Books / Character Development / King or Kaiser / Shadows in the Veldt / Short Story / Sullatober Dalton / Uncategorized

Shadows in the heather

As I look for story lines let me pause and consider before giving the bird to Jacobites with the 1745 and Bonnie Prince Charlie. The 1719 is my kind of tale — The Spanish marines have landed at Eilean Donan and occupied the castle. They’ve left forty to guard the place and marched off to collect Highlanders loyal to James Stuart, the King Across the Water. I imagine Dani deVito playing the part of the officer in charge at the castle when three Royal Navy ships appear. He rushes back and forward waving his hands in the air and complaining he’s been left with the lame and lazy. When three Navy warships arrive and the first broadside hits the castle – his corporal starts to shout, ‘Don’t panic, don’t panic.’ and one of the men moans, ‘We’re aaall doomed.’ They rush off to join the main body of their troop and find them drawn up facing the Government (Hanoverian) troops in Glen Shiel. The Spanish Marines are in the centre and on the flanks are Highlanders they have picked up on the way. The Highlanders are hiding in the waist high heather but they are curious and keep bobbing up all over the place like meerkats to see what is going on. The Hanoverians bring mortars; guns that fire shells, they have a round bomb with a fuse which you light, then drop the bomb into the barrel of the gun, put a match to that and fire the gun. The bombs fall among the Highlanders and set the heather on fire and, in the smoke, the Highlanders sneak off leaving the marines to be captured. In Edinburgh, the government expects the prisoners to pay for their food (true) and the commandant is surrounded by merchants demanding payment – another Dani deVito, maybe. Finally the commandant gets ordered to disarm the Highlanders and a troop go off. They get directions from one loyal? village and set off to find the bad guys. They stop to get their bearings and the sergeant asks the lieutenant what the directions were. ‘It’s between the Paps of ???, two hills like woman’s breasts.’ The sergeant asks, ‘What age was this woman, Sir. That hill over there with the cairn on top looks like a eighteen year old but the other one more like eighty.’
Now you can see what attracted me to write about the South African Five Shilling Rebellion in King or Kaiser and Shadows in the Veldt.