Two Naked Warriors With Swords
“If you are going to travel to 1735 you will need appropriate clothing. Morgan, you cannot take anything with you from this time period.”
“You can take the pendant and the box of course, but nothing from now, it could have devastating results for the future.”
“And these clothes will they be appropriate for 1735?”
Ula laughed. “Oh yes they certainly will be, but they may not be as comfortable as your jeans.”
Conall and Sloane suddenly came through the door, looking a little out of breath. A huge smile on Conall’s face took me by surprise. Mostly I realised because I had not seen him with a smile this wide before. It made him look younger.
“What happened? Are they gone?” I asked tentatively getting up. They looked at each other before exploding into fits of laughter. I stood somewhat perplexed. I could see nothing in any of this which could be considered funny. The look on my face and raised eyebrows was enough for them to stifle down their laughter, but not the wide grins on their faces. I was not placated by their odd behaviour.
Ula scowled. “Ok, you wee scoundrels what did you do?” She stood with hands on hips facing the boys. Boys they were, as they broke into another round of laughing fits, hanging onto each other. “Out with it then?” She demanded.
“Weel we just had a wee bit of fun with em” Conall blurted.
Sloane added. “There were four of them oot the front. As soon as they caught an eyeful of Conall and me with no a stitch on, with swords in our hands yelling our war cry their faces went pasty like. They dived in to their car. Conall rolled it across yon road into Godfrey’s paddock. It landed in a large bog of cow dung upside doon. Then the lad ere, spun the car a few times, with bein’ on its roof like. By the time the clorties got oot they were fair dizzy an up to their knees in cow shite.”
“It was no ma fault they wouldnae get out the car!” Added Conall grinning from ear to ear. He was however thinking that there would have been nothing he would have like better than to cut them to shreds, especially Joe. He also knew that Sloane would have enjoyed having done so as well. However, in this time period slicing someone to shreds with a sword was not done.
Sloane continued. “Another three clorties were coming doon the road. When they saw the lad an me naked waving our swords they took off back to their car, parked way up oot front of Hashley’s.” The two broke in another round of side splitting laughs. Tears rolling down Sloane’s face.
“Mr Foley’s hoonds came tearing across the field to chase the galoots, nipping at their behinds with them screaming like wee lasses. Seven of the wee bampots squeezed inta one wee car wit legs an arms hangin’ oot windows trying to shake the hoonds off. They sped away pitching up the road, zig zag like.” Sloane spluttered in between more upsurges of guffaws.
Ula had been laughing from mid-way through the story. With all three nearly tearing the roof of the cottage with their chortle I couldn’t hold back either. It was the first time that I had seen Conall laugh, and laugh with gusto. It was a beguiling sight. He caught my eye and I looked away.
It took some time before the laughter calmed down. Sloane and Conall reminiscing the details of the car spinning like a top in cow dung. Once everyone had calmed down Ula made a pot of strong tea. Now it was time for the serious talk of how, when and where to go. It was decided that the time to go, was just before midnight.
Ula disappeared and returned with a bag of clothes for me to wear, and a tapestry bag to put the box in. The pendant I would wear under my clothing, if any Brollachans came near I would feel the warmth against my skin, without anyone seeing the stones light up. The last thing I wanted was for someone in the eighteenth century mistaking me for a witch, and tethering me to a wood pyre for a smash up BBQ.
Ula took me into the bedroom and carefully laid the clothing on the bed. Asking me to undress. Before I did I retrieved my mother’s scarf from the box and handed it to her.
“Aunt I think my mother would have liked you to have this.”
A tear welled in her eye as she took the scarf and held it to her face. “Oh, thank you Morgan. I gave this to your mother as a birthday present.” Ula was overwhelmed to have something of her sister’s, even though she had given it to her. She swiped the tear from her face. “Ok now we need to get you dressed. Off with your clothes my love.” She said as she carefully laid the scarf on the bed.
I did as she asked. I handed her the pendant which she attached around my neck. Standing before her naked she dressed me first in a soft cotton white sark coming to just below the knee. Then knitted red stockings held up with black garters. She pulled a heavy deep blue pleated petticoat over my head, tying at the back. Next what she called stays. A corset of sorts, which was a soft grey with white horizontal stripes that laced up at the back. Fairly tightly I might add.
On top of what I was already wearing she tied what she called pockets that fastened around my waist. She explained that things could be hidden in the pockets easily accessed by slits in the dress. A dress? Did I not already have enough clothes on? Next came a long-clothed tube that resembled the sort of thing you put on the floor behind the door to keep out drafts.
“This will accentuate your hips love. Very fashionable in the eighteenth century.” Ula smiled as she tied the ribbons of each end to the front of my waist.
“Accentuate my hips. Really?” The shape of my body was not exactly skinny. I did have a decent pair of hips. I had once been called athletically curvy, well the shopkeeper who fitted me for my last bra had stated such. So why it was thought they needed further emphasizing was in my opinion outlandish.
Next came a second dark blue and black checkered woolen skirt, with slits lined that lined up above the slits in the pockets. On top of that she placed a fichu so she called it. A large square neckerchief folded into a triangle with the point down the back. Ula said it was to protect the gown above it from the skin, and to conceal the cleavage. Oh God forbid I should show off the swell of a boob or two. Then came a sleeved jacket skirt in dark blue. The jacket laced up the front. The skirt had a missing panel down the front. As if that wasn’t enough she stuffed a stiff piece of embroidered material called a stomacher down behind the lacing at the front of the jacket.
“Almost done love.” She ignored my twitching at the amount of clothing I was being laced into.
“Please don’t tell me there is yet another skirt to put on?”
