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A Man Carried Away By The Evil One


Source: Welsh Folk-lore

W. E., of Ll--- M---, was a very bad man; he was a brawler, a fighter, a
drunkard. He is said to have spat in the parson's face, and to have
struck him, and beaten the parish clerk who interfered. It was believed
that he had sold himself to work evil, and many foul deeds he committed,
and, what was worse, he gloried in them.

People thought that his end would be a shocking one, and they were not
disappointed. One night this reprobate and stubborn character did not
return home. The next day search was made for him, and his dead body was
found on the brink of the river. Upon inspecting the ground, it became
evident that the deceased had had a desperate struggle with an unknown
antagonist, and the battle commenced some distance above the ceunant,
or dingle, where the body was discovered. It was there seen that the
man had planted his heels deep into the ground, as if to resist a
superior force, intent upon dragging him down to the river. There were
indications that he had lost his footing; but a few yards lower down it
was observed that his feet had ploughed the ground, and every step taken
from this spot was traceable all down the declivity to the bottom of the
ravine, and every yard gave proof that a desperate and prolonged struggle
had taken place along the whole course. In one place an oak tree
intercepted the way, and it was seen that a bough had its bark peeled
off, and evidently the wretched man had taken hold of this bough and did
not let go until the bark came off in his hands, for in death he still
clutched the bark. The last and most severe struggle took place close to
the river, and here the body was dragged underneath the roots of a tree,
through a hole not big enough for a child to creep through, and this
ended the fight.

Mr. Jones stated that what was most remarkable and ominous in connection
with this foul work was the fact that, although footprints were seen in
the ground, they were all those of the miserable man, for there were no
other marks visible. From this fact and the previous evil life of this
wretched creature, the people in those parts believed that the fearful
struggle had taken place between W. E. and the Evil One, and that he had
not been murdered by any man, but that he was taken away by Satan.

The next tale is a type of many once common in Wales, and as in one
respect it connects these tales, or at least this particular one, with
Fairy stories, I will relate it.

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