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Scottish Fairy and Folk Tales
Fairy Tales Facts


THE FAIRIES OF SCOTLAND

The Fairies of Scotland are represented as a diminutive race of beings, of a mixed, or rather dubious nature, capricious in their dispositions, and mischievous in their resentment. They inhabit the interior of green hills, chiefly those of a conical form, in Gaelic termed Sighan, on which they lead their dances by moonlight; impressing upon the surface the marks of circles, which sometimes appear yellow and blasted, sometimes of a deep green hue; and within which it is dangerous to sleep, or to be found after sunset. The removal of those large portions of turf, which thunder-bolts sometimes scoop out of the ground with singular regularity, is also ascribed to their agency. Cattle, which are suddenly seized with the cramp, or some similar disorder, are said to be elf-shot, and the approved cure is, to chafe the parti affected with a blue bonnet, which, it may be readily believed, often restores the circulation. The triangular flints, frequently found in Scotland, with which the ancient inhabitants probably barbed their shafts, are supposed to be the weapons of Fairy resentment, and are termed elf arrow-heads. The rude brazen battle-axes of the ancients, commonly called celts, are also ascribed to their manufacture. But, like the Gothic duergar, their skill is not confined to the fabrication of arms; for they are heard sedulously hammering in linns, precipices, and rocky or cavernous situations, where, like the dwarfs of the mines, mentioned by Georg. Agricola, they busy themselves in imitating the actions and the various employments of men. The Brook of Beaumont, for example, which passes, in its course, by numerous linns and caverns, is notorious for being haunted by the Fairies, and the perforated and rounded stones which are formed by trituration in its channel are termed, by the vulgar, fairy cups and dishes.

It is sometimes accounted unlucky to pass such places, without performing some ceremony to avert the displeasure of the elves. There is, upon the top of Jlinchmuir, a mountain in Peeblesshire, a spring called the Cheese Well, because, anciently, those who passed that way were wont to throw into it a piece of cheese, as an offering to the Fairies, to whom it was consecrated.

The usual dress of the Fairies is green; though on the moors they have been sometimes observed in heath bro'ttn, or in weeds dyed with the stoneraw, or lichen. They often ride in invisible procession, when their presence is discovered by the shrill ringing of their bridles. On these occasions they sometimes borrow mortal steeds; and when such are found at morning, panting and fatigued in their stalls, with their manes and tails dishevelled and entangled, the grooms, I presume, often find this a convenient ex cnse for their situation; as the common belief of the elves quaffing the choicest liquors in the cellars of the rich might occasionally cloak the delinquencies of an unfaithful butler.

THE FAIRY AND THE MILLER’S WIFE

One day as a mother was sitting rocking her baby to sleep, she was surprised, on looking up, to see a lady of elegant and courtly demeanour, so unlike any one she had ever seen in that part of the country, standing in the middle of the room. She had not heard any one enter, therefore you may judge it was with no little surprise, not unmingled with curiosity, that she rose to welcome her strange visitor. She handed her a chair, but she very politely declined to be seated. She was very magnificently attired; her dress was of the richest green, embroidered round with spangles of gold, and on her head was a small coronet of pearls. The woman was still more surprised at her strange request. She asked, in a rich musical voice, if she would oblige her with a basin of oatmeal. A basin full to overflowing was immediately handed to her, for the woman’s husband, being both a farmer and miller, had plenty of meal command. The lady promised to return it, and named the day she -would do so. One of the children put out her hand to get hold of the grand lady’s spangles, but told her mother afterwards that she felt nothing. The mother was afraid the child would lose the use of her hands, but no such calamity ensued. It would have been very ungrateful in her fairy majesty if she had struck the child powerless for touching her dress, if indeed such power were hers. But to return to our story. The very day mentioned the oatmeal was returned, not by the same lady, bat by a curious little figure with a yelping voice; she was likewise dressed in green. After handing the meal, she yelped out, “Braw meal; it’s the top pickle of the sin corn.” It was excellent; and what was very strange, all the family were ad\ised to partake of it but one servant lad, who spurned the fairy's meal; and he dying shortly after, the miller and his wife firmly believed it was because he refused to eat of the meal. They also firmly believed their first visitor was no less a personage than the Queen of the Fairies, who, having dismissed her court, had not one maid of honour in waiting to obey her commands. A few nights after this strange visit, as the miller was going to bed, a gentle tap was heard at the door, and on its being opened by him, with a light in his hand, there stood a little figure dressed in green, who, in a shrill voice, but very polite manner, requested him to let on the water and set the mill in order, for she was going to grind seine com. The miller did not dare to refuse, so did as she desired him. She told him to go to bed again, and he would find all as be bad left it. He found everything in the morning as she paid he would. So much for the honesty of fairies.

SIR GODFREY MACCULLOCH

The Scottish Fairies, in like manner, sometimes reside in subterranean abodes, in the vicinity of human habitations, or, according to the popular phrase, under the “door-stane,” or threshold; in which situation they sometimes establish an intercourse with men, by borrowing and lending, and other kindly offices. In this capacity they are termed “the good neighbours,” from supplying privately the wants of their friends, and assisting them in all their transactions, while their favours are concealed. Of this the traditionary story of Sir Godfrey Hacculloch forms a curious example.

As this Gallovidian gentleman was taking the air on horseback, near his own house he was suddenly accosted by a little old man arrayed in green, and mounted upon a white palfrey. After mutual salutation, the old man gave Sir Godfrey to understand that he resided under his habitation, and that he had great reason to complain of the direction of a drain, or common sewer, which emptied itself directly into his chamber of dai's. Sir Godfrey Macculloch was a good deal startled at this extraordinary complaint; Lut, guessing the nature of the being he had to deal with, he assured the old man, with great courtesy, that the direction of the drain should be altered; and caused it to be done accordingly. Many years afterwards Sir Godfrey had the misfortune to kill, in a fray, a gentleman of the neighbourhood. He was apprehended, tried, and condemned. The scaffold upon which his head was to be struck oil was erected on the Castle Ilill of Edinburgh; but hardly had he reached the fatal spot when the old man, upon his white palfrey, pressed through the crowd with the rapidity of lightning. Sir Godfrey, at his command, sprung on behind him; the “good neighbour” spurred his horse down the steep bank, and neither he nor the criminal was ever again seen.

THE LAIRD O’ CO’

In the days of yore, the proprietors of Colzean, in Ayrshire, were known in that county by the title of Lairds o’ Co’, a name bestowed on Colzean from some co’s (cr coves) in the rock underneath the castle.

One morning, a very little boy, carrying a small wooden can, addressed the laird near the castle gate, begging for a little ale for his mother, who was sick: the laird directed him to go to the butler and get his can filled; so away he went as ordered. The butler had a barrel of ale on tap, but about half full, out of 1 Chambers, Popular Rhyrtes of Scotland, which he proceeded to fill the boy’s can; but, to his extreme surprise, he emptied the cask, and still the little can was not nearly full. The butler was unwilling to broach another barrel; but the little fellow insisted on the fulfilment of the laird’s order, and a reference was made to him by the butler, who stated the miraculously large capacity of the tiny can, and received instant orders to fill it if all the ale in the cellar would suffice. Obedient to this command, he broached another cask, but had scarcely drawn a drop, when the can was full, and the dwarf departed with expressions of gratitude.

Some years afterwards, the laird, being at the wars in Flanders, was taken prisoner, and for some reason or other (probably as a spy) condemned to die a felon’s death. The night prior to the day appointed for his execution, being confined in a dungeon strongly barricaded, the doors suddenly flew open, and the dwarf reappeared, saying—

“Laird o' Co',
Rise an' go"

a summons too welcome to require repetition.

On emerging from prison, the boy caused him to mount on his shoulders, and in a short time set him down at his own gate, on the very spot where they had first met, saying—

“Ae guid turn deserves anither—
Tak ye that for bein’ sae kind to my auld mither,
and vanished.

HABITROT

Iir the oM days, when spinning was the constant, employment of women, the spinning-wheel had its presiding genius or fairy. Her Border name wa3 Ilabitrot, and Sir. Wilkie tells the following legend about her:—

A Selkirkshire matron had one fair daughter, who loved play better than work, wandering in the meadows and lanes better than the spinning-wheel and distaff. The mother was heartily vexed at this taste, for in those days no lassie had any chance of a good husband unless she was an industrious spinster. So she cajoled, threatened, even beat her daughter, but all to no purpose; the girl remained what her mother called her, “idle cuttie.”

At last, one spring morning, the gudewife gave her seven heads of lint, saying she would take no excuse; they must be returned in three days spun into yarn. The girl saw her mother was in earnest, so she plied her distaff as well as she could; but her little hands vere all untaught, and by the evening of the second day a very small part of her task was accomplished. She cried herself to sleep that night, and in the morning, throwing aside her work in despair, she strolled out. into the fields, all sparkling with dew. At last “he reached a flowery knoll, at whose foot ran a little burn, shaded with woodbine and wild roses; and there she sat down, burying her face in her hands. When she looked up, she was surprised to see by the margin of the stream an old woman, quite unknown to her, “drawing out the thread” as she basked in the sun. There was nothing very remarkable in her appearance, except the length and thickness of her lips, only she was seated on a self-bored stone. The girl rose, went to the good dame, and gave her a friendly greeting, but could not help inquiring what made her so “long lippit.” “Spinning thread, ma hin-nie,” said the old woman, pleased with her friendliness, and by no means resenting the personal remark. It must be noticed that spinners used constantly to wet their fingers with their lips, as they drew the thread from the rock or distaff. “Ah!” said the girl, “I should be spinning too, but it’s a’ to no purpose, I sail ne’er do my task on which the old woman proposed to do it for her. Overjoyed, the maiden ran to fetch her lint, and placed it in her new friend’s hand, asking her name, and where she should call for the yarn in the evening; but she received no reply; the old woman’s form passed away from her among the trees and bushes, and disappeared. The girl, much bewildered, wandered about a little, sat down to rest, and finally fell asleep by the little knoll.

