Flemish Legend The Three Sisters by Charles de Coster Chapter 6

Of the diamond hammers, and foundations torn up from the ground

At Haeckendover, in the duchy of Brabant, the palfreys stood still once again, and neighed.

And would not go one step forward, nor back.

For this was where God had chosen to have his church.

But the ladies, supposing that they had stopped there because they were tired, went on as far as Hoy-Bout on foot, and there determined to start building.

Therefore they sent for the most skilful workers in stone, and master-builders also, in so great number that at the end of one day the foundations were two hands’ breadth high in the lowest part.

And seeing this good beginning the ladies rejoiced greatly, and supposed their work agreeable to God.

But on the morrow, alas, found all the stones torn up out of the ground.

Thinking that by chance some traitor heretic had been buried in that place, who at night shook down the stones of their church with the trembling of his accursed bones, they removed to Steenen-Berg with their workmen, and there started afresh in the same manner as at Hoy-Bout.

But on the morrow morning found the walls once again out of the ground.

For the Lord Jesus was minded to be worshipped more particularly at Haeckendover.

And sent, therefore, his angels by night, with hammers of diamond from the workshops of Paradise.

And bade them tear down the work of the three ladies.

Therefore the sisters, greatly perplexed and wondering, went down on their knees, praying God that he would tell them where he wished to have his church.