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A FRIGHTENED CAPTAIN.
ft'tory, Trael, an 9%bbeinture
SELECTIONS OF THE BEST STORIES FROM
THE ZIGZAG SERIES
ESTES AND LAURIAT
B]Y LESES AND LAURIAT.
tibL ctsitu lt)rr :
JOHN WILSON AND SON, CAMBRIDGE, U.S.A.
.THE HARMONY CHIME . ... .. 1
THE BELL-FOUNDER OF BRESLAU . . . 8
A FRIGHTENED CAPTAIN . . ... 11
THE LEGEND OF MARGUERITE AND THE ISLE OF DEMONS 1
JUST ONCE MORE. . . ...... ... 22
THE GHOST OF GREYLOCK ........ .. . 26
THE FLYING DUTCHMAN . . . .. 40
KING FREDERICK AND THE IRISH GIANT ... .... 48
THE MESSAGE OF LIFE. ... . . .. .. .. 52
A STRANGE LEGEND OF THE FIRST DISCOVERER OF THE MISSIS-
SIPPI . . . . . 61
A REMARKABLE DISCOVERY . ... . 67
AUNT HEART DELIGHT'S BEAU .. .... . .. 70
THE OLD HOUSE ON CAMBRIDGE COMMON .... .. 81
THE BELL OF CAUGHNAWAGA . . ... .. 93
THE YOUNG HUGUENOT, OR THE COUNTRY AUCTIONEER 97
JERRY SLACK'S MONEY-POT .. . .. 110
THE Two BRASS KETTLES . . ... ... 122
CHASED BY A PRAIRIE-FIRE . . . 132
THE LITTLE SIOUX'S WARNING. . ... .. 139
LITTLE MOOK . . . .. . 151
THE "Doo-Lu SHAD-UEE" . . .. . 156
THE TIGER-HUNTER OF MADRAS . . . 163
THE MAD JACKAL . . . . 171
THE TWO LITTLE BOYS THAT WERE SUPPOSED TO HAVE BECOME
Two LITTLE BEARS . .. 179
THE BAFFLED KING . ... . .. 184
A MAN WHO SCARED AN ARMY . . . 190
STORY OF SIEGFRIED AND THE NIBELUNG HEROES . .. 199
THE MYSTERIOUS ARCHITECT . . . 202
PETER THE WILD BOY ... ........ ...207
TIE OLD GERMAN DOCTOR WHO FELL ALL TO PIECES . .212
THE YOUNG ORGANIST : A MYSTERY . . .. 223
THE UNNERVED HUSSAR . . . 234
THE FOREST BLACKSMITH . .. .. 237
A ROMANCE OF NORTH CAROLINA . . . 248
THE INDIAN PROPHET . . . ... 254
AN OLD WASHINGTON GHOST STORY. .. .. .. 257
TIREE BALLS OF YARN .. . . .. 265
A MODERN SAMSON, WHOSE HAIR GREW AGAIN . 276
AN ESCAPE FROM PIRATES . .. .... 287
TIIE MYSTERIOUS SACK; OR, TWO BUSHELS OF CORN. .. .293
CAPTAIN KIDD'S TREASURE; OR, THE IAN WHO SAID "SCAT 1" 301
A ROMANCE THAT LOST AN EMPIRE . . .. 309
A STRANGE TALE.--MONTEREY . . .. 313
THE GOURD HELMETS ..... . . .315
AN UNWELCOME SHIPMATE. . . ... 322
THE MASSACRE OF CHICAGO. . . .. 329
A SAD STORY OF PETER THE GREAT . . 339
OLD ALI BEDAIR'S STORY OF MARATHON . .344
SIR FRANCIS DRAKE AND HIS SHIP OF GOLD . . 348
THE GOLDEN SHIP, AND THE FAIR BRICK HOUSE IN GREEN LANE,
BOSTON . . .. 352
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
A FRIGHTENED CAPTAIN .. . .. Frontispiece
BELL-TOWER, GHENT ................ 4
THE ISLE OF DEMONS .. . . . 17
THE GHOST OF GREYLOCK ... . . 35
"A STRANGE FORM APPEARED ON THE DECK" . .. .41
THE IRISH GIANT . .. . . 50
THE MESSAGE OF LIFE . . 57
DE SOTO . .. . 62
DE SOTO's EXPEDITION IN FLORIDA .. .. j3
DE SOTO SEEING THE MISSISSIPPI FOR THE FIRST TIME 6-
BURIAL OF DE SOTO ... ......... ..... 00
THE SPANISH CAVALIER .. . . 68
AUNT HEART DELIGHT'S BEAU. . . ... 77
DEACON MOORE'S HOUSE .. . . .. .82
THE OLD CHURCH IN CAMBRIDGE. .. . ... 88
THE AUCTION . . . . 98
THE BOY PROMISES . . . .. 104
JEnnY SLACK . . . .... 111
"A MESSAGE FOR 1IE."' . . . 113
THE MESSAGE . . . . 117
JERRY FINDS THE MONEY-POT .... ..... 120
THE CRADOCK MANSION, MEDFORD . . 125
AN INDIAN ALARMED . . .. . 130
THE INDIANS DREW NEAR. . .... . 136
" FASTER, FASTER, BOY! . ... .... .. 138
"IT ISN'T A BIRD". . . . 144
CIIIT-TO . .. .... .... . 147
LITTLE MOO1 K . . .. . . 152
"THE DECIDED-ON AMPUTATION . . 154
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
A DOO-LU SIIAD-UEE". . . . 158
" THE NEXT MOMENT I WAS KNOCKED HEADLONG" . 160
" I ESPIED TWO FLASHING ORBS IN TIE HIGH GRASS" .. 167
THE Two BEARS BROUGHT INTO COURT . ... .. 182
THE BEARS RECOGNIZING THE GOLDSMITH . . 183
THE SACKS OF WINE LEAKING .... . ... 185
LEAVING HIS ARMI BEHIND . . . 187
" THE SON OF THE MASON APPEARED AND EXPLAINED THE SECRET 189
" ON HE RODE, AS FAST AS BEFORE, WITH THE TREE IN HIS HAND 195
TIE MURDER OF SIEGFRIED. .. .. . .. 201
THE MYSTERIOUS ARCHITECT . . 205
PETER THE WILD BOY. .. .. . 208
" THE MAID HAD CHANGED HER MIND" ... ..... .... 213
" THE DOCTOR EN DESHABILLE . . .. 214
THE DOCTOR FOLLOWED BY THE BEAR . . .218
THE DOCTOR CHASED BY THE BEAR ... ... ... 219
"'YOU HAVE DECEIVED ME !' SAID THE BRIDE" ... 221
"'IT DOES NOT SOUND,' SAID THE ORGAN-BUILDER" . 227
" FRANCOIS SEIZED IT AND OPENED IT . .. .. 232
THE UNNERVED HUSSAR . . . . 235
GOFFE, THE REGICIDE, AT HADLEY . . 2-1
THE PROVINCE HOUSE . . .. . 303
MONTCALM .................... 310
HISTORY, TRAVEL, AND ADVENTURE.
THE HARMONY CHIME.
MANY years ago, in a large iron foundry in the city of Ghent,
was found a young workman by the name of Otto Holstein.
He was not nineteen years of age, but none of the workmen
could equal him in his special department, bell-casting or
moulding. Far and near the fame of Otto's bells extended, -
the clearest and sweetest, people said, that were ever heard.
Of course the great establishment of Von Erlangen, in which
Otto worked, got the credit of his labors; but Von Erlangen
and Otto himself knew very well to whom the superior tone of
the bells was due. The master did not pay him higher wages
than the others, but by degrees he grew to be general super-
intendent in his department in spite of his extreme youth.
Yes, my bells are good," he said to a friend one day, who
was commenting upon their merits; but they do not make the
music I will yet strike from them. They ring alike for all
things. To be sure, when they toll for a funeral the slow
measure makes them seemt mournful, but then the notes are
really the same as in a wedding peal. I shall make a chime of
bells that will sound at will every chord in the human soul."
Then wilt thou deal in magic," said his friend, laughing;
"and the Holy Inquisition will have somewhat to do with thee.
No human power can turn a bell into a musical instrument."
"But I can," he answered briefly; '" and, Inquisition or not,
I will do it."
He turned abruptly from his friend and sauntered, lost in
thought, down the narrow street which led to his home. It
was an humble, red-tiled cottage, of only two rooms, that he
had inherited from his grandfather. There he lived alone with
his widowed mother. She was a mild, pleasant-faced woman,
and her eyes brightened as her son bent his tall head under the
low doorway, as he entered the little room. Thou art late,
Otto," she said, "and in trouble, too," as she caught sight of
his grave, sad face.
Yes," he answered. "When I asked Herr Erlangen for
an increase of salary, for my work grows harder every day, he
refused it. Nay, he told me if I was not satisfied, I could leave,
for there were fifty men ready to take my place. Ready yes,
I warrant they're ready enough, but to be able is a different
His mother sighed deeply.
Thou wilt not leave Herr Erlangen's, surely. It is little
we get, but it keeps us in food."
I must leave," he answered. Nay, do not cry out, mother !
I have other plans, and thou wilt not starve. Monsieur Day-
rolles, the rich Frenchman who lives in the Linden-Strasse,
has often asked me why I do not set up a foundry of my own.
Of course I laughed, I, who never have a thaler to spend;
but he told me he and several other rich friends of his would
advance the means to start me in business. He is a great deal
of his time at Erlangen's, and is an enthusiast about fine bells.
Ah! we are great friends, and I am going to him after supper."
"People say he is crazy," said his mother.
"Crazy! indignantly. People say that of everybody who
has ideas they can't understand. They say I am crazy when
I talk of my chime of bells. If I stay with Erlangen, he gets
the credit of my work; but my chime must be mine, mine
THE HARMONY CHIME.
alone, mother." His eyes lighted with a kind of wild enthusi-
asm whenever he talked on this subject.
His mother's cheerful face grew sad, as she laid her hand on
"Why, Otto, thou art not thyself when thou speakest of
More my real self, mother, than at any other time! he
cried. I only truly live when I think of how my idea is to be
carried out. It is to be my life's work; I know it, I feel it.
It is upon me that my fate is woven inextricably in that ideal
chime. It is God-sent. No great work, but the maker is pos-
sessed wholly by it. Don't shake your head, mother. Wait
till my Harmony Chime' sounds from the great cathedral
belfry, and then shake it if you can."
His mother smiled faintly.
Thou art a boy, a mere child, Otto, though a wonderful
genius, I must confess. Thy hopes delude thee, for it would
take a lifetime to carry out thine idea."
"Then let it take a lifetime he cried out vehemently.
"Let me accomplish it when I am too old to hear it distinctly,
and I will be content that its first sounds toll my dirge. I
must go now to Monsieur Dayrolles. Wish me good luck,
dearest mother." And he stooped and kissed her tenderly.
Otto did not fail. The strange old man in his visits to the
foundry had noticed the germs of genius in the boy, and grown
very fond of him. He was so frank, so honest, so devoted to
his work, and had accomplished so much at his early age, that
Monsieur Dayrolles saw a brilliant future before him. Besides,
the old gentleman, with a Frenchman's vanity, felt that if the
" Harmony Chime could be made, the name of the munificent
patron would go down to posterity with that of the maker. He
believed firmly that the boy would some day accomplish his
purpose. So, although the revolt of the Netherlands had be-
gun and he was preparing to return to his own country, he
advanced the necessary funds, and saw Otto established in
business before he quitted Ghent.
In a very short time work poured in upon Otto. During
that long and terrible war the manufacture of cannon alone
made the fortunes of the workers in iron. So five years from
the time he left
-u-,= Von Erlangen we
___ ~ find Otto Holstein
-- a rich man at
S tw enty-four years
-i of age. But the
idea for which he
labored had never
for a moment left
his mind. Sleep-
ing or waking, toil-
ing or resting, his
Thoughts were busy
e perfecting the de-
I ;tails of the great
"Thou art twenty-
four to-day, Otto,"
said his good
mother, and rich
beyond our hopes.
When wilt thou
Some to me? Thou
BELL-TOWER, GHENT. hast been betrothed
now for three years, and I want a daughter to comfort my
declining years. Thou doest thy betrothed maiden a grievous
wrong to delay without cause. The gossips are talking already."
"Let them talk," laughed Otto. Little do Gertrude or I
THE HARM lONY CHI.IE.
care for their silly tongues. She and I have agreed that the
Harmony C'liIIn-' is to usher in our marriage-day. Why, good
mother, no man can serve two mistresses, and my chime has
the oldest claim. Let me accomplish it, and then the remainder
of my life belongs to Gertrude, and thou, too, best of mothers."
"Still that dream! still that dream!" sighed his mother.
" Thou hast cast bell after bell, and until to-day I have heard
nothing more of the wild idea."
SNo, because I needed money. I needed time, and thought,
too, to make experiments. All is matured now. I have re-
ceived an order to make a new set of bells for the great cathe-
dral that was sacked last week by the Iconoclasts,' and I begin
As Otto had said, his life's work began the next day. IHe
loved his mother, but he seemed now to forget her in the fever-
ish eagerness with which he threw himself into his labors. IHe
had been a devoted lover to Gertrude, but he now never had
a spare moment to give to her, in fact, he only seemed to
remember her existence in connection with the peal which
would ring in their wedding-day. His labors were prolonged
far over the appointed time, and meanwhile the internal war
raged more furiously, and the Netherlands were one vast battle-
field. No interest did Otto seem to take in the stirring events
around him. The bells held his whole existence captive.
At last the moulds were broken, and the bells came out of
their husks perfect in form, and shining as stars in Otto's happy
eyes. They were mounted in the great belfry, and for the
test-chime Otto had employed the best bell-ringers in the city.
It was a lovely May morning; and, almost crazed with ex-
citement and anxiety, Otto, accompanied by a few chosen
friends, waited outside the city for the first notes of the Har-
mony Chime. At some distance he thought he could better
judge, of the merits of his work.
At last the first notes were struck, clear, sonorous, and so
melodious that his friends cried aloud with delight. But with
:-g. r upraised for silence, and eyes full of ecstatic delight,
Otto stood like a statue until the last note died away. Then
his friends caught him as he fell forward in a swoon, a swoon
so like death that no one thought he would recover.
But it was not death, and he came out of it with a look of
serene peace on his face that it had not worn since boyhood. He
was married to Gertrude that very day, but every one noticed that
the ecstasy which transfigured his face seemed to be drawn more
from the sound of the bells than the sweet face beside him.
"Don't you see a spell is cast on him as soon as they begin
to ring? said one, after the bells had ceased to be a wonder.
"If lie is walking, he stops short, and if he is working, the
work drops and a strange fire comes in his eyes; and I have
seen him shudder all over as if he had an ague."
In good truth, the bells seemed to have drawn a portion of
Otto's life to them. When the incursions of the war forced
him to fly from Ghent with his family, his regrets were not for
his injured property, but that lie could not hear the bells.
He was absent two years, and when he returned it was to
find the cathedral almost a ruin, and the bells gone no one knew
where. From that moment a settled melancholy took possession
of Otto. He made no attempt to retrieve his losses; in fact,
he gave up work altogether, and would sit all day with his eyes
fixed on the ruined belfry.