When she awoke she was surprised to find that it was evening. The glories of the western sky were passing into twilight grey. Causleen, the evening star, was beaming with silvery light, soon to be lost in the moon’s increasing splendour. While watching these changes, the maiden was startled by the sound of an uncouth voice, -which seemed to issue from below a self-bored stone, close beside her. She laid her ear to the stone, and distinctly heard these words: “Little tens the wee lassie fin yon brae-head that in a name’s Habitrot.” Then, looking down the hole, she saw her friend, the old dame, walking backwards and forwards in a deep cavern among a group of spinsters all seated on colludie stones (a kind of white pebble found in rivers), and busy with distaff and spindle. An unsightly company they were, with lips more or less disfigured by their employment, as were old Habitrot’s. The same peculiarity extended to another of the sisterhood, who sat in a distant comer reeling the yarn; and she was marked, in addition, by grey eyes, which seemed staring from her head, and a long hooked nose.

As she reeled, she counted thus, “Ae eribbie, twa cribbie, haith eribbie thou’s ane; ae eribbie, twa eribbie, haith cribbie thou’s twa,” and so on. After this manner she continued till she had counted a cut, hank slip,—a cribbie being once round the reel, or a measure of about three feet, the reel being about eighteen inches long.

While the girl was still watching, she heard Habitrot address this singular being by the name of Scantlie Hab, and tell her to bundle up the yarn, for it was time the young lassie should give it to her mother. Delighted to hear this, our listener got up and turned homewards, nor was she long kept in suspense. Tabitrot soon overtook her, and placed the yarn in her bands, “Oh, what can I do for ye in return?” exclaimed she, in delight. “Naething—naething,” replied the dame; “but dinna tell yer mither whae spun the yarn.”

Scarcely crediting her good fortune, our heroine went home, where she found her mother had been busy making sausters, or black puddings, and hanging them up in the Iran to dry, and then, tired out, had retired to rest. Finding herself very hungry after her long day on the knoll, the girl took down pudding after pudding, fried and ate them, and at last went to bed too. The mother was up first the next morning, and when she came into the kitchen and found her sausters all gone, and the seven hanks of yarn lying beautifully smooth and bright upon the table, her mingled feelings of vexation and delight were too much for her. She ran out of the house wildly, crying out—

“Ma daughter’s spun se’en, se’an, se'en,
Ma daughter’s eaten se’en, se’en, se’en,
And all before daylight! ”

A laird, who chanced to be riding by, heard the exclamation, but could not understand it; so he rode up and asked the gudewife what was the matter, on which she broke out again—

“Ma daughter’s spun se’en, se'en, se’en,
Ma daughter’s eaten st’en, se'en. se’er"

before daylight; and if ye dinna believe me, why come in and see it.” The laird’s curiosity was aroused; he alighted and went into the cottage, where he saw the yam, and admired it so much, he begged to see the spinner.

The mother dragged in the blushing girl. Her rustic grace soon won his heart, and he avowed he was lonely without a wife, and had long been in search of one who was a good spinner. So their troth was plighted, and the wedding took place soon afterwards, the bride stilling her apprehensions that she should not prove so deft at her spinning-wheel as her lover expected. And once more old Habitrot came to her aid. Whether the good dame, herself so notable, was as indulgent to all idle damsels does not appear —certainly she did not fail this little pet of hers. “Bring your bonny bridegroom to my cell,” said she to the young bride soon afrer her marriage; “he shall see what comes o’ spinning, and never will he tie you to the spinning-wheel.”

Accordingly the bride led her husband the next day to the flowery knoll, and bade him look through the self-bored stone. Great was his surprise to behold Habitrot dancing and jumping over her rock, singing all the time this ditty to her sisterhood, while they kept time with their spindles:—

“We who live in dreary den
Are both rank and foul to see,
Hidden frae the glorious sun
That teems the fair earth’s canopiet
Ever must our evenings lone
Be spent on the colludie stone.
Cheerless in the evening grey
When Causleen hath died away,
But ever bright and ever fair
Ai'e they who breathe this evening air;
And lean upon the self-bored stone
Unseen by all but me alone.”

The song ended, Scantlie Mab asked Habitrot -what she meant by her last line, “Unseen by all but me alone.” “There is ane,” replied Habitrot, “whom I bid to come here at this hour, and he has heard my song through the self-bored stone.” So saying she rose, opened another door, which was concealed by the roots of an old tree, and invited the bridal pair to come in and see her family.

The laird was astonished at the weird-looking company, as he well might be, and enquired of one after another the cause of the strange distortion of their lips. In a different tone of voice, and with a different twist of the mouth, each answered that it was occasioned by spinning. At least they tried to say so, but one grunted out, “Nakasind,” and another “Owkasaand,” while a third murmured “ O-a-a-send.” All, however, conveyed the fact to the bridegroom’s understanding; while Habitrot slyly hinted that if his wife were allowed to spin, her pretty lips would grow out of shape too, and her pretty face get an ugsome look. So before he left the cave he protested his little wife should never touch a spinning-wheel, and he kept his word. She used to wander in the meadows by his side, or ride behind him over the hills, and all the flax grown on his land was sent to old Habitrot to be converted into yarn.

THE TULMAN

There was a woman in Baile Thangusdail, and she was out seeking a couple of calves; and the night and lateness caught her, and there came rain and tempest, and she was seeking shelter. She went to a knoll with the couple of calves, and she was striking a tether-peg into it. The knoll opened. She heard a gleegashing as if a pot-hook were clashing beside a pot. She took wonder, and she stopped striking the tether-pig. A woman put out her head and all above her middle, and she said, “ What business hast thon to be troubling this tulman in which I make my dwelling?” “1 am taking care of this couple of calves, and I am but weak. Where shall I go with them?” "Thou shalt go with hem to that breast down yonder. Thou wilt see a tuft of grass. If thy couple of calves eat that tuft of grass, thou wilt not be a day without a milk cow as long as thou art alive, because thou hast taken my counsel.”

As she said, she never was without a milk cow after that, and she was alive fourscore and fifteen years after the night she was there.

THE ISLE OF PABAIDU

Theee came a woman of peace (a fairy) the way of the house of a man in the island of Pabaidh, and she had the hunger of motherhood on her. He gave her food, and that went well with her. She staved that night. When she went away she said to him, “ I am making a desire that none of the people of this island may go in childbed after this.” None of these people, and none others that would make their dwelling in the island, ever departed in childbed from that time.

SANNTEAIGH

There was a herd’s wife in the island of Sanntraigh, and she had a kettle. A woman of peace would come every day to seek the kettle. She would not say a word when she came, but she would catch hold of the kettle. Wien she would catch the kettle, the woman of the house would say—

“A smith is able to make
Cold iron hot with coal.
The due of a kettle is bones,
And to bring it back again whole.”

The woman of peace would come back every day with the kettle, and flesh and bones in it. On a day that was there, the housewife was for going over the ferry to Baile a Chaisteil, and she said to her man, “If thou wilt say to the woman of peace as I say, I will go to Baile Castle.” “Oo! I will say it. Surely it’s I that will say it” He was spinning a heather rope to be set on the house. He saw a woman coming and a shadow from her feet, and he took fear of her. He shut the door. He stopped his work. When she came to the door she did not find the door open, and he did not open it for her. She went above a hole that was in the house. The kettle gave two jumps, and at the third leap it went out at the ridge of the house. The night came, and the kettle came not. The wife came back over the ferry, and she did not, see a bit of the kettle within, and she asked, “Where was the kettle?” “Well, then, I don’t care where it is,” said the man; “I never took such a f right as I took at it. I shut the door, and she did not come any mere with it.” "Good-for nothing wretch, what didst thou do?" There are two that will be ill off— thyself and I.” “She will come to-morrow with it.” “She will not come.”

She hasted herself and she went away. She reached the knoll, and there wap no man within. It was after dinner, and they were out in the mouth of the night. She went in. She saw the kettle, and she lifted it with her It was heavy for her with the remnants that they left in it. When the old carle that was within saw her going out, he said—

“Silent wife, silent wife.
That came on us from the 'and of chas.
Thou man on th' surface o? the Buntill
Loose that black, and slip the Fierce.”

The two dogs were let loose; and she was not long tway when she heard the clatter of the dogs coming.

She kept the remnant that was in the kettle, so that if she could get it with her, well, and if the dogs should come that she might throw it at them. She perceived the dogs coming. She put her hand in the kettle. She took the board out of it, and she threw at them a quarter of what was in it. They noticed it there for a while. She perceived them again, and she threw another piece at them when they closed upon her. She went away walking as well as she might; when she came near the farm, she threw the mouth of the pot downwards, and there she left them all that was in it. The dogs of the town struck up a barking when they saw the dogs of peace stopping. The woman of peace never came more to seek the kettle.

