It is commonly believed in Germany that on St. Andrew’s night, St. Thomas’ night, and Christmas and New Year’s nights, a girl has the power of inviting and seeing her future lover. A table is to be laid for two persons, taking care, however, that there are no forks upon it. Whatever the lover leaves behind him must be carefully preserved, for he then returns to her who has it, and loves her passionately. The article must, however, be kept carefully concealed from his sight, for he would otherwise remember the torture of superhuman power exercised over him which he that night endured, become conscious of the charms employed, and this would lead to fatal consequences.
A fair maiden in Austria once sought at midnight, after performing the necessary ceremonies, to obtain a sight of her lover, whereupon a shoemaker appeared having a dagger in his hand, which he threw at her and then disappeared. She picked up the dagger which he had thrown at her and concealed it in a trunk.
Not long afterwards the shoemaker visited, courted, and married her. Some years after her marriage she chanced to go one Sunday about the hour of vespers to the trunk in search of something that she required for her work the next day. As she opened the trunk her husband came to her, and would insist on looking into it. She kept him off, until at last he pushed her away, and there saw his long-lost dagger. He immediately seized it, and demanded how she obtained it, because he had lost it at a very particular time. In her fear and alarm she had not the power to invent any excuse, so declared the truth, that it was the same dagger he had left behind him the night when she had obliged him to appear to her. Her husband hereupon grew enraged, and said, with a terrible voice—
“‘Twas you, then, that caused me that night of dreadful misery?”
With that he thrust the dagger into her heart.