. When he finally stood before her. young queen dropped into a giddy heap in a large chair and fell fast asleep. celebratory mob. His gaze pierced through all the defenses that would normally send most sailors back to the sea. The Queen’s royal guard stood tireless watch throughout the night. dirty hands in his own. seeing past the grease-caked fur on her face. hard-boiled. rotund. and veritably floated through the feasting. dancing. The moment his black eyes met hers.monarch . MacKrikk. lyre.obliged the masked miscreants. he dropped the handful of potato pie he had been stuffing into his gaping maw. which instantly captured his. and slightly in her cups . blind to the sizeable mole that protruded from her equally sizable snout. never averting his gaze from hers. Like a ship being guided by a light on the shore. Together 170 .a thing not normally experienced by many raccoons. he took her calloused. early on in the festivities. sofas and pillows all around her.
The sun would rise soon enough.they spent the remainder of the night dancing in the scullery. lit it and puffed deeply as he watched the stars slowly travel their courses across the night sky. the Elizabeth Jonas brought Tam and his crew back to the Moruadh. he listened to the festive din coming from the great hall of the house below and smiled. under Queen Elizabeth’s orders. The trip was smooth sailing with calm seas and warm breezes. But for the moment. His thoughts were firmly fixed on the unfinished tasks ahead. Tam O’Hare. quietly recused himself from the merriment and found his way to the balcony on the roof where Elizabeth had stood and looked out to the sea that very morning. placing it personally into Tam’s hands 171 . He pulled his pipe from the pouch on his belt. *** The next morning.” She also issued a writ of free passage through all English waters. oblivious to the world around them. courtly dance with the Queen. after a courteous. Queen Elizabeth had granted Tam and his crew a full pardon for any acts that could be deemed “piracy. and he longed to be on his way fulfilling them. and most importantly. she wrote a sealed letter to her cousin Mary.
Once on board the Moruadh. Frobisher took it and raised it in salute to Tam. where he went directly to Holyrood Castle for an audience with Queen Mary. Tam knelt before Captain Frobisher and extended his hands. In that he felt wholly satisfied. The Lord High Admiral was furious. Mary was demure and honorable. then turned and stormed out of Mary’s chambers. When given the 172 . who turned and disappeared over the port side gunwale. Tam issued immediate orders to set sail for the Firth of Forth and the harbor of Crammond. but what mattered most to him was that he had succeeded in getting Elizabeth. to write it at all. stomping and muttering as he strode down the hall. He also asked the Queen’s forgiveness for coming home without the ship Bothwell had wanted so badly. the Queen of England. wolf eyes. He glared at Tam with his yellow. Before leaving the Elizabeth Jonas. Beside himself. He informed her that the Elizabeth Jonas was in the hands of the English. Across them he offered up the Captain’s sword.for delivery to Mary of the Scots. below Edinburgh. Tam would never know the contents of that letter. and he could do nothing to prevent her from attacking Scottish ships.
she anxiously opened it and moved to the window seat at the far end of the room.” added MacNutt. where she could gain some semblence of privacy. “He just loves Scotland and loves his Queen. and thought it best to leave the Queen speaking the final words on the topic. She called for MacNutt. then he and MacNutt set out for Aberfeldy and the mysterious Old Badger of Loch Tay. Tam stopped at the apothecary and thanked the old porcupine for his help. he and MacNutt took their leave. “Frankly. She read the letter and cried. with her permission. at times. and wished for the days when she was not a Queen.even. 173 . Then taking Tam aside.” said Queen Mary. with Caroline on his arm. assured him that she knew nothing of Bothwell’s designs to hold the young squirrel against his will.letter from her cousin. to the detriment of those freely giving the love?” Tam acknowledged the truth in what Mary had said.” She paused and thought for a moment.” “I think Lord Bothwell is an honorable wolf. And. On their way down High Street. “neither did I. “And are not love of Queen and Country two of the most motivating forces .
