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The Baldwin Library
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AMens/y / fo puw
Gold of Fairmilee.
FRONTISPIECE BY T. SCOTT.
DR.IIINGS BY E. A. LEMANN.
J. W. ARRO\\SMiTH, QUAY STREET.
SIMPKIN, MARSHALL & Co., STATIONERS' H-ALL COURT.
The Letter-press by
J. W. Arrowsmith, Bristol.
The Drawings lithographed by
E. S. & A. Robinson & Co.,
To Jeanie: Lang,
Foir ou, far awaq on 1te oltp siae of te
worla, I male i151 little tale of our own eounti.
Your fat5ei ana I bave aug for bteazaure in ie: Camp
at Rink, wit our knives, wen we: were: Bos,
We aia not final it: ie soto will tell ou w5,
Ape: tlere Faipies as well as BunipgS in
Australia ? I ope zo,
W6up}idg, Zoot-ie: Zong
in i~lz Ta1e
F, DeQ. M*
I. ,THE OLD HOUSE - I
II. HOW RANDAL'S FATHER CAME HOME -- 4
III. HOW JEAN WAS BROUGHT TO FAIRNILEE- io
IV. RANDAL AND JEAN - 16
V. THE GOOD FOLK - 25
VI. THE WISHING WELL -- 31
VII. WHERE IS RANDAL? - 38
VIII. THE ILL YEARS 47
IX. THE WHITE ROSES - 54
X. OUT OF FAIRYLAND - 60
XI. THE FAIRY BOTTLE - 67
XII. AT THE CATTAIL - 72
XIII. THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE 77
xT e Gol oJf Fairpmke:
Ebe @lb 1bouse.
OU may still see the old Scotch
house where Randal was born, so
long ago. Nobody lives there now.
Most of the roof has fallen in,
there is- no glass in the windows,
and all the doors are open. They
were open in the days of Randal's father-nearly
four hundred years have passed since then-and
everyone who came was welcome to his share of
2 THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
beef and broth and ale. But now the doors are
not only open, they are quite gone, and there is
nobody within to give you a welcome.
So there is nothing but emptiness in the old
house where Randal lived with Jean, three hundred
and sixty years or so before you were born. It is a
high old house, and wide, with the broken slates
still on the roof. At the corner there are little
round towers, like pepper-boxes, with sharp peaks.
The stems of the ivy that covers the walls are as
thick as trees. There are many trees crowding all
round, and there are hills round it too; and far
below you hear the Tweed whispering all day. The
house is called Fairnilee, which means "the Fairies'
Field;" for people believed in fairies, as you shall
hear, when Randal was a boy, and even when my
father was a boy.
Randal was all alone in the house when he was
a little fellow-alone with his mother, and Nancy
the old nurse, and Simon Grieve the butler, who
wore a black velvet coat and a big silver chain.
Then there were the maids, and the grooms, and
THE OLD HOUSE. 3
the farm folk, who were all friends of Randal's.
He was not lonely, and he did not feel unhappy,
even before Jean came, as you shall be told. But
the grown-up people were sad and silent at Fair-
nilee. Randal had no father; his mother, Lady
Ker, was a widow. She was still quite young, and
Randal thought her the most beautiful person in
the world. Children think these things about their
mothers, and Randal. had seen no ladies but his
mother only. She had brown hair and brown eyes
and red lips, and a grave kind face, which looked
serious under her great white widow's cap with the
black hood over it. Randal never saw his mother
cry; but when he was a very little child indeed, he
had heard her crying in the night: this was after
his father went away.
lbow 1Ranbare father came 1bome,
SN D A L remembered his father's
S going to fight the English, and how
he came back again. It was a windy
August evening when he went away:
the rain had fallen since morning.
Randal had watched the white mists
driven by the gale down through the black pine-
wood that covers the hill opposite Fairnilee.
The mist looked like armies of ghosts, he thought,
marching, marching through the pines, with their
white flags flying and streaming. Then the sun
came out red at evening, and Randal's father rode
away with all his men. He had a helmet on his
head, and a great axe hanging from his neck by
a chain, and a spear in his hand. He was riding
HOW RANDAL'S FATHER CAME HOME. 5
his big horse, Sir Hugh, and he caught Randal up
to the saddle and kissed him many times before he
clattered out of the courtyard. All the tenants
and men about the farm rode with him, all with
spears and a flag embroidered with a crest in gold.
His mother watched them from the tower till they
were out of sight. And Randal saw them ride
away, not on hard, smooth roads like ours, but
along a green grassy track, the water splashing up
to their stirrups where they crossed the marshes.
Then the sky turned as red as blood, in the
sunset, and next it grew brown, like the rust on a
sword; and the Tweed below, when they rode
the ford, was all red and gold and brown.
Then time went on; that seemed a long time
to Randal. Only the women were left in the house,
and Randal played with the shepherd's children.
They sailed boats.in the millpond, and they went
down to the boat-pool and watched to see the big
copper-coloured salmon splashing in the still water.
One evening Randal looked up suddenly from his
play. It was growing dark. He had been building
0 THE. GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
a house with the round stones and wet sand by the
river. He looked up, and there was his own father!
He was riding all alone, and his horse, Sir Hugh,
was very lean and lame, and scarred with the spurs.
The spear in his father's hand was broken, and he
had no sword; and he looked neither to right nor
to left. His eyes were wide open, but he seemed
to see nothing.
Randal cried out to him, "Father! Father! "
but he never glanced at Randal. He did not look
as if he heard him, or knew he was there, and
suddenly he seemed to go away, Randal did not
know how or where.
Randal was frightened.
He ran into the house, and went to his mother.
"Oh, mother," he said, "I have seen father!
He was riding all alone, and he would not look at
me. Sir Hugh was lame!"
"Where has he gone?" said Lady Ker, in a
He went away out of sight," said Randal. "I
could not see-where he went."
HOW RANDAL'S FATHER CAME HOME. 7
Then his mother told him it could not be, that
his father would not have come back alone. He
would not leave his men behind him in the war.
But Randal was so sure, that she did not scold
him. She knew he believed what he said.
He saw that she was not happy.
All that night, which was the Fourth of Sep-
tember, in the year 1513, the day of Elodden fight,
Randal's mother did not go to bed. She kept moving
about the house. Now she would look from the tower
window up Tweed; and now she would go along the
gallery and look down Tweed from the other tower.
She had lights burning in all the windows. All next
day she was never still. She climbed, with two of
her maids, to the top of the hill above Yair, on the
other side of the river, and she watched the roads
down Ettrick and Yarrow. Next night she slept
little, and rose early. About noon, Randal saw
three or four men riding wearily, with tired horses.
They could scarcely cross the ford of Tweed, the
horses were so tired. The men were Simon Grieve
the butler, and some of the tenants. They looked
THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
very pale; some of them had their heads tied up,
and there was blood on their faces. Lady Ker
and Randal ran to meet them.
Simon Grieve lighted from his horse, and
whispered to Randal's mother.
Randal did not hear what he said, but his
mother cried, I knew it! I knew it!" and turned
Where is he ?" she said.
Simon pointed across the hill. "They are
bringing the corp," he said. Randal knew the
" corp" meant the dead body.
He began to cry. "Where is my father?" he
said, wheree is my father ?"
His mother led him into the house. She gave
him to the old nurse, who cried over him, and
kissed him, and offered him cakes, and made him a
whistle with a branch of plane tree. So in a short
while Randal only felt puzzled. Then he forgot,
and began to play. He was a very little boy.
Lady Ker shut herself up in her own room-her
"bower," the servants called it.
HOW RANDAL'S FATHER CAME HOME. 9
Soon Randal heard heavy steps on the stairs,
and whispering. He wanted to run out, and his
nurse caught hold of him, and would not have let
him go, but he slipped out of her hand, and looked
over the staircase.
