Helen M. (Blonel)] [Angle.

The log or diary of our automobile voyage through Maine and the White Mountains online

. (page 1 of 4)
Online LibraryHelen M. (Blonel)] [AngleThe log or diary of our automobile voyage through Maine and the White Mountains → online text (page 1 of 4)
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Automobile Voyage
Through Maine


White Mountains

Writien Bv

Helen M. Angle

cu^ju., lltjU^^ 7n-



Automobile Voyage
Through Maine


White Mountains

Written By

R. H. Cunningham
Stamford, Conn.

Copyright, igio




To Daddy, who more by good luck than good care

spared my life to write this Diary, the

same is thankfully dedicated. — Neleh.

Introductory Explanation, and Introduc-
tion to the Crew, Why They Went
on so Perilous a Trip, etc.

Well, to begin with, we know a whole
lot more about a boat than we do, or
rather did, about an automobile. How-
ever, all our friends got machines and
Daddy, who never likes to be out of
things, decided to be in the swim. Well,
the natural thing to do next seemed to
be to take a voyage in the thing. (I be-
lieve it is more fashionable to call them
''tours" in automobile language, but as
I said before we are much better sailors
than land lubbers, so please overlook our
failings in making ourselves understood.)

There was of course Daddy at the
wheel, our old time pilot sat forward with
him, and mother and I occupied what
place there was left in the rear, after the
cargo had been stored away. We took
rugs and coats and suit cases and heaven
only knows what, we looked as though
we were rivals of Peary, about to hunt
up another North Pole. When the plan
was first suggested, Dad got a chart, or
rather a Blue Book, to guide us and help
lay out the course we were to follow..
We did not always make out to follow it,,
but we felt more independent, for it is
inconvenient to pick up a pilot in each

new port one enters and takes so much
time. We decided to start quite early in
the morning, and each agreed to be up
and ready ; that is, Dad, Mother, the Pilot
and myself, but we all forgot to consult
*'Billie." Oh, I believe I forgot to intro-
duce this, the most important factor of
the whole cruise. When we got the au-
tomobile, that seemed such a mouthful to
say, that we called him just "Billie," but
upon becoming better acquainted with
his disposition, we called him "Bucking
Billie" ; later the reason may become
more apparent. In fact, he showed some
of his natural crankiness before we got
away at all. Mother took some paper
with her which she called ''cuss paper";
this was to be used to chalk down the
bad things which Dad was almost sure
to say; when things do not go right at
home, he has a way of punctuating his
language which is more forceful than
elegant. However, he promised not to
offend while we were away, and if he did
do so, each offence would mean a fine,
and mother felt sure she would have quite
a bit of collecting to do. I think this
will serve to let you get an idea of your
traveling companions on this trip, so we
will proceed to get under way.


J <

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Tuesday Morning, September 8,
4.10 A. M.

I am not going to tell you where we
started from for there are a couple of
fellows up the state wearing the badge
of authority whose idea of speed did not
coincide with ours, and although we did
not wait to argue the question, I think
it well to keep our whereabouts when at
home a profound secret. It is sufficient
to say that we live some east of old New
York in a town among the Connecticut

Well, Mother and I arrived upon the
scene of action shrouded in veils and
goggles and found Dad and the pilot-
chaufifeur taking turns at cranking "Billie"
up. He seemed absolutely without feel-
ing, and I was for going back to finish
my morning nap, when with a deafening
whirr he started into action. Dad ex-
plained that the morning was so cold that
it interfered with the carburetor or what-
ever it is called, but now everything was all
right. We fastened a couple of life-pre-
servers on the side, piled away the lug-
gage and got aboard ourselves, but just
as we were about to start. Mother hol-


lered that we had forgotten the fire-
extinguisher, and when Dad started to
say words she said we must have it sure,
for things were getting hot already. I
climbed out and got the fire bug, and by
the time we really got away it was 5 a. m.
Dad was wild at the delay, but what he
said was under his breath, so there was
no chance for Mother to use the *'cuss
paper," for she did not understand what
he said.

