"Do not lie to me, Mr. MacAlpin. I understand exactly why you wish to keep me. I am a pawn on your little board, just as I was on Lord Roderick Sperry's. I won't have it. Do you hear me? You will send me, with a guide, and I will be rid of this barbarian garb and of you barbarians. Descended from the Lords of Urquhart? I see no nobility in your face, or in your conduct. Feign your lineage all you like…"
Niall felt the wrath rise within him. He had a prideful weakness, he knew, and Alice Lourcy had uncovered it, he could see very clearly.
He rose from the table, to tower over her. To his satisfaction, he saw Alice swallow in alarm, as if realizing that she had gone much, much too far. "My Lady," he said softly, though with a seething edge to his tone, "no one, man nor woman, insults my breeding. Disbelieve me all you wish, but the blood of Angus MacGregor and Elisabeth Grant flows in my veins, and the blood of the Stewart High Kings in Edinburgh. I may not be noble, as you sassenach judge the matter, but I am not a man who tolerates such insults as you have just delivered to me. There will be no mistake about your remaining here until your father can send for you. Go over to the bed, and lie down upon it, and bare your bottom for a strapping."