They were bringing up the body of a man
stretched on a shield.
It was Randal's father.
He had been slain at Flodden, fighting for the
king. An arrow had gone through his brain, and
he had fallen beside James IV., with many another
brave knight, all the best of Scotland, the Flowers
of the Forest.
What was it Randal saw, when he thought he
met his father in the twilight, three days before ?
He never knew. His mother said he must have
dreamed it all.
The old nurse used to gossip about it to the
maids. "He's an unco' bairn, oor Randal; I wush
he may na be fey."
She meant that Randal was a strange child,
and that strange things would.happen to him.
1bow 3can was brotubt to fairnilee.
S H E winter went by very sadly. At
first the people -about Fairnilee
expected the English to cross the
S Border and march against them.
SThey drove their cattle. out on
the wild hills, and into marshes
where only they knew the firm. paths, and
raised walls of earth an'd stones-barnkyns, they
called them,-round the old house; and made
many arrows to shoot out of the narrow windows
at the English. Randal used to like to see the
arrow-making beside the fire at night. He was not
afraid; and said he would show the English what
he could do with his little bow. But weeks went
HOW JEAN WAS BROUGHT TO FAIRNILEE. II
on and no, enemy came. Spring drew near, the
snow melted from the hills. One night Randal
was awakened by a great noise of shouting; he
looked out of the window, and saw bright torches
moving about. He heard the cows "routing," or
bellowing, and the women screaming. He thought
the English had come. So they had; not the
English army, but some robbers from the other
side of the Border. At that time the people on
the south side of Scotland and the. north side of
England used to steal each other's cows time
about. When a Scotch squire, or "laird," like
Randal's father, had been robbed by the neighbour-
ing English, he would wait his'chance and drive
away cattle from the English side. This time
most of Randal's mother's herds were seized, by a
sudden attack in the night, and were driven away
through the Forest 'to England. Two or three of
Lady Ker's men were hurt by the English, but old
Simon Grieve took a prisoner. He did this in a
curious way. He shot an arrow after the robbers
as they rode off, and the arrow pinned an English-
12 THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
man's leg to the saddle, and even into his horse.
The horse was hurt and frightened, and ran away
right back to Fairnilee, where it was caught, with the
rider and all, for of course he could not dismount.
They treated him kindly at Fairnilee, though
they laughed at him a good deal. They found out
from him where the English had come from. He
did not mind telling them, for he was really a gipsy
from Yetholm, where the gipsies live, and Scot or
Southron was all one to him.
When old Simon Grieve knew who the people
were that had taken the cows, he was not long in
calling the men together, and trying to get back
what he had lost. Early one April morning, a
grey morning, with snow in the air, he and his
spearmen set out, riding down through the Forest,
and so into Liddesdale. When they came back
again, there were great rejoicings at Fairnilee.
They drove most of their own cows before them,
and a great many other cows that they had not
lost; cows of the English farmers. The byres and
yards were soon full of cattle, lowing and roaring,
HOW JEAN WAS BROUGHT TO FAIRNILEE. 13
very uneasy, and some of them with marks of the
spears that had goaded them across many a ford,
and up many a rocky pass in the hills.
Randal jumped downstairs to the great hall,
where his mother sat. Simon Grieve was telling
her all about it.
"Sae we drave oor ain kye hame, my lady," he
said, and aiblins some orra anes that was na oor
ain. For-bye we raikit a' the plenishing oot o' the
ha' o' Hardriding, and a bonny burden o' tapestries,
and plaids, and gear we hae, to show for our ride."*
Then he called to some of his men, who came
into the hall, and cast down great piles of all sorts
of spoil and booty, silver plate, and silken hangings,
and a heap of rugs, and carpets, and plaids, such
as Randal had never seen before, for the English
were much richer than the Scotch.
Randal threw .himself on the pile of rugs and
began to roll on it,
"We drove our own cattle home, and perhaps some others that
were not ours. And we took all the goods out of the hall at Hard-
riding, and a pretty load of tapestries, and rugs, and other things
we have to show for our ride."
THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
"Oh, mother," he cried suddenly, jumping up
and looking with wide-open eyes, "there's some-
thing living in the heap! Perhaps it's a doggie,
or a rabbit, or a kitten."
Then Randal tugged at the cloths, and then
they all heard a little shrill cry.
"Why, it 's a bairn !" said Lady Ker, who had
sat very grave all the time, pleased to have done
the English some harm; for they had killed her
husband, and were all her deadly foes. "It's a
bairn !" she cried, and pulled out of the greaf heap
of cloaks and rugs a little beautiful child, in its
white nightdress, with its yellow curls all tangled
over its blue eyes.
Then Lady Ker and the old nurse could not
make too much of the pretty English child that
had come here in such a wonderful \\ay.
How did it get mixed up with all the spoil ?
and hoi.w had it been carried so far on horseback
withoutt being hurt ? Nobody ever knew. It came
as if the fairies had sent it. English it was, but
the best Scot could not hate such a pretty child.
HOW JEAN WAS BROUGHT TO FAIRNILEE. 15
Old Nancy Dryden ran up to the old nursery with it,
and laid it in a great wooden tub full of hot water,
and was giving it warm milk to drink, and dandling
it, almost before the men knew what had happened.
"Yon bairn will be a bonny mate for you,
Maister Randal," said old Simon Grieve. "'Deed,
I dinna think her kin will come speering* after her
at Fairnilee. The Red Cock's crawing ower Hard-
riding Ha' this day, and when the womenfolk come
back frae the wood, they'll hae other thing to do
for-bye looking for bairns."
When Simon Grieve said that the Red Cock
was crowing over his enemies' home, he meant
that he had set it on fire after the people who
lived in it had run away.
Lady Ker grew pale when she heard what he
said. She hated the English, to be sure, but she
was a woman with 'a kind heart. She thought of
the dreadful danger that the little English girl had
escaped, and she went upstairs and helped the
nurse to make the child happy.
1Ranbal anb 3ean.
HE little girl soon made everyone at
Fairnilee happy. She was far too
young to remember her own home,
A and presently she was crawling up
and down the long hall and making
friends with Randal. They found
out that her name was Jane Musgrave, though
she could hardly say Musgrave; and they called
her Jean, with their Scotch tongues, or "Jean
o' the Kye," because she came when the cows
were driven home again.
Soon the old nurse came to like her near as well
as Randal, her ain bairn (her own child), as she
called him. In the summer days, Jean, as she
RANDAL AND JEAN. 17
grew older, would follow Randal about like a little
doggie. They went fishing together, and Randal
would pull the trout out of Caddon Burn, or the
Burn of Peel; and Jeanie would be very proud of
him, and very much alarmed at the big, wide jaws
of the yellow trout. And Randal would plait
helmets with green rushes for her and him, and
make spears of bulrushes, and play at tilts and
tournaments. There was peace in the country;
or if there was war, it did not come near the
quiet valley of the Tweed and the hills that lie
round Fairnilee. In summer they were always on
the hills and by the burnsides.
You cannot think, if you have not tried, what
pleasant company a burn is. It comes out of the
deep, black wells in the moss, far away on the tops of
the hills, where the sheep feed, and the fox peers from
his hole, and the ravens build in the crags. The burn
flows down from the lonely places, cutting a way
between steep, green banks, tumbling in white water-
falls over rocks, and lying in black, deep pools below
the waterfalls. At every turn it does something
1o THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
new and plays a fresh game with its brown waters.
