The Fatal Forget-me-not

: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

Three miles out from the Nahant shore, Massachusetts, rises Egg Rock, a

dome of granite topped by a light-house. In the last century the

forget-me-nots that grew in a little marsh at its summit were much

esteemed, for it was reported that if a girl should receive one of these

little flowers from her lover the two would be faithful to each other

through all their married life. It was before a temporary separation that

certain young couple strolled together on the Nahant cliffs. The man

was to sail for Italy next day, to urge parental consent to their union.

As he looked dreamily into the sea the legend of the forget-me-not came

into his mind, and in a playful tone he offered to gather a bunch as a

memento. Unthinkingly the girl consented. He ran down the cliff to his

boat, pushed out, and headed toward the rock, but a fisherman shouted

that a gale was rising and the tide was coming in; indeed, the horizon

was whitening and the rote was growing plain.

Alice had heard the cry of warning and would have called him back, but

she was forsaken by the power of speech, and watched, with pale face and

straining eyes, the boat beating smartly across the surges. It was seen

to reach Egg Rock, and after a lapse came dancing toward the shore again;

but the tide, was now swirling in rapidly, the waves were running high,

and the wind freshened as the sun sank. At times the boat was out of

sight in the hollowed water, and as it neared Nahant it became

unmanageable. Apparently it had filled with water and the tiller-rope had

broken. Nothing could be done by the spectators who had gathered on the

rocks, except to shout directions that were futile, even if they could be

heard. At last the boat was lifted by a breaker and hurled against a mass

of granite at the very feet of the man's mistress. When the body was

recovered next day, a bunch of forget-me-not was clasped in the rigid