Tam and MacNutt rode a ferry across the Firth of Forth and walked straight north to the town of Perth. The next morning they walked until they found the River Tay. 175 . and battle. They crossed the river and headed along the south shore.Chapter 13 The Hole in the Stone Aberfeldy was a two-and-a-half day walk from Edinburgh. the pair continued a few miles along the River Tay until it spilled into the long narrow loch bearing the same name. politics. Tam could finally focus all his energy on finding wee Bryndolyn. The countryside was beautiful. and followed it to Aberfeldy. and its freshness was a welcome change from the deck of a ship. where they spent the night at an inn. After stopping at a public house for some food.
then brushed his palms together. “What is it that is so mysterious about them?” Tam thought for a moment.” Tam stopped and looked out over the waters of the loch. They are here. “rather like that.” smiled Tam. “They are creatures of the Almighty’s that do not seem to fit into this world . then spread his fingers. eh?” postulated MacNutt in more of a statement than a direct question. 176 . “Aye. letting it sift through and drop slowly back to the ground. We want to be able to touch it. He stooped down and scooped up a palm-full of dirt. dusting them clean.” Tam let the last of the dirt spill out of his hand. feel it. there rarely ever is. for the things that are truly important. yet. Then and only then will we believe in it.“You had said that you don’t understand the Good People.” “Rather how we tend to treat the Almighty Himself. see it. Uncle.” considered MacNutt.at least not in the way we think they should. yet apart. We always want proof. “We want everything to be as solid as the ground on which we walk.
MacNutt pondered for a moment, then continued,
“Do you fear the Good People?”
“I fear what I do not understand,” answered Tam.
“Then to understand something,” paused MacNutt,
“No, not always,” replied Tam, “but it does pull away
the shroud of confusion. I was always taught that ‘God is
not the author of confusion, but of a sound mind.’ With
the absence of confusion, clarity finds it’s path; with
clarity comes boldness, and the washing away of fear.”
They walked on in silence for a while.
The waters of the loch lapped gently on the shore and
distant birds echoed in the greenwood around them. The
place seemed to hum softly and Tam was certain he
could hear the faint lull of pipes on the breeze. MacNutt
thought he heard it too, but when they’d stop to listen,
there was nothing.
Chills ran up the back of Tam’s neck, but it wasn’t
from fear, for he felt only peace in his heart. His eyes
began to water. MacNutt had tears as well. But they said
They walked on for a short distance when a very
strange, quite unexplainable thing happened. No longer
were they just two walking down the path, but three.
There was no sudden, startling fear, no wretched
awareness of the mystical, only peace. Without any
explanation or introduction, without sound or rush of
wind, without fanfare or incantation, there they were
walking along the shore with the Old Badger of Loch Tay.
The old mystic’s face seemed to shine, not with a light
of some form, but with a peacefulness that filled the
woods around them.
Then there it was again.
The sound of pipes on the breeze.
And this time Tam could hear them clearly. They were
soft and lilting, wafting with the undulation of the gentle
gusting of the wind. They were both sad and sweet
all at once.
“Your little Bryndolyn has indeed been charmed away
by the Good People,” said the gentle, brittle voice of the
Old Badger, who walked between Tam and MacNutt
with his arms around them both.
“What must I do to find her and bring her home?”
asked Tam, unsure of why the tears were beginning
to stream down his face.
