The Cortelyou Elopement

In the Bath district of Brooklyn stands Cortelyou manor, built one

hundred and fifty years ago, and a place of defence during the Revolution

when the British made sallies from their camp in Flatbush and worried the

neighborhood. It was in one of these forays on pigs and chickens that a

gallant officer of red-coats met a pretty lass in the fields of

Cortelyou. He stilled her alarm by aiding her to gather wild-flowers, and

it came about that the girl often went into the fields and came back with

prodigious bouquets of daisies. The elder Cortelyou had no inkling of

this adventure until one of his sons saw her tryst with the red-coat at a

distance. Be sure the whole family joined him in remonstrance. As the

girl declared that she would not forego the meetings with her lover, the

father swore that she should never leave his roof again, and he tried to

be as good, or bad, as his word. The damsel took her imprisonment as any

girl of spirit would, but was unable to effect her escape until one

evening, as she sat at her window, watching the moon go down and paint

the harbor with a path of light. A tap at the pane, as of a pebble thrown

against it, roused her from her revery. It was her lover on the lawn.

At her eager signal he ran forward with a light ladder, planted it

against the window-sill, and in less than a minute the twain were running

toward the beach; but the creak of the ladder had been heard, and

grasping their muskets two of the men hurried out. In the track of the

moon the pursuers descried a moving form, and, without waiting to

challenge, they levelled the guns and fired. A woman's cry followed the

report; then a dip of oars was heard that fast grew fainter until it

faded from hearing. On returning to the house they found the girl's room

empty, and next morning her slipper was brought in from the mud at the

landing. Nobody inside of the American lines ever learned what that shot

had done, but if it failed to take a life it robbed Cortelyou of his

mind. He spent the rest of his days in a single room, chained to a staple

in the floor, tramping around and around, muttering and gesturing, and

sometimes startling the passer-by as he showed his white face and ragged

beard at the window.

The Corpse Of The Raja's Son The Corwrion Version facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail