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by the gallows, which stands hard by the road to Wolgast, and jumped up behind the people, who in horror and dismay flogged on their horses, and thereby made a great rattling on the log-embankment which leads beside the gallows into a little wood called the Kraulin. And it was a strange thing that on the same night the travellers were almost always robbed or murdered on Strellin heath. Hereupon the magistrates had the man taken down from the wheel, and buried under the gallows, in hopes of laying his ghost. But it went on just as before, sitting at night snow-white on the wheel, so that none durst any longer travel the road to Wolgast. Until at last it happened that, at the time of the above-named fair, young Rüdiger von Nienkerken of Mellenthin, in Usedom, who had been studying at Wittenberg and elsewhere, and was now on his way home, came this road by night with his carriage. Just before, at the inn, I myself had tried to persuade him to stop the night at Gützkow on account of the ghost, and to go on his journey with me next morning, but he would not. Now as soon as this young lord drove along the road, he also espied the apparition sitting on the wheel, and scarcely had he passed the gallows when the ghost jumped down and ran after him. The driver was horribly afraid, and lashed on the horses as everybody else had done before, and they, taking fright, galloped away over the log-road with a marvellous clatter. Meanwhile, however, the young nobleman saw by the light of the moon how that the apparition flattened a ball of horse-dung whereon it trod, and straightway felt sure within himself that it was no ghost. Whereupon he called to the driver to stop; and as the man would not hearken to him, he sprung out of the carriage, drew his rapier, and hastened to attack the ghost. When the ghost saw this he would have turned and fled ; but the
him such a blow on the head with his fist that he fell upon the ground with a loud wailing. Summa: the young lord, having called back his driver, dragged the ghost into the town again, where he turned out to be a shoemaker called Schwelm.
I also, on seeing such a great crowd, ran thither with many others, to look at the fellow. He trembled like an aspen leaf; and when he was roughly told to make a clean breast, whereby he might peradventure save his own life, if it appeared that he had murdered no one, he confessed that he had got his wife to
make him a gallows' dress, which he had put on, and had sat on the wheel before the dead man, when, from the darkness and the distance, no one could see that the two were sitting there together; and this he did more especially when he knew that a cart was going from the town to Wolgast. When the cart came by, and he jumped down and ran after it, all the people were so affrighted that they no longer kept their eyes upon the gallows, but only on him, flogged the horses, and galloped with much noise and clatter over the log-embankment. This was heard by his fellows in Strellin and Dammbecke (two villages which are about three-fourths on the way), who held themselves ready to unyoke the horses and to plunder the travellers when they came up with them. That after the dead man was buried he could play the ghost more easily still, &c. That this was the whole truth, and that he himself had never in his life robbed, still less murdered, any one; wherefore he begged to be forgiven : that all the robberies and murders which had happened had been done by his fellows alone. Ah, thou cunning knave! But I heard afterwards that he and his fellows were broken on the wheel together, as was but fair.
And now to come back to my journey. The young nobleman abode that night with me at the inn, and early next morning we both set forth; and as we had grown into good fellowship together, I got into his coach with him as he offered me, so as to talk by the way, and my Claus drove behind us. I soon found that he was a well-bred, honest, and learned gentleman, seeing that he despised the wild student life, and was glad that he had now done with their scandalous drinking-bouts : moreover, he talked his Latin readily. I had therefore much pleasure with him in the coach. However, at Wolgast the rope of the ferry-boat broke, so that we were carried down the stream to Zeuzin,* and at length we only got ashore with great trouble. Meanwhile it grew late, and we did not get into Coserow till nine, when I asked the young lord to abide the night with me, which he agreed to do. We found my child sitting in the chimney corner, making a petticoat for her little god-daughter out of her own old clothes. She was greatly frighted, and changed colour when she saw the young lord come in with me, and heard that he was to lie there
* Now Sauzin.
that night, seeing that as yet we had no more beds than we had bought for our own need from old Zabel Nering the forest ranger his widow, at Uekeritze. Wherefore she took me aside : What was to be done? My bed was in an ill plight, her little godchild having lain on it that morning; and she could no wise put the young nobleman into hers, although she would willingly creep in by the maid herself. And when I asked her why not? she blushed scarlet, and began to cry, and would not show her: self again the whole evening, so that the maid had to see to every thing, even to the putting white sheets on my child's bed for the young lord, as she would not do it herself. I only tell this to show how maidens are. For next morning she came into the room with her red silk boddice, and the net on her hair, and the apron ; summa, dressed in all the things I had bought her at Wolgast, so that the young lord was amazed, and talked much with her over the morning meal. Whereupon he took his leave, and desired me to visit him at his castle.