People said he was melancholy mad, and I suppose it was the
truth ; but he was mad with a kind of gentle patience very sad
to see. His mother had died during their exile, and now his
wife, unable with all her love to rouse him from his torpor,
faded slowly away. He did not notice her sickness, and his
poor numbed brain seemed imperfectly to comprehend her
death. But he followed her to the grave, and turning from it
moved slowly down the city, passed the door of his old home
without looking at it, and went out of the city gates.
THE HARMONY CHIIME.
After that he was seen in every city in Europe at different
intervals. ('ii rtii.il people gave him alms, but he never
begged. He would enter a town, take his station near a church
and wait until the bells rang for matins or vespers, then take
up his staff and, sighing deeply, move off. People noting the
wistful look in his eyes would ask him what he wanted.
"I am seeking, I am seeking," was his only reply; and
those were almost the only words any one ever heard from him,
and he muttered them often to himself. Years rolled over the
head of the wanderer, but still his slow march from town to
town continued. His hair had grown white, and his strength
failed him so much that he only tottered instead of walked, but
still that wistful seeking look was in his eyes.
He heard the old bells on the Rhine in his wanderings. He
lingered long near the belfries of the sweetest voices; but their
melodious tongues only spoke to him of his lost hope.
He left the river of sweet bells, and made a pilgrimage to
England. It was the days of cathedrals in their beauty and
glory, and here he again heard the tones that he loved, but
which failed to realize his own ideal.
When a person fails to fulfil his ideal, his whole life seems a
failure, -like something glorious and beautiful one meets and
loses, and never again finds.
Be true to the dreams of thy youth," says a German author;
and every soul is unhappy until the dreams of youth prove true.
One glorious evening in midsummer Otto was crossing a
river in Ireland. The kind-hearted boatman had been moved
by the old man's imploring gestures to cross him. He's
mighty nigh his end, anyhow," he muttered looking at the
feeble movements of the old pilgrim as he stumbled to his seat.
Suddenly through the still evening air came the distant
sound of a melodious chime. At the first note the pilgrim
leaped to his feet and threw up his arms.
O my God," he cried, found at last "
"It's the bells of the Convent," said the wondering man,
not understanding Otto's words spoken in a foreign tongue,
but answering his gesture. They was brought from some-
where in Holland when they were fighting there. Moighty
find bells they are, anyhow. But he is n't listening to me."
No, he heard nothing but the bells. He merely whispered,
" Come back to me after so many years, 0 love of my soul,
O thought of my life! Peal on, for your voices tell me of
The last note floated through the air, and as it died away
something else soared aloft forever, free from the clouds and
struggles of life.
His ideal was fulfilled now. Otto lay dead, his face full of
peace and joy, for the weary quest of his crazy brain was over,
and the Harmony Chime had called him to his eternal rest.
And, past that change of life that men call Death, we may
well believe that he heard in the ascension to the celestial
atmosphere the ringing of welcoming bells more beautiful than
the Harmony Chime.
THE BELL-FOUNDER OF BRESLAU.
THERE once lived in Breslau a famous bell-founder, the fame
of whose skill caused his bells to be placed in many German
He had an ambition to cast one bell that would surpass all
others in purity of tone, and that should render his own name
He was required to cast a bell for the Magdalen Church
tower of that city of noble churches, -Breslau. He felt that
this was opportunity for his masterpiece. All of his thoughts
centred on the Magdalen bell.
THE BELL-FOUNDER OF BRESLAU.
After a long period of preparation, his metals were arranged
for use. The form was walled up and made steady; the melt-
ing of the metals in the great bell-kettle had begun.
The old bell-founder had two faults which had grown upon
him, a love of ale and a fiery temper.
While the metals were heating in the kettle, he said to his
fire-watch, a little boy, -
Tend the kettle for a moment; I am overwrought: I must
go over to the inn, and take my ale, and nerve me for the casting.
"But, boy," he added, "touch not the stopple; if you do,
you shall rue it. That bell is my life, I have put all I have
learned in life into it. If any man were to touch that stopple,
I would strike him dead."
The boy had an over-sensitive, nervous temperament. He
was easily excited, and was subject to impulses that he could
not easily control.
The command that he should not touch the stopple, under the
dreadful penalty, strongly affected his mind, and made him
wish to do the very thing he had been forbidden.
He watched the metal in the great kettle. It bubbled, bil-
lowed, and ran to and fro. In the composition of the glowing
mass he knew that his master had put his heart and soul.
It would be a bold thing to touch the stopple, adventurous.
His hand began to move towards it.
The evil impulse grew, and his hand moved on.
He touched the stopple. The impulse was a wild passion
now, he turned it.
Then his mind grew dark; he was filled with horror. He
ran to his master.
"I have turned the stopple; I could not help it," he said.
"The Devil tempted me "
The old bell-founder clasped his hands and looked upward in
agony. Then his temper flashed over him. He seized his knife,
and stabbed the boy to the heart.
He rushed back to the foundry, hoping to stay the stream.
He found the metal whole; the turning of the stopple had not
caused the metal to flow.
The boy lay dead on the ground.
The old bell-founder knew the consequences of his act, and
lie did not seek to escape them. He cast the bell; then he
went to the magistrates, and said,-
My work is done; but I am a murderer. Do with me as
The trial was short; it greatly excited the city. The judges
could not do otherwise than sentence him to death. But as he
was penitent, he was promised that on the day of his execution
he should receive the offices and consolations of the Church.
"You are good," he said. But grant me another favor.
My bells will delight many ears when I am gone; my soul is in
them; grant me another favor."
"Name it," said the judges.
That I may hear the sound of my new bell before I die."
The judges consulted, and answered, -
It shall toll for your execution."
The fatal day came.
Toll, toll, toll!
There was a sadness in the tone of the bell that touched every
heart in Breslau. The bell seemed human.
Toll, toll, toll!
How melodious how perfect! how beautiful! The very air
seemed charmed! The years would come and go, and this bell
would be the tongue of Breslau !
The old man came forth. He had forgotten his fate in listen-
ing to the bell. The heavy clang was so melodious that it filled
his heart with joy.
"That is it! that is it; my heart, my life! he said. "I
know all the metals; I made the voice Ring on, ring on for-
ever! Ring in holy days, and happy festivals, and joy eternal
A FRIGHTENED CAPTAIN.
Toll, toll, toll!
On passed the white-haired man, listening still to the call of
the bell that summoned him to death.
He bowed his head at the place of execution to meet the
stroke just as the last tone of the bell melted upon the air. His
soul passed amid the silvery echoes. The bell rings on.
A FRIGHTENED CAPTAIN.
I ONCE heard a story of a company of Home Guards in a
Kentucky town. They met for parade under a pompous and
ambitious captain. The object of the organization was to pro-
tect the town from Morgan's bands of foragers.
Shoulder arms said he, imperiously. Ground arms "
A negro appeared leaping into the parade ground, out of
breath, but swinging his hat.
Morgan is coming," he stammered.
The captain gave one glance at his company, and shouted,
"Break ranks! and break ranks they did, each seeking his
It is a somewhat similar story that I find in the entertaining
book of which I have spoken.
William Johnson was one of the so-called order of the Lib-
erators of Canada." A provisional government had been formed,
and he had been appointed Commander of the Fleet.
On the night of the 29th of May, 1838, says Chapin, the
English passenger steamer Sir Robert Peel." while on a trip
up the river, stopped at a wooding-station on Wells' Island,
near the head of the stream; here it was boarded by Johnson,
at the head of a score or more of well-armed men, disguised in
Indian costume, who at once proceeded to put the passengers
and crew, about forty in number, ashore, and then to fire the
boat, which was soon burned to the water's edge. This act of
hostility towards one government and the violation of the neu-
trality of the other was productive of great excitement; a
reward was offered by the Governor of the State of New York
for his apprehension, and strenuous efforts were made by the
British military authorities to effect his capture.
When closely pursued, Johnson had a secret place of retreat,
that for a long time served as a place of concealment, and the
knowledge of the locality of which was known but to himself
and a few of his most trusted confederates. This was a cavern
upon one of the almost innumerable islands of the archipelago
of the river, sufficiently capacious to serve as a place of resi-
dence and concealment for a score of men, and whose entrance
it was very difficult for one not acquainted with the spot to
Stimulated by the rewards offered, or by a desire to gain the
plaudits that the consummation of the act would secure, as well
as probable promotion, a young and daring English officer,
Captain Boyd, then in Canada, but unattached, undertook the
project of effecting the capture of Johnson, and proceeded in a
cautious and systematic manner that promised success, if that
Enlisting half a score of trusty men, to but a couple of whom,
however, he intrusted the secret of his mission, he quietly
started out upon a cruise among the islands in a yacht, under
the guise of a sportsman. This gave him sufficient excuse for
going well armed. Fortune at length rewarded the persever-
ance of Captain Boyd; and the secret of the outlaw's retreat
was disclosed to him, as is believed, by one of Johnson's band,
to whom a few gold pieces proved a stronger incentive than the
oath of fidelity given to his leader. He also became cognizant
of the fact that the disturber of the peace was sojourning at the
cave, accompanied by but half a dozen followers; and by watch-
A FRIGHTENED CAPTAIN.
ing the opportunity Captain Boyd was enabled not only to sur-
prise him when there was but a single follower with him, but to
effect an entrance to the cavern unopposed, backed by his men,
who with presented rifles covered the two inmates.
The insurgent leader could not but manifest some trepidation
at first at this very unexpected intrusion, but almost at once
recovered his presence of mind, and in a firm voice demanded
Who are you? What means this ? "
"I am Captain Boyd, of the English Army, and you are my
prisoner was the prompt reply.
"Well, Captain, I will not dispute you," returned Johnson,
coolly; but come in, and we will talk the matter over."
As he spoke, he pointed to a seat upon a keg at one side of
the cavern, which apartment was of about ten feet in width by
something less than forty in length.
The captain accepted the proffered seat, and at a glance sur-
veyed the strange room. The view that it presented was in
keeping with the character and pursuits of those whose home
it was. Rifles, powder-flasks, and bullet-pouches adorned the
walls; at the further end were couches formed of branches of
evergreens covered with blankets; at one side was a rude fire-
place, the smoke from which found its way upward through
a crevice in the rocks above, while the place was lighted by
day by the aperture of a hollow tree-trunk sunk through the
roof so skilfully that upon the outside it appeared to have
The others remained at the entrance, with rifles held ready
to answer any possible demonstration on the part of the two
"It is a rule," resumed Johnson, as he took a bottle from
a shelf in the rock, that all persons who visit Fort Wallace
shall partake of its hospitalities. We are plain people here,
and have no use for the luxuries of life, among which we rank
glasses; so be kind enough to partake from the bottle."
The captain, astonished at and admiring the coolness of his
captive, courteously accepted it, and placed it to his lips ; but,
fearful of some ruse, permitted none of the drink to pass
Your friends," said Johnson, will they not partake? "
'"No, thanks," returned the captain, smiling involuntarily;
" not upon this occasion!"
We have a little business to transact, and I suppose that you
are impatient, and that the subject is open for remark. To
commence, what do you wish of me ? "
"To accompany me at once."
To what place, permit me to inquire ? and as he asked
this he seated himself upon the head of a barrel opposite to the
To whatever place we may choose to convey you."
"To Kingston, perhaps ?"
The captive appeared to reflect for a moment; then he
walked toward the fireplace and took from one of his pockets
"No objections to my smoking, I suppose ? he inquired.
None at all."
The outlaw calmly proceeded to fill the pipe; then he took
from the embers a large coal and placed it upon it, and, return-
ing to his seat upon the barrel, proceeded to give a couple of
"Come," spoke the captain, "I cannot delay longer; you
must come at once."
Johnson calmly removed the pipe from his lips and held it
in his hand.
"I object to accompanying you to Kingston," he said. This
barrel," he continued, with a meaning glance, as he observed
the expression of surprise upon the countenance of the other,
and removed one of the boards of the lid, "contains powder;
A FRIGHTENED CAPTAIN.
and this," as he held the pipe over it, "is a coal! Shall we
make the journey?"
Brave as he was, it is feared that the adventurous captain,
as he quickly comprehended the situation, paled a little, while
his followers made a rapid movement toward the entrance of
the cavern, and sought safety in flight, save a couple, more
valiant than the rest, who remained at the door to keep John-
son and his single follower covered with their pieces.
A pause succeeded, an unpleasant one for all, since a spark
from the coal, or the coal itself, was momentarily liable to fall
into the barrel of powder and usher them into eternity without
Johnson was the first to speak. You should have known,
Captain," he said, that William Johnson could never be taken
alive; now we can treat on equal terms, a life for a life, if
you so decide! "
"I confess myself beaten," commenced the captain, rising as
Keep your seat! thundered Johnson, handling the pipe
The captain resumed his place upon the keg.
"Now I will listen to you," said the outlaw.
"I was about to say that I was willing to confess myself
beaten, and propose that we call this a draw, we depart, and
you remain in peace."
"That is satisfactory," rejoined the other, "but hold a mo-
ment- Here, Sam," addressing his follower, who stood a few
yards off, hand me a coal from the fire."
The man silently obeyed. Johnson received it, while the
others watched him apprehensively, and placed it upon the head
of the barrel, a few inches from the powder, where it gleamed
with vindictive brightness. "The pipe is in danger of going
out," he said, in explanation, "and I wish to keep another in
readiness. Now, to continue, my terms are that you not only
depart in peace, but that you give me your word of honor that
you will not again attempt to molest me in any manner unless
you should be called upon to do so in self-defence, that you
will not disclose the secret of this retreat to any one, and that
you will require the same pledge from each of all your men."
I agree to them," said the captain, promptly.
SAnd give me your oath upon it?" said Johnson.
I do, upon the honor of an officer of the English army; and
now I suppose that we may depart? "
The captain, rising, left the cavern as soon as consistent with
official dignity, preceded by the two men who had remained at
the entrance. The remainder of the party were found a short
distance away, and, re-entering their boat, they took speedy
They were quickly followed from the cave by Johnson and
his follower, rifles in hand, who, somewhat distrustful in
regard to the good faith of their late captors, hurried to a spot
on the island whence such of their companions as were in the
vicinity could be summoned by signal to hasten at once to the
The signal had hardly been displayed, and the boat of Cap-
tain Boyd had not disappeared behind the nearest island, when
there was heard a loud explosion. The cavern was blown up.
THE LEGEND OF MARGUERITE AND THE
ISLE OF DEMONS.
BELLE ISLE and the Isle of Demons! The old French
voyagers and explorers welcomed the one and shunned the other.
Among the most thrilling tales told in the halls of French
noblemen was that of the Isle of the Devils, situated in the
tossing sea on the north of the New-Found-Land.
LEGEND OF MARGUERITE AND THE ISLE OF DEMONS. 17
The island lay as it were at the portal of the unknown
world, a world of stupendous boundaries and resources, of
red nations and plumed chiefs, of cloud-swept mountains and
mighty water-courses. In the bosom of almost limitless forests
were sequestered clans. In the south were lands of perpetual
summer, festive peoples, and palaces of gold.
