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Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete

Page: 100

Mrs. Rugg died within a twelvemonth, and Peter never reached home, but from all parts of New England came stories of a man and child driving rapidly along the highways, never stopping except to inquire the way to Boston. Half of the time the man would be headed in a direction opposite to the one he seemed to want to follow, and when set right would cry that he was being deceived, and was sometimes heard to mutter, "No home to-night." In Hartford, Providence, Newburyport, and among the New Hampshire hills the anxious face of the man became known, and he was referred to as "the stormbreeder," for so surely as he passed there would be rain, wind, lightning, thunder, and darkness within the hour.

Some years ago a man in a Connecticut town stopped this hurrying traveller, who said, in reply to a question, "I have lost the road to Boston. My name is Peter Rugg." Then Rugg's disappearance half a century before was cited by those who had long memories, and people began to look askant at Peter and gave him generous road room when they met him. The toll-taker on Charlestown bridge declared that he had been annoyed and alarmed by a prodigious tramping of hoofs and rattling of wheels that seemed to pass toward Boston before his very face, yet he could see nothing. He took courage one night to plant himself in the middle of the bridge with a three-legged stool, and when the sound approached he dimly saw a large black horse driven by a weary looking man with a child beside him. The stool was flung at the horse's head, but passed through the animal as through smoke and skipped across the floor of the bridge. Thus much the toll-collector said, but when asked if Rugg had appeared again he made no reply.





THE LOSS OF WEETAMOO

Winnepurkit, sagamore of the coast settlements between Nahant and Cape Ann, had married Weetamoo, daughter of


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