2 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
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-shootingf was in a grove of tall walnut-trees that shades one side of
the valley. I had wandered into it at noon-time, 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 reverber-
ated 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 atmos-
phere. 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 pow-wows
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 revery. They are given to all
kinds of marvellous 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
The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region,
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