“Oh, I’m——” muttered Gething and let the reins lie loose on his neck, “your own way, Cuddy. Your way is better than mine. Old friend, I’ll not try to stop you again.” For he knew if he tried he could now gain control. The early dusk of spring had begun to settle on the surface of the fields in a hazy radiance, a marvelous light that seemed to breathe out from the earth and stream through the sky. A mile to the east upon a hill was a farm house. The orange light from the sunset found every window, blinded them and left them blank oblongs of orange. The horse and rider passed closer to this farm. Two collies rushed forward, then stopped to bark and jump. The light enveloped them and gave each a golden halo.
Again Gething turned still keeping toward the left. A hill began to rise before them and up it the horse sped, his breath whirring and rattling in his throat, but his strength still unspent. To the very top he made his way and paused dazed. “Oh, Cuddy,” cried Gething, “this is Break-Neck.” For there was the wind-warped pine, the bank of earth, the trench. The horse came to a shivering standstill. The bank looked strange to him. He stood sobbing, his body rocking slightly, rocking gently, then with a sigh, came slowly down on to the turf. Gething was on his feet, his hand on the dripping neck.
“You always were a bad horse and I always loved you,” he whispered, “and that was a great ride, and now——” He rose abruptly and turned away as he realized himself alone in the soft twilight. The horse was dead. Then he returned to the tense body, so strangely thin and wet, and removed saddle and bridle. With these hung on his arm he took the sombre path through the pines for home.
BLACK ART AND AMBROSE
From Collier’s, The National Weekly
“... The Naytives of the Seacoast told me many fearsome Tales of these Magycians, or Voodoos, as they called Them. It would seem that the Mystic Powers of these Magycians is hereditary, and that the Spells, Incantacions, and other Secretts of their Profession are passed on One to the Other and holden in great Awe by the People. The Marke of this horride Culte is the Likeness of a great Human Eye, carved in the Fleshe of the Backe, which rises in Ridges as it heals and lasts Forever ...”
—Extract from “A Truthful Accounte of a Voyage and Journey to the Land of Afrique, Together with Numerous Drawings and Mappes, and a most Humble Petition Regarding the Same.” Presented by Roberte Waiting, Gent. in London, Anno D. 1651.
A few blocks west of the subway, and therefore off the beaten track of the average New Yorker, is San Juan Hill. If you ever happen on San Juan unawares, you will recognize it at once by its clustering family of mammoth gas houses, its streets slanting down into the North River, and the prevailing duskiness of the local complexion. If you chance to stray into San Juan after sundown, you will be relieved to note that policemen are plentiful, and that they walk in pairs. This last observation describes the social status of San Juan or any other neighbourhood better than volumes of detailed episodes could begin to do.