The Priest of Egwysilan
Some three centuries and a couple of decades ago, a man of handsome means was chosen as priest of the Eglwysilan parish. Whenever one of his flock breathed his last earthly breath, the priest was amongst the first to pay his respects to the family and always with a great show of grief.
Before taking his leave. The priests advice was always the same. The jewels which adorned the departeds body in life, should decorate it in death. All that was precious and lovely to the eye should be placed alongside the corpse in the coffin. It was Gods wish said the priest, the only way to pass through the eye of a needle into heaven.
The folk gulped down the clergymans gospel like communion wine, and not wishing to condemn their beloved ones to the place where the fire is never quenched, the parishioners acted upon the priests instructions.
Now, it was noticed by passers-by, that a light glowed in the church crypt on the evensong following a burial. Their blood ran cold and they gave the church a wide-berth. The affairs of the afterworld were not theirs, they said.
Once upon an eventide, a lad from Ffynnon Rhingyll farm was returning home from courting in Abertridwr. As he drew near the church, Rhoberts mind dwelt on the sweetheart he hoped to wed there. Suddenly, he saw a light ablaze in the crypt and, as bold as a lion, peered through the vault window. He recognised the priest at once. With him were his two daughters clad in white gowns. A coffin was open and they were fondling the jewels inside.
Rhobert had seen enough, and, in jumping off the window ledge made a din. In the deathly hush it sounded like the crack of doom. Showing a light pair of heels, Rhobert pelted homewards. The swindlers followed in hot pursuit with murder on their minds, and they began to gain on their quarry when the farmboy grazed his ankle on a rock.
Rhobert hobbled to a bridge which spanned a stream and huddled underneath. The unholy trinity passed over in full cry. When Rhobert was sure that he was sound of wind and limb again, he ran home by way of a roundabout route.
Next morn, he returned to the church with the farmer and some labourers, burly as beasts. But. There was no-one there. They continued to the priests house to find that the birds had flown. The priest and his daughters were never heard of again. And, good-riddance too, trumpet-tongued the parishioners.
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