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Nick Baba's Last Drink and Other Sketches   By:

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NICK BABA'S LAST DRINK

AND

OTHER SKETCHES.

BY

GEO. P. GOFF.

Pro captu lectoris habent sua fata libelli.

ILLUSTRATED.

LANCASTER, PENNA.:

INQUIRER PRINTING AND PUBLISHING COMPANY

1879.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1879, by

GEO. P. GOFF,

In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, Washington, D. C.

TO THE

"RAYMOND HALL" SHOOTING CLUB,

THIS

VOLUME IS INSCRIBED.

PREFACE.

THE KIND PARTIALITY OF INDULGENT FRIENDS HAVING INDUCED ME TO GATHER TOGETHER THESE SCATTERED FRAGMENTS, INDITED AS A RECREATION FOR MY LEISURE MOMENTS, I GIVE THEM THUS COLLECTED, WITH THE HOPE THAT THE SAME FAVOR WILL BE EXTENDED TO THEIR IMPERFECTIONS AS HAS SO OFTEN BEEN SHOWN TO THEIR AUTHOR.

CONTENTS.

NICK BABA'S LAST DRINK.

TRIP TO CURRITUCK ILLUSTRATED.

HAUNTED ISLAND.

LEGEND OF BERKELEY SPRINGS ILLUSTRATED.

NICK BABA'S LAST DRINK,

AND OTHER SKETCHES.

NICK BABA'S LAST DRINK.

It was Christmas Eve, and the one narrow main street of a small country town was ablaze. Extra lights were glowing in all the little shops; yet all this illumination served only to make more apparent the untidy condition of the six by nine window panes, as well as the goods therein. Men and women were hastening homeward with well filled baskets which they had provided for the festive morrow. All the ragged, dirty urchins of the village were gathered about the dingy shop windows admiring, with distended eyes and gaping mouths, the several displays of toys and sweetmeats.

Their arms buried quite to their elbows in capacious but empty pockets, they cast longing looks and wondered, as they had no stockings, where Santa Claus could put their presents when he had brought them. To all this show and preparation there was one exception: one place shrouded in total darkness it was the shop of Nick Baba, the village shoemaker. That was for the time deserted; left to its dust, its collection of worn out soles, its curtains of cobwebs, and its compound of bad, unwholesome odors. This darkness and neglect was about to end, however, and give place to a glimmer of light.

Nick now came hurrying in and, quickly striking a light, placed between himself and a flickering oil lamp a small glass globe filled with water. He sat down upon his bench and commenced work in earnest on an unfinished pair of shoes. He hammered, and pulled, and stretched, and pegged, and sewed, and all this time, had there been any one present, they might have observed that, though Nick worked so diligently, he was unhappy, and a prey to the bitterest reflections. All in the village had commenced their merry making, while he sat there alone, forgotten, and in despair. His neighbors had plenty he was penniless, and could take nothing to his home but regrets for the past. The rickety old door now creaked on its rusty, worn out hinges, and admitted a creature as strange looking as it was unexpected. It moved straight toward Nick, and perched itself upon a three legged stool close beside him. This mysterious thing could not be pronounced supernatural, and yet it was as unlike anything human as is possible to imagine. It was more like some fantastic figure seen in a dream the creation of a disordered brain. It may be that it was a goblin Nick thought it one. It was only about two feet high; a mass of dark brown hair streamed down its back, partially concealing a great hump, and thence flowed down to its heels. Its head was round as a ball and topped out by a velvet cap of curious shape and workmanship, with a broad projecting front which shaded a pair of lustrous red eyes, set far back beneath the forehead almost lost there... Continue reading book >>




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