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The Fiddler And The Bogle Of Bogandoran

Source: Folk-lore And Legends Scotland

"Late one night, as my grand-uncle, Lachlan Dhu Macpherson, who was well
known as the best fiddler of his day, was returning home from a ball, at
which he had acted as a musician, he had occasion to pass through the
once-haunted Bog of Torrans. Now, it happened at that time that the bog
was frequented by a huge bogle or ghost, who was of a most mischievous
disposition, and took particular pleasure in abusing every traveller who
had occasion to pass through the place betwixt the twilight at night and
cock-crowing in the morning. Suspecting much that he would also come in
for a share of his abuse, my grand-uncle made up his mind, in the course
of his progress, to return the ghost any civilities which he might
think meet to offer him. On arriving on the spot, he found his
suspicions were too well grounded; for whom did he see but the ghost of
Bogandoran apparently ready waiting him, and seeming by his ghastly grin
not a little overjoyed at the meeting. Marching up to my grand-uncle,
the bogle clapped a huge club into his hand, and furnishing himself with
one of the same dimensions, he put a spittle in his hand, and
deliberately commenced the combat. My grand-uncle returned the salute
with equal spirit, and so ably did both parties ply their batons that for
a while the issue of the combat was extremely doubtful. At length,
however, the fiddler could easily discover that his opponent's vigour was
much in the fagging order. Picking up renewed courage in consequence, he
plied the ghost with renewed force, and after a stout resistance, in the
course of which both parties were seriously handled, the ghost of
Bogandoran thought it prudent to give up the night.

"At the same time, filled no doubt with great indignation at this signal
defeat, it seems the ghost resolved to re-engage my grand-uncle on some
other occasion, under more favourable circumstances. Not long after, as
my grand-uncle was returning home quite unattended from another ball in
the Braes of the country, he had just entered the hollow of Auldichoish,
well known for its 'eerie' properties, when, lo! who presented himself to
his view on the adjacent eminence but his old friend of Bogandoran,
advancing as large as the gable of a house, and putting himself in the
most threatening and fighting attitudes.

"Looking at the very dangerous nature of the ground where they had met,
and feeling no anxiety for a second encounter with a combatant of his
weight, in a situation so little desirable, the fiddler would have
willingly deferred the settlement of their differences till a more
convenient season. He, accordingly, assuming the most submissive aspect
in the world, endeavoured to pass by his champion in peace, but in vain.
Longing, no doubt, to retrieve the disgrace of his late discomfiture, the
bogle instantly seized the fiddler, and attempted with all his might to
pull the latter down the precipice, with the diabolical intention, it is
supposed, of drowning him in the river Avon below. In this pious design
the bogle was happily frustrated by the intervention of some trees which
grew on the precipice, and to which my unhappy grand-uncle clung with the
zeal of a drowning man. The enraged ghost, finding it impossible to
extricate him from those friendly trees, and resolving, at all events, to
be revenged upon him, fell upon maltreating the fiddler with his hands
and feet in the most inhuman manner.

"Such gross indignities my worthy grand-uncle was not accustomed to, and
being incensed beyond all measure at the liberties taken by Bogandoran,
he resolved again to try his mettle, whether life or death should be the
consequence. Having no other weapon wherewith to defend himself but his
biodag, which, considering the nature of his opponent's constitution,
he suspected much would be of little avail to him--I say, in the absence
of any other weapon, he sheathed the biodag three times in the ghost of
Bogandoran's body. And what was the consequence? Why, to the great
astonishment of my courageous forefather, the ghost fell down cold dead
at his feet, and was never more seen or heard of."

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