Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 14, 1903.djvu/454

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412 Collectanea.

occasion an axe had been stolen. On his way to church next day, Dow picked up a large round stone by the wayside, placed it in the pulpit, and after relating the theft, declared to his congre- gation that he was that hour called upon by God to destroy the thief unless he should confess the act, and that God had pointed out this stone as the instrument of death. He consecrated the stone, delivered a long prayer, and then raised it in the act of throwing it, at the same time assuring his hearers that God would guide the missile to smite the guilty one dead. As he essayed to hurl the stone, a certain man in the church betrayed his anxiety by trying to hide behind a pillar or post of the church. Mr. Dow withheld the weapon, and without pointing out the man, begged him for his own life's sake to rise up and confess before the wrath of God should fall upon him. The culprit promptly complied, and the preacher was believed to be the special agent of God in thus bringing him to repentance. On another occasion, when a pig had been stolen, Dow, on the Sunday following, uttered a curse against the unfortunate pig, and invoked the Divine wrath to mani- fest itself by causing a murrain or leprosy to afflict the household of the man who stole it unless the pig should be returned by the next day at noon, whereupou the curse would be revoked. The next morning the pig had been returned. But certain persons kept watch during the night and detected the man who returned it, and evoked from him a confession. The name of Lorenzo Dow is to this day a household word in hundreds of rustic homes, and he is yet believed by thousands to have been inspired in his marvellous works."]

A Wager Won. — At Shipton-under-Wychwood Church there is a kind of bone-house or hole, where the bones that were dug up in the churchyard have been put from time out of mind. In the village many years back there was a man that others thought to be daft, or not so sharp as he should be. He was challenged one night at the public-house that he dared not go to the bone-house at twelve o'clock at night and bring away a skull. The challenge was accepted, and on a given night he started. Two of the men were to go and see that he did the job, and they hid themselves in the bone-house. At the stroke of twelve he entered and took up a head, when a voice said, " Put that down ! That's mine." He did put it down, and took up