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THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW
 

          by Washington Irving
 

Found among the papers of the late Diedrech Knickerbocker.
 

        A pleasing land of drowsy head it was,
        Of dreams that wave before the half-shut eye;
        And of gay castles in the clouds that pass, 
        Forever flushing round a summer sky.
                    Castle of Indolence.
 

    In the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the 
eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river 
denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and 
where they always prudently shortened sail and implored the 
protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small 
market town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, 
but which is more generally and properly known by the name of 
Tarry Town.  This name was given, we are told, in former days, by 
the good housewives of the adjacent country, from the inveterate 
propensity of their husbands to linger about the village tavern 
on market days.  Be that as it may, I do not vouch for the fact, 
but merely advert to it, for the sake of being precise and 
authentic.  Not far from this village, perhaps about two miles, 
there is a little valley or rather lap of land among high hills, 
which is one of the quietest places in the whole world.  A small 
brook glides through it, with just murmur enough to lull one to 
repose; and the occasional whistle of a quail or tapping of a 
woodpecker is almost the only sound that ever breaks in upon the 
uniform tranquillity.

    I recollect that, when a stripling, my first exploit in 
squirrel-shooting was in a grove of tall walnut-trees that shades 
one side of the valley.  I had wandered into it at noontime, when 
all nature is peculiarly quiet, and was startled by the roar of 
my own gun, as it broke the Sabbath stillness around and was 
prolonged and reverberated by the angry echoes.  If ever I should 
wish for a retreat whither I might steal from the world and its 
distractions, and dream quietly away the remnant of a troubled 
life, I know of none more promising than this little valley.

    From the listless repose of the place, and the peculiar 
character of its inhabitants, who are descendants from the 
original Dutch settlers, this sequestered glen has long been 
known by the name of SLEEPY HOLLOW, and its rustic lads are 
called the Sleepy Hollow Boys throughout all the neighboring 
country.  A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the land, 
and to pervade the very atmosphere.  Some say that the place was 
bewitched by a High German doctor, during the early days of the 
settlement; others, that an old Indian chief, the prophet or 
wizard of his tribe, held his powwows there before the country 
was discovered by Master Hendrick Hudson.  Certain it is, the 
place still continues under the sway of some witching power, that 
holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them to 
walk in a continual reverie.  They are given to all kinds of 
marvelous beliefs; are subject to trances and visions, and 
frequently see strange sights, and hear music and voices in the 
air.  The whole neighborhood abounds with local tales, haunted 
spots, and twilight superstitions; stars shoot and meteors glare 
oftener across the valley than in any other part of the country, 
and the nightmare, with her whole ninefold, seems to make it the 
favorite scene of her gambols.

    The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted 
region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of 
the air, is the apparition of a figure on horseback, without a 
head.  It is said by some to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper, 
whose head had been carried away by a cannon-ball, in some 
nameless battle during the Revolutionary War, and who is ever and 
anon seen by the country folk hurrying along in the gloom of 
night, as if on the wings of the wind.  His haunts are not 
confined to the valley, but extend at times to the adjacent 
roads, and especially to the vicinity of a church at no great 
distance.  Indeed, certain of the most authentic historians of 
those parts, who have been careful in collecting and collating 
the floating facts concerning this spectre, allege that the body 
of the trooper having been buried in the churchyard, the ghost 
rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head, 
and that the rushing speed with which he sometimes passes along 
the Hollow, like a midnight blast, is owing to his being belated, 
and in a hurry to get back to the churchyard before daybreak.

    Such is the general purport of this legendary superstition, 
which has furnished materials for many a wild story in that 
region of shadows; and the spectre is known at all the country 
firesides, by the name of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.

    It is remarkable that the visionary propensity I have 
mentioned is not confined to the native inhabitants of the 
valley, but is unconsciously imbibed by every one who resides 
there for a time.  However wide awake they may have been before 
they entered that sleepy region, they are sure, in a little time, 
to inhale the witching influence of the air, and begin to grow 
imaginative, to dream dreams, and see apparitions.

    I mention this peaceful spot with all possible laud for it 
is in such little retired Dutch valleys, found here and there 
embosomed in the great State of New York, that population, 
manners, and customs remain fixed, while the great torrent of 
migration and improvement, which is making such incessant changes 
in other parts of this restless country, sweeps by them 
unobserved.  They are like those little nooks of still water, 
which border a rapid stream, where we may see the straw and 
bubble riding quietly at anchor, or slowly revolving in their 
mimic harbor, undisturbed by the rush of the passing current. 
Though many years have elapsed since I trod the drowsy shades of 
Sleepy Hollow, yet I question whether I should not still find the 
same trees and the same families vegetating in its sheltered 
bosom.

    In this by-place of nature there abode, in a remote period 
of American history, that is to say, some thirty years since, a 
worthy wight of the name of Ichabod Crane, who sojourned, or, as 
he expressed it, "tarried," in Sleepy Hollow, for the purpose of 
instructing the children of the vicinity.  He was a native of 
Connecticut, a State which supplies the Union with pioneers for 
the mind as well as for the forest, and sends forth yearly its 
legions of frontier woodmen and country schoolmasters.  The 
cognomen of Crane was not inapplicable to his person.  He was 
tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms and 
legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that 
might have served for shovels, and his whole frame most loosely 
hung together.  His head was small, and flat at top, with huge 
ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long snipe nose, so that it 
looked like a weather-cock perched upon his spindle neck to tell 
which way the wind blew.  To see him striding along the profile of 
a hill on a windy day, with his clothes bagging and fluttering 
about him, one might have mistaken him for the genius of famine 
descending upon the earth, or some scarecrow eloped from a 
cornfield.

    His schoolhouse was a low building of one large room, rudely 
constructed of logs; the windows partly glazed, and partly 
patched with leaves of old copybooks.  It was most ingeniously 
secured at vacant hours, by a *withe twisted in the handle of the 
door, and stakes set against the window shutters; so that though 
a thief might get in with perfect ease, he would find some 
embarrassment in getting out, --an idea most probably borrowed by 
the architect, Yost Van Houten, from the mystery of an eelpot. 
The schoolhouse stood in a rather lonely but pleasant situation, 
just at the foot of a woody hill, with a brook running close by, 
and a formidable birch-tree growing at one end of it.  From hence 
the low murmur of his pupils' voices, conning over their lessons, 
might be heard in a drowsy summer's day, like the hum of a 
beehive; interrupted now and then by the authoritative voice of 
the master, in the tone of menace or command, or, peradventure, 
by the appalling sound of the birch, as he urged some tardy 
loiterer along the flowery path of knowledge.  Truth to say, he 
was a conscientious man, and ever bore in mind the golden maxim, 
"Spare the rod and spoil the child." Ichabod Crane's scholars 
certainly were not spoiled.

    I would not have it imagined, however, that he was one of 
those cruel potentates of the school who joy in the smart of 
their subjects; on the contrary, he administered justice with 
discrimination rather than severity; taking the burden off the 
backs of the weak, and laying it on those of the strong.  Your 
mere puny stripling, that winced at the least flourish of the 
rod, was passed by with indulgence; but the claims of justice 
were satisfied by inflicting a double portion on some little 
tough wrong headed, broad-skirted Dutch urchin, who sulked and 
swelled and grew dogged and sullen beneath the birch.  All this he 
called "doing his duty by their parents;" and he never inflicted 
a chastisement without following it by the assurance, so 
consolatory to the smarting urchin, that "he would remember it 
and thank him for it the longest day he had to live."

