Robert Llwyd Hari’s Card Game.
Updated: Nov 30, 2020
Robert Llwyd Hari was a farm servant at Gilar Farm, near the village of Rhydlydan. His hobby was playing cards. Each evening, after he had finished his work on the farm Bob, as people called him, would walk down to the village and meet his friends for a game. Sometimes they would play in the tavern. On Sunday nights, when the tavern was shut, he would go to Aunty Ann’s house and spend the evening playing cards there. Some villagers frowned at Bob’s hobby. They called his card playing wicked and the work of the devil. The minister had tried to stop Bob playing cards on Sundays but his sermons fell on deaf ears. Bob’s ability with a deck of cards was well known across the county and he was a champion card player.
Late one Sunday evening, Bob was walking along the lane, on his way home from Aunty Ann’s when
he saw a strange looking man coming towards him. It was a warm night but the man was dressed in a long, tightly buttoned coat. He wore a tall hat and a long scarf was tied around his neck.
'Good evening,' said the stranger, as he approached. The men stopped on a small bridge.
'Good evening to you,' replied Bob, not wishing to be rude to the stranger.
'I believe you are a card player,' said the stranger. Bob wondered how the stranger knew he played cards. He had never met the man before.
'I enjoy a hand of cards myself. Come with me to Plas Lolyn and we will have a game or two,' suggested the stranger.
'Why would I go to a deserted farmhouse to play cards at this late hour?' replied Bob.
'I have just moved into Plas Lolyn. The house is warm and there is plenty of light to play,' said the stranger. Bob considered the offer for a moment. It might be fun to pit his skill against the stranger but he had to be up early in the morning, to milk the cows.
'Thank you for the invitation but it is late and I need my bed,' said Bob and bid the stranger goodnight.
'Wait,' said the stranger, 'The moon is bright. We can have our game here on the bridge'.
'I have no playing cards with me,' said Bob.
'Yes you have. There are two packs in your jacket pocket,' replied the stranger. Bob laughed and produced a deck of cards from his pocket.
'Just a quick game. I have to be up with the sun in the morning,' said Bob. The two men sat astride the bridge parapet and began their game. The stranger was a good player but Bob was better. Robert Llwyd Hari was winning every hand and enjoying himself. The competition got fiercer. Now, the men were playing as if their lives were at stake. Bob was playing with all his concentration. Any thought of getting up early to milk the cows had been pushed from his mind.
The stranger dealt a hand and one of the cards fell, from the parapet, into the water below. Bob looked down. He could see his reflection and the stranger’s reflection in the moonlight. Then he saw the stranger’s reflected foot, or was it? He looked again. It was no foot…but a hoof. Bob threw down his cards and jumped up.
'I’ll not play cards with you any longer,' he cried and marched quickly away from the bridge. On seeing that the match was over, the stranger became a wheel of fire and rolled up the hill in the direction of Plas Lolyn.
Next day, when Bob enquired, no one had heard of the stranger from Plas Lolyn. The farm was still derelict when he went to look. The following Sunday, the minister was pleased to see Bob in his congregation and overjoyed when he learnt that Bob had pledged to never again play with cards on the Sabbath.