In 1765, Darise Latimer sets out to discover the secret of his parentage in a perilous journey to south-west Scotland. He is kidnapped by his uncle, Redgauntlet, who is involved in a last, fictional attempt to restore the Stewarts to the British throne.
DUMFRIES. CUR ME EXANIMAS QUERELIS TUIS? In plain English, Why do you deafen me with your croaking? The disconsolate tone in which you bade me farewell at Noble House, The first stage on the road from Edinburgh to Dumfries via Moffat. and mounted your miserable hack to return to your law drudgery, still sounds in my ears. It seemed to say, 'Happy dog! you can ramble at pleasure over hill and dale, pursue every object of curiosity that presents itself, and relinquish the chase when it loses interest; while I, your senior and your better, must, in this brilliant season, return to my narrow chamber and my musty books.' Such was the import of the reflections with which you saddened our parting bottle of claret, and thus I must needs interpret the terms of your melancholy adieu.