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yard, pluck a flower from Catharine's grave, and bring it to us, we will then believe that you are not afraid of the grocer.' My sister was ashamed to be laughed at by the others, and she therefore said: That is easy, what sort of flower do you want?'
"There does not grow a white rose in the whole village except there! bring us a bunch of them,' replied one of her friends. She got up and went, and all the men praised her courage, but the women shook their heads and said If she only does not come to harm!' My sister went to the churchyard, the moon shone brightly, and she began to shudder as the clock was striking twelve, and she opened the churchyard gate.
"She stepped across many a mound of earth familiar to her, and her heart beat faster and faster the nearer she came to Catharine's white roses, and the grave of the spectral grocer.
"She had now reached the place; she knelt down tremblingly and plucked the flowers. Suddenly she thought she heard a noise near her; she turned round: two steps from where she was, the earth was thrown up from the grave, and slowly a figure appeared. It was a pale old man having a white night-cap on his head. My sister became alarmed: she looked once more to convince herself whether she had seen aright. But when he from the grave said in a nasal voice: Good evening, maiden, where do you come from so late?' she almost died with terror; she got up and jumped over the graves back to the house, telling, almost out of breath, what she had seen, and became so weak that they had to carry her home. What was the good of our hearing on the following day that it had been the sexton who had dug a grave there, and had spoken to my poor sister! She sank before hearing of this into a violent fever of which she died within three days. She had picked these roses herself for her death garland.' The carrier was silent, tears filled his eyes, the others looked upon him with the deepest sympathy.
66 So this poor child died in the belief of having seen a ghost," said the young goldsmith. "A legend has just occurred to me which I should like to tell you, and one which unfortunately relates to such another sad case of death.”
THE CAVERN OF STEENFOLL.
A SCOTTISH LEGEND.
MANY years ago there lived upon one of the rocky islands of Scotland two fishermen in happy concord. They were both unmarried, had no relatives, and although they were differently engaged in their common work, yet it supported them both. They were nearly of the same age, but there was as much resemblance between them in person and character as there is between an eagle and a sea-calf.
Kaspar Strumpf was a short, stout man, with a broad, fat, full-moon face, kind laughing eyes, to whom cares and sorrows were unknown. He was not merely stout, but also sleepy and lazy, and therefore it fell to his lot to attend to the housework, cooking and baking, the netting of nets for catching fish for their own use and for sale, as well as tilling a part of their little ground.
His companion was quite the reverse; he was tall and thin, had a bold hook-nose and fiery eyes, and known to be the most active and courageous fisherman, the most venturesome climber after birds and down, the most industrious field-labourer on the islands, as well as being the most greedy money-maker in the market-place of Kirkwall; but as his goods were of the best quality, and he was honest in his transactions, everybody liked to deal with him, and Will Hawk (this was the name given him by his fellow-countrymen) and Kaspar Strumpf, with whom the former, in spite of his greediness, gladly shared his hard earned gain, not merely lived well, but were also in a fair way of reaching a certain stage of opulence.
It was not, however, wealth alone after which Hawk's greedy mind was striving; he was bent upon acquiring wealth, and as he soon learned to perceive that in the usual way of industry he could not get rich so quickly, the idea at last occurred to him that he must obtain his wealth by some extraordinary chance of fortune, and this thought having once taken possession of his powerful
working mind, nothing else found room in it, and he began to talk to Kaspar Strumpf about it as a certain thing. The latter, to whom all that Hawk said was regarded as Gospel, related it to his neighbours, and soon the rumour spread-Will Hawk had really either sold himself to the Evil One for gold, or he had at least received an offer for it, from the prince of the lower regions.
Although at first Hawk ridiculed these rumours, yet gradually he delighted in the idea that some genius might reveal to him some day a treasure, and he no longer contradicted whenever his fellow-countrymen taunted him with it. He still carried on his business, but with less zeal, and often lost a great deal of time, which he formerly spent in catching fish, and other useful pursuits, in aimlessly looking out for some adventure, by which he might suddenly become rich. As ill-luck would have it, he was one day standing on the lonely shore, and looking with uncertain hope upon the moving sea, as if his great fortune were to come thence, when a great wave which had uprooted a quantity of weeds and stones, rolled a yellow ball--a ball of gold-to his feet.
