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Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 8, 1897.djvu/257

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Ghost Lights of the West Highlands. 233

bestir himself; and, reflecting on the past, he knew there was no use his seeking rest above, and he accordingly decided on going to the other place. So away he went, and when he reached the gate, who should meet him but the little old man. The smith asked if he would get in; but the little man refused to admit him, saying he was too bad a character to get in even there ; but as a punishment for his bad life, and to keep him from going anywhere else, he was turned into a great fire and made to go backward and forward through the earth for ever. This great fire is still to be seen, and is called An Teine Sionnachain.

Mr. MacRury's account is to the following effect, when briefly extracted from the Gaelic:

A smith, a good workman, with little work, bad pay, and a wife and family, found himself in poverty. One night a stranger enters the smithy, and on condition that the smith will go with him at the end of the year, promises that whenever he puts his hand in his right pocket he will find gold, in his left he will find silver. The bargain was struck, and the smith's family were in comfort. The smith had noticed that the stranger's feet were like pig's hoofs. Now the smith, a worthy fellow, had hospitably entertained an old man, who on leaving rewarded the smith with the promise of any three wishes he might ask. The smith re- plied : " My first wish is that, whenever I like, the hand of any man soever who touches my forehammer shall stick to the shaft, the hammer shall stick to the anvil, and the anvil to the floor. My second wish is that, whenever I like, any man soever who sits on the chair in the room shall stick to the chair and the chair stick to the floor. And my third wish is that any piece of money soever that I put in my purse shall never for all time come out till I take it out with my own hand." " Ud, Ud," said the old man, " wretched is your desire. Why did you not ask heaven ?"

When the " bad man " came at the end of the year and day, having been persuaded to assist the smith with the