1745: Charles Edward Stuart and the Jacobites by Robert C. Woosnam-Savage, Glasgow Museums, National Army

By Robert C. Woosnam-Savage, Glasgow Museums, National Army Museum

1745: Charles Edward Stuart and the Jacobites

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At theology college he was by far the youngest (and the brightest) but behaved like he was sixty-four. When he listened during student discussions, he’d crimp up that vealy face of his as if the words coming into his ears had been overseasoned, and when he spoke he’d half close his eyes, veins showing in his waxy lids, eyelashes fluttering. Whatever he said was inevitably patronising. Dux of the class, but really! Such unbelievable bad luck that he became a relative. ‘. . ’ ‘No! I need to fix the roof!

These pieces, which are still large, will then be craned to the shed for dressing into blocks. ‘Impressive,’ says Bradfield, in his crackly old voice, to Gilmore. Bradfield tips his battered hat onto the back of his head and looks up, shading his eyes with his hand from the glare. ‘You up there,’ he says to the quarrymen. ’ ‘Yes, good job,’ Ralph echoes. Bradfield twitches and walks off. By the time Ralph opens the door to his upstairs room at the Vulcan Hotel it’s seven o’clock in the evening.

Did the arm find the breeze chill? Ralph is restless. He stirs, and for a moment Marian thinks he’s about to wake, but then he seems dragged back into sleep, as if by something glimpsed which is compelling. And it’s true, Ralph is arrested, but not by what he’s seen. It’s what he’s heard. indd 36 2/4/08 1:46:58 PM The Great Arch The cock crows. The farm gate creaks open. Lennie Gwideer steps through. Lennie Gwideer is coming. Lennie Gwideer is nine years old and glad to be gone from the stitchedsmall paddocks of his father’s dairy farm.

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