Tuesday, October 25, 2016
Among these the most formidible was a burly, roaring, roistering blade, of the name Abraham, or according to the Dutch abbreviation, Brom Van Brunt, the hero of the country round, which rang with his feats of strength and hardihood. He was broad-shouldered and double-jointed , with short curly black hair, and a bluff but not unpleasant countenance, having a mingled air of fun and arrogance. From his Herculean frame and great powers of limb, he had received the nickname of BROM BONES, by which he universally known. He was famed for great knowledge and skill in horsemanship, being as dexterous on horseback as a tartar. He was foremost at all races and cockfights; and, with the ascendency which bodily strength aquires in rustic life life, was the umpire in all disputes, setting his hat on one side and giving his decisions with an air and tone admitting of no gainsay or appeal. He was always ready for either a fight or a frolic; but had more than ill will in his composition, and, with all his overbearing roughness, there was a strong dash of waggish good humor at bottom.He had three or four boon companions, who regarded him as their model and at the head of whom he scoured the country, attending every scene of fued or merriment for miles around. In cold weather he was distinguished by a fur cap, surmounted with a flaunting fox's tail; and when the folks at a country gathering descried this well-known crest at a distance, whisking about among a squad of hard riders, they always stood by for a squall. Sometimes his crew would be heard dashing along past the farmhouses at midnight, with whoop and halloo, like a troop Don Cossacks; and the old dames, startled out of their sleep, would listenfor a moment till the hurry-scurry had clattered by, and then explain,"ay, there goes the Brom Bones and his gang!" The neighbors looked upon him with a mixture of awe, admiration, and good will; and when any madcap prank or rustic brawl occurred in the vicinity, always shook their heads and warranted Brom Bones was at the bottom of it.