Page:Horse shoes and horse shoeing.djvu/153

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
129
THE BAN-DU-PRÊTRE.

promontories, which are parallel and overhang the Lison. One of these promontories, situated in the central axis of the heights, is covered with tumuli and ruins. This place is called the Châteleys, and is an immense tongue of land, which rests on a gigantic perpendicular basement, 164 yards elevation. On the margin of this region, at a place called the Champs-Mottets, are seen three Celtic tumuli built of pebbles, and about 33 to 40 feet in length. Two of these were opened simultaneouslv, and were found completely empty. The third contained a certain number of thick and short bones, which the osteologists have pronounced to be the remains of a bear of the largest species. In the same collection was found the half of a cloven foot belonging to a stag or buck. These remains of what had no doubt been sacrifices, no less than the vicinity of the place designated Ban-du-Prêtre (priest's ban), were, in our opinion, indications that we were touching on sacred soil. Pursuing our exploration, we reached the extreme point of the promontory of Châteleys, which was occupied by one of those heaps of stones the English archæologists term cairns. The traditions of buried treasure, which had always haunted this mound, had induced a farmer in the neighbourhood to open it. Quickly deceived in his expectations (he had only taken away, we were told, the foot of a bronze pot), this gold-hunter abandoned the spot, leaving the mound pierced with a large hole at its summit. This opening, which had been made about sixty years before, and about the origin of which nearly every one had forgotten, caused the ruin of the Châteleys to be looked upon as the base of a tower