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The Writings of Thomas Bailey Aldrich: The Stillwater tragedy

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Pages: 168

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC

By: Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Excerpt from book: Ill On the afternoon of the following day Mr. Shackford was duly buried. The funeral, under the direction of Mr. Richard Shackford, who acted as chief mourner and was sole mourner by right of kinship, took place in profound silence. The carpenters, who had lost a day on Bishop's new stables, intermitted their sawing and hammering while the services were in progress: the steam was shut off in the iron-mills, and no clinking of the chisel was heard in the marble yard for an hour, during which many of the shops had their shutters up. Then, when all was over, the imprisoned fiend in the boilers gave a piercing shriek, the leather bands slipped on the revolving drums, the spindles leaped into life again, and the old order of things was reinstated — outwardly, but not in effect. In general, when the grave closes over a man his career is ended. But Mr. Shackford was never so much alive as after they had buried him. Never before had he filled so large a place in the public eye. Though invisible, hesat at every fireside. Until the manner of his death had been made clear, his ubiquitous presence was not to be exorcised. On the morning of the memorable day a reward of one hundred dollars — afterwards increased to five hundred, at the instance of Mr. Shackford's cousin — had been offered by the board of selectmen for the arrest and conviction of the guilty party. Beyond this and the unsatisfactory inquest, the authorities had done nothing, and were plainly not equal to the situation. When it was stated, the night of the funeral, that a professional person was coming to Still- water to look into the case, the announcement was received with a breath of relief. The person thus vaguely described appeared on the spot the next morning. To mention the name of Edward Taggett is to mention...  

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