Informant: Mr. Hughie Mac Kenzie, Christmas Island, Beaton Institute Tape #656
Transcription and Translation: Hector Mac Neil
Bha rathad aig na Fraingich amach bho Chùl Eilean Na Nollaig a tha an sin a’ dol sios gu Pòn Na Maiseadh. Nuair a thàinig na Gàidheil amach chìtheadh iad far a robh rathad agus ghlan iad amach e. Agus chan eil e ach beagan bliadhnachan on a dh’fhàs a’ choille air a’ rathad sin.
Goirid dhan rathad, bha creig mhór ann. Bha i mu ochd no naoi do throighean a dh’àird is mu dhà throigh dheug do leud agus chunnaic a’ chiad fheadhainn a shuidhich anns an àite – a’ cheud Ghàidheil – coltas mar gum biodh uaighean mun cuairt air a’ chreig mhór a bha seo. Agus smaointich iad math dh’fhaoite gu robh òr air a thiodhlacadh ann bho chionn tha e fior gun do thiodhlaich na Fraingich ionmhas mór mu na cladaichean.
Thòisich feadhainn air cladhach agus tha e coltach gum biodh na bòcain a’ cur eagal orra. Bha fear a’ cladhach ann oidhche agus fhuair e cnàmh làmh duine eadar an t-alt agus an uilinn agus thug e leis dhachaidh e. ‘S an oidhche sin, thàinig fear thuige an aisling is thuirt e ris, an cnàmh ud a thilleadh ‘s a’ thiodhlacadh a’s an àite an d’fhuair e e.
Tha cuimhn’ agam-fhìn turas, cha robh mi ach beag, thàinig triùir a bha a muigh ann an Glasbaidh dhan taigh agus bha iad airson a dhol a chladhach – mar a chanadh iad – dhan “chreig mhóir” an oidhche sin. Thug iad leotha lainntearan is dh’fhalbh iad. Ach, cha robh iad fada gun tilleadh agus bha iad ag ràdh, nuair a thòisich iad air cladhach, gun tàinig solais ás na craobhan mu chuairt dhaibh agus gun cluinneadh iad fuaim each “a’ gallopadh” mun cuairt air taobh a muigh na craobhan agus a’ dèanamh séideadh mór eagallach. Ghabh iad an t-eagal. Theich iad dhachaigh.
Bliadhnachan as a dheaghaidh siud, bha fear a’ dol mun cuairt is “mineral rod” aige. Thadhail e aig an àit’ againne agus dh’fhalbh mi-fhìn is m’athair is mo bhràthair còmhla ris. Chaidh sinn a null dhan chreig mhóir.
Bha an t-slat a bha seo, bha i ‘g obair gu math dian mun cuairt air a’ chloich. Thuirt [Dòmhnall] “Thigibh sibhse an nochd agus cladhaichidh tu aig a’ chloich seo. Tha e air tiodhlacadh ann a’ siud. Uell, an oidhche sin, bha mi-fhìn ‘s mo bhràthair gun sinn ach òg, bha sinn ag iarraidh ‘s ag achanaich air m’athair a thighinn còmhla ruinn ‘s a rachamaid a chladhach dhan chreig mhóir.
Dh’fhalbh e co-dhiùbh còmhla ruinn airson ar toileachadh. Cha d’rinn sinn ach tòiseachadh nuair a chuala sinn an t-each a bha seo “a’ gallopadh” mun cuairt air an talamh chruaidh. Chan fhaiceamaid e. Bha e air taobh a muigh na coilleadh. Agus dh’fhalbh sinne dhachaigh cuideachd is cha d’fhuair sinn òr no airgead!
The French had a road going out from Rear Christmas Island down to Benacadie. When the Gaels came over, they could see where there had been a road and they cleaned it out. And it’s only a few years since the forest grew over that road.
Close to the road, there was a large boulder. It was about eight or nine feet high and about twelve feet in width. And the first settlers, the first Gaels, saw the appearance – as though there were graves around this big boulder. And they thought that perhaps there was gold buried there since it’s true that the French buried a lot of treasure around those shores.
Some people started digging for the gold and it seems that the spirits would be frightening them. One fellow was digging one night and he found the bone of a man – between the wrist and the elbow – and he took it home with him. That night a man came to him in a dream and told him to return and to bury the bone where he found it.
I remember one time – I was only small – three men who were living in Glace Bay came to the house and they were wanting to go digging that night at “The Big Rock”, as they called it. They took lanterns with them and they left. But they weren’t long returning and they were saying that when they started digging there would be lights coming from the trees around them and they could hear a sound like a horse galloping around on the other side of the trees and making a loud fearful snorting. They grew afraid and they fled for home.
Years after that, there was a fellow going around who had a “mineral rod” (divining rod) . He called at our place and I and my father and my brother went with him. We went out to the big rock. The rod he had, it was working energetically in the area of the rock. Donald said, “You come tonight and dig at the rock here. It’s buried there. Well, that night myself and my brother and us only young – we were asking and begging of our father to go with us and we’d go to the Big Rock to dig.
He went with us just to please us. We only started digging when we heard this horse galloping around on the hard ground. We couldn’t see him. He was outside the woods. And we went home too and we never found gold or silver!