38 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
in all the simplicity of nature ; that is to say, they lived by hunting and fishing, and recreated themselves occasionally with a little tomahawking and scalping. Each stream that flows down from the hills into the Hudson had its petty sachem, who ruled over a hand's-breadth of forest on either side, and had his seat of government at its mouth. The chieftain who ruled at the Roost was not merely a great warrior, but a medicine-man, or prophet, or conjurer, for they all mean the same thing in Indian parlance. Of his fighting propensities evidences still remain, in various arrow-heads of flint, and stone battle-axes, occasionally digged up about the Roost; of his wizard powers we have a token in a spring which wells up at the foot of the bank, on the very margin of the river, which, it is said, was gifted by him with rejuvenating powers, something like the renowned Fountain of Youth in the Floridas, so anxiously but vainly sought after by the veteran Ponce de Leon. This story, however, is stoutly contradicted by an old Dutch matter-of-fact tradition, which declares that the spring in question was smuggled over from Holland in a churn, by Femmetie Van Blarcom, wife of Goosen Garret Van Blarcom, one of the first settlers, and that she took it up by night, unknown to her husband, from beside their farm-house near Rotterdam, being sure she should find no water equal to it in the new country ; —and she was right. The wizard sachem had a great passion for discussing territorial questions, and settling boundary lines ; in other words, he had the spirit of annexation. This kept him in continual feud with theneighboring sachems, each of whom stood up stoutly for his hand-breadth of territory ; so that there is not a petty stream or rugged hill in the neighborhood that has not been the subject of long talks and hard battles. The sachem, however, as has been observed, was a medicine-man as well as warrior, and vindicated his claims by arts as well as arms ; so that by dint of a little hard fighting here, and hocus-pocus (or diplomacy) there, he managed to extend his boundary line from field to field and stream to stream, until it brought him into col-
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