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Outer Banks Legends Part 3

"I shall but love thee better after death" Part three of the legend of John and Amy Harris of the Outer Banks. ~ A concrete and steel vault is heavy. It takes several strong men to move it about. But such a vault, being sealed from without, is airtight and although it rests low in the water and moves sluggishly with even the most violent waves and wind, it will float. John Harris, terrified and expecting each minute to be his last, clung desperately to the vault, which was literally blown that night across the width of the Currituck Sound and onto some cypress knees on the mainland shore. Search parties found him there the next day. He was sitting in knee-deep water near the burial vault, a vacant and wild look in his eyes. Although still sane, he was suffering from shock and exposure. The hair on his head, once black as a raven's wing, had turned completely white--and white it remained for the rest of his days.

The burial vault, hoisted shortly thereafter aboard a barge, was moved from the Currituck shore across the Sound to milepost number one on the near near the village of Duck. The authorities insisted that the vault and casket be opened for inspection before it could be re-interred. Several of John Harris's neighbors were asked to be on hand as witnesess.

As the little crowd of reverent but interested witnesses watched the seal was broken on the side of the vault, the top lifeted off and the casket opened. There, sure enough was Amy Harris. It has been her vault that had carried John across the Sound on his incredible ride. She had made good her lifelong promise to rescue her beloved if the opportuniy ever arose.

The body was hardly disturbed. Amy looked just as she had on the day of her funeral--the same, this is, with one striking exception.

When the veil was lifted away, Amy's face was wreathed in the sweetest, the most natural looking smile you have ever seen.

Not many years later John Harris passed on and was buried beside his Amy in another yaupon grove...a single tombstone stood over both graves.

Although John and Amy left no descendants they are not forgotten on the Outer Banks. To this day, when the weather begins to turn ominous and the scud begins to fly before the increasing wind, residents of Duck will remember and will once again tell of the time John Harris's wife came back from the grave to resuce him.