Press enter after choosing selection

A Mystery

A Mystery image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

A man of English descont who lived in the oíd county oí Dorset, Md., scvoral years ago was known by tho ñamo of Bennett Bendlo. It had never becn diseovered during his ohildhood orvigorous manhood tliat tho bcatowal of tho doublo B hy hla sponsors in boptisin had eonfcrred any powcr to be bewitohed or bedeviled in suoh n way as to make hini tho subject of wonder and ipecnlatioc in all tho countryside. Yet the mere jnention of that mu no for years aftor the baftling event that brought him into sudden fame was enough to make the pions preachers and even the prosiding eider of the "deestrick" edge thoir chaira closer within tlio radius of tho cheery hearthstone's blazing oak logs and snuft the candles quickly to dispel all lurking shadows. On a little crcck tributary to the Choptiink, the Indian name for Bluo water, on tho eastern slioro of Maryland, thoro stood one of those primitivo and picturesque windmills of whioh thero aro a fow survivals in the country today. A long flight oí steps led on tho outsido to the lower story, where the baga of corn woro kept, and an inner short flight pavo acccss to the hopper room, where the great revolving stones wore crunching the golden grain. There was only one unglazcd window through which ono looked out nt tho long arma of tho mili sweeping round nnd round. Thero was no chimney or even a flre in eithcr room. Tho miller's name was Tristram Thomas, but he was to all men only Uncle Trlssy. His house stood closo by tho mili nnd wns a cabin of onc room dowri stairs and a low roofed loft above. To the hospitality of this meager abode canie Unrle Trissy's brothor-in-law, Bennctt Bendlo, ill and worn and with no homo of bis own. Ho wns very poor and had always beon desperatcly wicked, especially priding hlmself on "swearing things blue." During the weeks of conflnement to h!s bed Bendle was utterly helplcss - onable to move hand or foot. ëo subdued was he by this terrible plight, looked upon as a "visitatlon" for bis eins, that ho listened respectfully to the earnest exhortations of the local preachor and pondered over his wise ooutisela. He was occupying tho down stairs room in i trundle bed with his Uttle nephew at this time, and one nlght the boy awoka and aalled to his father, who slept in the eanip room: "Where ia üncle Bennett?" "Thero in bed with you." said the father. "No," cried the boy, "hols not." Unclc Trissy jumpcd up and lightcd his candle, not belicving his son's assertion, but iinding it true he sought the missing man in cvery nook anU cranny of tho little house, but thero was no Bennett Bendlo to bo found. The firo Vías still burning in the flreplace. He was certainly pot np tho ohiiuney, for they looked there then, and again nest morning, and could seo the sky, with no intervening object cutting off the viow. It w;i8 a dark, rainy uight, and they could do little until morning, but at daylight Uncle Trissy started out, and soon had 40 or 50 ablebodied neighbors helping hira. Tho whole population was astir, nnd breathless curiosity left scarcely a stone unturned in frantiu eöorts to ílnd a clew to tho strange disappearance. They not only searohcd the two rooms of the miller's houso in an ordinary way, but the distresscd preacher orawled on hia hands and knecs over every inch of the loft, and every foot of space on the premises was gono bver again and again. t The water In the wel] was drawn oui nnd tho creefe dragged all tho next day, but no Bcnnett Bendie was to bo found, nor any trace of blm. The long, swaying Btepg to the mili wero mountcd Ijy eager soekers, a careful olimb for even the suro foote.d, and they gazed into the hopper. They let tho light frcra a scoro of lanterns penétrate between tho plled up bags of ineal, whilo the green eyos of tho miller's great black ent blinked knowingly nt them frorn her perch iu tho roters, addlng mystery to mystery. Aftcr tho long, fruitless day tho neighbors went slowly homo in littlo groupa of ïwos and thrces, with many a foreboding shako cf tho head and i most uncanny 'eiling in the spine. Twenty-four hours had paesed in tho little house, wbrn, just aftor midnight, a sudden changa of wind nmde ifc neeessary that Tristram Thomas should go out to the mili to secure it against the blast by making tighter the ropes that tied down the anus. Getting out of bed lio started toward the door, but stumblcd overa prostrato body on tho floor. He called to his 6on in tbs trundlo bed, asking if he were thero. "Here I ara, father," camo tho boy's answor in a terrificd whisper froin undcr the covers. Thomas Rtepped over tbe flguro on the Üoor mul tried the door. It was fastcned sccmely. A holu bored in the log on the nside held a long wooden pin that coiild not possibly havo been removed froin the outside, a primitivo but thoroughly strong 'astoning. Thon ho got a light and found ücnnett Bendlo lying thcre, rigid and as utterly belpless us wlien ho saw him Jast. It requirud the united efforta oí Trisram, his wife and Iho l;id to lift Bendie aok into tbe bed be had so mysterlously eft without visible lid. The minister was Bont for. Ho went in he mornlng, exptoting to hear a strange tory, and he hoard it. Bfendletold the preachcr that a njan had come to hiin and said, "You must come with mo," and that he had replied: "I am lot ablc to go. I can't put on my jacket." The man said, "I will help you on with your jacket," and then Bcnnett knew no more until Uncle Trlssy stumbled over ilm on the floor. He had woolen stockingson and a blancet around him, and though tho rain had been pouring for two nights and a day, uring which time he was certainly noc in hat littlo cabln, he wai perfectly dry and overed from head to foot with blackest of oot. Anotber messengev camo fer Bennett 3endle a few days later- tho messengor hat comes for all, but brings no man baok guin. To this hour it remains as grest a mystery where Bennett went with the flrst


Old News
Ann Arbor Register