George Streynsham Master.

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lowed. The cyclometers registered thirty-
five miles, the baggage was brought in and

Seal brown, chestnut, gray, drab, and blue
were the colors, with now and then bright
stockings or silver buckles and buttons to
break the soberness of hue. Wheel talk,
reminiscences of runs and races, the scenes
and incidents of the day, furnished material
for parlor conversation. There was a hu-
morous address by the Arab on the " Un-
natural History of the Oyster." In songs,
the Tenor was at his best, well supported by
the strong bass of the Colonel, the rich bar-
itone of Shenstone, and by other voices,
especially in the choruses. When the
bicycling song, written by our Highland
Laddie, was rendered to the air of " Dear-


the hungry guests registered and sought their
appointed rooms. There was luxury in
sponge and towel and fresh merinoes, and
no lack of good cheer and brilliant con-
versation at the two long tables. The hotel
had unconditionally surrendered.

In the parlors the costumes of the wheel-
men seemed not so much out of place as
they were pleasing in their variety and color,
while the uniformity of type and a certain
positiveness of style bestowed upon the
wearers collectively a half military effect.
Short cut-away coats over flannel shirts,
white collars and black ties, knee-breeches,
long-worsted stockings and low shoes, had
been dusted and fireshened after the ride.

est Mac," the applause was prolonged
and persistent. " Farewell, Ladies ! " was
the closing piece of minstrelsy ; and when
the Masher's voice was missed, he was
discovered in the opposite comer fi-om the
piano in a very engaging tete-h-tSU with a
charming young lady. This was the fifth
he had won already. When, however, the
music struck up, and whirling couples sought
the electric floor, and the Masher in his win-
ning way asked the young lady for the
pleasure, etc., she was overheard to say,
sweetly, " Thank you, — for the next ; but I
am always engaged to dance first with my
husband." In the scenes that ensued fif-
teen of the bicyclers found partners.

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The rest of that night I The luxury of
repose after action, of sleep after a day of
sunshine and fresh air and energetic but
unexhausted activity of every muscle and
sense and faculty! The dreamless pillow,
the downiness of perfect slumber, was
found ; and the curtain fell on the first day
of the run.

The reader has now, it is hoped, some
acquaintance with our excursionists and
their methods, and has caught a Httle of the
spirit, the breeze, and " go " of the trip.
The second part was twice as long in miles
and equally full in interest; but the pen
must skip rapidly over it, as the wheels did,
and the reader's imagination must now sup-
ply much of the filling.

A cheery breakfast at six, a hasty dusting
and oiling of the trusty steeds, and then a
fresher start was effected than on the morn-
ing before. A gentle west wind ruffled the
placid and buoyant waters of iron-bedded
Massapoag, and fanned the more buoyant
spirits of the forty-odd bicyclers, as they
sped along its shore and quickly left it be-
hind. Cruikshank, making a sudden spurt
on a treacherous bit of road, broke an axle,
and was the first victim of the ambulance.
A hasty good-by was said to him under
the elms, at South Canton, whence he sadly
turned away for a steam-train home. The
lead was now for three or four miles over
a devious country road, nearly all through
woodlands, often loose or rutted, with oc-
casional sand, and two or three sharp hills :
a romantic route, but of a character to tax
what might well be called the horsemanship
of bicychng. Only the more experienced


ners, in view
of the fine old
village of Randolph, and a few miles further
on through an undulating country, the beau-
tiful village of South Braintree, built lovingly
around a smiling natural pond, and in view
of the quarry-end of the Milton hills, with
its forest of derricks. Here it became evi-
dent that the inquisitive reporter of yester-
day had published the " programme," and
the people were expecting the comers. Car-
riages drove out to meet them and escort

Vol. XIX.— 36.


