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gered back, and once more they stood firmly up, glancing at each other with the most determined hatred. Again they grappled, and again the struggle became fearful. The long hair of George was twisted around the hand of his more experienced enemy, and who, by main strength, was dragging him toward a window.
“ Fool !” exclaimed Norris, “would you battle with a man who has no equal in strength in all England ? ha! ha! I'll hurl you from yon window.” He boasted too soon; for ere they reached half the distance, George had seized him by the throat with his left hand, and bringing his right nervously around, he planted a blow directly under the ear of his too certain conqueror, which laid him prostrate. In an instant he was firmly fixed upon his breast, his hands glued to his throat, and thus with desperate energy and strength he held him firmly down.
“Now, villain, your life or mine. You have forfeited all claim to an honorable satisfaction—you die, therefore, the death of a hound.”
“Never by the hand of a rebel, and a boy,” and again the desperate man was on his feet, and again they engaged hand to hand. He now discovered that he had met his equal, if not in science, at least in strength. In the wildness of the fight and the phrenzy to which he was wrought, Norris seized a heavy chair; George did the same, and rushing upon each other, the instruments of their determined purpose were broken into pieces; but George still retained a portion of his, and as Norris approached him with eyes distended, frame powerfully convulsed, he received a blow so well aimed, that he fell dead upon the floor, his skull frightfully shattered. There he lay an inanimate corpse; the features were horribly distorted, and as the pale moonlight poured
down its rays upon them, George shuddered, and turned his head from the spectacle ; his heart sickened, though he felt no compunction for the deed.
Hush !-what sounds disturb the silence of the night ; 'tis the watchman crying the hour, “past two o'clock, and a starlight morning.” The music had long since ceased ; the busy sound of feet treading the mazes of the giddy dance, was hushed; the ball was over.
• I tell you, Switzer, she is dead; all traces of her are lost, and I have no wish to live."
“Don't talk so, Somers, you make me sad. Lucy was always a good girl, and—but if she has been wronged, we are not so old but that we can resent an injury. But cheer up, cheer up; George is on the track, I'll warrant.”
George is a good, bold boy; but what can he do with base and wicked men ? Ah! Switzer, I have lived in these few days, years of misery ; in what a little space row dwell. Joy and happiness spread their gay wings o'er a long life, and the smile they awaken unwrinkles the brow, but a day or two of grief adds ages as it were to our allotted time on earth. Look, Switzer, what a few short days of grief have done for your friend."
“ Not much, Somers, not much; you look a little careworn."
" Aye; the care of the heart, the care of the heart. But hark! there is a footstep.”
“ So it is! who can it be? here we have been watching night after night, and this is the first sound of a mortal footstep we have heard, and it is now four o'clock. Stay, Somers, I'll
the door cautiously; hist! it comes nearer. Who goes there? speak ! ah ! it is George. Just as he spoke, the door opened, and George entered.
O! how changed! His face was covered with blood ; his eyes red and inflamed.
My son, my son, what means all this? speak, speak! how comes this ? blood, blood !”
** Aye, blood ; but ask no questions, father, pack up what things we can carry: we leave here to-night; aye, immediately, for by twelve o'clock to-morrow we must be at Valley Forge."
“But, my son—"
“Ask no questions ; listen, father, Switzer, listen, bear it like a man, father, Lucy~"
“My child, my Lucy—" “ Is dead !"
" Father of Heaven ! it is as I expected. Oh! George, what have you done ?"
“Ha! ha! Go ask the pale corpse of her seducer ; look at these hands, red with his blood; ha! ha! it was a fearful struggle; but she is revenged; my sister's wrongs are redressed."
“Be calm, George, you rave !"
“ No, father, I am calm, now, perfectly calm. Come, Switzer, kind good friend, assist us to depart; if they get a clue to the murderer, aye, that is the word, my life is not worth a farthing."
“ Assist you! yes, and follow you, George. Come, Somers, cheer up; Lucy is among the angels in heaven, and—”
“Yes, Switzer, but I must mourn her loss. Brave boy, you have acted nobly in this, and if it be wrong in the sight of God, let an old man's prayer intercede for thee. Let us
In that humble cot, the three knelt down, and in the silence of the night a prayer was offered up to the throne of Mercy. Was it effectual ?
On the following day, the army of Washington could boast of three additional recruits, whose motives for action our readers are already conversant with.
Before closing, it may not be out of place to state, that there is a fearful legend attached to the house in Second street, and the wild scenes said to have occurred there, gave rise to the subject of our story. It is said that about midnight noises of an unnatural character are heard in the street, such as the cracking of whips, rolling of carriages, and trampling of steeds. They drive up to the door, skeleton forms are seen to glide from them and ring at the bell, the door is opened by an officer in uniform, who welcomes them in. Many of these midnight visitors wear wreaths of faded flowers upon their heads, long white robes encircling their bony forms, and the diamond rings which glisten in the pale moonlight, and rattle upon their fleshless fingers, are strong reasons to infer that they are the spirits of those unhappy women, who were so vilely treated, and not unfrequently murdered in that house of infamy.
SO ENDS THE LEGEND OF 1778.
A LEGEND OF THE SCHUYLKILL
The dark shadows of the forest oaks lengthened themselves down the immense height of a pile of rocks, on whose summit they had flourished for a hundred years or more; the birds had ceased to sing, and the murmur of the evening breeze, as it wantoned over the scene, gave to that portion of the river Schuylkill, now called Fairmount, a wild and picturesque appearance. Nor was that all; the sound of the evening bells, or the striking of the old clock, denoting that the city of Philadelphia lay within but a short distance, contrasted strongly with the silence and gloom of the place -rendered more so by the veil of coming night, which already began to fall gently over the features of nature. From the height of the mount, the eye could trace the meandering course of the Schuylkill, on whose shadowy banks stood out, in bold relief, the tall and majestic oak. Again would the eye wander far beyond, and reach some far-off spot, carved out as it were from the forest trees, within whose cultivated
stood the lone farm house of some Swed'sh settler, with its outbuildings and barn, the pride of the hus