WATER FAIRIES

The Dracffi are a sort of water-spirits who inveigle women and children into the recesses which they inhabit, beneath lakes and rivers, by floating past them, on the surface of the water, in the shape of gold rings or cups. The women thus seized are employed as nurses, and after seven years are permitted to revisit earth. Gervase of Tilbury mentions one woman in particular who had been allured by observing a wooden dish, or cup, float by her, while she was washing clothes in the river. Being seized as soon as she reached the depths, she was conducted into one of the subterranean recesses, which she described as very magnificent, and employed as nurse to one of the brood of the hag who had allured her. During her residence in this capacity, having accidentally touched one of her eyes with an ointment of serpent’s grease, she perceived, at her return to the world, that she had acquired the faculty of seeing the Dracm, when they inteimingle themselves with men. Of this power she was, however, deprived by the touch of her ghostly mistress, whom she hail one day incautiously addressed. It is a curious fact that this story, in almost all its parts, is current in both the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland, with no other variation than the substitution of Fairies for Dracse, and the cavern of a hill for that of a river. Indeed many of the vulgar account it extremely dangerous to touch anything which they may happen to find without saining (blessing) it, the snares of the enemy being notorious and well-attested. A poor woman of Teviotdale having been fortunate enough, as she thought herself, to find a wooden beetle, at the very time when she needed such an implement, seized it without pronouncing a proper blessing, and, carrying it home, laid it above her bed to be ready for employment- in the morning. At midnight the window of her cottage opened, and a loud voice was heard calling up some one within by a strange and uncouth name. The ter-rilied cottager ejaculated a prayer, which, we may suppose, ensured her personal safety; while the enchanted implement of housewifery, tumbling from the bedstead, departed by the window with no small noise and precipitation.

FAIRY TRANSPORTATION

The power of the fairies was not confined to unchristened children alone; it was supposed frequently to be extended to full-grown persons, especially such as in an unlucky hour were devoted to the devil by the execration of parents and of-masters; or those who were found asleep under a rock, or on a green hill, belonging to the fairies, after sunset, or, finally, to those who unwarily joined their orgies. A tradition existed, during the seventeenth century, concerning an ancestor of the noble family of Duffus, who, walking abroad in the fields, near to his own house, was suddenly carried away, and found the next day at Paris, in the French king’s cellar, with a silver cup in his band. Being brought into the king’s presence, and questioned by him who he was, and how he caine thither, he told his name, his country, and the place of his residence! and that on such a day of the month, which proved to be the day immediately preceding, being in the fields, he heard the noise of a whirlwind, and of voices, crying ‘ Horse and Hattock!’ (this is the word which the fairies are said to use when they remove from any place), whereupon he cried ' Horse and Hattock ’ also, and was immediately caught up and transported through the air by the fairies, to that place, where, after he had drunk heartily, he fell asleep, and before he woke, the rest of the company were gone, and had left him in the posture wherein he was found. It is said the king gave him the cup which was found in his hand, and dismissed him.” The narrator affirms “that the cup was still preserved, and known by the name of the Fairy Cup.” He adds that Mr. Steward, tutor to the then Lord Duffus, had informed him that, “when a boy at the school of Forres, he and bis school-fellows were upon a time whipping their tops in the churchyard, before the door of the church, when, though the day was calm, they heard a noise of a wind, and at some distance saw the small dust begin to rise and turn round, which motion continued advancing till it came to the place where they were, whereupon they began to bless themselves; but one of their number being, it seems, a little more bold and confident than his companions, said, 'Horse and Hat-tock il'ith my tup,’ and immediately they all saw the top lifted up from the ground, but could not see which way it was carried, by reason of a cloud of dust which was raised at the same time. They sought for the top all about the place where it was taken up, but in vain; and it was found afterwards in the churchyard, on the other side of the church.”

THE POOR MAN OF PEATLAW

The following is an account of a fairy frolic said to have happened late in the last century:—The victim of elfin sport was a poor man, who, being employed in pulling heather upon Peatlaw, a hill in Selkirkshire, had tired of his labour, and laid him down to sleep upon a fairy ring. When he awakened, he was amazed to find himself in the midst of a populous eity, to which, as well as to the means of his transportation, he was an utter stranger. His coat was left upon the Peatlaw; and his bonnet, which had fallen off in the course of his aerial journey, was afterwards found hanging upon the steeple of the church of Lanark. The distress of the poor man was, in some degree, relieved by meeting a carrier, whom he had formerly known, and who conducted him back to Selkirk, by a slower conveyance than had whirled him to Glasgow. That he had been carried off by the fairies was implicitly believed by all who did not reflect that a man may have private reasons for leaving his own country, and for disguising his having intentionally done so.

THE FAIRY BOY OF LEITH

The worthy Captain George Burton communicated to Richard Bovet, gentleman, author of the interesting work entitled Pandcemonium, or the Devil's Cloister Opened, the following singular account of a lad called the Fairy Boy of Leith, who, it seems, ‘acted as a drummer to the elves, who weekly held rendezvous in the Calton Hill, near Edinburgh.

“About fifteen years since, having business that detained me for some time at Leith, which is near Edinburgh, in the kingdom of Scotland, I often met some of my acquaintance at a certain house there, where we used to drink a glass of wine for our refection ; the woman which kept the house was of honest reputation among the neighbours, which made inf* give the more attention to what she told me one day about a fairy boy (as they called him), who lived about that town. She had given me so strange an account of him that I desired her I might see him the • first opportunity, which she promised; and not long after, passing that way, she told me there was the fairy boy but a little before I came by; and, casting her eye into the street, said, Look you, sir, yonder ho is at play with those other boys; and, designing him to me, I went, and, by smooth words, and a piece of. money, got him to come into the house with me; where, in the presence of divers people, I demanded of him several astrological questions, which he answered with great subtilty; and, through all his discourse, carried it with a cunning much above his years, which seemed not to exceed ten or eleven.

“He seemed to make a motion like drumming upon the table with his fingers, upon which I asked him whether he could beat a drum? To which he replied, Yes, sir, as well as any man in Scotland; for every Thursday night I beat all points to a sort of people that used to meet under yonder hill (pointing to the great hill between Edenborough and Leith.) Now, boy? quoth. I, what company have you there?

There are, sir, said he, a great company both of men and women, and they are entertained with many sorts of musick, besides my drum; they have, besides, plenty of variety of meats and wine, and many times we are carried into France or Holland in a night, and return again, and whilst we are there wo enjoy all the pleasures the country doth afford. I demanded of him how they got under that hill! To which he replied that there was a great pair of gates that opened to them, though they were invisible to others; and that within there were brave large rooms, as well accommodated as most in Scotland. I then asked him how I should know what he said to be true? Upon which he told me he would read my fortune, saying I should have two wives, and that he saw the forms of them sitting on my shoulders; that both would be very handsome women. As he was thus speaking, a woman of the neighbourhood, coming into the room, demanded of him what her fortune should be? He told her that she had two bastards before she was married, which put her in such a rage that she desired not to hear the rest.

“The woman of the house told me that all the people in Scotland could not keep him from the rendezvous on Thursday night; upon which, by promising him some more money, I got a promise of him to meet me at the same place, in the afternoon, tho Thursday following, and so dismist him at that time. The boy came again, at the place and time appointed, and I had prevailed with some friends to continue with me, if possible, to prevent his moving that night.

He was placed between us, and answered many questions, until, about eleven of the clock, be, was got away unperceived by the company; but I, suddenly missing him, hasted to the door, and took hold of him, and so returned him into the same room; we all watched him, and, of a sudden, he was again got out of doors; I followed him close, and he made a noise in the street as if he had been set upon; but from that, time I could never see him.

MIND THE CROOKED FINGER

Bill Robektrox, residing in Lerwick, soberly narrated this trowy story:—

“My midder, God rest her soul, tauld me this, and she nedder could nor wid ha’ tauld me a lee. Shii wis staying wi’ freends at Kirgoud-a-Weisdale; an' ee nicht about da huming ('twilight') da guidman was sair fashed, for da honest wife haed just haed a pirie baby. An’ noo, my lamb ’at ye ir (are), what sud he hear juist as he was gaein’ ta leave the lamb-house, but three most unearthly knock?, dp sam as it haed a been frae onder da grand. Noo, he kent na what dis could be, but he made a’ fast, an’ gangs up intil do corn yard, and as he comes in sight of the screws he hears a voice ’at slid tree times, ‘ Mind da crooked finger.’ Noo, his wife haed a crooked finger, and he kent ower weel ’at something wis gaen ta happen, for his grey neebors wis apon da watch for da helpless infant, or midder, or baith. So he comes into da hoose, an’ lichts a candle, taks doon da Bible, an’ a steel knife. He opens da buik an’ da knife, when such a roaring and trilling, an’ onerthly stamping an’ rattling, an’ confusion comes frae da byre as made da whole hoose shak. An’ a’ body fell a-whaaking (quaking). Noo, he taks da open Bible, and maks for da byre, an’ dem ’at wis i’ da hoos follows him trimb-ling an’ whaaking, only da wise-woman bein’ left with da poor wife an’ infant. Noo, whin he gets ta da door, he heaves in de Bible afore him, sticks da open knife in his mouth, edge ootwards, and da lowin’ candle in een o’ his hands. Da instant yon was dune da triilin’ an’ noise an’ din ceased all of a sudden, and da image ’at haed been prepared for ta pit i’ da place i’ da poor wife an’ innocent pirie lamb was a’ ’at was left i’ da byre. ‘ Weel,’ says da guidman, as he gripped in his airms da very likeness o’ his wife ’at da trows had left i’ da byre, ‘ I’ve taen dee, and I’ll use dee.’ Weel, he tuk in ta da hoose da image left by da trows, an’ it haed every joint an’ pairt of a woman. An’ my midder tauld me shii saw it, an’ da honest folk for mony a year, an’ der children after dem, sat upon da stock, or image, or likness; an’ things was set on it, and wood was sawn on it. An’ dat’s as true as I’m spekin’ to you, and no a borrowed or handed story; for my midder tauld me it wi’ her ain lips, an’ she wid no a tauld me a lee.”

