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A Sacred Island

AT Toome Island there is the ruin of an ancient church, where the dead walk on November Eve. It is a solemn and sacred place, and nothing is allowed to be taken from it; neither stone nor branch of the shadowing trees, for fear of angering the spirits. One day three men who were on the island cut down some branches of an elder-tree that grew there to repair a private still, and carried them off in their boat; but when just close to the shore a violent gust of wind upset the boat, and the men were drowned. The wood, however, floated back to the island, and a cross was made of it which was erected on the beach, to commemorate the fate of the doomed men.
It is recorded, also, that a certain stone having been taken away by some masons from the ancient ruin, to build into the wall of the parish church, which they were erecting in the place, the water in the town well suddenly began to diminish, and at last dried up, to the great consternation and terror of the inhabitants, who were at their wits' end to know the cause; when luckily an old woman of the place dreamed a dream about the abduction of the stone, which gave the solution of the mystery.
At once the people took the matter into their own hands, and they went in a body and cast down the wall till they came on the stone, which was then placed in a boat, and carried back with solemn ceremonial to the island, where it was replaced in its original site, and, immediately after, the water flowed back again into the well, and the supply became even more copious than ever.

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