HOW MR LENINE GAVE UP COURTING.
MR LENINE had been, as was his wont, spending his evening hours with the lady of his love. He was a timid man and always returned to Tregenebris early. Beyond this, as the lady was alone, she deemed it prudent to let the world know that Mr Lenine left her by daylight.
One evening, it was scarcely yet dark, and our lover was re turning home through Leah Lanes. His horse started at an an woman, who had crept under the hedge for shelter from a passing shower. As Mr Lenine saw a figure moving in the shade he was terrified.
"Tu-whit, tu-whoo, ho," sang an owl.
"It's only me--Mr Lenine of Tregenebris," said he, putting the spurs to his horse.
Something followed him, fast as he might go, and he force his horse up the hill by Leak vean.
"Tu-whit, tu-whoo, ho," sang the owl.
"It 's only me--Aunt Betty Foss," screamed the old woman.
"Tu-whit, tu-whoo, ho, ho," sang the owl again.
"Don't ye be afeared, Mr Lenine," shrieked Aunt Betty, almost out of breath.
"Tu-whit, tu-whoo, ho, ho, ho," also shrieked the owl.
"Oh, it 's only John Lenine of Tregenebris," stammered the frightened lover, who had, however, reached home.
He went no more a-courting. He was fully persuaded that either a highwayman and his crew, or the devil and his imps, were upon him. He died a bachelor, and the charming lady became a peevish old maid, and died in solitude; all owing to the hooting owl.
Some do say Betty Foss was a witch, and the owl her familiar.