    When school hours were over, he was even the companion and 
playmate of the larger boys; and on holiday afternoons would 
convoy some of the smaller ones home, who happened to have pretty 
sisters, or good housewives for mothers, noted for the comforts 
of the cupboard.  Indeed, it behooved him to keep on good terms 
with his pupils.  The revenue arising from his school was small, 
and would have been scarcely sufficient to furnish him with daily 
bread, for he was a huge feeder, and, though lank, had the 
dilating powers of an anaconda; but to help out his maintenance, 
he was, according to country custom in those parts, boarded and 
lodged at the houses of the farmers whose children he instructed. 
With these he lived successively a week at a time, thus going the 
rounds of the neighborhood, with all his worldly effects tied up 
in a cotton handkerchief.

    That all this might not be too onerous on the purses of his 
rustic patrons, who are apt to considered the costs of schooling 
a grievous burden, and schoolmasters as mere drones he had 
various ways of rendering himself both useful and agreeable.
He assisted the farmers occasionally in the lighter labors of
their farms, helped to make hay, mended the fences, took the
horses to water, drove the cows from pasture, and cut wood
for the winter fire.  He laid aside, too, all the dominant
dignity and absolute sway with which he lorded it in his
little empire, the school, and became wonderfully gentle
and ingratiating.  He found favor in the eyes of the mothers
by petting the children, particularly the youngest; and like
the lion bold, which whilom so magnanimously the lamb did hold,
he would sit with a child on one knee, and rock a cradle with
his foot for whole hours together.

    In addition to his other vocations, he was the singing-
master of the neighborhood, and picked up many bright shillings 
by instructing the young folks in psalmody.  It was a matter of no 
little vanity to him on Sundays, to take his station in front of 
the church gallery, with a band of chosen singers; where, in his 
own mind, he completely carried away the palm from the parson. 
Certain it is, his voice resounded far above all the rest of the 
congregation; and there are peculiar quavers still to be heard in 
that church, and which may even be heard half a mile off, quite 
to the opposite side of the mill-pond, on a still Sunday morning, 
which are said to be legitimately descended from the nose of 
Ichabod Crane.  Thus, by divers little makeshifts, in that 
ingenious way which is commonly denominated "by hook and by 
crook," the worthy pedagogue got on tolerably enough, and was 
thought, by all who understood nothing of the labor of headwork, 
to have a wonderfully easy life of it.

    The schoolmaster is generally a man of some importance in 
the female circle of a rural neighborhood; being considered a 
kind of idle, gentlemanlike personage, of vastly superior taste 
and accomplishments to the rough country swains, and, indeed, 
inferior in learning only to the parson.  His appearance, 
therefore, is apt to occasion some little stir at the tea-table 
of a farmhouse, and the addition of a supernumerary dish of cakes 
or sweetmeats, or, peradventure, the parade of a silver teapot. 
Our man of letters, therefore, was peculiarly happy in the smiles 
of all the country damsels.  How he would figure among them in the 
churchyard, between services on Sundays; gathering grapes for 
them from the wild vines that overran the surrounding trees; 
reciting for their amusement all the epitaphs on the tombstones; 
or sauntering, with a whole bevy of them, along the banks of the 
adjacent mill-pond; while the more bashful country bumpkins hung 
sheepishly back, envying his superior elegance and address.

    From his half-itinerant life, also, he was a kind of 
traveling gazette, carrying the whole budget of local gossip from 
house to house, so that his appearance was always greeted with 
satisfaction.  He was, moreover, esteemed by the women as a man of 
great erudition, for he had read several books quite through, and 
was a perfect master of Cotton  Mather's "History of New England 
Witchcraft," in which, by the way, he most firmly and potently 
believed.

    He was, in fact, an odd mixture of small shrewdness and 
simple credulity.  His appetite for the marvelous, and his powers 
of digesting it, were equally extraordinary; and both had been 
increased by his residence in this spell-bound region.  No tale 
was too gross or monstrous for his capacious swallow.  It was 
often his delight, after his school was dismissed in the 
afternoon, to stretch himself on the rich bed of clover bordering 
the little brook that whimpered by his school-house, and there 
con over old Mather's direful tales, until the gathering dusk of 
evening made the printed page a mere mist before his eyes.  Then, 
as he wended his way by swamp and stream and awful woodland, to 
the farmhouse where he happened to be quartered, every sound of 
nature, at that witching hour, fluttered his excited 
imagination, --the moan of the whip-poor-will from the hillside, 
the boding cry of the tree toad, that harbinger of storm, the 
dreary hooting of the screech owl, to the sudden rustling in the 
thicket of birds frightened from their roost.  The fireflies, too, 
which sparkled most vividly in the darkest places, now and then 
startled him, as one of uncommon brightness would stream across 
his path; and if, by chance, a huge blockhead of a beetle came 
winging his blundering flight against him, the poor varlet was 
ready to give up the ghost, with the idea that he was struck with 
a witch's token.  His only resource on such occasions, either to 
drown thought or drive away evil spirits, was to sing psalm tunes 
and the good people of Sleepy Hollow, as they sat by their doors 
of an evening, were often filled with awe at hearing his nasal 
melody, "in linked sweetness long drawn out," floating from the 
distant hill, or along the dusky road.

    Another of his sources of fearful pleasure was to pass long 
winter evenings with the old Dutch wives, as they sat spinning by 
the fire, with a row of apples roasting and spluttering along the 
hearth, and listen to their marvellous tales of ghosts and 
goblins, and haunted fields, and haunted brooks, and haunted 
bridges, and haunted houses, and particularly of the headless 
horseman, or Galloping Hessian of the Hollow, as they sometimes 
called him.  He would delight them equally by his anecdotes of 
witchcraft, and of the direful omens and portentous sights and 
sounds in the air, which prevailed in the earlier times of 
Connecticut; and would frighten them woefully with speculations 
upon comets and shooting stars; and with the alarming fact that 
the world did absolutely turn round, and that they were half the 
time topsy-turvy!

    But if there was a pleasure in all this, while snugly 
cuddling in the chimney corner of a chamber that was all of a 
ruddy glow from the crackling wood fire, and where, of course, no 
spectre dared to show its face, it was dearly purchased by the 
terrors of his subsequent walk homewards.  What fearful shapes and 
shadows beset his path, amidst the dim and ghastly glare of a 
snowy night!  With what wistful look did he eye every trembling 
ray of light streaming across the waste fields from some distant 
window!  How often was he appalled by some shrub covered with 
snow, which, like a sheeted spectre, beset his very path!  How 
often did he shrink with curdling awe at the sound of his own 
steps on the frosty crust beneath his feet; and dread to look 
over his shoulder, lest he should behold some uncouth being 
tramping close behind him! and how often was he thrown into 
complete dismay by some rushing blast, howling among the trees, 
in the idea that it was the Galloping Hessian on one of his 
nightly scourings!

    All these, however, were mere terrors of the night, phantoms 
of the mind that walk in darkness; and though he had seen many 
spectres in his time, and been more than once beset by Satan in 
divers shapes, in his lonely perambulations, yet daylight put an 
end to all these evils; and he would have passed a pleasant life 
of it, in despite of the Devil and all his works, if his path had 
not been crossed by a being that causes more perplexity to mortal 
man than ghosts, goblins, and the whole race of witches put 
together, and that was--a woman.

