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I'm Keith Morison, and this is episode 2 of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. So far, school teacher, Ikebod Crane, an earnest and optimistic fellow, had settled in nicely to the quiet but troubled town of Sleepy Hollow. In particular, old Ikebod had taken a fasci to the beautiful Katrina Van Tassel, daughter of a wealthy farmer. Mind you, Ichabod himself is not the most eligible of bachelors, and not just because of his funny name. He's clumsy as a high-pitched, nasely voice and doesn't see any of his own shortcomings like his God awful singing. No, none of that has stopped him from dreaming about Katrina. He's already imagined what it would be like to be her husband, take his place as the head of the family, run her vast estate, or, he mused, they could sell it all and run off on some marvelous adventure together. But even Ichabod realized there was one thing standing in his way, one person, rather. He was Abraham Van Brunt, went by the nickname of Brombones. He was charming, of course, fun-loving life of the party. But the thing that truly set him apart was his inhuman strength. Lanky and awkward Ichabod really didn't stand a chance against him, did he?


Well, he was about to find out. Because while teaching school one day, Ichabod received an invitation to a party at the Van Tasso Home that very night. Everyone would be there, including Bram and Katrina, of course. The students would be let out early so Ichabod could prepare for the big night. Excitement is in the air as we pick up our story. All was now bustle and hubbub in the late quiet school room. The scholars were hurried through their without stopping at trifles. Those who were nimble skipped over half with impunity, and those who were tardy had a smart application now and then in the rear to quicken their speed or help them over a tall word. Books were flung aside without being put away on the shelves. Ink stands were overturned, benches thrown down. The whole school was turned loose an hour before the usual time, bursting forth like a legion of young imps, yelping and racketing about the green and joy at their early emancipation. The gallant Ichabod now spent at least an extra half hour at his toilet, brushing and furbishing up his best and indeed only suit of rusty black and arranging his locks by a bit of broken-looking glass that hung up in the schoolhouse.


That he might make his appearance before his mistress in the true style of a cavalier, he borrowed a horse from the farmer with whom he was domesticated, a calaric old Dutchman by the name of Hans van Ripper. And thus gallantly mounted, he issued forth like a night errant in questive adventures. But I should, in the true spirit of romantic story, give some account of the looks and equipments of my hero and his steed. The animal he bestrode was a broken down plow horse that had outlived almost everything but its viciousness. He was gaunt and shagged with a yew neck and a head like a hammer. His rusty mane and tail were tangled and nodded with burrs. One eye had lost its pupil and was glaring and spectral, but the other had the gleam of a genuine devil in it. Still, he must have had fire and metal in his day, if we may judge from the name he bore, of gunpowder He had, in fact, been a favorite steed of his masters, the Klerik Van Ripper, who was a furious rider and had infused very probably some of his own spirit into the animal, for old and broken down as he looked, It was more of the lurking devil in him than any young filly in the country.


Ichabod was a suitable figure for such a steed. He rode with short stirrups, which brought his knees nearly up to the pommel of the saddle. His sharp his elbow stuck out like grasshoppers. He carried his whip in the perpendicular in his hand like a scepter. And as his horse jogged on, the motion of his arms was not unlike the flapping of a pair of wings. A small wool hat rested on the top of his nose, for so his scanty strip of forehead might be called, and the skirts of his black coat fluttered out almost to the horse's tail. Such was the appearance and his steed as they shambled out of the gate of Hans Van Ripper, and it was altogether such an apparition as is seldom to be met in broad daylight. It was, as I have said, a fine autumno day. The sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober, brown and yellow. Well, While some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, scarlet.


Streaming files of wild ducks began to make their appearance high in the air. The bark of the squirrel might be heard from the groves of beech and hickory nuts and the pensive whistle of the quail at intervals from the neighboring stubble field. The small birds were taking their farewell banquets in the fullness of their revelry, they flattered, chirping and frolicking from bush to bush and tree to tree, capricious from the very profusion and variety around them. There was the honest cock Robin, the favorite game of stripling sportsmen, with its loud, quirlless note, and the Twittering Blackbird flying in saval clouds, and the golden winged woodpecker with his crimson crest, his broad black, gorget and splendid plumage. And the cedar bird with its red-tipped wings and yellow-tipped tail and its little Monteiro cap of feathers. And the Blue Jay, that noisy coxcom in his gay-like blue coat and white underclothes, screaming and chattering, nodding and bobbing and bowing, pretending to be on good terms with every songster of the grove. As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, His eye, ever open to every symptom of culinary abundance, ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn.


On all sides, he beheld vast stores of apples, some hanging in oppressive opulence on the trees, some gathered into baskets and barrels for the market, others heaped up in rich piles for the cider press. And further on, he beheld great fields of Indian corn, with its golden golden ears, peeping from their leafy coverage and holding out the promise of cakes and hasty pudding. And the yellow pumpkin lying beneath them, turning up their fair round bellies to the sun and giving ample prospects of the most luxurious of pies. And on, he passed the fragrant buckwheat fields, breathing the odor of the beehive. And as he beheld them, soft anticipations stole over his mind of dainty slapjacks well buttered, garnished with honey, a treacle, by the delicate little dimpled hand of Katrina Van Tassel. Thus feeding his mind with many sweet thoughts, he journeyed along the sides of a range of hills, which look out upon some of the goodliest scenes of the mighty Hudson. The sun gradually wheeled his broad disk down in the west. The wide bosom of the Tappin Z lay motionless and glassy, except that here and there a gentle undulation waved and prolonged the blue shadow of the distant mountain.