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them into the town ; and the reception was
all the pleasanter because they were *.* on

Every one along the route through Brain-
tree and Weymouth seemed on the watch;
factory windows were filled with facq^, men
had climbed the roofs, and boys the trees ;
and when, for instance, Shenstone and
Quinsigamond came sailing down an easy
grade side by side, one with legs over

Colonel, he had been off on a railway
trip for a fortnight, night and day, and
had ridden little during the season. At
Hingham there was a smell of sea air ; and
when, after a brief halt for rations, the
Captain waved his hand, and ordered ** all
aboard for Cohasset ; " the scarcely cooled
saddles were again taken, and the company
made the next five miles toward a fish dinner
by the sea in twenty-five minutes.


handles, and the other with feet up on the
toe-rests, or when Ned and the Tenor rode
abreast in a span joining hands, they were
greeted with applause from the crowds ; and
then some little boy, seated on a curbstone,
would shout the familiar chorus : " *Hoa
Wemmer!" as the rapid wheels went by.
When, however, the rear was brought up by
Jacob's ambulance, with Quil and the fat
Colonel, and their machines thereon, the
populace, supposing the run to be a race,
was too much excited not to visit them with
many adverse greetings — "Oh, you're playin'
it on em ! " " It's no fair! " " Get off o'
that ! " " You're cheaiin' ! " " He's too fat ! "
" They've given it up ! " Quil said after-
ward that a flaw in his socket-head threat-
ened him with disaster; and as for the

Not one of the well-trimmed yachts off
Cohasset was in finer form than the jolly
bicyclers as they luffed up and took their
moorings at Kimball's fine old establishment,
far out on the bluff rocks looking oceanward
The cyclometers read thirty-two miles since
breakfast. It was not yet one o'clock.
Apollo and Jacob had taken fi*esh horses at
Hingham ; " They are the two best horses
in Roxbury," said Jacob, " but they can't
follow them new-fangled velocipedes any
ftirther without a three hours' rest, any-
how." Bounce and Nutmeg had stopped
at Hingham, with Quil and two or three
others, to take a train for Boston ; but the
faithful thirty- two paused between courses io
nibble their celery and congratulate them-
selves on the happy point just made, and

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began to talk briskly of the home stretch,
thirty miles toward sunset.

" Apple-pie, squash-pie, and pan-dowdy,"
said a pretty and innocendy pert maiden,
to whom more trifling remarks had been
made than were necessary to the detail of

" What is pan-dowdy ? " asked Orange.

" It's part of the dessert, sir, and it's nice
to-day," answered the maiden.

" If she says it's nice, it must be," said
Orange, feigning to speak under his breath.
When it was brought in he looked at the
plate, heaped with something very like pud-
ding, and asked, quizzically, '< But where is
the pan-dowdy ? "

" The pan is in the kitchen," replied the
maiden, and with an arch look directly at
her victim, " here is the dowdy ! "

Laughter shook the table, and Orange
stood treat. Our Artist had scarcely traced
a sketch of the pretty profile, when his
eye was again caught by the after-dinner
grouping of the party on the most prominent
and picturesque of the rocks which stood
between the lawn and the tides. Apollo
and the Captain here recalled the beautiful
story of Thorwald, and tried to settie in
their minds the question of locality where,
wounded by an arrow of the " Skraellings,"
he " died, and they buried him on the pleas-
ant cape that looked out upon the pleasant
shores and waters of Massachusetts Bay."

A brisk spin was made back to Hingham,
where the " oldest church " was seen, and
the fine Andrew Monument on the cemetery
slope. Twelve miles an hour was kept up
through North Weymouth and Quincy; and,
with few halts, to the end of the route.
The advance into the fine old village of

Quincy was greeted with ringing of school-
house bells, and fire-engine alarms, and
other demonstrations. The quaint and un-
pretentious homes of the second and sixth
Presidents of the United States; Mount
Wollaston, now garlanded with cottages;
the oldest railway, leading fi-om the Nepon-
set into the rocky heart of the hills, too old
for the excursionists to remember when the
ox-power of 1826 gave way to the steam
locomotive ; the quiet attractiveness of the
" Blue Bell," with its suggestion of tea and
toast ; the " oldest house," from whose win-
dow Mrs. Minot shot prowling Indians in
1 631; — these and more were visited or
passed by these pilgrims of the merriest
two days* companionship and the richest
hundred mile round trip of the season.

