Изображения страниц
PDF

of that day; but, unfortunately, this pane of one of Lafayette's French officers, were standing glass was removed from the house by a former in a little group together. owner, so that this curious and interesting sou- “The rooms are so warm " said Gitty Wynvenir of the past cannot now be seen in its proper koop. “Let us try to find some cooler place.” setting. Benson John Lossing, the historian, tells of visiting this old house in 1848, and of finding the pane of glass still in the window, with the three names showing as plainly as when cut with the diamond of the French officer's ring. The curious will find facsimiles of the names printed in his “Pictorial Field-book of the Revolution.” The story of how the names came to be scratched on the pane of glass is interesting and worth repeating.

While General Knox had THE west END, SHOWING THE SOLID STONE work. his headquarters here, Lucy Knox, his beautiful wife, wishing to enliven “Good " declared Maria Colden, laughing. “A

the dullness of the season, gave a grand ball in full moon shines in the sky. Let us sit by the honor of Washington and his generals. The ball window and watch it.” was opened by Washington himself, with pretty Accordingly the three couples made their way Maria Colden, one of the belles of the occasion. to one that looked out toward the west.

THE BACK OF THE HOUSE, SHOWING THE LONG, SLOPING ROOF WITH TWO CURIOUS win DOWS CUT IN ITS APEX.

Later in the evening, Maria Colden and her two “Of a surety this has been a most delightsome friends, Gitty Wynkoop and Sally Jansen, and evening !” Maria Colden sighed, as she seated hertheir gallants, a couple of American officers and self on the wide sill of the window. “Never did

[graphic]
[graphic]

I dream of such an honor as having our great General Washington for a partner! Oh, but is n’t he a wondrous man ' I do not wonder there be some who think him almost more than mortal. Truly I could not have felt more awed had I been treading the measure with an archangel!”

“And truly I would not care to dance with an

SECRET PAN ELS.

archangel, howsoever great the honor might be '" laughed Gitty Wynkoop, with just a little touch of envy in her voice. “I would prefer the colonel here,” and she glanced archly at her escort. “The night, indeed, has been one of great pleasure,” and the eyes of the French officer rested with admiration on the face of his companion. “Already has its memory been written deep in my heart,” and he bowed low to the fair Maria. “But I would leave here some souvenir

of this delightful hour, something that will tell to aftertimes that this room and this hour were graced by the presence of three most beauteous and winsome maidens. Ladies, allow me,” and the courtly Frenchman rose from the windowsill, where he had been sitting by the side of Maria Colden, and, bowing to each girl in turn, slipped a diamond ring from his finger and turned to the window. “Allow me to inscribe here, on this pane of glass, the names that this evening has cut deep in our hearts” and, pressing the sharp edge of the diamond to the glass, he slowly scratched the names of the three girls, Maria Colden, Gitty Wynkoop, and Sally Jansen, while the girls joked merrily over the awkwardness of his writing. One must regret the removal of this unique and interesting souvenir of the past from the house where the gallant French officer made it. on that far-off night when Lucy Knox gave her great ball in honor of Washington and his generals. But the General Knox Headquarters House has an interest all its own, aside from its historical associations. In one room there is a secret treasure-vault dug under the floor, with a carefully concealed trap-door opening down into it. The hole is large enough for several men to hide in it, and is supposed to have been made during Revolutionary times to hide the valuables of the house, or, on a pinch, to conceal an American or two, in case of a sudden raid by the British soldiers. In another room there are two small closets, made in the chimney above the fireplace and concealed by panels, in every way like the others with which the wall above the fireplace is faced, except that they now have keyholes and hinges. In former times they are supposed to have been locked and opened by the pressure of secret springs. They must then have looked exactly like the other panels, and no one could have told that there were secret recesses behind them. Valuable papers and jewels might have been hidden in them in time of need. Another interesting feature of the old house is found in the large hall that runs directly through the middle of the main building. A thick stone partition, with a narrow door passing through it, divides this hall, midway, into two parts; and from the front part a stairway leads to the upper rooms of the house. At the first landing on these stairs, where they make a turn, is a large square hole cut through the thick wall of the partition and looking very much like the embrasure of a fort; and probably this is what it was intended for-an embrasure through which the Americans could fire on the Indians or other enemies, should they attack the house and break in the door at either end of the hall. At least it would answer such a purpose very well; and there seems to be no need of it for either light or ventilation. Running from the second floor to the garret in the main building is another curiosity, a very queerly constructed stairway, known as the witches' stairway, possibly because the stairs go almost straight up, and yet one can walk up them quite easily without the aid of the hands. The steps are made in the form of right-angled triangles so placed on alternate sides of the steep, narrow, box-like stairway as to enable one to walk up the stairs by swinging the feet alternately upward, from the step below to the step above on the opposite side. A very convenient arrangement, where the stairs must occupy little space; but it is almost like a ladder. The General Knox Headquarters House, like

[graphic]

all old houses, has its legends, weird and otherwise. From one of its rooms, in Revolutionary times, a young girl is said to have disappeared one dark night, never again to be seen alive, and this room is now declared to be haunted by her uneasy spirit. There is also a legend of a secret passage running from the old house to Murderer's Creek, a quarter of a mile away, and of a buried treasure; but the secret tunnel appears hardly probable on account of the rocky nature of the ground through which it would have had to be dug, and the buried treasure has never yet been found. Surely this quaint old house, that tells so much of the past and how the people of that past lived, should be held in remembrance, and kept as a hallowed shrine, where the young and the old may come to have their thoughts turned anew to the great and good men it once sheltered, and to whom we, who live now, owe so much.

