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The first person Rip meets is described as a "'‘short, square-built old fellow’ dressed in old-fashioned Dutch clothing". He is trying to carry a large keg of liquor up the rocks of a dry stream bed. After Rip helps him carry the keg, he meets a group of bearded men who are in the same old-fashioned Dutch clothing. The men do not speak, but simply gesture and Rip understands their gestures. Then Rip meets the 'commander" who is described as ‘‘a stout old gentleman, with a weather-beaten countenance.’’ His clothes are a little more ornate that the others' clothing yet he still does not speak to Rip. Rip steals a sip of the liquor the men are drinking, and after that, he falls asleep for 20 years. Rip does not find out until after he wakes up that the commander might have been Henry Hudson, the explorer of the New York river valley and that the men may have been part of his crew. Legend has it that every 20 years Hudson haunts the river valley that was named after him.
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