must . smooth hole in the center. The exposed portions of the stone’s surface revealed that it was dark bluish-black in color. MacNutt started to walk toward Tam. you may not be able to return yourself. MacNutt didn’t know why. “and if you try.“You may not be able to. “Do you see that standing stone?” Tam looked away from the shore toward the edge of the woods. stout standing stone. holding it gently. worn and cracked with the fissures of time. 181 . and was cool to the touch. pausing on each word. with a large.” said the old one. but he understood. He looked deeply into MacNutt’s eyes. about the size of a small wagon wheel.do?” The old badger stopped and turned away from Tam.I . “Look into the forest. then took the young squirrel’s hand in his. “What .” he said to Tam. curious about the standing stone. As he approached it he noticed that it was only slightly taller than himself. and remained where he was. never loosening his grip on MacNutt’s hand. yet very firmly.” Tam thought on this for a moment. and sure if there wasn’t a thick. but the badger held his hand in firm but gentle resistance. then asked again. covered in vines and all overgrown with moss. He turned back toward Tam.
glancing at the two standing on the shore. all the while thinking of Bryndolyn and how frightened she must be. The sound of the loch and the greenwood 182 .” “Forgive me. He threw a quick glance back over his shoulder at Horatio and the old badger before pushing away the vines obscuring the hole through the stone’s center.. yet she is not. He hesitated for a brief moment.” Tam repeated under his breath.“All that is around you is not.” “Three times.” replied the old one.” said the old badger to Tam. he turned and came round to the front once again.. “Believe. as he slowly turned away and stepped closer to the stone. He then stooped down and stepped through the opening to the other side of the stone. “Bryndolyn is here with us. “Pass yourself through the stone’s center three times.” “Do not understand. “‘Thrice thru the heart and the world will depart’” chanted the old badger. but you speak in riddles.. all the while your thoughts only on your wee Bryndolyn.. When he emerged on the other side... and all that is around you is.” said Tam softly..” “What must I do. “and I do not understand.?” Tam pleaded. He walked back around to the front of the stone and stepped through again..
low. He turned back around to the front of the stone. nearly transparent mist that floated just below Tam’s knees. but they melted into the hum of the very essence of the world around him. Tam wasn’t sure if they were really even there. When he passed to the other side. 185 . Tam stepped up and through the stone’s hewn-out center for the third and final time. The tallest of them came no higher than Tam’s waist. it seemed. filling the air around him. He closed his eyes. The trees were lush with the bright colors of autumn.blended into the ethereal sound of the pipes that had now grown even more distinct. but he felt as if he could touch the very music with the tips of his fingers. or if the wind was playing tricks on his ears. “Welcome Tam! Welcome Tam O’Hare! Welcome! Welcome!” came several small voices from behind him. yet smaller. The sun was glinting off the loch. The sad. turned his face skyward and breathed in deep. and taste the notes on his tongue. as if for the first time. His squire and the old badger were gone. the woods were suddenly filled with a light. He turned and saw a group of tiny people who looked like young children. filling his lungs. sweet pipes were now no longer merely a distant sound echoing over the waters of the loch. and they all gathered around him with genuine smiles. tinting everything a golden hue.
ornately carved oaken tables filled with every sort of delicious food and drink imaginable. away from the loch. Up ahead Tam could see a clearing in the wood. All the while they asked him joyously if he would join them in feasting and dancing. singing along with the rest of them. 186 . And danced. with an enourmous fire burning in the center. the wee folk who had greeted him broke off and ran in all directions. Yet he never grew tired or weary. As Tam entered the clearing.” Tam said with happiness flooding his heart. “I would love nothing better. Several of the dancers came to Tam and pulled him into the ring where he joined hands and kicked up his feet. He went to the tables and ate and drank. Hundreds of the Good People were dancing in a ring around the fire. And danced. singing along with the tune the pipes were echoing in the wood. And he danced.The wee folk took Tam by the hands and led him along a path through the woods. For what seemed like hours. some to the dance and others to sprawling.