“You have been often at the Gatehouse,” said Johnny Nicholson; “well, you’ll mind a flat piece of land near Enrick farm; well, that was once a large loch; a long way down from there is still the ruin of a mill, which at that time was fed from this loch. Veil, one night about the Hallowe’en times, two young ploughmen went to a smiddy to get their socks (of their ploughs) and colters repaired, and in passing the said mill on their way home again they heard music and dancing, and fiddling, and singing, and laughing, and talking; so one of the lads would be in to see what was going on; the other waited outside for hours, but his companion never came out again, so he went home, assured that the brownies had got hold of him. About the same time the following year, the same lad went again to the smiddy on the same errand, and this time he took another lad with him, but had the precaution to put the Bible in his pocket. Well, in passing the mill the second time, he heard the same sounds of music and dancing. This time, having the Bible in his hand, he ventured to look in, when who should he see but his companion whom he had left standing there that day twelvemonths. He handed him the Bible, and the moment he did so the music and dancing ceased, the lights went out, and all was darkness.”

THE SMITH AND THE FAIRIES

Years.ago there lived in Crosshrig a smith of the name of MacEachern. This man had an only child, a boy of about thirteen or fourteen years of age^ cheerful, strong, and healthy. All of a sudden he fell ill, took to his bed, and moped whole days away. No one could tell what was the matter with him, and the boy himself could not, or would not, tell how he felt. He was wasting away fast; getting thin, old, and yellow; and his father and all his friends were afraid that he would die.

At last one day, after the boy had been lying in this condition for a long time, getting neither better nor worse, always confined to bed, but with an extraordinary appetite,—one day, while sadly revolving these things, and standing idly at his forge, with no heart to work, the smith was agreeably surprised to see an old man, well known to him for his sagacity and knowledge of out-of-the-way things, walk into his workshop. Forthwith he told him the occurrence which had clouded his life.

The old man looked grave as he listened; and after sitting a long time pondering over all he had heard, gave his opinion thus—“ It is not your son you have got. The boy has been carried away by the 'Daoine Sith,’ and they have left a Sibhreach in his place.” “Alas! and what then am I to do? ” said the smith. “How am I ever to see my own son again?” “I will tell you how,” answered the old man. “But, first, to make sure that it is not your own son you have gut, take as many empty egg-shells as you can get, go with them into the room, spread them out carefully before his sight, then proceed to draw water with them, carrying them two and two in your hands as if they were a great weight, and arrange when full, with every sort of earnestness, round the fire.” The smith accordingly gathered as many broken eggshells as he could get, went into the room, and proceeded to carry out all his instructions.

lie had not been long at work before there arose from the bed a shout of laughter, and the voice of the seeming sick boy exclaimed, “I am now 800 years of age, and I have never seen the like cf that before.”

The smith returned and told the old man. “Well, now,” said the sage to him, “did I not tell you that it was not your son you had: your son is in Brorra-cheill in a digh there (that is, a round green hill frequented by fairies). Get rid as soon as possible of this intruder, and I think I may promise you your son.

“You must light a very large and bright fire before the bed on which this stranger is lying. He will ask you, ‘What is the use of such a fire as that' ’Answer him at once, ‘You will see that presently! ’ and then seize him, and throw him into the middle of it. If it is your own son you have got, he will call out to save him; hut if not, this thing will fly through the roof.”

The smith again followed the old mans advice; kindled a large fire, answered the question put to him as he had been directed to do, and seizing the child flung him in without hesitation. The “Sibh-reaeh” gave an awful yell, and sprung through the roof, where a hole was left to let the smoke out.

On a certain night the old man told him the green round hill, where the fairies kept the boy, would be open. And on that night the smith, having provided himself with a Bible, a dirk, and a crowing cock, was to proceed to the hill. lie would hear singing and dancing and much merriment going on, but he was to advance boldly; the Bible he carried would be a certain safeguard to him against any danger from the fairies. On entering the hill he was to stick the dirk in the threshold, to prevent the hill from closing upon him; “and then,” continued the old man, “on entering you will see a spacious apartment before you, beautifully clean, and there, standing far within, working at a forge, you will also see your own son. When you are questioned, say you come to seek him, and will not go without him.”

Not long after this the time came round, and the smith sallied forth, prepared as instructed. Sure enough, as he approached the hill, there was a light where light was seldom seen before. Soon after a sound of piping, dancing, and joyous merriment reached the anxious father on the night wind.

Overcoming every impulse to fear, the smith approached the threshold steadily, stuck the dirk into it as directed, and entered. Protected by the Bible he carried on his breast, the fairies could not touch him: but they asked him, with a good deal of displeasure, what he wanted there. He answered, “I want my son, whom I see down there, and I will not go without him.”

Upon bearing this the whole company before him gave a loud laugh, which wakened up the cock he carried dozing in his arms, who at once leaped up on bis shoulders, clapped his wings lustily, and crowed loud and long.

The fairies, incensed, seized the smith and his son, and, throwing them out of the hill, flung the dirk after them, and in an instant all was dark.

For a year and a day the boy never did a turn of work, and hardly ever spoke a word; but at last ono day, sitting by his father and watching him finishing a sword he was making for some chief, and which he was very particular about, he suddenly exclaimed, “That is not the way to do it;” and, taking the tools from his father’s hands, he set to work himself in his place, and soon fashioned a sword the like of which was never seen in the country before.

From that day the young man wrought constantly with his father, and became the inventor of a peculiarly fine and well-tempered weapon, the making of which kept the two smiths, father and son, in constant employment, spread their fame far and wide, and gave them the means in abundance, as they before had the disposition, to live content with all the world and very happily with one. another.

THE LOTHIAN FARMER'S WIFE

The wife of a farmer in Lothian had been carried off by the fairies, and, during the year of probation, repeatedly appeared on Sunday, in the midst of her children, combing their hair. On one of these occasions she was accosted by her husband; when she related to him the unfortunate event which had separated them, instructed him by what means he might win her, and exhorted him to exert all his courage, since her temporal and eternal happiness depended on the success of his attempt. The farmer, who ardently loved his wife, set out on Hallowe’en, and, in the midst of a plot of furze, waited impatiently for the procession of the fairies. At the ringing of the fairy bridles, and the wild, unearthly sound which accompanied the cavalcade, his heart failed him, and he suffered the ghostly train to pass by without interruption. When the last had rode past, the whole troop vanished, with loud shouts of laughter and exultation; among which he plainly discovered the voice of his wife, lamenting that he had lost her for ever.

REDEMPTION FROM FAIRY LAND

Near the town of Aberdeen, in Scotland, lived James Campbell, who had one daughter, named Mary, who was married to John Nelson, a young man of that neighbourhood. Shortly after their marriage, they being a young couple, they went to live in the town of Aberdeen, where he followed his trade, being a goldsmith; they lived loving and agreeable together until the time of her lying-in, when there was female attendants prepared suitable to her situation; when near the hour of twelve at night they were alarmed with a dreadful noise, at which of a sudden the candles went out, which drove the attendants in the utmost confusion; soon as the women regained their half-lost senses, they called in their neighbours who, after striking up lights, and looking towards the lying-in woman, found her a corpse, which caused great confusion in the family. There was no gnef could exceed that of her husband, who, next morning, prepared ornaments for her funeral; people of all sects came to her wake, amongst others came the Eev. Mr. Dodd, who, at first sight of the corpse, said, “It’s not the body of any Christian, but that Mrs. Nelson was taken away by the fairies, and what they took for her was only some substance left in her place.” He was not believed, so he refused attending her funeral; they kept her in the following night, and the next day she was interred.

Her husband, one evening after sunset, being riding in his own field, heard a most pleasant concert of music, and soon after espied a woman coming towards him dressed in white; she being veiled, he could not observe her face, yet he rode near her, and asked very friendly who she was that chose to walk alone so late in the evening? at which she unveiled her face, and burst into tears, saying, I am not permitted to tell you who I am. He knowing her to be his wife, asked her in the name of God, what disturbed her, or what occasioned her to appear at that hour? She said her appearing at any hour was of no consequence; for though you believe me to be dead and buried, I am not, but was taken away by the fairies the night of my delivery; you only buried a piece of wood in my place; I can be recovered if you take proper means; as for my child, it has three nurses to attend it, but I fear it cannot be brought home; the greatest dependence I have on any person is my brother Eobert, who is a captain of a merchant ship, and will be home in ten days hence. Her husband asked her what means be should take to win her? She told him he should find a letter the Sunday morning following, on the desk in his own room, directed to her brother, wherein there would be directions for winning her. Since my being taken from you I have had the attendance of a queen or empress, and if you look over my right shoulder you will see several of my companions; he then did as she desired, when, at a small distance, he saw a king and queen sitting, beside a moat,1 on a throne, in splendour.

She then desired him to look right and left, which he did, and observed other kings on each side of the king and queen, well guarded. He said, I fear it is aij impossibility to win you from such a place. No, 1 & rising ground, a knoll says she, were my brother Robert here in your place, he would bring me home; but let it not encourage you to attempt the like, for that would occasion the loss of me for ever; there is now severe punishment threatened to me for speaking to you; but, to prevent that, do you ride up to the moat, where (suppose you will see no person) all you now see will be near you, and do you threaten to burn all the old thorns and brambles that is round the moat, if you do not get a firm promise that I shall get no punishment; I shall be forgiven; which he promised. She then disappeared, and he lost sight of all he had seen; he then rode very resolutely up to the moat, and went round it, vowing he would burn all about it if he would not get a promise that his wife should get no hurt, A voice desired him to cast away a book that was in his pocket, and then demand his request; he answered he would not part with his book, but grant his request, or they should find the effect of his rage. The voice answered, that upon honour she should be forgave her fault, but for him to suffer no prejudice to come to the moat, which he promised to fulfil, at which he heard most pleasant music. He then returned home, and sent for the Rev. Mr. Dodd, and related to him what he had seen; Mr. Dodd stayed with him till Sunday morning following, when as Mr. Nelson looked on the desk in his room, he espied a letter,vsvhich he took up, it being directed to her brother, who in a few days came home; on his receiving the letter he opened it, wherein he found the following:—

“Dear Brother.—my husband can relate to you my present circumstances. I request that you will (the first night after you see this) come to the moat where I parted from my husband: let nothing daunt you, but stand in the centre of the moat at the hour of twelve at night, and call me, when I, with several others, will surround you; I shall have on the whitest dress of any in company; then take hold of me, and do not forsake me; all the frightful methods they shall use let it not surprise you, but keep your hold, suppose they continue till cock crow, when they shall vanish all of a sudden, and I shall he safe, when I will return home and live with my husband. If you succeed in your attempt, you will gain applause from all your friends, and have the blessing of your ever-loving and affectionate sister,

“Mart Nelson.”

