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other cause of alarm-for nightly, near and around the spot, a dark figure was seen, whose silent tread and stealthy motion alarmed even the fiercest of the forest animals. That dark figure stood beneath the shade of the six oaks—the wind whistled drearily and lonely there no other sound was heard. He glanced out from his shadowed position into the clear light of the moon.—“It cannot be," he exclaimed,
“ for six nights have I watched here; and hark! what sounds are those—"
At that moment the secret door of the cave opened, the glare of light from the lamp already alluded to fell directly among the trees, making a silvery pathway far into the forest—and there, in the double light of moon and lamp, to the surprise of several men who emerged from the cave, stood the form of a man !—The moment he was aware of being seen, he turned and fled — “Silence, men-close the
secure well the entrance—I will pursue the spy”. keeping his eye on the retreating figure, whose exertions were feeble, for he was old. Finding that he was pursued, he made directly to the table-rock, alluded to in our first page—its sides were rugged—but, as the old man reached it, he made a bound, and having secured a resting-place, he soon reached the top. It was an entire flat surface of some sixty feet square, with a few stinted trees clinging to its sides, forming as it were a border to a picture framethe subject was not yet imagined by the artist. As the old man stood
up, the moonlight displayed his full and yet vigorous form, he dashed aside an old cloak, clutched a peculiar shaped knife, and awaited his approaching enemy-one of the figures of the painting was already sketched: “Oh!" he exclaimed, “ that it may prove her seducer !” As he spoke, a portion of the branches of a tree were rudely thrust aside, and a man sprang upon the rock; and there.
face to face, stood the pursued and the pursuer. Another figure of the painting was sketched.
“Ah! art thou the spy ?” exclaimed the robber.
"Spy !-Yes, I am ; and for six nights have I watched for thee; now, villain, this platform your grave, or mine !"
“ Old man, I will not strike as I meditated—your white hairs protect you."
“ No such excuse have you, base villain-- I dare strike." So saying, the old man struck Ponteet full in the face with his open
hand : “ That,” he cried, “ for my wrongs—and this for Ida's_”
Quick as thought, and before his astonished victim could prepare for defence, his desperate enemy had him by the throat." Pray-man of blood--pray; I would not murder soul and body;" dragged to the rock by the almost superhuman strength of the old man, Ponteet crouched, trembling as it were at his feet. The old man's hat had fallen off-his white hairs were streaming in the air-his left hand clutched the throat of Ponteet, and in his right he held the knife alluded to. The design of the picture was made. The robber thus taken by surprise, and his most daring part cowed, he gazed upon the dilated form of the avenger in fear and awe. “ Pray, man of blood — pray have time : soul and body should not perish at one blow. Hark! I hear your comrades—be quick !” Voices were now heard, as if approaching the scene of strife.
Speak not- or I strike. Pray, I say one word on heaven, and I will
The wretched man having now somewhat recovered, and hearing the voices of his companions, made a desperate effort, and succeeded in gaining his feet. “Ah! you would
“ murder me, hoary headed villain, but I will foil you." So saying, he drew from his breast a knife, and aimed a deadly
blow at the old man- -shouting, at the same time, to the full extent of his voice : 66 Help--help — murder
The interest of the subject of the picture increases. The blow was warded off, and the knife of the avenger was instantly buried deep in the shoulder of his victim; the wound, although bad, was not a fatal one. In vain did Ponteet cry for help--it approached slowly up the mountain top--in vain he struggled to gain the least advantage : but his every motion was watched, and guarded against. ** Now," thundered the old man, “ Your dooin is sealed. Pray, I saypray ; call on heaven to forgive !--Hark! your friends
approach !--Pray--ah--they come !" At that moment, the heads of two or three men were seen above the table-rock: " It is too late-soul and body--soul and body—my oath
-one more struggle—one groan-and Ponteet-was dead! The old man threw down the bloody knife-gave one look on the ghastly form, as it lay there in the broad moonlight--he drew a long breath--heaved a sighone of sorrow and despair--raised his hands, supplicating toward heaven-and then disappeared down the opposite side of the rock, and his dark form was soon lost in the darker shades of the forest.
When the followers of Ponteet reached the rock, they found him dead—and as they listened, they heard the retreating footsteps of the-avenger! From some cause or another, the body of the murdered man was left where the deed was committed. Shortly after this event, the band dispersed, and the tomb of Ponteet (whose real name was Meason), became the home of the vulture. Years passed away: the mouldering flesh and clothes of the dead man fell from his bones, and were eaten by the “ obscene birds” of night, or washed away by the storms and tempests of many days. But the skeleton still remains, and to this day attracts the notice of the curious traveller.
More years have passed away—the scene has been forgotten — the events long since ceased to occupy public attention.
In the Arch street burying-ground, where repose the bones of " Benjamin Franklin, and Deborah his wife," a neat grave-stone is still to be seen, which tells the stranger beneath it lies the remains of “ ROBERT SOMERS, AGED 79, who departed this life January 1st, 1839: Erected to his memory by Mary."
“ Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me."
PRAYER is intuitive. It is a part and portion of our very existence; born with us it becomes the partner of our stu• dies, grows with our growth, and strengthens with our strength. The world, I mean the sinful portion of it, may
mock the man of prayer, laugh at what it terms his monkish notions, and superstitious fears, yet even these, the mockers, and scorners of prayer, and of all things holy, even while the smile of contempt quivers on their lips, inwardly pray for the very act they are doing. Prayer is intuitive. In my observations on mankind, I have heard and seen such. Yes! in the deep, dark cell of the condemned criminal, whose heart long ere his incarceration resisted the influence of his better angel, prayer which lies nestled within it like a dove, panting for an opportunity to be heard, yes, even such a one, I have seen on the hard, damp floor, with bended knees, praying in darkness, and in silence for mercy and grace! All men, and all nations pray. The blasphemer and the atheist in their heart question the efficacy of prayer.
That heart, yea, even the doubting heart, asks the question—" Is there a God ?" and all things around and about answer
:-“ Yea,” and this is the prayer of the atheist -his very
doubts are prayers ! What are the modes of prayer ? I answer, the heart's impulse ; in its woes what system does our nature teach but that which is intuitive with us- - the seeds of prayer are planted in the soul, and they spring up and blossom in their time and place. The tendrils of church form may for a time obstruct their progress, but the hand of Deity never plants a seed in a barren soil—'tis there, and there it exists while the life he gave with it animates the soil. Prayer goes out with life, and life's last breath exhales itself in prayer.
To the Bible I refer as the book of books, it teaches but one mode of prayer, and to but one power—there is not a passage in it but if properly and truly read, but what conveys to the student lessons of truth, and brings him nearer, and nearer to his God. It is the loadstone of the heart