On the 29th of June, the same M. de la Richardiere returned to Noysi, and amused himself with shooting. As he was shooting in the vineyards, the shepherd presented himself before him; he hit him on the head with the butt-end of his gun. The shepherd cried out, “Sir, you are killing me!” and fled. The next day this man presented himself again before him, and asked his pardon, saying, “I am called Damis; it was I who cast a spell over you which was to have lasted a year. By the aid of masses and prayers which have been said for you, you have been cured at the end of eight weeks. But the charm has fallen back upon myself, and I can be cured of it only by a miracle. I implore you then to pray for me.”
During all these reports, the marechaussee had set off in pursuit of the shepherd; but he escaped them, having killed his two dogs and thrown away his crook. On Sunday, the 13th of September, he came to M. de la Richardiere, and related to him his adventure; that after having passed twenty years without approaching the sacraments, God had given him grace to confess himself at Troyes; and that after divers delays he had been admitted to the holy communion. Eight days after, M. de la Richardiere received a letter from a woman who said she was a relation of the shepherd’s, informing him of his death, and begging him to cause a requiem mass to be said for him, which was done.
THE PIED PIPER
“The Phantom World”
The following instance is so extraordinary, that I should not repeat it if the account were not attested by more than one writer, and also preserved in the public monuments of a considerable town of Upper Saxony; this town is Hamelin in the principality of Kalenberg, at the confluence of the rivers Hamel and Weser.
In the year 1384, this town was infested by such a prodigious multitude of rats, that they ravaged all the corn which was laid up in the granaries; everything was employed that art and experience could invent to chase them away, and whatever is usually employed against this kind of animals. At that time there came to the town an unknown person, of taller stature than ordinary, dressed in a robe of divers colours, who engaged to deliver them from that scourge, for a certain recompense which was agreed upon.
Then he drew from his sleeve a flute, at the sound of which all the rats came out of their holes and followed him; he led them straight to the river, into which they ran and were drowned. On his return he asked for the promised reward, which was refused him, apparently on account of the facility with which he had exterminated the rats. The next day, which was a fete day, he chose the moment when the older inhabitants were at church, and by means of another flute which he began to play, all the boys in the town above the age of fourteen, to the number of a hundred and thirty, assembled round him; he led them to the neighbouring mountain, named Kopfelberg, under which is a sewer for the town, and where criminals are executed; these boys disappeared and were never seen afterwards.