The Path of Duty, and Other Stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 310 pages of information about The Path of Duty, and Other Stories.
of his sister’s marriage, and he listened with sorrow to the story of her bereavement and other misfortunes.  “You must now place a double value upon our family ring,” said he, as he replaced the lost treasure upon his sister’s hand; “for it is this diamond ring which has restored to each other the brother and sister who otherwise might never have met again on earth.  And now, both you and your daughter must prepare for a voyage to dear old England.  You need have no anxiety for the future; I have enough for us all and you shall want no more.”  Before leaving the City, accompanied by her brother, Mrs. Harris visited the grave of her husband; and the generous brother attended to the erection of a suitable tombstone, as the widow had before been unable to meet the expenses of it.  Passing through the Upper Province they reached Montreal, whence they sailed for England.  After a prosperous voyage they found themselves amid the familiar scenes of their childhood, where they still live in the enjoyment of as much happiness as usually falls to the lot of mortals.


On a sultry afternoon in midsummer I was walking on a lonely unfrequented road in the Township of S. My mind was busily occupied, and I paid little attention to surrounding objects till a hollow, unnatural voice addressed me, saying:  “Look up my friend, and behold the unfortunate man.”  I raised my eyes suddenly, and, verily, the appearance of the being before me justified his self-bestowed appellation—­the unfortunate man.  I will do my best to describe him, although I am satisfied that my description will fall far short of the reality.  He was uncommonly tall, and one thing which added much to the oddity of his appearance was the inequality of length in his legs, one being shorter by several inches than the other, and, to make up for the deficiency, he wore on the short leg a boot with a very high heel.  He seemed to be past middle age, his complexion was sallow and unhealthy, he was squint-eyed, and his hair, which had once been of a reddish hue, was then a grizzly gray.  Taken all together he was a strange looking object, and I soon perceived that his mind wandered.  At first I felt inclined to hurry onward as quickly as possible, but, as he seemed harmless and inclined to talk to me, I lingered for a few moments to listen to him.  “I do not wonder,” said he, “that you look upon me with pity, for it is a sad thing for one to be crazy.”  Surprised to find him so sensible of his own situation I said:  “As you seem so well aware that you are crazy, perhaps you can inform me what caused you to become so.”  “Oh yes,” replied he, “I can soon tell you that:  first my father died, then my mother, and soon after my only sister hung herself to the limb of a tree with a skein of worsted yarn; and last, and worst of all, my wife, Dorcas Jane, drowned herself in Otter Creek.”  Wondering if there was any truth in this horrible

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The Path of Duty, and Other Stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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