The white pebbles in the water look like gold: often
Randal would pick one out and think he had found
a gold-mine, till he got it into the -sunshine, and
then it was only a white stone, what he called a
"chucky-stane;" but he. kept hoping for better
luck next. time:- In the height of summer, when
the streams. were veery low, he and the shepherd's
boys would build dams of stones and turf across
a. narrow part of the burh, while Jean sat and
watched them on a little. round knoll. Then,
when plenty of water had collected in the pool,
they would break the dam and let it all run down
hill in.a little flood; :they called it a." hurly:gush."
And in winter they would slide on the black, smooth
ice.. of the. boat-pool, beneath the branches of the
Or they would go out with Yarrow, the shep-
herd's dog,. and follow the track of wild creatures
in the snow. The. rabbit: makes marks like *,
and. 'the hare makes -marks .like *: ; but the
fox's track is just as if you had pushed a piece
RANDAL AND JEAN. 19
of wood through the snow-a number of cuts in
the surface, going straight along. When' it was
very cold, the grouse and black-cocks would come
into the trees near the house, and Randal and
Jean would put out porridge for them to, eat. And
the great white swans floated in from the frozen
lochs on the hills, and gathered round open reaches
and streams of the Tveed. I rt was pleasant to be
a boy then in the North. And at Hallow E'en
they would duck for apples in tubs of water, and
burn nuts in.the fire, and-look for the shadow of
the lady Randal was to marry, in the mirror; but
he only saw Jean looking over his shoulder.
The days were very -short .in winter, so far
North, and they would soon be dkiven'into the
house. Then they sat by the nursery fire; and
those were almost the pleasantest hours, for the
old nurse would tell them old Scotch stories of
elves and fairies, and sing them old songs. Jean
would crawl close to Randal and hold his hand,
for fear the Red Etin, or some other awful bogle,
should get her : and in the dancing shadows- of the
20 THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
firelight she would think she saw Whuppity Stoorie,
the wicked old witch with, the spinning-wheel; but
it was really nothing but the shadow of the wheel
that the old nurse drove with her foot-birr, birr-
and that whirred and rattled as she span and told
her tale. For people span their cloth at home then,
instead of buying it from shops; and the old nurse
was a great woman for spinning.
She was a great woman for stories, too, and
believed in fairies, and "bogles," as she called
them. Had not her own cousin, Andrew Tamson,
passed the Cauldshiels Loch one New Year morn-
ing ? And had he not heard a dreadful roaring, as
if all the cattle on Faldonside Hill were routing at
once ? And then did he not see a great black beast
roll down the hillside, like a black ball, and run
into the loch, which grew white with foam, and the
waves leaped up the banks like a tide rising? What
could that be except the kelpie that lives in Cauld-
shiels Loch, and is just a muckle big water bull ?
" And what for should there no be water kye, if
there's land kye ?"
RANDAL AND JEAN. 41
Randal and Jean thought it was very likely
there were "kye," or cattle, in the water. And
some Highland people think so still, and believe
they have seen the great kelpie come roaring out
of the lake; or Shellycoat, whose skin is all crusted
like a rock with shells, sitting beside the sea.
The old nurse had other tales, that nobody
believes any longer, about Brownies. A Brownie
was a very useful creature to have in a house. He
was a kind of fairy-man, and he came out in the
dark, when everybody had gone to bed, just as
mice pop out at night. He never did anyone any
harm, but he sat and warmed himself at the kitchen
fire. If any work was unfinished he did it, and
made everything tidy that was left out of order.
It is a pity there are no such bogles now! If any-
body offered the Brownie any payment, even if it
was only a silver penny or a new coat, he would
take offence and go away.
Other stories the old nurse had, about hidden
treasures and buried gold. If you believed her,
there was hardly an old stone on the hillside but
THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
had gold under it. The very sheep that fed upon
the Eildon Hills, which Randal knew well, had
yellow teeth because there was so much gold under
the grass. Randal liad taken two scones, or rolls, in
his pocket for dinner, and ridden over to the Eildon
Hills. He had seen a rainbow touch one of them,
and there he hoped he would find the treasure that
always lies at the tail of the rainbow. But he got
very soon tired of digging for it with his little dirk, or
dagger. It blunted the dagger, and he found nothing.
Perhaps he had not marked quite the right place, he
thought. But he.looked at the teeth of the sheep,
and they were yellow; so he had no doubt that there
was a gold-mine under the grass,'if he could find it.
The old nurse knew that it was very difficult to dig
up fairy gold. Generally something happened just
when people heard their pickaxes clink on the iron
pot that held' the'treasure. A dreadful storm of
thunder and lightning would break out ; or the burn
wouldbe flooded, and rush down all red and roaring,
sweeping away the tools and drowning the digger;
or a strange man, that nobody had ever seen before,
RANDAL AND JEAN.
would come up, waving his arms, and crying out
that the Castle was on fire. Then the people would
hurry up to the Castle, and find that it was not on
fire at all. When they returned, all the earth
would be just as it was before they began, and they
would give up in despair. Nobody could ever see
the man-again that gave the alarm.
"Who could he be, nurse ?" Randal asked.
"Just one of the good folk, I 'm thinking; but
it's no weel to be speaking o' them."
Randal knew that the "good folk" meant the
fairies. The old nurse called them the good folk
for fear of offending them. She would not -speak
much about them, except now and then, when the
servants had been making merry.
"And is there any treasure hidden near Fair-
nilee, nursie ? asked little Jean.
"Treasure, my bonny doo! Mair than a' the
men about the toon could carry away frae morning
till nicht. Do ye no ken the auld rhyme ?-
A tween the wet ground and the dry
The gold of Fairnilee doth lie.
THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
And there's the other auld rhyme-
Between the Camp.o' Rink
And Tweed water clear,
Lie nine kings' ransoms
For nine hundred year !"
Randal and Jean were very glad to hear so
much gold was near them as would pay nine
kings' ransoms. They took their small spades and
dug little holes in the Camp of Rink, which is a
great old circle of stonework, surrounded by a deep
ditch, on the top of a hill above the house. But
Jean was not a very good digger, and even Randal
grew tired. They thought they would wait till they
grew bigger, and then find the gold.
Cbe ( oob folh.
I VERYBODY knows there's fairies,"
'/. said the old nurse one night when
S she was bolder than usual. What
.2, she said we will put in English, not
..-. Scotch as she spoke it. "But they
.do not like to be called fairies. So
the old rhyme runs:
If ye call me imp or elf,
I warn you look well to yourself;
If ye call me fairy,
Ye 'II find me quite contrary;
If good neighbour you call me,
Then good neighbour I will be;
But if you call me kindly sprite,
I'll be your friend both day and night.
So you must always call them 'good neighbours' or
' good folk,' when you speak of them."
4o THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE..
"Did you ever see a fairy, nurse?" asked
Not myself, but my mother knew a woman-
they called her Tibby Dickson, and her husband
was a shepherd, and she had a bairn, as bonny
a bairn as ever you saw.. And one day she went to
the well to draw water, and as she was coming
back she heard a loud scream in her house. Then
her heart leaped, and fast she ran and flew to the
cradle; and there she saw an awful sight-not her
own bairn, but a withered imp, with hands like a
mole's, and a face like a frog's, and a mouth from
ear to ear, and two great staring eyes."
"What was it ?" asked Jeanie, in a trembling
"A fairy's bairn that had not thriven," said
nurse; and when their bairns do not thrive, they
just steal honest folks' children and carry them
away to their own country."
"And where's that ? said Randal.
"It's under the ground," said nurse, "and
there they have gold and silver and diamonds;
THE GOOD FOLK.
and there's the Queen of them all, that's as
beautiful as the day. She has yellow hair down
to her feet, and she has blue eyes, like the sky on
a fine day, and her voice like all the mavises
singing in the spring. And she is aye dressed
in green, and all her court in green; and she
rides a white horse with golden bells on the
"I would like to go there and see her," said
"Oh, never say that, my bairn; you never
know who may hear you And if you go there,
how will you come back again ? and what will
your mother do, and Jean here, and me that's
carried you many a time in weary arms when
you were a babe?"
