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MUSKINGUM LEGENDS.

LEGEND OF FEDERAL BOTTOM.

What verse can sing, what prose narrate,
The butcher deeds of bloody fate,

Amid this mighty tulzie !
Grim Horror grinned, pale Terror roared,
As Murther at his thrapple shored,
And hell mixed in the brulzie.

BURNS.
Now let us sing, long live the king,

And Gilpin long live he;
And when he next doth ride abroad,
May I be there to see.

COWPER.

A

MONG the tributaries of the Beautiful River which

flow down through the Buckeye State, there is one celebrated for its picturesqueness. It is known by the Indian name of Muskingum. And a jolly, twinkling, little river it is on a summer's day, winking at all the old, red-jowled farmers, winking very slyly with one eye at their red-cheeked maidens, and with the other at the broad-shouldered, gawky hobbledehoys; winking at the sleepy villages, and the many fields of dark-green maize; winking at the great white-armed sycamores and the willows, whose leaves dance all day in a silly flutter of delight at such flattery; winking at the bright May-weed, and the spring beauties, and yellow dandelions along the grassy bank; winking at the huge eyes of the coal-mines, which

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glower blackly down upon the little river as it goes dancing, bobbing, blinking, skipping, and winking along.

On the bank of this river there abode a community which was renowned for its patriotism. In the first place, the name of their county was Washington. In the second place, the half-moon level, formed by one of those beautifully superfluous sinuosities which the Muskingum loves, was called by them Federal Bottom. Lastly, the little creek which empties into the river at the lower extremity of this half-moon bottom received the patriotic christening of Congress Run. Thus impregnably intrenched in a loyal nomenclature, they abode long years in profound and tranquil security before they were overtaken by disaster.

On the opposite side of the river is the precipitous river-range known as Tick Hill. This name is explained by local etymologists from the fact that, so great is the sterility of the hill, the early settlers were compelled to buy and sell exclusively on tick. On its summit there stood a tree, famous far and near as the Crooked Tree, which was so very crooked that no farmer who looked at it could ever strike a straight furrow afterward.

Just a mile from the river, up the dismal hollow of Congress Run, many years ago,-so long ago, indeed, that the memory of man ran not to the contrary,—a queer old codger cleared away a little space among the lordly sugartrees, and built a log-cabin beside the creek. He was known for many a mile around as Daddy Childs, and his clearing, which never grew any wider, was called Childs' Place. Strange and wonderful were the stories told to children and superstitious persons about Daddy Childs. Among other things, it was said that his wife, when she made his clothes, spread the cloth upon the floor, laid him down on it, and cut them out by the shape of his body.

In consequence of this, his trousers were so very loose and bagging that you could have introduced into the seat of them a bushel of beans.

His feet were very red, long, and flat, and he never" wore shoes in any season. Neither did he wear a coat," and always had his waistcoat and shirt opened on his breast, where the hair on a triangular space grew so abundant that when he came into a neighbor's house in a snowstorm his breast would be as white as his silvered beard. He was a stout, little man, with very red hands and face, albeit the latter was almost hidden by his snow-white hair, which contrasted strongly with his brown and shaggy breast. He always had his yellow woolen shirt-sleeves rolled up to his elbows, displaying forearms as hairy-black as a bear's, though he never did any labor. His black hat was rolled up with great precision on two sides, and he always laid it off the last garment before he got into bed, taking it with both hands, and carefully placing it bottom side up; and when he got out of bed in the morning, he put it on first, with both hands, and invariably with the same end forward.

He was always walking about with a white hickory staff, and often went to tattle with the neighbors; but nobody could tell what in the world Daddy Childs did for a living. Most people considered him a losel, worthless fellow. His cabin stood in the center of his unfenced clearing, without a bush or a stalk of maize about it, and thus it seemed to have stood forever.

But the thing about which observing farmers puzzled and cudgeled their brains most was to “ contrive” how the stumps were all extracted so quickly and so completely. They could not have rotted away so soon. More than one simple soul believed there had been some witchcraft about that stump-pulling. There it was, that smooth,

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