Page:A New England Tale.djvu/154

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143
A NEW-ENGLAND TALE.

before her Jane perceived, glimmering through the trees, a faint light. "Heaven be praised!" said she, "that must be John's cottage."

As they came nearer the dog barked; and the old man, coming out of the door, signed to Jane to sit down on a log, which answered the purpose of a rude door-step; and then speaking to crazy Bet, in a voice of authority, which, to Jane's utter surprise, she meekly obeyed—" Take off," said he, "you mad fool, those ginglements from your head, and stroke your hair back like a decent Christian woman; get into the house, but mind you, say not a word to her."

Crazy Bet entered the house, and John, turning to Jane, said, "You are an angel of goodness for coming here to-night, though I am afraid it will do no good; but since you are here, you shall see her."

See her! See what, John?" interrupted Jane,

"That's what I must tell you. Miss; but it is a piercing story to tell to one that looks like you. It's telling the deeds of the pit to the angels above." He then went on to state, that a few days before he had been searching the mountains for some medicinal roots, when his attention was suddenly arrested by a low moaning sound, and on going in the direction from whence it came, he found a very young looking creature, with a new-born infant, wrapped in a shawl, and lying in her arms. He spoke to the mother, but she made no reply, and seemed quite unconscious of every things till he attempted to take the child from her; she then