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The Devil And Tom Walker

The Devil And Tom Walker image
Parent Issue
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Ëv?rytody has heard, ná ft great i my m-i!ce uso of the expression, " the ud Torn Walker," yet wo presu i Fory few kuow who TomW. was, or w Uut rein tion between him and the Devil justifles this frequent associátion of their ia. As the most authentie account o Toin Walker was, wo give the folinteretttng story by the best Au ric.n ever produoed - Washington irving. 'A -STOK V OF TUE 'LAST CENTTJRY. As Tora waxed oíd, however he grew thoughtful. Having secured the good Uring! of this world, ho began to feel anxious about the noxt. Ho thought vwhTCgretönthe bsfi-gain ho had made ■wtth his black friend, and put his wits to work to cheat him out of his conditions. He boeame, therefore, all of a sudden, a violent chureh-goer. He prayed loudly and stronuously, as if heaven were to bo carried by force of lungs. Indeed, one might always totl "Vbon he had sinned the most during the week, by the olamor f his Simday devotion. The quiet Christians who" have been niodestly and quKtly traveling Zionward were struck wifcfc reproach at seeing theniselves so uddenly -oststripped in their career by this new made convört. Tom was as rigid in religión as in money mattere ; he was a stern supervisor and censurer of iis neighbors, and seemcd to think every gin entered up to their account became a credit on his page. Ho even talked of the eicpettiöncyei' cviving the persecución of the Quakers and Anabaptista. JStilL, in spite of his strenuous attention o forms, Torn had a lurking dread that the devil, after all would have his due. That he might not be taken unawares, therefore, it is said he always carried a BibkiR his, pocket. He also had a great .folio Bible in his ounting-house desk, wnd would frequontly be found reading when people called on business ; on such occasions he would lay his green speotacles on the boek to mark the place, while be turned around to drive some usurious ■bargain. SoTJie say Tom grew a littlo crackbrained in ais older days, and that, fancying his end approaching, he had his horse newly shod, saddled and buried witb his feet uppennost, because that, at the last day, the world would be turned tppside down, in which case he would find his horse ready for mounting, and he was dutermined at the worst to give his friend a run for it. This, howevcr, is probably a mere oíd wife's fable. If he really did tak that precaution, it was totally superfluon8 - at least so says the authentic old legend, which closos his story in the fok lowing maamer. One hot afternoos in tho dog days, just as a terrible black thunder gust came up, Torn sat in bis counting-houso in his white Unen cap and Indian silk morning gefwn. He was on the pofct of foreclosing a mortgage, by wliich he would complete the ruin of au unhappy speculator for whom he had expressed the greatest friendship. The poor land jobber begged lúui to grant a few month's indulgonce. Torn had grown testy an irritated, and jefused. " My family will be ruined and brougkt upon the parish," said the land jobber. "Charity begins at home," replied Torn, " I must take care of myself these bard times." " You ought to have made so much money out of me," said he, " I have not made a farfhing." Just the there were three loud knocks At the strect door. He stepped out to gee who was there. A black man with a black horse, which stamped and neighed wit i impatience. "Torn, you are come for," said the black fellow gruffly. To:n shrunk back, too late. He had left his little Bible at the bottom of his coat pocket, and his big Bible on the desk, buried under the mortgage he was about to foreclose - never was poor sinner taken more unaware. The black man "Whisked him like a child astride the horse, and away he galloped in the midst of a thunder storm. Such was the ead of Tom Walker and bis ill-gotten wealth. The story has resolved iteelf into a proTerb, and is the origin of the popular saying prevalent throughout New England, the Devil and Tom Walker. - - - ■■■!'■


Old News
Michigan Argus