    Among the musical disciples who assembled, one evening in 
each week, to receive his instructions in psalmody, was Katrina 
Van Tassel, the daughter and only child of a substantial Dutch 
farmer.  She was a booming lass of fresh eighteen; plump as a 
partridge; ripe and melting and rosy-cheeked as one of her 
father's peaches, and universally famed, not merely for her 
beauty, but her vast expectations.  She was withal a little of a 
coquette, as might be perceived even in her dress, which was a 
mixture of ancient and modern fashions, as most suited to set of 
her charms.  She wore the ornaments of pure yellow gold, which her 
great-great-grandmother had brought over from Saar dam; the 
tempting stomacher of the olden time, and withal a provokingly 
short petticoat, to display the prettiest foot and ankle in the 
country round.

    Ichahod Crane had a soft and foolish heart towards the sex; 
and it is not to be wondered at, that so tempting a morsel soon 
found favor in his eyes, more especially after he had visited her 
in her paternal mansion.  Old Baltus Van Tassel was a perfect 
picture of a thriving, contented, liberal-hearted farmer.  He 
seldom, it is true, sent either his eyes or his thoughts beyond 
the boundaries of his own farm; but within those everything was 
snug, happy and well-conditioned.  He was satisfied with his 
wealth, but not proud of it; and piqued himself upon the hearty 
abundance, rather than the style in which he lived.  His 
stronghold was situated on the banks of the Hudson, in one of 
those green, sheltered, fertile nooks in which the Dutch farmers 
are so fond of nestling.  A great elm tree spread its broad 
branches over it, at the foot of which bubbled up a spring of the 
softest and sweetest water, in a little well formed of a barrel; 
and then stole sparkling away through the grass, to a neighboring 
brook, that babbled  along among alders and dwarf willows.  Hard 
by the farmhouse was a vast barn, that might have served for a 
church; every window and crevice of which seemed bursting
forth with the treasures of the farm; the flail was busily 
resounding within it from morning to night; swallows and martins 
skimmed twittering about the eaves; an rows of pigeons, some with 
one eye turned up, as if watching the weather, some with their 
heads under their wings or buried in their bosoms, and others 
swelling, and cooing, and bowing about their dames, were enjoying 
the sunshine on the roof.  Sleek unwieldy porkers were grunting in 
the repose and abundance of their pens, from whence sallied 
forth, now and then, troops of sucking pigs, as if to snuff the 
air.  A stately squadron of snowy geese were riding in an 
adjoining pond, convoying whole fleets of ducks; regiments of 
turkeys were gobbling through the farmyard, and Guinea fowls 
fretting about it, like ill-tempered housewives, with their 
peevish, discontented cry.  Before the barn door strutted the 
gallant cock, that pattern of a husband, a warrior and a fine 
gentleman, clapping his burnished wings and crowing in the pride 
and gladness of his heart, --sometimes tearing up the earth with 
his feet, and then generously calling his ever-hungry family of 
wives and children to enjoy the rich morsel which he had 
discovered.

    The pedagogue's mouth watered as he looked upon this 
sumptuous promise of luxurious winter fare.  In his devouring 
mind's eye, he pictured to himself every roasting-pig running 
about with a pudding in his belly, and an apple in his mouth; the 
pigeons were snugly put to bed in a comfortable pie, and tucked 
in with a coverlet of crust; the geese were swimming in their own 
gravy; and the ducks pairing cosily in dishes, like snug married 
couples, with a decent competency of onion sauce.  In the porkers 
he saw carved out the future sleek side of bacon, and juicy 
relishing ham; not a turkey but he beheld daintily trussed up, 
with its gizzard under its wing, and, peradventure, a necklace of 
savory sausages; and even bright chanticleer himself lay 
sprawling on his back, in a side dish, with uplifted claws, as if 
craving that quarter which his chivalrous spirit disdained to ask 
while living.

    As the enraptured Ichabod fancied all this, and as he rolled 
his great green eyes over the fat meadow lands, the rich fields 
of wheat, of rye, of buckwheat, and Indian corn, and the orchards 
burdened with ruddy fruit, which surrounded the warm tenement of 
Van Tassel, his heart yearned after the damsel who was to inherit 
these domains, and his imagination expanded with the idea, how 
they might be readily turned into cash, and the money invested in 
immense tracts of wild land, and shingle palaces in the 
wilderness.  Nay, his busy fancy already realized his hopes, and 
presented to him the blooming Katrina, with a whole family of 
children, mounted on the top of a wagon loaded with household 
trumpery, with pots and kettles dangling beneath; and he beheld 
himself bestriding a pacing mare, with a colt at her heels, 
setting out for Kentucky, Tennessee, --or the Lord knows where!

    When he entered the house, the conquest of his heart was 
complete.  It was one of those spacious farmhouses, with high-
ridged but lowly sloping roofs, built in the style handed down 
from the first Dutch settlers; the low projecting eaves forming a 
piazza along the front, capable of being closed up in bad 
weather.  Under this were hung flails, harness, various utensils 
of husbandry, and nets for fishing in the neighboring river. 
Benches were built along the sides for summer use; and a great 
spinning-wheel at one end, and a churn at the other, showed the 
various uses to which this important porch might be devoted.  From 
this piazza the wondering Ichabod entered the hall, which formed 
the centre of the mansion, and the place of usual residence.  Here 
rows of resplendent pewter, ranged on a long dresser, dazzled his 
eyes.  In one corner stood a huge bag of wool, ready to be spun; 
in another, a quantity of linsey-woolsey just from the loom; ears 
of Indian corn, and strings of dried apples and peaches, hung in 
gay festoons along the walls, mingled with the gaud of red 
peppers; and a door left ajar gave him a peep into the best 
parlor, where the claw-footed chairs and dark mahogany tables 
shone like mirrors; andirons, with their accompanying shovel and 
tongs, glistened from their covert of asparagus tops; mock- 
oranges and conch - shells decorated the mantelpiece; strings of 
various-colored birds eggs were suspended above it; a great 
ostrich egg was hung from the centre of the room, and a corner 
cupboard, knowingly left open, displayed immense treasures of old 
silver and well-mended china.

    From the moment Ichabod laid his eyes upon these regions of 
delight, the peace of his mind was at an end, and his only study 
was how to gain the affections of the peerless daughter of Van 
Tassel.  In this enterprise, however, he had more real 
difficulties than generally fell to the lot of a knight-errant of 
yore, who seldom had anything but giants, enchanters, fiery 
dragons, and such like easily conquered adversaries, to contend 
with and had to make his way merely through gates of iron and 
brass, and walls of adamant to the castle keep, where the lady of 
his heart was confined; all which he achieved as easily as a man 
would carve his way to the centre of a Christmas pie; and then 
the lady gave him her hand as a matter of course.  Ichabod, on the 
contrary, had to win his way to the heart of a country coquette, 
beset with a labyrinth of whims and caprices, which were forever 
presenting new difficulties and impediments; and he had to 
encounter a host of fearful adversaries of real flesh and blood, 
the numerous rustic admirers, who beset every portal to her 
heart, keeping a watchful and angry eye upon each other, but 
ready to fly out in the common cause against any new competitor.

