The story opens with a long descriptive passage offered in the first person by the narrator, who is revealed at the end of the story to be a man in a tavern who told the story to ‘‘D. K.’’ Irving's contemporaries, and readers of the entire Sketch Book, know that ''D. K." is Diedrich Knickerbocker, the fictional author of an earlier book of Irving's. The narrator describes the story's setting, creating images of a quaint, cozy Dutch village, ''one of the quietest places in the whole world,’’ in a ‘‘remote period of American history'' that seemed long ago even to...
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