after setting it down in the grass beside him. And he was filled with happiness. Then he danced some more. Beyond happiness. With a handful of grapes and a goblet of sweet wine. and pink billowy clouds floated over the treetops. The sky glowed with golden hues. and looked toward the loch. elbow on his bent knee. She had several of the wee folk around her and she was playing a wooden flute for them as they sat quietly listening. not caring how he knew the words. For the first time in his life. Tam walked down the path to the shore of the loch and sat on the hillside. Tam had never been happier or more filled with peace at any time in his life. sat up. 187 . Sitting on the ground before the old standing stone was little Bryndolyn.singing songs. really. He drank deeply from his goblet. Then. Then he saw her. Tam stood to his feet and moved toward the girl. There were wee folk lazing all around him. He blinked twice. sweet pipes wafted on the gentle breeze. he was filled with joy. he lay his head back and looked into the clouds where he watched a white bird floating gracefully on the breeze. draining it. and the peaceful.
then back at Tam. then a smile 188 . my sweet. “But.” She looked around. “If only your grandfa’r could hear you play such beautiful music. my little bird.” said Tam. He stepped closer to Bryndolyn and knelt down beside her. The music was beautiful. but I am home. I mean home.drawn by the lulling peacefulness of the flute. Tam took her by her hands and said gently. To your family. “Why hello. at Glenburrow. cousin Tam.” Bryndolyn furrowed her brow a bit.” And in that instant his wits came rushing back to him.... “No. little voice that sparkled like the sun on living water.” she said cheerily.” she said in a crisp. me!” Tam said with a soft smile. “Hello. and until this very moment. The beauty and peace of this place had charmed him. a bit confused. “Ah. She smiled at him. tears flooding his eyes. he had lost all sense of why he had come.. Reaching up he gently took the flute from her hands. cousin. “I’ve come to bring you home.
slowly filled her little face.
“Ohhhh! Grandfa’r Whitebeard!” she exclaimed. “I
remember him. An’ sister Abigail, an’ Mother!”
The little girl’s entire essence seemed to smile at Tam,
who could only but smile back with all his heart.
Then suddenly and with some sense of urgency, she
pulled her hands out of Tam’s and stood to her feet.
Turning to a nearby bush of yellow roses, she reached in,
avoiding the thorns, and plucked a single blossom. She
turned back to Tam and tenderly took his hand in hers,
upturning his palm. In his hand she placed the delicate
“Give this to m’ sister, for I ken tha’ ye love her,” the
wee girl said brightly, “an’ tell a’ m’ family tha’ I love
them, too, wi’ a’ m’heart!”
Tam looked at the rose in his hand, and a strange
thing started to happen. He could see through his hand
to the ground below. Then looking at Bryndolyn he could
see the hazy loch through her as she began to dissolve
before his very eyes.
All around him the wee folk were sweetly saying,
“Goodbye Tam O’Hare! Goodbye! Do come again Tam
O’Hare, when ye can stay an’ dance wi’ us some more!”
Tam looked at Bryndolyn, who was almost a mist.
“No! Don’t go! Come with me lass!” he cried.
“I canna’, cousin. I belong here,” she replied. “The
wee rose will live as long as ye ne’er let it touch the
ground, cousin,” her voice echoed. “Be happy, cousin
Tam... be happy... be... happy..............”
Then she was gone.
Tam sat all alone on the shore of Loch Tay. The air was
cool and crisp and blue, and the sun was rising over the
eastern hills. He wondered if he had been dreaming, but
there was the yellow rose in the palm of his hand.
He was still on his knees in front of the old standing
stone. He looked, but MacNutt and the old badger were
not waiting where he had left them. They must’ve taken
shelter for the night - had it been all night...? In his heart
he felt that he had broken his word to Uncle Argyll, and
it was going to break Abigail’s heart. He had failed, and
little Bryndolyn was still under the enchantments of the
Good People. She was gone from them, and there was
nothing Tam nor anyone could do.
He sat on the ground with his back against the
standing stone, and with his face in his hands he wept.
And high on the air the pipes lilted softly.
And never was piping so sad.
And never was piping so sweet.