“No, love just your shoes, earasaid and cloak.”
Ula didn’t answer me but shoved what felt like a pair of tight leather flat shoes on my feet. Not the most comfortable of footwear. Thin as paper they pinched my toes. A woolen type plaid of light green, black, white, red and blue, which apparently was the Sutherland tartan came next. A wide leather belt went around my waist over the centre length of the earasaid.
The top half of the earasaid was brought over my shoulders clasped at the front of my left shoulder with a beautiful round metal broach. Celtic designs covered the broach with a thistle in the centre, and four beautiful green crystal gem stones situated at the top, bottom and sides.
Lastly a heavy velvet green cloak with a wide hood was tied under my chin. When Ula had finished with my apparel I was motioned to sit on the bed. She plaited my hair and then pinned it up around my head. Standing back from me she clasped her hands in front of her.
“Oh, Morgan you do look beautiful.”
Opening one of the cupboard doors revealed a mirror. Something I hadn’t noticed before. Looking at myself in the mirror I was certainly different. The clothes were however cumbrous and heavy.
“Well shall we go into the other room now. I’m sure Conall is near ready to leave.” said Ula
“Er…aunt? Do you not think you have forgotten something? I mean I am wearing enough clothing to dress an entire family, but I do seem to be missing something.”
“Oh, what have I forgotten?” She said looking around the room.
“Aunt, where are my knickers?”
Ula laughed. “You don’t wear them. Not in the eighteenth century. I do believe they wore something like pantaloons in France at the time but not in Scotland. Don’t worry you won’t even know you haven’t got them on.”
“Oh yes I will. It will…get…drafty down there.” I argued “Why does Conall get to wear undies but I don’t. Sounds like prejudice to me.”
“Conall? he doesn’t wear underwear either.”
“What! you mean he is naked under his kilt. What if the wind blows. His nether regions could scar kids for the rest of their lives.”
“Morgan have you never read anything about the fact that Scots men don’t wear anything under their kilts?”
“Sure, but that was in past centuries.”
Ula gave me a quizzical look, eyebrows raised. “And where do you think you are going?”
“Oh, of course. I’m a dolt, aren’t I?”
“Love, I have asked myself how I would have handled the information you have been given, not to mention on the tail end of the shocking beating you received. I don’t think I would have dealt with it as well as you have.” she said giving me a hug. “Now shall we go see what the boys think of your outfit.”
When we entered the main room, I was truly surprised to see Conall had also changed. He wore a fresh kilt and plaid in the same tartan as my earasaid, a white open necked linen shirt with billowing sleeves to the cuffs, leather jerkin, sporran and a wide leather belt around his waist, with another over his right shoulder. Leather boots and stockings. A sword was strapped to his back and another at his side. His hair was tied back with a piece of leather thong. He looked like an authentic highland warrior.
He had a pendant around his neck hanging from a thick silver chain. Unlike mine his was a round metal disk with a large ruby in the centre. A similar ruby to one that was centred in the hilt of his back sword.
“Conall you have swords?” I enquired.
“Aye lass this ere is a sword.” He said putting his hand on the sword at his side. “This one ere is called a claymore.” He pointed to the one on his back. Looking at my cloak he said, “Ye ken that green is the royal colour of the Tuatha. Ye look bonny lass.”
“Bonny! I am clothed to within an inch of my life.” I whined squirming in the clothes. It was then I noticed several knives stuck down in Conall’s boots. “Well at least you are well armed.” Conall pulled out a small jeweled handled knife from his sporran and held it out to me.
“What’s the knife for?”
“It no a knife it’s a sgian dubh, for ye protection.”
“Right, ok then. And what would you like me to do with this skee-an-doo?”
“Put it in ye wee pocket, the one hidden in ye skirt.” he pointed to my skirt.
“Okay, thank you, that’s very thoughtful of you. That’s of course if I can find the pocket again under all these folds.” I cast a questioning look at Ula. She took the knife and slipped it into the hidden pocket beneath my skirt effortlessly.
Conall stood feet astride, arms folded in front of him, dressed in his kilt and weapons he looked very much like the formidable warrior, Ula had spoken of earlier. Not to mention intimidating, striking, fierce, and downright magnificent. Best not go there I reminded myself.
Well one thing was for sure, I wasn’t going to be cold. I hoped that the weather wasn’t going to be too hot or I will surely melt into the landscape.
“I see you have two sgian dubhs in your boots, do you have any others hidden away on you?” I wondered just how armed he actually was.
Conall laughed again. “They are no sgian dubhs these are dirks. Dirks are a wee bit bigger and heavier. I dinna think ye would like the weight of a dirk in ye skirts.
Just then Sloane came in the door. I hadn’t realized he hadn’t been in the room.
“Ock, lass ye look mighty bonny. Ula do ye no think she is the spitting image of your ma?” Ula nodded looking mawkish as she eyed me from head to toe.
“That she does love, that she does.”
“Lass I thought ye would like these to take with ye.” he said as he held out my favourite crossbow.
“Abbey! But how, how did you manage to get Abbey from the training room? thank you so much.” I was beyond thankful. The crossbow was a gift from Duffy. Although the bow was made in the middle ages, he had, had ram’s heads carved onto the ends of the recurve bow. The rams representing my Aries star sign. Sloane also handed me the leather quiver that held the wooden bolts I had carved myself in the quiet and peace of my training room.
The recurve of the crossbow was made of several layers of wood from the yew tree and horn, and although most from the middle ages had a span of two to three feet, this one was smaller. More apropos to my arm length. The string was made of hemp which had been soaked in glue to protect it from moisture. Being a light crossbow, it could be pulled by hand. She was fast to load and fast to shoot.