WHEN Jean and Alan reached the waterfall, they found Jock and Sandy
there before them. "Come over to our side," Alan called. The two boys
ran further down stream and crossed the brook on stones which stood
out of the water, and in a moment more were back again at the foot of
"What have you got to show us?" demanded Jock. "I hope it's
something to eat." Jock had bitterly regretted his morning
decision to find his food in the forest. The scone which Sandy
had brought from home had been divided and eaten long ago; and
all four of the children were now so hungry that they could think
of nothing else, not even of Angus Niel and their adventures by
Alan looked cautiously around in every direction. "Follow me, and
keep quiet tongues in your heads," he said. Then he disappeared
under the fall, and Jean instantly followed him. For a moment
Jock and Sandy were as mystified as Jean had been when Alan first
found the secret stairway, but it was not long before they, too,
saw the hole in the rock, plunged in and, following the winding
passage-way, came out upon the top of the rock.
"There," said Alan, beaming with pride, as he displayed his
wonderful lair, "doesn't this beat Robinson Crusoe all to pieces?
If he had found a place like this on his desert island, he
wouldn't have had to build a stockade or anything."
"It's one of the very caves where Rob Roy hid! I'm sure of it,"
Jock declared with conviction, and Sandy was so overcome with
admiration that he turned a back somersault and almost upset
Jean, who was coming out of the cave with the basket on her arm.
"You see," said Alan, "we could stay here a week if we had food
enough, and never come down at all. All we'd have to do for water
would be to hold a pan under the edge of the fall. There's no way
of getting up here except by the secret stair, and that's not
easy to find. There never was such a place for fun."
Sandy had righted himself by this time and was gazing
ecstatically at the basket, which Jean had begun to unpack.
"Losh!" he cried. "Look, Jock! Bacon and eggs and scones! Oh, my
word!" Jock gave one look and whooped for joy.
"Keep still," said Alan. "Angus may be coming back this way, and
he has a gun with him. We're safe enough up here, if we keep
quiet, but if you go howling around like that, he'll surely hunt
for the noise."
For a moment they kept quiet and listened, but there was no sound
except the noise of the falling waters. "Huh!" Sandy snorted, "he
couldn't hear anything, anyway. The roar of the fall hides all
the other noises."
"Oh, let's eat!" begged Jock, caressing his empty stomach and
gazing longingly at the food.
"You can't eat now," said Jean; "the food must be cooked first,
and what shall we do for a fire?"
"We could make one right here on the rock," said Alan, "if we had
something to burn. I've got matches."
"We'll have to get twigs and dry pine-needles and broken
branches," said Jock, "and bring them up the secret stair, though
it'll be hard work getting them through the narrow places. We
ought to have a rope. We could pull a basketful up over the edge
of the rock as easy as nothing."
"We'll bring a rope next time," said Alan. "Hurry! I'm starving!"
The three boys disappeared down the secret stair, and while they
were gone, Jean found loose stones, with which she made a support
for the frying-pan around a space for the fire. The boys were
soon back with plenty of small fuel, and in a short time a bright
fire was blazing on the rock and there was a wonderful smell of
frying bacon in the air. The boys sat cross-legged around the
fire, while Jean turned the bacon and broke the eggs into the
"You look just exactly like Tam watching the rabbit-hole,"
laughed Jean. "I wonder you don't paw the ground and bark!"
At last the scones were handed out, each one laden with a slice
of bacon and a fried egg, and there was blissful silence for some
"Oh, aren't you glad you didn't die of the measles and miss
this?" Sandy said to Alan, rolling over on his back and waving
his legs in the air as he finished his third egg. Alan's mouth
was too full for a reply other than a cordial grunt.
"Why, Sandy Crumpet!" exclaimed Jean, reprovingly, "don't you
believe heaven is nicer than Scotland?"
"Maybe it is," Sandy admitted, doubtfully, "but I like this
better than sitting around playing on harps and trumpets the way
the angels do."
"Sandy Crumpet played the trumpet," howled Jock in derision.
"Indeed and indeed, Sandy, I like this better than having to hear
you." Then, before Sandy could think of an answer a memory of the
catechism crossed his mind, and he added as afterthought, "How do
you ken you're one of the elect, anyway, Sandy Crumpet? If you're
not, you'd not be playing on any trumpets, or harps either, but
like as not frying in the hot place like that bacon there."
Sandy rushed to the defense of his character. "I'm just as elect
as you are, Jock Campbell," he said.
This time Jock had no answer ready, and Jean reproved them both.
"Shame on you!" she said. "You'll neither one of you get so much
as a taste of heaven, I doubt, and you talking like that."
