William opened the door to his uncle’s house cautiously and slipped inside. He looked around to see if anyone was there and gave a sigh of relief. Maybe they weren’t worried about him after all. He went into the kitchen and almost cried out in surprise as his mother materialized out of the darkness.
“Oh, William, I was so worried something had happened to you!” she cried, grabbing him up in her arms and looking him over to make sure he was all there. “Where have ye been?”
“Mother, I’m all right,” William assured her and gently took her arms from around him. “I have to talk to you though, where’s uncle?”
“I’m right here,” said his uncle, coming into the kitchen as well with a candle to light the room a bit. “William you have a lot of explaining to do. We were worried sick about you.”
“I can take care of myself,” William muttered as he sat down at the table to his mother’s insisting.
“Would ye like something to eat, Will? You must be starving,” she said.
“I already ate, thank ye,” William told her and she sat down next to him.
“All right, William, tell us what happened,” his uncle said with a stern look.
William took a deep sigh and started his story. “Well, after school, I went to walk around the town a little bit and I met up with young Selby. He was mistreating a young lad and then he came up to me and insulted me on my finery and tried to take my dagger. I told him he couldn’t have it and he drew his sword. I was forced to fight him or die, so I drew my dagger and we dueled.” His mother gasped at this and grabbed his hand.
“William, did he hurt ye?” she asked.
“No, mother,” he said. “I...I won, I’m afraid. Ye see, he thrust a blow at me and when I went to parry it, my dagger glanced off his blade and I stabbed him.”
William’s uncle turned his eyes skyward and he sighed deeply. William’s mother looked at him in shock.
“You killed him?” she asked in disbelief.
“I never meant to,” William told her firmly. “It just happened.”
“You can’t stay here anymore,” his uncle said, standing immediately. “You must leave this instant. The English will be here first thing in the morning looking for you. You and your mother must leave.”
“What about ye?” William asked. “They willna spare ye!”
“I have friends in high places,” his uncle told him insistently. “But you, dear lad, would be hung without question.”
“Where will we go?” William asked.
“We’ll go to my brother Richard’s house in Dunipace,” William’s mother told him. He could tell her face was pale even in the candle light. “Oh, William, I wish yer father was here.”
“Even he couldn’t do anything, Margaret,” William’s uncle said sadly. “But you must leave now. I will try to send your things on later. Dress as pilgrims, no one will notice you then.”
“Come, William,” his mother urged and they went to pack some clothes and things they would need on the journey.
William rolled all the things he would need in his plaid and tied it with two cords so he could carry it over his shoulder. Then he dressed in the drab robes his uncle had given him to wear. He took up his old dirk that his father had given him before he left and hid it under his robes in case they ran into trouble. He sighed as he took up his pack. He hated the idea of fleeing like a criminal but he also knew that it would be folly to stay and fight. He was only one, and though there might be some in Dundee who would fight with him, they would still not have a chance against the English forces, being untrained and undisciplined.
He went out of his room and found his mother and uncle waiting for him. His uncle took his hand and clasped it.
“Be safe, William. I hope to see ye again some day,” he said.
“Good bye, Uncle,” William said and embraced him warmly. “I hope to see ye again too.”
“William!” John shouted as he ran out of his room and threw his arms around his older brother.
“Be good, Johnny,” William said, hugging him tightly back.
“Come, Will,” his mother said. “We need to be gone. There’s only a few hours more before sunrise.”
“I want to come too!” John cried, clutching his mother’s hand.
“No, John. I’ll be back before long. You must be good,” his mother told him, and kissed him on the head. “Now we must go.”
So they set off in the dark night, the moon not even making any light for their escape. William couldn’t help the excitement rushing through him. It was not that he was glad to be fleeing for his life, but he had to admit that he had never done anything this exciting before.
They came to a river and they drank their fill and filled their canteens to the brim. It was only a couple more hours until dawn now and they were now a good few miles from Dundee. When the sun finally came up, they laid down among some bushes and took a bit of rest. They were soon off again within a couple hours, eating a hurried breakfast as they went.
Later that day, they took a ferry over the Tay and made their way to Dunfermline Abbey. They spent the night there then the next morning, they continued on their way to Dunipace.
So that's that! I am entering the contest this coming Monday so I am going to be really busy these next few days getting things ready.