This case was about the interpretation of documents relating to a land transaction. Lachlan Maclachlan of Innis Chonnell, an ancestor of defender Donald Maclachlan, was arrested on account of his debt to Dougal Campbell of Edderline. Lachlan sought help from Duncan Fisher, the father of pursuer James Fisher, and the parties agreed to a three-part transaction. First, Duncan executed a bond of presentation attesting that he would present Duncan at a specified time and place or pay the debt to Campbell, plus a penalty. Second, Lachlan executed a minute of sale in which he agreed to transfer his lands to Duncan. Finally, in a note of depositation, Duncan and Lachlan agreed that if Lachlan paid his debt on the specified day, the minute of sale would become null and void. Lachlan did not present himself or pay the debt, and the minute of sale was registered in the sheriff court. For many years, Fisher and his heirs failed to obtain possession of the land, but pursuer James Fisher eventually raised an action for that purpose. In litigation, the parties disputed the nature of the transaction. James contended that the original parties had intended a true sale of the lands. However, defender Donald Maclachlan argued that the land transfer was merely a security, and that he could retain the lands by paying off the original debt.

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