THE ISLE OF DEMONS.
The shores of Labrador and of Anticosti were dark and
gloomy, even in midsummer. Strange wild birds made their
nests there. The old explorers believed that they saw griffins
there, great beasts that flew in the air, and that might bear
away a sailor from one of their ships.
THtE ISLE OF DEMONS.
The shores of Labrador rind of Anticosti were dark and
gloomy, even in midsummer. Strange wild birds made their
nests there. The old explorers believed that they saw griffins
there, great beasts that flew in the air, andl that might bear
away a sailor from one of their ships.
But the Isle of Demons was the satanic world. The island
has been known in recent geography and history under various
names, as Fishot, Thevet, Isle de Roberval. A very ancient
map gives a picture of the supposed inhabitants, curious peo-
ple indeed, having wings, horns, and t.ils.
The woods were believed to be haunted. The principal
occupation of the interesting inhabitants of the island or islands,
who are depicted with heads, horns, and arms having wings,
seems to have been howling. These howlings were thought to
fill all the near regions of the seas.
True it is," says an old adventurer,- "and I myself have
heard it, not from one, but from a great number of sailors and
pilots with whom I have made voyages, that when they
passed this way they heard in the air, on the tops of the masts
and about them, a great clamor of voices, like a crowd in a
market-place. Then they knew that the Isle of Demons was
not far away."
The same sounds, it is said, may be heard near the island
to-day ; but the most superstitious sailor would not think of
attributing them to anything but the peculiar winds and cur-
rents of the air. The wildness of the sea and the mournful-
ness of the winds have not changed; but the world has grown
in intelligence, and in the light of science the demons, like
the griffins, have disappeared from the imaginations of the toilers
around the Banks.
There was a certain voyager, a nobleman of Picardy, known
in history as Sieur de Roberval. He was made a viceroy of
New France about the year 1542. He might as well have been
made viceroy of the air or the sea; but his titles in this new
capacity surpassed in pompous words those of any nobleman
in France. He was Lord of Norembega, Lieutenant-General
of Canada, and Viceroy of Canada, Hochelaga, Saguenay,
Newfoundland, Labrador, and other places of equal space on
paper. He was a man of hard heart; the best place for him
LEGEND OF MARGUERITE AND THE ISLE OF DEMONS. 19
would have been on the desolate Isle of Demons, which came
at last to bear his name.
He sailed out of the sunny harbor of Rochelle, in April, 1642,
having three ships and two hundred colonists, bound for the St.
Lawrence. In June he entered the harbor of St. John.
Among the passengers was a niece of Roberval, a young lady
of wonderful beauty, who was called Marguerite. She had
been loved, in the bright province whence she came, by a gen-
tleman who was ill-regarded by Roberval. When this gentle-
man found that her uncle was resolved to take her to the new
world, he also joined the expedition, determined like a true
lover to share the perils, fortunes, and fate of the lovely
Out of the Bay of Biscay, on their way to the wonderful.
regions of the west, the lovers renewed their interviews, and
seemed to have little thought or care but for each other's
society. Roberval discovered the renewed affection with anger.
"I will leave you, Marguerite," he said, "to die on the
Isle of Demons."
"And I will share your fate," whispered her lover in her
The attachment continued. The ship was moving north
toward the haunted isle. Winds began to whistle about the
tops of the masts, and the sounds were believed to be evil
spirits' voices. Marguerite believed the superstition, and she
knew the fate that awaited her, and, began to pray to the
Virgin, who she thought would espouse her cause and shield
her from the dark spirits of the air.
The ship on which were Roberval and Marguerite drew near
the wild island one summer day. Roberval cast anchor, and
compelled Marguerite to land, giving her, as a parting portion,
a certain amount of arms and provisions and an old Norman
nurse for an attendant.
Roberval had resolved to sail away in the fogs and shadows,
and to take with him Marguerite's lover for future revenges.
He was delighting in his power over the crushed Marguerite,
as she stood weeping on the windy shore, when a man leaped
overboard, and was lost in the foaming surf. He rose again, at
a point near the shore. The sailors and emigrants looked upon
the sea and rocks in dumb astonishment. The fugitive reached
the shore and joined Marguerite, and the three fled into the
piny forests whence no Frenchman or Indian would have dared
to pursue them. The fugitive was the lover of Marguerite.
The exiles built them a cabin overlooking the restless sea.
They heard the north winds in the pine tops at night, and
thought them the voices of demons. When the storms were
gathering the voices were fearful. Then the beautiful Mar-
.guerite would kneel and pray to the Virgin.
Marguerite's faith in the Virgin was her comfort now, and
that of her lover and companion. When the demons came to
destroy them, as the exiles fancied they often did as they heard
the winds and the howlings of beasts ,of prey, Marguerite
looked upward to the Virgin, and thought she saw a white
hand stretch out above her. Then all was peace.
The exiles gathered eggs and berries in summer, and nuts
in autumn. The woods were filled with game, and the sea
with fish; and they laid in a good supply of food for the winter.
The winter came. They had watched the sea for a sail, but
none had appeared. Strange gaunt-looking animals began to
prowl about the cabin, such as they had never seen in France.
They believed them to be demons.
When the howlings of these animals became fearful at night,
Marguerite would pray, and she would see the white hand; and
then the exiles would rest in peace and comfort.
Over Marguerite's prayers, as she believed, dropped the
white hand of the Virgin like a heavenly lily, and the heaven
of her heart shone serenely over the wild skies and demon-
haunted islands and seas.
LEGEND OF MARGUERITE AND THE ISLE OF DEMONS. 21
Winter vanished. The soft spring came. The June roses
bloomed. A child was born to Marguerite. They were four
now, --five, if one could believe Marguerite's own narrative of
the presence of the Virgin.
The hardships of the winter had broken the health of the
follower of her strange fortunes, and he did not have that faith
in the white hand that made Marguerite so strong and hopeful.
He grew thin, and, consumed by fevers, died in the summer
time, craving life for the sake of the mother and child.
The old Norman nurse and Marguerite made his grave where
they could watch it and guard it from the beasts and demons.
The burial was such as has seldom been seen, two women
and the infant stood above the coffinless body, and the old
nurse wrung her hands, and the mother repeated the ancient
prayers. The beasts prowled around the cabin, the mysterious
voices were heard in the air; but Marguerite still trusted and
prayed, and looked hopefully out on the empty sea, and still
dreamed that she saw the white hand of the Virgin.
The child died. The grave was made beside the father's.
The mourners were two.
The old Norman nurse died. There was but one to dig the
grave and one mourner now.
Marguerite was alone alone, as she believed, with the
demons. But as often as they came, she prayed, and as often
the fancied white hand appeared.
Bears prowled around the cabin and tried to enter. She
thought them monsters. She says that she killed three that
She watched the three graves and the helpless sea. She again
saw the snows melt, and the birds return from the suns of the
One day she saw afar a speck on the water. It was the boat
of some fishermen. She kindled fires and fed them. The boat-
men saw them, and came to the island. They carried Mar-
She returned to France and told her melancholy story to her
courtly friends, who welcomed her back. She died in peace,
led to Paradise, as she doubtless believed, by the white hand in
which she had trusted in her forest cabin.
What was the fate of Roberval ?
The Canadian winter followed him. With it came famine to
the colony, then pestilence. But misfortunes and disasters only
served to harden his heart. He governed with an iron hand.
He hung six men in one day; the whipping-post was kept in
constant use ; he banished some who displeased him to desolate
islands; others he put in fetters. The colony came to speedy
ruin. Roberval returned to France overwhelmed with his
calamities, even before poor Marguerite found her way back
over the sea.
Still'he retained the favor of the Court.
Years passed. One night there was a murder near the
Church of the Innocents in the heart of Paris. The tragedy
sent a thrill of excitement through the streets. The dying
victim saw no white hand in the gathering shadows of death.
There was a red hand in his dreams; he must have felt the end
was but the fruit of his own deeds, the result of his own exam-
ple and conduct, whatever may have been the immediate cause
or whoever may have struck the blow. It was Roberval.
JUST ONCE MORE.
IT was a cold night in January. Late in the afternoon the
snow had begun to fall, and now a sharp, cutting wind was
rapidly rising. The streets of M- were all deserted, save by
those whom necessity forced to brave the blinding storm; and
quiet would have r.-i2.n. 1 supreme throughout the town but for
the ceaseless roar of the ocean as it came rushing up the beach,
JUST ONCE MORE.
tossing sprays of white foam far up into the dark sky, and then
slowly retracing its way with a sullen moan.
The soft, ruddy light that shone through the large French
plate windows of Gilbert's saloon suggested the warmth and
comfort within. Before the door of this saloon a young man
was standing, battling with his conscience. He remembered his
old promise to his mother never again to enter a gambling-
hall, but to-night the desire to try his luck just once more was
greater than he could resist. Just then a man opened the door,
and a merry peal of laughter was borne out into the storm.
That peal of laughter decided the contest for Fred Ashton ; and
stifling the small voice that was still pleading with his better
self, he pushed by the man in the door, hurried through the
outer saloon, and entered the room at the back.
"Halloo, Ashton," cried one of the men, did you snow
down?" I 'd begun to think you'd deserted your old friends
altogether," said another, looking up from his cards. Sit
down and make your miserable life more so," said a third.
Better have a glass of something to warm you up," said a
fourth. Fred drew a plush easy-chair up to the table, sat down,
and taking the wine, held it up to the light. How it foamed
and sparkled He threw his head back against the soft cushion
of his chair and leisurely drained the glass. As he placed it on
the table, a voice from the other side cried out, "Well, I'11 be
bound if you have n't beat me again, stranger."
The speaker rose, and noticing Fred for the first time, came
round and gave his hand a hearty shake, saying, as he did so,
Why, Ashton, you 're just the fellow I wanted to see. Come,
have a game with this man; he's beat me twice, but you're
pretty good at cards, I believe."
Mr. Leighton, the man in question, was about fifty years old.
He had sharp, irregular features and large gray eyes that seemed
keen enough to read one's very thoughts. Fred put up a hun-
dred dollars against two, and soon both men were deep in the
game. Fortune seemed to be on the side of Leighton, however,
and lie won. In the second game Fred put up two hundred
dollars against three; but Leighton's good fortune still contin-
ued, and Fred lost that also.
Fred began to grow excited, but his companion was quite
cahn. "Better try once more," he. said encouragingly. Sup-
pose you win, as you have a fair chance of doing, then we'd be
square, you know." Go ahead, Ashton; put up three hun-
dred dollars. that '11 just cover the debt," said some of the
men. All right, then, here goes," Fred replied, as he finished
another glass of wine. Mr. Leighton was a professional gam-
bler. He understood cards perfectly, knew when and where to
cheat, and just how to do it. During the first part of the game
he laughed and jested a good deal, and played rather indiffer-
ently. Fred was fast getting the upper hands of the game.
His spirits rose, and he called for more wine. He was almost
sure of winning, when suddenly Mr. Leighton held up a card,
exclaiming, Well, well, well! "
Fred Ashton sank back in his chair and closed his eyes as if
trying to shut out the terrible truth. I am ruined, ruined,"
he said with a groan. And I," replied Leighton, looking at his
watch, and mimicking the young man's despairing tone, am
too late for the eleven o'clock train." Fred rose from his chair,
mechanically put on his coat and hat, and was about to leave
the room, when Leighton came up to him. "I'm very sorry to
trouble you, young man," he said; but I'm in a great hurry
for that money. I have some bills to meet next week, and
must have it by that time without fail." So saying, he put a
small card into his hand, and walked away.
Once more in the open air, the intense cold revived his heavy
brain, and Fred was able to think clearly. There was only one
thing left. He could not pay the debt, and he would never go
to prison. With a mighty effort he crushed the voice that
reminded him of the money his employer had put in his safe the
JUST ONCE MORE.
day before. He trusts me, and I will never betray that trust,"
he said to himself. He walked rapidly to the beach, and going
to the farther end of a covered pier that extended from the back
of one of the summer hotels, stood gazing into the water. My
life is all I have, and that 's not worth living," he said, speaking
aloud, and with a strange ring in his voice. For a moment the
sea was still, as if it were aghast at the awful deed it was about
The night was very dark, and in his excitement Fred did not
notice a tall man, who stood near him. He seized the railing,
and was preparing to make the fatal plunge when a firm hand
grasped his arm, and a deep voice close to his ear said, Your
life is not your own to keep or throw away as may suit your
convenience. It is given to you for a divine purpose, and some
day you will be called upon to render up an account of it to the
Giver." It would take too long to relate all that passed between
Fred Ashton and his rescuer. They went back to the hotel and
occupied the same room for the rest of the night.
Mr. and Mrs. Dinsmore were sitting before a bright wood fire
in the handsomely furnished parlor of their residence on Chest-
nut Street. I do not know why," Mr. Dinsmore was saying,
" but somehow my heart went out to the boy, he seemed to be
so utterly alone in the world."
You did just right, my dear," said Mrs. Dinsmore. I have
a noble husband, and I am proud of him. If our Harry had
lived," she added gently, "he might have been led astray too."
I can hardly see how a boy with such a mother to care for
and advise him could be led astray," said her husband. "I tell
you what," he exclaimed after a pause, during which he had
been gazing thoughtfully into the fire, "this is a hard world for
a boy without a mother. The home influence is everything. I
have had a long talk with young Ashton," he continued, "and I
hope with some assistance and a good deal of encouragement to
make a man of him after all."
Mr. Dinsmore has long since given up the management of his
business, but it is faithfully carried on by Fred Ashton, who has
become one of the most upright and honorable of men. The
saloon and gambling-hall no longer hold out any inducements
for him; but after the day is over, he lays aside the cares of
business for the rest and quiet of a happy home, where a loving
wife and three merry children wait to welcome him.
THE GHOST OF GREYLOCK.
IT was a clear evening late in December. I recall it well,
though I was a boy then. A gold star was shining in the fad-
ing crimson over the old New England town near Greylock like
a lamp in a chapel window. The woodland pastures were pur-
ple with gentians, red with cranberries, and yellow with frost-
smitten ferns. The still air echoed from the russet hills the call
of the chore-boy. The wains were rumbling home on the leaf-
less country roads. Stacks of corn-husks were rising here and
there, after late hours' husking; and now and then a supper-
horn was blown from the door of some red farmhouses among
the orchards, far and near.
Over the country road, between the sunset and moonrise,
John Ladd, a farmer boy, was driving home a team of pump-
kins and shocks of stalks. These stalks were cut late in sum-
mer, and gathered into small bundles. The bundles were
themselves gathered into shocks, and these shocks were so tied
as to form a compact body about five or six feet high. A shock
of stalks in the evening resembled the form of a woman, or the
old-fashioned costume of a lady in short waist and large hoops.
In bringing home the pumpkins from the fields of corn in
which they commonly grew, it was a custom to load a few
shocks of stalks upon them, and to cover the pumpkins with
THE GHOST OF GREYLOCK
them in the barn cellar, or on the barn floor, as a protection
from the cold.