THE OLD BRIDGE OVER SILVER STREAM, N EAR THE KNOX H E A DO UARTERS HOUSE. General Washington and other Revolutionary heroes must often have crossed this bridge.

THE WRONG SIDE

BY ALICE E. ALLEN

IN his bed, fully dressed, on a day warm and fine,
I found little Ted, and the clock had struck nine !
“Why,” I cried, “Teddy, dear, are you ill, little
man?
If not, hurry down just as soon as you can "

“I was cross when I got up,” said queer little Ted, “They said I jumped out of the wrong side of bed; So I came back again just as quick as I could,— I'll get out on the right side—and then I'll be good l’’

[graphic]

BY FREDERICK ORIN BARTLETT

Author of “The Forest Castaways"

CHAPTER XV Roy's RETURN

As the opening day of school approached, Elizabeth grew more and more serious. She wanted to go back with Nance and begin again. For the first time in her life, she felt a desire to learn and to do for the sake of learning and doing, whereas, the year before, what little incentive she had sprang from pride alone. It was only the fear of appearing stupid that had made her study at all. But now, having proven her power in one direction, her ambition had been roused to excel in others. The semi-victory over Nance in tennis brought it to a head. She laughed gaily to herself as she realized the surprise to her old friends this new acquisition of hers would be. She had made Nance promise not to breathe a word to any one of their practice during the summer. She laid awake nights picturing to herself how the girls would smile when she went upon the court, and the amazement which would follow should she beat one after another of the minor players. And she knew she could beat them. At times she felt as though she could beat even Nance—perhaps even Miss Winthrop. Ah, if she could win a game against Miss Winthrop ! And, after all, there was a good spirit back of these dreams. It was no self glorification she sought. Rather she seized upon the opportunity as a chance to redeem herself. She saw herself now as others had seen her, and it brought the hot color to her face. If they had looked upon her as proud and indolent, it had been her own fault. The spring tournament had roused her somewhat, but it was the inspiration of Mrs. Trumbull and the house by the lane that had completed the work. One fared ill in attempting the rôle of pretty incompetence before Mrs. Trumbull. Several times she was upon the point of asking her father to allow her to return to school, but in the end her pride checked her. It would n’t be worth much coming that way. She must win the right to go back, as she wished to win other things, by her own ability. Three days before school was to open, her father dropped in one evening for supper. He watched her with unusual keenness as she presided at the table, and later as, with Mrs. Trum

bull, she made the dining-room and kitchen tidy for the night. Even after they had gone into the sitting-room, he said nothing until he was about to leave. Then he asked, as casually as though it were an every-day matter: “Elizabeth, would you like to go back to school this fall P” “Daddy!” she exclaimed. “I 've had a talk with Miss Grimshawe, and I 've told her that it 's the Lady of the Lane and not the Lady of ‘The Towers' I wish to enroll. Am I right?” Elizabeth for a moment hung her head. The comparison brought back very vividly that first episode, now almost forgotten. “Look up, my daughter,” said Mr. Churchill. “I want you to understand that I 'm very proud of you !” Mrs. Trumbull rose and placed her arm about the drooping figure. “I won't have her shamed by no one,” she asserted aggressively. “If Miss Grimshawe or any one else dares—” “But Miss Grimshawe wants her very much,” he said reassuringly to Mrs. Trumbull. He turned to his daughter. “I think that, in spite of everything, she has a warm place in her heart for you, Elizabeth.” “She 'd better have,” Mrs. Trumbull warned. “What do you say, Beth * “I 'll be very, very glad to go back, Daddy!” she exclaimed. “Only—it does n't mean giving up the home, does it?” . . “It would hurt me very much if you wanted to give up that,” he answered. And so, after Elizabeth had cried a moment on her father's shoulder, and Mrs. Trumbull was through sputtering about Miss Grimshawe, the matter was all settled. * “I suppose you will need some new clothes, Beth,” said her father. “Perhaps Mrs. Trumbull had better go into town with you to-morrow and help you pick out what you need.” Elizabeth finished her shopping in a very few hours, where, a year ago, it would have taken her several days. Somehow gowns did not seem to count for so much now. What she did select she chose with her usual good taste. She told the news to Nance when the latter came that afternoon, and Nance was almost as delighted about it as Elizabeth herself.

[ocr errors]

“Then you 'll enter the tournament, after all !” “I know,” Nance answered slowly. “But— exclaimed Nance, when they had talked over sev- well, there 's no use trying to cross a bridge beeral other matters. “But, Beth, I hope you are n't fore we come to it. Anyhow, we must practise drawn against me in the preliminaries.” ~&to

“Why not?” asked Elizabeth with a smile. *

[subsumed][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

bad to beat you, as to be beaten by you. I 've hard these next few weeks. Are you too tired

half a mind to keep out of it this fall.” to have a game this afternoon?” “Nonsense !” answered Elizabeth. “That would “Why should I be tired?” asked Elizabeth. n’t be fair to either of us. I guess we can both “You said you were shopping all the morning.”

stand a beating now and then, if it comes to that.” Elizabeth made a wry face at the recollection.

[graphic]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »