Walter Harland eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 175 pages of information about Walter Harland.
the people of Fulton, among whom she had resided for many years; but along with many estimable qualities she had also her failings and weak points; she had an undue zest for whatever partook of the marvellous or mysterious, her education was extremely limited, and her method of reasoning was not always most clear and logical.  She was a firm believer in signs and omens, as warnings of death and other misfortunes, and very few events of this kind took place in the vicinity of which the Widow Green, according to her own statement, was not favored with a warning.  But some of the neighbors were often heard to assert that many of her warnings were never spoken of till after the event happened.  But setting aside this weakness, and the Widow Green was a kind and useful woman in the vicinity where she resided.


A conversation to which I listened between the Widow Green and Mrs. Waters, another neighbor who assisted in the preparations for the funeral, filled me with astonishment, it being the first time I had ever listened to any thing of the kind.  It was the night before the burial and the two women were busily employed in making up mourning for the family; I was seated quietly in a corner of the room, and if they were aware of my presence they did not allow it to interfere with the conversation which they carried on in that low tone which people mostly use in the house of death.  “Do you believe in warnings?” said the Widow Green, addressing Mrs. Waters.  “Most sartinly I do, and with good reason,” was the reply.  “For many and many a time I have been warned of sickness and death in the neighborhood.”  The stillness and lateness of the hour, together with the employment of the women, surrounded as they were with crape and black cloths of different kinds, struck me with a feeling of superstitious awe; and I listened to their conversation as children listen to a story which fills them with terror, while yet they are unwilling to lose a word.  “It was only last winter,” continued Mrs. Waters, “just before old Mr. Harris died—­you remember him, he lived, you know, over on the east road toward the pond—­as I was saying, one night about nine o’clock, there came two quick raps at our front door, as loud almost as if you had struck with a hammer; Waters was just lighting his pipe at the kitchen fire, and he gave such a spring when the sudden thumps came on the door that he upset a pitcher of yeast I had left by the fire to rise, of course that was of no consequence, and I only mention it as a circumstance connected with the warning, and to let you know that he was frightened, for you know for a general thing he kind o’ makes light o’ these things and says ’all old women, who drink green tea, have dreams and wonderful warnings.’  As I was sayin’, he ran to unbolt the door, without stoppin’ to pick up the broken jar, and of course no one was there.  ‘Now,’ said I, ’perhaps you will believe in warnings, for if ever there was

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Walter Harland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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