I’d heard it said that a Scottish April is a fearsome thing to behold, but I never truly believed it until the night I lay dying on Culloden Moor. The chill of the wind cut through my sodden plaid, and the soggy squashing sound of English footprints as they walked echoed in my ears. I knew that I would die, but I wasn’t yet sure if I’d prefer to die at the end of a British sword, or by my own hands, by my dirk.
We had gone without sufficient rations for weeks before we reached Culloden, and we were all starving. As the hunger began to overcome us, and the Scottish wind blew colder than ever, we began to lose faith in Charles Stuart. Our Bonnie Prince had failed us, and we were only just beginning to realize that. He had failed us from the beginning, but our blind faith, and our fervent patriotism had filled our stomachs and lit the campfires that we warmed ourselves by. It was the night before Culloden, when my clansmen, Graham Mackenzie, grabbed me by my tartan and pulled me away from the light of the fires. It was dark, but I could still see the desperate look in his eyes as he clutched me. “I won’t stay,” he said, the words almost too much for his cracked lips and hollowed cheeks to muster. “Iain, I leave before sunrise, come with me, please.” I shook my head, almost angrily. “I am not a deserter. I promised to fight for Charles Stuart, and I don’t intend to break that promise.” His grip on me tightened and his eyes grew wide. “Think of your mother, Iain!” I