What further joy and sorrow befel us: item, how Wittich Appelmann rode
to Dámerow to the wolf-hunt, and what he proposed to my daughter.
The Lord blessed my parish wonderfully this winter, inasmuch as not only a great quantity of fish were caught and sold in all the villages, but in Coserow they even killed four seals; item the great storm of the 12th of December threw a goodly quantity of amber on the shore, so that many found amber, although no very large pieces, and they began to buy cows and sheep from Liepe and other places, as I myself also bought two cows ; item my grain which I had sown, half on my own field and half on old Paasch’s, sprung up bravely and gladly, as the Lord had till datum bestowed on us an open winter ; but so soon as it had shot up a finger's length, we found it one morning again torn up and ruined, and this time also by the devil's doings, since now, as before, not the smallest trace of oxen or of horses was to be seen in the field. May the righteous God, however, reward it, as indeed he already has done. Amen.
Meanwhile, however, something uncommon happened. For one morning, as I have heard, when lord Wittich saw out of the window that the daughter of his fisherman, a child of sixteen, whom he had diligently pursued, went into the coppice to gather dry sticks, he went thither too; wherefore, I will not say, but every one may guess for himself. When he had gone some way along the convent mound, and was come to the first bridge, where the mountain-ash stands, he saw two wolves, coming towards him ; and as he had no weapon with him, save a staff, he climbed up into a tree; whereupon the wolves trotted round it, blinked at him with their eyes, licked their lips, and at last jumped with their fore-paws up against the tree, snapping at him; he then saw that one was a he-wolf, a great fat brute with only one eye. Hereupon in his fright he began to scream, and the longsuffering of God was again shown to him, without, however, making him wiser; for the maiden, who had crept behind a juniper-bush in
the field, when she saw the Sheriff coming, ran back again to the castle and called together a number of people, who came and drove away the wolves, and rescued his lordship. He then ordered a great wolf-hunt to be held next day in the convent wood, and he who brought the one-eyed monster, dead or alive, was to have a barrel of beer for his pains. Still they could not catch him, albeit they that day took four wolves in their nets, and killed them. He therefore straightway ordered a wolf-hunt to be held in my parish. But when the fellow came to toll the bell for a wolf-hunt, he did not stop awhile, as is the wont for wolf-hunts, but loudly rang the bell on, sine morâ, so that all the folk thought a fire had broken out, and ran screaming out of their houses. My child also came running out (I myself had driven to visit a sick person at Zempin, seeing that walking began to be wearisome to me, and that I could now afford to be more at mine ease); but she had not stood long, and was asking the reason of the ringing, when the Sheriff himself, on his gray charger, with three cart-loads of toils and nets following him, galloped up and ordered the people straightway to go into the forest and to drive the wolves with rattles. Hereupon he, with his hunters and a few men whom he had picked out of the crowd, were to ride on and spread the nets behind Damerow, seeing that the island is wondrous narrow there,* and the wolf dreads the water. When he saw my daughter he turned his horse round, chucked her under the chin, and graciously asked her who she was, and whence she came ? When he had heard it, he said she was as fair as an angel, and that he had not known till now, that the
parson here had so beauteous a girl. He then rode off, looking round at her two or three times. At the first beating they found the one-eyed wolf, who lay in the rushes near the water. Hereat his lordship rejoiced greatly, and made the grooms drag him out of the net with long iron hooks, and hold him there for near an hour, while my lord slowly and cruelly tortured him to death, laughing heartily the while, which is a prognosticon of what he afterwards did with my poor child, for wolf or lamb is all one to this villain. Just God! But I will not be beforehand with my tale.
* The space, which is constantly diminishing, now scarcely measures a bow-shot across.