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Miss Britton's Poker


Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

The maids of Staten Island wrought havoc among the royal troops who were
quartered among them during the Revolution. Near quarantine, in an old
house,--the Austen mansion,--a soldier of King George hanged himself
because a Yankee maid who lived there would not have him for a husband,
nor any gentleman whose coat was of his color; and, until ghosts went out
of fashion, his spirit, in somewhat heavy boots, with jingling spurs,
often disturbed the nightly quiet of the place.

The conduct of a damsel in the old town of Richmond was even more stern.
She was the granddaughter, and a pretty one, of a farmer named Britton;
but though Britton by descent and name, she was no friend of Britons,
albeit she might have had half the officers in the neighboring camp at
her feet, if she had wished them there. Once, while mulling a cup of
cider for her grandfather, she was interrupted by a self-invited
myrmidon, who undertook, in a fashion rude and unexpected, to show the
love in which he held her. Before he could kiss her, the girl drew the
hot poker from the mug of drink and jabbed at the vitals of her amorous
foe, burning a hole through his scarlet uniform and printing on his burly
person a lasting memento of the adventure. With a howl of pain the fellow
rushed away, and the privacy of the Britton family was never again
invaded, at least whilst cider was being mulled.

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Previous: The Party From Gibbet Island

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