The Light in the Clearing eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 348 pages of information about The Light in the Clearing.

“Talk about the placid rest of Egyptian gods!” he exclaimed.  “Look at the watchful eye o’ Justice.  How well she sleeps in this peaceful valley!  Sometimes ye can hardly wake her up at all, at all.”

He put his hand on the deacon’s shoulder and gave him a little shake.

“Awake, ye limb o’ the law,” he demanded.  “Prayer is better than sleep.”

The deacon arose and stretched himself and cleared his throat and assumed an air of alertness and said it was a fine morning, which it was not, the sky being overcast and the air dank and chilly.  He removed his greatcoat and threw it on the stoop saying: 

“Deacon, you lay there.  From now on I’m constable and ready for any act that may be necessary to maintain the law.  I can be as severe as Napoleon Bonaparte and as cunning as Satan, if I have to be.”

I remember that through the morning’s work the sleepy deacon and the alert constable contended over the possession of his stout frame.

The constable shouldered the gun and followed me into the pasture where I went to get the cow.  I saw now that his intention was to guard me from further attacks.  While I was milking, the deacon sat on a bucket in the doorway of the stable and snored until I had finished.  He awoke when I loosed the cow and the constable went back to the pasture with me, yawning with his hand over his mouth much of the way.  The deacon leaned his elbow on the top of the pen and snored again, lightly, while I mixed the feed for the pigs.

Mr. Hacket met us at the kitchen door, where Deacon Binks said to him: 

“If you’ll look after the boy to-day, I’ll go home and get a little rest.”

“God bless yer soul, ye had a busy night,” said the schoolmaster with a smile.

He added as he went into the house: 

“I never knew a man to rest with more energy and persistence.  It was a perfect flood o’ rest.  It kept me awake until long after midnight.”



That last peril is one of the half-solved mysteries of my life.  The following affidavit, secured by an assistant of the district attorney from a young physician in a village above Ballybeen, never a matter of record, heightened its interest for me and my friends.

“Deponent saith that about eleven o’clock on the evening of the, 24th of September (that on which the attack upon me was made) a man unknown to him called at his office and alleged that a friend of the stranger had been injured and was in need of surgical aid.  He further alleged that his friend was in trouble and being sought after and that he, the caller, dared not, therefore, reveal the place where his friend had taken refuge.  He offered the deponent the sum of ten dollars to submit to the process of blindfolding and of being conducted to I said place for the purpose of
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The Light in the Clearing from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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