A few amber clouds floated in the sky without a breath of air to move them. The horizon was of a fine golden tint, changing gradually into a pure apple green, and from that into the deep blue of the midheaven. A slanting ray lingered on the woody crests of the precipices that overhung some parts of the river, giving greater depth to the dark, gray, and purple of their rocky signs. A sloop was loitering in the distance, dropping slowly down with the tide it, her sail hanging uselessly against the mast. And as the reflection of the sky gleaned along the still water, it seemed as if the vessel was suspended in the air. So Washington Irving has set the stage now for Ichabod Crane, rather full of himself and about to arrive at the home of the woman of his dreams, the lovely Katrina Van Tassel. His heart bursting, his ears quite deaf to the whispers about to surround him.


Hi, everyone. I'm Jenna Bush-Haker from Today with Hoda and Jenna and the Read with Jenna Book Club. There's nothing I love more than sharing my favorite reads with all of you, except maybe talking to the exceptional authors behind these stories. And that's what I'll be doing on my podcast, Read with Jenna. I'll be introducing you to some of my favorite writers. These conversations will leave you feeling inspired and entertained.


To start listening, just search Read with Jenna wherever you get your podcast. It was toward evening that Ichabod arrived at the Castle of the Here Van Tassel, which he found thronged with the pride and flower of the adjacent country. Old farmers with their leather faces in homespun coats and breaches, blue stockings, huge shoes, and magnificent pewter buckles. Their brisk withered little dames in close crimped caps, long-waisted short gowns and homespun petticoats, with scissors and pin cushions and gay calico pockets hanging on the outside. Bucks and lasses, almost as antiquated as their mothers, excepting where a straw hat, a fine ribbon, or perhaps a white frock gave symptoms of city innovation. The sons, in short, square-skirted coats with rows of stupendous brass buttons, and their The hair generally cued in the fashion of the times, especially if they could procure an eelskin for the purpose. It being esteemed throughout the country as a potent nourrischer and strengthener of the hair. Bram Bones, however, was the hero of the scene. Having come to the gathering on his favorite steed daredevil, a creature like himself, full of metal and mischief, and which no one but himself could manage.


Fayne would pause to dwell upon the world of charms burst upon the enraptured gaze of my hero as he entered the state parlor of Van Tassel's mansion. Not those of the bevy of Bucks and Lasses, with their luxurious display of red and white, but the ample charms of a genuine Dutch country tea table in the sumptuous time of autumn. Such heaped up platters of cakes of various and almost indescribable kinds, known only to experience Dutch housewives Sweet cakes and short cakes and ginger cakes and honeycakes and the whole family of cakes. And then there were apple pies and peach pies and pumpkin pies. Besides, slices of ham and smoked beef and, moreover, delectable dishes of preserved plums and peaches and pears and quinces, not to mention broiled, shad and roasted chickens, together with bowls of milk and cream, all mingled higgledy-figgledy, pretty much as I've enumerated them, with the motherly teepot sending up its clouds of vapor from the midst. Heaven bless the mark. I want breath and time to discuss this banquet as it deserves. And I'm too eager to get on with my story. Happily, Ichabod Crane was not in so great a hurry as his historian, but did ample justice to every dainty.


He was a kind and thankful creature, whose heart dilated in proportion as his skin was filled with good cheer, and whose spirit rose with eating, as some men's do with drink. He could not help to rolling his large eyes around him as he ate and chuckling with the possibility that he might one day be lord of all this scene of almost unimaginable luxury and splendor. Then Then, he thought, how soon he'd turn his back upon the old school house. Old Baltus van Tassel moved about among his guests with a face dilated with content and good humor, round and jolly as the harvest moon. His hospitable intentions were brief but expressive, being confined to a shake of the hand, slap on the shoulder, a loud laugh, and a pressing invitation to fall to and help themselves. And now the sound of the music from the common room or hall, 'Summoned to the Dance'. Ichabod prided himself upon his dancing as much as upon his vocal powers. Not a limb not a fiber about him, was idle. And to have seen his loosely hung frame in full motion and clattering about the room, you would have thought St.


