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from nowhere, and volunteered to carry him across. The
distracted homecomer accepted the assistance proffered.
But, when he and his carrier reached mid-river, the latter
reverted to the form of the river kelpie, and endeavoured
to drag him down to the river's bed. The victim managed
to escape. As he scrambled to the bank, the infuriated
kelpie hurled after him the huge boulder that to this day
goes by the name of the Kelpie's Stane.
Two Beneficent Kelpies.
It would appear from the folk-tales and traditions of these
parts, however, that the activities of the river kelpie were
not always of a wicked nature. There is a story of a young
man who accidentallv was drowned in the Don, at Inverurie.
When all ordinary means of recovering his corpse had
failed, a local woman of uncanny disposition suggested that
a soft biscuit be thrown into the river at the point where
the fatality had occurred. This was done. When the
biscuit, in being borne downstream, reached the point below
which lay the corpse, it rapidly sank. The gift of the
biscuit appeased the spirit of the river, who meanwhile had
been keeping the body in thrall. Thus it was that the corpse
was allowed to come up to the surface, whence it was
In a similar manner the body of MacFarquhar of the
Wand was recovered. MacFarquhar, who was a basket-
maker to trade and thus received his by-name, slipped into
the Linn o' Dee, and was drowned. All search for the body
having proved unsuccessful, his widow knelt by the river
bank, and prayed to the river deity to deliver her dead man
to her. She then threw his plaid into the river, and quitted
the scene of her sorrow. By the edge of the Linn she
found her husband's corpse in the morning, reverently
enshrouded in his plaid.
The method of locating a body lost in water by means of
floating bread was once employed widely — and, indeed, may
still be. It was quite a usual custom to make a hollow in a
loaf of bread, fill the hollow with mercury, and then set
the loaf adrift where the body was thought to lie. When

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