Johnny Ladd had learned a new tune, a very popular one at
that time, and he was one of those persons who are haunted by
the musical ear. Everybody was singing this new tune. The
tune was called, There 's a sound going forth from the mul-
berry trees," and the words were very mysterious and sublime,
being taken, in part, from the inspirations of the old Hebrew
Johnny made the old woods ring with the new tune, -
What joyful sound is this I hear,
Fresh from the mulberry tops "
A new tune turns the head of an impressionist, especially
when associated with such grand, poetic images as these; and
while Johnny's voice was being echoed by old Greylock, the
boy lost his sense of sublunary things, and one of the bundles
of stalks tumbled off the load and landed in the middle of the
road without his notice, and stood there upright, looking like
the form of a woman at a little distance away in the dark. In
slipping from the load the shock had bent a few sheaves upward
on one side; so it presented the appearance of a woman with
her arm raised as a gesture of warning.
The cart rumbled on with its singing young driver, leaving
this ominous figure in the middle of the road at the very top of
Many of the old towns used to have a poor, homeless dog-
nobody's (log," or dog vagrant, a cur that farm-hands
"shooed," boys stoned, women avoided, and no one owned or
cared to own. Cheshire had such a (log; he used to steal bones
from back-yards, and sleep under haystacks and shocks of stalks,
and run out of these, with his tail curled under him when he
heard any one approaching. This dog came trotting along the
road, soon after the shock of stalks had been left behind, and
thinking that the shock would be a good cover for the night,
crawled into it, curled up, and probably went to sleep.
The shock was left on smooth, shelving ground, and could
slip about easily; and whenever the dog moved the shock
moved, waving its spectral hand in a very mysterious manner.
Now just beyond this animated effigy on the top of the hill,
was a graveyard, and in it a year before had been buried an old
woman who had been found dead sitting in her chair. Her
grave had been visited by a local poet, who had written for her
gravestone the following biographical epitaph: -
As I was sitting in my chair,
Busy about my worldly care,
In one brief moment I fell dead,
And to this place I was conveyed."
Such was the animated corn-shock, and the peculiar condition
of affairs on the top of the hill, when a party of philosophical
jokers met to pass the evening in the big travellers' room of the
This inn was kept by Freelove Mason, a buxom hostess whose
name was familiar to every traveller between Boston and Albany
in the pastoral days of the old New England stage-coach. She
was a famous cook, like Julien, of the good-living Boston inn,
whose name still lives in soups, and often heads the appetizing
list on menus.
The gray-coated old stage-drivers used to toot their horns on
approaching the elm-shaded valley of Cheshire, as a signal to
Freelove to have the afternoon dinner hot on the table when the
coach should stop under the swinging sign between the steeple-
What stages they were, with their heavy wheels and flexible
leather gearing! They were painted green and yellow, with
sign letters in red, and the State of Massachusetts coat-of-arms
or rather seal on the door. The middle seat was supplied with
a broad leather band for a back, which was unhooked while the
THE GHOST OF GREYLOCK.
passengers of the back seat found their places. The driver's
seat was high and grand, with a black leather boot under which
were placed the mail-bags, and a dog that had been well edu-
cated in the school of growls, and that was sure to check any
impertinent curiosity in the conscientious exercise of his office.
A tall whip cut the air above the seat, protruding out of a round
pocket near the one high step. A tally-ho horn found a place
between the driver's legs; and when it was lifted into the air,
its blast caused the dogs to drop their tails, and the hares to
prick up their ears, and the partridges to whir away, and the
farm hands to take breath amid their work.
It was an important hour in Cheshire when the grand Boston
coach dashed up between the two great Lombardy poplars, and
stopped at the horse-block in front of the Half-Way Inn. Dogs
barked, children ran, and women's faces filled the windows
among the morning-glory vines. At the open door stood Free-
love always, on these occasions, her face beaming, her cap bor-
der bobbing, and her heart overflowing, and seeming to meet in
every guest a long-lost sister or brother. She knew how to run
a hotel; and nothing but prosperity attended her long and mem-
On this notable evening of which I speak, the principal char-
acters were Judge Smart, Billy Brown, or Sweet Billy," as
he was called, an odd genius, who was the Sam Lawson of
the Berkshire Hills, Cameralsman, the stage-driver, and Blingo,
the blacksmith. I can see the very group now, as when a boy.
They were joined by Freelove herself, early in the evening, who
brought her knitting, and was eager to discuss the latest marvel
of the newspaperless times, and to add the wisdom of her moral
reflections upon it. She prefaced the remarks which she wished
to make emphatically-and they were frequent- with the
word Lordy," almost profane in its suggestions, but not ill-
intentioned by her. It was a common exclamation of surprise
in the old county towns.
The short, red twilight had been followed by light gusts of
night winds, whirling leaves, passing like an unseen traveller,
leaving silence behind. Shutters creaked, and clouds flew hur-
riedly along the sky over the sparkling courses of the stars.
The conversation of the evening turned on the old topic, -
Were there ever haunted places ? Judge Smart and Blingo,
the blacksmith, were of the opinion that there were no trust-
worthy evidences of supernatural manifestations to human eyes
and ears, and it required great moral courage at this time to
call in question the traditional philosophy of the old Colony
teachers and wonder tales.
There is no evidence whatever that there ever was a haunted
place in this country or anywhere else, and I do not believe
that any one ever knew such a place except in his imagination,
not even Cotton Mather himself, or that any one ever will.
S' With those who think that there are witches
There the witches are:
With those who think there are no witches,
Witches are not there.' "
So said Blingo, the blacksmith.
Freelove started, but only said, Lordy in a deep contralto
voice. Was it possible that such heresy as this had been uttered
in the great room of her tavern ? A tavern without a haunted
room or some like mystery would be just a tavern ; no more to
be respected than an ordinary! She let down her knitting-
work into her lap in a very deliberate way, and sat silent.
Then she said most vigorously to Blingo, the blacksmith, -
"So you have become of the opinion of the Judge and the
stage-driver ? Look here, Blingo. I should think that you would
be afraid to doubt such things. I should. I should be afraid
that something awful would follow me, and whoop down ven-
geance on me, like an old-fashioned hurricane, I should.
Mercy me, hear the wind howl There it comes again. Lordy! "
THE GHOST OF GREYLOCK.
The great sign creaked, and a loose shutter rattled, and a
Blingo, you may be an honest-meaning man, but don't you
invite evil upon this house. I "
My good woman, don't you worry. I just want to ask you
one question: If ghosts cry and shriek, as you say they do,
they can also talk, can't they, now ? Say? "
"I suppose so."
"Well, why don't they do it then, and tell what they want.
honest-like ? There, now! "
There came another rush of wind and leaves, and many rat-
tling noises. Freelove seemed to have an impression that she
was called on to vindicate the invisible world in some way so
as to sustain the most friendly relations to it.
Sweet Billy Brown, the Cheshire joker, came to her assistance
in a very startling and unexpected manner, after one or two
more ominous bangs of a shutter. How odd lie looked ; his
face red with the fire, and his eyes full of roguery!
Freelove," said lie, with lifted eyebrows and wide mouth,
--" Freelove, these are solemn times for poor, unthinking
mortals to make such declarations as these. Winds are blowing .
and winders are rattlin', and shutters are bangin', and what
not. Hist! Just you listen now."
He gave me a curious wink, as much as to say, Now watch
for a rare joke."
"Did you know that old woman, she what died last year,
come November, come the 12th, sitting in her chair, bolt up-
right so ?" Billy straightened up like a statue. Did you
know what she answered? She answered some boys what was
a-whortelberryin' in her graveyard "
"Answered?" said Freelove, with a bob of her cap-border.
"Answered ? Lordy Did you say answered ?"
"Mercy me! Yes, answered. 'T was all mighty curious
and mysterious like. Them boys they just hollered right out
there, up in that old, briery, burying graveyard on the windy
hill, Old woman, old woman, what did you die of?' And the
old woman answered nothing' at all."
Billy gave me another peculiar look.
"Lordy! Did she? I always knew it was so. Nothing
ailed her; she had just got through."
But I have n't; that is n't all. I have something' more to
tell, something' to make your hair stand on end, as Shakespeare
Freelove felt of her wig.
One night in October," continued Sweet Billy, a certain
young man that I might name was passing that place with his
girl, and he told the girl, as they were passing, what answer
the old woman had made the whortelberryin' boys in her grave-
yard. And she says, says she, 'I dast to ask that question;'
and she went up to the wall, she did, and says she, says she
mighty pert and chipper-like, says she, Old woman, old
woman, what did you die of ?' and just as true as I am sitting'
here, and the wind is blowin', and the shutters are bangin', the
old woman answered, just as she did before nothing' at all! "
Freelove's cap gave another bob, and she said, "L-o-r-d-y!"
when Sweet Billy continued:--
And I, yes, I ventured to ask her the same question one
night when I was passing and I, true as preachin', got the same
answer myself, nothing' at all. You may believe it or not, -
Freelove sat like a pictured woman in a pictured chair.
I have always heard that that old graveyard was haunted,"
said she at last. Now let us be perfectly honest and sincere
with each other. You three men say that there is no such
thing as the appearance of spirits to living people. That is so.
If you, Judge Smart, and you, Cameralsman, and you, Blingo,
will go to-night up to the top of that hill and say those identical
words, I will give you all a hot supper when you return. It
THE GHOST OF GREYLOCK.
is in the brick oven now. People have seen strange things
there for forty years. Here is a test for you. There, now!
You've all got ears and eyes. Will you go? "
"I will," said the Judge. "I wouldn't think any more of
doing a thing like that than I would of going to the wood-pile
and speaking to the chopping-block."
"Nor I," said Cameralsman.
Nor I," said Blingo.
"Well, go," said Freelove; "but promise me that if you should
see anything all in white, or if the old woman answers you as she
did the others, you will believe these ghost stories to be true."
"Yes," said the Judge, the stage-driver, and the blacksmith,
all in chorus.
There was a shout of laughter, and a swinging of arms and
putting on of overcoats; and the three men banged the door
behind them, and turned merrily toward the hill road, thinking
only of the hot supper they would have on their return. A
December supper out of an old brick oven in the prosperous
days of the Cheshire farmers was no common meal.
I followed them. I thought I saw the double sense of Sweet
Billy's words, and I was full of wonder at his boldness. The
old graveyard had borne a very doubtful reputation for nearly
a generation, but Billy's joke furnished a new horror to the
place of dark imaginations.
It was a bright, gusty December night. The moon was
rising like an evening sun behind the great skeletons of oaks
on the high hill. Now and then came a gust of wind breaking
the chestnut burrs, and dropping down showers of chestnuts.
The frosts were gathering and glimmering over the pastures.
Billy Brown was specially happy over his joke, and the play
upon words in the old woman's supposed answer. He had told
the story in such a realistic way and tone that no one had seen
the point of it, which is at once obvious in print. The Judge
had a very strong feeling of self-sufficiency.
I would not engage in this foolishness but for the supper," said
he. 'Three wise men of Gotham went to sea in a bowl '"
Nor I," said Cameralsman. I would hate to be quoted
all over the town as having made such scatter-brains of myself.
The people would all be laughing at me, and if there is any-
thing that I can't endure it is to be laughed at. There are
men who face battles that cannot stand a joke. I have seen
stormy weather on the old roads, but my legs would fly like
drumsticks in a cannonade, before the giggle of a girl. People
are governed by their imaginations, and that makes us all a
strange lot of critters."
After these sage remarks we stubbed along the moonlit road,
the Judge leading. Once he stopped and said, "What fools
we all are! repeating Puck's view of the human species.
That's so," said Cameralsman.
You'll feel as full of wisdom as old King Solomon," said
Billy, the joker. You will, now, when you hear that answer
coming' up from the bowels of the earth, without any head or
tongue or body, or nothing. "
The three men laughed.
A white rabbit ran across the road. We all stopped. White!
Was it a sign? Our imaginations began to be active, and to
create strange pictures and resemblances. There followed the
white streaks of the rabbit a gust of wind, overturning beds of
leaves. I was so excited that my forehead was wet with
"Cracky I There's something' strange somewhere. I can
feel it in the air," said Billy. My two eyes What is that ? "
We all stopped. The moon was rising over the oaks and
pines, and on the top of the hill stood what looked to us all
like the figure of a woman with an arm raised, mysterious and
silent, as in warning.
Under ordinary circumstances we would have seen there
simply a shock of stalks. But our imaginations were excited,
and we were in doubt.
i~I-:--.i,~`"-~-~~ ~--~~~~- ~1_-; -~=~~~~ -~~I~--~- c ~`--;--
,,~,; -,, ,
t^-- ^_ "- ._ -_-- ---_-~;.- ---. -.. ,.j, .. ii
TEGOT^ OF GREYLO- K..
TH HS -P --
THE GHOST OF GREYLOCK.
-- _;~- ---- -= -~Q
TIHE GHOST OF GREYLOCK.
"It's the old woman herself," said Cameralsman.
"Come out to meet us," said the Judge, sarcastically.
Cracky, if I don't believe it is," said Billy, with bending
form and staring eyes.
"That was a joke."
"Wot I said about the old woman, and that she would answer
nothing' at all. But the graveyard is haunted. I 've heard so
a hundred times."
Well, that figure is no joke, as you can see. But it is up
there that we shall have to go, and you too, Billy."
"Oh, Judge, not now that I told you it was all a joke."
But you must, Billy."
Do you want to be laughed at as a coward?"
There was a movement of the figure.
Oh, Judge, look I can see her hand move. Oh, hearings
and earth! let us try a race back to the tavern."
"No, no; we must investigate. We'd lose our reputations
if we did not. A man must stand by his reputation whatever
Judge, these are solemn times. Anybody is welcome to
my reputation; I'd part with it now if I only could get back
to the tavern again," said Billy.
The Judge pressed on. The rest followed unwillingly; Billy
lagging behind the others, but led on by force of example.
Our imaginations now made of the object a perfect old
woman, with a waving arm.
"Judge," said Billy again.
"Come on, you coward! "
She is warning us to turn back," said Billy. Don't you
see ? Back it is. Just look at the moon, Judge. Have n't you
any respect for the moon, nor for warning's, nor for me, nor for
nothing' ? Back,' she says, turn back.' "
We were now in full view of the object, our nervous fears
growing at every step. We all stopped again.
"*Cameralsman," said the Judge, "you have muscle; throw
a stone at her."
Cameralsman picked up a stone and threw it with great force
towards the mysterious image.
The effect was surprising. The figure began to bob up and
down, and to move down the hill, turning round and round,
and waving its threatening arm. We all stepped back; Billy
crying, "The hearings have mercy on mortal man! All the
nervous control we had left vanished. We were now mere
children of our fancies, victims of our fears.
The next event paralyzed us all. I can hear it now. A
wild, piercing, muffled cry, or shriek, rose from the figure, cut-
ting the air and echoing everywhere a wild, long, piteous howl.
It was repeated twice. Then the figure turned round and
round again, waving its long arm; then it seemed to bow over,
and, as it did so, a white form leaped into the air. A wild gust
of wind swept over the hill; the prostrate figure was borne into
the gulch by the wayside, and the white form was gone as
though it had vanished. The road was clear. The moon
seemed like the head of a giant rising over the hill. We were
all dumb with fear. Even the Judge spread his legs apart in
It is n't in mortal power to stand such a sight as that," said
he. The invisible world is after us. Run! "
We all approved his decision.
