Thursday, November 10, 2016
The brook was searched, but the body of the schoolmaster was not to be discovered . Hans Van Ripper, as executor of his estate, examined the bundle which contained all his worldly effects. They consisted of two shirts and a half, two stocks for the neck, a pair or two of worsted stockings, an old old pair of corduroy small clothes, a rusty razor, a book of psalm tunes full of dog's ears, and a broken pitchpipe. As to the books and furniture of the schoolhouse, they belonged to the community, excepting Cotton Mather's history of witchcraft, a New England Almanac, and a book of dreams and fortune-telling; in which last was a sheet of foolscap much scribbled and blotted in several fruitless attempts to make a make a copy of verses in honor of the heiress of Van Tassel. These magic books and poetic scrawl were forthwith consigned to the flames by Hans Van Ripper, who from that time forward determined to send his children no more to school, observing that he never knew any good come of this same reading and writing. Whatever money the schoolmaster possessed, and he had received his quarters pay but a day or two before, he must have had about his person at the time of his disappearance.