“Grandfa’r! Grandfa’r!” he said. Everyone in the glen. lad?” called Argyll after him. but needed MacNutt’s help with his walking stick. “Coom quickly!” Then he spun around as fast as he had come. panting and out of breath.Chapter 14 Out of the Mists MacNutt was sitting at the table eating another portion of bread pudding. whether indoors or working out 195 . MacNutt looked at Argyll with curiosity and jumped to his feet. Argyll rose slowly to his feet as well. and ran out the door. talking to Argyll Whitebeard MacDervish when the door burst open and young Hamish rushed in shouting at the top of his little lungs. hobbling toward the doorway. “Wha’ is it.
196 . thinking some tragedy had befallen. a trick played on the eyes in the fading evening light. pointing. crossing through the shadow of one of the taller standing stones. pointing toward the stream that bordered the west end of the glen. lad. Hamish stood a small distance away from the house. slanted light of early dusk. “Och! It’s just the mist. helping Argyll. the form of a tall hare took shape. an indistinct form was moving over the stream. came running. The base of the standing stones in the hawthorne grove on the bank of the stream that bordered Glenburrow blended into the mist.. “What is it. MacNutt.in the fields. A light mist had risen from the stream as the sun was sinking low in the sky. Grandfa’r!” Hamish shouted back. “Look.” said Argyll. “Look!” Out of the mist.. heard Hamish shouting.” he said. and. a bit perturbed. giving the appearance as if they were floating eerily a few feet off the ground. Hamish?” called MacNutt. emerged from the small house. As it emerged from the greyness of the long. “No! I dinna mean the mist.
Finally standing before his old uncle. until his eyes locked with MacNutt’s. 197 . too. MacNutt stood silent until a smile slowly broadened across his face as the shape defined itself into familiar form. Argyll bent down and embraced him. cradling Tam’s head against his shoulder. pulling on his doublet. Tam looked across the small gathering of family. scanning each face briefly. tears flowing down his face. flickering around the shadowy figure as it ascended the shallow bank of the stream. Horatio saw in Tam’s eyes a sadness he had never seen before.Will-o’-the-wisp twinkled in soft bluish light. “Uncle Taaaaam!” he yelled out at the top of his lungs. Tam smiled weakly as the children surrounded him. Tam dropped to his knees and looked into the old hare’s grey eyes and shook his head slowly from side to side. Everyone followed closely on MacNutt’s heels to greet Tam as he came up out of the water onto the near bank of the stream. fell silent with the others. Everyone reached out in silence to touch Tam as he moved past them making his way to Argyll Whitebeard MacDervish. and he. and lit as fast as he could toward the figure emerging from the mist. grabbing him by his hands.
Uncle. “It’s been but three days hence since last we saw each other.” The old hare held Tam tightly in his embrace. “The mysteries of this world are sometimes a confusin’ thing. Argyll himself began to weep. “I’m just overjoyed tha’ we hae no’ lost ye both.”ye’ve been gane from 198 .? I’ve only just come from Loch Tay. who looked back and nodded.” MacNutt looked up at Argyll. my gentle. “but I couldn’t bring her home. And in the same way a loving father feels the pain of his injured child. Argyll held Tam’s chin in his hand. turning his face up to meet his eyes. we are all just passin’ through this realm. Uncle Tam.” said the old hare.. a bit confused.. stroking his hair as if he was comforting a small child who’d scraped his knee on a sharp rock.” “Ye’ve been gone so long. my Tamolyn.” said MacNutt who had come up alongside Tam and placed a hand on his shoulder. not always sure of what it will bring us. not ever quite coomin’ up wi’ a’ the answers to every question. “Tamolyn.“I found her. “So long.” Tam said through his tears..” soothed Argyll..” said Tam. that we thought you were lost to us as well.
