Open main menu

Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/141

This page needs to be proofread.

In some cases the devil has taken the place of a dead man. This would appear to be what has happened in the following story, taken down by me verbatim from an old woman in the parish of Luffincott in North Devon. I will give it in her own words:--"There was an old woman lived in Bridgerule parish, and she had a very handsome daughter. One evening a carriage and four drove to the door, and a gentleman stepped out. He was a fine--looking man, and he made some excuse to stay in the cottage talking, and he made love to the maiden, and she was rather taken with him. Then he drove away, but next evening he came again, and it was just the same thing; and he axed the maid if on the third night she would go in the coach with him, and be married.

She said Yes; and he made her swear that she would.

"Well, the old mother did not think that all was quite right, so she went to the pars'n of Bridgerule and axed he about it. 'My dear,' said he, 'I reckon it's the Old Un. Now look y' here. Take this 'ere candle, and ax that gen'leman next time he comes to lei your Polly alone till this 'ere candle be burnt out. Then take it, blow it out, and rin along on all your legs to me.'

"So the old woman took the candle.