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stayed at Devynock or at Trallong, which latter was quite as near for half the work.
On the other side of the river Usk there was a fine wooded rocky slope in which paths had been made near and above the river by some former resident owner, and this was a favourite walk on holidays. In the farmhouse adjacent a relative of the owner, a middle-aged man, who was apparently on the verge between eccentricity and madness, lived in retirement, and we heard a good deal of his strange ways, though they said he was quite harmless. He used to walk about a good deal with a pipe in his mouth and dressed in a gamekeeper style, and he always stopped to make some remark, and then walked on without waiting for an answer. My brother made a rough pen-and-ink sketch of him, which has fortunately been preserved, and which is here reproduced, as it well represents his appearance and manner when meeting any one. Some of his sayings were not only wild but exceedingly coarse, others merely abrupt and strange. One day he would say, “Where's your pipe? Don't smoke? Then go home and begin if you want to be happy.” Another time something like this, “Who are you? Come to look after me? They say I'm mad, but I ain't. I'm here to enjoy myself. Do as I like.” One time when he met my brother, after some such rigmarole as the above, he ended with, “Shave your head and keep your toe-nails cut, and you'll be all right.”
When I went up to Senni Street (Heol Senni, as it is called in Welsh) I greatly enjoyed wandering over the pretty valley which extended a long way into the mountains, flowing over nearly level meadows and with an unusually twisted course. This I found was so erroneously mapped, the numerous bends having been inserted at random as if of no importance, that I had to survey its course afresh. Above the village there were several lateral tributaries descending in deep woody dingles, often very picturesque, and these had usually one or more waterfalls in their course, or deep rocky chasms ; and as these came upon me unexpectedly, and
OUR ECCENTRIC NEIGHBOUR AT DEVYNOCK.
(From a sketch by W. G. Wallace.)
[To face p. 166, Vol. I.