it so," said his fellow-traveller. "Betake
you the woods' and let me keep the path."
Accordingly the young man turned aside,
but took care to watch his companion, who
advanced softly along the road until he
had come within a staff's length of the
old dame. She, meanwhile, was making the
best of her way, with singular speed for
so aged a woman, and mumbling some indistinct
words--a prayer, doubtless--as she went.
The traveller put forth his staff and touched
her withered neck with what seemed the
"The devil!" screamed the pious
"Then Goody Cloyse knows her old
friend?" observed the traveller, confronting
her and leaning on his writhing stick.
"Ah, forsooth, and is it your worship
indeed?" cried the good dame.
"Yea, truly is it, and in the very
image of my old gossip, Goodman Brown,
the grandfather of the silly fellow that
now is. But--would your worship believe
it?--my broomstick hath strangely disappeared,
stolen, as I suspect, by that unhanged
witch, Goody Cory, and that, too, when
I was all anointed with the juice of smallage,
and cinquefoil, and wolf's bane--"