Gillebride MacMillan (Gillebride Mac'Illemhaoil), a native Scottish Gaelic singer and scholar from South Uist, came to Fort William and sang for the "Outlander" tour I took in early October of 2014. His voice may be familiar to those who watch the series as he plays Gwyllyn the Bard.
I listened to Gillebride's CD Air Forladh (On Leave) many, many, many times while writing this series. His songs, in Gaelic, put me in the right mood to feel I was in Highland Scotland, long ago.
"What do ye think of my wee Kiera's dowry, lads? Rich enough for ye?"
Laird MacKenzie, the Lord of Kintail, leaned back in his chair with too much satisfaction for Duff MacDougal's liking. He hadn't known Kiera was MacKenzie's daughter when they'd met and handfasted. He'd thought she had a croft they could share with his identical twin. Only after they'd made a babe did he discover Kiera had a 'wee tower'.
Handfasting wasn't good enough for the daughter of such an important man. Last night Duff's older twin, Malcolm, had married her in a formal ceremony, a plot hatched by their respective lairds. A few days before the wedding they'd discovered Malcolm would become laird and Duff his steward, which meant he'd be in charge of the day-to-day running of Kiera's small towerhouse. It would be a challenge, but he was confident he could learn.
They'd planned to spend the day in bed with their new wife, as well as the next few after that. MacKenzie had put off the usual meeting on dowry details until this morning.
Duff and Malcolm had just discovered why.
Kiera's dowry included a castle with a six-story tower and modern three-story additional section designed by a French architect. There were more than twenty separate chambers within the thick walls. In the large walled bailey were stables, kennels, a bakehouse, alehouse, and more. As his brother's steward Duff would be in charge of more people than he had brothers, which was saying a lot, as he had fifteen of them. And each of those people had underlings to do all the things he and his brothers had always done themselves or gone without.
The thought of such responsibility scared the h.e.l.l out of him. He'd enjoyed playing the laughing fool while Malcolm was stern and responsible. That life was over. The only one of them who had any experience and training in running a castle was Kiera. Duff had no problem taking her advice in private, but Malcolm often acted as if he had a stick up his a.r.s.e.
Kiera was an outspoken woman and the chance of sparks flying was high. Of course, a big fight could lead to great make-up s.e.x. And since Malcolm was her husband and laird, he must be obeyed. That could lead to interesting possibilities, including turning their new wife's bare a.r.s.e bright red. He'd much rather think of that than how he was going to get dozens of servants to do his bidding when he wasn't sure w
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