Beverwijck -- A Dutch Village on the American Frontier

The Life of a Day,
page 7 of 7

morrow, and went to bed. The “tap-toes” sounded from the fort, and every house was silent.

And as the honest mynheer and his good vrouw slept warmly in their fireside alcove, and softly between their great feather-beds, so they also slept serenely; for they were not left unprotected from marauding Indian or Christian, nor unwatched by the ever-thoughtful town authorities. Through the little town marched boldly every night a sturdy kloppermann, or rattle-watch, with strong staff and brass-bound hourglass and lighted lanthorn; and, best of all, he bore a large klopper, or rattle, which he shook loudly and reassuringly at each door all through the dark hours of the night, “from nine o’clock to break of the day,” to warn both housekeepers and thieves that he was near at hand; and as was bidden by the worshipful schepens, he called out what o’clock, and what weather;— and thus guarded, let us leave them sleeping, these honest Dutch home-folk, as they have now slept for centuries in death, waiting to hear called out to them with clear voice “at break of the day” from another world, “A fair morning, and all ’s well.”



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