Ellen Duncan; And The Proctor's Daughter eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 40 pages of information about Ellen Duncan; And The Proctor's Daughter.

Ellen’s heart was light, and her eye was glad, and her very inmost soul was thankful to the Omnipotent, as she that night rested for a. few hours, ere she set out on her return; and Lady ------, as she pressed her costly pillow, felt a fuller sense of happiness in being useful to her fellow-creature than ever she experienced before.  Oh! that all the wealthy and in power were incited by similar feelings.  The remainder of our simple tale is soon told.  The reprieve arrived—­the sentence was changed to banishment—­and the very day appointed for Owen’s death was that of his wife’s successful return.  One week previous to the embarkation of those sentenced to transportation, a man was to be executed for sheep-stealing.  On the drop he confessed his guilt, and that he, and not Duncan, was the murderer of Daly.  Owen was immediately released, and a subscription raised for him, with which, as well as with a weighty purse presented to Ellen by Lady ------, he took a comfortable farm, and rebought “Black Bess.”


“Huroo! at id agin.  Success, Briney.  Ha! take that, you ould dust.  Will you bewitch our cattle now, Nanny?  Whoo—­ha, ha, ha!—­at id agin, boys—­that’s your sort.”

Such were a few of the explosives of mingled fun and devilment that proceeded from a group of ragged urchins, who were busily employed in pelting with hard mud, sods and other missiles, an old and decrepit woman, whose gray hair and infirmities ought to have been her protection, but whose reputation as an evil disposed witch proved quite the contrary.  Nanny, for such was her name, was leaning, or rather sitting, against a bank at the road side, shaking occasionally her crutch at her tormentors, and muttering a heavy curse as missile after missile fell thickly around her.  The shouts of laughter proceeding from the annoying children, as she tried in vain to rise, and impotently threatened, made her imprecations come doubly bitter; but her eye was never wet, nor did she once even by a look appeal to their pity.  Her figure was bent with age, and her shaking hands brown and fleshless—­her hair was gray and wiry, and escaped from beneath her cap, in short, thin, tangled masses—­her eyes were dark and deep set, and her lips and mouth had fallen in as her teeth had gradually decayed.  She was clad in a russet gown, much the worse for the wear, and a scarlet cloak, or rather a cloak that had once been scarlet, but was now completely faded from its original color.  It had been broken here and there, but was pieced with different colored cloths, so as to appear a motley and strange garment; and her bony feet were bare and unprotected.  Nanny, from different circumstances, was unanimously elected the witch or bugbear of the village; and though the brats were then so busy annoying her, at night, or in a lonesome place, they would fly like lightning even at her approach; and some of them actually trembled

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Ellen Duncan; And The Proctor's Daughter from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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