    Among these, the most formidable was a burly, roaring, 
roystering blade, of the name of Abraham, or, according to the 
Dutch abbreviation, Brom Van Brunt, the hero of the country round 
which rang with his feats of strength and hardihood.  He was 
broad-shouldered and double-jointed, with short curly black hair, 
and a bluff but not unpleasant countenance, having a mingled air 
of fun and arrogance From his Herculean frame and great powers of 
limb he had received the nickname of BROM BONES, by which he was 
universally known.  He was famed for great knowledge and skill in 
horsemanship, being as dexterous on horseback as a Tartar.  He was 
foremost at all races and cock fights; and, with the ascendancy 
which bodily strength always acquires in rustic life, was the 
umpire in all disputes, setting his hat on one side, and giving 
his decisions with an air and tone that admitted of no gainsay or 
appeal.  He was always ready for either a fight or a frolic; but 
had more mischief than ill-will in his composition; and with all 
his overbearing roughness, there was a strong dash of waggish 
good humor at bottom.  He had three or four boon companions, who 
regarded him as their model, and at the head of whom he scoured 
the country, attending every scene of feud or merriment for
miles round.  In cold weather he was distinguished by a fur cap, 
surmounted with a flaunting fox's tail; and when the folks at a 
country gathering descried this well-known crest at a distance,
whisking about among a squad of hard riders, they always stood by
for a squall.  Sometimes his crew would be heard dashing along
past the farmhouses at midnight, with whoop and halloo, like a
troop of Don Cossacks; and the old dames, startled out of their
sleep, would listen for a moment till the hurry-scurry had
clattered by, and then exclaim, "Ay, there goes Brom Bones
and his gang!"  The neighbors looked upon him with a mixture
of awe, admiration, and good-will; and, when any madcap prank
or rustic brawl occurred in the vicinity, always shook their
heads, and warranted Brom Bones was at the bottom of it.

    This rantipole hero had for some time singled out the 
blooming Katrina for the object of his uncouth gallantries, and 
though his amorous toyings were something like the gentle 
caresses and endearments ofa bear, yet it was whispered that she 
did not altogether discourage his hopes.  Certain it is, his 
advances were signals for rival candidates to retire, who felt no 
inclination to cross a lion in his amours; insomuch, that when 
his horse was seen tied to Van Tassel's paling, on a Sunday 
night, a sure sign that his master was courting, or, as it is 
termed, " sparking," within, all other suitors passed by in 
despair, and  carried the war into other quarters.

    Such was the formidable rival with whom Ichabod Crane had to 
contend, and, considering, all things, a stouter man than he 
would have shrunk from the competition, and a wiser man would 
have despaired.  He had, however, a happy mixture of pliability 
and perseverance in his nature; he was in form and spirit like a 
supple-jackÄyielding, but tough; though he bent, he never broke; 
and though he bowed beneath the slightest pressure, yet, the 
moment it was away--jerk!--he was as erect, and carried his 
head as high as ever.

    To have taken the field openly against his rival would have 
been madness; for he was not a man to be thwarted in his amours, 
any more than that stormy lover, Achilles.  Ichabod, therefore, 
made his advances in a quiet and gently insinuating manner.  Under 
cover of his character of singing-master, he made frequent visits 
at the farmhouse; not that he had anything to apprehend from the 
meddlesome interference of parents, which is so often a 
stumbling-block in the path of lovers.  Balt Van Tassel was an 
easy indulgent soul; he loved his daughter better even than his 
pipe, and, like a reasonable man and an excellent father, let her 
have her way in everything.  His notable little wife, too, had 
enough to do to attend to her housekeeping and manage her 
poultry; for, as she sagely observed, ducks and geese are foolish 
things, and must be looked after, but girls can take care of 
themselves.  Thus, while the busy dame bustled about the house, or 
plied her spinning-wheel at one end of the piazza, honest Balt 
would sit smoking his evening pipe at the other, watching the 
achievements of a little wooden warrior, who, armed with a sword 
in each hand, was most valiantly fighting the wind on the 
pinnacle of the barn.  In the mean time, Ichabod would carry on 
his suit with the daughter by the side of the spring under the 
great elm, or sauntering along in the twilight, that hour so 
favorable to the lover's eloquence.

    I profess not to know how women's hearts are wooed and won. 
To me they have always been matters of riddle and admiration. 
Some seem to have but one vulnerable point, or door of access; 
while others have a thousand avenues, and may be captured in a 
thousand different ways.  It is a great triumph of skill to gain 
the former, but a still greater proof of generalship to maintain 
possession of the latter, for man must battle for his fortress at 
every door and window.  He who wins a thousand common hearts is 
therefore entitled to some renown; but he who keeps undisputed 
sway over the heart of a coquette is indeed a hero.  Certain it 
is, this was not the case with the redoubtable Brom Bones; and 
from the moment Ichabod Crane made his advances, the interests of 
the former evidently declined:  his horse was no longer seen tied 
to the palings on Sunday nights, and a deadly feud gradually 
arose between him and the preceptor of Sleepy Hollow.

    Brom, who had a degree of rough chivalry in his nature, 
would fain have carried matters to open warfare and have settled 
their pretensions to the lady, according to the mode of those 
most concise and simple reasoners, the knights-errant of yore, --
by single combat; but lchabod was too conscious of the superior 
might of his adversary to enter the lists against him; he had 
overheard a boast of Bones, that he would "double the 
schoolmaster up, and lay him on a shelf of his own schoolhouse;" 
and he was too wary to give him an opportunity.  There was 
something extremely provoking, in this obstinately pacific 
system; it left Brom no alternative but to draw upon the funds of 
rustic waggery in his disposition, and to play off boorish 
practical jokes upon his rival.  Ichabod became the object of 
whimsical persecution to Bones and his gang of rough riders.  They 
harried his hitherto peaceful domains, smoked out his singing-
school by stopping up the chimney, broke into the schoolhouse at 
night, in spite of its formidable fastenings of withe and window 
stakes, and turned everything topsy-turvy, so that the poor 
schoolmaster began to think all the witches in the country held 
their meetings there.  But what was still more annoying, Brom took 
all Opportunities of turning him into ridicule in presence of his 
mistress, and had a scoundrel dog whom he taught to whine in the 
most ludicrous manner, and introduced as a rival of Ichabod's, to 
instruct her in psalmody.

    In this way matters went on for some time, without producing 
any material effect on the relative situations of the contending 
powers.  On a fine autumnal afternoon, Ichabod, in pensive mood, 
sat enthroned on the lofty stool from whence he usually watched 
all the concerns of his little literary realm.  In his hand he 
swayed a ferule, that sceptre of despotic power; the birch of 
justice reposed on three nails behind the throne, a constant 
terror to evil doers, while on the desk before him might be seen 
sundry contraband articles and prohibited weapons, detected upon 
the persons of idle urchins, such as half-munched apples, 
popguns, whirligigs, fly-cages, and whole legions of rampant 
little paper game-cocks.  Apparently there had been some appalling 
act of justice recently inflicted, for his scholars were all 
busily intent upon their books, or slyly whispering behind them 
with one eye kept upon the master; and a kind of buzzing 
stillness reigned throughout the schoolroom.  It was suddenly 
interrupted by the appearance of a negro in tow-cloth jacket and 
trowsers.  a round-crowned fragment of a hat, like the cap of 
Mercury, and mounted on the back of a ragged, wild, half-broken 
colt, which he managed with a rope by way of halter.  He came 
clattering up to the school-door with an invitation to Ichabod to 
attend a merry - making or "quilting-frolic,"  to be held that 
evening at Mynheer Van Tassel's; and having, delivered his 
message with that air of importance and effort at fine language 
which a negro is apt to display on petty embassies of the kind, 
he dashed over the brook, and was seen scampering, away up the 
Hollow, full of the importance and hurry of his mission.

