Lehigh University
The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 068 [01-12-1861]

              58
         Posting Letters.     Turkey Buzzards.
nant with gossip.    This I would saunter across
very leisurely and so along the piazza, exchanging
my lazy pace at the corner of the huge hotel for
a rapid walk.        I seldom ventured to confide my
letters to the box on the hotel counter, for transmis-
sion to the mail, as I was pretty sure that some,
if not all of the clerks were members of the Vigi-
lance Committee, and the box was open to every-
body�s scrutiny.      Diving down a side street, then,
I struck off through the less frequented thorough-
fares towards the post-office, hearing St Mi-
chael chimes playing all the time and encounte-
ring scarcely anybody except a policeman or stray
pedestrian.       Generally I emerged on the market,
either crossing it or pursuing its deserted hall
for a block or two, commonly varying my track
in some minor particulars.         I have a very 
lively recollection of the black dank aspect of
these empty down-town streets of a rainy night,
of the church in front of which Calhoun
lies buried, and of East Bay.             By the way
this market is all alive of a Satuday night
with negroes buying and selling, and at early
morning it presents a curious spectacle, the
turkey-buzzards, the only scavengers of the city
sitting in rows on its eaves and roof and on               
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