Can't people come back again?" asked
"Some say 'Yes,.' and some say 'No.' There
was Tam Hislop, that vanished away the day before
all the lads and your own father went forth to that
weary war at Flodden, and the English, for once,
THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
by guile, won the day. Well, Tam Hislop, when.
the news came that all must arm and mount and
ride, he cduld nowhere be found. It was as if the
wind had carried him away. High and low they
sought him, but there was his clothes and his jack,*
and his sword and his spear, but no Tam Hislop.
Well, no man heard .more of him for seven whole
years, not till last year, and then he came back:
sore tired he looked, ay, and older than when he was
lost. And I met him by the well, and I was
frightened; and 'Tam,' I said, 'where have ye
been this weary time ?' I have been with them
that I will not speak the name of,' says he. 'Ye
mean the good folk,' said' I. 'Ye have said it,' says
he. Then I went up to the house, with my heart
in my mouth, and I met Simon Grieve. 'Simon,'
I says, 'here's Tam Hislop come home from the
good folk.' I '11 soon send him back to them,'
says he. And he takes a great rung t and lays it
about Tam's shoulders, calling him coward loon,
that ran away from the fighting. And since then
Jack, a kind of breastplate. f Rung, a staff.
THE GOOD FOLK. 29
Tam has never been seen about the place. But
the Laird's man, of Gala, knows them that say he
was in- Perth the last seven years, and not in
Fairyland at all. But it was Fairyland he told
me, and he would not lie to his own mother's
Randal did not care much for the story of
Tam Hislop. A fellow who would let old Simon
Grieve beat him could not be worthy of the Fairy
Randal was about thirteen now, a tall boy, with
dark eyes, black hair, a brown face with the red on
his cheeks. He had grown up in a country where
everything was magical and haunted; where fairy
knights rode on the leas after dark, and challenged
men to battle. Every castle had its tale of Redcap,
the sly spirit, or of the woman of the hairy hand.
Every old mound was thought to cover hidden gold.
And all was so lonely; the green hills rolling
between river and river, with no men on them,
nothing but sheep, and grouse, and plover. No
wonder that Randal lived in a kind of dream. He
30 THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
would lie and watch the long grass till it looked
like a forest, and he thought he could see elves
dancing between the green grass stems, that were
like fairy trees. He kept wishing that he, too,
might meet the Fairy Queen, and be taken into
that other world where everything was beautiful.
tbe liobing Well.
EAN," said Randal one midsummer
Oh, Randal," said Jean, "it
,; is so far away!"
"' I can walk it," said Randal,
" and you must come, too; I want you, Jeanie.
It's not so very far."
"But mother says it is wrong to go to Wishing
Wells," Jean answered.
"Why is it wrong? said Randal, switching at
the tall foxgloves with a stick.
"Oh, she says it is a wicked thing, and for-
32 THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE
bidden by the Church. People who go to wish
there, sacrifice to the spirits of the well; and Father
Francis told her that it was very wrong."
"Father Francis is a shaveling," said Randal.
"I heard Simon Grieve say so."
"What's a shaveling, Randal ?"
"I don't know: a man that does not fight, I
think. I don't care what a shaveling says : so I
mean just to go and wish, and I won't sacrifice
anything. There can't be any harm in that! "
"But, oh Randal, you've got your green doublet
"Well! why not ?"
"Do you not know it angers the fair-I mean
the good folk,-that anyone should wear green on
the hill but themselves ?"
I cannot help it," said Randal. "If I go in
and change my doublet, they will ask what .I do
that for. I'll chance it, green or grey, and wish
my wish for all that."
And what are you going to wish ? "
"I'm going to wish to meet the Fairy Queen !
THE WISHING WELL. 33
Just think how beautiful she must be! dressed all
in green, with gold bells on her bridle, and riding a
white horse shod with gold! I think I see her
galloping through the woods and out across the
hill, over the heather."
But you will go away with her, and never see
me any more," said Jean.
"No, I won't; or if I do, I'll come back, with
such a horse, and a sword with a gold handle.
I 'm going to the Wishing Well. Come on! "
Jean did not like to say "No," and off they went.
Randal and Jean started without taking any-
thing with them to eat. They were afraid to go
back to the house for food. Randal said they
would be sure to find something somewhere. The
Wishing Well was on the top of a hill between
Yarrow and Tweed. So they took off their shoes,
and waded the Tweed at the shallowest part, and
then they walked up the green grassy bank on the
other side, till they came to the burn of Peel.
Here they passed the old square tower of Peel,
and the shepherd dogs came out and barked at
34 THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
them. Randal threw a stone at them, and they
ran away with their tails between their legs.
Don't you think we had better go into Peel,
and get some bannocks to eat on the way, Randal?"
But Randal said he was not hungry; and,
besides, the people at Peel would tell the Fairnilee
people where they had gone.
"We'll wish for things to eat when we get to
the Wishing Well," said Randal. "All sorts of
good things-cold venison pasty, and everything
So they began climbing the hill, and they
followed the Peel burn. It ran in and out, winding
this way and that, and when they did get to the top
of the hill, Jean was very tired and very hungry.
And she was very disappointed. For she expected
to see some wonderful new country at her feet, and
there was only a low strip of sunburnt grass and
heather, and then another hill-top! So Jean sat
down, and the hot sun blazed on her, and the flies
buzzed about her and tormented her.
THE WISHING WELL.
"Come on, Jean," said Randal; "it must be
over the next hill! "
So poor Jean got up and followed him, but he
walked far too fast for her. When she reached the
crest of the next hill, she found a great cairn, or
pile of grey stones; and beneath her lay, far, far
below, a- deep valley covered with woods, and a
stream running through it that she had never seen
That stream was the Yarrow.
Randal was nowhere in sight, and she did not
know where to look for the Wishing Well. If she
had walked straight forward through the trees she
would have come to it; but she was so tired, and so
hungry, and so hot, that she sat down at the foot of
the cairn and cried as if her heart would break.
Then she fell asleep.
When Jean woke; it was as dark as it ever is on
a midsummer night in Scotland.
It was a soft, cloudy night; not a clear night
with a silver sky.
Jeanie heard a loud roaring close to her, and
THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
the red light of a great fire was^ in her sleepy
In the firelight she saw strange black beasts,
with horns, plunging and leaping and bellowing,
and dark figures rushing about the flames. It was
the beasts that made the roaring. They were
bounding about close to the fire, and sometimes in
it, and were all mixed in the smoke.
Jeanie was dreadfully frightened, too frightened
Presently she heard the voices of men shouting
on the hill below her. The shouts and the barking
of dogs came nearer and nearer.
Then a dog ran up to her, and licked her face,
and jumped about her.
It was her own sheepdog, Yarrow.
He ran back to the men who were following
him, and came again with one of them.
It was old Simon Grieve, very tired, and so
much out of breath that he could scarcely speak.
Jean was very glad to see him, and not frightened
THE WISHING WELL. 37
"Oh, Jeanie, my doo'," said Simon, "where
hae ye been ? A muckle gliff ye hae gien us,, and
a weary spiel up the weary braes."
Jean told him all about it: how she had come
with Randal to see the Wishing Well, and how she
had lost him, and fallen asleep.
And sic a nicht for you bairns to wander on the
hill," said Simon. "It's the nicht o' St. John, when
the guid folk hae power. And there's a' the lads
burning the Bel fires, and driving the nowt (cattle)
through them: nae less will serve them. Sic a nicht !"