” “Seven months.” Tam said. his voice trailing off in less of a question than a statement of disbelief. “I just thank the Almighty you are safe an’ home wi’ us the now. He opened his mouth to speak.?” said Tam. stared off toward the distant hills with a hollow look in his eyes that told a tale of seven lost months. now. but there was absolutely nothing to say.us for nearly seven month. “It’s the fairie ways. We thought ye dead.. “She wanted me to give you this blossom. all at once happy to be with her. 199 . to remember her by.. yet sorry for her loss of wee Bryndolyn. At that moment he remembered the yellow rose. a smile making its way across his tear stained face.. and drawing himself away from Abigail. sat back on his feet and opened his palm in front of her.” said Argyll with finality.” Tam. Tam drew Abigail close.. He remained silent and still as Abigail came forward and put her arms around him. The rose blossom shone with an almost iridescent yellow in the palm of Tam’s hand as its fragrance belied its age. still on his knees.
He turned to see young Malcolm MacDervish looking into his eyes.Abigail closed Tam’s hand around the rose and lay her cheek atop Tam’s head as she embraced him. for the first time since his encounter with the fairie troupe in the hawthorne grove nearly a year before.” Malcolm said with a delicate. shocked and happy all at once to hear the young lad speak. Abigail drew in a breath. halting voice. Malcolm embraced Tam. “Wel. a small hand reached up and touched Tam on the arm. my Irish laddie. little Malcolm MacDervish spoke. tears filling her eyes. In the quiet moment. 200 . The lad blinked several times as he opened and closed his mouth. Then nestling his chin into the crook of Tam’s arm.” she whispered into his ear. Tam put his arm around Malcolm and drew him in close. he closed his eyes and smiled. He closed his lips and his face filled with a soft. cousin Ta-am. “Welcome back. Then. brittle with disuse. clearing his throat and swallowing hard.welcome h-home.. small smile as he squeezed Tam’s arm to punctuate his words..
fresh strands of blossoms tied into her hair. A white robed badger stood before the clan with an open book in his hands. Spring birds criss crossed the sky and the entire clan MacDervish of Glenburrow was gathered by the standing stones alongside the stream. creating an aisle that led to the white robed badger in front. Giggling children preceeded her. and Abigail. To the right of the badger stood Tam.Chapter 15 The Wedding Golden sunshine filled the glen like fresh water in a big glass bowl. dressed in a 201 . dressed all in saffron. walked toward them. The crowd of MacDervishes parted before her. spreading white flower petals along the ground in her path.
“Take my sword. He smiled as Abigail approached. forever. “I offer you my sword. He extended his elbow and she took it. my honor and my fidelity. But if you refuse my heart. Tam drew his sword from his scabbard and turned to face Abigail. Abigail reached out her hand and took the sword 202 .beautiful white leather doublet.” he said. then take my sword and slay me now. and with it my heart.” Tam then bowed his head. They turned and stood before the badger and everyone fell silent. and in so doing. take my heart. With palms up and open. he held out his sword and dropped to one knee. In his white bonnet was the yellow rose.
forever!” Tam looked up and smiled. who smiled and nodded. It was heavier than she thought. replacing it in its scabbard. saying...” raising the blade again she lowered it to his other shoulder. She then lowered the blade and touched it to Tam’s shoulder. “. And with this sword. and she used both hands to hold it in front of her. my heart and my fidelity. Argyll Whitebeard. I do pledge my honor.from Tam’s upturned hands. she paused momentarily.. After a short homilee and the lighting of some 203 . As was the custom.. “I do accept your heart today. He stood and took his sword from Abigail. looking to her grandfather.
candles. And their adventures were all just beginning. MacNutt put his arm around Argyll Whitebeard. “I now pronounce ye ‘usband an’ wife. and they both smiled and cried. They leaned in to each other and kissed. 204 .” Tam took Abigail by her shoulders and the two looked deeply into each other’s eyes. As they did.. “Ye may kiss one another. the priest had Tam and Abigail join hands.. to punctuate the ceremony. He placed his hand atop theirs and said. he smiled broadly and said.” Then.
there can be heard lilting on the wind.. sweet tune played on what sounds like a simple wooden flute.Epilogue And high in the hills above Glenburrow. 205 . And every now and again. when the sun is setting and the first twinkling stars of night can be seen. a sad. it is said. it is said that on certain nights the Good People gather in the hawthorne grove to dance in the faerie light..
