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Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete

Page: 134

His hair and beard were long and white, but his eye was dark and resolute, and his voice was strong. "Why sink your hearts?" he cried. "Fear ye that God will give you up to yonder heathen dogs? Follow me, and ye shall see that this day there is a champion in Israel."

Posting half the force at his command to sustain the fight, he led the others quickly by a detour to the rear of the Indians, on whom he fell with such energy that the savages, believing themselves overtaken by reinforcements newly come, fled in confusion. When the victors returned to the village the unknown champion signed to the company to fall to their knees while he offered thanks and prayer. Then he was silent for a little, and when they looked up he was gone.

They believed him to be an angel sent for their deliverance, nor, till he had gone to his account, did they know that their captain in that crisis was Colonel William Goffe, one of the regicide judges, who, with his associate Whalley, was hiding from the vengeance of the son of the king they had rebelled against. After leaving their cave in New Haven, being in peril from beasts and human hunters, they went up the Connecticut Valley to Hadley, where the clergyman of the place, Rev. John Russell, gave them shelter for fifteen years. Few were aware of their existence, and when Goffe, pale with seclusion from the light, appeared among the people near whom he had long been living, it is no wonder that they regarded him with awe.

Whalley died in the minister's house and was buried in a crypt outside of the cellar-wall, while Goffe kept much abroad, stopping in many places and under various disguises until his death, which occurred soon after that of his associate. He was buried in New Haven.





GOODY COLE

Goodwife Eunice Cole, of Hampton, Massachusetts, was so "vehemently suspected to be a witch" that in 1680 she was thrown into jail with a chain on her leg. She had a mumbling habit, which was bad, and a wild look, which was worse. The death of two calves had been charged to her sorceries, and she was believed to have raised the cyclone that sent a party of merrymakers to the sea-bottom off the Isles of Shoals, for insulting her that morning. Some said that she took the shapes of eagles, dogs, and cats, and that she had the aspect of an ape when she went through the mummeries that caused Goody Marston's child to die, yet while she was in Ipswich jail a likeness of her was stumping about the graveyard on the day when they buried the child. For such offences as that of making bread ferment and give forth evil odors, that housekeepers could only dispel by prayer, she was several times whipped and ducked by the constable.

At last she lay under sentence of death, for Anna Dalton declared that her child had been changed in its cradle and that she hated and feared the thing that had been left there. Her husband, Ezra, had pleaded with her in vain. "'Tis no child of mine," she cried. "'Tis an imp. Don't you see how old and shrewd it is? How wrinkled and ugly? It does not take my milk: it is sucking my blood and wearing me to skin and bone." Once, as she sat brooding by the fire, she turned to her husband and said, "Rake the coals out and put the child in them. Goody Cole will fly fast enough when she hears it screaming, and will come down chimney in the shape of an owl or a bat, and take the thing away. Then we shall have our little one back."


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