Gateway to the Classics: The Oak-Tree Fairy Book by Clifton Johnson
The Oak-Tree Fairy Book by  Clifton Johnson

The Men of Gotham and the Watch

O NE day a number of Gotham men were walking along the road when they found a watch lost by some traveller. None of them had ever seen such a queer thing before, and they looked at it with great surprise and curiosity. Suddenly, one of the party who had taken the watch in his hand noticed that a ticking sound came from the inside of it.

"Do you hear that?" said he. "The thing must be possessed by an evil spirit."

He was very much frightened and threw the watch away. Not one of the party dared touch it now. But the oldest among them, more courageous than the rest, picked up a large stone and hammered the watch until it was entirely smashed. Of course that stopped its ticking. The brave man then kneeled down and laid his ear to the watch and listened.

"Ah," said he proudly to his companions when he heard no sound, "I have taught him to keep quiet. That stone did the business."

So they all rejoiced that they had destroyed an evil spirit and went away leaving the watch on the ground.


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