This was the cause of the fire Jean saw, and
of the noise of the cattle. On midsummer's night
the country people used to light these fires, and
drive the cattle through them. It was an old, old
custom come down from heathen times.
Now the other men from Fairnilee had gathered
round Jean. Lady Ker had sent them out to look
for Randal and her on the hills. They had heard
from the good wife at Peel that the children had
gone up the burn, and Yarrow had tracked them
till Jean was found.
Wlbere is 1Ranbal?
EAN was found, but where was
Randal? She told the men who
had come out to look for her, that
Randal had gone on to look for the
Wishing Well. So they rolled her
up in a big shepherd's plaid, and
two of them carried Jean home in the plaid, while
all the rest, with lighted torches in their hands,
went to look for Randal through the wood.
Jean was so tired that she fell asleep again in
her plaid before they reached Fairnilee. She was
wakened by the men shouting as they drew near
WHERE IS RANDAL?- 39
the house, to show that they were coming home.
Lady Ker was waiting at the gate, and the old
nurse ran down the grassy path to meet them.
"Where's my bairn ? she cried as soon as she
was within call.
The men said, "Here's Mistress Jean, and
Randal will be here soon; they have gone to look
"Where are they looking ? cried nurse.
Just about the Wishing Well."
The nurse gave a scream, and hobbled back to
"Ma bairn's tint (lost)!" she cried, "ma bairn's
tint! They'll find him never. The good folk
have stolen him away from that weary Wishing
"Hush, nurse," said Lady Ker, "do not frighten
She spoke to the men, who had no doubt
that Randal would soon be found and brought
So Jean was put to bed, where she forgot all her
THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
troubles; and Lady Ker waited, waited, all night,
till the grey light began* to come in, about two in
Lady Ker kept very still and quiet, telling her
beads, and praying. But the old nurse would
never be still, but was always wandering out, down
to the river's edge, listening for the shouts of the
shepherds coming home. Then she would come
back again, and moan and wring her hands, crying
for "her bairn."
About six o'clock, when it was broad daylight
and all the birds were singing, the men returned
from the hill.
But Randal did not come with them.
Then the old nurse set up a great, cry, as the
country people do over the bed of someone who
Lady Ker sent her away, and called Simon
Grieve to her own room.
You have not found the boy yet? she said,
very stately and pale. "He must have wandered
*over into Yarrow; perhaps he has gone as far as
WHERE IS RANDAL?
Newark, and passed the night at the castle, or with
the shepherd at Foulshiels."
"No, my lady," said Simon Grieve, "some o'
the men went over to Newark, and some to Foul-
shiels, and other some down to Sir John Murray's
at Philiphaugh; but there's never a word o' Randal
in a' the country-side."
"Did you find no trace of him ? said Lady
Ker, sitting down suddenly in the great arm-chair.
"We went first through the wood, my Lady, by
the path to the Wishing Well. And he had been
there, for the whip he carried in his hand was lying
on the grass. And we found this."
He put his hand in his pouch, and brought out
a little silver crucifix, that Randal used always to
wear round his neck on a chain.
"This was lying on the grass beside the Wishing
Well, my Lady----"
Then he stopped, for Lady Ker had swooned
away. She was worn out with watching and with
anxiety about Randal.
Simon went and called the maids, and they
42 THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
brought water and wine, and soon Lady Ker came
back to herself, with the little silver crucifix in her
The old nurse was crying, and making a great
"The good folk have taken ma bairn," she
said, "this nicht o' a' the nichts in the year, when
the fairy folk-preserve us frae them !-have power.
But they could nae take the blessed rood o' grace;
it was beyond their strength. If gipsies, or robber
folk frae the Debatable Land, had carried away the
bairn, they would hae taken him, cross and a'. But
the guid folk have gotten him, and Randal Ker will
never, never mair come hame to bonny Fairnilee."
What the old nurse said was what everybody
thought. Even Simon Griev.e shook his head, and
did not like it.
But Lady Ker did not give up hope. She sent
horsemen through all the country-side: up Tweed
to the Crook, and to Talla; up Yarrow,, past'
Catslack Tower, and on to the Loch ofI Saint
Mary; up Ettrick to Thirlestane and Buccleugh,
WHERE IS RANDAL?
and over to Gala, and to Branxholme in Teviot-
dale; and even- to Hermitage Castle, far away- by
They rode far and rode fast, and at every-
cottage and every tower--they asked had anyone
seen a boy in green?"' But nobody had seen
Randal through all the country-side;- Only a
shepherd lad, on Foulshiels hill, had heard bells
ringing in the night, and a sound of laughter go
past him, like a breeze of wind over the heather.
Days went by, and all the country was out to
look for Randal. Down in Yetholme they sought
him, among the gipsies; and across the Eden in
merry Carlisle; and through the Land Debatable,
where the robber Armstrongs and Grahames lived;
and far down Tweed,- past Melrose, and up Jed
water, far into the Cheviot hills.
But there never came any word of Randal. He
had vanished as if the earth had opened and
swallowed him. Father Francis came from Melrose
Abbey, and prayed with Lady Ker, and gave her
all the comfort he could. He shook his head when
44 THE .GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
he heard of the Wishing Well, but he said that no
spirit of earth or air could have power for ever
over a Christian soul. But, even when he spoke,
he remembered that, once in seven years, the
fairy folk have to pay a dreadful tax, one of
themselves, to the King of a terrible country of
Darkness; and what if they had stolen Randal, to
pay the tax with him!
This was what troubled good Father Francis,
though, like a wise man, he said nothing about it, and
even put the thought away out of his own mind.
But you may be sure that the old nurse had
thought of this tax on the fairies too, and that she
did not hold her peace about it, but spoke to every-
one that would listen to her, and would have
spoken to the mistress if she had been allowed.
But when she tried to begin, Lady Ker told her
that she had put her own trustdn Heaven, and in the
Saints. And she gave the nurse such a look when
she said that, "if ever Jean heard of this, she would
send nurse away from Fairnilee, out of the country,"
that the old woman was afraid, and was quiet.
WHERE IS RANDAL? 45
As for poor Jean, she was perhaps the most un-
happy of them all. She thought to herself, if she
had refused to go with Randal to the Wishing
Well, and had run in and told Lady Ker, then
Randal would never have started to find the
Wishing Well. And she put herself in great
danger, as she fancied, to find him. She wandered
alone on the hills, seeking all the places that were
believed to be haunted by fairies.
At every Fairy Knowe, as the country people
called the little round green knolls in the midst of
the heather, Jean would stoop her ear to the ground,
trying to hear the voices of the fairies within.
For it was believed that you might hear the sound
of their speech, and the trampling of their horses,
and the shouts of the fairy children. But no
sound came, except the song of the burn flowing
by, and the hum of gnats in the air, and the gock,
gock, the cry of the grouse, when you frighten him
in the heather.
Then Jeanie would try another way of meeting
the fairies, and finding Randal. She would walk
THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
nine times round a Fairy Knowe, beginning from
the left side, because then it was fancied that the
hill-side would open, like a door, and show a path
into Fairyland, But the hill-side never opened,
and she never saw a single fairy; not even old
Whuppity Stoorie sit with her spinning-wheel in a
green glen,, spinning grass into gold, and singing
her fairy song:-
I once was young and fair,
My eyes were bright and blue,
As if the sun shone through,
A nd golden was my hair.
Down to my feet it rolled
Ruddy and rife like corn,
Upon an autumn morn,
In heavy waves of gold.
Now am I grey and old,
And so I sit and spin,
With trembling hand and thin,
This metal bright and cold.
I would give all the gain,
These heaps of wealth untold
Of hard and glittering gold,
Could I be young again !
Ube 311 Vears.
