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 pajÂ»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 â€” 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
if I could move. "
234 TWO OLD-FASHIONED BOYS.
" In course you can, " vouched the excited Job. " Ten
days is time enough to heal a horse's leg. Here, take gramp's
cane and the tongs. I'll help. "
Slowly and in fear Ben started on the short journey and
with Job's encouragement he reached the stack inuch to his
surprise without any special suffering. (3nce there Job began
throwing the straw, which had been thrashed with a flail,
aside with a fork made of the crotch of a hickory stick.
"What's this?" holding up a pair of crossed quills.
" And here is a cooper's compass stuck on a square and look
at these great keys ! Here's pole hooks and a big letter G,
and a Bible â€” would a thief steal a Bible, Ben?"
"Well how do you know any of it's stole, " inquired Ben.
"How else could it get into the straw, then," queried Job
"Well, I don't say as how it was stole, but I just believe
its a Free Mason's "
Job dropped the keys with an exclamation of horror.
"Do you suppose this is what they kill folks with? "
Ben wasn't sure, but at his suggestion the discovery was
again secreted in the straw and the boys returned to the house
in alarm lest they should meet the fate of Morgan before the
return of their parents. And Ben began to feel that perhaps
he might sufl^er great injury from deserting his bed before he
When the parents returned the boys related the news of
their wonderful find to their mother, and she in turn told
their fatlier. He seemed surprised and a little frustrated,
then sternly bade them not to say a word to a soul about the
Next forenoon Job plucked up courage enough to again
remove the straw so as to uct iiiiolher look at the strange
IN JUST ONCE MOKE.
TWO OLD-FASHIONED BOYS. 235
objects. He threw out a great lot of the straw and declared
he didn't suppose he had buried it so deep. After an extra
effort he came down to solid straw wliich had not been dis-
turbed. Xot until then did it occur to him that the wonder-
ful things he had seen and handled had gone just as myster-
iously as they had appeared. When he made report of the
equally strange disappearance to his father, tliat worthy
laconicall}^ dismissed the subject with an imperative:
" Shut up ! "
It was but a few days after Job's discovery that the doc-
tor, with mysterious saddle bags, returned to visit his patient,
only to find him knocking about with his injured limb lashed
to a barrel stave, the convex surface fitting under the knee
very comfortably. To the neighbors the boy's leaving his bed
a week before the date fixed by the doctor was a triumph of
their inherent opposition to professional science.
" But what could you expect, " remarked Ben's mother,
" what could you expect from a doctor who has a mustache?"
It was agreed that a man so dandified as to grow a mus-
tache could not be very smart to say nothing of professional
knowledge. As for Ben, he was too anxious to get away to his
accustomed outdoor pastimes to debate the question of the
knitting of the bones between the doctor's skill and the awful
doses of jalap, boncset tea and calomel administered by his
anxious grandmother wdio had a Thomsonian specific in every
weed in the forest.
" I'm just death on the fever, " she would say, " and gin
me a plenty of fever-weed and pennyroyal, and keep them
from a filling themselves with water and I'll warn you they'll
come out all right unless it happens as it
Dobbins, she that was a Purse. She was outen her head and
once when she didn't know what she was about and the
236 TWO OLD-FASHIONED BOYS.
watchers was asleep she just went to the spring and drank
and drank. I took care of her myself arter that and she was
right sick for a fortnight, but she didn't get another drop of
water you may depend. "
The old lady drew a clay pipe from the ashes where it
had been placed to burn it out, and filling it smoked com-
placently in silence. Ah ! Could a machine for recording
thought be had what a world of reminiscence could have been
rescued from oblivion as the dear old lady smoked and
dreamed of her days of activity " down at old Glosster."
Some hardships befell the early settlers on this fertile
point, and among the most annoying little things was losing
the fire. Mrs. Collins was attending a sick neighbor ; her
husband had gone to the Harbor with a grist drawn by a yoke
of oxen and the trip would require two days. The boys and
their grandmother were left alone and such a bustling prepara-
tion for dinner had not stirred up the but-and-ben of a house
since last Thanksgiving, when the occasion was made
memorable by the rescue of four half-drowned settlers who
had been cast upon the shore in the night and brought back
to life in the hospitable cheer of the Collins fireplace.
The old lady was intent upon getting up a bounteous
meal of rye-and-Indian bread and corned beef with cabbage.
