YOUNG woman, whose name was Mary Scannell, lived with her husband not many years ago at Castle Martyr. One day in harvest-time she went with several more to help in binding up the wheat, and left the child, which she was nursing, in a corner of the field, quite safe, as she thought, wrapped up in her cloak. When her work was finished she returned to where the child was, but in the place of her own she found a thing in the cloak that was not half the size, and that kept up such a crying you might have heard it a mile off. So Mary Scannell guessed how the case stood, and, without stop or stay, away she took it in her arms, pretending to be mighty fond of it all the while, to a wise woman. The wise woman told her in a whisper not to give it enough to eat, and to beat and pinch it without mercy, which Mary Scannell did; and just in one week after to the day, when she awoke in the morning, she found her own child lying by her side in the bed! The fairy that had been put in its place did not like the usage it got from Mary Scannell, who understood how to treat it, like a sensible woman as she was, and away it went after a week's trial, and sent her own child back to her.
From a sad, comfortless childhood Giles Truelove developed into a reclusive and uncommunicative man whose sole passion was books. For so long they were the only meaning to his existence. But when fate eventually intervened to have the outside world intrude upon his life, he began to discover emotions that he never knew he had.
A story for the genuine booklover, penned by an Irish bookseller under the pseudonym of Ralph St. John Featherstonehaugh.
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