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The Book of Dreams and Ghosts by Andrew Lang online

The Book of Dreams and Ghosts by Andrew Lang


"'In the month of December, 1730, as I was coming from Perth, from the Claith (cloth) Market a little before sky-setting, it appeared to me again, being alone, at the same place, and passed by me just as before. I had some suspicion of it then likewise, but I began to think that a neighbour of mine in the Hilltown having an ox lately dead, it might be a dog that had been at the carrion, by which I endeavoured to put the suspicion out of my head.

"'On the second Monday of December, 1730, as I was coming from Woodhead, a town (farm) in the ground of Drumlochy, it appeared to me again in the same place just about sky-setting; and after it had passed me as it was going out of my sight, it spoke with a low voice so that I distinctly heard it, these words, "Within eight or ten days do or die," and it thereupon disappeared. No more passed at that time. On the morrow I went to my brother, who dwells in the Nether Aird of Drumlochy, and told him of the last and of all the former appearances, which was the first time I ever spoke of it to anybody. He and I went to see a sister of ours at Glenballow, who was dying, but she was dead before we came. As we were returning home, I desired my brother, whose name is James Soutar, to go forward with me till we should be passed the place where it used to appear to me; and just as we had come to it, about ten o'clock at night, it appeared to me again just as formerly; and as it was passing over some ice I pointed to it with my finger and asked my brother if he saw it, but he said he did not, nor did his servant, who was with us. It spoke nothing at that time, but just disappeared as it passed the ice.

"'On the Saturday after, as I was at my own sheep-cots putting in my sheep, it appeared to me again just after daylight, betwixt day and skylight, and upon saying these words, "Come to the spot of ground within half an hour," it just disappeared; whereupon I came home to my own house, and took up a staff and also a sword off the head of the bed, and went straight to the place where it used formerly to appear to me; and after I had been there some minutes and had drawn a circle about me with my staff, it appeared to me. And I spoke to it saying, "In the name of God and Jesus Christ, what are you that troubles me?" and it answered me, "I am David Soutar, George Soutar's brother. {148a} I killed a man more than five-and-thirty years ago, when you was new born, at a bush be-east the road, as you go into the Isle." {148b} And as I was going away, I stood again and said, "David Soutar was a man, and you appear like a dog," whereupon it spoke to me again, saying, "I killed him with a dog, and therefore I am made to speak out of the mouth of a dog, and tell you you must go and bury these bones". Upon this I went straight to my brother to his house, and told him what had happened to me. My brother having told the minister of Blair, he and I came to the minister on Monday thereafter, as he was examining in a neighbour's house in the same town where I live. And the minister, with my brother and me and two or three more, went to the place where the apparition said the bones were buried, when Rychalzie met us accidentally; and the minister told Rychalzie the story in the presence of all that were there assembled, and desired the liberty from him to break up the ground to search for the bones. Rychalzie made some scruples to allow us to break up the ground, but said he would go along with us to Glasclune {149a}; and if he advised, he would allow search to be made. Accordingly he went straight along with my brother and me and James Chalmers, a neighbour who lives in the Hilltown of Mause, to Glasclune, and told Glasclune the story as above narrated; and he advised Rychalzie to allow the search to be made, whereupon he gave his consent to it.