No sooner had he read the letter than he vowed to win his sister and her child, or perish in the attempt; he returned to the ship, and related to his sailors the contents of the letter; he delayed till ten at night, when his loyal sailors offered to go with him, which he refused, thinking it best to go alone. As he left his ship a frightful lion came roaring towards him; he drew hi3 sword and struck at the lion, which he observed wa3 of no substance, it being only Uie appearance of one, to terrify him in his attempt; it only encouraged him, so that he proceeded to the moat, in the centre of which he observed a white handkerchief spread; on which he was surrounded with a number of women, the cries of whom were the most frightful he ever heard; his sister being in the whitest dress of any round him, he seized her by the right hand, and said, With the help of God, I will preserve you from all infernal imps: when of a sudden, the moat seemed to be on tiro around him. He likewise heard the most dreadful thunder could be imagined; frightful birds and beasts seemed to make towards him out of the fire, which he knew was not real; nothing daunted his courage; he kept hold of his sister for the space of an hour and three-quarters, when the cocks began to crow; then the fire disappeared, and all the frightful imps vanished. He held her in his arms, and fell on his knees, and gave God thanks for his proceedings that night: he believing her clothing to be light, put his outside coat on her; she then embraced him, saying she was now safe, as he put any of his clothing on her; he then brought her home to her husband, which occasioned great rejoicing. Her husband and he began to conclude to destroy the moat in revenge of the child they had away, when instantly they heard a voice, which said, you shall have your son safe, and well, on condition that you will not till the ground within three perches of the moat, nor damage bushes or brambles round that place, which they agreed to, when, in a few minutes, the child was left on his mother’s knee, which caused them to kneel and return thanks to God.

The circumstance of this terrifying affair was occasioned by leaving Mrs. Xelson, the night of her lying-in, in the care of women who were mostly intoxicated with liquor!

THE FAIRY AND THE BIBLE-READER

a still Sabbath evening in summer, an old man was seated, reading his Bible in the open air, at a quiet spot upon the Ross-shire coast. A beautiful little lady, clad in green, drew near, and addressing him in a silvery voice, sought to know if for such as she Holy Scripture held out any hope of salvation. The old man spoke kindly to her; but said that in those pages there was no mention of salvation for any but the sinful sons of Adam. On hearing this, the fairy flung her arms despairingly above her head, and with a shriek plunged into the sea.

THOM AND WILLIE

Thom and Willie, two young fisher-mates of Lunna, in Shetland, were rivals for the hand of the fair Osla, daughter of Jarm. Now it so happened that, one October afternoon, they took their hand lines and went out fishing together in their boat.

Towards dusk the wind rose, and it soon blew so hard as to compel the young men to run foi the nearest shelter—a haven in the islet of Linga in Whalsay Sound, which they happily reached in safety. The islet was uninhabited, and the fishermen had with them neither food nor the means of kindling a fire. They had, however, a roof over their heads; for there was a hut, or lodge, on the island, used by fishermen in the fair weather season, but deserted since the close of that period. For two days the storm raged without ceasing, and at last the situation of the castaways began to grow very serious. However, on the morning of the third day, a little before daybreak, Willie, who was awake before his companion, discovered that the weather had faired, and that the wind blew in a favouring direction. Upon this, without rousing Thom, he proceeded to the boat, which lay safely hauled up upon the shore, and by dint of great exertion managed to launch her singlehanded. Meantime Thom had awoke; and, at last, as Willie did not come back, he followed him to the noust, or place where boats are drawn up. And here a sight met his view which filled him with dismay. The yawl had disappeared from her place; but, raising his eyes, he beheld her already far out at sea and speeding before the breeze in.the direction of Lunna. At this sight poor Thom gave wav to despair. He realised that his comrade had basely and heartlessly deserted him ; he knew that it was not likely that the islet would be visited until the fishing-season should have come round again ; and he had small hopes of to help from any exertions on his behalf which might b« made by his friends, seeing that they would be in ignorance where to look for him. Amid melancholy thoughts and forebodings the day passed slowly, and at nightfall he betook himself to his shake-down of straw within the lodge. Darkness closed in, and he slept. But, towards the small hours of the morning, he was suddenly awakened; when great was his astonishment to see that the hut was lighted up with a strange illumination, whilst a queer inhuman hum and chatter, accompanied by the patter of many pairs of little feet and the jingle of gold and silver vessels, smote upon his ear. A fairy banquet was, in fact, in course of preparation in the lodge. Thom raised himself noiselessly upon his elbow, and watched the proceedings. With infinite bustle and clatter, the table was at last laid. Then there entered a party of trows, who bore between them in a chair, or litter, a female fairy, to whom all appeared to pay honour. The company took seats, and the banquet was on the point of commencing, when in a moment the scene of festivity was changed to one of wild alarm and confusion. A moment more, and Thom learnt to his cost the cause of the sudden change. The presence of a human being had been detected, and at a word from their queen tho “ grey people,” swarming together, were about to rush upon the intruder. But in this trying juncture Thom did not lose his presence of mind. His loaded fowling-piece lay by his aide, and, as the fairies rushed upon him, he raised it. to his shoulder and fired. In an instant the light was extinguished, and all was darkness, silence, and solitude.

Let us now return to the perfidious Willie. Reaching Lunna in safety, he related a tragic tale (which he had invented on the voyage), to account for the absence of his comrade; and, finding that his story was believed, he began anew, without much loss of time, to urge his suit with the fair Osla. Her father, Jarm, regarded him with favour; but the maiden herself turned a deaf ear to all his entreaties. She felt that she could not love him; and, besides, she was haunted by a suspicion that Thom, in whose welfare she felt a tender interest, had been the victim of foul play. Pressure, was, however, put upon her, and in spite of her objections, an early day was fixed for the wedding. The poor girl was in great distress. However, one night, when she had cried herself to sleep, she dreamed a dream, the result of which was that next morning she proceeded to the house of Thom’s parents, and begged them to join her in a search for their missing son. This, notwithstanding their love for him, they were somewhat reluctant to do; arguing that, even supposing him to have been abandoned, as she divined, upon one of the rocky islets of the coast, he must ere now have perished from exposure and starvation. But the girl persisted in her entreaties, which at last prevailed. A boat was manned, and by Osla’s direction was steered towards Linga, upon approaching which, sure enough, as the girl lifd predicted, it was discovered that the islet had a human tenant. Thom met his friends on the beach, and 'when the first eager greetings had passed, surprise was expressed at the freshness and robustness of his appearance. But this surprise increased tenfold when, in recounting his adventures, he explained that, during the latter days of his isolation, he had supported life upon the remains of the scarcely-tasted fairy banquet, adding that never in his life before had he fared so delicately. On their return to Lunna, the party were received with rejoicings; and it is scarcely necessary to add that Thom and Osla were soon made man and wife. From that time forward Willie prospered no more. The loss of his health and fortune followed that of his good name, and he sank ere long into an early and unregretted grave.

THE GLOAMING BUCHT

“Speakin’ o’ fairies,” quoth Robbie Oliver (an old shepherd, who lived at Southdean in Jedwater, and died about 1830), “I can tell ye about the vera last fairy that was seen hereaway. When my faither, Peter Oliver, was a young man, he lived at Hyndlee, an’ herdit. the Brocklaw. Weel, it was the custom to milk the yowes in thae days, an’ my faither was buch-tin’ the Brocklaw yowes to twae young, lish, clever hiraies ae nicht i’ the gloamin’. Nae little daffin’ an' gabbin’1 gaed on amang the threesome, I’se warrant ye, till at last, just as it chanced to get darkish, my faither chancit to luik alang the lea at the head o’ the bucht, an’ what did he see but a wee little crea-turie a’ clad i’ green, an’ wi’ lang hair, yellow as gowd, hingin’ round its shoulders, cornin’ straight for him, whiles gi’en a whink o’ a greet, an’ aye atween its hands raisin’ a queer, unyirthly cry, ‘Ilae ye seen Ilewie Milburn? Oh! hae ye seen Hewie Milbum % ’ Instead of answering the creature, my faither sprang owre the bucht flake,3 to be near the lasses, saying, ‘ Bliss us a’—what’s that? ’ ‘Ha, ha! Patie lad,’ quo’ Bessie Elliot, a free-spoken Liddes-dale hempy; ‘theer a wife corn’d for ye the nicht, Patie lad.’ ‘A wife!’ said my faither; ‘ may the Lord keep me frae sic a wife as that,’ an’ he confessed till his deein’ day, he was in sic a fear that the hairs o’ his heed stuid up like the birses of a hurcheon.4 The creature was nae bigger than a three-year-auld lassie, but feat an’ tight, lith o’ limb, as ony grown woman, an’ its face was the downright perfection o’ beauty, only there was something wild an’ unyirthly in its e’en that couldna be lookit at, faur less describit: it didna molest them, but aye taigilt5 on about the bucht, now an’ then repeatin’ its cry, Ilae ye seen Hewie Milbum? ’ Sae they cam’ to nae ither conclusion than that it had tint3 its companion. When my faither an’ the lasses left the bucht, it followed them hame to the Hyndlee kitchen, where they offered it yowe brose, but it wad na tak’ onything, till at last a neer-do-weel Gallant made as if he wad grip it wi’ a pair o’ reed-het tangs, an’ it appeared to be offeudit, an’ gaed awa’ doon the burnside, eryin’ its auld cry eerier an’ waesomer than ever, and disappeared in a bush o’ seggs.”

