Twice Told Tales. By Nathaniel Hawthorn, author of House of the Seven Gables. An Excerpt:
"The coach rumbled up to the piazza of the tavern followed by a
thousand people; for if any man had been minding his own business till
then, he now left it at sixes and sevens to hear the news. The pedler,
foremost in the race, discovered two passengers, both of whom had been
startled from a comfortable nap to find themselves in the centre of a
mob. Every man assailing them with separate questions, all propounded
at once, the couple were struck speechless, though one was a lawyer
and the other a young lady.
"Mr. Higginbotham! Mr. Higginbotham! Tell us the particulars about old
Mr. Higginbotham!" bawled the mob. "What is the coroner's verdict? Are
the murderers apprehended? Is Mr. Higginbotham's niece come out of her
fainting-fits? Mr. Higginbotham! Mr. Higginbotham!"
The coachman said not a word except to swear awfully at the hostler
for not bringing him a fresh team of horses. The lawyer inside had
generally his wits about him even when asleep; the first thing he did
after learning the cause of the excitement was to produce a large red
pocketbook. Meantime, Dominicus Pike, being an extremely polite young
man, and also suspecting that a female tongue would tell the story as
glibly as a lawyer's, had handed the lady out of the coach. She was a
fine, smart girl, now wide awake and bright as a button, and had such
a sweet, pretty mouth that Dominicus would almost as lief have heard a
love-tale from it as a tale of murder."