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the well, and upon which the old man used to sit when
reading his Bible in the open !
Colonsay and the adjoining Isle of Oronsay had several
sacred wells. On the north-east of Kiloran Bay is the
sacred Well of St. Columba, at which offerings were made
from very early times. Beside it is a silver drinking-cup,
presented by a lady about the year, 1906. The well is
covered over; and within living memory there lay on its
lintel stone a collection of silver and copper coins, together
with an assortment of buttons removed, no doubt, from the
garments of those visiting the well, and believing in the old
superstition that it was unlucky to go away without leaving
something by way of a votive offering.
Then, at Scalasaig is the Well of the South Wind, to
which seamen and fishermen used to resort to leave some
offering, and incidentally pray for a south wind. To-day it
is not easy to locate; but many of the islanders are as
insistent as ever that the petitions of those who came thither
were answered.
Wells for Wind-Seekers.
In several of the Western Islands it was customary to
resort to the well in order that favourable winds might be
sent either to enable fishermen to reach the fishing-grounds,
or to ensure the safe arrival of relatives coming by sea. On
the Isle of Gigha there is such a well. To it the MacNeils
used to go when their galleys were wind-bound; and by
stirring the water with a cane a favourable wind arose and
conducted them whither they wished to sail. This
particular well was called the Tobar Mdr, the Great Well.
It was covered over with a flat stone, because the natives
feared that one day it might flood the island. The captains
of foreign vessels wind-bound in these waters used to give
the natives a piece of money, in order that they might be
permitted to consult the oracle as to the airt of the wind ; and
we read that all strangers were accustomed to leave at the
well a coin or a pin as an oblation.

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