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procured leave of absence, and mounting a horse, a quiet animal and not at all vicious, as I took care to ascertain, set forward on my pilgrimage to the land of freedom. Painter lived in a remote corner of Anne Arundel, near some "ville" or other, and his directions for finding his residence were most clear and precise. I conned them over, when I found myself fairly embarked. I was to keep the main road north, till I reached its intersection with the Baltimore road; this I was to take and keep till I came to a lane marked by three chesnut trees; this I must follow through a dozen turnings, all distinctly marked by chesnuts, until I met the county road, which would lead me within three miles of my destination, after which "any one" could tell me the way. Indeed "any one" which I found to be "no one," was to be my constant referee, should my chart fail me. Under their auspices I went confidently forward, and by following my chart rigidly, aided by occasional intimations from "any one," of course found myself by evening completely bewildered in the multiplicity of cross-roads, to which our neighboring counties devote so much of a soil fitted for little else. I hopelessly drew forth my chart once more, but its bearings had no relation to the topography of that region, so, without more ado, I submitted the question to an aged negro, who was whistling behind a pair of oxen, dragging a reversed harrow, and at times drawing over them his heavy lash, more by way of burden to his shrill tune, than with any wish to quicken their speed. The sable agriculturist heard my dilemma with attention, scratched his head gravely, and answered to my question whether he knew the place.
"Oh yes! I know de place well, marse Jack bought his seed wheat of him; but it be a monstrous long ride for dis night, and de way is hard to find;" he paused a moment, and then continued "you have to turn back sir, till you come to a big chesnut.”
"you need say no more.
"Oh! if it comes to chesnuts again," cried I, I have been riding after chesnuts the whole day. But tell me, my man, is there no tavern near, where I could get my horse fed, and get supper and lodging for myself.
"None dis side of Colesville-eight miles off," answered he; "but come up to the house, marse Jack would be mighty glad to see you; all de gentl'um stop here when de rain ketch 'um."
Seeing no alternative, after much hesitation I complied with the invitation, fully intending, however, to push on at any risk, should my welcome prove cold. I found, however, that the negro, a favorite servant, had not transcended his powers. 'Marse Jack,' otherwise John Colter, was absent, but his wife received me with the manners of a lady, and the cordiality of an old acquaintance. In a few moments her husband arrived; he had been attending the sale of the effects of a deceased neighbor, and had brought home some friends to spend the evening with him. They were visibly in a lively mood, and the wife's countenance fell as they entered; she presided at the tea-table, but quitted the room immediately after. The conversation during the meal, turned principally upon
the sale, and this topic was continued over the toddy, which is always introduced when strangers are present, and generally, when they are not. At first I felt awkward at not being able to join in the conversation, but finding that an occasional laugh answered all the expectations of my host, I contented myself with paying that tribute, when I thought it necessary, and found ample amusement in listening to their odd jokes and quaint stories, told with genuine humour, and always received with hearty shouts.
"Them hogs went dog cheap," said Colter. "Poor Glover! he was so fond of 'em. The dutton corn was nothing to his shoats."
"Did you hear Bailey bidding agin the widow, for the very stock she wants to keep on the farm? I could'nt ha' thought that of Bailey."
"Who got the cow and calf?"
"Me,” said an old man, "a fine cow and heavy calf that; one might take Haddon's ride on that calf."
"Haddon's ride! What's that?" cried one, scenting a jest.
"Lord, did Haddon never tell you of his ride?"
"Then I'll tell you," said the senior, with a smile of satisfaction.
He thought a moment, shook his head and laughed gently, as it might be at the review of the circumstance, then composing himself, and drawing a slight sigh, thus began:
"Poor Haddon! he's been dead many a year, and no doubt is happy now, for he's found out many a strange thing that puzzled him sorely while on earth. He knew more ghost stories than any man I ever saw, and would sometimes get me to listen to him (and it was his delight) till my teeth would chatter, and my hair bristle on my head, if I heard a cat mew, or a dog howl at night, for a month afterwards. He knew hundreds of charms, and could make the cream rise, or butter come, in a manner wonderful to tell. Some used to say he could raise the evil one, but I never believed that, for Haddon had a good heart, and never injured any man, and, except that he would take a glass too much, no one could say a word against him. He was over curious, however, in matters that men should not meddle with, and this, once, had nearly cost him his life. This is the story as he used to tell it. He was going home one evening late, and feeling dry (as he always did) as he passed through Colesville, thought he'd stop to get a drink of something comfortable. He lighted at the tavern, and who should he find there but three of his neighbors and several strangers, all sitting drinking in the bar; so finding himself in such good company, Jack sat down too. There was a pedlar there, a merry man, who could drink a horn, sing a song, or tell a tale, with any man; he was just the fellow for Jack, who sat enraptured, till the clock struck ten. It was late for him; he had many miles to go, but the moon was bright, and the road was plain, so he called for his horse, the pedlar
helped him on, and he turned his face homeward with a sigh. But all the way home he was thinking upon a thing the pedlar had told; and of all the strange things he knew, that was the strangest.
"Take a bull calf, nine months old-' so it ran-rub the spot where butchers feel, with unsalted butter from his dam's milk, put a spear of mint under his tongue, and if you mount him while the clock strikes twelve, you may ride twenty miles and back within the hour; but take care not to speak a word while on him, for this would deliver you to an evil power, and consign you to a violent death.' Now it so happened that Bill had a calf of the genuine Durham breed just of the age prescribed, and while thinking of the circumstance, he recollected that his wife had churned that very day, and the butter must be at that moment, lying in the dairy, ready for market on the morrow; the Durham's butter was always kept separate, being very rich and, intended for a particular customer; and that there was a mint bed near the gate, Bill knew from daily experience. Opportunity is a stronger temptation than want, and Bill felt an undefined foreboding, as the singular coincidence became manifest, that this night would prove the power of the charm, and that he was destined to perform the daring feat. was dangerous and it was terrible to be flying over the country at that hour; but he might as well try, and the calf might not go off after all. 'I half think' said he, 'it's all a lie of that funny rogue, for he seemed to look at me mighty cunning. I've never seed the thing that could throw me yet, and if Bill Haddon can't hold his tongue, I don't know who can, that's all. So I hope Betty has'nt salted all that butter.'
