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A Silent Town
B. Carradine
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TOPIC and SUBTOPIC: Silence, The Reason For Silence Pondered.

TITLE: A Silent Town

It is the stillest, most grave-yard-like town I ever saw. The houses are all white, many fences are of stone, the stately elmtrees stand like sentinels in the yard, the tapering cedar and spruce whisper of the cemetery, while the cawing of the crows or rooks from the distant fields, add to the melancholy, and even to the silence of the place. For hours this caw caw from the far away fields, has been all I have heard.

One afternoon I walked through the town and never met a soul on the street, nor saw a face at the window of a single house, nor beheld a child in the yard, nor heard a dog bark nor a rooster crow. As I pushed on into the country for a walk, and left the dwellings behind me, I thought of the Arabian Nights, and the stories of enchanted islands and cities, and people put to sleep for an hundred years.

Just at this moment I met an old woman in a short red cloak coming up the road, and I said: Here she is at last, this is the old witch or fairy that has done this; and now she will take that stick of hers which is a wand, and touch me and make me a Prince or turn me into her coachman, I dont know which.

But she did neither. She hardly looked at me and passed on. Perhaps she was not a fairy. Maybe she was just a good old soul going home after a gossipy visit to a neighbor!

Nevertheless I went on a half mile farther and looked on a field where our troops drilled during the Revolutionary war, and got ready to meet the British. After leaning on an old stone fence, looking at the silent field a little while, and a long while at a range of lofty hills in the dim distance, I came away.

On returning to the hotel I was informed that Gen. Washington had slept one night in this old New England settlement during the Revolutionary Times.

Then we wondered if this was the matter with the community. For we gathered that it had never grown a particle since that eventful hour. Perhaps the General in casting off his slumber, let it fall on the town! If so it is certainly well for our country that the Commander in Chief in those days did not generally distribute his sleeping favors. It would now have been a Land of Nod, inhabited by Rip Van Winkles.

Living Illustrations By B. Carradine.

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