Run! We turned at the order, and I never saw nervous
energy so applied to the limbs of any human beings as it was
then. There came another gust of wind that carried away the
Judge's hat. We didn't stop for it. Billy stumbled once and
fell headlong, and rose covered with blood. But he only said,
THE GHOST OF GREYLOCK.
"Heavings and bounded on again, his legs flying faster than
before. In this excited condition we returned to the inn, and
tumbled one after another into the door. Freelove met us
there, all excitement, with her usual inconsiderate exclamation.
The Judge was first to speak after the return.
There are some things that make one wish for extraction
or annihilation," said he; and the invisible world has come
down from the firmament to terra firma." This judicial an-
nouncement I have always thought a model of its kind. The
wise men are confounded; I never really and truly believed in
such things before."
I wouldn't stay in this neighborhood," said Cameralsman,
"for all the taverns in America. I never really believed that
julch things happen; now I knowo. I am sure."
Heaving forgive me said Blingo, the blacksmith, "I am
a humbled man. I have all the evidences of my senses. These
things are so."
"Your supper is ready," said Freelove, turning round and
round, like a top.
"Supper?" said the Judge. "I don't feel as though I
would ever eat anything again."
"If I only knew where there was any safe world to go to,
I 'd go there," said Billy. I declare I would. This is about
the poorest world that I ever got into, -it is, now. Ghosts
a-swingin' their arms, an' whirlin' roun', an' shriekin', an'
calling' up the moon an' winds, an' disappearing' right before
your eyes into the bowels of the earth. Oh, my Why, any-
body who would doubt what we saw would doubt anything.
Heaving forgive me! This is my last joke. I 've got through."
Freelove flew about, all excitement. We agreed, the Judge
and all, that here was a supernatural event. How could we
have dreamed of a dog in a shock of stalks ?
Here, at last, was a case of real ghost in old Greylock !
ZI(;ZAG S7 ORIES.
THE FLYING DUTCHMAN.
MANY years ago, when the East Indies were regarded in all
European countries as the treasure islands of the seas, there
lived in Amsterdam, Holland, a Dutch sea-captain by the name
of Vanderdecken. He possessed great physical strength and
a spirit of daring; he had grown very rich by trading in the
Dutch colonies in the Indies, and very proud too with his
riches. He met and outrode many gales, and he came to
regard himself as a man of destiny, to whose will all things
At this time there was a great Dutch city on the Straits of
Sunday, now decayed, but once a golden treasure-house in the
view of the sailors of the Netherlands. Vessels went out of
Amsterdam empty, but returned from the Java Sea laden with
fruits and treasures. In short, the sailor was looked upon as
a sea king who sailed for the Java Sea.
Of course there was no Suez Canal at this time, and the
burgomasters, as the mayors of the Dutch and Flemish towns
were called, went around the far Cape of Good Hope in their
voyages to gather the wealth of the Indian seas.
Vanderdecken was not a reverent man. He was proud of his
defiance of religion and the Church.
One day the pious people of Amsterdam were pleased with
the sight of a fine vessel in the harbor.
When does she sail ? was asked.
To-morrow," was answered by the sailors.
To-morrow is Good Friday," said the people. "Some ships
have sailed away on Friday, but they have all been lost. Such
a thing as a ship sailing on Good Friday never was known.
What will become of her ?"
The sailors themselves looked frightened, but said, -
"A STRANGE FORM APPEARED ON THE DECK."
THE FLYING DUTCHMAN.
"We can trust our captain for that."
SWho is your captain ?"
Where is the ship bound for?"
"The Java Seas."
The next day was Good Friday. Bells filled the April air, -
solemn bells, and while they were ringing, the sails of the
ship arose, and the ship passed down the harbor and into the
Wondering eyes watched her. "What will become of her ?
What will become of her?" asked all the people. Many
answered, "She never will return."
The Dutch at this time controlled the wonderland of Borneo,
as to-day. The city on the Javan Sea to which their ships went
for treasure was called Bantam. This city declined on the rise
Vanderdecken had a prosperous voyage until he reached the
Cape of Good Hope, when the ship encountered a most furious
gale. The weather was so fierce that the sailors began to fear
that evil spirits possessed the air. Days passed, and the gale
continued. The ship made no progress, but was tossed about
like a bubble.
A week passed, and still the winds lashed the waters. The
ship was driven hither and thither, and her bare cordage shrieked
in the ceaseless winds.
The sailors came to Vanderdecken, and asked, "What does
this mean ? "
Mr. Captain," said one, "you cannot defy God, the
heavens are against us. Remember Good Friday."
At this Vanderdecken grew very angry with winds, with the
sailors, and with fate.
Howl on! he said to the wild sky and white waves.
Blow! beat! I will double the Cape if I have to sail to all
eternity. Howl! blow! beat! "
A darkness came over the sea, and a strange form appeared
on the deck of the ship and stood by the Captain.
"I have heard your vow," said the mysterious figure. You
shall sail on forever."
The word "forever" struck terror even to the proud heart
Who are you ? "
"I raised the storm."
"The Evil One ? "
"So men call me."
"I am to sail on forever?"
"And never come to port? "
But will you not grant me some condition of release ?"
Yes, one," said the dark figure with a sneer; "if you will
find one heart in the world that is always true, I will release
you. But that will never, never release you, for such a heart
never yet was found."
Not in women ? "
SManl nor woman."
"But how can I find such a heart unless I go into port?"
"You may go into port once in seven years, under the
The air grew darker.
Sail on forever! said the figure. The darkness deepened,
and he was gone.
Time went on, and the ship was driven hither and thither
from one sea to another, by gale upon gale. The sails turned
red like blood, and the masts turned black. The sailors grew
white and thin, and the face of Vanderdecken came to wear a
look of unutterable sorrow and remorse.
THE FLYING DUTCHMAN.
Sometimes the fated Captain would meet a ship and try to
send letters back to Holland; but the ships that received his
letters never came to port. His ship became the terror of
sailors, and no vessel that met him would take letters from him.
Every seven years he would enter some port, under the spell,
in search of one true heart. But under the spell he would have
to sail away again, each time more hopeless and in deeper
So a hundred or more years passed; and his ship, like a
skeleton, was tossed about by the gales.
The ships of the sea all shunned him. It was regarded as
an evil omen so much as to see the Flying Dutchman," as the
ship of Vanderdecken came to be called.
His relatives died, and his friends,-all of whom he had
loved. Oh, that I might forget the past," he would say, -
Sthe faces of those who loved me, my evil influence, and my evil
A sailor came to him one day, and said, -
I will tell you a secret."
"How to find a true heart and get released."
"That would make you a friend to me, indeed. How? "
"Truth finds its own. Repent, and carry a true heart your-
self, and you will find another true heart. Do not the same
elements find each other ?"
There came over Vanderdecken a great change.
How will any one know that my own heart is true ?" he
asked one day of the sailor.
The soul has its atmospheres and influences that are unseen.
Space does not bound them. Like thought finds like thought,
and like feeling like feeling, across the world. We meet people
in strange places whom we have met in the soul atmospheres
before, and we know them and they know us, though we have
never seen each other."
You talk like a man of the world, and not like a doomed
wanderer of the sea."
The ship with her red sails and black masts was driven away
from the hot seas towards the cold coasts of Norway. Seven
years since he had learned the secret of being true, to find in
others a true heart, had passed, and he again set foot upon the land.
In the old Norwegian seaport there lived a sea-captain named
Daland. He had a beautiful daughter, whose name was Senta.
The home of this merchant-captain had been enriched with
works of art from many lands, and among the pictures in the
room of his beautiful daughter was a portrait of the Flying
The face in the picture was one of great sadness, as repre-
senting a penitent and broken spirit, and about the time of
Vanderdecken's new purpose in life, which he may be supposed
to have adopted. The picture began to make a strange impres-
sion upon the beautiful Senta.
Tell me about the Dutchman," she said one day to her
father, soon after he had come into port.
He is doomed to satl forever."
Is there no hope for him ? "
"None, unless he can find a true heart to love him."
"I love him, and I wish I could release him."
But you have not a true heart."
No one has."
"Did you ever know me to be untrue ?"
"A heart governed in all things by a sense of right cannot be
"But how about your lover, young Eric? "
He may love me, but I only respect him. I do not return
his love, and I have told him so, although it has cost me nights
of pain. Is not that being true? "
THE FLYING D TCI'IllMI.
"And cruel ?"
No. Eric has worth, but it is not destined for me. I have
told him the truth."
Vanderdecken, on entering the Norwegian port, found
another ship there which had just come in from the seas. It
was Daland's. The two captains made each other's acquaint-
ance, and Daland invited Vanderdecken to share the hospitali-
ties of his home.
At the time that Vanderdecken entered the Norwegian port,
Senta was spinning among her maidens and singing to tlhei
about the sea.
While she was so occupied, Eric, her lover, saw her father's
sail coming into port, and hastened to her to tell her the joyful
news. She awaited her father with a thrill of unusual expecta-
tion and joy. She saw him approach the house, when, lo :
stranger came with him.
But Eric, before Daland's arrival, had pressed his suit and
asked Senta for her heart. She pointed to the face of the
Flying Dutchman on the wall, when Eric told her of a dream
that he had had, and of his heart's sorrow.
The stranger was the Flying Dutchman; iand the wanderer
of the seas knew the beautiful maiden, and she knew him,
although they had never met before.
The Flying Dutchman avowed his love for Senta, and she
announced herself to be his deliverer. Both were happy.
But amid the happiness and hope Eric came back to plead
once more with the maiden. The interview was one of agony,
and in the midst of it Vanderdecken chanced to come upon tihe
scene. Seeing the distress of the two, lie believed that Senta
was untrue to him, and that he was destined again to drift over
With a crushed heart, lie ordered his ship to sea again, and
the red sails went out with the tide.
When Senta found that lie was sailing, she attempted to
follow him. The last scene is like that of Dido and JEneas.
Sent ascended a high rock,and watched the disappearing red sails.
I will die true to him," she said, and plunged into the sea.
The spell was broken. The phantom ship went down with
a thunder crash, and the sailors drifted upon the sea. The
dying Captain was borne on the tide into the arms of the dying
Senta, and their souls entered together the portals of immortal
KING FREDERICK AND THE IRISH GIANT.
A QUEER, and testy man was Frederick William I., the second
king of Prussia, and the father of the renowned monarch, Fred-
erick the (G;reat. iHe ascended the throne in 1713.
He assembled and drilled a great army in time of peace.
lie was very proud of their numbers and discipline, and among
his queer ambitions was one that was very odd indeed. He
desired to have a certain corps of soldiers that should consist
wholly of giants.
So he sent his agents all over Europe giant-hunting.
A difficult task the agents had, for giants were not so numerous
in Europe as they are supposed to have been in very ancient
times, before history was written. But one of them met with
good fortune, as you shall presently be told.
One (lay, as one of the Prussian recruiting-sergeants was
visiting London in search of tall men for Frederick's service,
his attention was called to a crowd in the streets.
He entered the crowd curiously, and to his amazement and
delight he there found on exhibition the tallest man he had ever
The man was an Irish giant. Iis head was covered with
thick yellow hair; his shoulders were broad. He rose above
the crowd like a tower among houses.
KING FREDERICK ANVD THE IRISH GLIAT.
He had come to England to seek work. He was now out of
money, but lie was still good-natured and merry. Fat people
usually are cheerful, whatever may be their condition.
The recruiting-sergeant elbowed his way through the crowd,
greatly excited thus to find the very man le had been so
diligently looking for.
He laid his hand on the Irishman's sleeve.
"Come with me, come with me I'm a soldier myself, and
I am always ready to help a comrade in distress."
But Oi'm not a soldier."
Are n't you ? Why, you look like every inch a soldier; any
man would take you for one. You ought to be a soldier, sure.
But never mind that. Come and dine with me."
That I will," said Pat, and ye need not be after axing me
The Irishman's appetite was as great as his body, and when
he was well filled with a liberal meal, he was always credulous
and jolly and easy to be persuaded.
You are a fine fellow," said the sergeant; a wonderfully
fine fellow. Did you never think of turning soldier ?"
SAn' what should I turn soldier for?"
For honor and glory."
A cannon ball would n't be apt to miss me, sure ; and.what
good would honor and glory do me, when my head was gone,
clane gone entirely? "
"How much ? "
I will offer you a safe position in the Prussian life-guards.
The king, I am sure, would pay four hundred pounds down for
a strapping fellow like you."
Four hundred pounds Four hundred pounds Do I hear
my own ears? Faix, I will not be long in choosing. Pat
O'Flannigan is the boy for yez."
Good. Can you speak German ?"
German, is it? Dutch-like? sorra a word of German can I
spake, if it were to save my life from the hangman."
SWell, no matter. Three sentences are all you need to
know. I can teach you them."
SWhat be thez ?"
-When the king first sees you in the
ranks he will come to you and say, -
S H How old are you?'"
SAn' what shall I say ? "
Then he will
I 'ask you how long
you have been in
S_ \the service."
I sa thin? "
u oell answer, -
B Both.' "
SI" think my head will hold that much."
", I will try you. How old are you? "
THE IRISH GIA'r. How long have you been in the
Are you provided with clothes and rations? "
On the journey to Berlin the sergeant asked the happy recruit
these questions daily. He answered promptly and correctly.
KING FREDERICK AND THE IRISH GLINT.
About three weeks after his arrival, he appeared on parade in
the corps of giants for the first time. There were Arabs and
Danes, and Moors and Swedes in the brigade; giants from
almost all the countries of Europe, --but Pat stood like a Saul
among them all.
The king saw him, and his face shone.
He beckoned to him to step forward.
Pat stepped forward proudly, and presented arms.
"I have n't seen you before," said the king. How long
have you been in the service ?
The king stared.
Twenty-seven years I should have known it, had you
been in the service a week. How old are young "
Th re weJeks."
Three weeks and been in the service twenty-seven years.
The king turned purple with rage.
Do you think I am a fool, or are you one yourself ? lie
Seize that fellow said the king, looking as though lie was
going to burst. Off with him to the guard-house "
Pat remonstrated in Irish, which was not understood. Hon-
or and glory and even money all looked cheap enough to him
now, and he wished himself back on good old English soil.
The !!,. .-i of the guard happened to know Pat's German
acquirements, and he at once rightly guessed the situation,
when the poor recruit was marched to the guard-house. He
explained the whole matter to the king, who, for once, had a
laugh that relaxed his usually clouded face.
The recruit was at once set at liberty.
"Faix," said Pat O'Flannigan, niver pretind to know what
ye don't know: else it is a whoppin' big blunder ye'll be after
THE MESSAGE OF LIFE.
TWENTY years ago I was one of many witnesses of a scene
that has left upon my memory an impress perhaps deeper than
that of any other occurrence of that stirring time. The sequel
of the story, which I learned some months afterwards, is nar-
rated here with the principal event; and both together deserve
a larger audience than any that has yet heard them, because
they touch the heart and arouse those feelings of sympathy
which make the whole world kin.
