Famous Stories Every Child Should Know eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 341 pages of information about Famous Stories Every Child Should Know.
“comes the storm-breeder; he always leaves a Scotch mist behind him.  By many a wet jacket do I remember him.  I suppose the poor fellow suffers much himself, much more than is known to the world.”  Presently a man with a child beside him, with a large black horse, and a weather-beaten chair, once built for a chaise body, passed in great haste, apparently at the rate of twelve miles an hour.  He seemed to grasp the reins of his horse with firmness, and appeared to anticipate his speed.  He seemed dejected, and looked anxiously at the passengers, particularly at the stage-driver and myself.  In a moment after he passed us, the horses’ ears were up and bent themselves forward so that they nearly met.  “Who is that man?” said I; “he seems in great trouble.”  “Nobody knows who is he, but his person and the child are familiar to me.  I have met them more than a hundred times, and have been so often asked the way to Boston by that man, even when he was travelling directly from that town, that of late I have refused any communication with him, and that is the reason he gave me such a fixed look.”  “But does he never stop anywhere?” “I have never known him to stop anywhere longer than to inquire the way to Boston; and, let him be where he may, he will tell you he cannot stay a moment, for he must reach Boston that night.”

We were now ascending a high hill in Walpole, and as we had a fair view of the heavens, I was rather disposed to jeer the driver for thinking of his surtout, as not a cloud as big as a marble could be discerned.  “Do you look,” said he, “in the direction whence the man came, that is the place to look; the storm never meets him, it follows him.”  We presently approached another hill, and when at the height, the driver pointed out in an eastern direction a little black speck as big as a hat.  “There,” said he, “is the seed storm; we may possibly reach Polley’s before it reaches us, but the wanderer and his child will go to Providence through rain, thunder, and lightning.”  And now the horses, as though taught by instinct, hastened with increased speed.  The little black cloud came on rolling over the turnpike, and doubled and trebled itself in all directions.  The appearance of this cloud attracted the notice of all the passengers; for after it had spread itself to a great bulk, it suddenly became more limited in circumference, grew more compact, dark, and consolidated.  And now the successive flashes of chain lightning caused the whole cloud to appear like a sort of irregular network, and displayed a thousand fantastic images.  The driver bespoke my attention to a remarkable configuration in the cloud; he said every flash of lightning near its centre discovered to him distinctly the form of a man sitting in an open carriage drawn by a black horse.  But in truth I saw no such thing.  The man’s fancy was doubtless at fault.  It is a very common thing for the imagination to paint for the senses, both in the visible and invisible world.

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Famous Stories Every Child Should Know from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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