As they passed fi-om Brookline into
Brighton, the lingering rays of a setting sun
held dalliance with the twilight over valley
and hill. The dispersion had been gradual,
and the last hour of the run was as informal
as the meet. When the long ascent of Mil-
ton Hill, from the eastward, had been ac-
complished at a scarcely abated speed, and
the magnificent view of Boston's island-
spangled harbor and her matchless suburbs
lay stretching in serene enchantment below,
the climax of the Captain's successful cam-
paign was reached.

The bugler sounded " Boots and Saddles,"
and as the last of the party whirled away,
the words of oar Highland Laddie's song
rang clear and hearty on the evening air, —

** The sun lay crimson in the west.
The soft breeze fanned my brow,
I rode the steed I loved the best, —
Would I were riding now ! "


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fanner more
than almost any other is, What are we to
do for fences? The wood-hungry iron
horse is eating away the forests greedily and
rapidly, and our people are ready to feed
him to his fill for a paltry present fee,
apparently learning no wisdom fi-om the
foUies of our forest^destroying ancestors, but
carrying on the same old, senseless, and in-
discrinimate warfare against trees wherever
found, and seldom planting any except fruit-
trees and a few shade-trees.

And, alas ! no just retribution seems to
overtake these evil-doers, except that most
speculating deforesters go to the bad pecu-
niarily, but the curse descends on the sor-
rowing lovers of trees, and will fall on our
children and our children's children, — the
curse of a withered and wasted land, of
hills made barren, of dried-up springs and
shrunken streams.

It seems probable that a generation not
far removed from this will see the last of

1 fields, too
) be kept
ssts. The
", but will
it, what ?
y continue
les enough
Is, but all
ifully sup-
f it that I
have heard of, where if one buys an acre
of land, he must buy another to pile the
stones of the first acre on. In some of our
alluvial lands it is hard to find stones
enough for the comer supports of rail
fences. The hedge, except for ornamenta-
tion in a small way, does not, somehow,
seem to take kindly to us, or we to it ; at
least, I have never seen one of any great
length, nor one flourishing much, that was
intended to be a barrier against stock. If
ever so thrifty for a while, is it not likely
that the pestiferous field-mice, which are
becoming plentier every year, as their ene-
mies, the foxes, skunks, hawks, owls and
crows grow fewer, would destroy them in
the first winter of deep snow ? Great hopes
were entertained of the wire fence at one
time, but it has proved to be a delusion and
indeed a snare. Some are temporizing with
fate, or barely surrendering, by taking away
the fences where grain fields or meadows
border the highway. To me it is not

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pleasant to have the ancient boundaries of
the road removed, over which kindly-spared
trees have so long stood guard, and along
whose sides black-raspberry bushes have
sprung up and looped their inverted fes-
toons of wine-colored stems and green
leaves with silver linings, bearing racemes
of fruit that the sauntering school-boy lin-
gers to gather. And far from pleasant is it
to drive catde or sheep along such unfenced

stared a litde at first at Ridgeway's Ready
Restorative, but never took any.

However, it is not my purpose to specu-
late concerning the fences of the future, nor
to devise means for impounding the fields
of posterity, but rather to make some record
of such fences as we now have, and some
that have already passed away.

The old settiers, when they had brought
a patch of the earth face to face with the


ways, which they are certain to stray fi-om,
and exhaust the breath and patience of him
who drives them and endeavors to keep them
within the unmarked bounds ; moreover, it
gives the country a common look in more
3ian one sense, as if nothing were worth
keeping in or out. It will be a sad day for
the advertiser of patent nostrums, when the
road fence of broad, brush -inviting boards
ceases to exist, and if we did not know that
his evil genius would be certain to devise
some blazoning of his balms, liniments, and
bitters, quite as odious as this, we should be
almost ready to say, away with tliis tempta-
tion. That was a happy device of one of
our farmers, who turned the tables on the
impudent advertiser, by knocking the
boards off and then nailing them on again
with the letters facing the field. The cattle

sun, and had sown their scanty seed therein,
fenced it about with poles, a flimsy-looking
barricade in the shadow of the lofty palisade
of ancient trees that walled the "better-
ments," but sufficient to keep the few wood-
ranging cattle out of the field whose green
of springing grain was dotted and blotched
with blackened stumps and log-heaps. The
pole fence was laid after the same fashion
of a rail fence, only the poles were longer
than rail-cuts. There were also cross-staked
pole fences, in which the fence was laid
straight, each pole being upheld by two
stakes crossing the one beneath, their lower
ends being driven into the ground. This and
the brush fence, though the earliest of our
fences, have not yet passed away. That the
last has not, one may find to his sorrow, when,
coming to its lengthwise-laid abatis in the

