THE MERMAID OF PADSTOW.
THE port of Padstow has a good natural harbour, so far as rocky area goes, but it is so choked up with drifting sands as to be nearly useless. A peasant recently thus explained the cause. He told how "it was once deep water for the largest vessel, and under the care of a merry-maid--as he called her; but one day, as she was sporting on the surface, a fellow with a gun shot at her. "She dived for a moment; but re-appearing, raised her right arm, and vowed that henceforth the harbour should be desolate." "And," added the old man, "it always will be so. We have had commissions, and I know not what, about converting this place into a harbour of refuge. A harbour of refuge would be a great blessing, but not all the Goyernment commissions in the world could keep the sand out, or make the harbour deep enough to swim a frigate, unless the parsons can find out the way to take up the merry-maid's curse."
Another tale refers the choking up of this harbour to the bad spirit Tregeagle. --