Skip to main content

Full text of "The silent watcher;"

See other formats
























".•^.r '■■ 
















...11 Ji 









' '"Tt s 

& a& 





A' *H4r'inS| 

\'m' 'J.,MJr^ . . ■■■•!* 





















York Harbor 

HIS house is located at York Harbor, Maine, at its very 
moutli, on an elevated point of land commanding an 
ocean and inland scenery unsurpassed on the Atlantic 
seaboard. The "Short Sands," a firm, hard beach, lies 
immediately in front of the house, so sheltered by pro- 
jecting points that the heavy sea swells never interfere with 
bathing or boating. The sea view is extensive; from the cupola 
an unlimited sea stretch can be observed from Kittery harbor on the 
south to Cape Porpoise on the northeast. Inland the scenery is de- 
lightful. A telephone and telegraph office located in the house. A Livery 
Stable in proximity. The bathing facilities are excellent. 

Lawn Tennis Grounds 
Barber Shop, Billiard and 

Dance Hall are connected 
with the house. 





"jfor tbovouijb work in all l5in&s of iplumbing /n>r. 
Ipaul cannot be crcelle^ an\nvberc in soutbeastcrn 
/iDainc." Cbas. Saw^ecr, journalist. 

Cottagers, hotel people and 
those contemplating building 
should insped the^t^^ Super I? 
Plumbing work^j^i^l^donQ by 

»W. E. Paulis 

of Portsmouth and York Beach, in 

the new hotel at York Long 

Beach, known as the 

Idiina Springs 







Antique <£^ Unique Goods 

69 & 71 Market Street 





\r^ V"^ y-* y— * y— * o y— * y— * y-^ y-* y-* y— * y-* V-^ o 



RENTS Anything 


— ■--''■ — New Goods Every '-^^^ — ■ 

The York County National 
Bank of York Villap-e Maine 

This bank was incorporated Feb. i, 1893. It was founded by James T. Davidson, 
who has been its president since its organization. Notwithstanding; the fact that 
during the past three years of prolonged business depression banks have not, gen- 
erally speaking, made any money, this bank has at each annual meeting shown sat- 
isfactory earnings and increased surplus and deposits. Its business has been steadily 
gaining since the day of its organization. The bank has one of the most modern 
and best vaults in the State, and rents safety deposit boxes to its patrons. 

John S. Tilton 



Congress St. 

T'runk Repairing a Specialty 


N. H. 



The Portsmouth 


R e/icve 

Headache, Faintness 

Car or Sea Sickness 



of Nczu Hampshire 







Giving a Glimpse into its Past History as the City of 


THE Town at the Present Time 







POHI fiill! 

^^ 1bOU9C 

B com-^'^/*^'' ifurniebino 

Vlcxc%mcot Q^^^^ 

Cor. Deer and Vaughan Streets 

Opp. B. & M. R.R. Depot 

Portsmouth, N.H., July 26, 1897 


We greatly appreciate the gen- 
erous patronage of the citizens of 
York and vicinity, and hope to be 
able, by strict attention to business 
and square dealings, to greatly in- 
crease our business in the 
future . 

// k"^^ f^ 

n >, 

Your obedtant servant, 
« • > 





Historical Sketch 
The Winds' Voices . 
The Silent Watcher 
The Spirit of the Storm 
The Sands of Gorgeana 
The Runaway Brook 
What the River Told to 
School Days 
York River 
Calling the Cows 













3 bcbicafe i^xB 6006. 











Copyright, 1897, by H. H. Fernald. 


Old Ironsides . 

Old Gov. Wentworth Mansion 

Old Pepperell Mansion 

Short Sands 

Looking up York River towards 

Nubble Lighthouse . 

Old Barren Mansion 

Old Jail at York Village . 

Junkins' Garrison House . 

A Glimpse of the INIill Pond 

Old Jackson House, Portsmouth, N. H 

Harmon House 

Frontispiece. ' 







Small Musical 




and Fine V\Q.i:\}^^ 


Brushes, Etc. •\f/» Sou\ enir Goods 

Photographic Supplies, Eastman KODAK Cameras 

Sheet Music and Music Books. Pianos and Organs tuned, re- 
All work guaranteed. paired and rented, 


6 Pleasant Street 

Portsmouth, N. H. 



SIR FERDINAND DE GORGES (a favorite of Charles 
I) in company with John Mason received a grant of 
territory in America, lying between the Merrimac and St. 
Lawrence Rivers, of which he took for his share that part 
lying north of the Piscataqua River, and embracing what is 
now the State of Maine. He selected from this portion that 
part lying north of the York River (then called Organug) 
for the site of a city which he named Gorgeana, in honor of 
himself. This part comprised a territory of twenty-one square 
miles, having a seaboard of three miles, and extending in an 
oblong shape back into the country seven miles, with the river 
for its southern boundary. 

At that time it was a small settlement designated on the 
map as Boston, and known as Agamenticus, probably receiving 
its name from the lonely mountain four miles distant from the 
sea. It was first settled in 1623, but not until 1639 was it 
incorporated into a city. 

An elaborate map was drawn, with streets laid off in squares ; 
and a city government chosen, corresponding with the govern- 
ment of cities in the mother country ; and Gorges being an 
ardent churchman, the Episcopal faith was promulgated, and 
its church located in the supposed center of the future city. 
All its officers were elected, and preparations made to build 


8 The Silent Watclier. 

a city that would rival those of Massachusetts, or, rather, 
rival those large towns already giving promise of a golden 
future. But, after frequent mishaps, with which that ambitious 
governor was continually meeting, this government went to 
pieces in this beautiful territory of " New Somersetshire," and 
in 1652 the claim was disposed of by his heirs to the Massa- 
chusetts Bay Company, and the name changed to York, in 
honor of the young Prince, a name to which it has since ad- 
hered. It has always held a prominent place, and has a 
phoenix-like habit of rising from its own ashes with renewed 
life each time. 

Mt. Agamenticus is a beautiful little triple mountain of 620 
feet, being composed of three hills, and is the last sigh of an 
expiring upheaval of Nature. It is a landmark for sailors, 
and was first discovered by Gosnold, in 1602, who is supposed 
to have landed at the Nubble, and to have named it Savage 

Again, in 1605, the Isle of Shoals was seen by the French 
navigator, Pierre de Guast, Sieur de Monte, and as these 
islands are only twelve miles distant probably this mountain 
also crossed his vision. Later on, these islands were really 
discovered and named by the famous Capt. John Smith, who 
christened them Smith's Isles. They were never distinguished 
by that title, although a marble shaft to his memory has been 
placed on Star Island. 

He came with two vessels, the Speedwell and the Discoverer, 
commanded by Capt. Thomas Hunt, and after dropping anchor 
in the Piscataqua, took a small boat, a ship's yawl, and, ac- 
companied by eight men, proceeded to skirt the coast from 
the Penobscot Bay to Cape Cod. The first map of this part 
of the country was made by him, which, being submitted to 
Prince Charles, he christened the territory "New England." 
Portsm'outh was designated as Hull, and Kittery and York as 

The Silent Watcher. 9 

Boston. Capt. John Smith was an intimate friend of Sir 
Ferdinand De Gorges. 

This part of the country was then inhabited by a tribe of 
Indians called the " Medocs," and a counterpart tribe still 
exists in California, on the Pacific. On the mountain resided 
a lone priest, called St. Aspinquid, who died in 1686, much 
lamented by all the neighboring tribes, and a great concourse 
of Indians were present at his burial. Several large flat stones 
on the top of the mountain are said to be altar stones on 
which their sacrifices were made. 

The history of this wonderful saint, who had for so many 
years dwelt on the lonely mountain, is surrounded by a mys- 
terious haze, like to the haze that veils the mount on which he 
dwelt. In a book published in the early part of this century, 
I find it stated that " an Indian named St. Aspinquid died 
May I, 1686, on Mount Agamenticus, Maine, where he had 
lived in solitude for many years." It is also stated that " he 
was born in 1588, and was over forty years old when converted 
to Christianity, and that from that time spent his life preaching 
the gospel to the Indians. That his funeral was attended by 
many sachems of warrior tribes, and celebrated by a grand 
hunt of the warriors in which were slain 99 bears, 36 moose, 
82 wildcats, 38 porcupine, and a long list of other animals of 
various names." 

The writer, who copies from " Farmer and Moore's His- 
torical Collections," suggests that this venerable saint was no 
other than the renowned Passaconaway, or his son, Wonolanset, 
who had made Mount Agamenticus his retreat during or sub- 
sequent to King Philip's War, and that the former had ob- 
tained his new name from his friends, the English. He says : 
" It would certainly appear remarkable that such particulars 
should be related of the death of a man never before heard of, 
and that his age and reputation, his exertions to keep peace 

lo The Silent IVatcIie?'. 

with the EngHsh, also the date of his alleged conversion 
(which was the same as his first acquaintance with the whites 
in 1629), agree strikingly with that of Passaconaway." The 
writer also relates the story of Weetamo, Passaconaway's 
daughter, since celebrated in verse in 1848 by the beloved 
poet Whittier, He also quotes from an ancient tract called 
'' The Light xA.ppearing," in which Passaconaway gives some 
sound advice to the Apostle Eliot, concerning the long inter- 
missions between his preachings, in which he asserts that that 
apostle should linger long enough among them to approve 
what he asserted, and wait long enough for those prayers he 
had offered to be answered. 

The first Congregational Church was established in 1672. 
Its first pastor, Rev. Shuball Dummer, a graduate of Harvard, 
married Annie Rishworth, daughter of Edward Rishworth, a 
member of the former city government. He was an able man 
and continued many years in the ministry. He was killed in 
the Indian raid in 1692, when mounting his horse at his own 
door to go on his pastoral duties. In this terrible massacre the 
town" was nearly wiped out, nearly half its inhabitants being 
killed or carried into captivity. Only a few houses were left 
standing, these being the garrisoned houses. For years after, 
the male attendants at church always took their guns with 
them, leaving them inside the door, that they might not be 
again taken by surprise. 

In 1732, a second church was organized in the Scotland 
district, and Rev. Joseph Moody, son of "Father Moody" 
(who had succeeded Parson Dummer), installed as pastor. 
The first Methodist Church was erected in 1833, but services 
had been held in various places for three or four years pre- 
vious. The second Methodist Church was built in Scotland 
the same year. The Freewill Baptists had a church built 
about 1 810, and until within a few years have worshiped 

Tlic Silent Watclier. 


there. Five years ago, a new and elegant church was erected 
at York Corner. 

In 1822, a Methodist church was erected in Cape Neddick, 
but the following year they joined with the Baptist society, and 
both societies worship together under the same roof. No ma- 
terial change is visible in the exterior of the other churches, 
but it would be hard for an early worshiper to recognize the 
interior of the several buildings. The early Episcopal Church 
vanished with the brilliant dreams of the first *' Lord Pro- 
prietor " but to meet the wants of the summer visitor, the 
beautiful St. George's Church has arisen near the site of the 
residence of the first Congregational pastor. Rev. Shuball 
Dummer. A Union Church has been erected at York Beach 
to meet the wants of the new settlement. 

Schools were organized at an early date, but in 1 7 11 they 
were made free to all at the expense of the town. There are 
fifteen districts, and a high school for advanced pupils. 

The gaol was built in 1653, and is still standing. Time has 
dealt kindly with this venerable building, which still stands, a 
quaint old structure linking the present with the past. Nearly 
opposite, on the ''common," stands the courthouse, built, in 
181 1, on the site of the old one, but since remodeled in 1873, 
and an addition made in 1894. 