0 autumn came, and all the hill-
sides were golden with the heather;
and the red coral berries of the
Srowan trees hung from the boughs,
and were wet with the spray of
the waterfalls in the burns. And
days grew shorter, and winter came with snow, but
Randal never came back to Fairnilee. Season
after season passed, and year after year. Lady
Ker's hair grew white'like snow, and her face thin
and pale-for she fasted often as was the rule of
her Church ; all this was before the Reformation.
And she slept little, praying half the night for
Randal's sake. And she went on pilgrimages to
40 THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
many shrines of the Saints: to St. Boswell and
St. Rule's, hard by the great Cathedral of St.
Andrew's on the sea. Nay, she went across the
Border as far as the Abbey of St. Alban's, and
even to St. Thomas's shrine of Canterbury, taking
Jean with her. Many a weary mile they rode over
hill and dale, and many an adventure they had,
and ran many dangers from robbers, and soldiers
disbanded from the wars.
But at last they had to come back to Fairnilee;
and a sad place it was, and silent without the
sound of Randal's voice in the hall, and the noise
of his hunting-horn in the woods. None of the
people wore mourning for him, though they mourned
in their hearts. For to put on black would look
as if they had given up all hope. Perhaps most
of them thought they would never see him again,
but Jeanie was not one who despaired.
The years that had turned Lady Ker's hair
white, had made Jean a tall, slim lass-" very
bonny,". everyone said; and the country people
called her the Flower of Tweed. The Yarrow folk
THE ILL YEARS.
had their Flower of Yarrow, and why not the folk
of Tweedside ? It was now six years since Randal
had been lost, and Jeanie was grown a young woman,
about seventeen years old. She had always kept a
hope that if Randal was with the Fairy Queen he
would return perhaps in the seventh year. People
said on the country-side that many a man and
woman had escaped out of Fairyland after seven
-years' imprisonment there.
Now the sixth year since Randal's disappearance
began very badly, and got worse as it went on. Just
when spring should have been beginning, in the end
of February, there came the most dreadful snow-
storm. It blew and snowed, and blew again, and
the snow was as fine as the dust on a road in
summer. The strongest shepherds could not hold
their own against the tempest, and were "smoored"
(or smothered) in the waste. The flocks moved
down from the hill-sides, down and down, till all
the sheep on a farm would be gathered together in
a crowd, under the shelter of a wood in some deep
dip of the hills. The storm seemed as if it would
50 THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
never cease; for thirteen days the snow drifted and
the wind blew. There was nothing for the sheep
to eat, and if there had been hay enough, it would
have been impossible to carry it to them. The
poor beasts bit at the wool on each other's backs,
and so many of them died that the shepherds built
walls with the dead bodies to keep the wind and
snow away from those that were left alive.
There could be little work done on the farm
that spring; and summer came in so cold and wet
that the corn could not ripen, but was levelled to
the. ground. Then autumn was rainy, and the
green sheaves lay out in the fields, and sprouted
and rotted; so that little corn was reaped, and little
flour could be made. that year. Then in winter,
and as spring came on, the people began to starve.
They had no grain, and there were no potatoes in
those days, and no rice; nor could corn be brought
in from foreign countries. So men and women
and. children might be seen in the fields, with white
pinched faces, gathering nettles to make soup, and
digging for roots that were often little better than
THE ILL YEARS. 51
poison. They ground the bark of the fir trees, and
mixed it with the little flour they could get; and
they ate such beasts as never are eaten except in
time of famine.
It is said that one very poor woman and her
daughter always looked healthy and plump in
these dreadful times, till people began to suspect
them of being witches. And they were taken,
and charged before the Sheriff with living by
witchcraft, and very likely they would have been
burned. So they confessed that they had fed ever
since the famine began-on snails! But there
were not snails enough for all the country-side,
even if people had cared to eat them. So many men
and women died, and more were very weak and ill.
Lady Ker spent all her money in buying food
for her people. Jean and she lived on as little as
they could, and were- as careful as they could be.
They sold all the beautiful silver plate, except the
cup that Randal's father used to drink out of long.
ago.. But almost everything else was sold to buy
52 THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
So the weary year went on, and iMidsummner
Night came round-the seventh since the night
when Randal was lost.
Then Jean did what she had always meant to
do. In the afternoon she slipped out of the house
of Fairnilee, taking a little bread in a basket, and
saying that she would go to see the farmer's wife at
Peel, which was on the other side of Tweed. But
her mind was to go to the Wishing Well. There she
would wish for Randal back again, to help his
mother in the evil times. And if she, too, passed
away as he had passed out of sight and hearing,
then at least she might meet him in that land
where he had been carried. How strange it seemed
to Jean to be doing everything over again that she
had done seven-,'ears before! Then she had been
a little girl, and it had been hard \vork for her to
climb up the side of the Peel burn. Now she
walked lightly and quickly, for she was tall and
well-grown. Soon she reached the crest of the
first hill, and remembered how she had sat down
there and cried, when she was a child, and how the
THE ILL YEARS.
flies had tormented her. They were buzzing and
teasing still; for good times or bad make no difference
to them, as long as the sun shines. Then she reached
the cairn at the top of the next hill, and far below
her lay the forest, and deep within it ran Yarrow,
glittering like silver.
Jean paused a few moments, and then struck
into a green path which led through the wood.
The path wound beneath dark pines; their top-
most branches were red in the evening light, but
the shade was black beneath them. Soon the path
reached a little grassy glade, and there among
cold, wet grasses was the Wishing \ell. It was
almost hidden by the grass, and looked very black,
and cool, and deep. A tiny trickle of water flowed
out of it, flowed down to join the Yarrow. The
trees about it had scraps of rags and other things
pinned to them, offerings made by the country
people to the spirit of the well
Zbe Wbite 1Ro ses.
EANIE sat down beside the well.
She wished her three wishes: to
see Randal, to win him back from
Fairyland, and to help the people
in the famine. Then she knelt
on the grass, -and looked down into
the well-water. At first she saw nothing but the
smooth black water, with little waves trembling in
it. Then the water began to grow bright within,
*as if the sun was shining far, far below. Then
it grew as clear as crystal, and she saw
through it, like a glass, into a new country-a
THE WHITE ROSES. 55
beautiful country with a wide green plaiii, and in
the midst of the-plain a great castle, with golden
flags floating from the tops of all the towers. Then
she heard a curious whispering noise that thrilled
and murmured, as if the music of all the trees that
the wind blows through the world were. in her ears,
as if the noise of all the waves of every sea, and the
rustling of heather-bells on every hill, and the
singing of all birds were sounding, low and.sweet,
far, far away. .Then -she saw a great company of
knights and ladies, dressed in green, ride.up to the
castle; and one knight rode apart from the rest, on
a milk-white steed. They all went into the castle
gates; but this knight- rode- slowly and sadly
behind- the-others, with -his head bowed on, his
SThen the. musical sounds were still,- and_ the
castle and the plain seemed to- wave; in the water.
Next they quite vanished, and the well-grew dim,
and then grew dark and black and smooth as it
had been before. Still she looked, and-the little
well bubbled up -with sparkling foam, and so became
THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
still again, like a mirror, till Jeanie could see her
own face in it, and beside her face came the
reflection of another face, a young man's, dark,
and sad, and beautiful. The lips smiled at her,
and then Jeanie knew it was Randal. She thought
he must be looking over her shoulder, and she
leaped up with a cry, and glanced round.
But she was all alone, and the wood about her
was empty and silent. The light had gone out of
the sky, which was pale like silver, and overhead
she saw the evening star.
Then Jeanie thought all was over. She had
seen Randal as if it had been in a glass, and she
hardly knew. him: he was so much older, and his
face was so sad. She sighed, and turned to go
away over the hills, back to Fairnilee.
