The bloody doings in Scotland in 1692 are the basis of a romance, of a historical retelling and of a deed that echoes in the names of the Campbells and MacDonalds. King William III (""the Dutch King""), and his demand for a sworn oath of allegiance from the clans, is not obeyed by the MacIan of Clan Donald until after its expiration date and Carnoch and other clan hamlets along the Coe River become the target for the Master of Stair who sends Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon with troops to wipe them out. The strategy calls for Glenlyon to quarter his men as guests of the glen while they presumably rest before they take Glengarry, who has never signed. Staying, they and the glen people become friends, work and play together, and it is a Campbell, Lt. Jamie, who sees the planned betrayal, keeps Fiona MacDonald in hiding, and deserts Glenlyon to travel 400 miles to London to get the ear of the King. A gallant act en route earns him the Marquis of Claremont's assistance and, in spite of prison and torture, he makes his plea for a pardon. He arrives too late but is able to help Fiona's brothers to effect the deliverance of the survivors of the massacre that is to keep the ""name of Campbell accursed forever"". A Highlands tragedy, this is served by an able narrator whose history and fiction are in effective balance.