Our conveyance to the McFee estate would be Lady Gweniverre, my black Morgan roadster. She was a bequest from Barrister Evans Steele, a schoolmate of mine at Edinburgh and a foundation stone of our local parish. The poor man died of a heart attack at the age of fifty-five, leaving behind no widow, no surviving children. The proceeds from his house and lands went into the endowment for the parish, but this bit of classic automotive craftsmanship fell to me.
"Rather sporty motor car, Reverend. I must say it fits you well."
I was always a bit embarrassed by this rather obvious trinket of luxury, but I usually good laugh it off. "It's far cheaper to keep than a missus, Colonel, and a good bit more fun to take out on a Sunday drive."
The first few turns of the starter brought Lady Gwen to life with that rather soft-spoken roar she had, almost a Scottish burr in her sound. The village itself is but a thatch of sixteen streets, a couple of lanes and but one alley, the alley that runs between the MacIan's Brewery and the Seafarer's Retirement Home - a gift of Sir Niles, the famous builder of ships who boarded his first vessel as a boy reared in this little hamlet by the sea. Thus the countryside came quickly for us, soon catching the road that follows the long run of stone fence that borders the moor.
We took a right at the three stately oaks where at one time the Methodist circuit rider would preach away in desperate tones of hell-fire and where even earlier, brigands and highwaymen were convicted and hanged. I reckon the Methodist parson arrived too late for those poor buggers.
About a half mile of dusty lane brought us to the very tidy farmhouse of Gordon McFee. Their collie dog, Burnsy, ran out to meet us, barking us to a stop. And as we did, Kathleen McFee came unto the porch in her gingham dress and her flour dusted apron. Smiling and waving. Ah, Kathleen was a fine figure of woman, mighty lovely and yet holy enough to be always treated with respect.
"Ah, Reverend Stewart," she called out in that bonnie voice of hers. "I see you have brought us a handsome stranger to welcome."
I waved and I smiled and I allowed the dog to give me a welcoming sniff.