THE FAIRY’s SONG

“O where is tiny Hew?
And where is little Len?
And where is bonnie Lu,
And Menie of the Glen?
And where’s the place of rest:—
The ever changing hame?
Is it the gowan’s breast,
Or ’neath the bells of faern?
Ay lu lan dil y’u.

“The fairest rose you find
May have a taint within;
The flower of womankind
May not be free from sin,—
The fox-glove cup go bring,
The tail of shooting sterne,
And round our grassy ring
We’ll pledge the pith o’ fern.
Ay lu lan dil y’u.

“And when the yellow muon
Is gliding down the sky,
On wings of wishes boun,
Our band to her can fly;
Her highest horn we’ll ride,
And quaff lier honey dew;
Then in her shadowy side
Our gambollings renew!
Ay lu lan dil y’u,”

THE FAITHFUL PURSE-BEARER

A tale of the times of old. Far away in the north, where the purple heath spreads as thick on the hills in summer as the snow lies white in winter, where the streams flow down the granite-strewn cor-ries of the mountains, brown gold as the topaz lying hid in their bosoms, a powerful chief ruled his clan.

Over hill and glen his domain spread far and wide, and his name was law itself in peace, and power in warfare. ’Twas said the Spey and the Garry both contributed to his table, and Cairn Gorm and Ben Alder furnished him with sport; which would mean that over much country, and by many men, his sway was known and acknowledged.

Now, upon two things the chief prided himself more than all else—more than his prowess in war, yes, more than the extent of his domains and power - the beauty of his wife and his own justice. What his clansmen thought of these two things is not to the point; what he thought of them was enough for himself and for us.

It must also he added that he possessed something seldom vouchsafed to men in authority, blit an invaluable blessing when procurable, and that was a faithful steward, who had charge of his purse, his farm, and his treasures, with which may be included a chargc not the least, you may be sure, in importance at that period—the complete control of his cellar.

Ian na Sporran was faithful to his chief, and was trusted by him in return.

Yet is any one so good or so faithful as to be safe from the dart of jealousy? I trow not. The very fact of Ian na Sporran being so fpithful and so trusted was enough to create in the malignant heart of Ian na Piob, the chief bard, the most inveterate and overwhelming hatred. Rent with jealousy of Ian na Sporran, the one question for his evil heart to solve was how to contrive the steward’s downfall.

“It is no use,” said the chief to Ian na Piob; “it is no use to come howling to me about the falseness of your fellow-servants. Just show me if I have lost any of my corn, any of my gold, any of my wine, any of my jewels, and then I’ll see into the matter. I am quite ready to attend to anything reasonable; for you know I am a just man, and my wife is beautiful.”

Well, for a whole year Ian na Sporran served the chief faithfully, and for a whole year lan na Piob thought how he might bring him low.

Now, it wanted three days to the New Tear, when all the first men in the elan came yearly together before their chief to offer homage and congratulations, and Ian na Piob, pondering more desperately than ever how he could circumvent Ian na Sporran, was walking in the glen alone, kicking at every root and stone that came in his way, and giving vent from time to time to his feelings in envious groans. “Kera kaw,” croaked the grey hoodie of Rotliiemurchus. “What’s the meaning of this ado? Have you eaten too many blaeberries? or what is it that pains you so?”

And Ian na Piob looked up, and saw the hoodie; and he considered her evil eye spoke a heart as wicked as his own, so he told his tale.

“Is that all?” quoth the hoodie. “Why don’t you say he stole the chief’s golden barley?”

“Just because I cannot get at the barley; and, what’s more, I have no witness to support me if I lip about it,” answered Ian na Piob.

“Silly fool!” croaked the hoodie; “what will you give me if I appear as a witness in your behalf?”

“A measure of beans willingly from my own garden, and some sweetmeats I will steal from the chief’s table,” eagerly exclaimed Ian na Piob,

“Kera kaw! I strike that bargain,” crowed the hoodie. “Bring the beans and sweetmeats to me to-morrow. Call on me when I’m wanted, ana I shall bo there without fail.”

So the beans and sweemeats were given, and the morn of the New Year arrived.

And indeed it was a crowd that filled the groat hall of the castle that same day, as the folk eame to deliver compliments to the chief and his‘ lady, to make their statements, and to receive orders. Jauntily among them came Ian na Piob, and, pushing to the front, bowed in low obeisance.

“How now?” said the chief. “Any complaints? any advice? any wish? I am a just man, and my wife is beautiful, say on w’thout fear.”

“Ian na Sporran ka3 been stealing your golden brrley, O chief!” cricd Ian nc Piob, “and he should be put to death.”

“Who is your witness?” said the chief. “Rev member I am a just man, and my wife is beautiful, and I must have proof.”

“Just the hoodie of Rothiemurchus,” answered Ian na Piob; “none other than he.”

“Well, in that case, Ian na Sporran,” remarked the chief, turning towards him, “you must die.”

“Would not your highness call the witness, and prove his truthfulness before condemning me?” asked Ian na Sporran. “If I am guilty, I am willing to die! if I am innocent, your own justice and your wife’s beauty forbid that I should suffer.”

“I am a just man, and my wife i3 beautiful,” answered the chief. “You are right. Ian na Piob, call your witness.”

Thrice whistled Ian na Piob, and in a trice there stood in the window the hoodie of Rothiemurchus.

“Do you take oath, O hoodie,” said the chief, “that Ian na Sporrrn stole my golden barley?”

“I do,” said the hoodie.

“How so?” asked the chief.

“Because,” croaked the hoodie, without hesitation, “Ian na Sporran gave me some to eat this very morning to keep me from declaring his offence; for he knew I saw him do it. Look you how my crop is distended full, full, full! ”

“Oh!” said the chief, looking at Ian na Sp.irran, “you must certainly die!”

“I pray you cut the witness open, and see if he speaks the truth,” said Ian na Sporran.

“Do so,” said the chief; “for I am a just man, and my wife is beautiful.”

So they cut the hoodie open, and found nothing in his inside but some sugar and broad beans. Then they flung the carcass out of the window into the loch below, where Spottie Face, the great salmon, had his residence, who ate him up at one gulp, and that, was the end of him.

“This is just nonsense!” roared the chief. “The case is dismissed; let us go in to supper.” So the chief and his vassals went in to supper, and in the delights of the feast-room forgot all about the evil of the morning.

If there was an angry man in the whole district that man was Ian na Piob; nor did the sense of this failure make him give up his evil intentions, but he pondered again from that day the whole year through how he might bring Tan na Sporran to the gallows.

It was again three days before the New Year that Ian na Piob was walking through the pinewoods of Dalwhinnie, and he crushed the fallen cones of last year savagely beneath his feet into the frosty ground, while from time to time he raised his voice in angry exclamation.

“What’s all this to-do about?” said the black witch of Loch Ericht, as she, sat at the entrance of the dark cave, blinking with her red een in the blue reek of the peat fire that whirled in puffs out of the cavern, like smoke from some fell dragon’s jaws.

At that Ian na Piob looked up; and thinking she appeared as black and as evil as himself, he lost no time in telling her his tale.

“Why don’t you say he stole the chief’s gold? That’s easy enough, I’m sure,” said she.

“Because I can’t get at the gold, and I have no witness to swear for me, should I need one.”

“Silly rabbit!” scornfully cried the witch. “What will you give me if the sun appears as your witness?”

“My best,” said Ian na Piob.

“Well, if we want the sun,” answered she, “I must brew trolls’ broth to attract him. Give me the little toe of your right foot and the little toe of your left foot, and I will do the trick.”

Now it must be confessed that Ian na Piob was grieved to lose any of his limbs, and to suffer pain; but what will not an envious man do or suffer to get the better of an enemy?

So he cut off the little toe from his right foot, and the little toe from his left foot, and gave them to the witch of Loch Ericht to make trolls’ broth.

“Now,” said Ian n” Piob, “I can’t walk.”

“Pooh! nonsense! ” replied the witch; “you shall have iny crutch and get on well enough with it.” Then he gave a grunt, and snorted twice like a trumpet, and at that a queer thing came out from behind the juniper bushes, and gave him the hag’s crutch.

“Now, come here again to-morrow, and the broth will be brewed; then take it on New Year morn ing, and, walking withershins round the standing-stones of Trium, cast it on the ground as the sun rises, and he will come that day as a witness to the council.” So the witch went into the cave, and Ian na Piob hobbled away lame. Let us hope the vision of revenge was a good plaster to his sore feet.

The next morning he came very, very early, you may be sure, and called on the witch, and the queer thing came out from behind the juniper bushes and gave him the bowl filled with trolls’ broth, and he took it away and did just as the old hag directed him.

Oh, there was no doubt at all that it was a large crowd which came at the New Year, and gathered together in the hall of the castlc, lo offer congratulations to their chief and his wife, and to taste good things at his boa'd!

And after many had spoken, and much business had been transacted, Ian na Piob, seeing his turn had come, hobbled forward, leaning on the crutch he .had received from the old hag.

