Blind Harry lifted his sheep's bag to his lips and took a gulp of the 50-year old Glen Glum single malt and licked his cracked lips; he cocked his head and listened to the unseen audience who sat around the fire, they were spellbound, as they should be, and then he continued with the tale: by the time The Lochlann had reached Glum Castle and sought an audience with old Torquil, three figures wearing black cloaks, flapping behind them like bat's wings, had reached the same point on the high shoulder of Ben Glum and were gazing down into the Glen – they saw the sun sinking into the distant sea, lights being lit in the Castle and village, and on the masts of the great Long Boats and War Ships: "we will rest here, eats some mondongo and catch a few hours sleep," said the tallest and burliest of the three, a fair giant of a man full seven feet in height and with three heads! - and the gasp sent a shiver down Harry's spine, it was the gasp of anticipation, of fear, and of commitment; they were hooked and he resumed the tale: it was The Red Etin of Ireland, the most feared man in all Scotland at that time, and the others weren't far behind him in notoriety, for they were Sir Parlane MacFarlane and his procurer, the Devilish Dominic Doubleday, the three most evil, cruel, rapacious and murderous men who have ever lived; they terrified the people of the land, had the nobility in their grasp and even mastered the King, and the only man who had ever opposed them was The Lochlann, for this was in the Godless Time before The Wallace and The Brus, when Scotland was a weak androcracy, a patchwork of separate Clans, each half-witted Chieftain believing himself temporarily secure in his own fiefdom, but fearful of his neighbours and each loath to Treat with another, and a drunken sot on the throne in Stirling, unworthy to be named as king, bestowing titles and sinecures on his favourites and lap-dogs, offering empty platitudes to the people, when he occasionally was able to stand upright without leaning on a shoulder or a table, so that the whole country was vulnerable to any invader from the South or traducer from within; the Red Etin and his cronies could travel freely for no single Chieftain had sufficient army to oppose them, except, maybe, just maybe, Torquil, Lord of the Five Seas, First Sea Lord of Westering Scotia, Duke of Gladys, Laird of Glum; but would he dare? what do you think? - and Blind Harry's pointing finger darted across the faces of his audience, finally seeming to settle on one: "what do you think, Alasdair?" - and the boy gasped, how could the Story-teller know his name? who he was? that he was even here? "so tell us, Alasdair MacCaroon? would you dare to stand firm against the Red Etin of Ireland, Sir Parlane MacFarlane and Dastardly Dominic Doubleday?" and the boy seemed to shrink into his cloak as the finger sought him and the black hollows where Harry's eyes had once been burnt out, seemed to penetrate his soul, and then the finger tapped Alasdair's forehead three times, and the boy's voice, strangled as it emerged from his constricting throat, squeaked: "yes! Yes! YES!"