The Devil and Tom

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  • THERE ONCE WAS A MISERLY MAN NAMED TOM, WHO WAS MISERLY, ABUSED BY HIS WIFE.
  • One day that Tom Walker had been to a distant part of the neighborhood, he took what he considered a short cut homewards through the swamp. Like most short cuts, it was an ill chosen route.
  • Tom had long been picking his way cautiously through this treacherous forest; stepping from tuft to tuft of rushes and roots which afforded precarious footholds among deep sloughs;
  • It was late in the dusk of evening that Tom Walker reached the old fort, and he paused there for a while to rest himself. Any one but he would have felt unwilling to linger in this lonely melancholy place,
  • Humph!
  • Let that skull alone! What are you doing in my grounds?
  • Tom lifted up his eyes and beheld a opposite him He scowled for a moment at Tom with a pair of great red eyes.
  • Who are you, if I may be so bold?
  • You are he commonly called Old Scratch...
  • I am the great patron and prompter of slave dealers, and the grand master of the Salem witches
  • "Oh, I go by various names. The Wild Huntsman, the Black Miner. In this neighborhood I am known by the name of the Black Woodsman.
  • He now felt convinced that all he had heard and seen was no illusion.He was not prone to let his wife into his confidence; but as this was an uneasy secret, he willingly shared it with her.
  • It is said that after this commencement, they had a long and earnest conversation together, as Tom returned homewards. The black man told him of great sums of money which had been buried by Kidd the pirate, under the oak trees on the high ridge not far from the morass.
  • What proof have I that all you have been telling me is true?
  • There is my signature
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