It was in February, 1865. I was a staff-officer of a division
of the Union Army stationed about Winchester, Virginia; and
military operations being then practically over in that region, I
had succeeded in getting leave of absence for twenty days. The
time was short enough, at best, for one who had been long
absent from family and friends, and two days were to be con-
sumed each way in getting to and from my Northern home.
I lost no time in making the first stage of my journey,
which was a brief one, from Winchester to Harper's Ferry, by
Reaching the latter place after dark, I found, to my great dis-
appointment, that the last train for the day for Baltimore had
left an hour before, and that the next train would start at five
o'clock on the following morning.
There was no difficulty in finding a lodging, poor as it was;
but there was trouble in getting out of it as early as I wished.
Previous experience warned me that the state of agreeable
excitement and anticipation that possessed me that night was
not favorable to sleep; and fearing a heavy slumber in the early
hours of the morning, when I should at last lose myself, I gave
a small reminder to the negro servant, and received his solemn
promise that he would arouse me at four o'clock.
THE MESSAGE OF LIFE.
The result was exactly what I feared. In a most exasperat-
ing condition of wakefulness I lay until it seemed certain that
the night must be half gone; but an examination of my watch
by the light of a match showed that the hour was but a few
minutes past ten. Is there anything more annoying than the
ineffectual effort to sleep, when Nature is fairly crying out for
sleep ? Every noise of .the night came to me with the most
painful distinctness, the barking of a dog, the tramp of a
body of soldiers as they went their rounds relieving guard, the
laugh and song of some boisterous revellers, and even the musi-
cal ripple of the Shenandoah River just below me.
The long and vivid story of what had happened to me since
last leaving home passed through my thoughts, and only added
to their excitement. All the wise remedies for insomnia that
occurred to nre were successively tried, and found wanting.
Again my watch was consulted; it marked half-past eleven.
Twice after this I heard the guard relieved; so that it must
have been later than two o'clock when sleep visited my weary
eyes. A rude disturbance at my door awakened me, and I
became dimly conscious of the voice of the negro outside.
What is it? I cried testily. What do you wake me up
for at this time of night ? "
"'Deed, sah, Ise sorry; 'pon my honah, I is, sah! but de
train hab done gone dese two hours."
It was even so. Broad daylight seven o'clock in the morn-
ing -- the train gone, and no chance to get out of Harper's Ferry
till twelve more precious hours of my leave had passed, this
was the unpleasant situation to which I awoke upon that dreary
February morning. To make the best of it, is the true philoso-
phy of life; in fact, it is folly to do anything else; but human
nature will assert itself, and I grumbled all to myself that morn-
ing, as most of my readers would have done in my place.
Breakfast over, I strolled around the queer old place, not to
see its sights, for they were very familiar to me, but merely to
while away the time. Of all the places in this land where man
has made his habitation, none is more remarkable from its natural
situation than this.
Here the Potomac and the Shenandoah unite and break
through the lofty barrier of the Blue Ridge; and Harper's
Ferry, located at the point of their confluence, is environed by
lofty mountains, up the steep side of one of which the village
seems to clamber and cling for support. From the lofty top of
Maryland Heights, opposite, a wonderful natural panorama may
be seen; and of this view Thomas Jefferson wrote that it was
worth a journey from Europe to see it. But if you are set
down in Harper's Ferry, at the base of these great hills, your
view is cramped and circumscribed in every direction.
I went back to the hotel after an hour's stroll, wrote some
letters, read all the newspapers I could find about the place, and
shortly after eleven o'clock went out again. This time my ear
was greeted with the music of a band, playing a slow march.
Several soldiers were walking briskly past, and I inquired of
them if there was to be a military funeral.
No, sir," one of them replied, not exactly. It is an
execution. Two deserters from one of the artillery regiments
here are to be shot up on Bolivar Heights. Here they come "
The solemn strains of the music were heard near at hand,
and the cortec moved into the street where we stood, and wound
slowly up the hill. First came the band ; then General Steven-
son, the military commandant of the post, and his staff; then
the guard, preceding and following an ambulance, in which
were the condemned men. A whole regiment followed, march-
ing by platoons, with reversed arms, making in the whole a
spectacle than which nothing can be more solemn.
Close behind it came, as it seemed to me, the entire popula-
tion of Harper's Ferry, a motley crowd of several thousand,
embracing soldiers off duty, camp-fellows, negroes, and what
not. It was a raw, damp day, not a ray of sunlight had yet
THE MESSAGE OF LIFE.
penetrated the thick clouds, and under foot was a thin coating
of snow. Nature seemed in sympathy with the misery of the
The spot selected for the dreadful scene was rather more than
a mile up the Heights, where a high ridge of ground formed a
barrier for bullets that might miss their mark. Arrived here,
the troops were formed in two large squares of one rank each,
one square within the other, with -an open face toward the ridge.
Two graves had been dug near this ridge, and a coffin was just
in the rear of each grave. Twenty paces in front was the firing-
party of six files, under a lieutenant, at ordered arms; the gen-
eral and his staff sat on their horses near the centre.
Outside the outer square, the great crowd of spectators stood
in perfect silence. The condemned men had been brought from
the ambulance, and each one sat on his coffin, with his open
grave before him.
They were very different in their aspect. One, a man of
more than forty years, showed hardly a trace of feeling in his
:n_._,. face; but the other was a mere lad, of scarcely twenty,
who gazed about him with a wild, restless look, as if lie could
not yet understand that lie was about to endure the terrible
punishment of his offence.
The proceedings of the court-martial were read, reciting the
charges against these men, their trial, conviction, and sentence;
and then the order of General Sheridan approving the sentence,
to be shot to death with musketry," and directing it to be
carried into effect at twelve o'clock noon of this day. The
whole scene was passing immediately before my eyes; for a
staff-uniform will pass its wearer almost anywhere in the army,
and I had passed the guards and entered the inner square.
A chaplain knelt by the condemned men and prayed fervently,
whispered a few words in the ear of each, wrung their hands,
and retired. Two soldiers stepped forward with handkerchiefs
to bind the eyes of the sufferers, and I heard the officer of the
ZIUIZAIG S STORIES.
firing-party give the command in a low tone: "Attention!-
shoulder arms I "
I looked at my watch; it was a minute past twelve. The
crowd outside had been so perfectly silent that a flutter and
disturbance running through it at this instant fixed everybody's
attention. My heart gave a great jump as I saw a mounted
orderly urging his horse through the crowd, and waving a yel-
low envelope over his head.
The squares opened for him, and lie rode in and handed the
envelope to the general. Those who were permitted to see that
despatch read the following : -
WASSHINxToN, D. C., Feb. 23, 1865.
General Job Stevenson, Harper's Ferry.
Deserters reprieved till further orders. Stop the execution.
The older of the two men had so thoroughly resigned himself
to his fate that he seemed unable now to realize that he was
saved, and he looked around him in a dazed, bewildered way.
Not so the other; he seemed for the first time to recover his
consciousness. He clasped his hands together, and burst into
tears. As there was no military execution after this at Harper's
Ferry, I have no doubt that the sentence of both was finally
Powerfully as my feelings had been stirred by this scene, I
still suspected that the despatch had in fact arrived before the
cortege left Harper's Ferry, and that all that happened afterward
was planned and intended as a terrible lesson to these culprits.
That afternoon I visited General Stevenson at his headquar-
ters, and after introducing' myself, and referring to the morning
scene on Bolivar Heights, I ventured frankly to state my sus-
picions, and ask if they were not well-founded.
"Not at all," he instantly replied. "The men would have
been dead had that despatch reached me two minutes later."
THE MESSAGE OF LIFE.
THE MESSAGE OF LIFE.
"Were you not expecting a reprieve, general?"
"I had some reason to expect it last night; but as it did not
come, and as the line was reported down between here and
Baltimore this morning, I had given it up. Still, in order to
give the fellows every possible chance for their lives, I left
a mounted orderly at the telegraph office, with orders to ride at
a gallop if a message came for me from Washington. It is well
I did! the precaution saved their lives."
How the despatch came to Harper's Ferry must be told in
the words of the man who got it through: --
On the morning of the 24th of February, 1865, I was busy
at my work in the Baltimore Telegraph Office, sending and
receiving messages. At half-past ten o'clock, -for I had
occasion to mark the hour, the signal C A L, several
times repeated, caused me to throw all else aside, and attend
That was the telegraphic cipher of the War Department;
and telegraphers, in those days, had instructions to put that
service above all others. A message was quickly ticked off
from the President to the commanding officer at Harper's Ferry,
reprieving two deserters who were to be shot at noon. The
message was dated the day before, but had in some way been
detained or delayed between the Department and the Wash-
A few words to the Baltimore office, which accompanied the
despatch, explained that it had "stuck" at Baltimore ; that an
officer direct from the President was waiting at the Washington
office, anxious to hear that it had reached Harper's Ferry, and
that Baltimore must send it on instantly.
Baltimore would have been very glad to comply; but the
line to Harper's Ferry had been interrupted since daylight, -
nothing whatever had passed. So I explained to Washington.
The reply came back before my fingers had left the instru-
ment. You must get it through. Do it, some way, for Mr.
Lincoln. He is very anxious; has just sent another messenger
I called the office-superintendent to my table, and repeated
these despatches to him. He looked at the clock.
"Almost eleven," he said. "I see just one chance, -a very
slight one. Send it to New York; ask them to get it to Wheel-
ing, and then it may get through by Cumberland and Martins-
burg. Stick to 'em, and do what you can."
By this time I had become thoroughly aroused in the busi-
ness, and I set to work with a will. The despatch with the
explanation went to New York, and promptly came the reply
that it was hopeless; the wires were crowded, and nothing
could be done till late in the afternoon, if then.
I responded just as Washington had replied to me. It must
be done; it is a case of life and death; do it for Mr. Lincoln's
sake, who is very anxious about it. And I added for myself,
by way of emphasis, "For God's sake, let's save these poor
And I got the New York people thoroughly aroused as I was
myself. The answer came back, "Will do what we can."
It was now ten minutes past eleven. In ten minutes more
I heard from New York that the despatch had got as far as
Buffalo, and could not go direct to Wheeling; it must go on to
Inquiries from Washington were repeated every five minutes,
and I sent what had reached me.
Half-past eleven the despatch was at Chicago, and they were
working their best to get it to Wheeling.
Something was the matter; the Wheeling office did not
The next five minutes passed without a word; then huzza!
- New York says the despatch has reached Wheeling, and the
operator there says he can get it through to Harper's Ferry in time.
LEGEND OF FIRST DISCOVERER OF THE MISSISSIPPI. 61
At this point the news stopped. New York could learn
nothing further for me, after several efforts, and I could only
send to Washington that I hoped it was all right, but could
not be sure.
Later in the day the line was working again to Harper's
Ferry, and then I learned that the despatch had reached the
office there at ten minutes before twelve, and that it was
brought to the place of execution just in time.
A STRANGE LEGEND OF THE FIRST DIS-
COVERER OF THE MISSISSIPPI.
THE country of gold lies before you; but there are dark
rivers to cross. I have learned these things from living among
The Spaniard who uttered these words to Fernando de Soto
was stately and handsome, of middle age, and of unquestioned
"I am sure that I can pilot you there."
The cavalier gazed upon him.
"You. were left here in this land of Florida on the first ex-
pedition," said De Soto. That was ten years ago."
"And you have come to love these children of Nature and
the palm-lands ?"
Yes, Senor. Why have you brought these bloodhounds and
these chains ?"
"To hold kings captive, as I have done before; to conquer
new Incas, and to guard them in their owli temples. You say
that the temples of gold are on the hills of the Ocali."
"I said that there were dark rivers to cross."
"But what Indian girl is this that follows you ? "
"She is the daughter of a cacique and my wife."
You must leave her behind."
She saved my life. Listen! My name is Ortiz, and I am
a trusty soldier. When I found myself left by the expedition,
I sought the friendship of the cacique. The old chief pitied
me, and received me as his son. I found him more humane
than our own people had been. I was happy for a time; but
these children of the palm-lands are jealous and superstitious,
and they at last began to distrust me and look upon me as
dangerous, and they sought to kill me.
I was brought before a council of their
wise men, and was condemned to die.
S The cacique pitied me still, and sought
I to save me; but the wise men were all
The day for my death was appointed.
I was to be tortured. A scaffold was
'"'';. .. built over fagots that were to be made
'. '. sacrificial fires. I was to be stretched
/' upon this scaffold, and to perish at a
The day came. I was led out, and
tied to the trees of the scaffold. The fires were kindled under
me, and the dance began. The painted savages circled around
me to the sound of war-drums and the blowing of shells. May
you never suffer such tortures as I then was made to feel The
tongues of flame pierced my naked body like swords. My
nerves crept in agony. I thought of Spain, of my kindred and
my old home. I cried out for water.
The daughter of the cacique heard my cry. She fell down
before her father, and begged him to spare my life. The
cacique loved this beautiful girl. He listened to her; he ap-
peased the tribe, and unbound me, and gave me to the tender
princess as her slave.
LEGEND OF FIRST DISCOVERER OF THE MISSISSIPPL G6
She came to love me, as I served her faithfully. I arose to
honor among the people. I love this people; and if I leave
my wife here, I must return to her again. I must be true to
her on the honor of a conquistador."
Fernando de Soto was a proud man. He had come from the
DE SOTO'S EXL'PDITION IN FLORIDA'\.
conquest of the incarial realms, and his own share of the cap-
tured wealth had been millions. He had landed near Tampa,
with a cavalcade of golden cavaliers. He did not doubt that
another Peru lay before him.
The conquistadors, under the lead of Ortiz, marched up the
hills of the Ocali. The land blazed in the pure white sunlight;
but no golden domes gleamed in the sun.
They chained caciques, and hunted the chief men of the
region with the bloodhounds. They compelled captive chiefs
to guide them from one tribe to another. De Soto made slave
wives of beautiful princesses, and amid all his cruelty and
wrong-doing compelled masses to be said.
The hills of the Ocali are not Peru," he said to Ortiz.
"I said that there were dark rivers to cross."
The conquistadors moved on. They came to dark rivers and
cypress swamps. One
-after another of the
golden cavaliers began
to sicken and die.
"There are indeed
dark rivers to cross,"
,11'I FOR THE FIRST TIME.
The palm lances burned in the feverish heats. But the thirst
for gold led the conquistadors on. They came at last to the
banks of a majestic river. The volume of water showed that
it must be long. Masses were said. The visions of De Soto
were revived again: The river is dark and long."
They crossed it, and lay down under the live-oaks streaming
with moss. The air was full of birds. There was beauty every-
where ; but in all the brightness lurked poison, the men sick-
ened and died.
LEGEND OF FIRST DISCOVEERER 01 TH'E MLSSISSIPPI. 65
But the expedition moved on. The river that they had seen,
land discovered to be dark and long, was the Mississippi. In
the fevered palm-shades appeared no temples or incarial palaces.
They came at last to the dark land of cypresses through which
flows the Red River of the South. Here De Soto himself began
to feel the chill that had swept so many of the other adventurers
He lay down amid burning heats, and was cold.
