This page has been validated.



All at once a little light sprang up and moved forward. He knew that this was a Will-o'-the-wisp, and that it was held to lead into dangerous places; but his confidence in Providence was so strong, and so assured was he that the light was sent in answer to his prayer, that he followed it. He was conducted over ground fairly firm, though miry, till he reached heather and a sound footing, whereupon the flame vanished. Thanking God, he pursued his way, taking his direction by the stars, and reached his destination in safety.

"I tell the tale as 'twas told to me," but I will not vouch for the truth of it, as I did not hear it from the man himself, nor did I know him personally, so as to judge whether his word could be trusted.

Here, however, is an instance on which implicit reliance can be placed.

Mr. W. Bennett Dawe, of Hill, near Ashburton, together with his family, saw one on several nights in succession in the autumn of 1898. The month of September had been very hot and dry, and this was succeeded by a heavy rainfall in October during twenty-three days. The mean temperature of the month was 54.7, being 4 above the average of twenty years. The warm damp season following on the heated ground and the boggy deposits in the Dart valley resulted in the generation of a good deal of decomposition. Mr. Dawe and several of his household observed at night a light of a phosphorescent nature in the meadows between Ashburton and Pridhamsleigh. It appeared to hover a little above the ground and dance to and fro, then race