THE DAUGHTER OF PETER DE CABINAM
IN the bishoprick of Gerunda (i.e. Gerona), and the province of Catalonia, stands a mountain which the natives call Convagum. It is very steep, and on its summit is a lake of dark water, so deep that it cannot be fathomed. The abode of the Demons is in this lake; and if a stone, or anything else, be thrown into it, there rises from it an awful tempest.
Not far from this mountain, in a village named Junchera, lived a man named Peter de Cabinam, who being one day annoyed by the crying of his little girl, wished in his anger that the Demons might fetch her away. The child instantly vanished--snatched away by invisible hands--and was seen no more. Time passed on; and it was seven years after this event, when a man belonging to the village, as he was one day rambling about the foot of the mountain, met a man weeping bitterly, and bewailing his hard fate. On inquiry, he said that he had now been seven years in the mountain under the power of the Demons, who employed him as a beast of burden. He added, that there was also a girl in the mountain, the daughter of Peter de Cabinam of Junchera, a servant like himself; but that they were tired of her, and would restore her to her father if he came to claim her. When this information came to Peter de Cabinam, he forthwith ascended the mountain, and going to the edge of the lake, he besought the Demons to give him back his child. Like a sudden gust of wind she came, tall in stature, but wasted and dirty, her eyes rolling wildly, and her speech inarticulate. The father, not knowing what to do with her, applied to the Bishop of Gerunda, who took this opportunity of edifying his people by exhibiting the girl to them, and warning them against the danger of wishing that the Demons had their children. Some time after the man also was released, and from him the people learned that at the bottom of the lake there was a large palace, with a wide gate, to which palace the Demons repaired from all parts of the world, and which no one could enter but themselves, and those they brought thither. [a]
[a] Otis Imperialia, p. 982. The Demons must have been some kind of fairies.