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MEMOIRS OF THE BARONESS DU MONTET

A young high society woman was travelling in Austria many years ago. She had a young daughter, just two or three years old, whom she loved dearly.
One evening, she arrived at an inn that was part of an old landowner’s domain. The walls were extremely thick and the doors and windows were low and deeply-set.
The inn had a good reputation and the young countess had no reason to be apprehensive. A bed was placed for the young girl in her mother’s room, a candle was lit, and the ladies-in-waiting went to dine. They had been gone for a while when a door to the rooms opened and a venerable old woman appeared. She was wearing old-style clothes, with a scarf bearing a coat-of-arms. She slowly approached the child’s cradle, and seemed to look at her kindly. As if she were a mother concerned about not waking her child, she then bent down and kissed the young girl on the forehead before leaving the room.
The countess was touched; she thought the old woman had come to make sure the child was well and didn’t need anything. The next day, before leaving, she wished to thank her and asked to see her. The people at the inn told her they did not know who the old woman was, but she was notorious, and had been been feared for centuries. She always appeared in the same costume and the children whose foreheads she kissed all died within a year, and this was indeed the case with the countess’s daughter.


by Prince Michael of Greece