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Page:A book of folk-lore (1913).djvu/92

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this by the man who threw the cock, and he assured me that the bird actually fell dead.

In the Island of Mull, on the West coast of Scotland, in the year 1767, there broke out a disease among the black cattle. Whereupon the people agreed to perform an incantation, though they were well aware it was not a very godly act. They carried a wheel and nine spindles of oakwood to the top of Carnmoor. Then they extinguished every fire in every house within sight of the hill. The wheel was then turned from east to west over the nine spindles long enough to produce fire by friction. If the fire were not produced before noon, the incantation lost its effect. They failed for several days running. This they attributed to the obstinacy of one householder, who would not allow his fires to be put out, as he did not approve of the proceedings. However, by bribing his servants, they contrived to have them extinguished, and on that morning kindled their fire. They then sacrificed a heifer, cutting it in pieces and burning the still warm diseased part. They then lighted their own hearths from the pyre, and ended by feasting on the remains. The words of incantation were repeated by an old man from Morven, who came over as master of the ceremonies,