Friday, 17 October 2008
Murdo has a Taste for "Drambuie".
Murchadh Shoudie(remember Murchadh am Phost)would take his turn on alternate years,going to Stornoway with the wool. Well,that was the arrangement until shame and opprobrium befell Murdo, "a fear ruadh"(the Red One). I witnessed his fall from grace. On this trip to Stornoway to sell the wool,everything went as one would expect until Murdo,with Seoras and me in attendance,passed through the portals of the Star Inn. Murdo did not have the capacity for liquor that his brother Iain had,but it has to be said that he relished its taste. Iain was "urbane and socially adept" and always kept an eye on "Red". I can still see Murdo at the top end of the bar,getting in the first round for Seoras and himself. Mine was a half pint of "lemonade". Murdo went all posh,and ordered a double Drambuie (yes,I know,a liqueur). It seemed that when Murdo was in town, out of sight of brother John,he liked to imbibe the Jacobite spirit of Charles Edward Stuart. He ordered these double Drambuies,pronouncing their Gaelic name with gusto - "An Dram Buidheach" . After a few more doubles,Murdo was becoming a cause for concern. After his ninth double Drambuie,Murdo collapsed backwards like a falling chimney stack,and it was good fortune that someone was there to break his fall.Seoras was more than concerned now,as blame in these situations is often unfairly levelled at the "innocents". 'An Shoudie's "hooch" had still to be bought at "Buth Henderson",and "Red" delivered to 4 Dalmore in one piece. I still remember Seoras' van approaching the gate at the bottom of the long grassy "leathad"(slope)at No.4,not knowing what to expect. Looking up the hill towards taigh Shoudie,I could see Iain standing in the doorway,and looking over to taigh Glass,I could see my mother(The Commander)standing at the barn door. I don't think they had invented the saying at that time,but if they had, Seoras and I were truly "between a rock and a hard place". Murdo somehow got out of the van,navigated his way past the gate,all this time carrying the precious cargo,with his arms holding it to his chest. A few steps further,and Murdo toppled forward on the grass,still holding the "proveeshons" to his chest. Before we could come to his aid,'An Shoudie was racing down the leathad and was now standing over his brother,"Red". He very carefully turned Murdo over,prised the bag from his grip,and started slowly back up the hill,leaving Murdo lying there looking up at the sky. Seoras and I decided against visiting taigh Shoudie for a good couple of days. Later, we found out that the Glenlivet etc.had survived the crash,and that the giant pork chops went as usual into the soup.