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

Billy Duffy and the devil

I think it is you, Mister Duffy, he is after."

"Oh, it is nothing at all," said Billy.

"I should think there was something," said the man.

"I am afraid my house will get a bad name," croaked the landlord.

"Not in the least! You are only a coward," said Billy.

"But in the name of God, what is it all about?" asked an old man.

"Oh, you'll see by-and-bye," said Billy; "it is nothing at all."

Next morning Billy went to his smithy, but the devil would not come near it.

So he went to his house, and began to quarrel with his wife, and whilst he was quarrelling the devil walked in and said:

"Well, Mr. Duffy, I am ready for you."

"Ah, yes; just sit down and wait a minute or two. I have some papers

I want to put to rights before I go."

So the devil sat down in the arm-chair, and Billy went to the smithy and heated a pair of tongs red-hot, and coming back, he got the devil by the nose, and pulled it out as though it had been soft iron. And the devil began yelling, but he could not move, and Billy kept drawing the nose out till it was long enough to reach over the window, when he put an old bell-topper on the end of it. And the devil yelled, and snorted fire from his nose.

The whole of the village crowded round Billy's, house—at a safe distance—calling out, "Billy and the devil! The devil and Billy Duffy!"

The devil got awful savage, and blackguarded Billy Duffy terribly; but it was useless. Billy kept him there for days, till he got civil and said:

"Mr. Duffy, what will you let me go for?"

"Only one thing: I am to live the rest of my life without you, and have as much gold as I like."

The devil agreed, so Billy let him go; and immediately he grew rich. He lived to a good old age squandering money all the time, but at last he died and when he got to the gates of hell the clerk said "Who are you?" "Billy Duffy," said he. And when the devil, who was standing near, heard, he said:

"Good God! bar the gates and double-lock them for if this Billy

Duffy the blacksmith gets in he will ruin us all.

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