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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesEben Holden: A Tale Of The North Country - BOOK ONE - Chapter 11
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Eben Holden: A Tale Of The North Country - BOOK ONE - Chapter 11 Post by :irubu Category :Long Stories Author :Irving Bacheller Date :April 2012 Read :2324

Click below to download : Eben Holden: A Tale Of The North Country - BOOK ONE - Chapter 11 (Format : PDF)

Eben Holden: A Tale Of The North Country - BOOK ONE - Chapter 11

BOOK ONE - Chapter 11

The fifth summer was passing since we came down Paradise Road - the dog, Uncle Eb and I. Times innumerable I had heard my good old friend tell the story of our coming west until its every incident was familiar to me as the alphabet. Else I fear my youthful memory would have served me poorly for a chronicle of my childhood so exact and so extended as this I have written. Uncle Eb's hair was white now and the voices of the swift and the panther had grown mild and tremulous and unsatisfactory and even absurd. Time had tamed the monsters of that imaginary wilderness and I had begun to lose my respect for them. But one fear had remained with me as I grew older - the fear of the night man. Every boy and girl in the valley trembled at the mention of him. Many a time I had held awake in the late evening to hear the men talk of him before they went asleep - Uncle Eb and Tip Taylor. I remember a night when Tip said, in a low awesome tone, that he was a ghost. The word carried into my soul the first thought of its great and fearful mystery.

'Years and years ago,' said he, 'there was a boy by the name of Nehemiah Brower. An' he killed another boy, once, by accident an' run away an' was drownded.'

'Drownded!' said Uncle Eb. 'How?'

'In the ocean,' the first answered gaping. 'Went away off 'round the world an' they got a letter that said he was drownded on his way to Van Dieman's Land.'

'To Van Dieman's Land!'

'Yes, an some say the night man is the ghost o' the one he killed.'

I remember waking that night and hearing excited whispers at the window near my bed. It was very dark in the room and at first I could not tell who was there.

'Don't you see him?' Tip whispered.

'Where?' I heard Uncle Be ask

'Under the pine trees - see him move.'

At that I was up at the window myself and could plainly see the dark figure of a man standing under the little pine below us.

'The night man, I guess,' said Uncle Be, 'but he won't do no harm. Let him alone; he's going' away now.'

We saw him disappear behind the trees and then we got back into our beds again. I covered my head with the bedclothes and said a small prayer for the poor night man.

And in this atmosphere of mystery and adventure, among the plain folk of Faraway, whose care of me when I was in great need, and whose love of me always, I count among the priceless treasures of God's providence, my childhood passed. And the day came near when I was to begin to play my poor part in the world.

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BOOK TWO - Chapter 12It was a time of new things - that winter when I saw the end of my fifteenth year. Then I began to enjoy the finer humours of life in Faraway - to see with understanding; and by God's grace - to feel.The land of play and fear and fable was now far behind me and I had begun to feel the infinite in the ancient forest' in the everlasting hills, in the deep of heaven, in all the ways of men. Hope Brower was now near woman grown. She had a beauty of face and form
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BOOK ONE - Chapter 10Uncle Eb was a born lover of fun. But he had a solemn way of fishing that was no credit to a cheerful man. It was the same when he played the bass viol, but that was also a kind of fishing at which he tried his luck in a roaring torrent of sound. Both forms of dissipation gave him a serious look and manner, that came near severity. They brought on his face only the light of hope and anticipation or the shadow of disappointment.We had finished our stent early the day of which lam writing.
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