Page:Herd's ghaist, or, The perjured laird's doom (NLS104185138).pdf/2

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The following Scottish ballad illustrates a tradition having reference to the parish of Pert, now united to that of Logy, in the north-eastern part of Forfarshire; and also embodies some superstitions of the same locality, with respect to the supposed power of conjuring or laying ghosts. It is however becoming obsolete by the removal of many of the old families of the district, and ere long may possibly pass out of memory. By some of the older folks the tale is thus narrated:—A simple herd-boy having excited the ire of the laird of Pert, the latter, a powerful man, flung the unconscious victim of his anger among a cairn of stones, and thereby killed him on the spot. The circumstances having caused judicial inquiry, the laird, to exculpate himself, charged one of his own hinds with the perpetration of the murder, for which, in those days when "might was right," the poor man was hanged. The fact was however traditionally transmitted, and the particulars, as related in the ballad, obtained a general belief among the peasantry, viz., that, till the conjurations of the miller, the boy had wandered under the murky cloud of night, between the kirk of Pert, and an old ford in the river below the North-water bridge.

The old kirk of Pert, so prominent in the ballad, is now a picturesque ruin upon the banks of the North