But her feet did not seem to carry her the way
she wanted to go. It seemed as if something
within her were moving her in a kind of dream.
She felt herself going on through the forest, she
did not know where. Deeper into the wood she
went, and now it grew so dark that she saw scarce
THE WHITE ROSES. 57
anything; only she felt the fragrance of briar roses,
and it seemed to her that she was guided towards
these roses. Then she knew there was a hand in her
hand, though she saw nobody, and the hand seemed
to lead her on. And she came to an open place in
the forest, and there the silver light fell clear from
the sky, and she saw a great shadowy rose tree,
covered with white wild roses.
The hand was still in her hand, and Jeanie
began to wish for nothing so much in the world as
to gather some of these roses. She put out her
hand and she plucked one, and there before her
stood a strange creature-a dwarf, dressed in yellow
and red, with a very angry face.
"Who are you," he cried, "that pluck my
roses without my will ?"
"And who are you ?" said Jeanie, trembling,
"and what right have you on the hills of this
Then she made the holy sign of the cross, and
the face of the elf grew black, and the light went
out of the sky.
5b THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
-She only saw the faint glimmer of the white
flowers,-and a kind of shadow standing where the
"I bid you tell me," said Jeanie, whether you
are a Christian man, or a spirit that dreads the
holy sign," ard she crossed him again.
Now all grew dark as the darkest winter's night.
The air was warm and deadly still, and heavy with
the scent of the fairy flowers.
In the blackness and the silence, Jeanie made
the sacred sign for.the third time. Then a clear
fresh wind blew on her face, and the forest-boughs
were shaken, and the silver light grew and gained
on the darkness, and she began to see a shape
standing where the dwarf had stood. It was far
taller than the dwarf, and. the light grew- and
grew, and a star looked down out of the night, and
Jean saw-Ranidal standing by her. And she kissed
him, and he kissed her, and he put his hand in
hers,. and; they. went out of the wood together.
They came to the crest of the hill and the cairn.
Far below them they saw the Tweed shining
THE WHITE ROSES. 59
through an opening among the trees, and the lights
in the farm of Peel, and'they heard the night-
birds crying, and the bells of the sheep ringing
musically as' they wandered .through the fragrant
heather on the hills.
Out of fairplanb.
OU may fancy, if you can, what
joy there was in Fairnilee when
Randal came home. They quite
forgot the hunger and the hard
times, and the old nurse laughed
and cried over her bairn that had
grown into a tall, strong young man. And to
Lady Ker it was all one as if her husband had
come again, as he was when first she knew him
long ago; for Randal had his face, and his eyes,
and the very sound of his voice. They could
hardly believe he was not a spirit, and they clasped
his hands, and hung on his neck, and could not
keep their eyes off him. This was the end of all
OUT OF FAIRYLAND.
their sorrow, and it was as if Randal had come
back from the dead; so that no people in the
world were ever so happy as they were next day,
when the sun shone down on the Tweed and the
green trees that rustle in the wind round Fairnilee.
But in the evening, when the old nurse was out of the
vway, Randal sat between his mother and Jean, and
they each held his hands, as if they could not let
him go, for fear he should vanish away from them
again. And they would turn round anxiously if
anything stirred, for fear it should be the two
white deer that sometimes were said to come for
people escaped from Fairyland, and then these
people must rise and-follow them, and never return
any more. But the white deer never came for
So he told them all his adventures, and all that
had happened to him since that midsummer night,
seven long years ago.
It had been with him as it was with Jean. *He
had gone to the Wishing Well, and wished to see
the Fairy Queen and Fairyland. And he had seen
THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
the beautiful castle in the well, and a beautiful
woman's face had floated up to meet his on-the
water. Then he had gathered the white roses,
and then he heard a great sound of horses' feet,
and of bells jingling, and a lady rode up, the very
lady he had seen in the well. She had a white
horse; and she was dressed in green, and she
beckoned to Randal to mount on her horse, with
her before him on the pillion. And the bells on
the bridle rang, and the horse flew faster than the
So they rode and.rode through the summer
night, and they came to a desert place, and living,
lands were left far behind. Then the Fairy Queen
showed him three paths, one steep and narrow,
and beset with briars and thorns: that was the
road to goodness and happiness, but it was little
trodden or marked with the feet of people that had
come and gone.
And there was a wide smooth road that went
through fields of lilies, and -that was the path of
easy living and pleasure.
OUT OF FAIRYLAND. 03
The third path wound about the wild hill-side,
through ferns and heather, and that was the way
to Elfland, and that way they rode. And still they
rode through a country of dark night, and they
crossed great black rivers, and they saw neither
sun nor moon, but they heard the roaring of the
sea. From that country they came into the light,
and into the beautiful garden that lies round the
-castle of the Fairy Queen. There they lived in a
noble company of gallant knights and fair ladies.
All seemed very mirthful, and they rode, and
hunted, and danced; and it was never dark night,
nor broad daylight, but like early summer dawn
before the sun has risen.
There Randal said that he had quite forgotten
his mother -and Jean, and the world where he was
born, and Fairnilee.
But one day he happened to see a beautiful golden
bottle of a strange shape, all set with diamonds,
and he opened it. There was in it a sweet-smelling
water, as clear as crystal, and he poured it into his
hand, and passed his hand over his eyes. Now
64 THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
this water had the power to destroy the "glamour"
in Fairyland, and make people see it as it really
was. And when Randal touched his eyes with
it, lo, everything -was changed in a moment.
He saw that nothing was what it had seemed.
The. gold vanished from the embroidered curtains,
the light grew dimr and wretched like a misty winter.
day.- The Fairy Queen, that had seemed.so happy
and beautiful in her bright dress, was a weary, pale
woman. in black, with a melancholy face and
melancholy eyes. She looked as if she had been
there for thousands of years, always longing for the
sunlight and the earth, and the wind and rain.
There were sleepy poppies twisted in her hair,
instead of a golden crown. And the knights and
ladies were changed.. They looked but half alive;
and some, in place of their gay green robes, were
dressed in rusty mail, pierced with spears and
stained with blood. And some were in burial robes
of white, and some in dresses torn or dripping with
water, or marked with the burning of fire. All
were dressed strangely in some ancient fashion;
OUT OF FAIRYLAND. 65
their weapons were old-fashioned, too, unlike any
that Randal had ever seen on earth. And their
festivals were not of dainty meats, but of cold,
tasteless flesh, and of beans, and pulse, and such
things as the old heathens, before the coming of
the Gospel, used to offer to the dead. It was
dreadful to see them at such feasts, and dancing,
and riding, and pretending to be merry with hollow
faces and unhappy eyes.
And Randal wearied of Fairyland, which now
that he saw it clearly looked like a great un-
ending stretch of sand and barren grassy country,
beside a grey sea where there was no tide. All
the woods were of black cypress trees and
poplar, and a wind from the sea drove a sea-
mist through them, white and cold, and it blew
through the open courts of the fairy castle.
So Randal longed more and more for the old
earth he had left, and the changes of summer and
autumn, and the streams of Tweed, and the hills,
and his friends. Then the voice of Jeanie had
come down to him, sounding from far away. And
66 THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
he was sent up by the Fairy Queen in a fairy form,
as a hideous dwarf, to frighten her away from the
white roses in the enchanted forest.
But her goodness and her courage had saved
him, for he was a christened knight, and not a man
of the fairy world. And he had taken his own
form again beneath her hand, when she signed him
with the Cross, and here he was, safe and happy, at
home at Fairnilee.
Cbe fair Sottle.