When she had broiled some salt pork before the embers, and
freshened it by dipping the sizzling piece in a gourd of cold
water often, and then again bringing it to the coals, she set
about further preparation so interestedly as to forget the low
fire. When she hung a kettle on the crane she was surprised
to find the fire out. Not a live ember remained. There was
no tinder box, and the punk Mr. Collins had taken with him.
" Joby," she said solemnly, " the fire's lost. You will
have to go down to Uncle Hiram's and get some fire, and get
I'WO OLD-FASlriONKb Oovs. '237
back quick as ever you can. Hero, take the tongs, and
It was two miles to the neighbor's and a four mile trudge
in the snow did not promise any unusual amusement. How^
ever, he was accustomed to obeying, and that at once. Off
he trudged with the tongs astride his neck and in due tinre
made his errand known at the neighl)or's door. He walked
in without rapping, and was cordially received. A big
twisted doughnut and a yellow mug of sou[) was brought, and
the same relished with the truly envia!)le appetite of a lunigry
The end of a burning stick was caught in the tongs and
Joby started for home, giving the ember an occasional whirl
over his head to keep it " alive." Weary and wet the plucky
lad arrived at his father's clearing and climbed the rail and
brush fence. His foot slipped and he pkmged off into the
snow whither he emerged half suffocated. The ember had
fallen to the opposite side of the fence and sizzled and smoked
and steamed as poor Joby scrambled around in the snow
vainly searching for the tongs. These were found lodged in
the fence just as he was ready to give up and cry. J^ut his
joy was quickly gone. An ominous silence in the neighl tor-
hood of the erstwhile sputtering ember filled him with disap-
pointment. The cherished live coal was black and dead.
Job let out just one wail, and then resolutely turned back
for another brand, and in so doing exhibited the courage and
fortitude of the pioneers who subdued the wooded and rocky
Black River country. Our young hero was successful in the
second effort, and as he dried himself before the big crackling
fire he soon recovered his wonted spirits and animation.
His father returned unexpectedly that night having left
the grist to bo ground next day, and it was agreed that Mr.
238 TWO OLD-FASHIONED BOYS.
Marceau should remain with the grist. What was his surprise
on going after it to meet Mr. Marceau who had returned five
or six miles of the distance and brought the two bags of grist
by carrying one some distance and setting it down, returning
for the other. He was careful not to get either out of his sight,
and in the return traversed the distance three times.
Spring arrived with its attendant floods and a big run of
suckers, which created no end of amusement for the few boys
in the neighborhood who had a great joke on Bone Marceau.
He and another neighbor were catching suckers with a small
scoopnet, and the better to preserve them they were thrown in
a rockhole which contained water. They had captured almost
a hundred of them when they decided that it were needless to
continue the slaughter. They were not a little surprised to
find not a fish in the hole and still more surprised to find
in it a communication with the creek out of which the one poor
sucker passed and repassed only to be caught up and tossed back
again until almost exhausted. Joking Marceau was a serious
thing, however, especially as Tubbs, the cooper, had related
the incident and the boys knew him for a funny old joker.
Tubbs was a prime favorite with the boys. He had told
them that he was in a circus before his arrival in their com-
munity and the wonderful feats he performed and saw
performed completely won the boys over to holding a candle
for him as he worked of an evening, and to go on all manner
of errands. He told them the most delightful bogie stories
about banshees and death-ticks.
A favorite yarn was his experience of driving a corpse at
a funeral "down east." He had a pair of horses attached to
a long sled.
"The ground was bare in spots" said ho, " and rough in
places. The cofiin was ])laeed in the shnl nn(l all went well
TWO Ol.D-FASIIIOXKD ISOYS. 230
until the descent of a big hill was commenced. It was bare
and rough. The coffin jolted around a good deal and bimby
the lid rattled off. The corpse was a man who had long
whiskers under his chin. I glanced backward over my
shoulder and got a fair look at him. His whiskers were
l)lo\ving over the edge of the coffin and as I was at the lower
end of the sled T thought he was getting up to take me. I put
the birch on the horses and broke away from the perseshun
and brought up at the graveyard half an hour ahead of the
others. But it was mighty queer the lid had got back to its
place and I always bleeved the old feller just reached out for
it and fastened himself in."
Just then old Jimmy came back from the woods whither
he had been sent by the cooper to fetch the horse. Jimmy
was a wit and he and the cooper were never happier than
when bandying each other with a half dozen boys to appre-
ciate their sayings. Jimmy stuttered badly at times and on
this occasion he returned without the horse.
