Page:A New England Tale.djvu/114

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103
A NEW-ENGLAND TALE.

and so Rufus left it in strict charge with me to come back ad soon as I could after the spring opened. And so, ma'am, as soon as the roads were a little settled, I pulled up stakes and came off. My good christian neighbours helped me up to Buffalo. I have been nine weeks getting from there, though I was favoured with a great many rides"—

Here Mrs. Wilson interrupted the unfortunate narrator, saying,—"I cannot see what occasion there was for you to be nine weeks on the road; I have known persons to go from Boston to the Falls, and back again, in three weeks."

"Ah, ma'am!" replied the woman, there is a sight of difference between a gentleman riding through the country for pleasures with plenty of money in his pocket, and a poor sickly creature, begging a ride now and then of a few miles, and then walking for miles with four little children, and one a baby."

"Four! your story grows—I thought you had but three."

"I have but three, ma'am; I buried my only girl, the twin to the second boy, at Batavy. She never was hearty, and the travelling quite overdid her." The afflicted woman wiped away the fast gathering tears with a corner of her apron, and went on. "At Batavy I believe I should have gived out, but there was a tender-hearted gentleman from the eastward, going on to see the Falls, and he paid for my passage, and all my children's, in a return stage, quite to Genevy. This was a