"Where will Angus Niel be going, then, when he dies?" asked Jock.
"I don't just mind whether there's a chance for thieves, but the
Bible says drunkards and such-like stand no chance at all."
"It's not for us to judge," said Jean primly, "but I have my
Alan had been busily eating during this conversation, and now he
joined in. "I say," he began, "I'm not worrying about what will
become of Angus Niel after he's dead. I want to know what's going
to be done with him right now. We're the only ones that know
about this. Are we just going to keep whist, or shall we tell on
"Let's tell on him!" shouted Sandy.
"Who'll you be telling?" said Jean with some scorn.
"Why, the bailie, maybe, or the Auld Laird himself," said Sandy.
"Havers!" said Jean. "You're a braw lad to go hobnobbing with
the bailie. He'll not believe you, anyway; he's a friend of Angus
himself, and, as for the Auld Laird, how would you get hold of
him at all, and he far away in London?"
Sandy subsided, crushed, and then Jock had a bright idea. "I tell
you what we'll do," he cried, springing to his feet. "Let's have
a clan, like Rob Roy, and we'll just badger the life out of Angus
Niel. We'll never let him know who we are, but keep kim forever
stepping and give him no rest. If he thinks somebody's following
him up all the time, he'll not sleep easy o' nights!"
This suggestion was greeted with riotous applause. "He'd not
sleep easy if he knew Jean was after him, I'll go bail," laughed
"Hooray!" shouted Sandy, waving his legs frantically. "What shall
we call it?"
"Let's call it the Rob Roy Clan," said Alan.
"Hooray!" roared Sandy again.
"If we're a Clan, we'll have to have a chief," said Jean, "and if
the Chief bids us do anything, we'll just have to do it. That's
the way it was in the real Rob Roy Clan. Father said so."
"Jock thought of it first. Let him be Chief," said Alan.
"No!" cried Jean promptly. "Are you thinking I'll put my head in
a bag like that, and he my own brother? 'Deed, I'd never get a
lick of work out of him on Saturday if I did! Na, na, lads!
Whoever's Chief, it won't be Jock."
"Maybe you'd like to be the Chief yourself," retorted Jock, "but
it's enough to be bossed by you at home! Besides, whoever heard
of a girl being Chief, anyway?"
"Alan can be Chief," said Jean, and so the matter was settled.
"If I'm Chief," said Alan, "you'll all have to swear an oath of
fealty to me."
"What's an oath of fealty?" Jock demanded suspiciously, and Jean
added in a shocked voice, "Alan, you'd never be asking us to take
the name of the Lord in vain!"
"It's not that kind of an oath," laughed Alan. "You just have to
vow to obey the Chief in everything." Then an idea popped into
his head. "In a real Clan they are all kinsmen, but here's Sandy,
and he's neither Campbell nor McGregor. We'll have to make a
blood brother of him before he can join."
"What's a blood brother? How do you make 'em?" asked Sandy.
"I'll show you," said Alan. He drew his knife from his pocket and
while the other three watched him in breathless admiration, he
made a little cut in his wrist and immediately passed the knife
to Jock. "You do the same," he commanded.
Jock obeyed his Chief and passed the knife to Jean, who promptly
followed his example.
"Now, Sandy," said Alan.
Sandy hated the sight of blood, and he was a little pale under
his freckles as he shut his eyes and jabbed himself gingerly with
the point. Then Alan took a drop of blood from each wrist and
mingled them with a drop from Sandy's.
"Now, Sandy," he said, as he stirred the compound into a gory
paste, "you repeat after me, 'My foot is on my native heath, my
name it is McGregor.'" Sandy obeyed with solemnity, and, this
important ceremony over, Alan pronounced him a member of the Clan
in good and regular standing.
Then, by the Chief's orders, Jean, Jock, and Sandy, each in turn
placed their hands under Alan's hand, while they promised to obey
him without question in all matters pertaining to the Clan.
"Only," said Jean, "you mustn't tell us to do anything wrong."
"I won't," promised Alan. And so the Rob Roy Clan came into
Alan took command at once. "We must have a sign," he said. "Just
like Clan Alpine in 'The Lady of the Lake.' Go, my henchmen," he
cried, striking a noble attitude, and waving his hand toward the
forest, "bring hither sprays of the Evergreen Pine, and we'll
stick 'em in our bonnets just like Roderick Dhu and his men.
Roderick Vich Alpine Dhu, ho! iero!"
The two boys instantly disappeared down the hole in the rock on
this errand, leaving Jean and Alan to guard the cave.
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