A Latvian tale, this version is taken from the 1938 anthology Wonder Tales from Baltic Wizards by Frances Jenkins Olcott.
It happened once on a time, that while a Lady was visiting late, her Coachman stretched himself out in the coach and went to sleep. Near midnight a voice waked him, saying:
“Get up! Come with me to Kokenhusen. I will give you money.”
The Coachman sat up and saw that a Horseman had stopped his horse near the coach.
“Who knows,” thought he, “what kind of a man this is, or what kind of money he offers me!” So he answered, “No, it is night time. I do not drive about with strange people at night.”
The Horseman rode away.
The next night, at the same time, the Horseman woke the Coachman again.
“Get up! Come with me to the church yard. Money is there!”
“Well,” thought the Coachman, “the churchyard is not far away. One can go there and back in half an hour.”
“Good!” he said to the Horseman, “I will go.”
He mounted his horse, and they both rode away.
Hardly were they out of town, before the strange Horseman gave his horse the rein, so that the sparks flew. The Coachman could hardly keep up with him. So they raced on and on, till they came to the churchyard. Suddenly a bright light like day streamed around them. A whole host of people were coming towards them, crowd after crowd.
The Coachman was ashamed, for were not he and the Horseman riding fast like rogues?
“Let the cuckoo take the money!” he said to himself, and, turning his horse, galloped back as fast as he could.
Just as he reached the stable, the brightness and all the people disappeared, and it was dark night again.
But the Horseman would not let the Coachman rest. On the third night he appeared again, and waked him.
“Get up!” And as the Coachman opened his eyes, he added, “Good! Twice you have disobeyed me. Now listen to my counsel. When you come to Kokenhusen, go into the Castle at midnight. You will find cellar stairs. Descend. There you will see an iron door, on which hangs a bunch of keys. Open the door and go into the cellar. There you will find many cornbins full of gold and silver money. To be sure a Great Black Hound watches it. But do not be afraid, just step up and take all the money you wish.” So spoke the Horseman, and vanished.
The Coachman thought, “That is a wonderful matter! Sometime I shall surely go into that Castle!”
It happened in a few days that the Lady went to Kokenhusen, and the Coachman drove her. About midnight, he went to the Castle. As he walked along the walls, he turned into the very cellar stairs. He descended. Yes! There was the iron door and the very bunch of keys!
He opened the door and stepped in. O wonders! O marvels! What treasure was heaped up there!
On one side of the cellar stood a cornbin full of money–full of gold and silver money that had been poured in like grain! But on the heap of money, lay a Great Black Hound watching. The Coachman drew nearer, but immediately the Hound raised his head and showed his teeth.
The Coachman stood thinking and thinking. How willing he would have been to take some of that money! But he was afraid to walk up to the cornbin and dip his hands into the heap of money.
So he turned round, left the cellar without taking anything with him, and went home.
The next day he visited the Castle again, and searched for the cellar. But he searched in vain. All he found was one old coin in a far corner of the Castle. The strange Horseman had left it there as a token!