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THE PEAT-FIRE FLAME
But she had a lover who assured a friend that, if he could
afford an extravagant wedding-feast, he would carry off
the bride himself. Thereupon the friend promised him his
entire store of whisky, thirty-five gallons in all. On the
strength of his friend's munificence, the young man
abducted the bride, and proceeded with the marriage-feast,
which lasted for a month. A day or two afterwards, when
he and his wife were passing through the machar on their
way to visit some relatives, they observed the approach of
an eddy of wind. As it reached them, the young man was
taken ill. His death ensued soon after. " If the dead have
life," his wife said to him on his death-bed, " I pray that
you shall never be a night away from your own bed." To
the wife's consternation, he returned to her the night after
his burial, and assured her that he was well in mind and
body. He asked her not to be alarmed, since he had been
carried away in an eddy of wind by the Lady of the
Emerald Isle, and would be able to return permanently to
her if she flung a dirk or other sharp instrument at the next
eddy she saw or heard.
For days the bereaved and mystified widow watched
anxiously for an approaching eddy of wind. At last one
came her way. At it she threw a knife ; and, lo ! thereupon
her husband dropped out of space at her feet. He then told
her that in the grave, in which he was supposed to lie,
nothing would be found but an oak log.
The young woman now summoned the villagers and her
relatives to share in her rejoicing. But they were of
opinion that sorrow had bereft her of her senses. So as to
prove her delusion, they all agreed to exhume the body.
This they proceeded to do; but to their dire consternation
they found the coffin to contain nothing but a log of oak.
Not until then were they prepared to accept the husband
as genuine, and believe his account of how the Lady of the
Emerald Isle had spirited him away in an eddy of wind !
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