In 1676 when, for the sum of twelve hundred and fifty 
pounds, the heirs of Sir Ferdinand de Gorges sold the whole 
province of Maine to Massachusetts, the little town fell into a 
peaceful slumber beside the faithful sea. The War of the 
Revolution roused it from its apathy, and many soldiers went 
forth in the cause of the patriots. Shipping industries throve, 
and vessels were built and launched on the little river to trade 
and bear occasional passengers to the various ports on the 
coast. After a while this, too, declined, and again the town 
fell into the dreamy quiet of a country town. 


Tlie Silent Watcher 

In 1857 the town was visited by several wealthy gentlemen, 
with enough of leisure to appreciate the natural beauties of 
the place, and with the advent of the '' summer boarder," the 
again discovered country was awakened. Houses on the river 
and near the sea were in demand as summer boarding-places, 
and with this new demand came the hotel and summer cottage. 

In 1865 the son of Prof. Lord of Dartmouth College built 
and occupied a beautiful cottage at the '' Long Sands," on 
the Bartlett House site, which has since been burned. In 
1868 the Bowden House was built at Cape Neck by Mr. 
Mofifitt Bowden. Then the " Marshall House," and " Sea 
Cottage," by Mr. Nathaniel Cx. Marshall and Mr. Charles 
Grant, respectively, in the winter of 187 1, and after that 
hotels and cottages galore. 

A brickyard was opened in 186S, by Mr. Norton, and 
located near the spot where the deputed governor of Sir Fer- 
dinand lived in state. Mr. Norton resides in a beautiful 
modern house near the York Harbor railroad station. In 
1887, a railroad was built from Portsmouth to York Beach. 
The courthouse was restored, old churches remodeled and 
new ones built. In 1896, water from Chase's Pond was 
brought into the town and a water-tower erected at the 
Harbor. Hon. E. S. Marshall has erected an electric light 
plant near by, and the " New City " promises a more golden 
future than the past. 

The Silent Watcher 


FROM his icy home, 'neath the polar star, 
Comes the wind with the bhghting breath. 
And nobody loves him, because 'tis said 

He follows the angel Death. 
But listen ! if you would like to hear 

What the north wind has to say. 
''An artist am I of the grandest type 

If I only can have my way. 
I'll paint the sky with Aurora gleams 

And bid the stars shine with a whiter glow, 
And cover the ' poor old tired Earth ' 

With a coat of feathery snow. 
I'll color the leaves with brilliant hues, 

And deck the branches with jewels rare, 
And picture upon each window-pane, 

Castle and mountain, and forest fair. 
The snowflakes love me and gaily dance 

When I whistle a merry tune, 
And many's the prank I love to play 

'Neath the light of the silvery moon." 

Out of the sunrise and over the wave 

The east wind comes to me. 
Bringing me tales of icebergs grand, 

Palaces on the sea. 
Of bending mast and billowing sail. 

Of sea-birds' flight and of curling wave ; 
How it mingles its breath with the northern blast 

And how madly they would rave. 

14 The Silent Watcher. 

Of the warm stream seeking the northern sea, 

Bearing health on its briny breast, 
Of the playful porpoise, and spouting whale, 

And the caves where the seaweeds rest. 
The fisher boat tossing upon the wave. 

The yacht with its dipping sail, 
Of hide-and-seek games, with tangled curls 

Torn loose by whirring gale. 
But the sea was loved by one that I loved. 

And so it is loved by me, 
And the east wind shall always be my love 

For its messages from the sea. 

P>om the sunny land of the orange grove, 

The palm, and the tropic pine. 
Comes the sweet south wind, its fragrant breath 

Heavy with odor of jessamine, 
Bringing us tales of the cotton fields, 

And the rustle of waving cane, 
Of the dusky toilers, whose plaintive lays 

Awaken the chords of Joy and Pain. 
It bears aloft the dandelion bloom 

And follows the bumblebee 
On his honeyed search in the thistle flower. 

Or idly wanders from tree to tree, 
Tilting the leaves, and whispering low 

That summer is surely come. 
Then goes to sleep in the edge of the wood 

To dream of its sunny home. 
But when the branches are shorn of their leaves, 

And the chill of the autumn is come, 
It sighs "farewell" to the lonely trees. 

And hies to his southern home. 

Old Gov, Wentwortii's Mansion, Newcastle, N. II. 

Old Pei'perell Mansion, Kittery Park, Me. 

Photos, by Davis Bros., Portsmouth, N. H. 

1 6 TJie Silent ] J ditcher. 

Over the mountain and over the plain 

Laughing in joyous glee, 
Comes the strong west wind with its thrilling touch, 

Bringing health and vigor to thee. 
He weaves together the shadow and shine 

In waving grass and grain. 
And sprinkles the thirsty and tired fields 

With clouds of the crystal rain. 
He bears aloft the thunder cloud, 

With its bosom of flashing light. 
Then hides away in the tasseled corn, 

And rustles the leaves all night. 
He whitens the silver poplar's leaf. 

And ripples the lake's fair breast. 
He waves the flag and rustles the reeds 

O'er the waterfowl's lowly nest. 
Oh, the wild west wind is a joyous wind. 

And its spirit is glad and free, 
For a promise it brings on its healing wings 

Of health and blessings to thee. 

The Silent Watcher. 



/^VER the vanished city, over the beautiful town, and over 
^-^ the wide blue ocean that stretches away beyond to where 
the heavens come down and seem to meet, if not to mingle 
with its changing tide, the fair blue mountain ever keeps its 
silent watch. Away up to its rocky summit the loving trees 
reach out their waving arms to welcome sun, and wind, and 
rain, to grace the dwelling of its ancient priest. Ever the 
purple haze hovers around the altar stones where once the 
burning incense of five thousand beasts was offered to the 
memory of loved St. Aspinquid. And the purple mystery of 
the hills steals in soft streams adown its wooded sides and 
mingles in the glowing atmosphere that hovers around the an- 
cient town, filling its air with that strange wonder-light that 
ever dwelt in fair Kilmeny's bonny eyes after her visit to the 
fairy glen. 

O lovely Agamenticus ! thy name alone awakens visions of 
the light that shines beyond the one dark river whose waters 
lave the shore of the Celestial City. And ever through the 
gloaming of the changing years thy altars glow with Nature's 
burning embers ; but no smoking incense rises from the glow- 
ing pile, for no sacrifice is offered there, but from the swaying 
censers of the trees late zephyrs bear their perfume far above, 
the while the note of praise is poured upon the listening air 
from Nature's choir of bird and wind, and the low intoning 
breath of the unchanging sea. 

Thou hast been the dwelling-place of one " whose memory 
lives and will ever live among the children of the forest," 
and among the dw^ellers at thy feet his name will ever be 
revered. From out the dawn Thou, too, has seen strange 

1 8 The Silent Watcher. 

white-winged sails come forth, bearing beneath their snowy 
shrouds hearts hght with hope and promise. 

At thy feet the first fair city in this promised land blossomed 
and fell as falls thy changing leaves. Hast watched that city 
rise ''in all its glory" from the primeval forest; heard the 
clash of arms, the din of labor and busy stir of traffic ; watched 
the gay voyager touch its strand joyous with hope, and watched 
again the parting sail drop down the dim horizon's hne, never 
again to reappear, bearing those voyagers back. Yet still 
above its vanished streets a halo of romance lingers, like faint 
odors of that purple flower dear to our English ancestresses, 
within those oaken treasuries stored with the snowy treasures 
of the loom. 

Thy skies are bright with "trailing clouds of glory" that 
touch hill and vale, river and rivulet, and burn in ancient 
windows like the living fire that sleeps in dusky, cobwebbed 
bottles of long-stored wine, brought forth to gleam and sparkle 
and pour its wealth of mellow sunshine and memory of vintage 
time to grace a princely feast. The pomp of power and old- 
world splendor, self-banished from its native soil, the sturdy 
self-respecting of the middle class, and the wild profligacy of 
the well-known " black sheep " found in every flock, comes to 
us in our legacies of legend and of story. 

Types of all these we see, gazing at us in our walks, with the 
same eyes that gaze at us from the walls of those sacred altars 
of family vanity, the parlors of our grandmothers. 

Out of the love of those old days come stories coupled with 
the names of those who cast their lot in the fair city, named 
for its courtly founder. Thine ancient bridge still echoes to 
the tread of steed and roll of wheel and gives promise of en- 
during as long as the fame of its early architect. Still can be 
seen above the bridge that spans the stream about a mile be- 
yond, the grass-grown cellar, where once the lordly dwelling 

The Silent Watcher. lo 

of the first proprietor gazed down into the lovely bay-like 

Still can we listen to the ancient bell that calls our wander- 
ing thoughts back to our Heavenly Father, as once it called the 
worthy fathers of the days by-gone ; still can we read the 
quaint, stilted eulogies carved in the slate-blue slab above 
the sunken graves of men who, strong in right and versed 
well in law, restrained disorder and restored, out of the wild 
confusion consequent to the city's fall, a shapely county form. 

And later yet comes the story of the yearly harvest with its 
husking-bees, its apple-parings, quiltings and general muster, 
and above all the wild tales of the adventurous Captain Kidd 
and his hidden treasure, of the many learned discussions held 
beside some hearth-fires as to its whereabouts, coupled with 
stories of the sea, that wildly and more weirdly grew as lower 
flickered the yellow candle in its iron stick, and the blazing 
log crumbled and broke into a multitude of embers and turned 
to ashes on the cooling hearth. What wonder that the sage 
participants strengthened their overwrought nerves with an 
extra mug of cider, hot from its blue-banded, yellow pitcher, 
stationed in front of the glowing fire, for their long, lonely 
walk, alive only with those wild, fancied forms with which the 
air was peopled. 

Across the river, on its southern side, the ocean sweeps in 
a wide crescent form beyond the clustering islands of the 
middle stream to meet the river at a higher point. A little 
stream pours its silvery flood into the basin just where the 
bend is widest. The banks are high, grassy and sloping on 
the northern side, but on the south a steep, gray cliff of mossy 
rock hangs over the tiny stream. 

The road that winds with the river just here turns sharply to 
the right and clambers up the hill and on beyond in branches, 
but ever towards the sea. Here and there are scattered farm- 


The Silent Watcher. 

houses, half hidden by the trees, where many of these stories 
had their birth. 

Two willows, planted by a grand-aunt when she was a little 
child, bend above a little spring, and a long time ago a nar- 
row footpath led backward to an old, low-storied house where 
dwelt two sisters in " the long time since," one, Mrs. Weeks, 
the elder, a widow and a lady with the stately manners of the 
old school, the other, Hannah Payne, her unmarried sister, 
remarkable for her peculiar ways and dress, and love for out- 
door labor. She it was that brought the water from the tiny 
spring, and beat the coffee in the old, brown mortar, with its 
browner pestle (and made the most delicious, fragrant coffee, 
too, 'tis said). She kindled the fire in the old-fashioned, wide 
fireplace with its iron dogs and swinging crane. She milked 
the cow and fed the hens, and made up the basket of eggs to 
be sent by some kind neighbor to the distant store and ex- 
changed for snuff, sugar and coffee. 

A quaint, old body, she, with curly gray hair, half-short, and 
quizzy, gray eyes shaded by bushy brows, her short, stout fig- 
ure dressed in a short skirt of brown linsey woolsey, usually 
surmounted by an old cast-off coat of her father's ; and her 
curly locks m winter concealed under an immense brown 
pumpkin hood. 

Over the little stream about halfway up the slope she used 
to bend with tucked-up skirts to wash the wool that soon lay 
in snowy drifts beside her on the greensward. Jane, the sister, 
spun the wool and flax and knit the stockings and mittens the 
while she entertained her many callers ; while Hannah, like 
the busy Martha, was always in and about the kitchen, always 
getting ready. Jane meanwhile discussed the topics of the 
day or some theological question raised by the Sunday ser- 

Their tastes were quite dissimilar, even in the matter of 

TJie Silent W^atcher. 21 

snuff, Jane preferring one kind, Hannah another, while Jane 
always kept a vanilla bean in her snuff-box and Hannah had 
hers flavored with rose. 