.Tam O’Hare and Horatio MacNutt will be coming again in their next adventure.. .
and your wonderful. 208 . Jeff Schiltgen. my sister. daily philosophical conversations.your words pulled me through many doubting times. sage predictions and sincere love and encouragement. that I apologize in advance if I have somehow overlooked you here on this page. Lindsay. the list is daunting. financial support and friendship. Jane Scott (Mom). you have been my encouragement. and for being my brother. I love you with all my heart.and for doing the dishes when I was painting or writing . peerage and heraldry. I love you very much. Charles Aling for instilling in me a love of history.and his wife. My dear friend Sean McGrady. “Mac” McGregor for your continued support.. Herb Olson. Dayna Wolter for your loving friendship and continual encouragement. encouraging and supporting me every step of the way.Acknowledgements This section of the book has been in my mind for quite some time. Kate Mauer for your love.and soon will be my wife! Thank you for being in my life. for all your love and support and belief in me through the years. David Smith for your words of wisdom and encouraging friendship. little girls. Michelle Traxler for your love. L. support and Master Swordmanship. your unhindered encouragement and support. I am sure I have missed someone. Jim Fitzsimons.. Samuel Fleishman for being my first agent and instilling me with so much information about the publishing industry. in York. Bill James for taking this project to where it is today. all of you for your friendship and encouragement in ways you may never know. sword fighting choreography. Dan Kujawski for helping to make this happen through your continued friendship and support. Ian Punnett for your friendship and support and love for my kids. support and right arm . encouragement.on some days . I know you have been here with me throughout the entire process. The Rollicking Adventures of Tam O’Hare began as stories I told to my daughters at bedtime. Bill Lochen for your friendship. for your weapons instruction. cowboyisms and kicks in the butt. and despite having both passed before I ever started this book. my sweet. and is not in any specific order. Abby and Bryn. Dave Potter for Sword and Nautical useage and terminology.especially ‘andsome Johnny for his knowledge of history. You have given with no expectation of return. encouragement. for your wise words. friendship and hours of literary banter. for your poetic words of encouragement. support and editing of the story in it’s earliest stages. Carr Hagerman. There are so many people that need to be mentioned here. And now.my downright detached surliness. for your belief in me. Svetlana for the same. loving smile and encouragement . and for being my dear friend. From the earliest years. Dr. and for putting up with my foggy creative brooding and . You both encouraged me to follow my creative bent. and keen. my little girls!! Raini Olson. As I mentioned above. Tiffany Johnson for being my dear friend. There are so many of you who have been present in my life. Dr. Annetta and Gunnard Olson for your help and support. and for being my long-time fellow artist and friend. Lan Lamphere for your continual encouragement and love.you are my dearest friend! Kay Fonder. for all the encouragement. I would have walked around with a voice recorder.G. Had I any common sense. what an encouragement you have been to me . and evolved into the book you see before you today.. Thank you for being part of my life. detailed informational input on weaponry of Tam’s day. seeing me through thick and thin.and both of you for 30 years of loving friendship. Chris Wells. for all your love and support at the time I needed it.I love you both. and in many ways has seemed the most daunting. David Penchansky for overview and input. Tam has been here with me through the good times and the hard times. Grandpa OJ and Aunt Andi . I need to thank John and Christina Neitz for their invaluable input . for your investment in my dream. despite having been shelved and nearly forgotten many times over the years for various reasons. Don’t be offended. Craig Johnson of Arms & Armor. Amanda Fonder. Nancy James for the earliest edits and support . Thank you to all my friends who encouraged and supported me all along the way.I wish you were both here to see this. Deena & Chris Ebert. John Behr. Dr.
