Waff

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Waff is an odd word, but one much used by the people in Northern England, where it may mean a great variety of things: a gust of air, a faint scent, a wave of the hand, a slight passing blow, a touch - or sometimes a fetch, an apparition. An apparition which takes the form of oneself is considered a very unlucky thing to see, as it generally foretells death.*

The moss-oak which impersonates Arabella Strange appears to be a type of waff, though it has substance and solidity. It is of course the creation of the gentleman with the thistle-down hair.



*Fortunately however there is said to be a remedy, best suited to those of a bold and ready disposition. A farmer in Yorkshire was visiting the town of Whitby once when he was astonished to see his waff threading its path through the crowds and making straight towards him! But being a man of quick, imperious temper, and very stout of heart, he at once crossed the street, stood square in the way of the apparition and indignantly demanded What it thought it did there? The waff, daunted by such a direct challenge, halted and seemed astonished. Pressing his advantage the farmer spoke to it as hotly as he might to one of his own hands that had displeased him, rated it soundly and told it to be off about its business at once! Abashed by such masterful behaviour, it turned on its heel and slunk off. The farmer lived to a good age and the waff was never seen again.