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With Their Dulcet Strains Holds His Sway Over Terra del Fuegans.

In new kilts and plaid and playing a pibroch of triumph on his pipes, John Farquharson [sic, should be Farquhar, Ed.] Macrae, formerly of Scotland, but now of Tierra del Fuego, strode the gangway of the Oruba at Liverpool recently, bound once more for South America. During twenty-two years, spent for the most part among the hostile natives of the Land's End of the Western Continent, John Farquharson Macrae clung to his pipes as he clung to his Scottish accent. When he had no human companion to converse with, his pibroch resounded over the waters of the Magellan Straits.

As a youth he left his native heath for Argentine and reared cattle. After a few years he found himself in possession of over 500 horses and a couple of thousand sheep.

These animals he trekked over 2000 miles, with the aid of a compass and chart, to Southern Patagonia. He watered and fed his flocks and herds by the way with only five men to assist him, but at the end of a year of hunger and thirst and fatigue he found himself in possession of a fine stretch of country over 80,000 acres in extent.

After leasing this land for ten years he sought fresh territory and trekked over into Tierra del Fuego.

He was the first Briton to penetrate into the country, and the natives resented the intrusion. The tall Aonas and the stunted Yaghans came in hordes, attacked his little castle and lay in wait for him with arrows.

An intrepid rider and an unerring shot, however, he would ride away concealed by the horse's body and shooting with deadly effect. For several years he carried his life in his hands, but at last the savages began to regard him with such respect and fear that they christened him "Sorto," the native equivalent for "the devil."

For some years past the Scottish pioneer has been undisputed monarch of Tierra del Fuego. where he has amassed a fortune. It is with the bagpipes that he rules.—London Mail.

Source: "San Francisco Call", 15 January 1905
Clipped: 29-VI-2013
Updated: 7-II-2014
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