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A Book-Lover's Holidays in the Open


Excerpt: ... put out her hand and touched them; they were quite cold. The defeated spirit was hiding in them! But as she felt them they began to grow warm and come to life. Her familiar had followed the evil ghost into his hiding-place in the pigs, had chased him out, and slew him as he fled to the water. There was no further interruption to the building of the bridge. The touch about the defeated spirit hiding in the pet pigs, which thereupon grew cold, and being chased out by his antagonist was thoroughly Polynesian. It was most interesting to see the cultivated man of the world suddenly go back to superstitions that marked the childhood of the race; and then he told tales of the shark god, and of many other gods, and of devils and magicians. However, there is no lack of similar beliefs among our own people. Long ago I knew an old market gunner of eastern Long Island who shot ducks and bay-birds for a living. There was a deserted farmhouse on the edge of the marsh, 188 handy to the shooting-grounds, which he would not enter. He insisted that once he had gone there on a gray, bitter November afternoon to escape the rain which was driving in sheets. He lit a fire in the kitchen and started to dry his soaked clothes. Suddenly, out of the storm, somebody fumbled at the latch of the door. It opened and a little old woman in gray entered. She did not look at him, and yet a chill seemed to fall on him. Nevertheless he rose and followed her as she went out into the hall. She went up the steep, narrow stairway. He went after her. She went up the still steeper little flight that went to the garret. But when he followed there was no one there. He came downstairs, put on his clothes, took up his heavy fowling-gun, and just as evening fell he started for the mainland along a road which at one point became a causeway. When he reached the causeway the light was dim; but a figure walked alongside the road on the reeds, not bending the tops; and it was a man with his throat... Hide synopsis

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