" S-s-t-d-d-ggg " stammered poor Jimmy.
" Sing it," shouted the cooper.
"The divil a harse cud 1 see-e ! " sang Jimmy, and the
boys dodged behind the shop to have a laugh at the unex-
It was April and the Collins boys and .Hmie others had
an undivided interest in a log canoe, ^\'ith such a frail craft
they made long excursions up and down shore, and even
rigged up a s([uare sail out of a woolen blanket. They sailed
to the islands and paddled back, proud of their skill as
navigators, and even talked of a voyage to the Harbor to see
the general training. But it was soon swimming time and
thnv lived a life worth living.
The lirst swim of tlie season chilh-d tlK'in blue Init they
240 TWO OLD-FASHIONED BOYS.
declared the water warm and on coming out met Valiant
Smith and he, holding up two fingers and proposed they go in
" Go in just once more, " he plead, and although quak-
ing the boys all plunged back and never a one was the worse
for the cold dip.
The summer term of the district school was to open with
a lady teacher. The building was made of squared, logs and
warmed with a big fireplace opposite the only door. Pine
seats ran around the walls, and these were confronted by pine
desks attached to which was a low seat which served the pur-
pose of recitation seats.
During the preceding winter term a blackboard had been
placed on either side of the door. A water pail occupied a
bench on the right and a high desk filled the portion of the
opposite side not occupied by the seats. Paper wads crusted
the ceiling, and the seats showed strange characters deep-
carved and filled with dried ink. The windows were small
and filled with " seven-by-nine " panes. The " forest prime-
val " grew in the yard, and primitive rocks, rearing their ugly
heads out of the soil, stubbed many a bare toe the while the
Ben and Job arose early on the first day of school and
just at daylight repaired to the schoolhouse, and crawling into
a window, selected their seats for the term. Others soon ar-
rived and as they worked their way in Ben and Job set up a
yell that scared the intruders almost into fits. Their seats se-
lected and books deposited, an adjournment was taken to the
yard, some bats and a leather-covered ball were produced and
a game of four-old-cat was started. Ben was catcher, and he
got too close to the bat. As the batsman, with a foot on the
TWO OLD-FASHIONED BOYS. 241
bye, drew back to sock the ball out into the woods his club
came in contact with Ben's face. The smile faded and tears
" I just wanted to see if I could strike the ball hard
enough to make the fire fly as Tubbs says he usto," said the
striker, " but I didn't know Ben was so close."
The repairs took some time and when the boys were
ready for something else the teacher arrived. She was a little
woman of uncertain age, but full of determination. The
boys hung about the door while the big barefooted girls went
spat, spat into the schoolhouse behind the teacher. Soon
there was a cloud of dust issuing from the door and windows.
" Will some of the young gentlemen bring in some cedar
boughs for the fire-place ? "
Slowly they started. " Young gentlemen," they re-
peated, but all the same they brought in more than would fill
the black cavern of a fireplace. A sharp rapi)ing on the
window assembled the school in their seats and the reign of
the new teacher was fairly begun over a colony of homespun
trowsers and gingham aprons.
The first class in reading was called out and stood in a
row in front of the teacher's desk. The book u.sed was the
English Reader which was filled with horrible narratives of
Indian massacre, sufferings of wrecked humanity at sea, earth-
quakes, executions and death in frightful form. On the other
liand the work contains some of the best selections of iMJglish
verse as well as prose in existence. To test the new comers in
ilio class the following selections were read from b(.(.ks with
wooden covers :
THE HEARS AND THE BEIiS.
As two young l)ears, in wanton mood
Forth issuint;- tVom a noigliboring wood.
242 TWO OLB-PASHIONED BOYS.
Come where th' industrious bees had stor'd,
In artful cells, their luscious hoard ;
O'erjoy'd they seized, with eager haste.
Luxurious on the rich repast.
Alarm'd at this, the little crew
About their ears vindictive flew.
The beasts, unable to sustain
Th' unequal combat, quit the plain ;
Half-blind with rage, and mad with pain,
Their native shelter they regain ;
There sit, and now, discreeter grown,
Too late their rashness they bemoan ;
And this by dear experience gain,
That pleasure's ever bought with pain.
So when the gilded baits of vice
Are plac'd before our longing eyes.