I remember one story, told me by my father, how one 
rainv night, quite late, after the sisters had retired, they were 
awakened by a voice beneath the window of the room in 
which they slept. They listened, when in slow and sermon- 
sounding tones a voice from out of the darkness called, 
''Surely Mis' Weeks, surely Mis' Weeks, poor old Nathan's 
dead, pooi- old Nathan's dead, died about high-water," leav- 
ing his voice in the air at the end of each assertion, and again 
repeating the same melancholy tale after an interval of silence. 
But, as Nathan was repeating his own death notice, to excite 
sympathy, his exclamations were disappointing, as Mis' Weeks 
knew his voice and attributed his remarks to an extra glass 
taken to keep him company on his lonely journey. 

Hannah was very superstitious, but also had a great rever- 
ence for the Holy Word. She had a great bump of credulity, 
and firm faith in the hidden treasure of Captain Kidd. She 
and a worthy neighbor used to have long, learned talks as to 
the location, which was said to be in a certain field about a 
half-mile distant. A forked stick of wych hazel, said to have 
divining power, and certain exorcisms must be used to exclude 
the " prince of the power of darkness," from the treasure- 

Hannah and her neighbor, at the instigation of a certain 
fun-loving nephew, decided to adventure an evening's search, 
and at nine o'clock, one dark night in November, the two co- 
workers set forth upon their errand. Aunt Hannah's form 
was quite enveloped in a long, brown, homespun cloak which 
hid the large family Bible and an ancient sword, sheathed in 
its time-worn scabbard, within its ample folds. Her neighbor 
trudged along beside her carrying the implements for digging, 
a lantern and the divining rod. 


The Silent Watcher. 

Arriving at the field, Aunt Hannah, after locating with the 
rod the supposed treasure, drew a large circle around the 
spot, exorcised the evil spirit with some potent scriptural text, 
and sat down upon a stone within the magic circle to read, by 
the light of the lantern, some holy words, while her neighbor 
proceeded to spade up the unwilling earth. Quite a deep 
hole had been dug with no results, when, issuing from the 
darkness, came a large, dark form with high top-boots and 
brigandish hat and cloak, and a large stone was hurled within 
the magic bound, accompanied by some dark imprecations on 
the trespassers. With a wild shriek Aunt Hannah cast the 
sword away and clasping her Bible firmly to her breast fled 
homeward as fast as her two short legs could carry her, fol- 
lowed by her ancient crony with the lantern and his spade. 

When daylight returned, her courage came back sufficiently 
to enable her to get the sword and divining rod, but never 
again did they intrude on the domain of the famous Captain 
whose spirit she was sure they had provoked the preceding 
night. The fun-loving nephew could have given her some 
light on the dark subject, but he never did, and the famous 
treasure still remains undiscovered. 

Poor Aunt Hannah ! she and Jane have long since been 
numbered with the dead. The old house is gone, and all 
that remains to mark the site is a hollow filled with straggling 
weeds, and a partially obliterated path to the tiny willow- 
shaded spring. 

Farther along, on the side of a hill, far back from the 
main road, stands an old house with its many-paned front 
windows, facing the south. In front is an old-fashioned 
flower garden, filled in summer with the usual complement of 
roses, white and red, cockscomb, princess feather, poppies 
and marigolds, rue and saffron, and a high row of hollyhocks 
ranged along the fence. 

a ■ 
o tr 






24 The Silent JluiUher. 

A narrow arbor over the green-paneled front door, with two 
small panes in the top, is completely covered with a grape- 
vine, as is the worn trellis that extends along the house. In 
summer the light, tinged to a lovely opal green, falls on the 
old worn flag doorstone ; in autumn the rich purple clusters 
hang among the faded leaves, swollen with the rich wine of 
dew sweetened to nectar with the golden sunlight. 

Within its doors I remember a sweet old face with cluster- 
ing snowy curls at each side and crowned by a snowy muslin 
cap, seated in an old-fashioned cushioned rocker, beside an 
old-fashioned, high post, canopied bed. Time had taken her 
back into her childhood days and only those were remembered. 
She used always to insist that I was another little girl, that I 
fancy had long since grown to womanhood, and I used to 
wonder greatly why I never could convince her that I was not 
the little " Lillie " that she supposed I was. But she was 
happy as the child she fondly dreamed of and I loved to 
listen to the childish prattling tongue. 

In the darkened parlor where I was sometimes shown was 
a rug that used to be the subject of much consideration on 
my part. It was composed of a drawn center of white around 
which were sewn rows and rows of braided rags with a nice 
attempt at shading. But in the white center was a black dog 
of the fox terrier breed, I imagine, from his shape, but 
whether from a misconception on the part of the artist or not 
I was never able to determine, because I never dared to ask ; 
the nose was abbreviated instead of the tail, which curled 
gracefully over his back. 

There is a pretty story of a baby girl, born in this dear old 
house, over which a dark-eyed boy bent, laughingly saying 
to the proud parent, " Save her for me and I'll marry her 
when she grows up." Whether they saved her for him or not 
I do not know, but he married her when she was grown, 

The Silent IVatcher. 


and, as they say in the fairy tales, " they lived happy ever 

Those were the days when, after the corn was gathered in 
on the barn floor, everyone came from far and near to the 
husking bee. Lanterns were hung on the rough posts and 
doors, and in the fragrance of the hay in the big mows above 
them the buskers stripped the yellow husks from off each 
golden ear. Part of the ears were left with a few husks drawn 
smoothly back which the older men braided together in a 
shining trace to be festooned from the beams of the attic or 
cornhouse chambers. 

Merry stories were told, and red ears eagerly sought and 
laughing struggles over the time-honored forfeit. My father 
told me a story he heard a matron tell, of how they husked 
on the Cape and the way she got her husband. She said they 
used to pile the corn up on the beach, above the tide, and 
the girls sat on one side and the beaux on the other and 
husked right through. When they met, the beaux were en- 
titled to a kiss, and the girl was his partner for the coming 
dance. It happened that her husband, a stranger in the 
town, was invited, and she happened to be his opposite. 
When they husked through, he just took her in his arms and 
claimed his kiss, and he told her afterwards he loved her the 
first minute he saw her. 

After the corn was all husked, all repaired to the big 
kitchen, with its wide fireplace piled with blazing logs, and 
sat down to a supper of baked beans and brown bread, apple 
pie and cheese, doughnuts and gingerbread, with plenty of 
hot coffee and cider. After the feast, " Old Charley White " 
took his seat on a stool by the fire, took up his violin and 
jjlayed, as few can play, those quaint old tunes, such as 
Money Musk, The White Cockade, and Bonaparte's March 
over the Alps, while the dancers formed in sets and sped up 

2 6 The Silent Watche?-. 

and down the room to the gay measures of the Virginia Reel 
and Patinella. Sometimes the dancing flagged, then Charley 
would commence to keep time with his feet the while he 
played a faster strain, his body swaying with the waving bow, 
calling out vigorously in the middle of the measures, " Why 
the devil don't you dance? " 

Had he had a musical education perhaps he might have 
become a famous musician, for he could make his instrument 
wail out the plaintive notes of " Old Folks at Home " or 
'* Home Sweet Home " so sweedy and so sadly that the hearts 
around him would thrill and throb with a vague sweet longing 
and regret. But he was only Charley White, and his fame 
extended only to a few towns, and like the flower of the 
famous "Elegy" was ''born to blush unseen." Many, many 
years ago he died, but his memory still lives in the hearts of 
his hearers and his fame will perhaps go down to posterity in 
story as it has come to me. 

The dance was generally prolonged into the small hours, 
and after that the beaux would escort the maidens to their 
several homes, sometimes two or three miles away, and my 
father said he often saw the sun rise on his homeward walk. 
One morning in particular, he being then quite a young boy 
and filled with all the curiosity belonging to one, he saw two 
hatless brethren standing on the beach opposite the point 
where the Marshall House now stands, one clinging to the 
other in a close embrace and vainly trying to dissuade him 
from undertaking to wade across to the home he saw on the 
distant shore. He went to the rescue and succeeded in 
changing their mind. The two had wandered a couple of miles 
through fields and swamps, lost their way and their hats, 
finally arriving at the shore when, seeing their home in the 
distance, one had decided to take the shortest route. They 
took the long way round and arrived later in the day. The 
cider had gone to their heads instead of their stomach. 

The Silent Watcher. 27 

In those days the little yellow schoolhouse was often filled 
with the large families of the many farmers at the occasional 
week-night meeting. One night the poorly paid pastor of one 
of the three churches took for his text, '' Children, have ye 
any meat?" From the dearth of argument and the frequent 
repetition of the text, the young men of the congregation 
came to the conclusion that his large family was not well 
supplied with that article. Accordingly at the close of the 
service they hastened to the grocery store and purchased a 
large round of pork. After the minister's family had retired, 
they hung it securely to the doorknob so that the next morn- 
ing when he opened the door in swung the briny gift. 
Whether he thought his sermon had appealed to the wrong 
sentiment they never knew, but the next Sabbath morning he 
made a grateful acknowledgment of the gift to the Lord in 
his opening prayer. 

On the same side of the river and not far from its wooded 
banks stands a large yellow farmhouse with a small ell con- 
taining the summer kitchen. Tall graceful elms shade the 
wicket gate, and social, homely apple trees are scattered over 
the grassy field that stretches downward to the shore. Around 
the high curbed well the tall grass clusters, save where the 
footworn path has traced a dull brown line. The swinging 
pole above, with its iron hook, hangs in mid air, expectant as 
it has hung all through the bygone years. In the western 
windows of the farmhouse the setting sun crimsons and fades. 
Many and many a time have I in childish days pondered over 
those crimson lights, wondering who lit those glowing lamps 
only so soon to fade. Many a time have I, when privileged 
to go with the mistress of the house into the dusky chamber, 
peered behind the ancient looms, spinning and flax wheels and 
other homely treasures to find the hidden lamps, gazing through 
the blurred and wavy cobwebbed panes seeking the explana- 
tion of the wondrous light. 

2 8 The Silent ]\\itc]ie?\ 

Downstairs the regular kitchen, approached through a long, 
dark passageway, pine-walled to the ceiling, stained to a 
lovely golden-brown tint by the hand of time only. On one 
side was an immense fireplace, with an uneven red brick 
hearth ; opposite were windows so high up that the top rail of 
the chairs reached only to the narrow sill. High up on one 
side hung an old-fashioned musket of mammoth proportions, 
said by its owner to be " loaded and ready for instant use." 
He was a kind, credulous old man, who never went to his barn 
without first informing his aged mother or sister of his inten- 
tion, after first going halfway on his errand. This same fault 
possessed him in everything, and being more anxious than his 
oxen, he would go a long way ahead, urging them to " come 
up " with his waving goad, when, turning around, he would 
suddenly discern them a long way behind, leisurely taking 
their time. He would then retrace his steps, and do the same 
thing over again. He was very choice of his rights, very much 
afraid of being overreached, which he sometimes did himself. 

The graceless nephew of Aunt Hannah, home for a short 
time from the sea, returned from a gunning expedition with a 
wounded duck, his only game. After carefully smoothing the 
ruffled plumage he wired the neck, fastened a long string to 
one leg, with a leaden sinker, and put it carefully by, answer- 
ing no questions of the inquiring family. 

The next morning, repairing to Polly Fernald's pond, he 
flung the sinker out in the middle of the pond, and floated 
the bird out to the center. He then went to this credulous 
farmer and asked him to loan him his gun. On inquiring what 
he wanted it for, and being told that he (the nephew) had just 
seen a duck down in Polly's Pond, he informed the nephew 
that he guessed if there were any ducks down there he would 
shoot them himself. He then got down the aforesaid gun, 
and hastened to the pond, followed by the nephew at a respect- 
ful distance. 

