Legends

Free Legends by Deborah Smith

Book: Legends by Deborah Smith Read Free Book Online
Authors: Deborah Smith
angry. “You said something about my clan once before. ‘Kincaid’ may be a Scottish surname, but it’s not traceable. I’ve paid experts to try.”
    “You didn’t have to
pay
. All you had to do was come to the right people yourself. We don’t take to foreigners sending their stooges to do a Scot’s duty for him.”
    He straightened ominously. “Are you trying to make me feel some kind of old-world kinship? You think I’d fall for that kind of hoax?” His next few words were pithy and obscene.
    Elgiva rebuked herself for telling him. He wasn’t ready to believe. “I’m not making it up, Douglas. I’m not trying to win your friendship with a lie.”
    “Right. I’m gonna believe
that
too.” His eyes flickered with disgust. “If I were of Scottish descent, my people would have discovered it.”
    “Only if you were of any clan other than the Kincaids. There’s not much history written on them, you see. Most of what is known are stories passed down among the other clans. Only a few ballads and poems mention the Kincaids. No more than that.”
    “I am
not
of Scottish descent!” He jabbed a finger through the bars at her. “Nobody knows how the first Kincaid got to America, or why, or when. Don’t try any sentimental crap on me, doll!”
    Elgiva drew her chin up and eyed him coldly. “The crown banished Tammas Kincaid and sentenced himto live the rest of his life in the American colonies. The year was 1722. Tammas’s clan had been destroyed on the crown’s orders, and all mention of their history taken from the records. Even their ancient clan charter was revoked. The Kincaids were no more—it was as if they had never existed.” She put her hands on her hips. “And
that
, Douglas, is how your ancestor ended up in America.”
    “You could have concocted a more sympathetic story if you wanted to stir up my interest.”
    “Aye, I could have made up all sorts of charming tales about the Kincaids. But I didn’t do it. I told you the unadorned truth.” She held out her hands in supplication. “But your people
do
have a proud history. Even their destruction was glorious. And if you’ll just listen—”
    “Here it comes,” he said sarcastically. “The hook. Forget it, doll. Save your legends to peddle to the tourists. After you get out of prison, of course. Ye Old Legend Teller. I’ll give you a booth.”
    She balled her hands into fists. “Why do you want to ruin something without at least trying to understand it first?”
    “I’m not going to ruin anything! When Douglas Kincaid does something, he does it first-class! The best gardeners, the best decorators, the best management. I’ll turn the MacRoth estate into a showplace.”
    “You’ll just be a foreign
laird
despised by all the dear people you evict from their lands and their homes only so that you can have privacy.”
    “They can move to another estate and pay rent there! Haven’t you ever heard of
moving
? Is that a totally unknown concept in your country?”
    “They’ve lived in and around Druradeen for generations!” She threw up her hands in despair. “You’re a fool! You’ll come to the same end as the rest of your kin, with your pride in shambles!”
    “My
kin
are in America, where their pride is very healthy, thank you.”
    “Och! I’d like as not get more sense out of a stone wall!”
    Elgiva wheeled and marched to the other room, then slammed the door behind her. Angrily she shoved pots and pans around on the stove. Forget the pudding, she told herself. She’d fry some lamb chops to a black crisp and then set them outdoors to get cold and hard. Let his pride gnaw on those!
    She lit a burner, flung a heavy skillet onto the stove top next to it, then dug her fingers into a container of sausage drippings and threw the gooey oil at the skillet. It missed and hit the burner.
    Elgiva jumped back immediately as flames shot up, but they caught her outstretched hand and ignited the grease on her fingertips. Like some

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