15 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,
block in the paths of lovers. Bait 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 every thing. 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 Bait 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 meantime 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
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 the 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 declined ; his horse
was no longer seen tied at 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
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