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The Devil’s Mill

The issue of The Miller dated 5 May 1930 contains this story about the ‘Devil’s Mill’

A miller’s apprentice loved a pretty peasant girl named Yvonne, but the young people concealed their deep affection from others, swore eternal fidelity and for a long time preserved their own secret. Meanwhile the ‘prentice laid plans for the future and dreamt of his coming happiness. One day he took courage, sent to the father of his Yvonne and begged her hand. Poor though he was, he hoped with his small savings and the work of his honest hands to provide a home for his sweetheart. The farmer, however, wanted no needy apprentice as his son-in-law and dismissed Yves with hard words.

For a long time the rejected suitor fought against his despair until at dead of night the Prince of Darkness appeared and offered to build him the finest mill in return for his soul. After a day of struggling the Devil’s persuasion went quickly forward, Yves assisting. It was a sad sorrow for Yvonne when she heard of the awful contract, but with true affection she prayed for her lover’s deliverance and persuaded him to resort to a stratagem. He fashioned out of a stone a representation of the Virgin and when the mill was complete, save for one stone, he handed the image to his Satanic Majesty. Cursing frightfully with rage the Devil fled from the place. Again Yves asked Yvonne’s father for her hand and this time attained his heart’s desire. Not only had his soul been saved, but fortune was smiling upon him’.