The Appin Murder: The Killing of the Red Fox by Seamus Carney
The wild weather having delayed the proceedings, it was five o'clock before the blacksmith hung the body in chains and onlookers turned for
home through the gloaming. Margaret probably stayed overnight at Ballachulish House. She had bought sugar anda quarter pound of tea on
the previous day, presumably to serve to sympathisers at the wake. The laird had layed in six bottles of wine and spirits and a barrel of coal. No
doubt his fires burned late as the mourners drank to the memory of the man whose corpse was visible from the windows.
With its dark undercurrents of Jacobitism, intrigue, greed and revenge, this incident has captured the popular imagination. Theories abound as
to who actually fired the fatal shot at Colin Campbell of Glenure and brought down the wrath of Clan Campbell on the intransigent Stewarts of
Appin. The murder inspired Stevenson's Kidnapped and Catriona. Its consequences sent tremors into the hightest reaches of Scottish society.
Seamus Carney's work remains the definitive account of this still baffling mystery.