The Silent Watcher. 29 

Creeping carefully along the shore, he sighted the bird 
peacefully bobbing up and down on the rippling water, aimed 
and fired. When the smoke cleared away there sat the duck 
peacefully bobbing as before. Taking aim this time still 
more carefully he fired again. When again the smoke cleared 
there sat the headless bird in the same position on the rippling 
tide. After waiting some time, and the bird not coming 
ashore, our obtuse farmer rolled up his trousers and waded in, 
only to find the bird anchored. You may guess how he raved, 
and when next he saw the graceless nephew he demanded of 
him indignantly " what he wanted him to go off and shoot an 
old dead duck for? " " I never," said he ; "I only asked you 
to lend me your gun." 

About a mile from the harbor stands the old " Sewall's 
Bridge," built in 1743 by Major Samuel Sewall, a prominent 
architect of that time. It is a wooden pier-bridge, the first 
in America, but the architect afterwards built one between 
Charlestown and Boston. Very picturesque is the old bridge, 
with its gray, wooden railing and old-fashioned draw, raised by 
chains attached to it and carried up in covered wooden 
towers, then down the other side and again attached to a cov- 
ered wooden windlass. Around the piers the tide gurgles and 
eddies, twining them with grass, clustering seaweed, a hardy 
waving kelp, and then in the hurried rush of its outward flow 
tearing them wildly away to bear them back to the surging 

In the beautiful river the old bridge lives again in wonder- 
ful shadow. The waters gleam in silver light beneath the 
morning sky, or glow in gold and crimson in the light of the 
setting sun. On its southern bank are the homes of the de- 
scendants of the architect, and many a merry time have I had 
in the chambers of the old " Pell House," with the children, 
decorating ourselves with old silver shoe and knee-buckles 

30 The Silent J Fate her. 

and old-time garments that once belonged to the founder of 
the family. 

The grandfather of the present family clung tenaciously to 
the dress of his youth, wearing always the low buckled shoes 
buckled knee-breeches, wide-skirted coat, and wide white 
stock above his ruffled shirt. His snowy hair was always tied 
with black ribbon in the coquettish queue of cavalier times. 
He frowned on modern styles, and thought the windows of his 
son's new house too near the floor, as he said " anyone too 
lazy to get up and look out the window when they wanted to 
see anything had ought not to be encouraged." 

Across the bridge, at the head of the wharf and just beyond 
a picturesque cliff, vvhose craggy sides descend abruptly to the 
river's edge, once stood the large, old-fashioned two-storied 
^'Tucker House," with shallow, sloping roof. Two large elms 
shaded the cobblestone walk, and door with quaint, fan- 
lighted window above, but the side door with its iron knocker 
was most often used. Very homelike and sunny it seemed 
with the wide worn footpath to the steep flight of stone steps 
shaded only by clumps of bushy lilacs. 

Inside, the large rooms and many staircases rambled in a 
desultory fashion, with here and there a step up or down into 
the different apartments without seeming purpose. The wide, 
many-paned windows with paneled wooden shutters let in 
broad floods of sunshine on the painted floors, and walls hung 
with paper in which gorgeous landscapes and gay garlands vied 
with Nature in their brilliant coloring. 

The house was taken down many years ago, but before that 
it was several years without a tenant. I remember a pleasant, 
kindly matron who once lived there, and some strange callers 
that she had one wet, si)ring day. They were two old ladies who 
gained a livelihood by picking berries and herbs and selling 
them to the different families, taking their pay in flour, sugar, 

o 13- 

32 The Silent Watcher. 

tea or clothing. Polly, the elder, had a habit of sniffing, and 
never made a call without making a demand on her hostess' 
wardrobe or larder. 

This day was sunny but very wet, and Polly needed rubbers. 
" Have you got an old pair of rubbers you could give me? " 
sniffed Polly. " I don't know that I have a pair that would 
suit you," said the lady of the house, "but I'll look and see." 
She looked, and finally brought two rubbers, whole but not 
mates, and offered them to Polly. Polly took them, sniffing 
disdainfully, then threw them on the floor, declaring that '' If 
she couldn't give her anything better than them, she might 
keep them herself." Her hostess explained good-naturedly 
that she had no others except her own pair, but thought she 
(Polly) might be able to get a pair to fit her at the store oppo- 
site, which she accordingly did, scolding all the way over at 
the insult she had received. I fancy her hostess paid for 
Polly's rubbers, though. Poor old ladies ! in their struggles 
to be independent they fancied that they were. 

Just above here, in *' Mclntire's Field," the companies used 
to drill once a year. This was a gala day, everyone far and 
near assembling to see the drill. Booths were erected for the 
sale of eatables, and drinkables too. The extempore band 
pkiyed merrily as the different squads of soldiers marched 
sturdily in the field, each carrying his own musket, and wear- 
ing his own sword should his rank require it. As a general 
thing they wore white trousers, blue coats with brass buttons, 
and a high, glazed cap, the top inclining towards the front, on 
which a red plush ball was fastened. 

There used to be an old demented man, living two or three 
miles from the training field, who had a great antipathy to 
" Redcoats." One '' training day " some of the young fellows 
told him that the " Redcoats" had landed at Emerson's wharf 
and were going to take the town. It being " muster day," the 

The Silent Watcher. 33 

part of the field for the drill was marked off by litde red flags 
stuck firmly in the ground. The poor old man was roused. 
Seizing an old scythe-blade and waving it wildly round his 
head, he started for the training field, shouting as he ran, 
''The Redcoats are coming." Springing over the low stone 
wall, he leveled each flag to the ground with a single stroke of 
his primitive sword, after which he slowly wended his way 
home, shaking his bushy head from side to side, and mut- 
tering to himself ominously that " He'd kill every one on 

Just above the field, on the road leading to the village, once 
stood an old house with a large cellar kitchen on the side next 
the street where the hill falls off abruptly. Around this used 
to be a picketed fort with bastions, where the inhabitants used 
to take shelter in the time of Indian raids, and was one of the 
few left standing when the town was burned and pillaged in 
1692. When it was taken down several years ago, the skele- 
ton of a man, supposed to be an Indian from the construction 
of the skull, was found under the chimney arch. How he 
came there is a mystery, but possibly he was wounded and 
crept there for shelter, dying at last from weakness and star- 

Adjoining the Mclntire field stands an old, old house, 
built about one hundred and fifty years ago by Capt. Sam 
Lindsay, and used as a tavern. A wide two-storied dwelling, 
gray with age, with massive chimneys, and long '' ell " con- 
tinuing the southern side line of the house. The front is com- 
pletely covered with a clustering woodbine, out of which the 
windows with their many panes cast wistful glances. On each 
side of the narrow front door, lovely rosebushes, covered in 
June with a wealth of fragrant snowy-white roses, fill the air 
with perfume. 

The house has special interest for me, for here my grand- 

34 Tlic Silent IVatcJicr. 

father lived, and here my father was born. The house is 
somewhat smaller than then, for the room back of the parlor 
on the northern side has been taken away. My grandmother 
said when she lived there a swinging partition separated the 
two rooms, so that when the house was used as a tavern the 
two rooms could be thrown into one when an influx of visitors 
rendered it necessary. A wide yard at the side, with a stable 
at the back, and a long, narrow building at the southern side, 
made a sort of courtyard quite in the style of an old English 
tavern. In this building my grandfather, in provincial " par- 
lance," " kept store," but that building was removed several 
years ago. With a little conjuring on the part of the visitor, 
the old house can be repeopled, and the " merry muster days " 
lived over again on the quaint old spot. 

The next house on the same side is a large white mansion, 
of that size and pretension that one has only to look at it to 
know that it has a history. Although but two stories high, 
with flat, balconied roof, the lines are of such proportion as to 
give it credit for every foot of room, and perhaps a little more. 
The windows are wide and high, as is the door, and the chim- 
neys large and tall. The house is set well back from the street, 
and is approached by a wide, white cobblestone walk. The 
front yard, enclosed by a white paling which separates it from 
the street and side yards, excluding all approach except from 
the street, leaves the front of the house in solemn state. 
Along the road in front, tall Lombardy poplars range in a 
stately row, imparting an air of exclusiveness to the place. 

This house was built by Esquire Alexander Mclntire, an 
officer in the government, about one hundred years since. 
He married Mollie Junkins, a daughter of one of the descend- 
ants of him who settled in the district known as Scotland, a 
Royalist and a banished man ; for Cromwell, after his victory 
over them, had many of the most persistent and influential 

The Silent lVatchej\ 35 

men sent to America, wisely concluding that a few thousand 
miles between himself and them would render them less 
troublesome subjects. (Among them we find many names well 
known still in the old town, such as Donald or Donnell, Car- 
lisle, Tucker, Lindsay, Junkins, Maxwell and (jordon.) In this 
house he and his wife lived in great state and splendor, spend- 
ing freely, and in this way losing all, so their latter days were 
passed in obscurity. He died about fifty years ago ; his wife 
some years later. 

Opposite this house are two houses of less pretension, but 
built several years earlier ; the first one by Solomon Brooks, a 
village magnate, very well connected ; the other by Capt. 
Thomas (?) Savage, whose son was for a long time captain of 
the Boston police force. 

The first house passed into the hands of a man who did 
much to advance the interests of the town, Hon. Nathaniel 
G. Marshall, a lawyer of much ability and remarkable foresight. 
He, with another townsman, built the first ''summer hotels," 
with the exception of the " Bowdoin House," which was built 
a few years earlier, but owing to mismanagement did not prove 
successful. His hotel, named for himself, and built on a lovely 
point at the mouth of the river, is carried on by his son ; while 
the other, the " Sea Cottage," built at the " Long Sands," about 
two miles distant, by Mr. Charles Cxrant, is still carried on by 
himself. Both houses were built in 187 i. After coming into 
possession of the old " Brooks House," Mr. Marshall had it 
remodeled, leaving the outlines of its exterior the same, but 
changing the whole interior, taking out the one central chim- 
ney, which was of such proportions that the place it occupied 
was made into a good-sized room. 

Back of the house and at the end of a beautiful orchard is 
a little family cemetery, where many of the Brooks family are 
buried. It lies on the top of a sunny hill overlooking the 

36 The Silent Watchei'. 

town, and the white stones gleam in the distance like a minia- 
ture city in the East. The hill slopes downward to the mill- 
pond, then rises again, sloping upward toward the west for 
about a quarter of a mile, when we come to a beautiful old 
farmhouse, wide, square, and rambling, with mammoth ell and 
shed. This, the old *' Lyman House," is much older, being 
built by the family of the successor of " Father Moody," who 
had occupied the pulpit of the only church from 1698 to 1747. 
Wide elm trees shade the door and hang over the straight 
picket fence. The house was bought by Major-(len. Jeremiah 
Mclntyre, who was born in the old '' Mclntyre Garrison 
House," in Scotland district, and here he lived with his wife 
Elizabeth in a style comporting with his rank. His son still 
lives on the same spot. 

At the angle of the two roads, and opposite the Lyman 
House, stands another house, built by Capt. Thomas Clark, 
some of whose descendants are still living in another part of 
the town. It remained in his family for about a hundred 
years, when it passed by purchase into the hands of the Hon. 
N. G. Marshall, who remodeled it into the commodious farm- 
house it now is. It has since been purchased by Mr. Albert 
Bragdon, now deceased, but whose heirs still live on the beau- 
tiful farm. 

Below the house, on the slope of the hill, lie buried many of 
the Clark and Lyman family, their sunken graves marked by 
the mossy blue slate stones of a former century. 

