This was the only time I can remember not getting on perfectly with my sisters. Every child hates lessons instinctively and the person who presides over them comes in for her share of dislike, but we were always great friends from the day I left school till the day I married, with the excep tion of that one holiday. That vacation was altogether not a success as I had to give up my examination through not being pro perly prepared. But in one way it was a
My father’s family came from Banffshire, he was a third cousin of the last Duke of Fife, a Duff of the red and not the black Duffs, with auburn hair, very keen blue eyes and an extraordinarily white skin. Only one of us was a red Duff and that was my sister Lily who married Gerald Collier, a son of the second Lord Monkswell. She was so typical that walking through a village in Galway, she heard a man say as she passed a cottage door, ‘ I f that is not a Duff face I ’ll eat my hat.’ She turned and went in side and said, ‘Who knows the Duffs here?’ And she found it was an old Scotsman who came from Banffshire, and they had a long talk. My own daughter, Anne Marie, is also a red Duff. When I first took her to Banff I was talking to the old tinsmith, Peter
M y father’s Duff ancestors, I am sorry to say, were on the wrong side during the rebellion of Fifteen, though the Grants followed their lawful lord and were mostly captured and sent to the Colonies as slaves. But John Duff of Bowmakellach (born in 1624 and son of Adam Duff of Clunybeg) was out with Montrose in 1645 and again in 1650 and was saved in a dramatic way. After the defeat at Carbisdale John Duff was made prisoner by Colonel Strachan’s soldiers and was being taken through the Cabrach, en route for Edinburgh. He was well known at the public house where they lodged, and gave a hint to the landlord to give the soldiers of his guard plenty of whisky, while he himself took care of the officer! When they were all thus asleep, John Duff went to the stable and finding one soldier asleep across the door, cut his throat with a penknife, took out a horse and mounted it. But to his horror when he had been riding for a short while he heard a thunder of hoofs behind him and knew
I met an American once, married to a Pole, I cannot remember her name but I know she acted the title-role in A Lady of Quality when it was given in London. She told me that she had known plenty of Duffs, Gordons, and Grants in Louisiana and other Southern states descended from Scotsmen sent out as slaves after the Fifteen and Forty-five.