The alarm had now spread through the castle, and the governor himself, followed by many of his men, came rushing down to the spot, shouting furious orders to the warder to raise the drawbridge, being in ignorance that it was firmly fixed at the outer end.
Archie and his followers were now hotly pressed, but soon a thunder of steps was heard on the drawbridge, and the whole of the band, together with some twenty or thirty of the fishermen, passed under the portcullis and joined them. Archie now took the offensive, and bearing down all opposition burst with his men into the courtyard.
The combat was desperate but short. The governor with some of his soldiers fought stoutly, but the suddenness of the surprise and the fury and vigour with which they were attacked shook the courage of many of the soldiers. Some, instead of joining in the fray, at once threw away their arms and tried to conceal themselves, others fought feebly and half heartedly, and the cries of “A Forbes! A Forbes! Scotland! Scotland!” rose louder and louder as the assailants gradually beat down all resistance. In ten minutes from the falling of the portcullis all resistance was virtually over. The governor himself fell by the hand of Archie Forbes, and at his death those who had hitherto resisted threw down their arms and called for quarter. This was given, and the following day the prisoners were marched under a strong guard down to Montrose, there to be confined until orders for their disposal were received from the king. For the next fortnight Archie and his retainers, aided by the whole of the villagers, laboured to dismantle the castle. The battlements were thrown down into the moat, several wide breaches were made in the walls, and large quantities of straw and wood piled up in the keep and turrets. These were then fired, and the Castle of Dunottar was soon reduced to an empty and gaping shell. Then Archie marched south, and remained quietly at home until the term of rest granted him by the king had expired.
Two girls and a son had by this time been born to him, and the months passed quietly and happily away until Bruce summoned him to join, with his retainers, the force with which Randolph had sat down before Edinburgh Castle. Randolph was delighted at this accession of strength. Between him and Douglas a generous rivalry in gallant actions continually went on, and Douglas had scored the last triumph. The castle of Roxburgh had long been a source of trouble to the Scots. Standing on a rocky eminence on the margin of the Teviot, just at its junction with the Tweed and within eight miles of the Border, it had constituted an open door into Scotland, and either through it or through Berwick the tides of invasion had ever flowed. The castle was very strongly fortified, so much so that the garrison, deeming themselves perfectly safe from assault, had grown careless. The commandant was a Burgundian knight, Gillemin de Fienne. Douglas chose Shrove Tuesday for his attack.