Ortiz, there are still dark rivers to cross ?
Yes, cavalier; dark rivers lie in the way to the cities of
De Soto shook. "The fever is on me."
He lay burning and freezing in the cypress swamps. Prayers
were said, and the fiery ,1, moved on. The sun rose in fire,
and set in what looked to be the conflagration of the world.
De Soto became oblivious to all. The fires of the fever were
consuming him. One flaming sunrise came. and lie was
"He has crossed the dark river," said Ortiz. They hollowed
a log for his body. But the savages were watching them.
They could not give the conquistador a burial that would
be undisturbed on the land, even amid the gray-bearded
Let us sink him for his final rest in the dark river," said
They did so by night. Torches gleamed; silent prayers
were said. There were low beatings of oars; a rest in tlhe
black river under the moon and stars; a splash ; the dark river
opened, and a body went down. It was De Soto's.
In a. white temple in Havana, which is only opened once a
year, the picture of De Soto may be seen among the heroes of
the Great Discovery. On the 14th of November Columbus
Day in Cuba -a great procession leaves the old faded cathe-
dral, in the wall of the altar of which Columbus's remains are
entombed, and amid chanting choirs, military music, and the
booming of the guns from the Castle, march to this white
temple, and here glories are chanted, and thanksgivings said.
The procession moves through the chapel, which is shaded by
a tree which is supposed to be a remnant of the grove where
Columbus himself stood. They look upon the pictured faces
~-`-L -~~ -: s=
BURIAL OF DE SOTO.
of the conquistadors on that one day; and the American, who
follows the banners and music, gazes also, and wishes in his
heart that some of these heroes whose bravery rendered such
services to his country had been better men. Character is
A REMARKABLE DISCOVERY.
A REMARKABLE DISCOVERY.
ANTOINE was one day stopping near the Falls of St. Anthony.
when he met some Indians who had come to sacrifice to the
god of the place. They told him of a lake some miles distant,
where they said lived a young hermit who did not grow old.
He asked them to conduct him to the hermit's lodge.
They led him to a beautiful lake full of peninsulas and islands.
On the shores there were mounds, and among these mounds
Antoine was surprised to find a young and exceedingly hand-
some Spanish cavalier.
Antoine demanded of him, -
Who are you that thus trespass on the dominions of his
Majesty, the King of France ? "
"The world is wide," answered the cavalier, in French. If
I could have my wish I would not trespass upon any earthly
dominion, but would gladly leave this burden of flesh and be
with my wife and children, whose spirits live in more blessed
spheres than this."
"You seem to be a very young man."
I am hundreds of years old."
"How can that be ?"
I accompanied Jean Ponce de Leon to Porto Rico. I was
then thirty years old. When De Leon resigned the office of
Governor of Porto Rico he had begun to grow old.
"There came to him some Indian sages who told him of the
Fountain of Youth.
De Leon never discovered that fountain. I did."
"When and where ? "
SAfter I heard the story of the sages, I continually longed
to plunge into the waters of that gifted fountain, and thus be
enabled to live forever anid the noble and beautiful scenes of
these newly discovered lands.
I left De Leon on April 3, 1512. About a week before, he
had discovered a new land that was wholly covered with flowers.
-.,' \' '. ")
and called it Florida. It
seemed to me that such a !i.' -
dise must contain the fountains
of which the Indians had told,
and I resolved never again to go .
served as soon as I could sepa-
rate myself from the commander. THE SPANISH CAVALIER.
I did not find the fountain in
that flowery land.
"Then I began to wander. I passed along the coast, first
towards the north, then towards the west, then towards the
south. I came at last to a land full of ruins ; it was beautiful
beyond description; it seemed to have been a home of the
Fountains were there, water-gods, naiads, and beautiful
A REMAIRKABLE DISCOVERY.
temples, under the tropic trees. I bathed in them. I bathed in
every fountain I met, and I dipped myself in the Fountain of
I cannot tell; nor can I tell which of the hundred fountains
in which I bathed was the magical fountain. One of them was,
for I have never grown old.
Thirty years passed, when I saw on the coast a Spanish
vessel. I hailed her and was taken on board. I returned to
Andalusia, to the Gaudalquivir.
"My wife was old and withered. My children were seem-
ingly older than myself; they were gray. I told them my
story they treated me with derision, and forced me away from
my own home.
Then one by one they died. I saw the grave open again
and again until all my family were gone. I longed to go, too.
But I did not grow old.
returned to America. I wished to flee from my land,
from society, from the face of man. I again deserted, and
ascended a great and unknown river. I left my canoe at
yonder falls. It went into decay a hundred years ago. I found
this beautiful lake and these green mounds in summer time.
I was sure society would never find me here, and here I built
my lodge and live.
"The beautiful summers and the cold winters come and go,
but I see only the faces of the red men. I am never hungry; I
am never cold. I have but one wish: it haunts me continually:
I would that I could die."
The young coureurs de bois listened to the tale with intense
interest, and some of them plied every possible inquiry in
regard to what the hermit had said of the country where the
magical fountain had been found.
Four of these young men went into the forest and were-never
heard of again.
From time to time the visitors to Lake Minnetonka have seen
a strange figure in a boat on the lake. The oars of the boat fly
from them like wings. Should you see a flying boatman on the
lake, if you do not believe him to be the Spanish cavalier, you
may still allow this story to recall to your mind the old historic
associations of beautiful Minneapolis.
AUNT HEART DELIGHT'S BEAU.
ONE late autumn evening, during the exciting scenes of the
witchcraft delusion in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, there
came running into the primitive church of Weymouth, Mass.,
during a special evening service, a boy by the name of Ichabod
Cole. His hat was gone, his breath'spent. He threw his arms
aloft in nervous excitement, and his entrance stopped the meet-
ing, as he had evidently something thrilling to tell.
As soon as he could speak, lie made a declaration that a
terrible creature had appeared to him as he was hurrying along
over the wooded Weymouth road by the sea toward his home.
He believed that the creature was the "Black Man," as the Evil
Spirit was at that time called, and he had fled to the church for
Were such an incident to happen to-day, a boy's story
would be met only with ridicule; but then nearly every one
believed in witchcraft, and many persons had been sent to
prison and several put to death in the colony on the charge that
they had signed their names to a book brought to them by the
"Black Man," and had met in witch circles in the forests, to
which it was asserted they travelled through the air. Giles
Corey, of Salem Farms, had been recently put to death in a
most cruel manner for refusing to plead in court to an amazing
charge of this kind. Several enfeebled old women had suf-
AUNT HEART DELIGHT'S BEAU.
feared death under the charge of witchcraft in Salem and
The delusion had begun with children, who seemed to have
been seized with a sudden mania for accusing queer and un-
fortunate people of dealing in wicked arts. The mania spread,
and became a mental epidemic. It was like the convulsions of
the Barkers and the Jerkers, an epidemic nervous disease,
which appeared at another time in the colony. Any one who
will read Cotton Mather's ** Wonders of the Invisible World "
will be amazed at the delusion that filled the whole colony at
the time, and that overcame the judgment even of the magis-
trates. Such was the state of the public feeling when the inci-
dent we have given happened.
There was a break in the meeting, and the boy was ques-
tioned by excited voices in regard to the creature that ha(d
frightened him. He could only say that it was black or gray,
and had eyes like fire. The good old minister, a man much
loved for his great heart and simple, blameless life, said, Evil
times have fallen upon us also." All saw that lie literally
believed Ichabod Cole's story, and a sense of helpless horror
and apprehension darkened every mind and sank into every
heart in that congregation.
Strange as it may seem, it is probable that in that little
assembly, holding its simple service by candle-light, there was
only one person who did not believe that the boy, Ichabod Cole,
had not seen the famous Black Man," the Evil Ghost of the
That one person was Aunt Heart Delight. A queer name.
you will say. Yes, now, but it was not queer at that time.
Prudence, Piety, and Charity were common names then, as
were Experience, Love. Hope. and Grace. Aunt Heart Delight
was so called by her venerable father on account of her cheerful
disposition when a little child.
Aunt Heart Delight Holden had grown up to womanhood
a tall, stately woman, with a broad, high forehead and a heart
given to benevolence. She was very devout, but was without
superstition; and she clearly saw that the so-called witchcraft
in the colony was a mental delusion.
The meeting closed. Aunt Heart Delight went to the boy
at once, laid her hand upon his shoulder, and bent upon him her
serene face and quieting eye.
Oh, Ichabod, Ichabod," she said, "you too have lost your
head. You have seen nothing but what is perfectly natural and
can be accounted for. But you did not lose your heels, did you,
"My heels Wot would I hev done had I lost my heels? "
You have seen a wildcat, or an owl in a hawk's nest, or
some such thing; and the stories that are abroad have so
excited your head that you think you have seen something
else. I would be willing to face it with a good dog and gun.
But I do not blame you for running as you were unarmed."
The people went out of the church reluctantly, as if afraid
to venture into the open air. The hunter's moon was rising
yellow over the sea, glimmering on the middle waters of the
bay, and hiding in her own light the blue fields of the stars.
The great oaks were dropping their leathery leaves, and the
walnuts and chestnuts were breaking their shells and burrs.
There was silence in Nature everywhere, and a forest odor was
in the air. In the far woods was heard the hoot of the owl, and
in the distance the bark of a farm dog; except for these sounds
the air was painfully still.
The excited people thought it prudent not to return to their
homes by the road where the mysterious object had been seen,
so they took a circuitous path through the woodlands. The
way led to the homes of most of the people, but in an opposite
direction from those of serene Aunt Heart Delight and the
terrified boy, Ichabod Cole.
Aunt Heart Delight lived in a part of Weymouth which
AUNT HEART DELIGHT'S BEAU.
became known as New Spain, on account of the wealth which
had been gathered there by the old sea-traders, and Ichabod
Cole dwelt on a branch road within a mile of the same
For a short distance the same road was followed by all the
congregation, and as the colonists passed along through the
woodland, they continued to ply Ichabod with questions about
the mysterious creature that he had seen. Ichabod's imagina-
tion worked more vigorously as he saw that his answers were
awaited with thrilling interest.
How large was the creature ?" asked credulous Deacon
Alden. As large as a dog, Ichabod? "
"As large as a dog?" said Ichabod. "He was large as an
- elephant "
This was before the days of the itinerant menagerie, and
Ichabod had never seen an elephant; but he knew that the
elephant was a very large animal.
What kind of a tree was le in ? asked Aunt Delight.
"A tall pine-tree. I guess that he had just lighted. His
eyes were like coals of fire. Oh, it was awful "
A creature as big as an elephant, with eyes like fire, that had
alighted on a tall pine-tree, was a picture indeed to which the
adjective awful" might not inaptly apply. And the awe-
struck company that heard this grotesque narrative presented
a quaint appearance in the old Weymouth woods. The men
had lanterns of perforated tin in their hands, and the women
foot-stoves. The men wore pointed hats and thick capes, and
the women broad bonnets and plain cloaks. The lanterns were
not lighted, for the bright moon, like a night sun, made the
woods almost as clear as in daylight.
They came to a clearing, and here Aunt Heart Delight and
Ichabod, parting from the rest of the mentally afflicted company,
took the direct road to New Spain."
I am afraid," said Aunt Heart Delight, that there may be
some wild animal lurking about in the woods, and that that is
what you saw."
I am not afraid of no animal," said Ichabod, "I am afraid
of something worse than that." He looked up to Aunt Heart
Delight, furtively. Ain't you?"
No. A person with a clear conscience has nothing to fear
from any other world than this."
Ichabod was silenced, but his imagination was glowing and
growing. The falling of a chestnut made him start. A rabbit
that ran across the road filled him with renewed terror. They
came near to the old farmhouses, and the barns with the stacks
of corn-husks. Here their ways parted.
Good-night, Ichabod," said Aunt Heart Delight.
The two stood in the open road under the full moon.
"Aunt Heart Delight," said Ichabod, may I ask you a
question?" His voice was grave, like that of a judge, very
grave and measured.
"Yes, Ichabod. What ? "
-' Aunt Heart Delight, oh, this is an awful night! the moon
and stars and everything all so scarey! Aunt Heart Delight,
may I ask you a question ?" lie repeated.
Yes, yes, do not keep me here freezing to death. What is
it, Ichabod ?"
"Aunt Heart Delight," said the boy at length, timidly, "did
you ever have a beat ?"
"Oh, Ichabod! "
May I see you home, and won't you give me lodging in
Oh, I see, you are afraid to go home alone. Well, I pity
you, and I'11 go home with you."
"I'll be your beau," said Ichabod, with spirit, an awful
burden rolling off his heart.
Aunt Heart Delight went home with him, and left him at
the door with a Good-night, Ichabod. When I want a beau,
I will send for you."
AUNT HEART DELIGHT'S BEAU.
"Thank ye, Aunt Heart Delight, and I '11 always stick by
you and protect you whatever may happen."
Aunt Delight smiled, and then Ichabod shut the door, a n
she turned homeward alone.
Her way lay through some woodland oaks, the strong,
knotted arms of which had long buffeted the winds of the
sea. They arched the way between two hills, and through the
hollow flowed a running brook, now partly ice-bound. A loose
wall ran beside the road. As Aunt Heart Delight came to the
place, which was pleasant in summer, but very lonely in winter,
she heard a stone rattle on the wall. A heavy, dark object
appeared on the wall, and mounted the great trunk of one of
the oaks. She was alarmed, as she had reason to be, but
hurried by, and came safely to her home.
These events greatly excited the community.
But the public mind became gradually more quiet. There
was a high-minded, clear-sighted man in Boston, named Robert
Calef, who was an intimate friend of Aunt Heart Delight, and
had met her often during the prevalence of the witchcraft
delusion. He was honest and fearless, and his iron words
became a terror to those who had been engaged in persecuting
infirm people on the superstitious charge of Signing the book
of the Black Man."
In the terrible clouds of the witchcraft delusion this man had
walked with undimmed vision. He at last published a book in
London, which caused those who had been engaged in the
recent persecutions to ponder upon what they had done, and
in some cases to try to excuse their conduct. The book was
publicly burned on the green of Harvard College.
Hearing that Weymouth was in danger from the excitement
of a delusion, this man went to visit Aunt Heart Delight in her
lovely Weymouth house.
"When will this calamity end? he asked of her one day.
"When some one shall accuse one of the magistrates of witch-
craft," said Aunt. They will all see the matter clearly
She was right. The accusing of the wife of one of the
colonial officers of the crime pierced the darkness. It came
like a lightning-flash.
"But what would you do if you were accused?" said
"I would compel my accusers to face the facts."
Calef became persecuted in Boston for his bold words against
the prevailing superstition; and Aunt Heart Delight, after
years of benevolence and good-will, began to feel the chill of
public disapproval on account of her own views.
One day she was startled with a report that the boy, Ichabod
Cole, had accused her of dealing in the black arts. His cun-
ning story was that she was in secret communication with the
Black Man that he had seen in the tree, and that was why she
did not share the common fear. Soon after she was asked to
be present at a special meeting of the church, to be questioned
in regard to the matter. Beautiful and amiable as was her
character, her spirit was now aroused. She went to the meet-
ing. It was a winter's night, and she returned home alone.
