THE GOLD OF FAIRNILEE. 257
axes clink on the iron pot that held the treasure. A dreadful storm of thunder and lightning would break out; or the (burn would be flooded, and rush down all red and roaring, sweeping away the tools and drowning the digger; or a strange man, that nobody had ever seen before, would come up, waving his arms, and crying out that the Castle was on fire. Then the people would hurry up to the Castle, and find that it was not on fire at all. When they returned, all the earth would be just as it was before they began, and they would give up in despair. Nobody could ever see the man again that gave the alarm.
" Who could he be, nurse ? " Randal asked.
"Just one of the good folk, I'm thinking; but it's no weel to be speaking o' them.'1''
Randal knew that the " good folk" meant the fairies. The old nurse called them the good folk for fear of offending them. She would not speak much about them, except now and then, when the servants had been making merry.
" And is there any treasure hidden near Fairnilee, nursie ? " asked little Jean.
" Treasure, my bonny doo! Mair than a' the men about the toon could carry away frae morning till nicht. Do ye no ken the auld rhyme ?—
'Atween the wet ground and the dry The gold of Fairnilee doth lie.'