Page:Folk-lore - A Quarterly Review. Volume 26, 1915.djvu/209

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.


Collectanea. 1 99

belonging to him ; the wheat was ah'eady in the ear, but he did not think it looked as flourishing as when he had last seen it, and he remembered what the old woman had said. Anxious about it, he went again the next day and saw that there certainly was some- thing wrong with it. While the farmer was examining it, Denise passed by, who asked him what was the matter, and on hearing the answer said, " Don't you wish that old woman was dead? " " No," said the farmer, "I'd not wish that of anyone, even if she has spoiled my wheat." They parted but met again next day at the same place, when Denise again asked his question, the farmer replying as before, though perhaps less emphatically. Two days later, all hope of saving the wheat was gone, for it lay dead upon the ground, struck by some unknown disease. As the farmer stood ruefully regarding it, up comes Denise, and for the third time asked him if he did not wish that the woman, who had evidently caused the mischief, was dead. "Aye, and in her grave, too," responded the farmer. " She'll be soon," briefly stated Denise — -and within a week she was both dead and buried. This same old man went one day to a grower living on the Forest Road, and asked to see his greenhouses. The man, Carre, was uneasy, but feared that if he refused Denise would cast a spell on the crops, so he said he would take him round the place. They went through several large greenhouses, and came to a little one with melons in it. The plants were strong and healthy and the fruit already set. Denise walked up and down fingering the leaves, and remarked as they left the house: "Well, they look fine now, but they wont be so for long."

A few days after this it was seen that the melon leaves were drooping, and on examination it was found that the plants were covered with a small black fly. Spraying and fumigating took no effect, and before the week was out the plants were done for. ]\Ir. Carre took a leaf with the fly on it to an Englishman he knew, who advised him, in the words of my informants, " to send some to that society in England which finds out what the flies are and how to destroy them." (The R.H.S. I presume.) This was done, the answer being that the fly was quite unknown to them, but that if they found out anything about it they would let Carre