Page:Devonshire Characters and Strange Events.djvu/129

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83
WHITE WITCHES

beds. Next morning the police, who investigated the matter, found evidence that the house had been wilfully and deliberately set fire to. Some one had stepped on to a hedge, and had lighted three lucifer matches, and in drawing them from his pocket had drawn out and dropped at the same time two halfpenny stamps. The first two matches had failed. The third took effect. Who had been the incendiary was not discovered.

Of course the circumstance first mentioned may be entirely unconnected with the second. But there can be no doubt that bitter animosities are bred by the charges of "ill-wishing" and "overlooking" which are made by the White Witches. They are far too shrewd to name names, but they contrive to kindle and direct suspicions in their dupes which may lead to serious results.

It is very difficult to bring these cases home, and on this immunity they trade. But it is devoutly to be hoped that some day certain of these gentry will be tripped up, and then, though magistrates can no more send them to the stake, they will send them to cool their heels in gaol, and richly they will deserve the punishment.