THE HIGHLAND CLACHAN of Inveraray, little more than a cluster of whitewashed cottages huddled about the castle of the Duke of Argyll, lies among a wild grandeur of mountains at the head of the lovely inlet of the sea which was once the haunt of that delectable fish, the Loch Fyne herring. But the herring, for no known reason other than that it is unpredictable in its habits, had some years before abandoned these waters, extinguishing a profitable industry, sending the trawler fleet to Lossiernouth and Frazerburgb, leaving the village in all its native solitude. Dalcbenna farm, which I had rented, was some two miles down the lonely loch shore, and despite the remoteness of the scene, we fell in love with it at first sight. The farmhouse was a snug building, with nasturtiums and scarlet fuchsias climbing its grey stone walls; on all sides green meadows surrounded us; beyond were woods of alder carpeted with bluebells and mitred bracken into which, as we approached, a roe deer bounded; while above towered the heather-clad hills, source of a stream, filled with trout, that tumbled down in golden spate toward the loch.
For the two boys, aged four and seven, who really had no recollection of anything but city life, the place was truly a wonderland. Barelegged and in kilts, they roamed the woods in company with my wife, climbed the hills, bathed, boated on the loch, fished in the stream, chased the rabbits, gathered shells and starfishes on the shore, helped Will, the herdsman, to milk the cows, and Annie, the dairymaid, to churn the butter. For the mother and her sons, the day was one long, perpetual delight -- they grew brown as berries, ate