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Another Tale Of A Doctor


Source: Welsh Folk-lore

I received the following tale from the Rev. Philip Edwards, formerly
curate at Selattyn, near Oswestry:--

There was, or perhaps is--for my informant says he believes the lady is
still alive--in a place called Swyddffynnon, Cardiganshire, a Mrs. Evans,
who had a strange vision. Mr. Edwards's father called one evening upon
Mrs. Evans, and found her sitting by the fire in company with a few
female friends, greatly depressed. On enquiring as to the cause of her
distress, she stated that she had had a strange sight that very evening.
She saw, she said, in the unoccupied chamber at the further end of the
house, a light, and, whilst she was wondering what light it was, she
observed a tall, dark, stranger gentleman, who had a long, full beard,
enter the house and go straight to the room where the light was, but
before going in he took off his hat and placed it on the table; then he
took off his gloves and threw them into the hat, and then he placed his
riding whip across the hat, and without uttering a single word he entered
the lit-up room. Shortly afterwards she saw the stranger emerge from the
room and leave the house, and on looking again towards the room she saw
that the light had disappeared. It was, she said, this apparition that
had disconcerted her. Some time after this vision Mrs. Evans was in a
critical state, and as she lived far away from a doctor my informant's
father was requested to ride to Aberystwyth for one. He found, however,
that the two doctors who then resided in that town were from home. But
he was informed at the inn that there was a London doctor staying at
Hafod. He determined, whether he could or could not, induce this
gentleman to accompany him to Swyddffynnon, to go there. The gentleman,
on hearing the urgency of the case, consented to visit the sick woman.
Mr. Edwards and the doctor rode rapidly to their destination, and Mr.
Edwards was surprised to find that the doctor did everything exactly as
had been stated by Mrs. Evans. There was also a light in the chamber,
for there the neighbours had placed the still-born child, and it was the
providential help of the London doctor that saved Mrs. Evans's life. I
may add that the personal appearance of this gentleman corresponded with
the description given of him by Mrs. Evans.

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