Our first stop was to be New Haven.
Alas for the plans of mice and men, our
troubles were many before we reached
that port. In the first place, Dad was
so sure of his way that he absolutely re-
fused to listen to any directions, although
Mother held tightly to the chart and
made ineffectual attempts to keep him
on the course. We went through
Bridgeport at 5.50 and daylight was be-
ginning to streak the sky. After that we
went on and on, but nothing familiar
greeted our eye. At last Mother said it
seemed we were a long time getting to
New Haven, and Dad turned to say
things at her, when bing! went our star-
board spring. Mother got her *'cuss
paper" ready, but he saw what she was
up to and she had nothing to write upon
that occasion. Well there we were, out
of sight of all human habitation and
"Billie" showing no disposition to help
us out. Just here I found out what a

chauffeur's duties really are. He pulled
off his coat, pulled on a pair of overalls
and got down upon his knees to "Billie."
He worked on his feelings some, blocked
up the disabled spring, and we made a
fresh attempt to see whether New Haven
had been removed from the map. We
passed a fellow limping along with no
hat or coat and his handkerchief tied over
one eye, who seemed to be looking for a
hospital. He told us that while return-
ing home the night before he was way-
laid by some fellows who left him just
clothes enough to get home in without
looking for a barrel. They took his
watch and money and departed without
saying good-bye. He looked rather
longingly at us with the eye he had left,
as though he would have preferred riding
to walking, but Dad said he was not
much worse off than we were anyway,
and refused to take him in.

Well, it was 8.45 when we landed in
New Haven, and of course our first stop
was to inquire where we could get a new
spring for "Billie." We were directed
to the National Spring Factory, where,
as we were informed, the best work in
the city would be done for us. When we
got there a long, lanky fellow with a pipe
in his mouth almost as long as he was
came shuffling out and squinted at us for
about ten minutes, then he relieved his
mouth of a pint of tobacco juice, and pro-


ceeded to tell us what ought to be done
and the way to do it, but said nothing
could be done then as the day before had
been Labor Day, and the men had forgot-
ten to come back. Perhaps some of them
thought it was still Monday; anyway,
after a great deal of persuasion, he de-
cided to try and help us out. Dad run
the machine around into their yard and
told us to disembark and not show up for
two hours ; that was the time the man
said it would take to fix things up. We
had a lot of trouble getting our feet un-
tangled but at last we landed on dry
ground and started for the city to look
around the place. We got a lot of post
cards and got interested sending them
away and forgot all about the time, and
it was most twelve o'clock when we
started back. We went some I tell you
when we found how late it was, for we
had visions of what would happen to us
for keeping Dad waiting. When we got
in sight of the place we couldn't see
them at all, the only visible thing was
"Billie," he seemed like a stranded dere-
lict among oceans of old iron and junk.
Mother looked kind of scared at me and
said she bet they had gone to hunt us up.
Just then I saw something move under
the machine, and looking closer I saw it
was a foot, and that the foot belonged to
Dad. Gaining courage, I went nearer.
Just then he got up, straightened his


back, and catching sight of me, he said,
"What, you people back as soon as this?
Why the blooming spring is not half
done yet." I looked at mother and she
was having a fit laughing. When I
thought of the useless amount of energy
I had expended hurrying to get back,
I didn't feel a bit funny. Dad went into
the factory and I climbed into the car.
Mother hollered but it was too late.
Down went the jack and down went the
car, and confusion reigned supreme. The
men came out of the factory, and al-
though they did not say it, I know they
thought that it was just like something
a fool woman would do anyway. I don't
believe they had it jacked up very well
or it would not have happened; but I
was very meek and just sat down on a
heap of old scrap iron and never moved
again until the old thing was all finished.
We left the city at i p. m. and Mother
counted up the miles we had gone since
morning and said she could have walked
as far as we had come. It did seem that
she was not satisfied to let Dad alone,
even when he wanted not to swear.
Well, he just turned on the juice and we
went some. I think we must have re-
sembled an airship going along. Once
in a while I suppose we did touch the
road, but we went through Guilford and
a lot of little towns on a jump. When we
reached Saybrook, Dad asked if we were


hungry. I had been starved for hours
but had not dared even mention so tri-
fling a detail. We inquired and v^ere
directed to the "Fenwick," out on Say-
brook Point, where it seemed they put
up a fine shore dinner.