"He reached home, stabled his horse, and as he passed the dairy door pushed it wide; a number of prints lay on the shelf, and near them a lump of rich yellow butter, which a peculiar and familiar impress of Betty's knuckles assured him was what he sought. He separated a small quantity with his thumb nail, and submitted it to his palate-'twas guiltless of salt, then securing a larger portion, he proceeded towards the house, and finished his preparations, by plucking a few spears of mint as he entered the gate.
"The most profound silence reigned as he entered the little enclosure, and Bill stepped as carefully as if he was afraid of waking some one, though he knew a cannon shot would hardly disturb his slumbering household. There was a candle burning in the little parlor, and as he gazed through the uncurtained window, at the broad square face of the wooden clock upon the mantel, he saw that the iron hand was hard on to twelve, and heard the sudden rattle of the wheels which indicates its intention to strike in a few moments; in an instant more the opportunity would be lost. This decided him; he strode into the field, and skilfully seizing the Durham by the tail and ear, brought him struggling before the door; then having performed the witching operations, looked at the clock and found the time almost expired. The devoted animal now lay perfectly still. The dogs, after manifesting some curiosity at these unu
sual proceedings, retired to rest in the shadow of the house, and Bill heard nothing but the ticking of the clock and the thumping of his heart beat ing in double quick time. This awful period passed slowly away; but at length the whizzing of the wheels warned him to seize hold, and as he did so the first stroke rang upon his ear, and he heard no more. Away sprang the calf like lightning, followed by the baying of the startled dogs, and the daring rider soon found himself moving over the fields at much faster rate than he had ever followed fox or hound. Fences were no impediments, gullies (and they are many, wide, and deep here) were passed like last year's furrows in a cornfield; away he flew over the hills, up one side and down the other, through rocks, and streams, and fallen timber, with such ease and activity that Jack, who was an excellent judge of horse flesh, began to lose his confusion in the admiration excited by his singular steed. He began to think this was a very pleasant as well as expeditious mode of conveyance, and was endeavoring to hit upon some means of profiting by the extraordinary qualities of his beast, when he was aroused by the roar of the river, which he perceived by wellknown signs he was fast approaching. Rather a dangerous course this,' thought he, and well he might, for the river at that place was bordered by high and broken cliffs, and rushed through the defile with great rapidity; so he pressed the calf's neck in token that he would have him change his course, but the dumb little innocent could not understand it; he raised his ear and tried to pull his head to the required direction, but the obstinate little brute rushed straight onward as if bent upon the destruction both of himself and his rider. Stubborn fool,' inly ejaculated Haddon as he seized both ears, and tugged with all his force to turn or stop his bedevilled steed. But his efforts were vain; the neck of the cursed beast was as rigid as iron, and he was hurried along with undiminished rapidity, kicking and struggling, to his doom. It was while hurrying forward with dreadful speed, that Bill saw before him a human figure, and as he passed recognized the pedlar, who shouted to his flying victim-A pleasant journey, and a safe return.' Poor Bill could only shake his fist in return. He felt himself entrapped into the power of the evil one, and he doubted not the pedlar was an agent sent for his destruction. The roar of the waters grew loud on his ear, and in another moment he saw the foaming waves raging far below. He closed his eyes on the dreadful gulf, and was trying to form a prayer when he felt the powerful bound of the animal beneath him, and was safely landed on the other side. 'That's a good jump for a calf,' cried he, joy and wonder dissolving the caution which terror had but more firmly impressed. Misplaced exultation! the fatal words broke the charm; a dreadful roar burst from the bewitched animal; his eyes, burning like coals of fire, were turned upon his rider, whom with one bound he hurled into the stream. Haddon fell like stone, the raging floods bore him on, dashing and whirling him among the rocks till no spark of consciousness remained.
Much was Betty's surprise and deep apprehension when she found next
morning her husband still absent. She went to the stable; his horse was not there, but on returning to the house, the first sight that met her eyes was the ghastly but still breathing form of her husband. His negroes going out to work had found the horse grazing near a ditch, at the bottom of which was his master, who had apparently fallen off in attempting to leap it. How he came there was a matter of deep surprise to him, but not so to his wife; she lectured him soundly on his bad habits, as she called them, and laughed at him when he told the story of the calf. Indeed, she easily persuaded him that it had all been a dream--especially as the pedlar came there next day, and sold them some excellent bargains; so he agreed to lay it all on the rum, and to drink no more, except in moderation. This promise he kept most righteously until his wife's death, after which he stuck to rum toddy and his story of the calf with great constancy for the remainder of his days."
Here ended the story of Bill Haddon, with which the company seemed vastly pleased; and when I retired, excusing myself on the score of a fatiguing ride of sixteen miles, I heard renewed bursts of laughter, whether at Haddon's ride or mine I had no way to ascertain.
THE FAIRY ISLE.
In the far off South, where no rude breeze
E'er sweeps o'er the breast of the halcyon seas;
Where the airs breathe balm, and the heavens smile
With a glorious radiance, a fairy isle
Lolls on the breast of the mother deep,
There forests sloped from the silver flood
With bowers beneath, through whose tendrils gleams
There the crystal waters gently chime