||It was now
deep dusk in the forest, and deepest in that
part of it where these two were journeying.
As nearly as could be discerned, the second
traveller was about fifty years old, apparently
in the same rank of life as Goodman Brown,
and bearing a considerable resemblance to
him, though perhaps more in expression than
features. Still they might have been taken
for father and son. And yet, though the elder
person was as simply clad as the younger,
and as simple in manner too, he had an indescribable
air of one who knew the world, and who would
not have felt abashed at the governor's dinner
table or in King William's court, were it
possible that his affairs should call him
thither. But the only thing about him that
could be fixed upon as remarkable was his
staff, which bore the likeness of a great
black snake, so curiously wrought that it
might almost be seen to twist and wriggle
itself like a living serpent. This, of course,
must have been an ocular deception, assisted
by the uncertain light.
"Come, Goodman Brown," cried
his fellow-traveller, "this is a dull
pace for the beginning of a journey. Take
my staff, if you are so soon weary."
"Friend," said the other, exchanging
his slow pace for a full stop, "having
kept covenant by meeting thee here, It
IS my purpose now to return whence I came.
I have scruples touching the matter thou