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Categories: More Ghosts With A Purpose
Scary Books: The Book Of Dreams And Ghosts
: Andrew Lang

It was one evening in the summer of the year 1755 that Campbell of

Inverawe {157} was on Cruachan hill side. He was startled by seeing a

man coming towards him at full speed; a man ragged, bleeding, and

evidently suffering agonies of terror. "The avengers of blood are on

my track, Oh, save me!" the poor wretch managed to gasp out.

Inverawe, filled with pity for the miserable man, swore "By the word

of an Inverawe whi
h never failed friend or foe yet" to save him.

Inverawe then led the stranger to the secret cave on Cruachan hill


None knew of this cave but the laird of Inverawe himself, as the

secret was most carefully kept and had been handed down from father to

son for many generations. The entrance was small, and no one passing

would for an instant suspect it to be other than a tod's hole, {158a}

but within were fair-sized rooms, one containing a well of the purest

spring water. It is said that Wallace and Bruce had made use of this

cave in earlier days.

Here Inverawe left his guest. The man was so overcome by terror that

he clung on to Inverawe's plaid, {158b} imploring him not to leave him

alone. Inverawe was filled with disgust at this cowardly conduct, and

already almost repented having plighted his word to save such a

worthless creature.

On Inverawe's return home he found a man in a state of great

excitement waiting to see him. This man informed him of the murder of

his (Inverawe's) foster-brother by one Macniven. "We have," said he,

"tracked the murderer to within a short distance of this place, and I

am here to warn you in case he should seek your protection." Inverawe

turned pale and remained silent, not knowing what answer to give. The

man, knowing the love that subsisted between the foster-brothers,

thought this silence arose from grief alone, and left the house to

pursue the search for Macniven further.

The compassion Inverawe felt for the trembling man he had left in the

cave turned to hate when he thought of his beloved foster-brother

murdered; but as he had plighted his word to save him, save him he

must and would. As soon, therefore, as night fell he went to the cave

with food, and promised to return with more the next day.

Thoroughly worn out, as soon as he reached home he retired to rest,

but sleep he could not. So taking up a book he began to read. A

shadow fell across the page. He looked up and saw his foster-brother

standing by the bedside. But, oh, how changed! His fair hair clotted

with blood; his face pale and drawn, and his garments all gory. He

uttered the following words: "Inverawe, shield not the murderer;

blood must flow for blood," and then faded away out of sight.

In spite of the spirit's commands, Inverawe remained true to his

promise, and returned next day to Macniven with fresh provisions.

That night his foster-brother again appeared to him uttering the same

warning: "Inverawe, Inverawe, shield not the murderer; blood must

flow for blood". At daybreak Inverawe hurried off to the cave, and

said to Macniven: "I can shield you no longer; you must escape as

best you can". Inverawe now hoped to receive no further visit from

the vengeful spirit. In this he was disappointed, for at the usual

hour the ghost appeared, and in anger said, "I have warned you once, I

have warned you twice; it is too late now. We shall meet again at