The day was now more than half gone, and no difference was betweenthem, when, to the surprise and sorrow of everyone present, BiddyCorrigan's broke in two, and so to all appearance ended thecontest in favor of her rival; and what added to her mortification, shewas ignorant of the little red woman's name as ever. What was to be done?All that could be done was done. Her brother, a boy of about fourteenyears of age, happened to be present when the accident took place, havingbeen sent by his father and mother to bring them word how the match wenton between the rival spinsters. Johnny Corrigan was accordingly dispatchedwith all speed to Donnel M'Cusker's, the wheelwright, in order to get theheck mended, that being Biddy's last but hopeless chance. Johnny's anxietythat his sister should win was of course very great, and in order to loseas little time as possible he struck across the country, passing through,or rather close by, Kilrudden forth, a place celebrated as a resort of thefairies. What was his astonishment, however, as he passed a white-thorntree, to hear a female voice singing, in accompaniment to the sound of aspinning wheel, the following words:


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