Loch Lomond

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Violating the Law

"Peace Mauricio, you are charged with violating the Prince's laws. Therefore we relieve you of your duties and student, and sentence you to death," Manuel read the document with his trembling old wrinkled hands.
      In Spain, the government was ruled by a family, each father teaching their sons the way of the law. Their only order was to obey the princes. And Peace had failed, now being seen more of a threat than a student.
      "I did nothing wrong," Peace's knees gave out from under him. Kneeling on the cold marble floor made his body ache. He sat down on his feet, "I can't ask for forgiveness because I knew it wasn't wrong, there is nothing wrong with what I had done!"
      Behind Manuel, stood the other many princes and their students. Peace's family joining them. Pacorro stood by his obedient son, Patricio. Who watched his younger brother in pity.
      "You broke our law! We don't stand for this disobedience!" Manuel snapped, he went back to reading the document after fixing the glasses set on the bridge of his nose. "Peace Mauricio will be hung in the morning. Guards, take him away."
      "No I-" Patricio stumbled forward, paralyzed in fear by what he had just done. He felt the weight of all the prince's eyes on him. His eyes locked on Peace's. His jaw locked in place as he only had a minute to fix his mistake. "I... I'm disappointed, Peace," He corrected. "You couldn't have kept a simple law."
     Peace was lifted to his feet. He shot a glare at Patricio, "You're more disappointed in yourself then you are of me."

"Alright, Mr. Lefebvre. I pulled you into my office because I've considered a list of questions about your registration," Mrs. McCullough straightened her glasses on the bridge of her nose. She took the papers, reading over her first question. "Your former education: homeschool?"
      Torrance nodded, "Aye."
      "I see, your mother taught you?" McCullough asked.
      "I dinnae what to call her. She ain't my mother, so she's called Aunt Cora," Torrance kept calm knowing he had done nothing in trouble. He hadn't even gotten into the school and was already called to the headmaster's office.
      "And it says here you served the army. Where were you drafted?"
      Torrance hesitated, "Navy. Coal sea," He answered. "I just got back."
      Mrs. McCullough frowned a little. "And you still won't be serving?" She asked.
      "No-" Torrance cleared his throat. "A'm done playin' American. Next question, please."
      McCullough nodded, looking down at her list of questions. "You put two major classes you'd like to take. Detective work along with Horse-back. Explain, why those two classes? And if you have a horse."
      "Aye, I want to work for Scotland Yard!" Torrance's attitude lifted. "A policeman or not. I love the country. Makin' a safer country is my dream. I also have a horse, recon, not a racin' horse. MacCrumb loves Scotland as much as any horse."
      McCullough frowned. "Not a racing horse?"
      "Aye. He's a wee bit big. Taller than anythin', I had no idea his breed was Clydesdale or I would have taken him back. However, to even the odds I got myself a Shetland, Mackenzie," Torrance spoke to her as if he was doing business while talking about his own children.
      "So you have one larger horse and another very small horse? Those aren't racing horses. Do you know how to race horses?" McCullough asked.
     "Course I know! Horses and deaths; that's my passion," He snorted. "Any more questions, Mrs. McCullough?"
      McCullough looked down at the registration, "I hope you find other Universities in Britain. Have you tried Cambridge?"
      Torrance's eyebrows narrowed. He leaned forward a little in his chair. "Are ya rejectin' me, Mrs. McCullough?"
      "Other than being late to register, a former military man, and taught at home, I'm afraid you aren't ready for University. Have a great day, Mr. Lefebvre."

"Are yuh alright, lad?" The bartender hunched forward on his elbows. "Want a scotch?"
     Torrance picked up the banjo on the pub's stage, He sat down on the stage and began tuning the instrument. "Doin' fine enough, Lain... And A'm not thirsty."
     Lain chuckled, he cleaned the inside of a glass up and set it down on the table. "Ladies and Lads don't come here cause they're thirsty. Here, on the house! For serving with the America!" He began filling the glass with scotch, creating his own mixture.
     "Thanks, lad," Torrance started strumming his fingers along the banjo. Lain walked around the counter and set the drink down on the stage.
     More people walked into the bar for lunch. Torrance watched them come in, seeing the brokenhearted lads to the love-struck couples. He then spotted a familiar face walk into the pub, sitting down with her friends and family. His old acquaintance Mrs. McCullough.
      Torrance lifted his chin, an idea coming to his pretty head. He looked down at the banjo strings and started strumming a familiar song. "By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes. Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomon'. Where me and my true love were ever wont to gaeOn the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomon'..."
       Lain rested on his elbows again, listening to the younger boy sing. A few of the other customers pulled their attention to Torrance. Including Mrs. McCullough.
      "Oh you'll take the high road and I'll take the low road, and I'll be in Scotland afore ye. But me and my true love will never meet again, on the bonnie bonnie banks of Loch Lomon'," Torrance played with a small smile. He sang the rest with the sweet memory of the historical loch.
     When Torrance lifted his head, he found Mrs. McCullough sitting in front of him. She smiled, crossing her legs. Torrance's music slowly stopped. They stood for a moment staring at each other. She touched her lips in thought, "Tell me, Mr. Lefebvre. Tell me the story behind that song."
      Every highland Scotsman knew it, the history behind the song was treasured. Torrance smiled back at the invitation. He set the banjo down and slouched. "Aye, let's see... Bonny Prince Charlie had traveled back at it again. In 1746 he was sailin' from France and landin' on Scotland ground."
      McCullough sat forward in her chair in sudden interest.
      "His goal was to train thousands of Jacobites along with many other clans, religions, etc. The plan was to take rise against the Britian's crown!" The way Torrance spoke made the story sound much more fascinating. "The fight was all for not. With many wounded, the Jacobites and bonny Charlie were taken down south."
      McCullough nodded, listening intently.
      "Now, at the end of all this, the song was written by a Jacobite, who was homesick and missing his bride who he left of the banks. He wrote to her, sayin' that he only wanted to stay with her as bride and bridegroom and that he misses her dearly- however, when the lad dies his soul will return to the place he most loves. On the bonnie banks beside his dear beloved."
      She was silent for a while. Mrs. Cullough swayed a little uneasy, she stood up from her chair and turned to walk away.
      Torrance took his glass from the table, circling the liquid in his hand. He looked up at her, seeing her turn back around.
      "You're an excellent story teller, Torrance. I look forward to seeing you at Breas University."


Edited: 06.12.2018

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