Of such a character were the thoughts that darted through the mind of the Pequot when frightened from his purpose, and in less time than it has taken to record them, as with drooping head he pursued his lonely way. Even what he considered the interposition of a supernatural power, had not shaken the determination of his spirit. The desire for revenge had been too long cherished to be given up at a single warning, however awful, or however strongly appealing to the deepest implanted superstitions.
“Arma, virumque cano qui Primus.”
The season had now advanced to within a few days of that joyous period of the year, when the Governors of the several New England States are wont to call the people to a public acknowledgment of the favors of Divine Providence. At the time of which we write, their Excellencies required the citizens to be thankful “according to law,” and “all servile labor and vain recreation,” on said day, were “by law forbidden,” and not, as at present, invited them to assemble in their respective churches, to unite in an expression of gratitude to their Heavenly Benefactor. Whether the change from a command to an invitation, or permission to engage in the sports which were before forbidden, has been attended with any evil consequences, we leave to the individual judgment of our readers to determine. But whether commanded or invited, the people always welcomed the season of festivity with preaching and praying, and an indiscriminate slaughter of all the fat turkeys and chickens on which they could lay their hands.
The yellow and crimson maple leaf had faded on the trees into more sombre colors, or, falling to the ground, been whirled by the wind among heaps of other leaves, where its splendor no more attracted attention. Of the gaiety of autumn, only the red bunches of the sumach were left as a parting present to welcome winter in. The querulous note of the quail had long been heard calling to his truant mate, and reproaching her for wandering from his jealous side; the robins had either sought a milder climate or were collected in the savin-bushes, in whose evergreen branches they found shelter, and on whose berries they love to feed; and little schoolboys were prowling about, busy collecting barrels for Thanksgiving bonfires.
It was a beautiful clear morning in Thanksgiving-week, when a side gate, that admitted to the yard or inclosure in front of Mr. Armstrong’s house, opened, and a negro, with a round good-natured face, and rather foppishly dressed, stepped out upon the walk. But, before paying our respects to Mr. Felix Qui, it may not be altogether amiss to give some description of the house of Mr. Armstrong, as representing the better class of dwelling-houses in our villages, at the time.