"...the servants in Rossatorc Castle said that as the priest lay exhausted from his vain supplications, and the rattle was in Dark Mauryeen's throat, there were cries of mocking laughter in the air above the castle, and a strange screaming and flapping of great wings, like to, but incomparably greater than, the screaming and flapping of the eagle over Slieve League."
The "devil-may-care" Sir Robert Molyneux and the lovely Lady Eva are to be wed in just two weeks' time, but it seems he can't help himself when it comes to the women "of a class below his own." Even though "the germ of good in him" knows that this is wrong, and even though he promises himself that he'll never do it again, from the moment he catches "sight of a girl's dark handsome face on the staircase" his fate is sealed. In the other story using this device, "The Spancel of Death," the girl doing the binding is an "Eastern beauty in the wilds of Mayo," Sabina Doheny, who was once a "lonely, fierce, haunted child" and "pagan at heart" but now "protegée" and maid of the daughter of the local Marquis. Lady Kathaleen's fiancé is Sir Harry Massey, and once again, as in the case of Sir Robert Molyneux, once Sabina's eyes lit upon his face, her "heart had awakened with a madness and a violence beyond expressing." Given that Sabina had once lived in a hut with Mag Holon, the local witch, she knows exactly where to go and what to ask for. Be warned, old Mag reminds her, "There's few could look on the boorwaugh washa, the death spancel, without terror."