“Now now, Ian na Piob I ” sain the chief. “If you have anything to say, say on. I am wearying for my supper, so be quick about it.”

“Oh,” answered Ian na Piob, “that fellow over there—Ian na Sporran—has been at it again! He has stolen your golden coins, and he should die.”

“I am a just man, and my wife is beautiful, so I can’t take your word for it alone, you know. Any witnesses? No hoodies, or any of that crew, for me this time, mind that! ”

“Sir, my witness is none other than the sun himself,” answered Ian na Piob.

“Oh,” said the chief, turning to Ian na Sporran,

“If that is so, you certainly must have your head chopped off.”

“Sir,” said Ian na Sporran humbly, “order him, I beg, to produce his witness. If I am guilty, then let me die.”

“I am a just man, and my wife is What the plague are you hobbling about in that way for?” said the chief to Ian na Piob, breaking ofi suddenly in the middle of the well-known sentence.

“Frost-bite!” grunted Ian na Piob. “But follow me, chief and gentlemen all, to the chamber that looks towards the south-west, and then I will prove my accusation true.”

“Why to the chamber at the south-west?” asked the chief.

“Because,” replied Ian na Piob, “there the stolen money lies, and my witness shall attend.”

“Lead on,” cried the chief, “and be quick about it, for I am very hungry indeed.”

So Ian na Piob led the way to the chamber looking to the south-west, and as they entered the chamber, sure enough the sun streamed in through the window, and shone and glittered on many a golden coin that lay there in rich confusion on the floor.

“Headsman, do your duty!” cried the chief, pointing to Ian na Sporran.

“Sir chief, I beg you, before I die, take up one of these coins and look at it narrowly in the shade, and see if it is really a golden one or not! ”

“lama just man, and my wife is beautiful,” said the chief. “Hand me one of those golden coins."

So they handed him a coin, and taking it into a corner out of the sunlight, he saw it was a common ccin, and not a golden one at all.

“If I had yon -witness in my power,” said the chief to Ian na Piob, “I’d thrash him! As for you, your prnishment shall come after supper.”

Then the chief took the arm of Ian na Sporran, and hurried away to the banqueting-hall, for he was very hungry indeed, and would brook no more delay.

And for that time again Ian na Piob got off his well-merited punishment, for in the delights of the feast the evil of the morning was forgotten, and indeed, the -nhole thing was so silly, it was scarcely worth noticing or remembering.

How savage Ian na Piob was at this second failure, you who are now acquainted with him can well imagine. He had gained nothing in the war of revenge, and had lost two toes into the bargain. “I’ll have it out with that old witch at any rate!” said he. “If she won’t help me again better than last time, she shall be burnt, or mv name isn’t what it is!”

So as the next Xew Year eame round, when, he knew, was his only opportunity, he sought the cavern, and called loudly on the witch: but when she answered, and came to the mouth of the cave, she looked so evil that his courage oozed out of his finger-tip? (he had not toes enough for it to ooze out at that end), and his angry words dwindled away to a forblo whine of complaint.

“Well,” quoth the hag, “what brings you here again?”

“The wretched failure of your scheme,” sobbed Ian na Piob, and he then told her all that had occurred.

“And whose fault was that, I should like to know?” growled she. “I can’t think of another plan fit for such a goose as you. Stay, though—no! you’re so great a fool, it would be no good, so be off, I shan’t take any more trouble.”

“Tell me your plan, I beseech you!” cried Ian na Piob, all pain and disappointment lost in the expectation of revenge. “I’ll give anything to bring Ian na Sporran to a bad end!”

“Well, you must bring me some more sweetmeats from the chief’s table, and we will prove that he stole the chief’s wine this time.”

“But I’ve no witness,” wailed he. “The hoodie is dead, and the sun is no use at all; what am I to do?”

“Silly rabbit!” grunted the witch. “We’ll get, the moon to come, but we must brew her trolls’ broth, or it can’t be managed at all. Give me the big toe off your right foot, and the big toe off your left foot, and I will do the trick; or else be off, and don’t bother!”

Well, Ian na Piob thought that as he had lost his little toes, his big ones might just as well go the same road, so he cut them off and gave them to the witch.

“Wow, wow, wow!” he squealed in pain. “There now. I can’t walk, no, not even with the crutch!” and he sat down on the ground and waved his toeles0 feet in the air.

“Now, now,” said the hag, “don’t lie here roaring like a baby.” And she gave a grunt and snorted twice like a trumpet, and the queer thing came fmm be hind the juniper bushes, and handed him a long, broad petticoat made of stiff bog bristles, and when he had tied it round his middle with some leather thongs, it supported him on all sides.

“You look vastly pretty,” said the hag, with a horrid leer.

“I wish you were made just as pretty yourself” said he, as he waddled down the road as best he could. “I shall come to-morrow before sunset for the broth.”

And that morrow’s evening, before the chadowB frept out of the fir-wood, and spread over the hillsides, Ian na Piob was at the cavern mouth again.

And the queer thing came fr^m behind +he juniper bushes, and gave into his hands the bowl of trolls’ broth that the hag had in *hc meantime prepared.

“Go to the rock of Osinn,” said the hag, “where the withered pine spreads its baro branches to the sky. There, as the moon rises, walk three times withershins round the riven trunk, and cast the broth on the ground before her.”

And Ian na Piob painfully went away to the reek of Osr'nc, carrying the bowl of broth in one hand, and struggling with the crutch in the other, his body supported by the bristle petticoat. And he did as the hag bade him, and as the moon rose over the crags of Braeriach, he cast the broth on the ground before her, bidding her come the next day at even to be his witness when he should call.

The next day, when the Xew Year eame, and all the retainers and vassals flocked to the castle to give greeting and receive advice, Ian 11a Piob came with them, clad in his petticoat of hog bristles, looking his worst, and thinking his eruelest.

“What mountebank have we here?” quoth the chief, as, at the end of the council, Ian na Piob tottered forward to make his statement.

“Alas! noble sir, ’tis the frost-bite has taken possession of my limbs completely—yea, has gotten a bit higher up than last year; but regardless of the pain I am suffering, I have come here to denounce that villain Ian na Sporran, and demand, in the name of justice, that he be put to death at once.”

“Now now!” cried the chief, “I am a just man, and my wife is beautiful, and I will not condemn a man without proof or witness. Say on, but beware how you trifle with me this time! ”

“He has stolen your wine, and I can prove it,” said Ian na Piob.

“Stolen my wine! oh, indeed, that must be put a stop to, and you,” said the chief, turning to Ian na Sporran, “must be put an end to.”

“Again, 0 chief,” said Ian na Sporran, “will you listen to my enemy without certain proof?”

“Nay,” answered the chief, “that is to doubt my own justice and my wife’s beauty. Where is your witness?” continued he sharply, looking at Ian na Piob.

“The moon,” said he, “and none other. The deed was done during the night, and she will come at eventide and give proof of it.”

“The moon be praised!” ejaculated the chief, “that she don’t want to come now, and that I can have my supper first.” So without more ado, tLe chief walked out of the hall to the chamber where the feast was laid out, and in the delight of the feast forgot soon the business of the morning.

But when they had all drvnk quite as much as was good for them, and had eaten, in my opinion, more than was necessary, Ian na Piob scrambled up to the chief, and begged him to step up to the chamber in the north-west tower, for there his witness was waiting to prove his accusation.

“Oh, bother!” said the chief. “Cut his head off! I don’t care, and I don’t want proof.”

“Noble master,” said Ian na Sporran, “remember you are a just man, and your wife is beautiful.”

“Pest take the whole affair!” roared the chief, getting up. “I can’t even have my meals in peace! I suppose, then, I must. But whoever trifles with me now is a dead man!”

So, in a fume, he bounced off after Ian r.a Piob, kicking him occasionally from behind to make him move faster, and followed by hip lady and the rest of the vassals, who were all agog to see what would happen now.

Well, when they arrived at the north-west tower, and had entered the room, there, sure enough, were basins and goblets and beakers set about the floor and tables, and filled to overflowing with dark red wine. No doubt about it at all, for the moon was shining in at the window, and it was almost as bright as noonday.

“I have seen enough!” cried the chief. “Ian na Sporran, down 011 your knees, and, sword-bearer, give me my claymore! You’ll take my drink, will you ? I’ll have your head off; you won’t feel thirsty much longer! ”

“I beseech you, my lord,” said Ian na Sporran, falling on his knee, “taste but a drop of that wine. Grant me this one last request before I die. I will make no resistance to your demands; only grant me this one little boon.”

“Well, you don’t deserve it, but I will do that,” replied the chief, taking up one of the cups, and placing it to his lips, “for I am a just man, and my wife is—— Ah, auch, phew, bach!!” and with a fearful grimace he spat the liquid out all over the floor.

“Give me some water, wine, brose, anything to take the taste out of my mouth! Oh, ach! phew! I’m poisoned as sure as death! ” yelled the chief, rushing out of the room, and scattering them all on this side and on that in his wild dart at tho door. “ Secure Ian na Piob! lie shall die to-morrow before cockcrow!” and he was down the stairs and his nose into a beaker of brose before any one could say “Huw d’ye do?” or had recovered from the start ho had given them.

But the chief was not poisoned at all, for it wag only brown burn water that Ian na Piob had poured into the goblets, and that looked so purple in the moonlight. So Ian na Piob wag placed under lock and key in the dungeon below the moat, and ag he was to be executed the next morning without fail, a guard was set over him to make sure of his not escaping.

But, somehow, Ian na Piob contrived to get a message sent to the chief’s lady that he had something of great moment to confide to her ear alone, saying that, though he must die, it was a real pity so great a secret should be lost, especially when she could listen so easily at the keyhole, while he spoke to her on the other side of the door, and nobody would be any the wiser or any the worse.

