Beauly, N.B., where it had been hanging up in a farm-house kitchen for many years. About fifty years ago it was used in connection with curing cattle supposed to be suffering from having been " overlooked " by some one possessing an " evil eye."
First of all, water had to be fetched in a bucket made entirely of wood, from a brook or burn over which the living and the dead had crossed (this was a brook running under a road leading to the local church-yard). In this water silver had to be placed, and no doubt became a perquisite for the local " wise man " ; (I believe a threepenny-piece usually did duty in this respect, as it frequently does now in church collections). Then the water was ladled out with the object shown in the figure, and sprinkled over the sick cow.
Whether it did any good I have not been able to ascertain, but I have no doubt that in many cases the cow recovered in due course, which would of course be at once attributed to the magical power of the local wizard who performed the ceremony.
In Ireland cows are still "cured," in the very rural districts, by administering water in which flint arrow-heads had been boiled. In this case, I understand that the cows have the water and the wizard who performs the cure, some whisky ! This is a sine qua non.
(See p. 242.)
The two holed-stones exhibited are from the collection of Sir F. Tress Barry, and were dug out of brocks, popularly called " Picts' houses," in the neighbourhood of Keiss Castle, Caithness. They measure one and three-sixteenths and one and seven-sixteenths of an inch respectively in diameter. The smallest is from one-eighth to a quarter of an inch in thickness, whilst the larger and less perfect specimen has a thickness of three-eighths of an inch on one side, but on the opposite is chipped away to little more than one-sixteenth of an inch. The perforation of the first is a clean cut circle