Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/200

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190 Collectanea.

servant with him. There was a board between the servant's bed and his master's, and he had heard all that the woman had said. He asked his master if he had had a wife in Ireland, and the master said he had.

"Well that wife," said the servant, "is sleeping with you for the last two nights. "

" No, " said the husband, " she is a long time perished. "

"Which would you sooner have, the wife you had in Ireland or the wife you have now ? " said the servant.

" I had sooner the wife I had in Ireland, " said the husband.

" Then, " said the servant, " when you go home to-night the wife you have here will prepare a cup for you and put a sleeping drop in it. You must say to her that you are not ready to take it, and when you get her going about the house, do you spill it. Then pretend you drank it, and when you are in bed she will put the candle to your eyebrows to burn them, to see if you are asleep, and you must not stir, and then she will call in the wife you had in Ireland. "

So the husband said he would not drink it, and the lady called in the wife when she thought he was asleep. And the wife he had in Ireland moved him to see if he was asleep, and spoke to him. She told him all she had gone through, and how she had met the washerwoman crying at the river, and told him that her little girl had her eye again. And he understood every word she said.

"Now this woman who has me," he said, "will never let you go till she kills you. She will send you out for water in the morning to the well, and there is a ram at the well, and he melts every one he looks at with his two eyes. There is a duck in the ram, and an egg in the duck. The ram must be killed, and the duck killed, and the egg taken out. When you come back to the house, the woman who has me, will say that you are to strip yourself down to the waist that she may see if there is any sickness on you. And you are to tell her to strip herself that you may see if there is any sickness on her. There is a mole on her left side and you are to throw the egg at it, and she will fall dead. If you fail she will kill you."

In the morning the lady came and ordered the wife from Ireland to get up and go to the well, and bring her a can of water. When