No one offered to accompany her.
There was a light snow on the ground. Near the brook,
under the great oaks, she saw the same dark object that she
had met before. A woman of less strength of mind would
under these circumstances have believed it to be the famous
Black Man. It followed her. The night was dark with only
a dim starlight. Suddenly she turned and faced the creature.
He stopped and retreated. The form was dark and sinewy,
and the eyes shone like fire. She went on again. The creature
She faced him again, and afterward recollected that she said,
" Whoever or whatever you may be, you are no gentleman."
But the rebuke did not deter the creature from following
AUNT HEART DELIGHT'S RBAU.
AUNT HEART DELIGHT'S BEAU.
her. She reached home safely, however, and passed the night
in prayer and tears.
Morning came, a beautiful winter morning with sunbeanls
in every crystal of snow. The margin of the great bay glit-
tered with ice. The stacks rose like white cones around the
glistening roofs of the barns. Aunt Heart Delight went out
at the first red rising of the sun to examine the tracks of the
creature that had followed her the night before.
They were plain in the snow. She followed them back until
she came in sight of the house where lived her beamu,' Iclhabod
Cole. She went directly to the house, and gave the door such
a rap as startled the household.
Ichabod Cole's father came to the door. He seemed startled
to see his caller.
I want to see the boy," said Aunt I heart Delight, in a hard,
decisive tone. The man had never before heard her utter an
Ichabod was sent to the door. He came, trembling. lHe
knew that he had started evil reports about the grand woman,
and le also knew that she was a person who, though amiable,
was not to be trifled with.
She stood there tall and stately in the morning sun. Her
hair was uncombed, and fell over her shoulders from a quilted
hood. There was a set look in her usually pacific face that
would have made any one quail to confront.
"Ichabod, you promised to be my protector whatever might
happen. There are some tracks out here in the snow that I
want you to follow. (et your gun and come."
Ichabod's face was filled with terror.
"Get your gun and come. You are going to be my beau
There was something irresistible in the sarcastic command.
Ichabod obeyed. They came to the tracks.
What tracks are those, Ichabod ? "
I should think that they were the Black Man's."
Then you shall follow them until you find him. Go right
Oh, Aunt Heart Delight! Suppose they should lead to the
I am not afraid of any witches' circle. You have been cir-
culating bad reports about me, Ichabod, and now you shall fol-
low those tracks until you come to the creature that made them.
Site pointed her arm out of her cloak. Ichabod dared not
disobey. The tracks led toward the woods.
When the two came to the margin of the wood, Ichabod
looked up to Aunt Heart Delight imploringly.
Go right on," she commanded. Enough innocent people
have already been thrown into prison on false accusations. You
would like to go back and tell the people that I have been in
conference with the 'Black Man,' and that you have seen his
tracks. You must go with me now. My character and maybe
my life are at stake. Go on Into the woods. Go "
They followed the tracks. The boy was less afraid of meet-
ing the animal than of incurring the further displeasure of
Heart Delight. They came at last to a frozen cranberry bog, in
the middle of which was a thicket of alder-bushes, and some
great trunks of decayed trees. The tracks led into the thicket.
They paused. There was a movement in the bushes.
"What do you see, Ichabod? "
"A beast; oh, it is awful! I think it is the very one I saw
in the tree."
Use your musket and kill him."
But if I should miss ?"
Fire You must kill the beast. Fire, I say "
Ichabod, though trembling, took deliberate aim and fired. A
large, lean creature leaped into the air and fell struggling to the
ground, and was soon dead.
THE OLD HOUSE ON CAMBRIDGE COMMON.
Is that the beast that you saw on the tree ? Is that your
'Black Man'? It's a catamount, as you see. I will send a
cart and have it brought to the town. Go!" She held her
hand aloft and pointed toward his home.
Calef had been tried in Boston for accusing the magistrates
of false charges, and the case had been dismissed. People
began to see the awful mistake that had been made in the
colony. The people of Weymouth were filled with humiliation
at-the charge that they had made against Aunt Heart Delight.
They shunned her for a time, from the very rebuke that the
dignity of her presence gave them.
But her beautiful spirit came back. She forgave them all,
even poor Ichabod Cole, who, to the day of his death, she was
accustomed to call her beau," and from the ridicule of which
appellation he never escaped in the happier days of the colony.
The top of the world to ye all!
THE OLD HOUSE ON CAMBRIDGE COMMON.
IT was in July, 1843, and the evening before Washington
Allston's funeral. I arrived in Boston late in the afternoon,
and immediately started for Old Cambridge, where I expected
to spend several days, attend the memorial service of the poet-
artist, and witness his interment in the historic churchyard.
The old house in Cambridge where I was to pass the night
stood near the colleges, on the very ground where the Shepard
Memorial Church now stands.
My friend Kenyon, whom I was to visit, had told me some-
thing about the place. It had belonged to a family by the name
of Moore. Deacon Moore was a prominent man in colonial
days and during the Revolutionary period, and was the treas-
urer of Dr. Holmes's church, as I shall soon have occasion more
particularly to explain.
I had heard Kenyon say that from the windows of the house
a crowd of bright eyes had witnessed the cavalcade that con-
ducted Washington to Cambridge. The old elm stands only a
little distance from the place under which the young General,
in 1775, took command of the army.
DEACON MOORE'S HOUSE.
Lombard poplars shaded the house in front, if I remember
rightly, tall, spectral trees, on which the moonlight was fall-
ing. There were two porticos, between which the visitor was
expected to make a choice according to his social rank or sta-
tion; at least, it had been so in a former day, and the house
suggested still a colonial rather than a republican code of eti-
THE OLD HOUSE ON CAMBRIDGE COMMON.
quette. But I was not obliged to make choice between them,
as my friend was expecting me, and stood waiting for me in the
deep, cool shadows before the open door.
After supper we entered the roomy parlor, where the windows
were open and the lights turned low, and talked of our school-
days and old friends who were changed and gone.
My feelings were somewhat mellowed by the subject. There
was a stillness about the room, the house, and the colleges,
which impressed me; and I suddenly recollected that I had
heard Kenyon say, when we were school chums, that there was
some strange mystery associated with the place. I reminded
him of the remark, which began to awaken a deep curiosity in
my mind, and asked, -
Was the mysterious person supposed to be old Deacon
Moore ? "
He smiled faintly, and said: You are tired and nervous, and
we will pass all that now; these old stories have not been
revived for years. Nearly every old house in Cambridge that.
outdates the present century has its legend; and this, T believe,
is no exception to the rule of traditional ghost-lore, but in that
respect is rather a remarkable estate. But strange old Deacon
Moore has ceased to walk nights, if indeed he ever was trouble-
some ; and the mending of outhouses, doors, and fences is now
left wholly to carpenters. How the story of the deacon's ghostly
wanderings used to unnerve me when I was a boy I pity one,"
he continued, who is subject to nervous fears. There is one
room in this house that I used to dread, though I cannot tell
why. My impressions, I have always noticed, have some asso-
ciation with reality. This impression the dread, the fear, I
used to experience on spending an hour in that room seems
to be causeless, and yet I have a feeling that more cause for it
may yet be discovered. But it will hardly do to dwell upon
this subject, for we are to spend the night in that very room.
There is little danger that the old nervous horror will return
upon me again, especially in your company. I used to suffer
the most from it, if I remember rightly, when my mind was not
fully occupied, and when I had been excited with much com-
pany and suddenly left alone. The place was once my study
and sleeping-room, but I have not slept there now for many
years. It has been fitted up for me again, while a part of the
house is undergoing repairs."
Kenyon rose to go into another room, asking to be excused
that he might speak with Mr. Gennison before the family
He was gone a long time; and when he returned, he proposed
that we should go at once to our room, saying he knew I must
The room was large, quaint, and old-fashioned; and there
was something in the remarks that Kenyon had made that
immediately interested me in it.
It was a still, lovely night; and the moon, now risen in full
splendor, covered the colleges and churches like a sea of haze,
and barred with long lines of light the uncarpeted floor. I do
not know but the moonlight heightened the effect of Kenyon's
suggestions of some mysteriousness about the apartment, -
romance so frequently associates moonlight with what is myste-
rious; but, however this may be, my feelings impelled me
to ask further questions, although the subject had evidently
become distasteful to my friend now that we were in the
"Did you once think the room was haunted?" I ven-
"No, not exactly that," he said curtly; still it used to seem
to me that there were shapes and objects in it that could be felt
rather than seen, something wrong, something that ought not
to be. There will be many artists and literary men in town
to-morrow. We hardly appreciated Allston here; he led such a
quiet, dignified, retired life."
THE OLD HOUSE OX CAMBRIDGE COlMMON.
"Are there many old houses in Cambridge famous for legends
or ghost-lore ? I resumed.
"Yes ; there was the Vassall house (Longfellow's), and the
Royal house at Medford, and -"
But this house, you said it held a first rank in old colonial
superstitions, I believe ?"
"Not in colony times, but after that."
"Was it reported to be haunted ?"
"Would you sleep more quietly if you knew?"
"Yes; truth is better than suspense."
"After Deacon Moore died some peculations were found to
have been committed."
"Well, the deacon was a very restless man before he died.
He had a strange habit of wandering about the premises nights,
with a hammer or hatchet in his hand, repairing outhouses and
fences, and making the neighbors very unquiet at unseasonable
Well, after he died, it was discovered that he had been in
the habit of appropriating money to his own use from the church
treasury, and suspicion fell upon his character."
"Well, the sounds continued."
Oh, the hammering and the thumping and the driving of
nails in the night."
"But you surely do not believe that any such disturbances
were caused by the disembodied spirit of Deacon Moore ? "
No, I do not; I am not superstitious enough for that. The
deacon was a very singular man, I am told, especially in his last
days; and when suspicion fell upon his character after his
decease, he was just such a person as superstitious minds would
at that period expect to return in ghost form to haunt the place.
And as his mending of buildings and fences nights was one of
his most annoying characteristics, it is not strange that natural
sounds occurring late at night should be attributed to his ham-
mer. The event caused great excitement in its day, and ner-
vous people for a long period avoided the place in the night.
But," he continued, "although I do not believe any such
silly stories as the old people used to tell, I do believe in my
own impressions; and I have had a fixed impression for years
that there is something wrong about the place, and when I am
in my most sensitive moods the mystery seems somehow to be
associated with this very room. You may think me over-sensi-
tive and credulous; but I suffered from vague nervous impres-
sions when I used to occupy the place. I have had an indistinct
dread of it since I left it, and I would not sleep in it again
to-night if you were not with me. I would not like to sleep in
a room where I knew some great crime had been committed;
not that I would expect to be troubled by the victims, but
because I am sensitive to the associations of a place. I would
rest better in a room where a good man was married than in
one in which a bad man died. With many it would make no
difference; but I cannot help this peculiar element implanted in
The old Cambridge clock struck the hour of twelve. We
ceased talking. The wind arose, tossing the newly leaved
branches of the trees and causing dark shadows to move with an
uncertain motion across the floor. With an unquiet feeling I
watched the shadows for a time, and then began to feel the
sweet influences of sleep.
The next night Washington Allston was buried in the old
Cambridge churchyard. Brown, the landscape painter, must
remember the scene; he was a pupil of Allston, and, if I re-
member rightly, was among the torch-bearers when the remains
were uncovered, and the moon breaking through the clouds
shone full upon the face of the dead.
THE OLD HOUSE ON CIMIBRIDGE COMMON.
After the funeral I returned to the house, and inquired for
Kenyon. I found a note from him, saying that he had been
detained in Boston, and would probably be compelled to remain
there during the night. I am not superstitious; but the vision
of my sleeping-room and Kenyon's dread impression of it imme-
diately rose before me, and I am free to confess that I did not
enjoy the prospect of passing the night alone.
I was lonesome without Kenyon, was tired, and I went to my
room soon after returning, thinking I would lounge in a very
inviting easy-chair, and read until I became too drowsy to be at
all influenced by the solitariness of the place or my constitu-
tional nervous fears. I say constitutional nervous fears; for I,
like Kenyon, was susceptible to more influences than I could
see, hear, or define; and I too had observed that impressions
received when I was highly sensitive almost always found some
counterpart in reality, or met with some rather remarkable
It was a partly cloudy night, with an atmosphere full of fra-
grance, and a glorious moon. The few now living who attended
Washington Allston's funeral must distinctly remember it, -
the parting clouds, the shadows anon shutting out the soft
moonlight, the lights on the college grounds, the still, warm
I leaned out of my window, as the first relief from my solitary
situation. Christ Church broke the view of the churchyard,
where the poet-artist had just been laid.
A strange subject forced itself upon my mind, a subject
upon which, so far as I know, no books, essays, or poems have
ever been written, the fate of the loyal refugees of Boston
and Cambridge during the Revolutionary War. Some of them
went to Barbadoes, a few returned to England; but many went
Halifax at that time was a military town, though it had not
yet become an English fortress. Many of the movements of the
English forces against the colonies were directed from Halifax.
The old provincial parliament of Halifax, a body hostile to the
American cause, met in 1770, and continued in session four-
teen years. Halifax then promised to become a great military
THE OLD CHURCH IN CAMBRIDGE.
The Boston and Cambridge royalists, when they incurred
popular displeasure and found themselves in danger, fled to
Halifax over the easy water-way. The phrase, "You go to
Halifax as an expression of contempt and a suggestion of
profanity, became common among rude people.
Did these royalists ever return ? But few of them. The
-- -~-n' _~
THE OLD HOUSE ON CAMBRIDGE COMMON. 89
democratic feeling was so strong during the period that immedi-
ately followed the war, that all who had opposed the American
cause were treated socially as traitors and enemies, and both
their property and their lives were in danger. At the close of
the war most of the loyalists who had remained in Boston dur-
ing the conflict went to Halifax. The old city was largely
founded by English colonial loyalists and refugees.
The grand harbor of Halifax made her a naval port, and a
resort of the old defenders of the Red Cross on land and sea.
But Halifax has derived her fame and wealth from the peaceful
fishing-fields that lie spread out around and before her, rather
than from those of martial achievement. The heroes of her
ships have been men of peace.
But to return to my curious narrative.
I was wandering in dreams through the dim vistas of the
past, catching, as it were, glimpses of forms long faded and
gone, never to see the July sunshine or the green earth again,
when a sudden sense of some mysterious influence began to
steal over me. I can only describe it as a feeling that there
was something that ought not to be in or about the room. I
saw nothing, heard nothing; yet there seemed to be near me
the presence of something impalpable, a dark presence, an at-
mospheric chill and gloom. I am growing nervous," I thought;
and I flung myself upon the bed.
Did I dream ? I cannot say. I seemed to be dreaming, and
yet conscious of my dreams, to have a double consciousness,
a double sense of things. The dark impalpable presence seemed
to descend, and then began a dream or semi-consciousness of
supposed circumstances that were extraordinary. It seemed as
if a mason was building a vault under the floor. I fancied I
could hear the rattle of bricks, the splash of mortar, and the
click of a trowel.
I started up; the dream passed away. It was a bright night,
and the wind breathed refreshingly through the trees. I was