    All was now bustle and hubbub in the late quiet schoolroom. 
The scholars were hurried through their lessons without stopping 
at trifles; those who were nimble skipped over half with 
impunity, and those who were tardy had a smart application now 
and then in the rear, to quicken their speed or help them over a 
tall word.  Books were flung aside without being put away on the 
shelves, inkstands were overturned, benches thrown down, and the 
whole school was turned loose an hour before the usual time, 
bursting forth like a legion of young imps, yelping and racketing 
about the green in joy at their early emancipation.

    The gallant Ichabod now spent at least an extra half hour at 
his toilet, brushing and furbishing up his best, and indeed only 
suit of rusty black, and arranging his locks by a bit of broken 
looking-glass that hung up in the schoolhouse.  That he might make 
his appearance before his mistress in the true style of a 
cavalier, he borrowed a horse from the farmer with whom he was 
domiciliated, a choleric old Dutchman of the name of Hans Van 
Ripper, and, thus gallantly mounted, issued forth like a knight-
errant in quest of adventures.  But it is meet I should, in the 
true spirit of romantic story, give some account of the looks and 
equipments of my hero and his steed.  The animal he bestrode was a 
broken-down plow-horse, that had outlived almost everything but 
its viciousness.  He was gaunt and shagged, with a ewe neck, and a 
head like a hammer; his rusty mane and tail were tangled and 
knotted with burs; one eye had lost its pupil, and was glaring 
and spectral, but the other had the gleam of a genuine devil in 
it.  Still he must have had fire and mettle in his day, if we may 
judge from the name he bore of Gunpowder.  He had, in fact, been a 
favorite steed of his master's, the choleric Van Ripper, who was 
a furious rider, and had infused, very probably, some of his own 
spirit into the animal; for, old and broken-down as he looked, 
there was more of the lurking devil in him than in any young 
filly in the country.

    Ichabod was a suitable figure for such a steed .  He rode 
with short stirrups, which brought his knees nearly up to the 
pommel of the saddle; his sharp elbows stuck out like 
grasshoppers'; he carried his whip perpendicularly in his hand, 
like a sceptre, and as his horse jogged on, the motion of his 
arms was not unlike the flapping of a pair of wings.  A small wool 
hat rested on the top of his nose, for so his scanty strip of 
forehead might be called, and the skirts of his black coat 
fluttered out almost to the horses tail.  Such was the appearance 
of Ichabod and his steed as they shambled out of the gate of Hans 
Van Ripper, and it was altogether such an apparition as is seldom 
to be met with in broad daylight.

    It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was 
clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery 
which we always associate with the idea of abundance.  The forests 
had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the 
tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes 
of orange, purple, and scarlet.  Streaming files of wild ducks 
began to make their appearance high in the air; the bark of the 
squirrel might be heard from the groves of beech and hickory-
nuts, and the pensive whistle of the quail at intervals from the 
neighboring stubble field.

    The small birds were taking their farewell banquets.  In the 
fullness of their revelry, they fluttered, chirping and 
frolicking from bush to bush, and tree to tree, capricious from 
the very profusion and variety around them.  There was the honest 
cockrobin, the favorite game of stripling sportsmen, with its 
loud querulous note; and the twittering blackbirds flying in 
sable clouds, and the golden- winged woodpecker with his crimson 
crest, his broad black gorget, and splendid plumage; and the 
cedar-bird, with its red tipt wings and yellow-tipt tail and its 
little monteiro cap of feathers; and the blue jay, that noisy 
coxcomb, in his gay light blue coat and white underclothes, 
screaming and chattering, nodding and bobbing and bowing, and 
pretending to be on good terms with every songster of the grove.

    As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye, ever open to 
every symptom of culinary abundance, ranged with delight over the 
treasures of jolly autumn.  On all sides he beheld vast store of 
apples:  some hanging in oppressive opulence on the trees; some 
gathered into baskets and barrels for the market; others heaped 
up in rich piles for the cider-press.  Farther on he beheld great 
fields of Indian corn, with its golden ears peeping from their 
leafy coverts, and holding out the promise of cakes and hasty-
pudding; and the yellow pumpkins lying beneath them, turning up 
their fair round bellies to the sun, and giving ample prospects 
of the most luxurious of pies; and anon he passed the fragrant 
buckwheat fields breathing the odor of the beehive, and as he 
beheld them, soft anticipations stole over his mind of dainty 
slap-jacks, well buttered, and garnished with honey or treacle, 
by the delicate little dimpled hand of Katrina Van Tassel.

    Thus feeding his mind with many sweet thoughts and "sugared 
suppositions," he journeyed along the sides of a range of hills 
which look out upon some of the goodliest scenes of the mighty 
Hudson.  The sun gradually wheeled his broad disk down in the 
west.  The wide bosom of the Tappan Zee lay motionless and glassy, 
excepting that here and there a gentle undulation waved and 
prolonged the blue shallow of the distant mountain.  A few amber 
clouds floated in the sky, without a breath of air to move them. 
The horizon was of a fine golden tint, changing gradually into a 
pure apple green, and from that into the deep blue of the mid-
heaven.  A slanting ray lingered on the woody crests of the 
precipices that overhung some parts of the river, giving greater 
depth to the dark gray and purple of their rocky sides.  A sloop 
was loitering in the distance, dropping slowly down with the 
tide, her sail hanging uselessly against the mast; and as the 
reflection of the sky gleamed along the still water, it seemed as 
if the vessel was suspended in the air.

    It was toward evening that Ichabod arrived at the castle of 
the Heer Van Tassel, which he found thronged with the pride and 
flower of the adjacent country Old farmers, a spare leathern-
faced race, in homespun coats and breeches, blue stockings, huge 
shoes, and magnificent pewter buckles.  Their brisk, withered 
little dames, in close crimped caps, long waisted short-gowns, 
homespun petticoats, with scissors and pin-cushions, and gay 
calico pockets hanging on the outside.  Buxom lasses, almost as 
antiquated as their mothers, excepting where a straw hat, a fine 
ribbon, or perhaps a white frock, gave symptoms of city 
innovation.  The sons, in short square-skirted coats, with rows of 
stupendous brass buttons, and their hair generally queued in the 
fashion of the times, especially if they could procure an eelskin 
for the purpose, it being esteemed throughout the country as a 
potent nourisher and strengthener of the hair.

    Brom Bones, however, was the hero of the scene, having come 
to the gathering on his favorite steed Daredevil, a creature, 
like himself, full of mettle and mischief, and which no one but 
himself could manage.  He was, in fact, noted for preferring 
vicious animals, given to all kinds of tricks which kept the 
rider in constant risk of his neck, for he held a tractable, 
wellbroken horse as unworthy of a lad of spirit.

    Fain would I pause to dwell upon the world of charms that 
burst upon the enraptured gaze of my hero, as he entered the 
state parlor of Van Tassel's mansion.  Not those of the bevy of 
buxom lasses, with their luxurious display of red and white; but 
the ample charms of a genuine Dutch country tea-table, in the 
sumptuous time of autumn.  Such heaped up platters of cakes of 
various and almost indescribable kinds, known only to experienced 
Dutch housewives!  There was the doughty doughnut, the tender 
olykoek, and the crisp and crumbling cruller; sweet cakes and 
short cakes, ginger cakes and honey cakes, and the whole family 
of cakes.  And then there were apple pies, and peach pies, and 
pumpkin pies; besides slices of ham and smoked beef; and moreover 
delectable dishes of preserved plums, and peaches, and pears, and 
quinces; not to mention broiled shad and roasted chickens; 
together with bowls of milk and cream, all mingled higgledy-
pigglely, pretty much as I have enumerated them, with the 
motherly teapot sending up its clouds of vapor from the midst--
Heaven bless the mark!  I want breath and time to discuss this 
banquet as it deserves, and am too eager to get on with my story. 
Happily, Ichabod Crane was not in so great a hurry as his 
historian, but did ample justice to every dainty.