(Scots Gaelic).a member of a roving band of robbers.largest of Henry VIII’s warships. a supporter of the ideals and teachings of John Knox cutlass .A Scottish Presbyterian who supported the spread of his denomination. daughter of Henry VIII of England and Anne Boleyn. “great kilt” or “belted blanket.to become so enraged as to appear red in the face apothecary . pleated around the waist with the excess bustled at the lower back or tied up over the shoulders 209 . sometimes used as an insult to one of low character Covenanter .(nautical).a short single-edged sword with a slight curve Dia ‘r sabhail! .(1533-1603). “God save us!” Elizabeth I . female spirit who cries with a bitter wailing at the death of someone in a great Irish family.Glossary aft . Queen of England from 1558 until her death Elizabeth Jonas . later rebuilt by Elizabeth in 1585 Feileadh mor .(Irish/Gaelic).a person trained in the preparation of medicines banshee .” a length a double-wide tartan four to nine yards long.(Irish/Gaelic). also known to cry on the anniversary of the deaths brigand . the rear of a ship apoplectic .
known) laird . second husband of Mary Queen of Scots. owner of a landed estate Martin Frobisher . sometimes in the form of a railing. first English explorer to find and navigate the Northwest Passage to the Orient.knew.(pronounced: “gun’-ul”). Earl of Bothwell .Gallowglass . side walls of a ship that rise above the deck. kent .(1535-1594).(Scots English). “foreign warrior.knows. King of Scotland. appointed a captaincy by William Cecil in 1565. died after battle of Solway Moss leaving his one-week-old daughter Mary as Queen of Scotland James Hepburn. son of Margaret Tudor.archaic vernacular for “drunk” James V .(Irish). died under suspicious circumstances which remain a mystery to this day “In Your Cups” . Lord Darnley . Scottish ambassador to France under Mary deGuise.” mercenary soldier gunwale . married Mary Queen of Scots.(1505-1572) a fiery Scottish reformer who opposed Mary Stuart’s claim as queen of Scotland on religious grounds ken .(1536-1576). Henry Stuart. after ten years in prison he lost his mind and died John Knox . fled the country when she was deposed but was captured and imprisoned. equal in greatness to Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh (no historical record exists supporting his captaincy of the Elizabeth Jonas) 210 .(1545-1567).(1512-1542). know (kens .(Scottish). great-grandson of Henry VIII.
(nautical) the left side of a ship.(Scots English).(1542-1587). At times they were granted this permission but not officially recognized. raised. mother and coregent of Scotland with her daughter. must Moruadh . married to Phillip. so as to protect the monarch’s reputation.(nautical). 211 . Dauphin of France giving her rights to the French throne.to the rank of “privateer. after Phillip’s death. red wine starboard . Mermaid muckle . giving her arguably more claim to the English throne than her cousin Elizabeth maun .(Scots English).(Irish/Gaelic).Mary deGuise .(1515-1560). Queen of the Scots . married to Henry Stuart. daughter and royal heir of James V of Scotland and Mary deGuise of France. Lord Darnley.bagpipes poop deck .(nautical). Sir Walter Raleigh. many pipes . the King or Queen elevated seamen . rear-most deck of a ship port . Some of the more famous privateers were Sir Francis Drake.and sometimes even common pirates . much.” They served the crown by carrying out their activities under permission of the monarch. the right side of a ship privateer . Mary Queen of Scots Mary Stuart. also the same word for a sweet.during times of war and conflict. widow of James V. and Sir Martin Frobishar.
(1520-1598).(Scots English). so tae . He later became known as “Lord Burleigh” 212 . to weel . served Elizabeth I as her trusted councilor for 40 years.sae .(Scots English).(Scots English). well William Cecil .
. 213 .What Other Readers Have Said About The Rollicking Adventires of Tam O’Hare..
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