p>The gled's cry rose once more, rose higher on the hill, echoed far off, and was twice repeated nearer head with a drooping melancholy cadence. Gaunt forms grew up straight among the undergrowth of trees, indifferent to the other pistol, and ran back or over to where the wounded comrade lay.
"Heaven's thunder!" cried Count Victor, "I wish I had aimed more carefully." He was appalled at the apparent tragedy of his act. A suicidal regret and curiosity kept him standing where he fired, with the pistol still smoking in his hand, till there came from the men clustered round the body in the brake a loud simultaneous wail unfamiliar to his ear, but unmistakable in its import. He turned and ran wildly for the tower that had no aspect of sanctuary in it; his heart drummed noisily at his breast; his mouth parched and gaped. Upon his lips in a little dropped water; he tasted the salt of his sweating body. And then he knew weariness, great weariness, that plucked at the sinews behind his knees, and felt sore alon
The writing in the opening of this historical novel is so ornate that I almost put it down. Overall, in fact, it takes a bit of effort but proves worth it.
Besides fulsome descriptions and involved dialog, the author apparently assumed his readers would be educated folk, so if you've a friend who knows Gaelic, Lowland dialect, French and a bit of Latin, put him/her on speed dial.
Otherwise simply guess your way through as I did.
It's a pleasant tale with references to incidents and politics of the uprising of 1745, covering some of the same events as Stevenson's Kidnapped and Catriona.
[I leave all ratings at 3]