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Main > Welsh folktales > Fairy tale "Billy Duffy and the devil"

Billy Duffy and the devil

At the end of three days Billy returned and opened the door, and the devil said, "Oh, Billy, you've played a fine trick to me; let me go."

"What are you going to give me if I let you go?"

"Seven years more, twice the money, and two days' grace for wishing for what you like."

The devil paid his money and disappeared, and Billy shut the smithy and took to gambling and drinking, so that at the end of seven years he was without a penny, and working again in his smithy.

On the last night of the seven years he went to his favourite public-house again, and wished for five pounds.

After he wished, a little man entered and spat the sovereigns into the tumbler, and they all drank all night.

Next morning Billy went back to his smithy. The devil, who had grown suspicious, turned himself into a sovereign and appeared on the floor. Billy seized the sovereign and clapped it into his purse. Then he took his purse and lay it upon the anvil, and began to beat it with his sledge-hammer, when the devil began to call out, "Spare my poor limbs, spare my poor limbs!"

"How much now if I let you go?" asked Billy

"Seven more years, three times the money, and one day in which to wish for what you like."

Billy took the sovereign out of his purse and threw it away, when he found his money in the smithy.

Billy carried on worse than ever; gambled and drank and raced, squandering it all before his seven years was gone. On the last day of his term he went to his favourite inn as usual and wished for a tumbler full of sovereigns. A little man with a big head, a big nose, and big mouth, a little body, and little legs, with clubbed feet and a forked tail, brought them in and put them in the tumbler. The drunkards in the room got scared when they saw the little man, for he looked all glowing with fire as he danced on the table. When he finished, he said, "Billy, to-morrow morning our compact is up."

"I know it, old boy, I know it, old boy!" said Billy. Then the devil ran out and disappeared, and the people began to question Billy:

"What is that?

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