Will stood there as if bewitched; his hopes had not been empty dreams; the sea had presented gold to him, beautiful bright gold, probably the remains of a heavy bar, which the waves had rubbed down on the bottom of the sea until it became the size of a bullet. And now he clearly perceived that at one time, somewhere on this shore, a richly-laden ship must have foundered, and that he was selected to fetch out the buried treasures from the depths of the sea. This was henceforth his sole longing; to endeavour to carefully conceal his discovery even from his friend, in order that others might not spy it out; he neglected everything else, and spent days and nights on this shore, but he did not throw out a net after fish, but a drag, which he himself had made, for gold. But he found nothing but poverty; he earned nothing more himself, and Kaspar's sleepy exertions were not sufficient to maintain them both. In searching for greater treasures, not merely did the gold which he had found disappear, but gradually also the whole property of the bachelors.
But as Strumpf had silently allowed Hawk formerly to earn the greater part of his food, he now also allowed, silently and without grumbling, his aimless activity to deprive him of it, and it was just this gentle endurance of his friend which spurred on the other more strongly to continue his restless search for riches. But what made him still more active was, that whenever he lay down to rest, and his eyes closed in slumber, somebody whispered a word in his ears, which, although he appeared to hear it very distinctly, and which always seemed to him the same, yet he could never remember. True he did not know what this circumstance, however strange it was, might have to do with his present endeavours; but on a mind like that of Will Hawk everything made an impression; and even this mysterious whispering strengthened him in the belief that a great fortune awaited him. which he hoped to find in one single heap of gold.
One day a storm surprised him on the shore where he had found the golden ball, the violence of which urged him to seek refuge in a cavern near. This cavern which was called by the inhabitants the cavern of Steenfoll, consists of a long subterranean passage which has two outlets into the sea, giving a free passage to the foaming waves which worked their way through, continually with loud roars. This cavern was only accessible in one place, and that through a crevice from above, which was, however, seldom entered by any one except naughty boys. In addition to the peculiar dangers of the place, it was also known to be haunted by ghosts.
Will let himself down with difficulty, and took his place about twelve feet from the surface upon a projecting stone, and under an overhanging piece of rock, the roaring waves under his feet, and the raging storm over his head, when he sank into the usual train of thought about the foundered ship, and what sort of a ship it might have been; for in spite of all his inquiries from even the oldest of the inhabitants, he had been unable to obtain any news about the place where the ship had foundered.
How long he had sat in that manner he did not know himself; but when he awoke at last from his dreams he discovered that the storm had passed. He was about to
ascend again when he heard a voice from beneath, and the word "Car-mil-han" was quite distinct to his ears. Terrified, he started up and looked down into the empty abyss. "Great God!" he exclaimed, "that is the word which has tormented me in my sleep! For Heaven's sake what can be the meaning of it? "Car-mil-han!" it sighed once more up out of the cavern, when he had already one foot out of the crevice, and he fled like a hunted deer towards his hut.
Will was, however, no coward; he was merely unprepared for the affair; and besides, his greediness for money was too strong in him for a semblance of danger to frighten him from continuing his dangerous course Once when he was fishing for treasures with his drag very late at night, by moonlight, opposite the cavern of Steenfoll, it stuck fast suddenly on somthing. He pulled with all his might, but the mass remained immovable. In the meantime the wind rose, dark clouds covered the sky, his boat rocked terribly, and threatened to upset; but Will was not so easily baffled, he kept on pulling and pulling until the resistance yielded, and feeling no weight, he believed his rope was broken. But just as the clouds were about to cover the moon, a round black mass appeared on the surface, and the tormenting word Car-mil-han resounded. He was about to seize it quickly, but just as quickly as he stretched out his arm towards it, it disappeared in the darkness of the night and the impending storm compelled him to seek shelter under an adjacent rock.
Here he fell asleep from fatigue, again to suffer those torments which an unchecked power of imagination and his restless longing after riches caused him to endure during the daytime. The first beams of the rising sun were now falling upon the quiet surface of the sea when Hawk awoke. He was again about to go to his accustomed work when he saw something coming towards him from a distance. He soon recognised it to be a boat which contained a human figure; but what excited his greatest surprise was that the boat went along without sails or rudder, and with the bows turned towards the shore, and the figure sitting in it did not seem in the