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it dates from the 1690's, and it is regarded as Deerfield's oldest building. "But I can tell you one story from the 17th century," Mimi added. "It's about our Frary House ghost." Documents show that one Sarah Smith, of Deerfield, was hanged on August 25, 1698, for a crime committed in the Frary House. Ac cording to court records, she bore "by the providence of God one female bastard child" and "being led by the instigation of the devil ... and with intent to conceal her Lewdness the said child [she] did strangle and smother." "Years ago I talked with an old lady who once spent a night as a guest in this house," Mimi said as we reached the door, "and she was awakened by the sound of a baby cry ing." Needless to say, there was no baby in the house at the time. Gravestone Hints at a Tragic Tale Another tale of ghosts sent me to the John Williams House, an 18th-century parsonage now used as an Academy dormitory (pages 780-81). I was looking for the late Eunice Williams. Her gravestone stands only a few yards away, its letters softened by the cen turies, but clear: "Here lyeth the Body of M r s Eunice Williams the Virtuous & desirable Consort of the Rev rd M r John Williams ... She was Born Aug t 2. 1664. and fell by the rage of ye Barbarous Enemy." She was a victim of the Deerfield Massacre of 1704. As I turned from the gravestone, Mike Bois, the hospitable housemaster of Williams House dormitory, greeted me, "How about a tour of the place?" We met boys along the way, moving up noisy stairs, down zigzag halls, past afterthought bedrooms and latter-day plumbing. We ducked into a misnamed secret passage behind one bed. "I use it myself when coming in late," said Mike. "The real secret here is when the house was built-some say 1707, others think as late as 1754." On the top floor we found an Academy senior with a characteristic Deerfield regard for history. Nat Sims was awash with printer's proofs and bales of notes. "It's an art catalogue for our American Studies Group," Nat explained. "We're hav ing a one-man show of Augustus V. Tack." Tack, who came to live and paint in Deer field at the turn of this century, won national distinction for portraits of famous Americans. Yet Nat and his fellow scholars were just then producing the first proper Tack biography. The relative silence of study hall was set tling over the old house, and Mike showed me to my second-floor room. I unpacked some 794 Guardians of the past, Mr. and Mrs. Henry N. Flynt have given their time and resources to the preservation of Deerfield's old houses for nearly three decades. Mrs. Flynt shows her husband 17th-century crewel work wool embroidery-in their restored home, the Allen House (page 804). The Heritage Foundation, created by the Flynts, has re stored 28 homes; 12 are open to the public. Autumn leaves stipple The Street as Be ment soccer players head homeward past the venerable Ashley House. It is the season when time hovers between the now and long ago. David Morton, a local poet, wrote: The old names are here, And the old forms Not alone of doorways, of houses. The lightfalls the way the light fell, And it is not clear In the elm shadows, if it be ourselves here, Or others who were before us.