Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/426

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384 Old- World Survivals in Ross- shire.

out of keeping with the lowly estate of the possessor. Many are the periodical bleachings to which the garment is subjected, " for it is well to have things in readiness, andnobody knows when the call will come," as one old woman told me. One day I went to visit her while she lay dying. She was very very old ; her daughter who lived with her looked sixty at least. The latter was busy ironing and goffering a frilled cap, and on a chair at the fire was a newly-ironed night-dress. The old lady in the bed was looking on with the profoundest interest and impressing on the daughter that she must be more particular with the frills. " I have always been respectable," she explained to me, " and it's myself that would not like to appear before the Lord anything else than well put on. Many a time I have bleached and ironed them myself, but I expect this is the last time it will need to be done." And so a few days later when poor old Peggy lay decked out in her finery, and the neighbour women, as is customary, came in turns to sit round her until the funeral day, they doubtless all agreed that it was indeed a most respectably put-up corp. And over their strupach of the water of life they drank a safe journey to the dead to the Isle of Dreams and Shadows.

Sheila Macdonald.