We saw a good deal of my Gamekeeper this evening, who has been, fairly literally, in the wars. A gang of youths set on him the other night and gave him a very severe hammering. He has bruised ribs, bruised kidneys, a possibly broken jaw, and four teeth which may be dead. Due to being hit in the face with a plank while lying on the ground, you see. The boys in question are a group of known & recognised troublemakers, the Gamekeeper obviously entirely innocent, and the tone of the set-out indicated by the fact that the party doing the beating up filmed the episode on their mobile phones. “And here’s me putting the boot in …” The police of course promptly confiscated the phones and so have more evidence for this affray than they know what to do with, not even dependent on anyone’s say-so. It is all very sad; a clear case of a boy with a future being targeted by a group who have none, and are boiling with resentment that such a person as the AG dares to exist. Such is the common humanity of the local police that once the whole affair had ended up down at the local nick, the copper in charge personally congratulated the AG on having contrived to do a great deal of damage before they got him down. This has gone a considerable way to restore his amour-propre. His friends have rallied with anxious affection — we received a deputation of them last night, assuring us they were looking after him — and on the whole he seems considerably more bruised in body than in spirit, though we are very worried about his teeth. He came down here to fish this evening, and caught about 8 of the things — and was persuaded, I am happy to say, to put them all back. The aggressors have been remanded in Peterhead nick, which is reckoned pretty tough as nicks go; and what we, in the sense of society at large, are going to do with them in the long run, God only knows. The points where viking virtue come into this are two. 1) the sense of quiet pride at decking four of them before they got him down, and 2) that the morning after this lot, when he must have been as stiff as a board and in considerable pain, he got up at 5 in the morning to go to his new job. Now that is backbone.