On looking for a stag and finding something else

Seventy five years ago today, a stalker was looking for a wounded stag on the upper slopes of Ben Avon, the sprawling massif on the eastern edge of the Cairngorms.

Allt an Eas Mhoir @copyright Graham Marr

Scanning the ground in the remote burn of Allt an Eas Mhoir, he found instead a badly decomposed human head. A little further upstream, he found the body of a man dressed in a dark suit with a light check. Nearby lay a plain walking stick and a brown leather attaché case.

The contents of the case were as follows:

  • one pair of pyjama trousers
  • two starched collars
  • one toilet roll
  • one pair of scissors
  • one box of safety matches
  • one receipt from Simpson’s two day coach tours

Also adjacent, on a small ledge of rock were found: a razor; a shaving brush; a bar of soap; a bowler hat; toothpaste and toothbrush.

Extensive police enquiries at the time failed to either identify the man or establish how he came to grief.

I find myself less interested in the life and death of the deceased than in the effect of this discovery on the stalker. We know nothing of either.




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