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woodland, he attempts to cross it. If he
achieve it with a whole skin and unrent
garments, he is a fortunate man, and if with
an unruffled temper, he is certainly a good-
natured one. According to an unwritten law,
it is said that a lawful brush fence must be
a rod wide, with no specification as to its
height. You will think a less width enough,
when you have made the passage of one.
Coming to it, you are likely to start from its
shelter a hare who has made his form
there ; or a ruffed grouse hurtles away from
beside it, where she has been dusting her
feathers in the powdery remains of an old
log ; or you may catch glimpses of a brown
wood wren silently exploring the maze of
prostrate branches. These are the fence
viewers of the wood lot.

To build or pile a brush fence, such small
trees as stand along its line are lopped down,
but not severed from the stump, and made
to fall lengthwise of the fence ; enough more
trees are brought to it to give it the width and
height required. Many of the lopped ones
live and, their wounds healing, they grow to
be vigorous trees, their fantastic forms mark-
ing the course of the old brush fence long
after it has passed from the memory of man.
I remember a noted one which stood by the
roadside till an ambitious owner of a city
lot bought it and had it removed to his
urban patch, where it soon died. It was a
lusty white oak, a foot or so in diameter at
the ground, three feet above which the main
trunk turned at a right angle and grew

meincai neaa. ii was ine nnesi tree
of such a strange growth that I ever
saw, and if it had grown in a congenial
human atmosphere, doubtless would have
flourished for a hundred years or more, and
likely enough, have become world-renowned.
It was sold for five dollars ! No wonder it

The log fence was a structure of more sub-
stance than either the pole or the brush fence,
but belonged to the same period of plenti-
fulness, even cumbersomeness, of timber.
The great logs, generally pine, were laid
straight, overlappmg a little at the ends,
on which were placed horizontally the
short cross-pieces, which upheld the logs
next above. These fences were usually built
three logs high and formed a very solid
wooden wall, but at a lavish expense of
material, for one of the logs sawn into
boards would have fenced several times
the length of the three. I remember but
one, or rather the remains of one, for it was
only a reddish and gray line of moldering
logs when I first knew it, with here and
there a sturdy trunk still bravely holding
out against decay, gray with the weather
beating of fifty years, and adorned with a
coral-like moss bearing scarlet spores.

From behind the log and brush fences,
the prowUng Indian ambushed the back-
woodsman as he tilled his field, or reconnoi-
tered the lonely cabin before he fell upon
its defenseless inmates. Through or over
these old-time fences, the bear pushed or
clambered to his feast of "com in the
milk " or perhaps to his death, if he blun-

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dered against a harmless-looking bark string
and pulled the trigger of a spring-gun,
whose heavy charge of ball and buck-shot
put an end to his predatory career.

After these early fences came the rail
fence, as it is known in New England, or
the snake fence, as it is sometimes called
from the slight resemblance of its zig-zag
line to the course of a serpent, or the
Virginia fence, perhaps because the Old
Dominion was the mother of it as of presi-
dents, but more likely for no better reason
than that the common deer is named the
Virginia deer, or that no end of quadru-
peds and birds and plants, having their
home as much in the United States as in
the British Provinces, bear the title of Cana-

sheen of a whole fence of such freshly riven
material Some one has called the rail fence
ugly or hideous. Truly, it must be con-
fessed, the newly laid rail fence is not a thing
of beauty, any more than is any other new
thing that is fashioned by man and in-
tended to stand out-of-doors. The most
tastefully modeled house looks out of place
in the landscape till it has gained the per-
fect fellowship of its natural surroimdings.
has steeped itself in sunshine and storm,
and became saturated with nature, is weather-
stained, and has flecks of moss and lichen
on its shingles and its underpinning, and
can stand not altogether shamefaced in the
presence of the old trees and world-old
rocks and earth about it. So our fence


