The Fury of The Quiver

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The Fury of The Quiver

Post by shennachie » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:53 pm

From Alistair Alpin MacGregor’s ‘The Peat Fire Flame.’ 1937.

About the time that dynastic differences were playing havoc with the ancient heritage of the MacLeods of Lewis, Neil MacLeod, uncle of Torquil Dubh, Chief of the Lewis, attacked the Morrison on the moor at Habost, but was defeated by them. While Neil was awaiting the arrival of reinforcement from Harris, the Morrisons betook themselves to Dun Eistein, whither Neil and his allies followed them during the night.

Unaware of the presence of the enemy in the neighbourhood of Dun Eistein, one of the Morrisons exposed himself unwittingly to ‘the fury of the Quiver’ a Celtic term applied to a special arrow never drawn from the quiver except in circumstances of extreme peril. Into the breast of this Morrison, a MacLeod in hiding shot ‘The Fury’. The victim’s cries were heard by his companions; and there hastened out of the Dun a certain Alan Morrison, the most valiant man among them, who leapt across the ravine separating Dun Eistein from adjacent cliffs, and craved that this cowardly assassin be handed over to him. But the MacLeods feigned ignorance of the incident; and it was Alan who was swift to reproach them with cowardice, since they had come to Dun Eistein under cover of darkness, and had begun their campaign before there was sufficient daylight to enable the opposing forces to distinguish one from the another. In common with Scandinavians, the Celts had the notion that to slay an enemy after nightfall was a serious infringement of battle etiquette.

The MacLeods ultimately conceded to Alan Morrison’s petition that, by way of indemnity for their unchivalrous act, the wounded Morrison might have the services of the physician accompanying the MacLeods. And, so, Alan tucked the enemy’s physician under his oxtor, and leapt back across the ravine with him to Dun Eistein. Nevertheless, the unfortunate Morrison succumbed to the wound inflicted by’The Fury of the Quiver.’
Chris Gillmore

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