Gillian Spraggs (wolfinthewood) wrote,
Gillian Spraggs

The Love Spell that Went Wrong

My father farmed very largely in Marshland*, and going into the stables one morning in 1867, when the lads had left, I found on the bin of one of them a small doll gaily dressed to represent a girl, but stuck through, about the heart, with tin tacks. On his return I questioned him not only about this, but also the pair of lovely black eyes he had gained in the interval. It appeared that he had had his doubts of the constancy of his lass, who was in service a good way off, and had taken this course, under the advice of a 'wiseman,' to compel her to meet him at Alford Fair. Sure enough no sooner had he got there than up she came, but with another 'gurt chap' along of her, and only to reproach him bitterly, for 'she knawed he'd been after some devilment along of her.' She 'hedn't been able to sleep for a week thinking of him and were draawed to him agin hersen, an' she threeaped up all mander things agin me, an' the gurt chap set on an' all and jacketed me outrageous. I reckun I must 'ed leff summat out. I draawed her proper enuff, but I cudn't uphold it right thruff, an' now I doubt she's gotten a scunner** agin mea, I wean't hardlins*** overset.'

* The coastal district of Lincolnshire between Alford and Wainfleet

** violent dislike

*** hardly

Robert Marshall Heanley (1848–1915)
from 'The Vikings: Traces of their Folklore in Marshland' in Saga-Book of the Viking Club, III i (January 1902), p. 44
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