TAM O SHANTER

Robert backed away and shouldered the rifle again, aiming at the door. They could hear loud snuffling sounds, whuffling noises, like a large dog was sniffing outside the hotel. Then, whatever it was seemed to give up, and they could hear the footsteps fading away across the glen.

 

After a moment, Robert put the rifle down. He went into the bar and poured the three of them a large glass of whisky.

 

“I think we need this,” he said, “there's not a day I've been that frightened since I wrote Tam o'Shanter.”

 

Leah sipped the whisky, the peat-smoke flavour warming her.

 

“Yes, you did write a lot about the supernatural,” she said.

 

“Little did I know that I would become one of them,” he said, “that was a surprise. I can't say I regret it.”

 

“Some of us do not get a choice,” said Dorian, “What do you think that was, Robert? There is something going on here and I can't put my finger on it.”

 

“You're the detective,” said Robert, “at least, since last we met.”

 

“Yes,” smiled Dorian, “that was quite a night.”

 

The three of them sat in the pub, warmed by the fire in the hearth. It was quiet and calm, as usual; it was difficult to believe they had just been chased by a monster.

 

Leah yawned widely.

 

"I don't know about the two of you, but I'm beat," said Leah, "I'm off to bed."

 

Robert nodded.

 

"Let me know if you need anything," he said, "I'll keep watch tonight."

 

Dorian stood, smoothing out his coat.

 

"Thank you, Robert," he said, "We'll see you in the morning."