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THE PEAT-FIRE FLAME
that when he and my friends are assembled at the baptism
of my child (for he had left his wife pregnant) I will appear
in the room, and that if he throws the knife which he holds
in his hand over my head, I will be released, and restored
to human society.' The man, it seems, neglected for some
time to deliver the message. Mr Kirk appeared to him a
second time, threatening to haunt him night and day till
he executed his commission, which, at length, he did. The
time of the baptism arrived. They were seated at the table ;
Mr Kirk entered, but Duchray, by some unaccountable
fatality, neglected to perform the prescribed ceremony. Mr
Kirk retired by another door, and was seen no more. It
is firmly believed that he is, to this day, in Faeryland."
The old folks crossing the River Forth at Aberfoyle,
just by the " Dun Shi' " or faery knoll, used to say that,
ever since the translation of the Rev. Robert Kirk to the
Secret Commonwealth of Faeries, they felt as though
someone were riding on their backs. And they sincerely
believed this to be none other than the minister who, about
the year 1692, had been " spirited away " to faeryland.^
Two Tiny Boys with Green Vests.
Let me conclude this chapter with an account of an
extraordinary story of faeries who visited the Island of
Muck about twenty-five years ago. I had this story from
the Rev. Alexander Fraser, a recent minister of the Parish
of the Small Isles, which includes Muck.
Returning by the S.S. Plover from the neighbouring Isle
of Canna early one autumn morning about twenty-five years
ago, Mr Fraser went ashore in a small boat belonging to a
couple of lobster-fishermen named Campbell and
MacDonald, who had rowed out to the steamer with a
number of lobster-boxes destined for the south. When
rowing back to the shore with their passenger, Campbell,
who was an elder in Mr Fraser's church, said —
1 Those who may feel indined to pursue this matter further should
refer to the excellent paper on " The Life and Literary Labours of
the Rev. Robert Kirk, of Aberfoyle," read before the Gaelic Society
of Inverness in 1924 by Professor Donald MacLean, D.D., and reprinted
in Volume XXXI of the Society's transactions.
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