In the village are several houses of interest besides the 
beautiful churches, old fashioned only on the exterior, and a 
picturesque old "Ciaol," built in 1653. The old gambrel- 
roofed building with its massive stone foundations, its grated 
cells and dismal dungeon, is never used now, but remains a 
confirming landmark of the English ancestry of the dear old 

The Silent Wa teller. 37 

Opposite is the old " Wilcox Tavern," long since used as a 
family dwelling, a wide two-storied house with low sloping 
roof, standing in one corner of the oldest cemetery in the 
town. Around the door cluster a group of mountain ash with 
their clusters of scarlet berries, and over the front windows 
clambers the fragrant honeysuckle, a bright touch to the dis- 
mal surroundings. Here the post with its winding horn used 
to bring the sage brethren of the bar to their circuit meetings 
in the courthouse opposite on the elm shaded " common." 

'Tis hard to recall such days in these nineteenth-century 
surroundings, but the narrow stairways and dim-lighted cor- 
ridors have echoed to the tread of solemn legal judges or the 
less important step of the ordinary traveler. The old court- 
house opposite, since remodeled inside and out by my father, 
used to be a miniature of the courthouses of Old England, 
with high box seats and snug little witness box, its bar for the 
gentlemen of the wig, and the long narrow seat by the wall 
where the jury sat during the weary trials. 

Here we find what no respectable old-time town is quite 
complete without — a haunted house. At the eastern side of 
the courthouse stands a house, since remodeled into a 
modern dwelling, that used to be the abode of a ghost, laid 
for a hundred years, which expired some time in 1878. I 
never heard of any demonstration made at that time, but 
perhaps the disturbance occasioned in altering the house 
might have hastened its departure. My father has shown me 
the room in which the ghost was supposed to be confined in 
a small dark closet near the chimney. 

Through the elm-shaded avenue to the long beach, we pass 
but a short distance before we come to two residences note- 
worthy, not for the romance attached to them of story, but 
the ostentation of the form, and delightful location of the 
structures. On a slope, commanding a fine view from its 

38 The Silent Watcher, 

upper windows, and in aristocratic retirement from the much- 
traveled street, stands the manorial dwelling built by Judge 
David Sewall, after the style of pretentious houses of the 
aristocracy of England. After passing through various hands 
it has at last passed by purchase into the hands of the same 

Seen from the street it presents a beautiful picture with the 
green common sloping back from the street to the stone- 
faced boundary of the estate, surmounted by its capped fence 
of white, and gateway with wide stone steps ascending to the 
white cobbled walk between broad chestnut trees to the house. 
Another flight of steps leads upward to the broad paneled 
door, between double flat Doric columns supporting a portico 
cap. Over this is the wide fanlight with many sectional 
crossings. The house is two stories in height to the dental 
trimmed cornice, with a half story added behind the crown- 
ing balcony, through which the wide low windows peer 
curiously. Above these the white-plastered chimney stacks 
show their generous outlines against the sky. Its front is 
ornamented with tall flat pilasters in relief, extending to the 
roof molding and surmounted by the Doric cap and flat disk 
in the column above. 

Inside, the rooms were decorated in the same imposing 
style in wood and stucco, with the wide fireplaces surrounded 
by pictured tiles, after the fashion of our Saxon ancestors, to 
whom we are much indebted for decorations. A beautiful 
dwelling, adding much to the beauty of the town. 

Opposite stands another home of quite a different style of 
architecture and still possessed by the descendants of a family 
whose name and interests have been connected with the 
history of the town from its earliest foundation. Large, 
square, two-storied like the other, but with an extensive ell 
extending far back from the main house, it gives an appear- 

3- O 






K ' 

- ^ 

40 The Silent Watcher. 

ance of amplitude fully justified by an excursion through its 

The sloping roof is surmounted by a square balcony 
between two high white plastered chimneys. Out of each 
slope, three dormer windows light the shallow dormitories, 
making it picturesque without and within. The front faces 
directly on the street with only a broad portico, floored by a 
flat, granite stone beneath the pedimental roof supported by 
two round white columns. In the top of the paneled door 
are a double row of panes to light the otherwise dark hall. 
Beautiful trees and shrubs adorn its grounds, accentuating the 
beauty of its outlines. 

Below the old mill dam, and approached by a beautiful lane 
shaded by stately elms, of less pretensions form but possess- 
ing unusual interest, stands the old Sayward House. It was 
built nearly two hundred years ago by the ancestor of its 
present occupant. Here is treasured some of the tea used at 
the famous tea drinking at the capture of Louisburg, the 
French stronghold in the Canadas. 

On its walls hang portraits of ancestral dames and squires 
who once dwelt 'neath its many-angled roof. In the corner 
of the large sitting room stands a beautiful, tall mahogany 
clock, with shining brass knobs surmounting the slender spires 
at each side of the time-recording dial. The dark mahogany 
furniture shines with age and polish, and the quaint brass 
handles to the dressers brighten their otherwise dark exterior. 

One of the beautiful faces in the picture has its story of 
sorrow — a fair, slim girl with waving hair and dreamy, happy 
eyes, dressed in a light blue silk with soft lace flounces falling 
in drapery from the neck and shoulders, leaving their snowy 
roundness bare. Beloved, but loving one whose only fault was 
the poverty of his purse, and being forbidden to marry, she 
gave no heed to her many suitors, and through the many 

The Silent Watcher. 41 

years of her long life remained true to her early love. And 
still the beautiful eyes gaze dreamily down on the faded silken 
furniture, as they gazed in those happy days when " the world 
was young," and a beautiful future shone with the light of 
hope's brightest days. The flickering shadows from the 
elms fall softly on them through the half open shutters and 
with those shadows we will leave them. 

High upon the top of the hill, overlooking the sea, is 
another old house, older, though less romantic in its associa- 
tions. It was built by a Sayward, one of the oldest families, 
and proprietor of the gristmill near the former house. It 
was originally a two-story pitch-roof house with four large 
rooms, but has since been remodeled and some additions 
made. Around the rooms and through the center of some, 
the heavy beams of its oaken frame form a cornice, painted 
like the woodwork, and each room contains an immense fire- 
place with a red brick hearth. Through the window in the 
northeast room, an enormous bear was once seen gazing in at 
the brilliant fire, by a descendant of the original family. The 
house is about one hundred and eighty years old. 

The same lady told me how they used to bring water from 
the spring lower down on the side of the hill. They would 
take a hogshead hoop, step in the center, then take the hoop 
and a pail in each hand. In this way they could carry it 
steadily without spilling. From its windows a magnificent 
view of the harbor and ocean can be seen and at night the 
distant light of Whales Back appears and disappears in its 
revolving course. 

Nearly opposite, in a rude hut hghted by two small win- 
dows, hved Black Dinah Prince, a strange, unsociable negress 
who came from no one knew where. She was said to be a 
witch, but there is no record of her victims. In winter she 
used to stay with the Raynes family on the south side of the 
river, but ended her days in the almshouse, in 1840. 

42 The Silent JVafcher. 

Farther away, on the edge of Cape Neddick wood, in an- 
other hut less rude and more habitable, dwelt Black Isaac and 
Chloe, his dusky wife. Isaac was an escaped slave from Vir- 
ginia, his wife a slave in the Weare family, but of their numer- 
ous family all died in childhood. Isaac used to gain a living by 
playing the violin at trainings and dances in his younger days ; 
in his old age by begging from house to house. Leaning on 
his knotty staff with his bag slung over his shoulder, he pre- 
sented the picture of the veritable mendicant that he was. 
He died many years ago, and Chloe ended her life in the 
almshouse several years later. 

Other mendicants there were, strange, but harmless. One, 
John Stanhope by name, went by the nickname of Johnny 
Candlestick, for what reason I never knew. Part of the time 
he lived in a hut down by the '* Roaring Rock," but in sum- 
mer he wandered around the country, sleeping in barns and 
cooking his own food at the different hearthstones where he 
was welcomed. He was extremely fond of gay colors and 
loved to decorate his clothes with gay pieces of calico which 
he continually begged on his summer excursions. He once 
came to my mother in a costume gorgeous in the extreme. 
One leg of his trousers was black and yellow, the other pink 
and blue. Around and above the knee was tied a wide black 
crape band, the bow behind and ends falling to his low shoes, 
which were covered with pieces of silk and calico in every 
hue. His coat was of cambric decorated like the shoes, and 
over his head he carried an umbrella in half a dozen colors in 
which bright green predominated. At one time he fancied he 
was going to be an angel and begged all the white rags he 
could, which he sewed all over his coat, as he said, " to make 

He was a native of Norway and it was said some one came 
in search of him, as an heir to a rich uncle in New York. 

The Silent Watcher. 43 

They were unsuccessful as he had in some way formed the 
opinion that New York was the place said to be the abode of 
evil spirits, and with this conviction he wisely determined not 
to go. 

Another oddity was "Old Ferguson," a native of Canada. 
Gruff and disagreeable in manner, he was only tolerated be- 
cause of his eccentricity, which nearly approached madness. 
At my grandmother's he always paid quite a long visit, as she, 
poor, unworldly woman, always had an excuse for his short- 
comings, and listened patiently to his weary tales. Poor old 
tramps ! long ago they passed away and in the prosaic now, 
no picturesque '' traveler " takes their place. 

Of the '' garrison houses " only one remains, and that, too, 
partially consumed by a recent fire. This is the old Junkins's 
house built by the ancestors of the family who still reside in 
its neighborhood. Built of logs, firmly bound together by 
wooden pins, with its upper story extending out over the first, 
its row of portholes and high stockade, it presented a formid- 
able aspect to the primitive warriors of the forest. It is sit- 
uated on a commanding hill in the Scotland district, and not 
far away stood another, the Mclntire house, built in the same 
manner. The two families were early emigrants from Scotland 
for which the district was named. 

Within its walls the heirs have all been born, down to the 
present generation, since it was built in 1640. This was the 
home of Mollie Junkins of whom I have written before and 
who married Alexander Mclntire, Esq. My uncle by mar- 
riage, who belonged to the generation who were last born in 
this house, now lives in Rochester, N. H., and the old house 
is partly burned and wholly deserted, but he always speaks of 
the old house with affection and regret that it is fast passing 

Above here, at the side of the road, is a wooden trough, 

44 The Silent IVatche?-. 

into which a wooden spout pours a liquid stream of the purest 
cold water from a little boiling spring far back on the hilltop, 
borne thither in its quaint wooden aqueduct. Over the little 
spring a widespreading tree spreads its shading branches, 
cooling the water ere it leaves its silver basin. Here the tired 
traveler, whether man or beast, can refresh himself with beauti- 
ful water from trough or cup and no wreathed goblet of the 
ancient Greek can vie with the rusty tin cup. 

On Cider Hill, where the apples grow profusely, stands an 
old apple tree brought in a tub from England by an early 
emigrant, more than two hundred years ago. When I was a 
httle girl my father brought some of its apples home to us. 
I remember him well as he stood there smiling and taking the 
apples, one by one, from his pocket, while he told us the story 
of the apple tree and answered our wondering questions. 
After that he took us to ride and showed us the tree with its 
half decayed trunk, and I wondered then if it knew that it had 
come so far and did not belong to the soil as did the other 
trees. And then we rode on and stopped at the wayside 
spring for a drink out of the little tin cup, and then still on 
through a beautiful long shady woods that crowned the highest 
hill. A lovely shady woods, and as we emerged from its 
shadows and stopped at Cheney's Hill there lay the beautiful 
panorama of river-falls and town below and beyond into the 
golden west. Then on the homeward ride the long, tender 
shadows and the blue, watching mountain, the deepening 
shade, the shining lamps in the purple sky and lights below 
on land and sea. 

