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Legends Of St. Piran
by [?]

And St. Piran slammed the door in their faces.

But these kings were Ulstermen, and took things seriously. So they went off and stirred up the people: and the end was that one sunshiny morning a dirty rabble marched up to the mill and laid hands on the saint. On what charge, do you think? Why, for Being without Visible Means of Support!

“There’s me pethrifyin’ spicimins!” cried the saint: and he tugged at one of the ropes that stretched down into the Lough.

“Indade!” answered one of the ten kings: “Bad luck to your spicimins!” says he.

“Fwhat’s that ye’re tuggin.’ at?” asks a bystander.

“Now the Holy Mother presarve your eyesight, Tim Coolin,” answers St. Piran, pulling it in, “if ye can’t tell a plain millstone at foive paces! I never asked ye to see through ut,” he added, with a twinkle, for Tim had a plentiful lack of brains, and that the company knew.

Sure enough it was a millstone, and a very neat one; and the saint, having raised a bit of a laugh, went on like a cheap-jack:

“Av there’s any gintleman prisunt wid an eye for millstones, I’ll throuble him to turn ut here. Me own make,” says he, “jooled in wan hole, an’ dog-chape at fifteen shillin’–“

He was rattling away in this style when somebody called out, “To think av a millstone bein’ a visible means av support!” And this time the laugh turned against the saint.

“St. Piran dear, ye’ve got to die,” says the spokesman.

“Musha, musha!”–and the saint set up a wail and wrung his hands. “An’ how’s it goin’ to be?” he asked, breaking off; “an’ if ’tis by Shamus O’Neil’s blunderbust that he’s fumblin’ yondther, will I stand afore or ahint ut? for ’tis fatal both ends, I’m thinkin’, like Barney Sullivan’s mule. Wirra, wirra! May our souls find mercy, Shamus O’Neil, for we’ll both, be wantin’ ut this day. Better for you, Shamus, that this millstone was hung round your black neck, an’ you drownin’ in the dept’s av the Lough!”

The words were not spoken before they all set up a shout. “The millstone! the millstone!” “Sthrap him to ut!” “He’s named his death!”–and inside of three minutes there was the saint, strapped down on his own specimen.

“Wirra, wirra!” he cried, and begged for mercy; but they raised a devastating shindy, and gave the stone a trundle. Down the turf it rolled and rolled, and then whoo! leaped over the edge of the fall into space and down–down–till it smote the waters far below, and knocked a mighty hole in them, and went under–

For three seconds only. The next thing that the rabble saw as they craned over the cliff was St. Piran floating quietly out to sea on the millstone, for all the world as if on a life-belt, and untying his bonds to use for a fishing-line! You see, this millstone had been made of cork originally, and was only half petrified; and the old boy had just beguiled them. When he had finished undoing the cords, he stood up and bowed to them all very politely.

“Visible Manes av Support, me childher–merely Visible Manes av Support!” he called back.

‘Twas a sunshiny day, and while St. Piran chuckled the sea twinkled all over with the jest. As for the crowd on the cliff, it looked for five minutes as if the saint had petrified them harder than the millstone. Then, as Tim Coolin told his wife, Mary Dogherty, that same evening, they dispersed promiscuously in groups of one each.

Meanwhile, the tides were bearing St. Piran and his millstone out into the Atlantic, and he whiffed for mackerel all the way. And on the morrow a stiff breeze sprang up and blew him sou’-sou-west until he spied land; and so he stepped ashore on the Cornish coast.

In Cornwall he lived many years till he died: and to this day there are three places named after him–Perranaworthal, Perranuthno and Perranzabuloe. But it was in the last named that he took most delight, because at Perranzabuloe (Perochia Sti. Pirani in Sabulo) there was nothing but sand to distract him from the Study of Objects that Presented Themselves to his Notice: for he had given up miracles. So he sat on the sands and taught the Cornish people how to be idle. Also he discovered tin for them; but that was an accident.