    He was a kind and thankful creature, whose heart dilated in 
proportion as his skin was filled with good cheer, and whose 
spirits rose with eating, as some men's do with drink.  He could 
not help, too, rolling his large eyes round him as he ate, and 
chuckling with the possibility that he might one day be lord of 
all this scene of almost unimaginable luxury and splendor.  Then, 
he thought, how soon he 'd turn his back upon the old 
schoolhouse; snap his fingers in the face of Hans Van Ripper, and 
every other niggardly patron, and kick any itinerant pedagogue 
out of doors that should dare to call him comrade!

    Old Baltus Van Tassel moved about among his guests with a 
face dilated with content and goodhumor, round and jolly as the 
harvest moon.  His hospitable attentions were brief, but 
expressive, being confined to a shake of the hand, a slap on the 
shoulder, a loud laugh, and a pressing invitation to "fall to, 
and help themselves."

    And now the sound of the music from the common room, or 
hall, summoned to the dance.  The musician was an old gray-headed 
negro, who had been the itinerant orchestra of the neighborhood 
for more than half a century.  His instrument was as old and 
battered as himself.  The greater part of the time he scraped on 
two or three strings, accompanying every movement of the bow with 
a motion of the head; bowing almost to the ground, and stamping 
with his foot whenever a fresh couple were to start.

    Ichabod prided himself upon his dancing as much as upon his 
vocal powers.  Not a limb, not a fibre about him was idle; and to 
have seen his loosely hung frame in full motion, and clattering 
about the room, you would have thought St. Vitus himself, that 
blessed patron of the dance, was figuring before you in person. 
He was the admiration of all the negroes; who, having gathered, 
of all ages and sizes, from the farm and the neighborhood, stood 
forming a pyramid of shining black faces at every door and 
window; gazing with delight at the scene; rolling their white 
eye-balls, and showing grinning rows of ivory from ear to ear. 
How could the flogger of urchins be otherwise than animated and 
joyous? the lady of his heart was his partner in the dance, and 
smiling graciously in reply to all his amorous oglings; while 
Brom Bones, sorely smitten with love and jealousy, sat brooding 
by himself in one corner.

    When the dance was at an end, Ichabod was attracted to a 
knot of the sager folks, who, with Old V an Tassel, sat smoking 
at one end of the piazza, gossiping over former times, and 
drawing out long stories about the war.
This neighborhood, at the time of which I am speaking, was one of 
those highly favored places which abound with chronicle and great 
men.  The British and American line had run near it during the 
war; it had, therefore], been the scene of marauding and infested 
with refugees, cow-boys, and all kinds of border chivalry.  Just 
sufficient time had elapsed to enable each story-teller to dress 
up his tale with a little becoming fiction, and, in the 
indistinctness of his recollection, to make himself the hero of 
every exploit.

    There was the story of Doffue Martling, a large blue-bearded 
Dutchman, who had nearly taken a British frigate with an old iron 
nine-pounder from a mud breastwork, only that his gun burst at 
the sixth discharge.  And there was an old gentleman who shall be 
nameless, being too rich a mynheer to be lightly mentioned, who, 
in the battle of White Plains, being an excellent master of 
defence, parried a musket-ball with a small-sword, insomuch that 
he absolutely felt it whiz round the blade, and glance off at the 
hilt; in proof of which he was ready at any time to show the 
sword, with the hilt a little bent.  There were several more that 
had been equally great in the field, not one of whom but was 
persuaded that he had a considerable hand in bringing the war to 
a happy termination.

    But all these were nothing to the tales of ghosts and 
apparitions that succeeded.  The neighborhood is rich in legendary 
treasures of the kind.  Local tales and superstitions thrive best 
in these sheltered, long settled retreats; but are trampled under 
foot by the shifting throng that forms the population of most of 
our country places.  Besides, there is no encouragement for ghosts 
in most of our villages, for they have scarcely had time to 
finish their first nap and turn themselves in their graves, 
before their surviving friends have travelled away from the 
neighborhood; so that when they turn out at night to walk their 
rounds, they have no acquaintance left to call upon.  This is 
perhaps the reason why we so seldom hear of ghosts except in our 
long-established Dutch communities.

    The immediate cause, however, of the prevalence of 
supernatural stories in these parts, was doubtless owing to the 
vicinity of Sleepy Hollow.  There was a contagion in the very air 
that blew from that haunted region; it breathed forth an 
atmosphere of dreams and fancies infecting all the land.  Several 
of the Sleepy Hollow people were present at Van Tassel's, and, as 
usual, were doling out their wild and wonderful legends.  Many 
dismal tales were told about funeral trains, and mourning cries 
and wailings heard and seen about the great tree where the 
unfortunate Major Andre was taken, and which stood in the 
neighborhood.  Some mention was made also of the woman in white, 
that haunted the dark glen at Raven Rock, and was often heard to 
shriek on winter nights before a storm, having perished there in 
the snow.  The chief part of the stories, however, turned upon the 
favorite spectre of Sleepy Hollow, the Headless Horseman, who had 
been heard several times of late, patrolling the country; and, it 
was said, tethered his horse nightly among the graves in the 
churchyard.

    The sequestered situation of this church seems always to 
have made it a favorite haunt of troubled spirits.  It stands on a 
knoll, surrounded by locust, trees and lofty elms, from among 
which its decent, whitewashed walls shine modestly forth, like 
Christian purity beaming through the shades of retirement.  A 
gentle slope descends from it to a silver sheet of water, 
bordered by high trees, between which, peeps may be caught at the 
blue hills of the Hudson.  To look upon its grass-grown yard, 
where the sunbeams seem to sleep so quietly, one would think that 
there at least the dead might rest in peace.  On one side of the 
church extends a wide woody dell, along which raves a large brook 
among broken rocks and trunks of fallen trees.  Over a deep black 
part of the stream, not far from the church, was formerly thrown 
a wooden bridge; the road that led to it, and the bridge itself, 
were thickly shaded by overhanging trees, which cast a gloom 
about it, even in the daytime; but occasioned a fearful darkness 
at night.  Such was one of the favorite haunts of the Headless 
Horseman, and the place where he was most frequently encountered. 
The tale was told of old Brouwer, a most heretical disbeliever in 
ghosts, how he met the Horseman returning from his foray into 
Sleepy Hollow, and was obliged to get up behind him; how they 
galloped over bush and brake, over hill and swamp, until they 
reached the bridge; when the Horseman suddenly turned into a 
skeleton, threw old Brouwer into the brook, and sprang away over 
the tree-tops with a clap of thunder.

    This story was immediately matched by a thrice marvellous 
adventure of Brom Bones, who made light of the Galloping Hessian 
as an arrant jockey.  He affirmed that on returning one night from 
the neighboring village of Sing Sing, he had been overtaken by 
this midnight trooper; that he had offered to race with him for a 
bowl of punch, and should have won it too, for Daredevil beat the 
goblin horse all hollow, but just as they came to the church 
bridge, the Hessian bolted, and vanished in a flash of fire.

