Three Boys

George Manville Fenn
Three Boys, by George Manville

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Title: Three Boys or the Chiefs of the Clan Mackhai
Author: George Manville Fenn
Release Date: May 4, 2007 [EBook #21319]
Language: English
Character set encoding: ASCII
BOYS ***

Produced by Nick Hodson of London, England

Three Boys; or The Chiefs of the Clan Mackhai, by George Manville

This time the Manville Fenn formula of peril after peril does not lead
us abroad but to an almost ruined castle on the north-west coast of
Max is the son of a London lawyer, from whom the Clan Chieftain has
been borrowing large sums of money and not repaying them, so that in
the end the Castle is distrained upon. Meanwhile Max, who has been
sent up to the Castle to stay with the Mackhais, has been put through
test after test of his bravery by the Chieftain's son and his gillie.
With this information the end of the story is almost predictable, yet we
read of peril after peril, and still we feel sure that this one must be the
A very good tale. NH
"Look here, Scoodrach, if you call me she again, I'll kick you!"
"I didna ca' you she. I only said if she'd come ten the hoose aifter she
had the parritch--"
"Well, what did I say?"
"Say? Why, she got in a passion."
Whop! Flop!
The sound of a back-handed slap in the chest, followed by a kick, both
delivered by Kenneth Mackhai, the recipient being a red-headed,

freckled-faced lad of seventeen, who retaliated by making a sharp
snatch at the kicking foot, which he caught and held one half moment.
The result was startling.
Kenneth Mackhai, the sun-browned, well-knit, handsome son of "the
Chief," came down in a sitting position on the stones, and screwed up
his face with pain.
"Scood, you beggar!" he roared; "I'll serve you out for--"
"Ken, are you coming to breakfast?" cried a loud, severe voice from
fifty yards away.
"Coming, father!" shouted the lad, leaping up, giving himself a shake to
rearrange his dark green kilt, and holding up his fist threateningly at the
bare-legged, grinning lad before him. "Just you wait till after breakfast,
Master Scood, and I'll make you squint."
The lad ran up the steep slope to the garden surrounding the ancient
castle of Dunroe, which had been built as a stronghold somewhere
about the fourteenth century, and still stood solid on its rocky
foundation; a square, keep-like edifice, with a round tower at each
corner, mouldering, with portions of the battlements broken away, but a
fine monument still of the way in which builders worked in the olden
The portion Kenneth Mackhai approached had for inhabitants only the
jackdaws, which encumbered the broken stairs by the loopholes with
their nests; but, after passing beneath a gloomy archway and crossing
the open interior, he left the old keep by another archway, to enter the
precincts of the modern castle of Dunroe, a commodious building,
erected after the style of the old, and possessing the advantages of a
roof and floors, with large windows looking across the dazzling sea.
Kenneth entered a handsome dining-room, where the breakfast was
spread, and where his father, The Mackhai, a tall, handsome man of
fifty, was pacing angrily up and down.

"Sorry I kept you, father. Scood said there was a seal on the lower
rocks, and--"
"The scoundrel! How dare he?" muttered The Mackhai. "To take such a
mean advantage of his position. I will not suffer it. I'll--"
"I'm very sorry, father!" faltered Kenneth, crossing slowly toward his
frowning elder. "I did not mean to--"
"Eh! what, Ken, my boy?" cried The Mackhai, with his countenance
changing. "I've only just come in. Sit down, my lad. You must be
half-starved, eh?"
"I thought you were cross with me, sir."
"Cross? Angry? Not a bit. Why?"
"You said--"
"Tchah! nonsense! Thinking aloud. What did you say?--a seal?"
"Yes, father. Scood said there was one, but it had gone."
"Then you didn't shoot it? Well, I'm not sorry. They're getting scarce
now, and I like to see the old things about the old place. Hah!" he
continued, after a pause that had been well employed by both at the
amply-supplied, handsomely-furnished table; "and I like the
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