A TEST OF INNOCENCY
A FARMER in Towednack having been robbed of some property of no great value, was resolved nevertheless, to employ a test which he had heard the "old people" resorted to for the purpose of catching the thief. He invited all his neighbours into his cottage, and when they were assembled, he placed a cock under the "brandice," (an iron vessel formerly much employed by the peasantry in baking, when this process was carried out on the hearth, the fuel being furze and ferns). Every one was directed to touch the brandice with his, or her, third finger, and say, "In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, speak." Every one did as they were directed, and no sound came from beneath the brandice. The last person was a woman, who occasionally laboured for the farmer in his fields. She hung back, hoping to pass unobserved amidst the crowd. But her very anxiety made her a suspected person. She was forced forward, and most unwillingly she touched the brandice, when, before she could utter the words prescribed, the cock crew. The woman fell faint on the floor, and, when she recovered, she confessed herself to be the thief, restored the stolen property, and became, it is said, "a changed character from that day."