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SAVED FROM THE GALLOWS.

A correspondent of the "Field" nurates a story told In the smoking-room of Sumach Lodge, Perthshire, after a day's pike fiiblng In Gleneumaoh Ltroh. 'I have known of a fisherman being visited by a ghost,' said Rose, one of the parky, ( and m I em an old man I should like the story to be preserved r I was living some fourteen miles from Worcester forty years ago, and wss a keen fisherman. One day late m the season I had a good afternoon of trout fishing m the brook which ran three miles frotn my home, and on my way home In a very dark evening was drenched to the skin by a thunderstorm In spite of my efforts to esoape by shelter* Ing here and there by sheds, hedges, and the like. Six months afterwards I was disturbed m bed by a loud voloe m my room saying, ' Get up and go to Worcester.' I started, robbed my eyes, eat up and listened, bot heard nothing, and there was not a breatk of sir itlrriog out of doori. I went off to sleep again, and was again ■peedily disturbed by the same ory» I now •woke my wife, and asked her if she had heard anything. 'Oertainly not,' she replied but she did not wonder that I heard voioes after the indigestible dinner I had made. Tbli was small oomfost and again the words sounded, this time more loud than ever, at my ear, ' Get up, and go to Worcester.' I rose and struck a light, It wai half past four am , and pltoh dsrk, with muoh rain I oonld see. The idea of descending, saddling my horse (for my groom lived at a distant cottage), and starting to Worcester m snob a deluge and with snob darkness was not at all oheerfuL the same words sounded more Imperatively at my e»r, and telling my wife that I was going to Worcester for the day, I slipped on my olothes, let myself out, and began saddling the grey. With some surprise I noted that, whereas she always resented the prooess by leaping and kioklngi on this particular morning she was porfeotly quiet and tractable* I rode along the dark and miry ohaln of roads which surrooucled Milllngton with ease, partly from knowing them perfectly, partly because no one was stirring, and towards dawn approached the Severn, now In its full flood, where it wss necessary to orosi,if I did not care to go on by the windings of the river (a much longer road), to the olty. Here I ezpeoted to spend htlf-an-hour bawling from the bank till the drowsy ferryman would be pleased to awake, and come over to take us across. Curiously enough, as I rode down the bsnk I spied him waiting. ' All right, sir , I heard you shouting and oame over as qulok as I oonld.' Of course I had not shouted; but the rala and cold forbade my raisins any question further on the matter, and I thankfully jumped m and was ferried •cross. I had about six miles to ride on the other side of the river, and It was half-past seven when I rode Into Worcester, tired and hungry. However, I pnt up my beast, breakfasted, and not knowing what to do, strolled out Into the city. A ghostly summons had brought me there, but I had no farther guidance, so one way seemad much the came as the other. Nothing a crowd pressing towards the aside courts, I fell m with them, and by dint of tipping and equenslnfj, soon found myself listening to the end of a murder trial. The prisoner, one Llewellyn Morris, had just been found goilty, and as X entered the judge called upon him to say anything he desired against sentence being pronounced against him. The aooused seemed familiar to m<», and yet I could not reoall where I had met him. He was a little mac, and appeared while • orowded court bong npon his fate with breathless anxiety, fo be tbe least oonoerned m the assemblage He answered the judge respectfully, but oareleisly enough, that he was entirely Innooent of the murder, and that he was two or three miles away from the place where It wss oommltted. He had a defenoe, a ' bally boy ' he had heard it was oalled, but he oonld not produoe his witness. He had no Idea who his witness wss, but on tke night of the murder he had been fishing, and had walked a couple of miles on the road home, till thunder roared and vain dewended like a waterspout, with a gentleman whom he hsd met by the river side. At length the storm was se fearful and the darkness so dsep that they had both diverged from the road •nd entered a neighboring ohurohf ard •nd taken refuge m the porch until, half an hour afterwards, the tempest passed on* He bad conversed that time with bis neighbour, but had no notion who he was, or he would dear him, as that storm took place Immediately after the old man was murdered, and It would have been physically Impossible for him to have stood In the porch unless be had been far away from the scene of the murder at that time. As It was, however, having no clue to bis witness, he was content to leave himself m his lordship's hands; At onoe I remembered that this w«s the very man who hsd stood with me In the churoh porob; and, rising amid much exoltement, offarerd myself to the judge M • witness for the aocused After being sworn, I wrote down at the judge's request, what we had talked about and what answers the prisoner had made. Upon this the prisoner wss examined, and the answers so tallied with what I had written down chat the judge delivered another address to the jury, and delating their previous verdiot, the jury unanimously, and without a moment's hesitation, acquitted him; We bad talked, as It happened, of a curlons legend In a neighboring lord's family, and the prisoner had given me some Information about the spawning of trout, whiob, as a fisherman, I had naturally remembered, Yeara aftarwards ■ ocnvlct at Itertmoor prison on his death bed confessed that he alone was goilty of the murder for whiob my oompanlon m the porohso narrowly escaped conviction; •nd so, you see, a ghost was of advantage for onoe, and let us hope, for the oredlt of fiibermeo, chose cne of them to perform an aot of justice m consequence of his gentle, amlsble, and kindly dlsposition.'

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http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890518.2.17

Bibliographic details

SAVED FROM THE GALLOWS., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2138, 18 May 1889

Word Count
1,112

SAVED FROM THE GALLOWS. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2138, 18 May 1889

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