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VERY evening, punctually as the twilight hour approached, did Kitty Kerruish feel an irresistible fascination steal over her that drew her to the trysting-place under the blue rowan tree in the Magher-Glass of Glen Aldyn to meet her elfin lover; and there she would sit, listening with rapture to the passionate and extatic avowals of his love, mingled with the most eloquent praises of her beauty, which the mannikin gently whispered into her intoxicated ear, as he lay like some fair child upon her lap, with his arms encircled round her neck.

One evening, to tease her lover--for Kitty, like all her sex, dearly loved to tease--she told him she did not half believe his protestations of affection, and that he would not be willing to make any great sacrifice to prove them.

Uddereek vowed she wronged him, and called upon her to name any test, any sacrifice she wanted him to make. At that moment she either could not or would not think of any; but presently he mentioned that the

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following night the fairy king and queen would hold a grand court and feast in Glen Rushen, in the southern part of the island, near Ballasalla, in honour of RE-HOLLYS-VOOAR-YN-ONYR, the royal festival of the harvest moon, and that every elfin in Ellan Vannin would have to attend. He

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described to her wondering and delighted ear how the dancing would be kept up till the moon ceased to shine, and sank behind the head of South Barrule, and the ruddy rays of the coming sun began to show signs of rising from the eastern sea.

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"Ah, Uddereek!" said Kitty, teasingly, "you will enjoy all that, and soon forget, for the time at any rate, all about me, or that you ever saw or thought of poor Kitty."

"No, Cushla," the little man replied. "I shall be alone amid the elfin throng, and in spite of all the feasting and the music, all the dancing in the ring, all the revels in the ferns and sweet wild flowers, I shall wish myself far away from it all, and long to be with thee, dear Kitty."

"I just don't believe one word about it," she said, laughingly, and still intent on plaguing her little elfin lover. "Some fairy maid, whose beauty far surpasses mine, will captivate your heart, and you will soon forget your mortal love."

"Never! never!" he hastily interrupted. "I swear, my darling, never! And to prove to you how false and how unjust are your suspicions, I will leave the elfin gambols, and immediately the king and queen have risen from the feast and the revels have fairly commenced,, will slip away, and meet you here, dearest Kitty, three hours after the sun has set."

No woman but would have been pleased and satisfied at such a proof of her power and attractions, and Kitty Kerruish felt gratified and delighted as she laughingly replied--

"I will be here to meet you; and mind, sir, I shall expect you."

Little did she dream, poor lass! of the dire consequences that would result from his temerity and her exactitude, or at how dear a cost to both of them this proof of his love would be obtained.

Next: Chapter IV