ROUND about the village of St. Martin, in the Passeierthal, the parish comprises a great many single-lying farmsteads, which are dispersed about to the north in every direction for seven or eight miles towards the parish of Platt. In one of these farms a man was lying very ill, because on a Sunday, instead of going to church, he had hunted in the neighbouring forest, and had slightly wounded his foot with the iron heel of his other boot. It seemed as though the wound was poisoned, for it grew continually worse and worse, and at last threw the man into a deadly fever. The neighbours implored him to give up his evil ways, for he was a wicked fellow, and took delight in mocking at religion, and always, above every other, chose a Sunday or fête day for his hunting excursions.
But, wishing to appear an esprit fort, he answered that he preferred to arrange his own affairs with the Creator without their interference. In spite of all this, a good priest tried to persuade him out of his evil ways; but the wicked man replied to his exhortations by throwing a plate at him, out of which he had just been eating his milk soup. He remained obstinate and hardened, “determined,” as he called it, to the last.
One day, when he was dying, the people of the house ran down to the priest, and implored him to come and save the unhappy sinner if it was still possible. The good priest, accompanied by his sacristan, hastened directly up the mountain, carrying the Holy Sacrament with them. As they arrived close to the farm, they were met by a fiery red body rushing through the air, spitting flames as it flew. It aimed directly at the priest, and was the body of the unbelieving Sabbath-breaker, who had died without repentance. The sacristan fell to the earth terror-stricken; but the priest said, “Fear not, Christ is with us,” and as he spoke these words the fiery body rushed by, leaving them unhurt, and hurled itself down the fearful precipice of the Matatz valley.