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The Folktale Project

Sep 14, 2017

When Charles River was lined with groves and marshes there lived in a cabin, near Brighton, Massachusetts, an ill-fed rascal named Tom Walker. There was but one in the commonwealth who was more penurious, and that was his wife. They squabbled over the spending of a penny and each grudged food to the other. One day as Tom walked through the pine wood near his place, by habit watching the ground—for even there a farthing might be discovered—he prodded his stick into a skull, cloven deep by an Indian tomahawk. He kicked it, to shake the dirt off, when a gruff voice spake: “What are you doing in my grounds?” A swarthy fellow, with the face of a charcoal burner, sat on a stump, and Tom wondered that he had not seen him as he approached.