By 5 o'clock this morning a fair sized crowd of vegetarian and other enthusiasts had collected in front of the Royal Exchange to give me a hearty send-off. Punctually on the stroke of the hour I went away.
My action was not too encouraging to an onlooker. I was feeling rather stiff, one always does after a day's rest following a hard week's walking.
In spite of this I felt very strong, and decided to try and get to Earn Bridge (53 miles) that day.
The breakfast at Cumbernauld was splendid. By the time I had got fairly going again, the stiffness that held me at the start had worn off, and I improved as the day advanced. The dinner at Bridge-of-Allan (30 miles), provided by a kind lady vegetarian friend, was excellent. I shall never forget the look our kind hostess gave me at parting. She was wondering how I should fare later. In answer to her enquiry as to how I felt, and what I thought would be the result, I assured her that there was nothing to be alarmed at in any way, and that it was not now i question of beating the record, but how much I should beat it by.
With many wishes for my success, we left here at 2 o'clock, after a stay of 70 minutes.
A friend had walked with me from Glasgow to this place; he now returned after a hearty hand shake.
I had almost forgotten to mention that just before entering Stirling 3 ½ miles from Bridgeof-Allan) I noticed a sign-board directing to the field of Bannockburn.
The Wallace Memorial, just outside the town, looked majestic in the sunlight.
Auchterarder was our next stopping-place. Here we had a good tea, and enquired respecting hotel accommodation at Earn Bridge, and found that such a thing did not exist there, and were told that in all probability we should be obliged to go as far as Perth for a decent place for the night. Ever since dinner time I had cherished a secret longing that we should be obliged to go to Perth that night, and it happened just as I wanted it. The fates seemed to be favoring me.
By the time Earn Bridge was reached it was quite dark. Our advance agent met us with the news that if I wanted to stay here I should be forced to put up with very unsuitable accommodation and without a bath.
Would I go to Perth?
Did I feel equal to it?
Not only did I feel equal but my heart fairly leaped within me at the prospect; for I reckoned that by reaching Perth that night, a 11\ days performance was made possible, if all went well.
My agent friend gladly shouldered the portmanteau and followed me. By 9.45 p.m. we had reached our hotel, and by 11 were asleep in bed, at any rate I was, with my mind set on reaching Dalwhinnie on the morrow.