The Oban Times, 4 May, 1929
The Tree of Piping
Edinburgh, 29 April, 1929
Sir,–I have nothing further to add to mine which appeared in your issue of the 13th April, on the above subject, other than to say that if my “tree”be dead, it is not to be wondered at, after such a breeze from “Rory.” But let me tell him that the same tree is a very old one, and having weathered many a storm, Rory’s breeze, which has now blown past, has left the tree of piping flourishing in the sunshine.
With reference to “Alasdair Og,” Rory’s brother in adversity, I am sorry to tell him that I did not know Lord Jeffrey to whom he refers. My thoughts shrink from “narrow-minded men.” Nevertheless, I believe that if I tried I could give “Alasdair Og” a few verses of poetry in addition to “The Tree of Piping” above referred to.
My poetic endeavours, like my tree of piping, might not find a place in “Alasdair Og’s” narrow sphere, any more than in his companion, Lord Jeffrey’s, but there are many other readers of the “Oban Times” whom I make bold to say, would give them both a small corner in their large hearts.
“Alasdair Og” complains of not being able to follow the meaning of my statements. That is not my fault, but probably his misfortune.
When I think that there are thousands and thousands of lovers of piping, both at home and abroad, who read the “Oban Times,” and that up till now only two are disgruntled at what I have said, I shall leave “Alasdair Og” to work out mathematically in what proportion he and his companion “Rory” stand to the total pipers concerned.
In conclusion, let me say that I am not out for “glory” personally, which means nothing, but for the keeping alive the great traditions of the past, which are enshrined in the work and memories of the great masters in the tree of piping who came before me.
And further, I would say that when “Rory” and “Alasdair Og” come out into the open and signs [sic] their names, to their letters, I shall answer any other query which they may care to put to me.–I am, etc.,