Last week sailing through the Sound of Mull to Tobermory, we passed Duart Castle. There, in the sixteenth century when only English kings divorced, and believing his marriage to be a disaster, Lachlan Cattanach, the Maclean chieftain, ordered his wife to be tied at low water to a rock which dries out. As the tide came in, he left her to drown and then sent a message to her brother, the Earl of Argyll, telling him of their sorrowful loss. The Earl sent a message back offering his commiserations and inviting Lachlan to visit and dine with him. Touched by his brother in law’s empathy, Lachlan accepted. When he entered the dining hall, however, who should be sitting next to the Earl of Argyll but his wife! She had been fortuitously rescued by passing fishermen.
According to the story nothing was said and the meal passed pleasantly. Indeed Lachlan was even allowed to leave at the end of it.
Revenge, it is said, can take a long time coming. In Lachlan’s case it took some 30 years, before he was found murdered in his bed!