It was a cottage half in ruins, occupied by an old woman whom I dimly recollected having once gone with my father to see a good many years ago, as it appeared to me now. She was still alive, however, very old, and bedridden. I recollected that from the top of her wooden bed hung a rope for her to pull herself up by when she wanted to turn, for she was very rheumatic, and this rope for some cause or other had filled me with horror. But there was more of the same sort. The cottage had once been a smithy, and the bellows had been left in its place. Now there is nothing particularly frightful about a pair of bellows, however large it may be, and yet the recollection of that huge structure of leather and wood, with the great iron nose projecting from the contracting cheeks of it, at the head of the old woman's bed, so capable yet so useless, did return upon me with terror in the dusk of that lonely night. It was mingled with a vague suspicion that the old woman was a bit of a witch, and a very doubtful memory that she had been seen on one occasion by some night-farer, when a frightful storm was raging, blowing away at that very bellows as hard as her skinny arms and lean body could work the lever, so that there was almost as great a storm of wind in her little room as there was outside of it. If there was any truth in the story, it is easily accounted for by the fact that the poor old woman had been a little out of her mind for many years, and no wonder, for she was nearly a hundred, they said. Neither is it any wonder that when Missy stopped almost suddenly, with her fore-feet and her neck stretched forward, and her nose pointed straight for the door of the cottage at a few yards' distance, I should have felt very queer indeed. Whether my hair stood on end or not I do not know, but I certainly did feel my skin creep all over me. An ancient elder-tree grew at one end of the cottage, and I heard the lonely sigh of a little breeze wander through its branches. The next instant a frightful sound from within the cottage broke the night air into what seemed a universal shriek. Missy gave a plunge, turned round on her hind-legs, and tore from the place. I very nearly lost my seat, but terror made me cling the faster to my only companion, as ventre-