It was a beautiful spring day, and although the temperature was only a few degrees above freezing, the sun was shining and the birds were singing. Algy hurried down to the beach, and perched on a lichen-covered rock, gazing out towards the hazy islands in the distance while the skylarks ascended over the dunes behind him, singing their wonderful songs to the sky.

If it had not been for the bitter chill of the north wind, he would have believed himself inside a picture postcard. On a day like this, it was hard to remember the dismal months of smothering grey Scotch mist, the constant rain and the battering winds of the West Highland winter. Now the world seemed bright and calm and full of colour – and Algy hoped that it would stay that way, for a while, anyway…

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