miles distant, and grandmother put a buiicli of pennyroyal
steeping because as she said " if a sweat did liini no good it
would do no harm, " albeit the victim of the accident was in
such pain as to cause the perspiration to moisten his whole
The doctor arrived the next day and found the limb al-
ready set and bound in splints of bark, a very creditable job,
he called it, and left instructions for poor Ben to keep the bed
for three weeks, when he would return and examine the limb
to determine the success of the process of healing.
Now, be it remembered that the Collins-es were a social
people and their home was the resort of neighbors for miles
around. Hank Collins' was a popular man, though not
strong-minded, and while he entertained some political pres-
tige he was not a leader, but a man whose good graces were
sought by would-be leaders. Hence his sayings were quoted
as from an authority, and he was brought into intercourse
with the scattering neighbors more freciuently than any other
one of them. Moreover he was a subscriber to a weekly paj»er
published in Utica.
Ben always heard what was said by elders in his pivseiie*'.
and pondered much over their discussions wliieh he insisted
upon retailing to young Job who did not always cNJiii.it (be
characteristic of his more patient namesake.
Job went to the schoolhouse in the evening, and for a
sixpence saw the new telegraph exliibited. He exi)lained the
instrument to Ben in the following not very lucid terms:
"The show didn't mount to nawthink ! The feller set up
a jigger-jabber on the girls' side and another on our side, and
232 TWO OLD-FASHIONED BOYS.
run out some wire along a fence and the trees and brung it
back into another winder and hitched it to another jigger.
Then he stuck a wire down a knot-hole in the floor, and some
more wires into some dishes he called a batter. Then he jig-
gered one machine and the other jiggered just like it and the
two just jigger-jabbered and there wan't nobody anigh to it.
He had a paper ribband wound on a wheel and a clock thing
run down and made some marks on the ribband just like the
marks he made on the blackboard. Then he read the pin
scratches on the ribband out loud and said it said ' In God we
trust.' I hearn Mr. Marceau say it was all a humbug and we
was all fooled. Paw, he says there is somethink in it, but
he don't know what. Some say there is and some say he's a
vanphilist and made the click-clack on tother jigger with his
mouth. You ain't mist anythink and I haint seen anythink.
Wusht Ide a saved my sixpence for a hunk of ginger bread
next Fourth July." After the recital Job was plied with so
many questions that the last were vaguely answered in his
sleep. His ideas of the machine were perhaps as clear as
those of most of the adults who had been attracted to the ex-
Poor Ben ! All his life he had wanted to see something
and now his pain must be borne with additional grief because
deprived of seeing an exhibition of electric science. His feel-
ings upon this subject were not relieved on hearing the
discussions of the exhibit which occurred almost daily among
the neighl)ors who called to sympathize with Ben and boi-row
During his imprisonment he heard much talk of tlic
election of governor, and Hunkers, Barn Burners, Free IJjilers
and Mudsills, as well as Anti-Masons. He was well aware
that his father was not in svnn>athy witli the latter as ho had
TWO OLD-FASHIONED i;OYS. 2So
heard a heated debate between him and Hone Marcrau, tlie
latter alleging that he did not want to belong to a party of
murderers or have them get into power to secretly kill off their
enemies at will and leave the world to wonder who did it.
" But Free Masonry does not encourage that sort of thing
any more than does the Church of England," protested Mr.
" You tell me that ! You know as well as 1 they killed
Morgan, threw him into Niagara river and then one night
buried him in three graves. You know that hundreds of
other unaccountable murders have been committed in the
same mysterious way. Do you want a government of mur-
"No, I do not. But I do not like to see my — a party
called murderers without the proof. A man is innoeent until
he is proven guilty."
Marceau was a pronounced Anti and no amount ot argu-
ment would convince him that a Free Mason was not a dis-
guised murderer. So it was agreed that the matter should
not be further discussed.
About ten days after this discussion l)en sat upon his
trundle-bed, which was far too small, in the house alone. .lob,
who had become more and moi-e of a coiupanit)n during l>en s
stay in doors, ran in all out of bn^ath.
"Say, Ben, its too durn bad ! Can't you walk? Try it.
I've just found some of the queerest things in the straw .stack.
Silver 'n gold things ! "
Ben's curiosity was fully arou.sed, besides he had l-ecii
shut up ten days and was hke a caged bird once free.
" I bleeve I can hobble out there and back before any-
body comes. I just hopped to the door and h.i