Excerpt from As It May Happen: A Story of American Life and Character This, then, was all the villagers knew of the life of Nicholas Grundle and the fair maiden 'who was his coun terpart in all that was secretive and reserved. Beyond these apparent facts, all that rumor incessantly repeated about the strange pair was mere inference and specula tion. Nor could the tales that were told every night at the Green Tree Inn, of the questionable and suspicious proceedings in old Grundle's hut, ever be traced to one who could say he had himself seen them, or who was able, when closely pressed, to give the source of his informa tion; for, during the night as well as the day, the interior of this secret dwelling, its thick board shutters tightly closed, was shrouded in a mystery that the skillful eye of the shrewdest explorer of dark retreats could t pierce. If one should come that way at night - and sometimes a curious and daring villager, t afraid of the old woman's unmarked grave in the corner of the yard, would recon itre the silent premises-he could see there signs of life except a faint wreath of smoke, that oated away in some weird shape from the ragged, toppling chimney. And if, perchance, growing more bold in spite of the un defined fear that crept over him, he should venture as far as the garden-gate, he would t stay long to listen to the low growl of the mastiff within, which sound alone broke the tomb - like silence of the place for one ever heard the soft, quick steps of the miser, when, thus alarmed, he caught up his gun, and hastened to his outlook, a half concealed window in the second story. Here, placing his threatening eye against a large hole cut in the bottom of the shutter, he had ample field for the range of his vision, or the deadly weapon that trembled in his hand. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.