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- In the County of Wexford, in the barony of Shellburne, and in the townland of Ballynirey an old woman once presented herself. Whence she came no one knew, for no one had ever seen her before. Her appearance was that of an old hag. Her hair was grey and very plentiful, crowning a small shrivelled ugly face.
The first house this hideous creature visited was a farmhouse where a family named Morris lived. She told that a crock of gold was hidden under a haw-thorn bush in the field which they called the "Bin Field". It could be got, she said, if one man's life was lost on its account. The people would have nothing at all to do with this mysterious woman and her tale, but she shook her grey head and said perhaps it was as good they would leave it alone, for not only a life will it "cost" says she, "but an immortal soul".
The next house she visited took her in quite a different way, for they were a greedy crowd who would give anything for money. The conditions were laid before them, but they heeded them not for a wicked plan had suggested itself.
Early next morning, just after the ferocious bull with the balls of fire for eyes which was supposed to guard it, had retired to a rath near by, they sent their work-man to dig under the haw-thorn in Morris's field.
All day he worked with little success, until noon when(continues on next page)Transcribed by a member of our volunteer transcription project.