The Weary Watcher
Myths and Legends of Our Own Lands
Before the opening of the great bridge sent commerce rattling up Washington Street in Brooklyn that thoroughfare was a shaded and beautiful avenue, and among the houses that attested its respectability was one, between Tillary and Concord Streets, that was long declared to be haunted. A man and his wife dwelt there who seemed to be fondly attached to each other, and whose love should have been the stronger because of their three children none grew to years. A mutual sorrow is as close a tie as a common affection. One day, while on a visit to a friend, the wife saw her husband drive by in a carriage with a showy woman beside him. She went home at once, and when the supposed recreant returned she met him with bitter reproaches. He answered never a word, but took his hat and left the house, never to be seen again in the places that had known him.
The wife watched and waited, daily looking for his return, but days lengthened into weeks, months, years, and still he came not. Sometimes she lamented that she had spoken hastily and harshly, thinking that, had she known all, she might have found him blameless. There was no family to look after, no wholesome occupation that she sought, so the days went by in listening and watching, until, at last, her body and mind gave way, and the familiar sight of her face, watching from a second floor window, was seen no longer. Her last day came. She had risen from her bed; life and mind seemed for a moment to be restored to her; and standing where she had stood so often, her form supported by a half-closed shutter and a grasp on the sash, she looked into the street once more, sighed hopelessly, and so died. It was her shade that long watched at the windows; it was her waxen face, heavy with fatigue and pain, that was dimly seen looking over the balusters in the evening.