With greedy haste we snatch our fill,
And swallow down the latent ill ;
But when experience opens our eyes,
Away the fancied pleasure flies.
It flies, but oh ! too late we find.
It leaves a real sting behind.
THE YOUTH AND THE PHILOSOPHER,
A Grecian youth of talents rare.
Whom Plato's philosophic care
Had form'd for virtue's nobler view,
By precept and example too,
Would often boast his matchless skill.
To curb the steed and guide the wheel ;
And as he pass'd the gazing throng.
TWO OLD-FASHIONKF) P.OYS. 243
With graceful ease, and sniack'd the thong.
The idiot wonder they express'd,
Was praise and transport to his breast.
At length, quite vain, ho needs would show
His master what his art could do.
And bade his slaves the chariot lead
To Academus' sacred shade.
The trembling grove confess'd its fright.
The wood-nymphs started at the .sight ;
The muses drop the learned lyre.
And to their inmost shades retire.
Howe'er, the youth, with forward air,
Bows to the sage, and mounts the car.
The lash resounds, the coursers spring.
The chariot marks the rolling ring.
And gath'ring crowds, with eager eyes,
And shouts, pursue him as he flies.
Triumphant to the goal return 'd.
With nobler thirst his bosom buni'd ;
And now along th' idented plain.
The self-same track he marks again,
Pursues with oare the nice design,
Nor ever deviates from the line.
Amazement seiz'd the circling crowd ;
The youths with emulation glow'd ;
Ev n bearded sages hail'd tiic boy ;
And all but Plato ga/;d with joy.
For he, deep-judging sage, beheld
With pain the triumi)hs of the field ;
And when the charioteer drew nigh.
24-4 TWO OLD-FASHIONED BOYS.
And, flush'd with hope, had caught his eye â€”
" Alas ! unhappy youth," he cry'd,
" Expect no praise from me," (and sigh'd.)
" With indignation I survey
Such skill and judgment thrown away ;
The time profusely squander'd there,
On vulgar arts beneath th}^ care,
If well employ'd, at less expense,
Had taught thee honor, virtue, sense ;
And rais'd thee from a coachman's fate,
To govern men, and guide the state."
EARTHQUAKE AT CATANEA.
One of the earthquakes most particularly described in
istory is that which happened in the year 1693; the damages
â– which were chiefly felt in Sicily, but its motion was per-
dved in Germany, France and England. It extended to a
rcumference of two thousand six hundred leagues, chiefly
fecting the sea coasts and great rivers, more perceivable also
pon the mountains than in the valleys.
Its motions were so rapid that persons who lay at their
ngth, were tossed from side to side as upon a rolling billow,
he walls were dashed from their foundations, and no fewer
lan fifty cities, with an increditable number of villages, were
ther destroyed or greatly damaged. The city of Catanea in
irticular was utterly overthrown. A traveller who was on his
ay thither perceived at the distance of some miles, a black
oud like night, hanging over the place.
The sea all of a sudden began to roar. Mount yEtna to
nd forth great spires of flames, and soon after a shock en-
led with a- noise as if all the artillery in the world had been
, once discharged. Our travtdlci- being obliged to alight in-
TWO OLD-FASHIONED BOYS. 245
stantly, felt himself raised a foot from the ground, and turn-
ing his eyes to the city he with amazement saw nothing l)ut a
thick cloud of dust in the air.
The birds flew about astonished, the sun was darkened,
the beasts ran howling from the hills, and although the shock
did not continue above three minutes, yet near nineteen thou-
sand of the inhabitants of Sicily, perished in the ruins. Cat-
anea, to which city the describer was traveling, seemed the
principal scene of ruin, its place only was to be found, and
not a footstep of its former magnificence was to be seen re-
The following lines were read in concert, and thundering
accent of the boys with changing voices which sometimes rose
to a strange falsetto, mingled with the piping sopranos was
indeed a strange exhibition of rhetorical exercises :
THE NIGHTINGALE AND THE (iLOW-WOKM.
A nightingale, that all day long
Had cheer'd the village with his song.
Nor yet at eve his note suspended.
Nor yet when eventide was ended,
Began to feel, as well he might,
The keen demands of appetite ;
When, looking eagerly around.
He spied far off" u])on the ground,
A something shining in the dark.
And knew the glow-worm by his spark.
So, stooping down from hawtlK)rn Inp
He thought to put him in his cioi..
The worm, aware of his intent,
Harangued him thus, right elo(picntâ€”