"I love a lassie, a bonnie, bonnie lassie," it wailed and piped, coming nearer; and the gay little air wrought to a grotesque of itself by this wild, high voice in the rain might have been a banshee's love-song. "I love a lassie, a bonnie, bonnie lassie. She's as pure as the lily in the dell "
With this preliminary statement of the situation, let us permit Mr. Taylor to tell his story. "The 'Banshee's' engines proved so unsatisfactory that, under ordinary conditions, nine or ten knots was all we could get out of her; she was therefore not permitted to run any avoidable risks, and to this I attribute her extraordinary success where better boats failed.
What about your fortunes? one shilling if seen in the crystal ball, one and six if read from the palm. A hex? I've the finest in six counties. A ticket to the Walpurgis Night Ball?" "We want a Wail," said the Phoenix. "And we shall accept nothing but the best and loudest you have." "Ah, a Banshee's Wail, is it?" cried the hag. "You've come to the right shop, dearies, to be sure.
As long as daylight lasted a man was never out of the cross-trees, and the moment a sail was seen the 'Banshee's' stern was turned to it till it was dropped below the horizon. The look-out man, to quicken his eyes, had a dollar for every sail he sighted, and if it were seen from the deck first he was fined five.
When Gabrielle asked what would happen if she picked up the banshee's comb, Biddy told her that the banshee would come crying to her window at night, and that if this ever happened, she must get a pair of red hot tongs and hold the comb in the window for the banshee to take.
The man was aware of the banshee's having been long supposed to haunt his family, but often scouted that supposition; yet, as it was some years since he had last heard of her visiting the place, he was not prepared for the freezing announcement of old Moya.
The Banshee's method of foretelling death in olden times differed from that adopted by her at the present day: now she wails and wrings her hands, as a general rule, but in the old Irish tales she is to be found washing human heads and limbs, or bloodstained clothes, till the water is all dyed with human blood this would take place before a battle.
Didn't my childer die of the cowld and the hunger, and the want of a roof over them, and didn't I love them? Ah! that I did. Do you remember the night I said I'd drown ye in the Banshee's pool, and didn't we make a compact that if I let ye go you'd get the Squire to lave me my bit of a cabin, and not to evict me? And how did ye kape your word? Ah, my purty, how did ye kape your word?"
Just then they were interrupted by a long, piercing wail that seemed to come from the air above and around them. The boys gazed into each others faces. "It's a banshee's wail," whispered Larry. "Somebody's going to die." "Don't be an idiot, Larry," rebuked If Billy Gordon. "Don't you know what that was?" "Yes. I told you," whispered the red-headed boy. "Pshaw!
For the sake of the slight air that was stirring, and to have the best view of the Rapids, the Banshee's whole company was gathered upon the forward promenade, and the throng was almost as dense as in a six-o'clock horse-car out from Boston. The standing and sitting groups were closely packed together, and the expanded parasols and umbrellas formed a nearly unbroken roof.