Billeder på siden

unique in its kind, even those who pretended to the most intimate communication with the spiritual world, as well as the confessed and best ́ ́accredited agents of the gentlemen, were wholly unable to offer any thing like a probable explanation of it. One old blind woman, who was, indeed, the Lord knows how old, and was wrinkled and grey in the memory of the baldest inhabitant of Abbeydorney, called to mind a tale that had been told her when a child, which perhaps may be said to give some clue to it.

"There lived," she said, "in former times, a lady of immense wealth, who had a strong castle not far from Abbeydorney, though no one could now tell where; and two great lords came to propose for her: one a fair-haired, blue-eyed youth, of a delicate make and graceful manner; the other a dark, stout, athletic figure, but proud and uncourtly. The lady liked the fair lad best, which made the other so jealous of him, that he was determined, one way or another, to compass his death. So he engaged a fellow, by a large sum of money, to get access to his bed-room at night, and cut off his head with a hatchet. On the night the murder was to be committed, he

made the lad, who never suspected him, drink more wine than usual after dinner, that he might be wholly incapable of resistance. In this state he retired to his room, where he threw himself on the bed without undressing, and, as it awkwardly enough happened, with his head towards the bed's feet. In a few minutes, in came the fellow with the hatchet, and struck a blow that he thought must have severed the head from the body, but it was the two legs he had cut off. Upon this the young lord groaned, and immediately after received another blow, which killed him. The corpse was put into a sack, and carried that night to Newtownsands, where it got Christian burial; but the legs were thrown into a hole in the castle garden, and covered up with earth. The lord who had procured the murder, the next day pretended to the lady that the blue-eyed lad had returned home; upon which, not knowing the deceit, she became quite offended, and in a few weeks after agreed to marry his rival. But in the midst of the joy and feasting on the bridal night, there was a horn blown outside the castle, and soon after, steps were heard ascending the grand staircase, and the

doors of the bridal-hall flew open, and in walked. two bodyless legs. Then there was screaming, and running, and the bride fainted; but the legs followed the bridegroom about every where, until he quitted the castle; and it was said, that wherever he looked or turned to, from that hour, he saw them stalking before, or beside, or behind him, until he wasted and fell into a deeay. And when he was dying he confessed the whole, and desired the assassin might be searched for every where, to ascertain from him where the legs were thrown, that they might be dug up, and get Christian burial; but the villain was never found from that day to this, and, may be," continued the old woman, "the legs are in pu-nishment this way, and get leave to walk the country of an odd time, to shew what's happening to them, and make some good soul search: them out, and have them removed to Newtown-sands."



Aye, marry, sir, there's mettle in this young fellow; What a sheep's look his elder brother has!

FLETCHER'S Elder Brother.

« ForrigeFortsæt »