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Fairy Money


There was a man here in Teelin many years ago, and people said that he had fairy money for a long time. This is how he got it.

He was in the church at Carrick one Sunday. The Mass had only begun when he felt a kind of weakness coming over him, and he had to leave the church. He walked down the street when he recovered, and when he was outside the hotel, he met a gentleman. They started to chat in a friendly way.

"You are not looking well. Is there anything wrong with you?" asked the gentleman.

"There is," said the man from Teelin. "I was at Mass in the church and a kind of weakness came over me and I had to leave."

The gentleman put his hand in his pocket and handed him a florin. "Go into …amonnís public-house and take a good glass of whiskey; it will do your heart good, and you'll feel better."

The Teelin man thanked him, and the stranger went off and was seen no more. The Teelin man went into the public-house and asked for a glass of the best whiskey in the house. He told them about the weakness that had come over him, and they have him a good drop of whiskey. He paid for it with the florin which the gentleman had given him, and …amonn Haughey gave him some change. He put the change into his pocket, drank the whiskey, and left.

Next day when he was going fishing, he was short of tobacco, so he went to the shop. When he put his hand into his pocket to pay for the tobacco what did he find there but the same florin which the gentleman had given him. He pretended nothing, but handed it in payment to the shopkeeper for the tobacco and received some change. That evening at the end of his day's work, he was returning home tired, hungry, and wet and went into the public-house for a half-whiskey to warm himself. When he put his hand in his pocket to pay for it, he found the florin there again. He was greatly surprised and didn't know what to do. Still he pretended nothing.

He went on like that for a good while, buying all he needed and always getting the florin back again. He was getting rather worried; still he said to himself that if it was something bad, he who had given him the coin; he might not be a man of this world at all. He feared to go out on the sea in his boat carrying the coin and didn't know what to do with it.

After a long time, he went into …amonnís Haughey's public-house in Carrick and asked for a glass of whiskey. When paying for it, he found the coin in his pocket.

He threw it on the counter, saying, "May the devil go with you!"

He told …amonn the whole story, and …amonn said he was a fool not to have kept it. …amonn went over to the till to get the coin. It had vanished, and neither he nor the Teelin man ever saw it again. Nothing would get it out of the Teelin man's head that it was a fairy man that had given it to him.



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