31 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
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
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 downhill
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 underfoot 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, and
sometimes on another, and sometimes jolted on the high ridge of his
horse's backbone with a violence that he verily feared would cleave
An opening in the trees now cheered him with the hopes that the
church-bridgfe 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 disappeared. " 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
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