densis. But rail, snake or Virginia, at
any rate it is truly American, and probably
has enclosed and does yet enclose more
acres of our land than any other fence.
But one seldom sees nowada)rs a new rail
fence, or rather a fence of new rails, and we
shall never have another wise and kindly rail-
splitter to rule over us; and no more new pine
rails, shining like gold in the sun, and spic-
ing the air with their terebinthine perfume.
The noble pine has become too rare and
valuable to be put to such base use. One
may catch the white gleam of a new ash
rail, or short-lived bass-wood, among the
gray of the original fence, a patch of new
stuff in the old garment, but not often the

must have settled to its place, its bottom
rails have become almost one with the earth
and all its others, its stakes and caps
cemented together with mosses and en-
wrapped with vines, and so weather-beaten
and crated with lichens that not a sliver
can be taken from it and not be missed.
Then is it beautiful, and looks as much a
part of nature as the trees that shadow it,
and the berry bushes and weeds that grow
along it, and the stones that were pitched
into its comers thirty years ago, to be gotten
out of the way. Then the chipmunk takes
the hollow rails for his house and stores his
food therein, robins build their nests in the
jutting comers and the wary crow is not

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afraid to light on it. What sheltering arms
half inclose its angles, where storm- blown
autumn leaves find their rest, and molder
to the dust of earth, covering the seeds of
berries that the birds have dropped there —
seeds which quicken and grow and border the
fence with a thicket of berry bushes. Seeds
of maples and birch and basswood, driven
here by the winds of winters long past,
have lodged and sprouted, and have been

to complete it. Then they are so easy to
climb and so pleasant to sit upon, when there
is a flat top-rail ; and when a bird's nest \s
found, it can be looked into so easily ; and it
is such jolly fun to chase a red squirrel and
see him go tacking along the top rails ; and
there are such chances for berry-picking be-
side it. In winter, there are no snow-drifts
so good to play on as those that form in reg-
ular waves along the rail fence, their crests


kindly nursed till they have grown from
tender shoots to storm-defying trees ; there
are clumps of sumacs also, with their fuzzy
twigs and fern-like leaves and "bobs" of
dusky crimson. Here violets bloom, and
wind-flowers toss on their slender stems in
the breath of May; and in summer the
pink spikes of the willow herb overtop the
upper rails, and the mass of the golden
rod's bloom lies like a drift of gold along
the edge of the field.

The children who have not had a rail
fence to play beside have been deprived of
one abundant source of happiness, for every
comer is a play-house, only needing a roof,
which half a dozen bits of board will furnish,

running at right angles from the out-comers,
their troughs from the inner ones. I am
sorry for those children of the future who
will have no rail fences to play about.

The Doard fence is quite as ugly as the
rail fence when new, perhaps more so, for it
is more prim and more glaring, as there is no
altemation of light and shade in its straight
line. But age improves its appearance also,
and when the kindly touch of nature has
been laid upon it, and has slanted a post
here and warped a board there, and given it
her weather-mark, and sealed it with her
broad seal of gray-green and black lichens,
by which time weeds and bushes have grown
in its shelter, it is very picturesque. Its pre-

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vailing gray has a multitude of shades ; tiie
varied weather-stains of the wood, the lich-
ens, the shags of moss ai'id their shadows,
and some touches of more decided color, as
the yellowish-green mold that gathers on

The fence which is half wall and half
board has a homely, rural look, as has the
low wall topped with rails, resting on cross-
stakes slanted athwart the wall, or the ends
resting in rough mortises cut in posts that


some of the boards, the brown knots and
rust-streaks from nail-heads, patches of green
moss on the tops of posts, and here and
there the half — or less — of a circle, chafed
by a swaying weed or branch to the color of
the unstained wood.

The wood-pecker drills the decaying
posts, and blue-bird and wren make their
nests in the hollow ones. There is often a
ditch beside it, in which cowslips grow, and
cat-tails and pussy-willows, akin only in
name; on its edge horse-tails and wild
grass, and higher up on the bank a tangle
of hazel, wild mulberry, gooseberry and rasp-
berry bushes, with a lesser undergrowth of

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