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Myths and Legends of Our Own Land — Volume 05 : Lights and shadows of the South

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67 pages
Project Gutenberg's Lights And Shadows Of The South, by Charles M. SkinnerThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: Lights And Shadows Of The South Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Volume 5.Author: Charles M. SkinnerRelease Date: October 22, 2006 [EBook #6610]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF THE SOUTH ***Produced by David WidgerMYTHS AND LEGENDS OF OUR OWN LAND By Charles M. SkinnerVol. 5.LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF THE SOUTHCONTENTS:The Swim at Indian HeadThe Moaning SistersA Ride for a BrideSpooks of the HiawasseeLake of the Dismal SwampThe Barge of DefeatNatural BridgeThe Silence BrokenSiren of the French BroadThe Hunter of CalawasseeRevenge of the AccabeeToccoa FallsTwo Lives for OneA Ghostly AvengerThe Wraith Ringer of AtlantaThe Swallowing EarthquakeThe Last Stand of the BiloxiThe Sacred Fire of NatchezPass ChristianThe Under LandLIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF THE SOUTHTHE SWIM AT INDIAN HEADAt Indian Head, Maryland, are the government proving-grounds, where the racket of great guns and splintering of targetsare a deterrent to the miscellaneous visitations of picnics. Trouble has been frequently associated with ...
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SProoujtehc,t  bGy uCtehnabrleersg 'sM .L iSgkhitnsn eArnd Shadows Of TheThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere atno cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under theterms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netATintlde : LLeiggehtnsd sA nOdf  SOhuar dOowwsn  OLfa nTdh, e VSolouutmhe  M5.ythsAuthor: Charles M. SkinnerRelease Date: October 22, 2006 [EBook #6610]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF THESOUTH ***Produced by David Widger
OMFY TOHUSR  AONWD NL ELAGNEDNDS                                   By                           Charles M. SkinnerVol. 5.LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF THE SOUTH
CONTENTS:The Swim at Indian HeadThe Moaning SistersA Ride for a BrideSpooks of the HiawasseeLake of the Dismal SwampThe Barge of DefeatNatural BridgeThe Silence BrokenSiren of the French BroadThe Hunter of CalawasseeRevenge of the AccabeeToccoa FallsTwo Lives for OneA Ghostly AvengerThe Wraith Ringer of AtlantaThe Swallowing EarthquakeThe Last Stand of the BiloxiThe Sacred Fire of NatchezPass ChristianThe Under Land
LIGHTS ANDSHADOWS OF THEHTUOSTHE SWIM AT INDIAN HEADAt Indian Head, Maryland, are the governmentproving-grounds, where the racket of great gunsand splintering of targets are a deterrent to themiscellaneous visitations of picnics. Trouble hasbeen frequently associated with this neighborhood,as it is now suggested in the noisy symbolry ofwar. In prehistoric days it was the site of anaboriginal town, whose denizens were like otherIndians in their love for fight and their willingness toshed blood. Great was the joy of all these citizenswhen a scouting party came in, one day, bringingwith them the daughter of one of their toughest oldhunters and a young buck, from another faction,who had come a-courting; her in the neighboringshades.Capture meant death, usually, and he knew it, buthe held himself proudly and refused to ask formercy. It was resolved that he should die. Thefather's scorn for his daughter, that she shouldthus consort with an enemy, was so great that hewas on the point of offering her as a joint sacrificewith her lover, when she fell on her knees before
him and began a fervent appeal, not for herself,but for the prisoner. She would do anything toprove her strength, her duty, her obedience, if theywould set him free. He had done injury to none.What justice lay in putting him to the torture?"HSaulfp ipno esae rnwees tw, ehrael ft ion  sheut mhiomr,  othn et hceh ifeafr tahnesr wsehroerde,of the Potomac, do you love him well enough toswim to him?""I do.""The river is wide and deep.""I would drown in it rather than that harm shouldcome to him."The old chief ordered the captive, still bound, to betaken to a point on the Virginia shore, full two milesaway, in one of their canoes, and when the boatwas on the water he gave the word to the girl, whoinstantly plunged in and followed it. The chief andthe father embarked in another birch—ostensibly tosee that the task was honestly fulfilled; really,perhaps, to see that the damsel did not drown. Itwas a long course, but the maid was not as manyof our city misses are, and she reached the bank,tired, but happy, for she had saved her lover andgained him for a husband.