E soon grow used to the greatest
changes,: and almost forget the
things that we were accustomed to
before. In a day or two, Randal
had nearly forgotten what a dull
life he had lived in Fairyland,
after he had touched his eyes with the strange
water in the fairy bottle. He remembered the
long, grey sands, and the cold mist, and the white
faces of the strange people, and the gloomy queen,
no more than you remember the dream you
o0 THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
dreamed a week ago. But he did notice that
Fairnilee was not the happy place it had been
before he went away. Here, too, the faces were
pinched and white, and the people looked
hungry. And he missed many things that he
remembered : the silver cups, and plates, and
tankards. And the dinners were not like what
they had been, but only a little thin soup, and
some oatmeal cakes, and trout taken from the
Tweed. The beef and ale of old times were not
to be found, even in the houses of the richer
Very soon Randal heard all about the famine;
you may be sure the old nurse was ready to tell
him all the saddest stories.
Full many a place in evil case
Where joy was -wont afore, oh!
Wi' Humes that dwell in Leader braes,
And Scotts that dwell in Yarrow!
And the old woman would croon her old
prophecies, and tell them how Thomas the Rhymer,
that lived in Ercildoune, had foretold all this.
THE FAIRY BOTTLE. 09
And she would wish they could find these hidden
treasures that the rhymes were full of, and that
maybe were lying-who knew?-quite near them on
their own lands.
Where is the Gold of Fairnilee ? she would
cry; and, oh, Randal! can you no dig for it, and
find it, and buy corn out of England for the poor
folk that are dying at your doors ?
'A tween the wet ground and the dry
The Gold o' Fairnilee doth lie.'
There it is, with the sun never glinting on it;
there it may bide till the Judgment-day, and no
man the better for it.
'Atween the Camp o' Rink
And Tweed-water clear,
Lie nine kings' ransoms
For nine hundred year.'"
"I doubt it's fairy gold, nurse," said Randal,
"and would all turn black when it saw the sun. It
would just be like this bottle, the only thing I
brought with me out of Fairyland."
70 THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
Then Randal put his hand in his velvet pouch,
and brought out a curious small bottle.* It was
shaped like this and was made of some-
thing that none of them had ever seen
before. It was black, and you could
see the light through it, and there
were green and yellow spots and
streaks on it.
"That ugly bottle looked like gold and diamonds
when I found it in Fairyland," said Randal, "and
the water in it smelled as sweet as roses. But
when I touched my eyes with it, a drop that ran
into my mouth was as salt as the sea, and immedi-
ately everything changed: the gold bottle became
this glass thing, and the fairies became like folk
dead, and the sky grew grey, and all tfirned waste
and ugly. That's the way with fairy gold, nurse;
and if you found it, even, it would all be dry leaves
and black bits of coal before the sun set."
Maybe so, and maybe no," said the old nurse.
In bottles like this, the old Romans used to keep their tears for
their dead friends.
THE FAIRY BOTTLE. 71
"The Gold o' Fairnilee may no be fairy gold, but
just wealth o' this world that folk buried here lang
syne. But noo, Randal, ma bairn, I maun gang
out and see ma sister's son's dochter, that's lying
sair sick o' the kin-cough (whooping cough) at
Rink, and take her some of the physic that I gae
you and Jean when you were bairns."
So the old nurse went out, and Randal and
Jean.began to be sorry for the child she was going
to visit. For they remembered the taste of the
physic that the old nurse made by boiling the bark
of elder-tree branches; and I remember it too, for
it was the very nastiest thing that ever was tasted,
and did nobody any good after all.
Then Randal and Jean walked out, strolling
along without much noticing.where they went, and
talking about the pleasant days. when they were
Rt the Catrail.
H IHE Y had climbed up the slope of
a hill, and they came to a broad
i ia old ditch, beneath the shade of a
wood of pine trees. Below them
>I was a wide marsh, all yellow with
marsh flowers, and above them
was a steep slope made of stones. Now the dry
:ditch, where they sat down on the grass, looking
towards the Tweed, with their backs to the hill,
was called the Catrail. It ran all through that
country, and must have been made by men very
long ago. Nobody knows who made it, nor why.
They did not know in Randal's time, and they do
AT THE CATRAIL.
not know now. They do not even know what the
name Catrail means, but that is what it has always
been called. The steep slope of stone above them
was named the Camp of Rink; it is a round place,
like a ring, and no doubt it was built by the old
Britons, when they fought against the Romans,
many hundreds of years ago. The stones of which
it is built are so large that we cannot tell how men
moved them. But it is a very pleasant, happy
place'on a warm summer day, like the day when
Randal and Jean sat there, with the daisies at their
feet, and the wild doves cooing above their heads,
and the rabbits running in and out among .the
Jean and Randal talked about this and that,
chiefly of how some money could be got to buy
corn and cattle for,the people. Randal was in
favour of crossing the- Border at night, and driving
away cattle from the English side, according to the
"Every day I expect to see a pair of spurs in
a dish for all our dinner," said Randal,
THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE,
That was the sign the lady of the house in the
Forest used to give her men, when all the beef was
done, and more had to be got by fighting.
But Jeanie would not hear of Randal taking
spear and jack, and putting himself in danger by
fighting the English. They were her own people
after all, though she could not remember them
and the days before she was carried out of England
by Simon Grieve.
"Then," said Randal, "am I to go back to
Fairyland, and fetch more gold like this ugly
thing?" and he felt in his pocket for the fairy
But it was not in his pocket.
What have I done with my fairy treasure ?"
cried Randal, jumping up. Then he stood still
quite suddenly, as if he saw something strange.
He touched Jean on the shoulder, making a sign to
her not to speak.
Jean rose quietly, and looked where Randal
pointed, and this was what she saw.
She looked over a corner of the old grassy
AT THE CATRAIL. 75
ditch, just where the marsh and the yellow flowers
came nearest to it.
Here there stood three tall grey stones, each
about as high as a man. Between them, with her
back to the single stone, and between the two
others facing Randal and Jean, the old nurse was
If she had looked up, she could hardly have
seen Randal and Jean, for they were within the
ditch, and only their eyes were on the level of the
Besides, she did not look up; she was groping
in the breast of her dress for something, and her
eyes were on the ground.
"What can the old woman be doing ?" whispered
Randal. "Why, she has got my fairy bottle in her
Then he remembered how he had shown her
the bottle, and how she had gone out without
giving it back to him.
Jean and he watched, and kept very quiet.
They saw the old nurse, still kneeling, take the
THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE.
stopper out of the black strange bottle, and turn
the open mouth gently on her hand. Then she
carefully put in the stopper, and rubbed her eyes
with the palm of her hand. Then she crawled
along in their direction, very slowly, as if she were
looking for something in the grass.
Then she stopped, still looking very closely at
Next she jumped to her feet with a shrill cry,
clapping her hands; and then she turned, and was
actually running along the edge of the marsh,
"Nurse!" shouted Randal, and she stopped
suddenly, in a fright, and let the fairy bottle fall.
It struck on a stone, and broke to pieces with a
jingling sound, and the few drops of strange water
in it ran away into the grass.
"Oh, ma bairns, irns,mabairns, what have you
made me do ? "'cried the old nurse pitifully. "The
fairy gift is broken, and maybe the Gold of Fairnilee,
-that my eyes have looked on, will ne'er be. seen
obe Golb of fairnilee,
ANDAL and Jean went to the old
woman and comforted her, though
they could not understand what she
meant. She cried and sobbed, and
threw her arms about; but, by
degrees, they found out all the story.
When Randal had told her how all he saw in
Fairyland was changed after he had touched his
eyes with the water from the bottle, the old
woman remembered many tales that she had
heard about some charm known to the fairies,
which helped them to find things hidden, and to
see through walls and stones. Then she had got
the bottle from Randal, and had stolen out,