All these of which I write are vanished, as vanished that 
City of a Dream, but on the heights above the sea over which 
its founder came, a Thalian city has arisen, and the beautiful 
sunlight that gilds the altar stones upon the lonely mountain 
smiles on the '' City of the Sea " as well. Perchance it 

The Silent Watcher. 45 

watches still for the fair ship that dropped below the far hori- 
zon bound, and sees in every coming sail the long delayed 
adventuring bark. Watch still, O lovely mountain ! over the 
fair roofs of the city, over the many spires that point to the 
blue heaven to which thy summit towers. Over the glorious 
trees and shining river. Over the emerald fields, over the 
harvest hills, watch. 


\1 7ILD is the sky, 
^^ The wind is high. 

Black are the rocks by the cold, gray sea ; 
But little care I for wind or sky, 
For storm-tossed cloud or tide swelling high, 

For I dwell on a cliff by the sea. 

The wild waves beat 
On the rocks at my feet, 

And the wind blows wild and free ; 
And the billow's low tone is now a wild moan, 
And the howl of the wind that lashes the foam 

Is the sweetest music to me. 

Fast falls the rain, 
Rattles the pane. 

Wildly the storm rages over the sea ; 
And along the gray sands from many far lands 
Or plucked from sea gardens by mermaidens' hands 

Shells and sea flowers are waiting for me. 

46 TJie Silent IVafcher. 

Wildly the blast 
Comes scurrying past 

Cresting the waves on the turbulent sea ; 
Tossing the spray far over the bay, 
Driving the ships 'neath the blinding spray 

Outward or homeward they watch well to the lee. 

Gray are the hills, 
Gray are the rills 

That rush down their slopes to the sea ; 
And I know that the pine trees are tossing their hair, 
Like the wail of the ocean, their cry in the air, 

Blendinsf their voice with the soul of the sea. 


Fast fades the light, 
Fast falls the night, 

There's a lull in this storm by the sea ; 
Slow drops the rain, still is the pane. 
Bom, bom, thunders the billows as again and again 

They break on the chff under me. 



IVIATURE, always bountiful with her treasures on our New 
^ ^ England coast, has been truly lavish with her sands at 
(xorgeana, the city of a dream. Too truly beautiful for a 
city's site, Providence interposed her kindly hand, and sunk 
that beautiful city in the sea of imagination, from whence it 
sometimes arises for some favored dreamer, who at eventide 
hears its sweet bells pealing as he sits dreaming on the shore. 
Hardly do we cross the boundary line of Kittery's historic 
town ere we come to a pebbly beach edged with a narrow 
strip of sand, where the waves come gaily in like snowy 
chargers, and toss their shining manes ere they prance sport- 
ively up and down the little curving beach. Just inside this 
beach and sheltered by the rising land, is a silvery sheet of 
water, where seabirds sail in little fleets within the sight and 
sound of that great sea near which they love to linger. At its 
northern limit rises a massive cliff, one of those sturdy coast- 
guards stationed all along the shore, repelling with its mighty 
strength the inroads of the encroaching sea. 

Just around this southern point the sea comes grandly in ; 
but here a tempting inlet reveals itself and stretches forth a 
shining hand to greet its royal guest, and the sea comes in, 
and their waters mingle gladly and send a thrilling message 
far back among the blue hills where the river has its source. 

Just here, at its mouth, and just beyond a rock-bound point, 
upon whose summit long ago a sturdy fortress guarded the 
land from an invader we now gladly welcome, we find the 
loveliest little amphitheater nature ever furnished. On either 
side great cliffs rise high above the sea, and from these lofty 
seats all may watch the ever-changing dramas here enacted. 

The Silent WatcJur. 40 

Ah ! the gay scenes here that we may look upon. Always the 
same beautiful background, varied only by the changing sky 
through the grand symphony of light and shade, ever accom- 
panied by the grand orchestral music of the sea, whose peal- 
ing organ-tones throb and pulse and enter into our being. 
Here we may watch the waves come softly in, whispering and 
murmuring in a glad, soft undertone, stealing around the great 
gray rocks, and making mimic pools in the many litde hol- 
lows. Retouching the bits of shell, starfish, and curly wrinkles 
with such a wonderful light, that we dream for a moment we 
have found some beautiful shell from the far isles of the Indian 
Sea. Or it swells grand and proud and stately, rolling in with 
terrific force, and hurling its proud waves disdainfully upon its 
former love, and seeming in its anger as if it would destroy 
what it once fondly cherished. And when again its far-reced- 
ing waters leaves bare the wet gray sand we find it strewn with 
shell and brown seaweed, torn from those beautiful gardens 
that surround Neptune's royal palace. 

We walk along eastern cliffs for a short distance until we 
come to a rare grove of oaks, away out on its extreme point, 
through which we pass, seeking again the sea. Here we find 
another sand beach, tossed like a pearly sea shell on the shore. 
The trees steal down to its margin and reach out their long 
shadows, vainly striving to caress it. Here the sunlight lin- 
gers, and the moon, rising from the silvery waste, stretches a 
long path of shining light up to and across the margin, to be 
lost in the shadows of the grove. It is a lovely, dainty shell, 
and as we bend a listening ear we hear the murmur and the 
heartbeat of the heaving ocean. Here the Pythian organ 
sends forth its throbbing music, rising in glad acclaim, or 
sinking in a soft, prayerful murmur. 

Regretfully we leave the lovely shell and seek again the 
highway that skirts the " Margin of the Sea." Straight out on 

50 Tlie Silent Wafclier. 

the horizon Hne rises the shm, white cokimn of Boon Island 
Light. Peaceful and calm it seems from here, and we have 
no conception of the cruel rocks that serve for its foundation. 
We see no breaking waves against its snowy masonry, and no 
sound comes to us of their breaking. And we cannot but 
compare it with some brave lives that daily withstood the 
breaking waves of sorrow, thrilling with them to their heart- 
depths, yet ever pointing upward, and giving to the watching 
world no sign. 

Musing upon this as we journey on, we forget what we are 
seeking, and, behold ! when we again lift our eyes we have 
reached another and a grander beach than all. Stretching 
northward for a full mile is a line of hard blue sand, with no 
break, unless we except a few black rocks that break the line 
halfway across and form a picturesque resting place. Here 
we enter this grand hall or saloon of the ocean. Hard and 
firm as though it were paved with lapis lazuli, it yet yields to 
the lightest step enough to make a walk across one of 
pleasure rather than of toil. Here we may walk or drive or 
dance, and yet leave upon the shaded floor no disfiguring 
trace. Here the waves come in with stately grace and make 
their courtesy before their gracious queen, kissing her hand 
ere they retire to give place to another. We pace along the 
shining floor, watching the glorious pageant until we reach its 
northern bound, a long brown stretch of land on which a light- 
house warns the mariner of those stony cliffs on which it rests. 
Looking back we see again the beautiful line of sand, and just 
across the ridge of stones that rise above its shaded floor a 
long, narrow lake can be seen, shining with that beautiful 
queen of the water flowers, the fragrant water-lily. 

Our heart is full, and no more could be wished or enjoyed ; 
but as again we turn our faces north, we see beyond a row 
of silvery willows, the sea again breaking in graceful waves 

The Silent IVateher. 5 i 

upon another sandy beach ; not bhie, or cool, or stately this 
time, but a pinkish yellow, that with its fringe of green will 
make one think of a shining opal with its changing light ; 
named first for that prosaic animal sacred to the Hindu faith, 
but since rechristened for the dear old town to which it be- 
longs. A wonderful light lingers in the cliffs that face the 
rising sun, and seem to have imbibed its light and warmth and 
color from its oft-repeated risings. 

O, wonderful Gorgeana ! the " Vineta of the West ! " The 
waves love thee and kiss thee. Thy pine trees know and re- 
peat the story of thy rise and fall. They whisper it to the 
waves, that bear it round the world and back again, repeating 
it over and over again, lest they forget. And as I lie upon 
the shining sand the waves whisper to me that I shall see and 
know thee, and hear thy sweet bells pealing the curfew of the 
dying day. 

52 Tlie Silent IVakher 


"P ARTH is wakening from its sleep, 
^-^ Listen ! and hear the brook's gay song, 
Troubadour songs, on its way to the deep 
As under the ice it flows along. 

The bending ice, 'neath the lightest tread, 
Sends little wavelets back to the land. 

Bathing the grasses that fringe its bed, 
A miniature sea on a miniature strand. 

It sings of the drifts on the mountain side. 

That were wed to the sunbeams, and borne away 

On snowy coursers, with golden wings. 
One beautiful springlike day. 

It sings of the cowslip, prison-bound. 

From the ice-king's thralldom soon to be free. 

Stealing a glance from their crystal walls 
At the golden lances of liberty. 

It babbles of willows, that fringe its edge. 
Listening all day long to the song it sings. 

With the first warm breath of springtide air 

Forth from their brown homes the catkin springs. 

They climb far out on the slim green stems. 

Robed in soft coats of silvery gray, 
To have a romp with the wild March winds, 

And watch for a glimpse of the bluebird gay. 

TJic Silent WaicJier. 

It laughs as it sings of the dimpled hands 
And the rosy faces that in it will look, 

And the gay little falls those hands will make 
Of the playful waters of the noisy brook. 

Of the miniature fleets those hands will launch, 
And the fleets of clouds that it will bear, 

And of skimming swallows, and jolly frogs 
That will revel in music and soft spring air. 

Of the violets hid in the mossy bank, 
Modestly shading each purple face. 

From the wooing sunrays' ardent glance. 
Bearing themselves with a dainty grace. 

O^snowy lilies that will spread their leaves 
And rise and fall on the rippling tide ; 

Of the waving flag, and cat- tail brown, 
And the purple iris on the bank beside. 

Ah ! many's the song of the runaway brook 

On its way to the dark blue sea, 
And I wish I could tell you the half I know 

Of the songs it has sung to me. 

54 Tlic Silent Watclier. 


OTRETCHINCt away and beyond the opal-tinted beach and 
^ behind its sun-steeped barriers, Cape Neddick lays its 
leonine form beside the" rolling, surging sea. Over its wind- 
swept meadows the whispering breeze bears the burden of the 
pine trees' song, a lulling, soothing whisper in the ear that lies 
close to the beating heart of the. wide, blue waters. Along the 
yellow cliffs gay summer homes, with their fanciful appella- 
tions, look down into waters that are never still enough to 
reflect their varied outlines. Only shadows stretch out over 
the brown turf, but break with the sea-line of snowy foam, to 
mingle with their snowy forms. 

A curving, pebbly beach, hemmed by huge cliffs, nestles 
close to the sleeping giant, and, above, the brown fields stretch 
away to where the beautiful pleasure resort, with its aboriginal 
name, marks the limit of the new civilization. But beyond, 
the fields are Nature's own, and in the golden haze the dreamy 
sea-sounds rise and fall. Here the wild sea gull waves her 
gray pinions over the narrow neck of land as she sweeps back 
to the wimpling river. Over the waters the golden pathway 
of the rising sun comes trailing at the day god's chariot 
wheels. Across its bosom comes the cry of the sea fowl that 
gather round the stormy cliffs of the Nubble, and distant sails 
stray along the line of the horizon. 

At its northern side, the beautiful little river, born in the 
heart of the " watching mountain," widens and stretches its 
silvery arms to welcome its " Beloved." But here a long, sandy 
bar reaches across, as if to warn the little stream that it would 
be lost when merged into that giant breast. And so the little 

Old Jail at York Village. 

JuNKLxs Garrison House, 250 Years Old. 

Photos, by Davis Bros., Portsmouth, N. H. 

