For the Weekend: Stephen Vincent Benet: The Devil and Daniel Webster IX http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks06/0602901h.html: "And with that the fire burned blue and the door blew open and twelve men entered, one by one...
...If Jabez Stone had been sick with terror before, he was blind with terror now. For there was Walter Butler, the loyalist, who spread fire and horror through the Mohawk Valley in the times of the Revolution; and there was Simon Girty, the renegade, who saw white men burned at the stake and whooped with the Indians to see them burn. His eyes were green, like a catamount's, and the stains on his hunting shirt did not come from the blood of the deer. King Philip was there, wild and proud as he had been in life, with the great gash in his head that gave him his death wound, and cruel Governor Dale, who broke men on the wheel.
There was Morton of Merry Mount, who so vexed the Plymouth Colony, with his flushed, loose, handsome face and his hate of the godly. There was Teach, the bloody pirate, with his black beard curling on his breast. The Reverend John Smeet, with his strangler's hands and his Geneva gown, walked as daintily as he had to the gallows. The red print of the rope was still around his neck, but he carried a perfumed handkerchief in one hand. One and all, they came into the room with the fires of hell still upon them, and the stranger named their names and their deeds as they came, till the tale of twelve was told. Yet the stranger had told the truth—they had all played a part in America.
"Are you satisfied with the jury, Mr. Webster?" said the stranger mockingly, when they had taken their places.
The sweat stood upon Dan'l Webster's brow, but his voice was clear.
"Quite satisfied," he said. "Though I miss General Arnold from the company."
"Benedict Arnold is engaged upon other business," said the stranger, with a glower. "Ah, you asked for a justice, I believe."
He pointed his finger once more, and a tall man, soberly clad in Puritan garb, with the burning gaze of the fanatic, stalked into the room and took his judge's place.
"Justice Hathorne is a jurist of experience," said the stranger. "He presided at certain witch trials once held in Salem. There were others who repented of the business later, but not he."
"Repent of such notable wonders and undertakings?" said the stern old justice. "Nay, hang them—hang them all!" And he muttered to himself in a way that struck ice into the soul of Jabez Stone.
- The Devil and Daniel Webster I http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/08/for-the-weekend-stephen-vincent-benet-the-devil-and-daniel-webster-i.html
- The Devil and Daniel Webster II http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/08/for-the-weekend-stephen-vincent-benet-the-devil-and-daniel-webster-ii.html
- The Devil and Daniel Webster III http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/09/for-the-weekend-stephen-vincent-benet-the-devil-and-daniel-webster-iii.html
- The Devil and Daniel Webster IV http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/09/for-the-weekend-stephen-vincent-benet-the-devil-and-daniel-webster-iv.html
- The Devil and Daniel Webster V http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/09/for-the-weekend-stephen-vincent-benet-the-devil-and-daniel-webster-v.html
- The Devil and Daniel Webster VI http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/10/for-the-weekend-stephen-vincent-benet-the-devil-and-daniel-webster-vi.html
- For the Weekend: Stephen Vincent Benet: The Devil and Daniel Webster VII](http://www.bradford-delong.com/2017/10/for-the-weekend-stephen-vincent-benet-the-devil-and-daniel-webster-vii.html)
- For the Weekend: Stephen Vincent Benet: The Devil and Daniel Webster VIII
- For the Weekend: Stephen Vincent Benet: The Devil and Daniel Webster IX
- For the Weekend: Stephen Vincent Benet: The Devil and Daniel Webster X
- For the Weekend: Stephen Vincent Benet: The Devil and Daniel Webster XI
- For the Weekend: Stephen Vincent Benet: The Devil and Daniel Webster XII
- For the Weekend: Stephen Vincent Benet: The Devil and Daniel Webster XIII