On 23 August 1826, two men met at dawn in a field just outside Kirkcaldy in southern Fife. Only one walked away alive. One was David Landale, a linen merchant and pillar of the community. The other was George Morgan, a soldier-turned-banker with a fiery temper.
The pair had quarreled over a bank loan, an argument that had led the banker to spread rumors about his client’s creditworthiness. The merchant had in turn taken his accounts elsewhere and written a stiff letter of complaint to the Bank of Scotland headquarters in Edinburgh.
And that is where it would have stayed had not Morgan’s temper got the better of him one morning when he struck Landale about the head with an umbrella in Kirkcaldy High Street.