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The Brown Man of the Muirs

If the Scottish homesteads have their attendant sprites, the wild moorlands are not without their mysterious denizens. In a
letter from Mr. Surtees to Sir W. Scott, given in the memoir prefixed to vol. iv. of Surtees's History of Durham, we read, on
the authority of an old dame named Elizabeth Cockburn, how in the year before the Great Eebellion two young men from
Newcastle were sporting on tlie high moors above Elsdon, and at last sat down to refresh themselves in a green glen near a
mountain stream. The younger lad went to drink at the brook, and raising his head again saw the " Brown man of the Muirs,"
a dwarf very strong and stoutly built, his dress brown like withered bracken, his head covered with frizzled red hair, his
countenance ferocious, and his eyes glowing like those of a bull. After some parley, in which the stranger reproved the hunter for
trespassing on his demesnes and slaying the creatures who were his subjects, and informed him how he himself lived only on
whortleberries, nuts, and apples, he invited him home. The youth was on the point of accepting the invitation and springing
across the brook, when he was arrested by the voice of his companion, who thought he had tarried long, and looking round
again " the wee brown man was fled." It was thought that had the young man crossed the water the dwarf would have torn him
to pieces. As it was he died within the year, in consequence, it was supposed, of his slighting the dwarf's admonition, and continuing his sport on the way home.