56 Tlie Silent Watcher. 

river tarries behind the silver bar, and whispers tales unto the 
still brown form of its fair journey from the distant mount. 
Of springs that swelled the slender stream from out their 
bubbling depths ; of waving, shadowy ferns and hardy brake, 
and pictured forms of stalwart pines whose fallen needles cov- 
ered the bed of the rippling stream ; of meadows sloping 
downward to its edge, their greensward broken oftentimes by 
gnarled old apple-trees, whose fragrant blossoms were wafted 
with the summer breeze to toss like tiny seashells upon the 
eddying waters ; of its sudden dash over a rocky chasm into 
a wider stream, with the old brown mill upon its bank, in which 
the busy saw with relentless precision sundered those monarchs 
of the forest trees that fell beneath its busy blade ; of still 
more hurried dashes beyond, over wide, flat rocks, creased and 
seamed with strata, where eddies curled and tossed dainty 
wreaths of foam and spray over each projecting stone. 

Then on and on beneath a fringe of trees and through the 
pretty bridge with sleeping shadows in each crevice, and then 
one wild, wild dash into the briny flood that sweeps over the 
sandy bar to keep its daily tryst. Such tales as the river tells 
and the sleeping form listens, and dreams, and watches. The 
coasting vessels, with the flooding tide, slip over the bar and 
lean against the dark, mysterious wharves. 

Beautiful farms lie all along the winding road that follows 
the sea from Boston down to Casco Bay, with here and there 
a tavern, where in former days the Post tarried to refresh the 
man and change the tired beasts. Here once stood one of 
them, a straight, plain hostelry, with no outward suggestion of 
the hospitality one finds within. 

Along its streets we find homes of sea-captains whose names 
were borne by those who sailed from English shores with the 
ambitious lord proprietor, Sir Ferdinand de Gorges. In their 
parlors are wide branches of dainty coral and beautiful shells 

The Silent IVatL/ier. 


with rainbow colors beneath the pearly covering, torn from 
the wave-washed gardens of the Southern seas. The fragrant 
honeysuckle clambers over their doorways, and the dooryards 
are filled with bushy rose-trees and clumps of lilac-bushes. We 
pass through the quiet streets and out in the open country un- 
til we reach the wonderful cliffs whose head is fringed with 
snowy foam. Piled in Titanic tiers the sunburnt rocks rise in 
an upright wall above the heaving sea that sweeps in long 
rolling waves upon its rocky pedestal. Over the uneven floor 
of rock they break in angry, curling waves, and dash their 
white spray far abroad, receding with a baffled sullen rush, 
rolling the loose stones over and over, and drawing deep 
breaths as they prepare for another furious onslaught. 

Tales of wreck and storm are told by the dwellers on the 
cliff, but that of the bark with the plaintive Spanish name will 
always be remembered. The grass and bushes creep timidly 
down to the guarding rail, and here and there a stunted shrub 
thrusts itself through and waves a welcome to the glorious sea. 
But the sad fate of the daring child in his boyish frolic, who 
trusted to the stunted tree growing out of its rocky summit 
and met a cruel death on the rocks below, will keep the bold- 
est admirer a trusty distance from the edge of the stony 

Looking downward we see, beyond the wide, shallow waters 
of a short river, broken by sandbars that stretch their shining 
bands of gray above a sapphire flood. Wells, with its white 
colony of summer homes, and near by is the quaint village of 
Ogunquit. Here gloomy Harmon and savage Bonython biv- 
ouacked, and sturdy Moulton, with his vengeful band, swept 
through a primeval forest, to avenge his father's blood. 

Among the residents we still find names borne by Cromwell's 
rebellious subjects, but no longer can we find the Indian. 
The woods are no longer his home, and, as we ride homeward 

58 Tlie Silent Watcher. 

over the rocky hills and through the long stretch of pines be- 
tween Cape Neddick and the village of York, we can but con- 
trast the days of "then" and the days of "now." The ter- 
rors of the forest have departed, for no lurking Indian lies 
concealed in those dark shadows. No wild warwhoop breaks 
the stillness. Naught but the " speak " of the night-hawk, 
the chirp of the cricket, or the mournful tinkle of a cow- 
bell from some hidden pasture. The cruel raids and stories 
of captives and captivity belong to the past, and that past is 
well-nigh forgotten. 

We pass the site of Black Isaac's tiny house in the edge of 
the wood, and almost fancy we see the little one-roomed hut 
in the clearing, with the little brood of pickaninnies playing 
about the door. We fancy Chloe's smiling face beneath her 
wonderful plaided turban beaming on them from the door. 
We see Black Isaac toiling up the pine-bedded pathway with 
his beloved fiddle under his arm and the worn old striped 
sack thrown across his shoulder. The picture vanishes as we 
draw near, and retires into the deepening shadows. Farther 
along the road, on the side nearest the sea, with broad 
meadows sloping away beyond, we come to the homes of the 
Moody family. 

For generations they have held and still hold these acres. 
This name recalls the early days of York, when " Father 
Moody "was its spiritual adviser. His many eccentricities, 
his dependence upon Providence for the things needful, his 
courthness, and, withal, his bounteous charities, which never 
" began at home," have been the subject of many a page. The 
sad story of his son, who was known as " Handkerchief 
Moody," and was a minister in the Scotland district, is a well- 
known tale. The shadows deepen as we pass this place, per- 
haps in sympathy with our thoughts, and here and there we 
see a light shining from the window of some pleasant home. 

The Sikiit ]]\itc1icr. 


Boon Island sends forth its Hesperian light across the 
waters ; the '' Nubble Light " responds, and White Island adds 
its star to the triple alliance. We pass under the elms and go 
past the churches and still toward the sea. Then from the 
windows all along the shore a blaze of light, like to the palace 
of Aladdin, shines forth to welcome the " pilgrim of the past 
and present," and we are home. 


T^'HERE'S a little white schoolhouse far away 
■^ By a roadside, dusty and brown. 
That stands deserted for half the year, 

Like a nest when the birds have flown. 
And its windows gaze with sorrowful eyes. 

And the rain beats hard on the pane, 
And down through the chimney the north wind calls. 

For the children to come again. 

But only the sailing clouds reflect 

In the blurred, uneven pane ; 
And only sighs answer the wind's wild call, 

For they never will come again. 
Other bright forms and noisy shouts 

Will answer the wind's wild quest, 
For time has gathered those children fair, 

And borne them away on his breast. 

Ah ! many a time have I gazed abroad 

Through window and open door. 
When the afternoon sun threw long slant rays 

Across the footworn floor. 

6o The Silent Watcher. 

At the vista set in the narrow frame 

Of field, and hill, and sky, 
And the tall, slim elm that seemed to catch 

The white clouds sailing by. 

The gray stone wall that hedged the road. 

And traveled over the hill ; 
The fringe of willows that edged the pond, 

I think that 1 see them still. 
And hear the click of the mowing-machine, 

Cutting its fragrant swath. 
From the blue edge of the summer sky, 

An ever-widening path. 

Down to the edge of the shaded path. 

Where (like an army with flashing spears) 
The sweet flag waves its long slim leaf 

Through the oft-returning years, 
1 see the flash of the lily red 

As it falls 'neath the shining blade, 
And a whiff of fragrance comes to me 

When the strawberry stalk is laid. 

I hear the bobolink's merry song. 

As he tilts on a timothy spray. 
And see the flash of his yellow breast. 

As he speedily wings his way 
Down into the winrow's fragrant depths, 

To feast on the berry red, 
And his half-sung song wanders dreamily 

Through my heart and weary head. 

The Silent IVaU'her. 6i 

I remember the quaint wood colored house 

We passed on our homeward way, 
\\'ith its shuttered windows and worn doorstone, 

That we always crossed each day, 
To beg a drink from the wooden pail, 

From the maiden tall and kind. 
That always filled the pail afresh 

From the well in the yard behind. 

Along the dresser, in quaint array. 

The willow plates were ranged ; 
The garden that 'neath the window grew. 

In years was never changed ; 
But always lupins blue and straight, 

And rosemary, and rue, 
And a sweet, old-fashioned, flaunting rose. 

That down in the corner grew. 

The cherry tree with its crimson fruit. 

The currant bush's rosy curls, 
The cinnamon rose across the road. 

The delight of the boys and girls. 
And farther along, on the sloping hill. 

Where the sunlight loves to rest, 
The place of graves with the snowy stones 

Above the earth's s:reen breast. 


And yonder, beside the winding road. 
Gleam the beech tree's silver rind, 

And the poplar turns its silver leaf, 
Responsive to the wind. 

62 The Silent Watcher. 

And, clinging close to the waving birch, 
The wild grape climbs on high. 

And from its topmost branches flings 
A banner to the sky. 

The branching road, with its five-barred gate. 

That leads to a distant farm, 
The bushy willows that fringed the road 

And shaded a wayside tarn. 
The long steep hill with its rocky crown. 

From which our eyes could roam 
To the ocean girdle, with emerald clasp, 

And its edge of pearly foam. 

I'm far away from the schoolhouse now, 

And many long years have flown, 
Since my feet have traveled the dusty road 

From school to my childhood's home. 
But the bird-song on the hilltop, 

And the pictures by memory traced. 
Nor time, nor place, can ever change, 

Nor ever will be effaced. 

A Glimpse of the Mill Pond. 

Old Jackson House, Portsmouth, N. H. 

Photos, by Da\is Bros., Portsmouth, N. H. 

64 The Silnit ]Vatcher 


THERE may be lovelier rivers in this world than ours, but 
among the many I have seen none seem to possess the 
many attractions that this one does of which I speak. It is 
not a still, languid stream nor a rushing river fed by mountain 
streams, but a wide-mouthed deep current, reaching inland 
from the Atlantic for almost ten miles. Halfway across its 
mouth, a lovely point of land that would be an island were it 
not for a silvery arm of sand reaching out from, and connect- 
ing it with the mainland ; welcoming the incoming tide that 
breaks in silvery foam upon the shining beach, or hurls its 
mighty strength against the rocks that girdle the seaward 
side of the point. It interposes itself, like a mediator, between 
the ocean and the river, making a shelter for the many vessels 
that seek a harbor when "the stormy winds do blow." Twice 
each day the ocean seeks its children of the hills. The rising 
tide swells round the rocky point and girdles the green islands 
that dot the harbor, with its liquid flood, flowing softly and 
steadily under the wharves, floating the boats that rest on the 
sand, then onward to the dam, mingling its rushing waters 
with the streams that trickle from the pond until both floods 
mingle in one glowing stream. 

The prisoned vessels that half recline against the wharves 
feel the incoming tide lapping and gurgling around their keels 
and rise buoyantly from the sand to reflect themselves in its 
bosom. Onward it streams past wooded edge and smiling 
meadow, between the dusky piers that support the wooden 
bridge, like modern Christophers bearing the burden of the 
little world that passes daily, to and fro, across its rippling 
flood. It eddies and gurgles around them, ambitiously rising 

The Silent Watcher 


to bathe their barnacled sides, waving and curling the brown 
and green grasses caught in their journey up the stream. Still 
onward, past a little shelving beach, flanked on each side by 
a beetling cliff surmounted by whispering pines and seeming 
in its loveliness like some haven in a fairy isle. 

The pines have shed their brown leaves for a carpet and 
sweet ferns come down from the pastures beyond, to their 
shadow, mingling their sweetness with the fragrance of their 
lofty neighbors. Here and there a wild strawberry stalk with 
Its royal leaf and late crimson berry make a green spot on the 
dull brown carpet. Still on and on the river swells, past other 
fields, and through other bridges, widening almost to a bay at 
one point, whose heavy wooded shores half girdle it and re- 
flects itself in its smooth waters. It reflects the meadows 
patched here and there with waving corn, and seeks the many 
litde coves that indent its shores, where sparkling, threadhke, 
silver streams come down from the sloping hills, to mingle 
their waters with the river, and be borne away to the dark 
blue ocean that gleams as far as the eye can see for miles and 
miles beyond. 