So the chief’s lady thought it could do no harm to any one, and besides, the chief need not know any thing about it; moreover, she was like every other woman, as inquisitive as an ape, and could not deny her curiosity. Thus it was that at midnight she bribed the gaoler, and repaired to the dungeon where Ian na Piob was confined. There, giving three raps upon the oaken beams, she applied her ear to the keyhole of the great door.

Now what Ian na Piob told that lady is no business of yours or mine; but what he did tell her must have been of deep consequence, and it seems to have been d secret the full explanation of which he could not give her for three days at least, inasmuch as she went straightway to the chief, her husband, and begged him to defer the execution of Ian na Piob for three days; and the chief, who by this time had recovered his temper, consented after a little demur, for his wife not only was beautiful, but when her mind was set on anything, he knew she would worry the inside out of a pig before she gave it up. Yes, poor man! he knew this only too well, from long experience! Hence his consent.

And it happened, since it was impossible for Ian na Piob to escaps with the frost-bite in his limbs, as he said he had, the gaoler allowed him to go about the castle at liberty, for he did not want to be bothered to sit opposite that dungeon three whole days, and was pleased, too, to be saved the trouble of carrying food to his prisoner from time to time.

Sharp though the pain proved that Ian na Piob was suffering, and deep his fear of the doom that was hanging over him, revenge still was the undying fire that burned in his heart.

“Oh, if I could only compass somehow that fellow’s death,” cried he, “I should die happy!” and he bit his finger to the bone as he crouched on the stair and thought and thought and thought.

And as he sat thinking on the stairs, he happened to glance up, and the moon sailing in the frosty blue sky looked down at him through the open lattice, and he shook his fist at her and called her an evil name; and the stars came out one by one, and winked and blinked, so shocked were they at such conduct. But as he watched them, a thought, novel and crafty, struck him, and he suddenly rose, and with an evil grin on his face he took in his hand a goblet of crystal that stood on the table by his side, and with the help of the crutch and the stiff petticoat, painfully climbed the winding stairs. Then, making his way to a chamber that locked towards the south, he went in, and after locking the door on the inside, he sat down on a stool in front of the open windows. Then he closed the pine-shutters that hung on each side of the casement, and taking a sharp-pointed awl from tis pouch, for two hours by the dial without ceasing he laboured to bore holes through them, some large, some small. He pierced them in straight lines and circles, so as to portray, as best he could, the sets of stars he had noticed often in the winter heavens.

Next, he broke the goblet of crystal with his crutch into small pieces, and strewing them on the table beneath the closed window, and on the floor below, he left the room with a self-satisfied grimace, shutting the door behind him, locking it, and taking the key away with him.

“Now for the key,” muttered he.

“Spottie Face! Spottie Face! Spottie Face!” he cried, getting up as best he could on the sill of the passage window, and stretching his neck out as far as possible over the water of the loch below. “Spottie Face, come hither!”

And Spottie Face, the great salmon that had its residence in the pool below, looked up, expecting some food to he thrown him from above.

“Spottie Face! O Spottie Face!” continued Ian na Piob, “if I give you some sweetmeats from the chief’s table, will you do me a favour?”

Now Spottie Face was a nasty, cruel thing, and did not like doing favoiirs for anybody; but you remember it was winter, and there was not much food going or any green meat on the banks, and so he put his nose above the water and waved assent with his tail.

“Then take this key, and east it up on the bank below the window of Ian na Sporran. You know it; it is on the other side of the castle. This is not much to ask, you must allow; and I will throw the sweetmeats out of this window after the chief has left the banqueting-hall in the evening.”

So Ian na Piob threw the key out to Spottie Face, anu went his way down the staircase.

Put Spottie Face, when he had seized the key, found it bitter cold to the jaws, for the frost had kissed the chill metal, and he spat it up again on to the bank just where he received it, and there it lay, a dark object on the frozen snow under Ian na Piob’s own window. And Spottie Face sank to the bottom of the pool.

Now the fatal day arrived when Ian na Piob was to suffer for his evil deception of the chief, und the gaoler came, and led him into the hall of the castle, where all were assembled, and the chief and his wife sat in state to see the sentence carried out.

“I am a just man, and my wife is beautiful,” spoke the chief. “You deceived me, and you tried to poison me: you shall die now, that’s settled!”

“A boon I crave, one boon before I die!” cried Ian na Piob. “Let me but whisper a secret of utmost value into your lady’s ear.”

“Nothing of the sort!” roared the chief. “Go and have your head cut off! I won’t hear of £ny delay.”

But his good lady was not going to miss knowing that secret, whatever it might be; for she had been thinking about it fcr the last two days, and had fretted herself a good deal, besides, on the subject. So she gave her husband one of her looks, and he knew too well to say no when she looked yes.

Then Ian na Piob whispered in her ear.

“What? what? My jewels, my shining jewels?” screamed that lady, and, clenching her fists, she ran up to lan na Sporran and, shaking them in his astonished face, cried: “Give me my jewels back, you thieving villain you I give back my ehining jewels that you have stolen!”

“What’s all this fuss about!” asked the chief, jumping up with a bounce from his chair of state.

“Why, Ian na Piob says that Ian na Sporran has stolen my jewels! O husband dear! you must send Ian na Sporran at once to the gallows.”

“Hush, softly, my love!” said he. “You are beautiful, but remember, be just as well. In fact, I don’t believe a word you’re saying; and as to Ian na Piob, witness or no witness, I’ll never put trust in him again, that’s flat! ”

“How many witnesses would make you believe my word!” said Ian na Piob. “Will ten please you?”

“No!” roared the chief. “Nothing under twenty, so be off and be hung!”

“There are twenty waiting to prove this at this moment in the castle,” cried Ian na Piob.

Then the chief found he was caught, and knew that if he would keep up his character for justice, he must consent to hear the case.

“And who may these witnesses be?” growled he.

“None other than the stars of heaven,” answered Ian na Piob.

“That’s a low trick to escape your doom till the evening!” said the chief.

“Nay, but they are waiting you at this very moment in the south chamber,” said Ian na Piob; “and what’s more, the jewels are there too,” whispered he in the lady’s ear.

“Come along, come along!” cried she, seizing the chief by the sleeve, and fhe whole party, headed by Ian na Piob, made towards the door, for the chief saw he must go, willy nilly, as his wife seemed quite out of her mind.

“Now where’s the key?” said he when he got to the door and found it fast locked, “that’s the next thing.”

“Those who hide can find! He’s got it, of course,” said Ian na Piob pointing to Ian na Sporran, “search him. If he has it not, depend upon it he has hid it in his chamber; and if it’s not there, he’s cast it out of his window. Oh, I know his tricks! ”

“Why, there it is on the bank!” said one of the chief’s followers, looking out of the window. And sure enough, there it was, lying on the bank just under the chamber window belonging to Ian na Piob.

So they ran down and fetched it; but I?n na Piob nearly fainted with rage, for he saw that Spottie Face the salmon had deceived him.

But now the door was opened wide, and there within without, doubt the jewels lay on the table and on the floor glittering in the light of the stars that shone brightly through the window into the darkened room.

“My jewels, my jewels!” cried the chief’s wife, running forward.

“O Ian na Sporran,” said the chief, shaking his head, “you must this time without doubt be put an end to!”

“Yes, yes,” cried his wife, “at once! at once! for he deserves it.”

“I pray you, noble chief,” said Ian ua Sporran, “question those witnesses, and ask them the truth.”

“What nonsense you’re talking! Why, they are thousands of miles off,” said the chief. “How can they hear me?”

“They are not further than the other side of the window,” answered Ian na Sporran. “Permit me to go and beckon to them.”

“Don’t let him, don’t let him!” shrieked Ian na Piob, hobbling forward in his petticoat to prevent him. “He’s going to play some nasty trick!” “You forget yourself, Ian na Piob!” thundered the chief; “and you forget also that I am a just man, and my wife is beautiful. Ian na Sporran, go and beckon to them.”

Then Ian na Sporran went to the casement and flung the shutter wide, and the bright daylight filled the chamber, and all put up their hands to their eyes, for they were dazzled at the sudden change.

“Dear lady,” said Ian na Sporran, “look now at your jewels! Nought but glass are they, you see; and where are my enemy’s witnesses I trow they are still sleeping in the dark coffers of the night, the other side of the ocean.”

“Ian na Sporran, forgive me and all of us!” said the chief coming forward, and giving him his hand. “We will never, never, never distrust you again, as long as we live. Ask me any favour, and it shall be granted.”

“Then give me the life of lan na riob,” cried Ian na Sporran; “for as I am the happiest man to-day in the country, I would have none sorrow white I am glad.”

“On one condition,” answered the chief. “Ian na Piob, stand forth, and with both hands uplifted, swear you will never try to give false-witness and lie to me again.”

Then Ian na Piob waddled forward, and flung both his hands up over his head, but leaving go of the crutch, he overbalanced himself and fell flat on his face before the chief, and by no effort could he raise himself up again.

“You have signed yoiir own doom,” said the chief. “To the loch with him! hanging is too good!”

Then they flung Ian na Piob, petticoat, crutch and all, out of the window into the locli below, where Spottie Face the great salmon had his residence, and he had not reached the bottom before Spottie Face had him fast, and with one great gulp swallowed him, petticoat and all.

“My dear,” said his wife to the chief, “I think you are as clever as you are just,” and she gave him a good kiss on his brown cheek.

"And you, my love,” said he, vastly pleased, "you are as sensible as you are beautiful.”

And with these words he gave her a good kiss on the left cheek, which was real good of him, don’t you think, for turn and turn about is but fair play.


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