National Geographic : 1965 Jul
the red deer and the grouse, the retreat of the solan goose, or gannet. The south end is gentler-rolling moors and arable land, a lush garden warmed by ocean currents. Here, a thousand miles far ther north than New York City, unbelievably, palms grow. All around, hugging the 60 miles of shore line, are villages with singing names, each a story in itself. Kildonan, Largybeg, Druma doon, Catacol. Inland there is only the rare whitewashed farmhouse, the shooting box, the stone pens for sheep. For there is no industry on Arran. It was a royal hunting preserve for centuries, and ancestors of today's 3,450 islanders lived off the regal favor, the sheep, the cattle, and the Dahlias Bloom Where an Exiled King Once Plotted to Regain His Crown From here Robert the Bruce, deposed mon arch of Scotland, rallied his followers in 1307 and laid plans to return to the throne. Sir Walter Scott visited baronial Brodick Castle while cruising western Scotland in 1814; he found "the situation of the castle very fine" but thought the gardens too for mal. The estate now belongs to the National Trust for Scotland and welcomes visitors. fishing. On the heels of the industrial revolu tion came the fashionable revolution that said a solid businessman should send his wife and bairns away for the summer. The Arranite built a small house and rented his farm to the cityfolk. Then he built a lean to and rented the small house. And if he were greedy, he rented the lean-to and moved in with the cows. At least that's what my father used to say when he was sour from paying the bills at holiday's end. No one tried to turn Arran into a conven tional resort. The native's attitude was "take it or leave it," a thrifty approach that pre served the island's beauty unsullied, the way we visitors wanted it. But all that was 20 years and a war ago. I could only pray that it had not changed. Porpoise Escorts Parthia to Brodick We neared the southern tip, and a porpoise came to greet us. Enormous in gray and silver, he surfaced and dived in our bow wave for a long mile, not ten feet from Parthia's flank. Past Whiting Bay. Past Kingscross. Robert the Bruce sailed from here early in 1307 on the road to Bannockburn and the founding of the Stewart dynasty. (It was Mary Queen of Scots who made it "Stuart" to suit her French ified tongue.) Past Lamlash Bay, the best anchorage for miles around. And then Brodick Bay, my own bay, the loveliest of all (pages 96-7). A two-mile cres cent of rock with the wide beach in the center, the village on the left hand and, on the hill above, the tiny fields quilted square by dry The Author: J. Harvey Howells, born and edu cated in Scotland, moved to the United States as a young man. A former New York advertising ex ecutive, he switched to writing in 1955. Since then he has produced numerous television plays and two novels. He lives in Brunswick, Maine.