There's one little cove in especial, near which I love to 
linger and watch the rising tide and listen to the varied 
sounds that float across its waters. It's a dreamy spot although 
so near the busy world. The trees that edge its shores extend 
down on one side to a rocky point on which a single tall white 
birch, like a stray sunbeam amid the monotony of green, 
mirrors itself in the rising tide below. An ancient bars made 
of the shorn trunks of small trees guards an overgrown road 
leading to the shore, and an ancient boat long since past duty 
tells its story of how in days long past it had been made to 
bear its load of bags of golden corn to the gristmill, a mile 
or more up the stream. Time has destroyed the use of the 
old boat, but its ravages are concealed by trailing vines and 

66 The Silent WatcJier. 

long green grasses, through which its dull brown sides show, 
a bit of color on which the eye rests lovingly, and pictures 
form in the mind without a struggle on the part of the artist. 

At the farthest part of the cove a big gray rock rises straight 
from the shore, its sides are flecked here and there with 
patches of fern and brake, while clumps of thimbleberry 
bushes thrust out their sturdy branches with leaves of almost 
tropical size, against which the small crimson berry blushes 
insignificantly. At the foot of the rock and just beyond the 
reach of the tide, with long grass waving all around its sides a 
little spring of fresh water shines in the sun or darkens in the 
shade. A footpath winds down the steep bank and on to the 
httle spring that bubbles up in its barrel prison. Just beyond 
and in the shadow of the steep bank, I find a seat among the 
scattered stones and leaning back I look across the water and 
idly watch and listen. The tide comes rippling in with just a 
little swish and lap, higher and higher, until the cove is quite 
full. The water reflects the banks and trees beside them, with 
a bit of heaven between, so that one can almost fancy a newly 
discovered land and sky lie just within their reach. 

Across the river the banks slope gradually a little way, then 
rise abruptly, making a picturesque hilly eminence, that slopes 
away on the other side to the ocean two miles away. Its top 
is covered with gay cottages and sober homes, mingling the 
grave and gay in architecture just as it is mingled in our lives. 
The cottage represents the many that seek rest and refresh- 
ment for the brief summer season, amid the variety of beauties 
nature here has lavished ; the latter, those whose fathers made 
their homes here when the country was young, and whose 
homes have descended through many generations to those 
content to dwell amidst those beauties. From the main street 
that winds around the top of the hills, a pretty lane shaded by 
a row of graceful American elms leads downward nearly to the 


The Silent WatcJier. 67 

water's edge. Just at its end an old white colonial house 
stands, whose wide white chimneys speak of other days when 
logs blazed in the fireplace that would make a half a dozen of 
those of modern days. There is a hush about the place that 
one can feel, even at this distance, for it is no longer a home, 
but has passed into the hands of strangers, and for long in- 
tervals of time its halls are vacant. The granite steps that 
lead down to the pier are almost concealed by grasses, but 
the river reflects the house again, and its reflected picture has 
a livelier look than its substantial prototype. 

But listen I Ko-ruk, ko-ruk, comes the sound of an 
oar, and round a little wooded island a fisherman's boat 
comes in sight. I knew it was one, before I saw it, by the 
measured dip of the oar. The wide, sunburned straw hat, 
with its beehive crown, is pressed firmly on the back of the 
fisherman's head, partly shading the bronzed features of its 
owner, and wide gray suspenders cross his broad, round back, 
covered with its shirt of dark blue. He rows steadily on and 
is soon out of sight, but by this time another sound attracts 
my attention. There is a light dip and a sound of falling 
drops, and as I look in the direction of the point where stands 
the pretty white birch, a light canoe comes in sight. Poised 
Hghtly on the bow is a sunburned young man, gracefully 
guiding the canoe with light dips of his paddle, and giving 
just a little more than half his attention to the pretty, girlish 
face that casts admiring glances at him from the stern. They 
talk in a low, musical undertone, and what they say I do not 
hear, but I feel that they are lovers, and weave for them a little 
romance as I turn my head for a last glance at the boat and 
the crimson shawl that hangs over the stern like a banner. 

Up the broad stream and right in the center of the current 
comes gay boatloads of — well, not lovers, this time, surely. 
They don't row slowly enough, and don't keep near the shore. 

68 The Silent Watcher. 

Their gay, ringing voices, full of mirth and happiness, tell of 
abundant vitality and a firm determination to have a good 
time. On they go, vieing with each other as to who shall 
lead, and soon are out of sight. 

I muse awhile, watching the other boats that pass up and 
down with their more prosaic burdens of sand and seaweed, 
until I am finally roused by the lusty shouts of sailors getting 
ready to take advantage of the outgoing tide to be away on 
their coastwise trip. And I feel a restless longing to be away 
upon the sea, whose murmurs reach me here. The rattling 
and creaking of the cordage, as the white sails are borne aloft, 
have music in their own monotony, but living ever like the 
sound of the breaking waves on the distant shore I hear the 
clanking of the chains as they heave the anchor, and soon 
the " white-winged messenger of man " comes in sight, bear- 
ing steadily down the stream. I watch them as they round 
the island and pass from sight, reappearing again farther down 
the stream, and, when no longer in sight, follow them with my 
inward eye along their trackless path until the lengthening 
shadows bid me no longer dream. I clamber up the bank 
and follow the little footpath winding around the slope, and 
under old-fashioned apple-trees, guiltless alike of graft or 
pruning-knife, through the bars and along the grassgrown road 
to my summer resting place. But the spell of the sea is 
upon me, and voices from the past and future mingle con- 
fusedly in my mind. The voices of those around me have a 
dreamy, far-off sound, and I seek ray chamber and fall asleep, 
with the breath of the ocean rising and falling with my pulse 
and mingling with my dreams. 

The Silent Watcher. 69 


Up the long hill slopes the shadows are creeping, 
Low hangs the sun in the bright western sky, 
Soft through the distance comes the sound of flocks bleating. 

And from the dark woodlands the whippoorwills cry. 
In the grass at my feet the crickets are chirping ; 

Caw, caw, calls the homeward-bound crow : 
And awav on the hilltop the farmboy is calling, 

Co Cherry, co Rose, co Moll, co Bett, co co, co co, co coo. 

The western windows of the old yellow farmhouse. 

In the sunset-light gleam golden and red, 
Across the road the elm trees throw long shadows. 

The night winds stir the branches overhead. 
It lifts the leaves and rocks the hangbird's cradle, 

Swaying it gently to and fro : 
Fainter and farther the voice of the farmboy, 

Co Cherry, co Rose, co Moll, co Bett, co co, co co, co coo. 

Down in the meadow brook, shaded by rushes. 

The frogs are piping their evening lay : 
Lightly the swallows skim o'er the meadows, 

Homeward the sparrow is winging its way. 
Over the tired earth the dew is fast falling. 

Longer and longer the shadows grow. 
Still in the distance the farmboy is calling, 

Co Cherry, co Rose, co Moll, co Bett, co co, co co, co coo. 

yo Tlic Silent Waiclier. 

The distant hills, like a misty, purple curtain, 

Fold o'er the portal of the setting sun ; 
Over the hilltop the cows are now coming. 

Hurrying, loitering, one by one. 
Down by the pasture bars someone is waiting, 

Swinging the milkpails to and fro, 
Whistling a bar from some quaint old measure, — 

Ah ! that was many long years ago. 
Still through my memory the quaint call is stealing. 

Stealing like footfalls, heard long ago ; 
Like the chime of a bell that has long ceased its peaHng, 

Co Cherry, co Rose, co Moll, co Bett, co co, co co, co coo. 

Davis Brothers-* Portrait and 
Landscape Photographers ^ 

No. 5 Congress St. ¥ Ports 
mouth ¥ New Hampshire 


VIEWS of Portsmouth, Newcastle, Kittery Point, York, Isles 
of Shoals and all points of interest about Portsmouth. The illus- 
trations in this book are from our photographs, and we have many 
others, both exterior and interior, which are equally interesting 




16 Market Street PORTSMOUTH, N. H. 

John P. Sweetser 

"The Kitchener" 



Refrigerators, Oil Stoves, Lamps in great variety 

(Everything for the Kitchen and Garden) 

46 Market Street PORTSMOUTH, N. H. 

George F. Plaisted 

Dealer in (Beiicral 
S^ /Iftercbanbise 

Post Office Block, jviTine ''''"'' 

lEstabUsbc^ ise7 


Dry and Fancy Goods 


Watches. Clocks 

and Jewelry 

Hats and Caps 

Boots, Shoes and Rubbers 



Glass and Woodenware 



Wall Paper and 

Window Shades 

Paints, Oils. Varnishes 

and Brushes 

The York 

A bright, lively, local newspaper, devoted to the best inter- 
ests of York and surrounding towns. 

JFc 7vaiit everybody ic/io loves 
A FINE JOB OFFICE Old York to be our patron 
CONNE CTED h' subscribingfor the 



•«• Frank Ferdinand •«• 

2260 Washington Street 


The LARGEST Furniture Establishment 

in New England OVER TWELVE 


High Grade and Artistic 

Dining Room 

and Kitchen 








Splendid bathing. Magnificent roads for bicycling or driving. Only 
bathhouse on the beach, T-wo minutes from York Beach station. 
Pure spring water in abundance from the famous York Beach spring 
owned by the proprietors, FINE SAILING AND FISHING, 

For circular and terms address 

F. ft. ELLIS & CO., York Beach, Maine 

Geo. E. M. Smiley 

Bicycle "t* Repair -t* Shop 

Bicycle Sundries of all kinds. Bicycles Rented 
Agent for the best class of new wheels 

.... PAINTS .... 

York Village Maine 



Hardware, Paints, Oils, Tinware and 
*f» «f» Refrigerators *?* *®» 


7Vu' Sher7ui II- Willi a ins 



Thousands tZT""" 

in and about 



find that 

The Metropolitan 
Dry Goods House r^^ 

. . of . . 


Offers an exceedingly varied 
stock ot 

First-Class Merchandise 

It is one of the FEA TURES of the city, with initnense supplies in keep- 


Carpets, Rugs, Art Squares, Ribbons, Laces, Hosiery, Gloves 

AND Articles for Toilet 

Hotel, Cottage C ,, ^jp^l^'po In great abundance, 
or Camp '--^ »-*ppii^^ at special prices 

'"'^'tffi^fltoY''"'" GEORGE B. FRENCH 

Call at 

utnam s 

York Harbor 


lien C Moulton 

Contractor & Builder 

Summer Cottages a Specialty 

Also dealer in 

Lumber, Shingles and 
Building Materials 




York Village 


(Agent Mutual Life Ins. Company) 

■ .. THE LATEST .. . 

Get a PUATA imiMl I 1 I AM Of 




No Sitting required. Simpiu send uour Piioto. 



Hostess pins photo-medallion of herself on 
tallv card or ribbon. 


A miniature photo - medallion of yourself 
pinned on upper left-hand corner of note paper 
is very proper and acceptable to correspondents 


The very latest and prettiest fad is to make 
collections of the miniature photo-medallions 
of your friends. Pinned on black velvet 
background or on large fan, nothing is more 
unique, attractive or artistic. 


Photo-medallions of host or hostess can be 
pinned on menus or individual plate bouquets 
or souvenirs of any kind. 


If your photo is asked for, send one on your 
note paper. They can be pinned on coat or 

Photo-Medallions of Church, Schoo/house or Home. 


1 Doz. . . $1.00 

2 " . . 7.75 
h " . . .60 




1 Doz . . $0.75 

2 " . . 1.25 

i " . . .50 

Yorkshire Inn, York Harbor, Maine 

A beautifully located Hotel zvith all HOME COMFORTS. SUPERB 
VIEW seaward and inland. W. G. VARRELL, Proprietor 

ftmm l)OU$e and 
^ # # Coftaacs 

A most charming resort located on the BANKS of 

VorR Rarbor 


J. H. VARREAU, Proprietor 



1 i 

013 997 184 A ^ 


^E -^BWP