A MAN named Ronaldson, who lived at the village of Bowden, is reported to have had frequent encounters with the witches of that place. Among these we
find the following. One morning at sunrise, while he was tying his garter with one foot against a low dyke, he was startled at feeling something like a rope of straw passed between his legs, and himself borne swiftly away upon it to a small brook at the foot of the southernmost hill of Eildon. Hearing a hoarse smothered laugh, he perceived he was in the power of witches or sprites; and when he came to a ford called the Brig-o'-stanes, feeling his foot touch a large stone, he exclaimed, "I' the name o' the Lord, ye'se get me no farther!" At that moment the rope broke, the air rang as with the laughter of a thousand voices; and as he kept his footing on the stone, he heard a muttered cry, "Ah, we've lost the coof!" 1
231:3 W. Henderson, Folk-Lore of the Northern Counties.