Well, we were flying along toward that
dinner when biff! bang! went a tire. I
did not know the warning signals as well
then as I do now, and I thought some
one was shot. Daddy said something
that made Mother grab for her "cuss
paper," but we went right on, never stop-
ping to fix the shoe or anything, poor
"Billie" just had to make a bare foot run
way out to the point.

When we reached there, we went into
the dining room to have our aching voids
attended to and the machine was run into
the garage where its troubles were look-
ed into. Well, there was nothing to com-
plain of in the style of this place, grand
dining room and lots of pretty girls to
wait upon us, but the food — well it left
much to be desired.

At 3.05 we were on the pike once more.
New London was our next objective
point, and it looked as though we were
going to have a fine run. Looks are de-
ceptive, however. We had gone but
about five miles when all of a sudden
down went the same blooming tire we
had just fixed back at the Point. What
Dad said upon this occasion there was


no difficulty in understanding, and
mother was quite busy writing down his

At 3.30 we were on the way once more.
3.35, same tire down again. It seems that
Dad forgot to put on the little cap or
whatever it is that holds the wind, and he
did not have another, so there we seemed
likely to remain. I asked him to ask
some of the fellows in the machines that
passed us by with pitying glances, but
he was stubborn and would not. 3.50,
still there. At 4 p. m. a fellow came
whizzing along who looked rather sym-
pathetic and I called to him to stop. He
had a fuzzy looking head, just exactly
like our buggy rug at home, but he had
the missing link we needed, and in a
minute we were under way. Dad said
if the thing went down again he would
never touch it, but we had much confi-
dence in our chauffeur, so that did not
worry us any, although we thought best
to maintain a discreet silence.

At 5 p. m. we came to the Connecticut
River. We went down to the ferry and
it did seem as though we were going to
plunge headlong into the drink, but Dad
snubbed the machine just in time, and a
cute little boat came over from the other
shore and we slipped across in no time.
The boat was the "Colonial." We asked
the captain how often he crossed and he
said "Whenever there was any one on


either shore wishing to cross to the other

We were now headed straight for New
London with raised spirits again. Dad
and the chauffeur had some spirits that
they did not pass around, but I caught
them ''piping their grog" once in a while.
At 6.30 we crossed the Thames on the
''Governor Winthrop" and went to a friend
who lives in Groton to spend the night.
We had a fine supper and I was thankful
for that, for our dinner had been such a
dismal failure. Well, the house in which
our friend lived was rather small so she
put Dad and the chauffeur in one room
and Mother and I in another one adjoin-
ing. Mother had no chance you see to
give Daddy a curtain lecture that night.
At home she pitches into him and brings
forth all his misdeeds of the day in the
dark hours of midnight. When she
found he had escaped her, she just look-
ed things and banged the door. I heard
Dad and the chauffeur laughing softly on
the other side of the door, and I knew
that some one at least was pleased with
the sleeping arrangements as they stood.
Well, I had quite a time to collect my
thoughts and put myself to sleep, but at
last I lost track of things and knew noth-
ing more until the early morning sua
awakened me.


Wednesday, September 9, 6 A. M.

Awake, but dreadfully sleepy. Dad
whistled until no one could possibly
snooze any ir.cre, and although the friend
with whom we were stopping was an
awfully nice woman, I bet she was mighty
glad to see the last of us. We had a
splendid breakfast, and with best wishes
from them all we started on the second
stretch of our journey. We in the rear
seat had gotten so by now that we could
get stowed away without so much delay
as we had caused at the beginning, so
there was no time lost in the get away
upon that occasion.

Mother had somehow gotten the notion
in her head, I think, that Dad must be
troubled with bad eyesight, for every
few moments her melodious voice cleaved
the air in notes of warning — "look out for
the side road, blow your horn at the cor-
ner, look out for the trolley, go slow,
here is a crossing," until positively I
marveled at the vast amount of patience
Dad displayed. All he did was to settle
himself determinedly at the wheel and
send "Billie" through at a mile a minute
clip. He did a little mumbling also, but
under his breath, and no one asked him
to repeat his remarks.

