The Gray Man by S. R. Crockett


A great adventure a story based on the historical feud of the Kennedys in 16th century Ayrshire. Mixing in the myth of the cannibal Sawney Bean. The language is mostly lowland Scots, and is a real delight.


Gray Man by S. R. Crockett – A great adventure.

Gray Man – a deeply funny book with an affectionately-portrayed narrator, a young boy. Launcelot Kennedy, who dreams of becoming a knight like his namesake.

A story of the historical feud of the Kennedys in 16th century Ayrshire.

The chapter headings are delicious. Entitled ‘The Adventure of the Garden’ and ‘The Murder Among the Sandhills’ and the like.

The story is reminiscent of the thrilling adventure stories of the period written by the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Jules Verne.


WELL do I mind the first time that ever I was in the heartsome town of Ballantrae. My father seldom went thither. It was a hold of the Bargany folk. He argued, sounder sense to give it the go-by. It came to pass upon a time that it was necessary for my father to adventure from Kirrieoch on the border of Galloway, We dwelt high on the moors, to the seaside of Ayr.

My father’s sister had married a man named Hew Grier, an indweller in Maybole, who for gear’s sake had settled down to his trade of tanner in Ballantrae. It was to his burying that we went. We had seen him snugly happed up, and the burial supper was over. And we were already in a mind to set about returning. We heard the sound of a great rushing of people hither and thither. Arms were hastily being brought from under the thatch, to which the laws of the King had committed them under the late ordinance anent weapons of war. Leathern jackets were being donned, and many folk cried “ Bargany!” in the streets without knowing why.


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