    All these tales, told in that drowsy undertone with which 
men talk in the dark, the countenances of the listeners only now 
and then receiving a casual gleam from the glare of a pipe, sank 
deep in the mind of Ichabod.  He repaid them in kind with large 
extracts from his invaluable author, Cotton Mather, and added 
many marvellous events that had taken place in his native State 
of Connecticut, and fearful sights which he had seen in his 
nightly walks about Sleepy Hollow.

    The revel now gradually broke up.  The old farmers gathered 
together their families in their wagons, and were heard for some 
time rattling along the hollow roads, and over the distant hills. 
Some of the damsels mounted on pillions behind their favorite 
swains, and their light-hearted laughter, mingling with the 
clatter of hoofs, echoed along the silent woodlands, sounding 
fainter and fainter, until they gradually died away, --and the 
late scene of noise and frolic was all silent and deserted. 
Ichabod only lingered behind, according to the custom of country 
lovers, to have a tete-a-tete with the heiress; fully convinced 
that he was now on the high road to success.  What passed at this 
interview I will not pretend to say, for in fact I do not know. 
Something, however, I fear me, must have gone wrong, for he 
certainly sallied forth, after no very great interval, with an 
air quite desolate and chapfallen.  Oh, these women! these women! 
Could that girl have been playing off any of her coquettish tricks?
Was her encouragement of the poor pedagogue all a mere sham to
secure her conquest of his rival? Heaven only knows, not I!
Let it suffice to say, Ichabod stole forth with the air of 
one who had been sacking a henroost, rather than a fair lady's 
heart.  Without looking to the right or left to notice the scene 
of rural wealth, on which he had so often gloated, he went 
straight to the stable, and with several hearty cuffs and kicks 
roused his steed most uncourteously from the comfortable quarters 
in which he was soundly sleeping, dreaming of mountains of corn 
and oats, and whole valleys of timothy and clover.

    It was the very witching time of night  that Ichabod, heavy 
hearted and crest-fallen, pursued his travels homewards, along 
the sides of the lofty hills which rise above Tarry Town, and 
which he had traversed so cheerily in the afternoon.  The hour was 
as dismal as himself.  Far below him the Tappan Zee spread its 
dusky and indistinct waste of waters, with here and there the 
tall mast of a sloop, riding quietly at anchor under the land.  In 
the dead hush of midnight, he could even hear the barking of the 
watchdog from the opposite shore of the Hudson; but it was so 
vague and faint as only to give an idea of his distance from this 
faithful companion of man.  Now and then, too, the long-drawn 
crowing of a cock, accidentally awakened, would sound far, far 
off, from some farmhouse away among the hills--but it was like a 
dreaming sound in his ear.  No signs of life occurred near him, 
but occasionally the melancholy chirp of a cricket, or perhaps 
the guttural twang of a bull-frog from a neighboring marsh, as if 
sleeping uncomfortably and turning suddenly in his bed.

    All the stories of ghosts and goblins that he had heard in 
the afternoon now came crowding upon his recollection.  The night 
grew darker and darker; the stars seemed to sink deeper in the 
sky, and driving clouds occasionally hid them from his sight.  He 
had never felt so lonely and dismal.  He was, moreover, 
approaching the very place where many of the scenes of the ghost 
stories had been laid.  In the centre of the road stood an 
enormous tulip-tree, which towered like a giant above all the 
other trees of the neighborhood, and formed a kind of landmark. 
Its limbs were gnarled and fantastic, large enough to form trunks 
for ordinary trees, twisting down almost to the earth, and rising 
again into the air.  It was connected with the tragical story of 
the unfortunate Andre, who had been taken prisoner hard by; and 
was universally known by the name of Major Andre's tree.  The 
common people regarded it with a mixture of respect and 
superstition, partly out of sympathy for the fate of its ill-
starred namesake, and partly from the tales of strange sights, 
and doleful lamentations, told concerning it.

    As Ichabod approached this fearful tree, he began to 
whistle; he thought his whistle was answered; it was but a blast 
sweeping sharply through the dry branches.  As he approached a 
little nearer, he thought he saw something white, hanging in the 
midst of the tree:  he paused, and ceased whistling but, on 
looking more narrowly, perceived that it was a place where the 
tree had been scathed by lightning, and the white wood laid bare. 
Suddenly he heard a groan--his teeth chattered, and his knees 
smote against the saddle:  it was but the rubbing of one huge 
bough upon another, as they were swayed about by the breeze.  He 
passed the tree in safety, but new perils lay before him.

    About two hundred yards from the tree, a small brook crossed 
the road, and ran into a marshy and thickly-wooded glen, known by 
the name of Wiley's Swamp.  A few rough logs, laid side by side, 
served for a bridge over this stream.  On that side of the road 
where the brook entered the wood, a group of oaks and chestnuts, 
matted thick with wild grape-vines, threw a cavernous gloom over 
it.  To pass this bridge was the severest trial.  It was at this 
identical spot that the unfortunate Andre was captured, and under 
the covert of those chestnuts and vines were the sturdy yeomen 
concealed who surprised him.  This has ever since been considered 
a haunted stream, and fearful are the feelings of the school-boy 
who has to pass it alone after dark.

    As he approached the stream, his heart began to thump he 
summoned up, however, all his resolution, gave his horse half a 
score of kicks in the ribs, and attempted to dash briskly across 
the bridge; but instead of starting forward, the perverse old 
animal made a lateral movement, and ran broadside against the 
fence.  Ichabod, whose fears increased with the delay, jerked the 
reins on the other side, and kicked lustily with the contrary 
foot:  it was all in vain; his steed started, it is true, but it 
was only to plunge to the opposite side of the road into a 
thicket of brambles and alder-bushes.  The schoolmaster now 
bestowed both whip and heel upon the starveling ribs of old 
Gunpowder, who dashed forward, snuffling and snorting, but came 
to a stand just by the bridge, with a suddenness that had nearly 
sent his rider sprawling over his head.  Just at this moment a 
plashy tramp by the side of the bridge caught the sensitive ear 
of Ichabod.  In the dark shadow of the grove, on the margin of the 
brook, he beheld something huge, misshapen and towering.  It 
stirred not, but seemed gathered up in the gloom, like some 
gigantic monster ready to spring upon the traveller.

    The hair of the affrighted pedagogue rose upon his head with 
terror.  What was to be done? To turn and fly was now too late; 
and besides, what chance was there of escaping ghost or goblin, 
if such it was, which could ride upon the wings of the wind? 
Summoning up, therefore, a show of courage, he demanded in 
stammering accents, " Who are you?" He received no reply.  He 
repeated his demand in a still more agitated voice.   Still there 
was no answer.  Once more he cudgelled the sides of the inflexible 
Gunpowder, and, shutting his eyes, broke forth with involuntary 
fervor into a psalm tune.  Just then the shadowy object of alarm 
put itself in motion, and with a scramble and a bound stood at 
once in the middle of the road.  Though the night was dark and 
dismal, yet the form of the unknown might now in some degree be 
ascertained.  He appeared to be a horseman of large dimensions, 
and mounted on a black horse of powerful frame.  He made no offer 
of molestation or sociability, but kept aloof on one side of the 
road, jogging along on the blind side of old Gunpowder, who had 
now got over his fright and waywardness.

