Eben Holden, a tale of the north country eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 353 pages of information about Eben Holden, a tale of the north country.
of the hoofs he turned suddenly and laying hold of my arm began to run.  I followed him into the darkness of the open field.  It gave me a spell of rare excitement for I thought at once of highwaymen — having read so much of them in the Tribune.  He stopped suddenly and stooped low his hands touching the grass and neither spoke until the horse had gone well beyond us.  Then he rose, stealthily, and looked about him in silence, even turning his face to the dark sky where only a few stars were visible.

‘Well!’ said he with a sort of grunt.  ’Beats the devil!  I thought it was A wonderful thing was happening in the sky.  A great double moon seemed to be flying over the city hooded in purple haze.  A little spray of silver light broke out of it, as we looked, and shot backward and then floated after the two shining disks that were falling eastward in a long curve.  They seemed to be so near I thought they were coming down upon the city.  It occurred to me they must have some connection with the odd experience I had gone through.  In a moment they had passed out of sight.  We were not aware that we had witnessed a spectacle the like of which had not been seen in centuries, if ever, since God made the heavens’ the great meteor of 1860.

‘Let’s go back,’ said Trumbull.  ‘We came too far.  I forgot myself.’

‘Dangerous here?’ I enquired.

‘Not at all,’ said he, ’but a long way out of town — tired?

‘Rather,’ I said, grateful for his evident desire to quiet my alarm.

‘Come!’ said he as we came back to the pavement, his hand upon my shoulder.  ’Talk to me.  Tell me — what are you going to do?

We walked slowly down the deserted avenue, I, meanwhile, talking of my pians.

‘You love.  Hope,’ he said presently.  ’You will marry her?

‘If she will have me,’ said I.

‘You must wait,’ he said, ’time enough!

He quickened his pace again as we came in sight of the scattering shops and houses of the upper city and no other word was spoken.  On the corners we saw men looking into the sky and talking of the fallen moon.  It was late bedtime when we turned into Gramercy Park.

‘Come in,’ said he as he opened an iron gate.

I followed him up a marble stairway and a doddering old English butler opened the door for us.  We entered a fine hall, its floor of beautiful parquetry muffled with silken rugs.  High and spacious rooms were all aglow with light.

He conducted me to a large smoking-room, its floor and walls covered with trophies of the hunt — antlers and the skins of carnivora.  Here he threw off his coat and bade me be at home as he lay down upon a wicker divan covered with the tawny skin of some wild animal.  He stroked the fur fondly with his hand.

‘Hello Jock!’ he said, a greeting that mystified me.

‘Tried to eat me,’ he added, turning to me.

Then he bared his great hairy arm and showed me a lot of ugly scars, I besought him to tell the story.

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Eben Holden, a tale of the north country from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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