THE MOANING SISTERSAbove Georgetown, on the Potomac River, arethree rocks, known as the Three Sisters, notmerely because of their resemblance to each other—for they are parts of a submerged reef—butbecause of a tradition that, more than a hundredyears ago, a boat in which three sisters had goneout for a row was swung against one of theserocks. The day was gusty and the boat was upset.All three of the girls were drowned. Either thesisters remain about this perilous spot or the rockshave prescience; at least, those who live nearthem on the shore hold one view or the other, forthey declare that before every death on the riverthe sisters moan, the sound being heard above thelapping of the waves. It is different from any othersound in nature. Besides, it is an unquestioned factthat more accidents happen here than at any otherpoint on the river.Many are the upsets that have occurred and manyare the swimmers who have gone down, the darkforms of the sisters being the last shapes that theirwater-blurred eyes have seen. It is only before ahuman life is to be yielded that this low wailingcomes from the rocks, and when, on a night inMay, 1889, the sound floated shoreward, just asthe clock in Georgetown struck twelve, goodpeople who were awake sighed and uttered aprayer for the one whose doom was so near athand. Twelve hours later, at noon, a shell came
speeding down the Potomac, with a young athletejauntily pulling at the oars. As he neared the ThreeSisters his boat appeared to be caught in an eddy;it swerved suddenly, as if struck; then it upset andthe rower sank to his death.
A RIDE FOR A BRIDEWhen the story of bloodshed at Bunker Hillreached Bohemia Hall, in Cecil County, Maryland,Albert De Courcy left his brother Ernest to supportthe dignity of the house and make patrioticspeeches, while he went to the front, consciousthat Helen Carmichael, his affianced wife, waswatching, in pride and sadness, the departure ofhis company. Letters came and went, as theyalways do, until rumor came of a sore defeat to thecolonials at Long Island; then the letters ceased.It was a year later when a ragged soldier, who hadstopped at the hall for supper, told of Albert'sheroism in covering the retreat of Washington. Thegallant young officer had been shot, he said, as heattempted to swim the morasses of Gowanus. Butthis soldier was in error. Albert had beenvexatiously bogged on the edge of the creek. Whilefloundering in the mud a half dozen sturdy red-coats had lugged him out and he was packed off tothe prison-ships anchored in the Wallabout. Inthese dread hulks, amid darkness and miasma,living on scant, unwholesome food, compelled tosee his comrades die by dozens every day andtheir bodies flung ashore where the tide lappedaway the sand thrown over them, De Courcywished that death instead of capture had been hislot, for next to his love he prized his liberty.One day he was told off, with a handful of others,
for transfer to a stockade on the Delaware, andhow his heart beat when he learned that the newprison was within twenty miles of home! His flow ofspirits returned, and his new jailers liked him for hisfrankness and laughed at his honest expletivesagainst the king. He had the liberty of theenclosure, and was not long in finding where thewall was low, the ditch narrow, and the abatisdecayed—knowledge that came useful to himsooner than he expected, for one day a capturedhorse was led in that made straight for him with awhinny and rubbed his nose against his breast."Wohr,y !w" ahse.  cNrioet d,a b"eitt'tse r Cheucnilt! erM iyn  hMorasrey,l agnedn!"tlemen"Yes," answered one of the officers. "We've justtaken him from your brother. He's been stirringtrouble with his speeches and has got to bequieted. But we'll have him to-day, for he's to bemarried, and a scouting party is on the road to nabhim at the altar.""Married! My brother! What! Ernest, the lawyer, theorator? Ho, ho! Ah, but it's rather hard to break offa match in that style!""Hard for him, maybe; but they say the lady feelsno great love for him.He made it seem like a duty to her, after her loverdied.""How's that? Her own—what's her name?""Helen—Helen Carmichael, or something like that."