    Ichabod, who had no relish for this strange midnight 
companion, and bethought himself of the adventure of Brom Bones 
with the Galloping Hessian, now quickened his steed in hopes of 
leaving him behind.  The stranger, however, quickened his horse to 
an equal pace.  Ichabod pulled up, and fell into a walk, thinking 
to lag behind, --the other did the same.  His heart began to sink 
within him; he endeavored to resume his psalm tune, but his 
parched tongue clove to the roof of his mouth, and he could not 
utter a stave.  There was something in the moody and dogged 
silence of this pertinacious companion that was mysterious and 
appalling.  It was soon fearfully accounted for.  On mounting a 
rising ground, which brought the figure of his fellow-traveller 
in relief against the sky, gigantic in height, and muffled in a 
cloak, Ichabod was horror-struck on perceiving that he was 
headless! but his horror was still more increased on observing 
that the head, which should have rested on his shoulders, was 
carried before him on the pommel of his saddle!  His terror rose 
to desperation; he rained a shower of kicks and blows upon 
Gunpowder, hoping by a sudden movement to give his companion the 
slip; but the spectre started full jump with him.  Away, then, 
they dashed through thick and thin; stones flying and sparks 
flashing at every bound.  Ichabod's flimsy garments fluttered in 
the air, as he stretched his long lank body away over his horse's 
head, in the eagerness of his flight.

    They had now reached the road which turns off to Sleepy 
Hollow; but Gunpowder, who seemed possessed with a demon, instead 
of keeping up it, made an opposite turn, and plunged headlong 
down hill to the left.  This road leads through a sandy hollow 
shaded by trees for about a quarter of a mile, where it crosses 
the bridge famous in goblin story; and just beyond swells the 
green knoll on which stands the whitewashed church.

    As yet the panic of the steed had given his unskilful rider 
an apparent advantage in the chase, but just as he had got half 
way through the hollow, the girths of the saddle gave way, and he 
felt it slipping from under him.  He seized it by the pommel, and 
endeavored to hold it firm, but in vain; and had just time to 
save himself by clasping old Gunpowder round the neck, when the 
saddle fell to the earth, and he heard it trampled under foot by 
his pursuer.  For a moment the terror of Hans Van Ripper's wrath 
passed across his mind, --for it was his Sunday saddle; but this 
was no time for petty fears; the goblin was hard on his haunches; 
and (unskilful rider that he was!) he had much ado to maintain 
his seat; sometimes slipping on one side, sometimes on another, 
and sometimes jolted on the high ridge of his horse's backbone, 
with a violence that he verily feared would cleave him asunder.

    An opening, in the trees now cheered him with the hopes that 
the church bridge was at hand.  The wavering reflection of a 
silver star in the bosom of the brook told him that he was not 
mistaken.  He saw the walls of the church dimly glaring under the 
trees beyond.  He recollected the place where Brom Bones' ghostly 
competitor had disappeard.  "If I can but reach that bridge," 
thought Ichabod, " I am safe." Just then he heard the black steed 
panting and blowing close behind him; he even fancied that he 
felt his hot breath.  Another convulsive kick in the ribs, and old 
Gunpowder sprang upon the bridge; he thundered over the 
resounding planks; he gained the opposite side; and now Ichabod 
cast a look behind to see if his pursuer should vanish, according 
to rule, in a flash of fire and brimstone.  Just then he saw the 
goblin rising in his stirrups, and in the very act of hurling his 
head at him.  Ichabod endeavored to dodge the horrible missile, 
but too late.  It encountered his cranium with a tremendous 
crash, --he was tumbled headlong into the dust, and Gunpowder, 
the black steed, and the goblin rider, passed by like a whirlwind.

    The next morning the old horse was found without his saddle, 
and with the bridle under his feet, soberly cropping the grass at 
his master's gate.  Ichabod did not make his appearance at 
breakfast; dinner-hour came, but no Ichabod.  The boys assembled 
at the schoolhouse, and strolled idly about the banks of the 
brook; but no schoolmaster.  Hans Van Ripper now began to feel 
some uneasiness about the fate of poor Ichabod, and his saddle. 
An inquiry was set on foot, and after diligent investigation they 
came upon his traces.  In one part of the road leading to the 
church was found the saddle trampled in the dirt; the tracks of 
horses' hoofs deeply dented in the road, and evidently at furious 
speed, were traced to the bridge, beyond which, on the bank of a 
broad part oś the brook, where the water ran deep and black, was 
found the hat of the unfortunate Ichabod, and close beside it a 
shattered pumpkin.

    The brook was searched, but the body of the schoolmaster was 
not to be discovered.  Hans Van Ripper as executor of his estate, 
examined the bundle which contained all his worldly effects.  They 
consisted of  two shirts and a half; two stocks for the neck; a 
pair or two of worsted stockings; an old pair of corduroy small-
clothes; a rusty razor; a book of psalm tunes full of dog's-ears; 
and a broken pitch-pipe.  As to the books and furniture of the 
schoolhouse, they belonged to the community, excepting Cotton 
Mather's History of Witchcraft, a New England Almanac, and
book of dreams and fortune-telling; in which last was a sheet of 
foolscap much scribbled and blotted in several fruitless attempts 
to make a copy of verses in honor of the heiress of Van Tassel. 
These magic books and the poetic scrawl were forthwith consigned 
to the flames by Hans Van Ripper; who, from that time forward, 
determined to send his children no more to school; observing that 
he never knew any good come of this same reading and writing. 
Whatever money the schoolmaster possessed, and he had received 
his quarter's pay but a day or two before, he must have had about 
his person at the time of his disappearance.

    The mysterious event caused much speculation at the church 
on the following Sunday.  Knots of gazers and gossips were 
collected in the churchyard, at the bridge, and at the spot where 
the hat and pumpkin had been found.  The stories of Brouwer, of 
Bones, and a whole budget of others were called to mind; and when 
they had diligently considered them all, and compared them with 
the symptoms of the present case, they shook their heads, and 
came to the conclusion chat Ichabod had been carried off by the 
Galloping Hessian.  As he was a bachelor, and in nobody's debt, 
nobody troubled his head any more about him; the school was 
removed to a different quarter of the Hollow, and another 
pedagogue reigned in his stead.

    It is true, an old farmer, who had been down to New York on 
a visit several years after, and from whom this account of the 
ghostly adventure was received, brought home the intelligence 
that Ichabod Crane was still alive; that he had left the 
neighborhood partly through fear of the goblin and Hans Van 
Ripper, and partly in mortification at having been suddenly 
dismissed by the heiress; that he had changed his quarters to a 
distant part of the country; had kept school and studied law at 
the same time; had been admitted to the bar; turned politician; 
electioneered; written for the newspapers; and finally had been 
made a justice of the ten pound court.  Brom Bones, too, who, 
shortly after his rival's disappearance conducted the blooming 
Katrina in triumph to the altar, was observed to look exceedingly 
knowing whenever the story of Ichabod was related, and always 
burst into a hearty laugh at the mention of the pumpkin; which 
led some to suspect that he knew more about the matter than he 
chose to tell.

    The old country wives, however, who are the best judges of 
these matters, maintain to this day that Ichabod was spirited 
away by supernatural means; and it is a favorite story often told 
about the neighborhood round the winter evening fire.  The bridge 
became more than ever an object of superstitious awe; and that 
may be the reason why the road has been altered of late years, so 
as to approach the church by the border of the mill-pond.  The 
schoolhouse being deserted soon fell to decay, and was reported 
to be haunted by the ghost of the unfortunate pedagogue and
the plough-boy, loitering homeward of a still summer evening, 
has often fancied his voice at a distance, chanting a melancholy 
psalm tune among the tranquil solitudes of Sleepy Hollow.