Well, the air was fine and bracing and


the machine was running most smoothly.
It did seem as though the "Dove of
Peace" had joined our company for that
day at any rate. However, it was too
good to last. All of a sudden in going
down a steep incline, I felt the most
dreadful jar, and on my side, too; it did
seem as if everything that happened at
all was meant for me. Well, being un-
able to stop then, we made that descent
with a dreadful list aport, and when we
reached the bottom of the hill and got out
to investigate matters, we discovered
that we had coasted down most beauti-
fully on three wheels, with the end of
the axle digging its way into the roadbed,
regardless. It took us some time to dis-
cover the missing wheel. It was miles
away in a lot back at the side of the hill,
but strange to say, it was intact, nothing
wrong except that when the wheels were
off to be oiled, or whatever it is that gets
done to them, the one wdio put them back
again had neglected to tighten up the nut,
and there you are. We knew who had
done the job from the nice, quiet way
that Dad helped to replace the thing.

10.05, off again, and I sincerely hoped
there would be no more stoppings until
lunch time, for I really did not believe
Dad's patience could stand much more
strain. 10.25, more tire trouble ; doubled
up this time, a puncture and a blowout.
Well, we disembarked once again, and as


Mother had complained of not seeing
much of the country on account of us
going too swiftly when we went at all,
I thought she might as well get a look
about her now. It seemed as though we
were likely to remain for quite a while
where we were, so I got an old soap box,
which I found alongside the road, and
placing it just out of reach of the other
machines, I ensconsed her there, while
I stood around to boss the job the men
bodies were trying to do. Somehow this
particular tire needed a lot of coaxing,
and at last Dad lost his temper and jab-
bed too hard with those corking irons
they use in putting in tubes, and out came
the chauffeur holding the poor, inoffen-
sive tube in his hand, cut in dozens of
places. Of course it was Dad's fault ; if
it had been any one else who had done
such a fool trick he would have likely
taken a fall out of them ; however, as he
had no one upon which to lay the blame,
he got out another tube and started in all
over again. I trembled for the fate of
that one, but all went well, except that
Mother had a few things to write on that
"cuss paper" of hers before the job was

At last both wheels were in good con-
dition again, and mother decided that she
had had her money's worth at that mati-
nee performance, so she hit the poor, un-
offending box a vicious kick with her


foot and sent it flying, and I felt it was
not any time to say anything so I meekly
climbed aboard again and at 11.55 we got

Mother started in once more to give
directions how to run the machine, but
Dad told her to keep an eye on that tire,
and when she got time between her warn-
ing cries, she did try to watch it. Once
she forgot it for quite a while and then
she looked rather quickly just as we went
over a thank you mam in the road, and
the side of her face and the side brace of
the car became mixed up somehow, and
I guess it hurt her some, for she was
strangely quiet for a long time, and the
tire was left to stay up or go down which-
ever it pleased. It pleased to stay up, I
am pleased to say, for I was getting
dreadfully hungry and hotels did not
seem to grow on the road we were on,
so I was most anxious to keep moving.

At last we came to a place where there
were five roads all going different ways,
and wc got the charts mixed and were go-
ing too swift to read the sign-boards, so
we took the wrong road. We did not
find this out for quite a spell. We came
to some dreadfully hilly roads, and after
we had gone miles and miles, we met a
man and asked him the way to Boston.
The fellow said we would have to go
back to the cross-roads and take the Bos-
ton road. Dad, seeming to forget that


this man probably had had nothing to do
with the roads or the signs, just hollered
frightfully at him about the whole busi-
ness. The man looked at us as though
he thought he would like to direct us to
another place than Boston, but held his
tongue, for which I at least was most

Well, back we went, and poor "Billie,"
who had not balked at all about going
over the road the first time, kicked some-
thing dreadfully about retracing his
steps, and we did have a most awful time.

I p. m., the chauffeur got out and oiled
up. 1. 10, fixed a spring that had become
unjointed somehow. 1.30, oiled some
more, and finally at 1.45, deaf to all coax-
ing, "Billie" came to a dead stop. 2 p. m.,
had not discovered what was wrong. 2.30,
still hunting fot the trouble. 2.45, the
chauft'eur looked at the gasolene tank and
found it — empty. I thought of asking
Dad if the thing would run with ''hot air,"
there seemed to be quantities of that
around us just then, but I was afraid of
an explosion, so I kept "mum." As far
as we could make out, it was just as far
from anywhere going ahead or back, and
as we could not go either way just then,
things looked pretty blue for a hungry
girl like me. At last Mother, who had
been still quite a while, tried to help
matters by making a very ill-timed re-
mark, something about giving a "king-


dom for a horse." Dad got mad and said
that the fellow who made that speech
never owned an automobile or he would
have wanted to corner the horse market.
It seemed to me that this particular cor-
ner would be a pretty good place to have
a horse, but wisdom suggested silence,
and I obeyed wisdom for once in my life.

