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 Front Cover
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 The parson's miracle
 My grandmother's grandmother's...
 Back Cover






Group Title: The parson's miracle : and, My grandmother's grandmother's Christmas candle : Christmas in America
Title: The parson's miracle
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00082675/00001
 Material Information
Title: The parson's miracle and, My grandmother's grandmother's Christmas candle : Christmas in America;
Alternate Title: My grandmother's grandmother's Christmas candle
Christmas in America
Physical Description: 32 p. : col. ill. ; 20 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Butterworth, Hezekiah, 1839-1905
Dana Estes & Company ( Publisher )
Colonial Press ( Printer )
C.H. Simonds & Co
Publisher: Dana Estes & Company
Place of Publication: Boston
Manufacturer: Colonial Press ; Electrotyped and printed by C.H. Simonds & Co.
Publication Date: c1894
 Subjects
Subject: Christmas -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Clergy -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Miracles -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Grandmothers -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Children's stories   ( lcsh )
Children's stories -- 1894   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1894
Genre: Children's stories
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States -- Massachusetts -- Boston
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Hezekiah Butterworth.
General Note: Illustrations printed in red or green.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00082675
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002223205
notis - ALG3454
oclc - 225125926

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 1a
    Frontispiece
        Page 2
    Title Page
        Page 3
        Page 4
    The parson's miracle
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    My grandmother's grandmother's Christmas candle
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
    Back Cover
        Page 33
        Page 34
Full Text



















@bri5h~ja5 in


Anie rica~


9 ~C)vy\ C) !Y\i
3











" I'



'' arso s f iraele

-rarQdmoter's (rapdmotper's
--ristmas Qagdle


lhristmas in America


BY
HEZEKIAH BUTTERWORTH




BOSTON
DANA ESTES & COMPANY
PUBLISHERS


































Copyright, 1894,
BY ESTES AND LAURIAT.




















&oItnial press:
Electrotyped and Printed by C. H. Simonds & Co.
Boston, Mass., U. S. A.














THE PARSON'S MIRACLE.


FOR fifty years Parson Pool had faithfully served the little
parish among the New Hampshire hills. There was not
a house in the village in which he had not prayed; there
was hardly a little red
cottage on the road
that wound through
the interval in which
he had not at F
least "married `1 2!
one and /1 i
preached ,
the funeral
sermon of
two," as he
express ed
himself in
a discourse /
at the close of
the half-century of
his ministry.
There had been but few episodes in the
parson's life. He had seldom travelled so
far as to lose sight of Mount Washington,
or not to hear on Sunday the ringing of his own church
bell. Week by week on Friday evening and Sunday morning,








CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


his strong form was seen passing through the wicket gate that
led to the church, whether the breath of June was in the air, or
Chocorua's triple peaks were obscured by a scowling sky, or
rose in silence, covered with snow. But in his old age there
happened to him a miracle. I myself saw it, though I was then
a child.
Parson Pool was my grandfather. I was his pet. He used
to take me with him to his parishioners whenever he went. I
well remember his gig and poor old Dolly, the mare, with her
harness all tied up with tow strings and toggles, -a faithful
animal who bore her lashings with resignation, and has long
been free from her woes.
Parson Pool was a very tender-hearted man, and next to his
love of children was that of animals, notwithstanding the
whacks that old Dolly received.
There used to be a season in the village which was called
"killing-time," a few weeks in December when the fatted
cattle, hogs, and poultry were killed. The neighbors used to
gather from house to house on the occasion of such annual
slaughters, but the parson was never seen among them. He
usually shut himself up in the garret on the morning that his
own pig was killed, and did not appear below stairs until the
defunct animal's liver and lights were frying for the butcher's
dinner. If he were riding at this season and heard one of his
neighbor's pigs squeal on being run down by the butcher, he
would give old Dolly an extra whack, put the reins between
his knees, and clap both hands over his ears, and hold them
there tightly.
Mary," I once heard him say, after such an experience, it
does seem to me that there is something wrong in the make-up
of this world; but then," he added, I ought not to say any-
thing,-I like a piece of fresh pork myself sometimes."






CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


The people generally remembered the parson at killing-
time," and generously sent him spare-ribs, turkeys, and geese.
He was so well provided for with poultry at this season by
others, that he was never known to kill any of his own.
I would n't kill a chicken," he used to say, if I had to live
on corn bread all the year. I sell all my poultry to the hen-
cart."
Just what the hen-cart man did with the parson's poultry, the
good man never cared to investigate. The hen-cart always went
outside of the mountain hemlocks that bordered the quiet town.
Grandmother Pool was a person of different fibre. At kill-
ing-time" at the parsonage, she went round with her sleeves
rolled up, ready for the fray. When she mounted the gig, and
said Go lang," old Dolly put back her ears, and her stiffened
legs flew like drum-sticks. Grandfather used to have to speak
to me about the same thing often, but I very distinctly remem-
ber that grandmother, after giving me one or two very impres-
sive lessons, never had to speak to me in that way but once.
Grandmother was not a popular woman in the parish.
Parson Pool liked to raise poultry. He would often bring
up a large brood of chickens by hand, and his flock of hens
would follow him about the farm whenever he went out to
walk. In the summer afternoons we used to go up on a hill
together, which commanded almost as fine a view of the green
mountain walls and the bald summits of Washington and La-
fayette as does the Bald Mountain itself. Then we would sit
down and watch the shadows of the clouds on the pine-covered
mountain sides, as they sailed along like ghosts of the air.
When Grandmother Pool asked us where we were going, as we
set out for these excursions, he would often answer, Hens'
nesting."






CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


A mania had spread over the country. It was called the
"hen fever." It reached at last our village. Several people
became the possessors of Cochin China and Shanghai
hen-, an-d i' '__ amn_ them was a brisk young farmer
by the name of Campbell.
Just after Thanksgiving
this young man summoned
Parson Pool to marry him.
i He paid the old man two
-. dollars in money, and
.-' ,| promised to make him a
present of a Christmas
I dinner, which he assured
him should be "a sur-
prise."
On the day before Christ-
1 mas young Campbell called
S- at the parsonage, and ful-
S filled his promise. It was
a surprise indeed, a
Shanghai chicken of aston-
ishing weight, and seemingly fabulous length of neck and legs.
"Here, parson," said he, setting the pullet down on the
kitchen floor, I've brought you something for your Christmas
dinner. Big as a turkey, ain't it? Legs almost as long as
yours, parson, and a neck like as it was going to peek over the
meeting' hus' into the graveyard. Did you ever see the like of
that?"
The chicken ruffled its feathers, and walked about the kitchen
very calmly, lifting high its feet in a very dignified way.
When this you see, remember me,' parson," said the lively







CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


young man, quoting provincial poetry. You will have kim on
the table to-morrow, won't you, parson? "
Yes; but, but-"
The old man held out a piece of bread. The pullet walked
up to it like a child, and swallowed it so



II -: ,




~IV


-_





"- B t '1i -





father's dressing-gown, which seemed to please him greatly.
But I would kind o' hate to cut her head off."
Is that so, parson? Well, I'll save you the trouble. You
ust let me take your hatchet, and I '11 -"
No, no," said grandfather, with a distressed look, I 'll
attend to the matter. I'11 attend to the matter. I always was
kind o' chicken-hearted, myself."







CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


After the young man left, grandmother came upon the scene,
with a resolute look in her face and her cap borders flying.
Samuel! "
Well?"
I want you to cut that chicken's head right off, right off
now, so that I can have it to bake for breakfast to-morrow.
Who do you think is coming to spend Christmas with us?
Sophia, Sophia Van Buren, from Boston. She spent the
summer at the Crawford House, and came to the mountains
again in October. But now that the hotels are closed, she is
coming here."
"What is she coming for ?" asked grandfather, with a dis-
tressed look at the chicken.
To see Mount Washington covered with snow. She is an
artist; she exhibits pictures in the art rooms in Boston. She is
my second cousin."
"When is she coming?"
"This very afternoon, in the Ossipee stage. So just take that
great fat chicken, and off with its head just as quick as you can,
and I will get the feathers out of the way in half an hour."
"But I never killed a chicken in my life, and I would rather
hate to hack the head off of such a fine-looking bird as that."
Won't she brown up well ? said grandmother.
"Rebecca, that fowl loves to live just as well as you do.
Just think of it, when the day-star rises to-morrow and the cocks
crow, she-"
Will be dead and baked in the larder," said Grandmother
Pool.
And when the sun rises and the other fowls are enjoying
the sunlight -"
You will be eating one of the best roast chickens you ever







CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


tasted. Here she is," added grandmother, catching up the
plump pullet and handing her to Grandfather Pool, who looked
as though he had been called upon to execute a child.
Grandfather Pool went out with the pullet, which did not
seem to manifest any concern. I followed.
He went to the woodhouse where
the chopping-block was, and sat
down in an old arm-chair, in the
sun. The woodhouse was open
in front, and the chopping-block
stood in the opening.
Are you really going to do
it? said I.
I wish one of those Old
Testament miracles would turn
that
pullet
into a
r. chop-
.. pping-
.- block,
for ske
SI has said it must be
done, and nothing
__ ,but a miracle will
.. _ever save the poor
thing from the gal-
lows.
Grandfather Pool rose up and laid the chicken on the block.
He measured the distance with the hatchet.
Oh, let me run," said I.







CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


"I am not going to do it yet, said he. "When I do, I
shall measure the distance so, with my eyes open; then I shall
shut my eyes tight, chop her head off quick, and throw her
away, and shall not open my eyes until she is as dead as
a stone. Now you run away, and write the epitaph," he added,
with a grim smile.
I ran to my room. It looked out on the woodhouse. I drew
the curtain so as not to see the awful sight. I began to think
of the epitaph.

There was a nice fat pullet that sat upon a roost;
Death came along and gave her a boost.

That did not seem quite correct.

There was a nice plump pullet that lay beneath the brier;
Death came along and caused her to expire.

This seemed to me perfectly lovely, and I felt willing that the
pullet should die, that she might be honored by such an epitaph.
Parson Pool was famous as a writer of epitaphs, and I now felt
sure I had inherited his genius.
I thought I would just open the curtain to see if the deed was
done, when a most remarkable sight met my eyes. Grand-
father Pool .to,:,:l bI. the block on which the pullet was laid,
measuring thli dit.a ice to strike. He then shut his eyes,
brought down the hatchet strongly, and threw the pullet away.
What was my astonishment to see the fowl jump up and run
across the meadow into the hemlocks.
Grandfather stood like a statue, with closed eyes, waiting for
the pullet to expire. I think he stood in this position some five
minutes, when he ventured to look slowly round.
There was nothing to be seen but the chopping-block.







CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


He walked around it, and then surveyed the yard. I never
saw such a look of astonishment as came into his face.
Presently I heard a shrill voice cry, -
Samuel, ain't that chicken ready yet? "
Then I heard him say, -
Rebecca, come here."
Where is the pullet, Samuel ? "
I chopped her head off, when she vanished right into the
chopping-block. It is a punishment for my sins. I
never thought it quite right to kill innocent animals for
food."
Samuel, have you lost your senses? I am not
a fool. You never cut that pullet's head off in I I
this world. It stands to reason you did n't;
there is n't a drop of blood on the block."
"Rebecca, I have never told a lie since: I
entered the ministry. I tell you the truth:
I cut that pullet's head off; the hatchet
went clean through her neck, when she van- j
ished head and all, went right into the '.
chopping-block! y
Split open the block and you will -
find her, then." ...
Grandfather took up the broad-axe, sev-
ered the ch-l:ipin -block in the middle, and
examined it carefully as it fell apart.
There is no pullet there," said he. "I 1i
feel like Balaam. I've read of such things
in books, they happened to Samuel Wesley, and he was a
good man; and to Elder John Leland, and he was a good man."
What things ?"
Supernatural things, miracles, like."







CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


"Well, I don't believe in them."
"What's come of that pullet, then? "
"Did n't you fall asleep over the chopping-block, and some
one steal her?"
Rebecca, you know that there is n't a person in this whole
town who would steal a hen from me in the night, to say nothing
of broad daylight. What's the use of arguing against the super-
natural? Just as soon as I had cut her head off, I let go of her,
and expected she would flutter and leap up into the air, just as
pullets do when other folks kill them. Instead of that she
never made a sound, but turned right into that there chopping-
block, and never left so much as a drop of blood or a feather
behind."
It is very mysterious."
Very."
Where's Jamie?"
He's hid so as not to see the murder."
Just then the sound of wheels was heard, and the Ossipee
stage stopped before the little red cottage, and Miss Van Buren,
all fluffs and furbelows, appeared. As soon as I was alone with
grandfather he said, -
Jamie, you know what has happened; don't tell your grand-
mother that rash wish of mine."
What wish? "
What I said to you before the pullet vanished, --that she
might turn into a chopping-block."
I had intended to tell him what I had seen, but a mystery
had a charm for me even in childhood. I disliked to spoil such
a famous story as this was sure to become, and when my con-
science began to trouble me, I stifled it by reflecting that to
explain the matter too soon would cause the capture and death
of the pullet.







CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA. 15

The next day, a wonderfully mild Christmas in that region,
grandfather, Miss Van Buren, and myself, went up the high
hill to get a view of the moun-
tains. The sharp peaks of
S Chocorua seemed to cut the
.' air, and grandfather told Miss
-, -. Van Buren as we slowly went
along the awful story of Choco-
rua's curse. Had I not known.
the truck ..:.,lanation to the pullet story,
J t!lir -ry o,' the old Conway farms would
Sh.v.e .:!I lled me, for the Conway farmers
bli..," that Chocorua's curse causes
the a tle- to die. The air was very still,
only a low
murmur at
o times in the
Stops of the
-I .pines.
There
were hunt-
-- i b-- ers in the
woods be-
low us, and
from time to time the crack of a rifle would cause us to stop
to listen to the echoes. As we returned, I hurried ahead of
grandfather and Miss Van Buren, and gained the highway some
minutes before them.
A wagon was passing, full of hunters and game. Out of one
of the game bags hung the head of a noble bird; my eyes recog-
nized it with astonishment, it was Parson Pool's Christmas
pullet.














MY GRANDMOTHER'S GRANDMOTHER'S
CHRISTMAS CANDLE.

THERE were no Christmas celebrations in my old Puritan
home in Swansea, such as we have in all New England
homes to-day. No church bells rung out in the darkening
December air; there were no children's carols learned in Sun-
day-schools; no presents, and not even a sprig of box, ivy, or
pine in any window. Yet there was one curious custom in the
old town that made Christmas Eve in many homes the merriest
in the year.
It was the burning of the Christmas candle; and of this
old, forgotten custom of provincial towns I have an odd
story to tell.
The Christmas candle? You may never have heard of it.
You nray fancy that it was some beautiful image in wax, or like
an altar-light. This was not the case. It was a candle contain-
ing a quill filled with gunpowder, and its burning excited an
intense interest while we waited for the expected explosion.
I well remember Dipping-Candle Day; it was a very inter-
esting day to me in my girlhood, because it was then that the
Christmas candle was dipped.
It usually came in the fall, in the short, lonesome days of
November, just before the new schoolmaster opened the winter
term of the school.
My grandmother brought down from the garret her candle-
rods and poles. The candle-rods were light sticks of elder,








CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA,


some fifty in number, and the poles were long pine bars. These
poles were tied two each to two chairs; and the rods, after they
had been wicked, were laid upon them at short distances apart.
Wicking the candle-rods is a phrase of which few people
to-day know the meaning. Every country-store in old times
contained a large supply of balls of cotton candle-wick. This
wick was to be cut, put upon the candle-rods, twisted, and tal-
lowed or waxed, so as to be convenient for dipping.
How many times have I seen my grandmother, on the long
November evenings, wicking her candle-rods She used to do
the work, sitting in her easy chair before the great open fire.
One side of the fire-place was usually hung with strings of
dried or partly dried apples, and the other with strings of red
peppers. Over the fireplace were a gun and the almanac;
and on the hearth there were usually, in the evening, a few
sweet apples roasting, and at one end of it was the dog, and
at the other the cat.
Dipping candles would seem a comical sight to-day. My
grandmother used to sit over a great iron kettle of melted tallow,
and patiently dip the wicks on the rods into it, until they grew
to the size of candles. Each rod contained about five wicks,
and these were dipped together. The process was repeated
perhaps fifty or more times.
A quill of powder was tied to the wick of the Christmas
candle before dipping, and the wick was so divided at the lower
end that the candle should have three legs. The young people
took a great interest in the dipping as well as the burning
of the Christmas candle.
My grandmother's candle-rods had belonged to her grand-
mother, who had lived in the early days of the Plymouth Colony.
They had been used since the days of King Philip's War.
2








CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


There was a story of the dark times of the Indian war that
my grandmother used to relate on the night that we burned our
Christmas candle,- a story that my grandmother told of her
grandmother, and of the fortunate and timely explosion of
one of that old lady's Christmas candles in the last days of
Philip's War, when the sight of a hostile Indian was a terror to
the unarmed colonist.
It was well that candle went off when it did," my grand-
mother used to say. If it had not, I don't know where any of
us would have been to-night; not here, telling riddles and roast-
ing apples and enjoying ourselves, I imagine. I have dipped a
powder-candle every season since, not that I believe much in
keeping holidays, but because a powder-candle once saved the
family."
She continued her story: -
My grandmother was a widow in her last years. She had
two children, Benjamin and my mother, Mary. She lived at
Pocasset, and the old house overlooked Mount Hope and the
bay. Pocasset was an Indian province then, and its Indian
queen was named Wetamoo.
My grandmother was a great-hearted woman. She had a
fair amount of property, and she used it for the good of her
less fortunate neighbors. She had kept several poor old people
from the town-house by giving them a home with her. Her
good deeds caused her to be respected by every one.
"The Indians were friendly to her. She had done them so
many acts of kindness that even the haughty Wetamoo had
once called to see her and made her a present. The old house
was near an easy landing-place for boats on the bay; and the
Indians, as they came from their canoes, passed through the
yard, and often stopped to drink from the well. It was no







CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA,


uncommon thing on a hot summer's day, to find an Indian
asleep in the street or under the dooryard trees.
"Among the great men of the tribe was an Indian named Squam-
maney; Warmmesley he was sometimes called, also Warmmes-
ley-Squammaney. He was a giant in form, but his greatness
among his people arose from his supposed magical power
and his vigorous voice. It was believed that he could
whoop and bellow so loud and long as to frighten
a ,- ,.I c--il Fpir-it- from the
S:l. :. that
F ri. pa-













evil spirits away, the patient believed that be must die.
ney with fear and awe, and he was very proud of his influence
over them.
"t Whe n an Indian fell sick, Warmmesley-Squammaney was
called to the bedside. If old Warmmesley could not drive the
evil spirits away, the patient believed that he must die.
In his peculiar way old Warmmesley once cured of rheuma-

'pagan.' The deacon had been confined to his room for weeks.
Some Indians called to see him, and pitying his condition,
set off in great haste for Warmmesley. The latter came, in
his dried skins, with his head bristling with horns and feathers.
The astonished deacon forgot his infirmities at the first sight
of the terrible object; and as soon as Warmmesley began to
leap and howl, and shake his beads, shells, and dried skins,










k,,


cab, ~
--


si,i


~a~ r

j







CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


the white man leaped from his bed, and running to the barn,
knelt down and began to pray. There his wife found him.
"' It is old Warmmesley,' said she.
'The old pagan !' said
he, rising up. 'What was
it, Ruth, that was the mat- ,1 11 J '' "


caught the spirit of Eliot, I '
the Indian Apostle, and
she used to hold in the
old kitchen a religious '
meeting, each week, for ,:
the instruction of the
'praying Indians'of the
town. The Indians who
became Christians were
called 'praying Indians
by their own people,
and came to be so called
by the English. Among
the Indians who came out
of curiosity was the beau-
tiful Princess Amie, the
youngest daughter of the
great chief Massasoit, who
protected Plymouth Colony for nearly forty years.
Warmmesley came once to my grandmother's meetings, and
tried to sing. He wished to out-sing the rest, and he did,
repeating over and over again,-
'He lub poor Indian in de wood,
An' me lub God, and dat be good;
I'11 praise him two times mo'!'







CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


Just before the beginning of the Indian war, my grandmother
offended Warmmesley. The English had taught him bad hab-
its, and he had become a cider-drinker. He used to wander
about the country, going from farm-house to farm-house, beg-
ging for hard' cider, as old cider was called.
One day my grandmother found him lying intoxicated under
a tree in the yard, and she forbade the giving of Warmmesley
any more cider from the cellar. A few days afterward, he
landed from his canoe in front of the grounds, and-came to the
workmen for cider. The workmen sent him to my grandmother.
'No, Warmmesley, no more,' said she, firmly. 'Steal your
wits. Wicked!'
"Warmmesley begged for one porringer,-just one.
"'Me sick,' he pleaded.
"'No, Warmmesley. Never. Wrong.'
"' Me pay you!' said he, with an evil look in his eye. Me
pay you '
Just then a flock of crows flew past. Warmmesley pointed to
them and said,-
"' It's coming fight look up there Ugh, ugh '- point-
ing to the crows. 'Fight English. Look over' pointing to
the bay, -' fight, fight- me pay you! Ugh! Ugh! '
My grandmother pointed up to the blue sky, as much as to
say that her trust was in a higher power than man's.
"Warmmesley turned away reluctantly, looking back with
a half-threatening, half-questioning look, and saying, 'Ugh !
Ugh! He evidently hoped that my grandmother would call
him back, but she was firm.
The upper windows of the old house overlooked the bay.
"It was fall. The maples flamed, and the oak leaves turned
to gold and dust; the flocks of birds gathered, and went their







CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


unknown way. The evenings were long. It was harvest time.
The full moon rose in the twilight, and the harvesters continued
their labors into the night.
Philip, or Pometacom, was now at Mount Hope, and Weta-
moo had taken up her residence on the high shores of Pocasset.
The hills of Pocasset were in- full
view of Mount Hope; and be- I .
tween lay the quiet, sh -lrIrc ed i
waters of the bay. Phil .- ii
had cherished a stron
friendship for Wetamoc. .
who was the widow of --" / I
his brother Alexan- i
der. I i- b.
Night after
night the har- .- i
vesters had no- : .






crossi"" ..i .. .

bay, moving like
shadows silently
to and fro. The moon waned; the nights became dark and
cloudy; the movement across the water went on; the boats
carried torches now, and the dark bay became picturesque as
the mysterious lines of light were drawn across it.
"From time to time a great fire would blaze up near the high
rocks at Mount Hope, burn a few hours, and then fade.







CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


It was whispered about among the English that Philip was
holding war-dances, and that Wetamoo and her warriors were


attending them; yet Phili1
with the English, and
professed to be a friend
Colony.
"War came on the f
summer, stealthily at firsi
lishmen were found mu
mysteriously in the town;
Mount Hope. Then came


p had just
Vetamoo


concluded a treaty of peace


to the c _

bolc iI



e... f/2
t. En .
rdercd- '-

s ne;.:l "t'a .'.


the killing of the people -
in Swansea as they were
going home from church, -
about which all the his-.-
tories of the Colonies tell; -. .
then the open war. c'i -f
Philip flashed like a meteor
from place to place, murdering the --
people and burning their houses.
No one could tell where he would
next appear, or who would be his
next victim. Every colonist during the year 1675, wherever
he might be, lived in terror of lurking foes. There were
dreadful cruelties everywhere, and towns and farm-houses
vanished in smoke.
Wetamoo joined Philip. She had some six hundred warriors.
Philip had made her believe that the English had poisoned her
husband Alexander, who was also his brother, and who had
succeeded the good Massasoit. Alexander had died suddenly
while returning from Plymouth on the Taunton River. The
mysterious lights on the bay were now explained.







CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


"Before Wetamoo joined Philip, one of her captains had sent
word to my grandmother that as she had been a friend to the
Indians, she should be protected.
"' I have only one fear,' said my grandmother often, during
that year of terror, -' Warmmesley.'
Warmmesley-Squammaney had gone away with Philip's
braves under Wetamoo. He was one of Wetamoo's captains.
Wetamoo herself had joined Philip, like a true warrior-queen.
The sultry August of 1676 brought a sense of relief to the
Colonies. The warriors of Philip were defeated on every hand.
His wife and son were captured; and broken-hearted he returned
to Mount Hope the burial-ground of his race for unknown
generations -to die. Wetamoo, too, became a fugitive, and
was drowned in attempting to cross to the lovely hills of Pocas-
set on a raft.
The war ended. Where was Warmmesley-Squammaney?
No one knew. Annawon, Philip's great captain, had been
captured, and nearly all the principal leaders of the war were
executed; but old Squammaney had mysteriously disappeared.
"Peace came. October flamed, as Octobers flame, and
November faded, as Novembers fade, and the snows of De-
cember fell., The Colonies were full of joy and thanksgivings.
"'I am thankful for one thing more than all others,' said my
grandmother on Thanksgiving Day; and that is that I am
now sure that old Squammaney is gone where he will never
trouble us again. I shall never forget his evil eye as he said,
"I will pay you It has troubled me night and day.'
That fall, when my grandmother was dipping candles, she
chanced to recall the old custom of the English town from
which she had come, of making a powder-candle for Christ-
mas. The spirit of merry-making was abroad upon the return







CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


of peace ; and she prepared one of these curious candles, and
told her family that they might invite the neighbors' children
on Christmas Eve to see it burn and explode. The village


al l&


schoolmaster, Silas Sloan, was living at the old house ; and he
took the liberty to invite the school, which consisted of some
ten boys and girls.







CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


Christmas Eve came.- a clear, still night, with a white
earth and shining sky. Some twenty or more people, young
and old, gathered in the great kitchen to see the Christmas
candle 'go off.' During the early part of the evening Si'
Sloan entertained the company with riddles. Then my grand-
mother brought in the Christmas candle, an odd-looking object,
and set it down on its three
legs. She lighted it, blew out
the other candles, and asked
Silas to tell a story.
Silas was glad of the op-
portunity to entertain such an
audience. The story that he
selected for this novel occa-
sion was awful in the extreme,
such as was usually told in
those times before the great
kitchen fires.
"Silas Si,' as he was
called--was relating an ac-
count of a so-called haunted
house, where, according to his
silly narrative, the ghost of an
Indian used to appear at the
foot of an old woman's bed; and some superstitious people
declared that the old lady one night, on awaking and finding
the ghostly Indian present, put out her foot to push him away,
and pushed her foot directly through kim. What a brave old
lady she must have been, and how uncomfortable it must have
been for the ghost!- But at this point of Silas's foolish story,
the dog suddenly started up and began to howl.








CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


"The children, who were so highly excited over Si's narra-
tive that they hardly dared to breathe, clung to one another
with trembling hands as the dog sent up his piercing cry.
Even Si himself started. The dog seemed listening.
The candle was burning well. The children now watched
it in dead silence.
"A half-hour passed. The candle was burning within an
inch of the quill, and all eyes were bent upon it. If the candle
' sputtered,' the excitement became intense. I think it will go
off in ten minutes now,' said nim grandmother.
"There was a noise in the yard. All heard it distinctly.
The dog dashed round the room, howled, and stopped to listen
at the door.
People who relate so-called ghost stories are often cowardly,
and it is usually a cowardly nature that seeks to frighten chil-
dren. Si Sloan was no exception to the rule.
The excitement of the dog at once affected Silas. His tall,
thin form moved about the room cautiously and mysteriously.
He had a way of spreading apart his fingers when he was
frightened, and his fingers were well apart now.
"A noise in the yard at night was not an uncommon thing,
but the peculiar cry of the dog and the excited state of the
company caused this to be noticed. My grandmother arose at
last, and amid dead silence opened the shutter.
"' I think that there is some one in the cider-mill,' said she.
She looked toward the candle, and, feeling confident that
some minutes would elapse before the explosion, she left the
room, and went upstairs, and there looked from the window.
From the window she could see in the moonlight Mount
Hope, where Philip had so recently been killed, and also the
arm of the bay, where Wetamoo had perished. She could see
the bay itself, and must have remembered the lights that a







CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


year before had so often danced over it at night. She lingered,
there a 'moment. Then she called, -
Silas Silas Sloan '
"Silas hurried up the stairs.
They both came down in a few minutes. Silas's face was
as white as the snow.
"' What is it?' the children whispered.
"There was another painful silence. Grandmother seemed
to have forgotten the candle. All eyes were turned to her
face.
"Then followed a sound that sent the blood from every face.
It was as if a log had been dashed against the door. The door
flew open, and in stalked two
Indians. One of them was
Warmmesley-Squammaney.
"' Ugh said Warmmesley.
"'What do you want?' de-
manded my grandmother.
"' Me pay you now! -
Old Squammaney pay you. gn
Cider!'
"He sat down by the
fire, close to the candle.
The other Indian stood by
his chair, as though await-
ing his orders. The young
children began to cry, and
Silas shook like a man with
the palsy.
Me pay you Me re-
member! Ugh!' said Squammaney. 'Braves all gone. Me
have revenge Old Squammaney die hard. Ugh! Ugh!'








CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


The door was still partly open, and the wind blew into the
room. It caused the candle to flare up and to burn rapidly.
Squammaney warmed his hands. Occasionally he would
turn his head slowly, with an evil look in his black eye, as it
swept the company.
"The candle'was forgotten. The only thought of each one
was what Squammaney intended to do.
"All the tragedies of the war just ended were recalled by
the older members of the company. Were there other Indians
outside?
No one dared rise to close the door or to attempt to escape.
Suddenly Squammaney turned to my grandmother.
White squaw get cider. Go Go! '
The Indians threw open their blankets. They were armed.
"The sight of these armed warriors caused Silas to shake in
a strange manner, and his. fear and agitation became so con-
tagious that the children began to tremble and sob. When the
sound of distress became violent, Squammaney would sweep
the company with his dark eyes, and awe it into a brief
silence.
My grandmother alone was calm.
She rose, and walked around the room, followed by the
eyes of the two Indians.
As soon as the attention of the Indians, attracted for a
moment' by the falling of a burnt stick on the hearth, was
diverted from her, she whispered to Silas, -
"'Go call the men.'
"The attitude of Silas on receiving this direction, as she
recalled it afterward, was comical indeed. His hands were
spread out by his side, and his eyes grew white and wild. He
attempted to reply in a whisper, but he could only say, -
"' Ba-b-b-ba!'







CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


Squammaney's eyes again swept the room. Then he bent
forward to push back some coals that had rolled out upon the
floor.
"'Go call -the men,' again whispered my grandmother to
Silas; this time sharply.


7/j


"'Ba-b-b-b-ba!' His mouth looked.like a sheep's. His
hands again opened, and his eyes fairly protruded. His form
was tall and thin, and he really looked like one of the imaginary
spectres about whom he delighted to tell stories on less perilous
occasions.
Squammaney heard grandmother's whisper, and became
suspicious. He rose, his dark form towering in the light of the







CHRISTMAS IN AMERICA.


fire. He put his hand on the table where burned the candle.
He turned and faced my grandmother with an expression of
hate and scorn. -
"What he intended to do was never known, for just at that
moment there was a fearful
explosion. It was the pow-
der-candle.
"A stream of fire shot up
to the ceiling. Then the
room was filled with the
smoke of gunpowder. The
candle went out; the room
was dark.
"'White man come! Run!'
my grandmother heard one
of the Indians say. There
was a sound of scuffling
-r / feet; then the door closed
with a bang. As the smoke
t is n lifted, the light of the fire
Gradually revealed that the
Indians had gone. They
evidently thought that they had been discovered, pursued, and
that the house was surrounded by soldiers.
"Late in the evening the neighbors began to come for their
children, and were told what had happened. The men of the
town were soon under arms. But old Warmmesley-Squammaney
was never seen in that neighborhood again, nor was his fate
ever known to the townspeople.
"After this strange event two generations of grandmothers
continued to burn, on each Christmas Eve, the old powder-
candle."




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