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The German Pioneers A Tale of the Mohawk   By: (1829-1911)

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[Illustration: "You are not my maid servant, Catherine," he said gently. (P. 57.)]





CHICAGO: Donohue, Henneberry & Co. 1891.

Copyright, 1891 BY DONOHUE, HENNEBERRY & CO.



On a certain forenoon in the month of April, 1758, there was unusual activity in the harbor of New York. In spite of the disagreeable weather which had now already lasted two days, with dense fogs and drizzling rain, and even then, from low, gray clouds, was drenching the multitude there stood upon the quay dense groups of people looking at a large Dutch three master, which had already lain a couple of days in the roadstead, and now was swinging at anchor in the troubled water nearer shore.

"The gentlemen would have done better to have remained at home," said a little man, referring to two broad shouldered farmers, who stood near. "I will eat my tailor's goose and not be called Samuel Squenz if, out of the skin covered skeletons which have thus far passed here on their way to the state house to take the oath of allegiance to our king whom may God bless they can select a single ordinary farmhand."

"Have you seen them?" asked another, who had just joined the group.

"Have I seen them!" replied Samuel Squenz. "We have all seen them. I tell you, neighbor, had they come out of the grave after lying there four months they could not have more bones and less flesh. Surely four months in the grave and four months on that Hollander amounts to about the same thing."

"The poor devils!" said the other.

"Ah, what poor devils?" called out a man, distinguished from those around him by his larger wig, more careful dress, rotund body, red, flabby cheeks, and German accent. "Poor devils! What brings them here? What are we to do with the starved ragamuffins, of whom one half could not pay full fare? Now according to our wise laws a wage sale must be openly made, as was yesterday advertised both in the 'Gazette' and in the 'Journal.'"

"They bring us nothing into the country except the dirty rags they have on and ship fever, from which may God protect us," called out Samuel Squenz. "I kept nose and mouth shut as the vermin crept past us."

"It is a sin," said neighbor Flint.

"It is a shame," snarled neighbor Bill.

"Therefore I have always said," continued the man, with the red, hanging cheeks, "that we should do as they do in Philadelphia, where for the last thirty years they have levied a poll tax of forty shillings on every imported Dutchman, just as they do on a nigger. But here a man may preach and preach, but it is to deaf ears. I will not stay out in the rain on account of these ragamuffins. Good day, gentlemen."

The big man touched his three cornered hat, but, instead of leaving the place, went with heavy strides to the edge of the quay and looked at the ship, which had by this time raised its anchor and was being slowly driven on by the tide.

"It is a sin," said neighbor Flint.

"It is a shame," snarled neighbor Bill.

"That is for Mr. Pitcher to speak so," cried one who now came up and had heard the last words of him who was just leaving.

"What do you mean by that, Mr. Brown?" asked Samuel Squenz, respectfully lifting his cap.

"Isn't it a shame, now," said Mr. Brown, a small, old, lean man, who spoke with much animation, and while speaking gesticulated violently with his lean little arms... Continue reading book >>

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