Well, at last Dad and the chauffeur de-
cided to draw lots to see which of them
would strike out for the nearest place
where gasolene might be obtained, and
the chauffeur got ''stung." Just as he
was about to start, I thought of a small
can of the much needed fuel which had
been placed in the car for just such an
emergency as this, and so the chauffeur
lost that opportunity to escape us. I know
if he had have gotten away from us at
all, he would have beat it for home. I
think he was sick of us anyway.

Well, they dumped the gasolene into
the tank and at 3.05 we started in on our
bill-climbing contest once more. We
won because we were the only one in
tbe business, all the other machines had
gone on the regular Boston turnpike. At
last we came to a decent piece of road
and then we made time I tell you, but it
was 4 o'clock before we arrived at a
place called the Old Field Point Inn near

Well, I fixed my mouth for the shore
dinner I did not get yesterday. My what


a funny place it was. It was all fenced
off and a lot of queer little piles of rocks
were placed about the enclosure and a
most delicious smell of clams and fish was
arising from them. Dad said they were
ovens, and that was the way a real old
fashioned Rhode Island bake was pre-

The dining room was a great long aiifair
with miles of tables stretching down the
entire floor; there were queer little racks
hanging a foot or two above the tables
where the salt and pepper and other trim-
mings were kept. When we were seated
the waiters came and dumped some
steamed clams on one side of our plates
and lobster and corn and clam fritters and
things all around us until my place look-
ed like an island, surrounded with the
inhabitants of the deep. Mother said she
did not like her foods so mixed up, but
Dad asked her if she would not mix them
herself when she ate them ; she seemed,
however, to prefer to do her own mixing.
I was so hungry that trifles like that did
not interest me. I did not seem to mind
how the stuff was thrown at me, just so
they threw enough of it my way.

My, there were automobiles there from
everywhere ; it seemed like everybody
was hungry, and I bet they had not had
the bouncing we had either to make them
so. We left there at 5 p. m., and if it
had not been for mother we would have


been stranded again without any gaso-
lene, for Dad completely forgot "Billie's"
ailment, now that his own tank was filled.
They did not sell any gasolene there, but
one of the chauffeurs let us have a little
until we could reach Providence.

Well, we filled up there and oiled the
machinery, and Dad settled himself at
the wheel and said, "Well, folks, the next
stop will be Boston." It wasn't. We
made a lot of stops before we reached
the "Hub." Once we were obliged to
stop for chains to keep the car from skid-
ding, the streets in the cities were so wet
that it was most impossible to keep
"Billie" on an even keel. When we did
get to Boston, Dad said we better keep
right on our course until we reached
Lynn, Mother felt as though a good bed
was most to be desired just then and
wanted to remain in Boston ; she was
afraid there might not be any good hotels
in Lynn. Dad said she could stay in
Boston if she wanted to, but the way he
said it made her decide immediately that
she did not want to, and to Lynn we
went. We had been making splendid
time and arrived there at 7.45 p. m. We
stopped at the Seymore and I washed off
a coat of sand and dust, brushed up what
hair I had left and presented myself at
the table for supper. I was not very
hungry of course, but meals seemed to be
so very irregular on our job that I tried


to fortify myself for anything I might
miss the next day. At 9 o'clock, although
pretty late, Dad decided he wanted to
visit a cousin he had living in the city.
You know he always claims to be a ter-
ribly friendless sort of chap, but he al-
ways seems able to dig up an uncle or an
aunt or some cousins most anywhere he

Well, when we got to Cousin Dan's
house we found it was not his any more ;
he had sold it and moved somewhere
about a mile farther on. Mother was
right tired and kicked against going any

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Online LibraryHelen M. (Blonel)] [AngleThe log or diary of our automobile voyage through Maine and the White Mountains → online text (page 1 of 4)