Vitus himself, that blessed patron of the dance, was figuring before you in person. The lady of his heart was his partner in the dance, and smiling graciously in reply to all his amorous auglings, while Brombones, sorely smitten with love and jealousy, sat brooding by himself in one corner. When the dance was at an end, Iqabod was attracted to a knot of the Sager folks who, with old Van Tassel, sat smoking at one end of the piazza, gossiping over former times and drawing out long stories about the war. This neighborhood, at the time of which I'm speaking, was one of those highly favorite places which abound with chronicle and great men. The British and American line had run near it during the war. It had therefore been the scene of marauding and infested with refugees, cowboys, all kinds of border chivalry. Just sufficient time had elapsed to enable each storyteller to dress up his tale with a little becoming fiction. And in the indistinctiveness of his recollection to make himself the hero of every exploit. There was the story of Dauphou Martling, a large, blue-bearded Dutchman who had nearly taken a British frigate with an old iron nine pounder, only that his gun burst at the sixth discharge.


And there was an old gentleman who shall be nameless, who, in the battle of White Plains, being an excellent master of defense, parried a musket ball with a small sword in so much as he absolutely felt it whizze around the blade and glance off the hilt, in proof of which he was ready at any time to show the sword with the hilt a little bent. There were several more that had been equally great in the field, not one of whom but was persuaded that he had a considerable hand in bringing the war to a happy termination. But all these were nothing to the tales of ghosts and apparitions that succeeded. The neighborhood is rich in legendary treasures of that kind. Local tales and superstitions thrive best in these sheltered long settled retreats but are trampled underfoot by the shifting throngs that form the population of most of our country places. Besides, there's no encouragement for ghosts in most of our villages, but they have scarcely had time to finish their first nap and turn themselves in their graves before their surviving friends have traveled away from the neighborhood so that when they turn out at night to walk their rounds, they have no acquaintance left to call upon.


This is perhaps the reason why we so seldom hear of ghosts, except in our long established Dutch communities. The immediate cause, however, of the prevalence of supernatural stories in these parts was doubtless owing to the vicinity of Sleepy Hollow. There was a contagion in the very air that blew from that haunted region. It breathed forth an atmosphere of dreams and fancies infecting all the land. Several of the Sleepy Hollow people were present at Van Tassels, and as usual, were dolling out their wild and wonderful legends. Many dismal tales were told about funeral trains and morning cries and wailings heard and seen about the great tree which stood in the neighborhood. Some mention was made also of the woman in white that haunted the dark Glen of Raven Rock and was often heard to shriek on winter nights before a storm, having perished there in the snow. The chief part of the stories, however, turned upon the favorite specter of Sleepy Hollow, the headless horseman, who had been heard several times of late patrolling the country, and it was said, tethered his horse nightly among the graves in the churchyard. The sequestered situation of this church seems always to have made it a favorite haunt of troubled spirits.


It stands on a knole surrounded by locus trees and lofty elms. A gentle slope descends from it to a silver sheet of water, bordered by high trees between which peeps may be caught at the blue hills of the Hudson. To look upon his grass-grown yard where the sunbeams seem to sleep so quietly, one would think that there at least the dead might rest in peace. On one side of the church extends a wide woody dell, along which raves a large brook among broken rocks and trunks of fallen trees. Over a deep black part of the stream, not far from the church, was formerly thrown a wooden bridge. The road that led to it and the bridge itself were thickly shaded by overhanging trees, which cast a gloom about it, even in the daytime. But a occasioned a fearful darkness at night. Such was one of the favorite haunts of the headless horseman and the place where he was most frequently encountered. The tale was told of Old Brouwer, a most radical disbeliever in ghosts, how he met the horseman returning from his foray into Sleepy Hollow and was obliged to get up behind him, how they galloped over a bush and break over hill and swamp until they reached the bridge When the horsemen suddenly turned into a skeleton, threw old Brouwer into the brook and sprang away over the treetops with a clap of thunder.


This story was immediately matched by a thrice marvelous adventure of Brombones, who made light of the galloping headless horseman as an errant jockey. He affirmed that on returning one night from the neighboring village of Sing-Cing, he had been overtaken by his Midnight Trooper that he had offered to race with him for a bowl of punch and should have wanted to, for daredevil beat the goblin horse all but hollow. But just as they came to the church bridge, the headless horsemen bolted and vanished in a flash of fire. All these tales, told in that drowsy undertone with which men talk in the dark, the continences of the listeners, only now and then receiving a casual glean from the glare of the pipe, sank deep in the mind of Ichabod. He repaid them in kind with large extracts from his invaluable author, Cotton Mather, and added many marvelous events that had taken place in his native state of Connecticut and fearful sights, which he had seen in his nightly walks about Sleepy Hollow. The rebel now gradually broke up. The old farmers gathered together their families in their wagons and were heard for some time rattling along the hollow roads and over the distant hills.


Some of the damsels mounted on pillions behind their favorite swains, and their light-hearted laughter, mingling with the clatter of hoofs, echoed along the silent woodlands, sounding fainter and fainter until they gradually died away, and the late scene of noise and frolic was all silent and deserted. Ichabod only lingered behind, according to the custom of country lovers, to have a tata-tata with the heiress, fully convinced that he was now on the high road to success. But was he? Such a clever fellow that Washington Irving, having given our superstitious hero a tantalizing taste of his wildest dream come true. Well, pride and hubris cometh before a fall, don't they? Yes. Faith was watching even now. It's beady eye across the crowded dance floor and in the terrifying dark of Sleepy Hollow..