MARYCLARE WRITES TO US FROM UIST, 1730/ St KMa (old Gaelic name, Hirta) is a group offour islands 110 miles west of mainland Scotland in the Atlantic Ocean, about fifty-five miles west of Harris, in the Outer Hebrides. It was evacuated at the behest of its inhabitants on 29 August 1930, after more than four thousand years of habitation. Readers might need to know that a stac is a rocky outcrop in the ocean. We have word of a bad time on Hirta. You remember winter two years back the year of the pox and storms. With her husband my sister Mary Rose had seven children--two thrived. One of those, my nephew Martin and his pa and other men and boys were rowed out to Stac an Armin to take razorbills and gannets, puffins and guillemots. Then came the pox and laid low all the men who could handle the boats. They haven't got a proper harbor so in stormy weather and in winter they must take the boats out of the water. the women as well, so no one The men were on the stac, or sick could go out to bring them back. The gales are
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 5, 1997
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