49 Wolferfs Roost.
though not a boat was to be descried. Some might have supposed that a boat was rowed along unseen under the deep shadows of the opposite shores ; but the ancient traditionists of the neighborhood knew better.
Some said it was one of the whale-boats of the old Water Guard, sunk by the British ships during the war, but now permitted to haunt its old cruising-grounds ; but the prevalent opinion connected it with
the awful fate of Rambout Van Dam, of graceless memory. He was a roistering Dutchman of Spiting Devil, who in times long past had navigated his boat alone one Saturday the whole length of the Tappan Sea, to attend a quilting frolic at Kakiat, on the western shore.
Here he had danced and drunk until midnight, when he entered his boat to return home. He was warned that he was on the verge of Sunday morning; but he pulled off nevertheless, swearing he would
not land until he reached Spiting Devil, if it took him a month of Sundays. He was never seen afterwards ; but may be heard plying his oars, as above mentioned,—being the Flying Dutchman of the
Tappan Sea, doomed to ply between Kakiat and Spiting Devil until the day of judgment.
The revolutionary war was over. The debatable ground had once more become a quiet agricultural region; the border chivalry had turned their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-
hooks, and hung up their guns only to be taken down occasionally in a campaign against wild pigeons on the hills, or wild ducks upon the Hudson. Jacob Van Tassel, whilome carried captive to New York, a flagitious rebel, had come forth from captivity a " hero of
seventy-six." In a little while he sought the scenes of his former triumphs and mishaps, rebuilt the Roost, restored his goose-gun to the hooks over the fireplace, and reared once more on high the glittering weathercocks.
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