Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/415

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HOSPITALITY.

is by some of our farmers considered a treat. Both sorts were produced, but, for my part, I chose to stick to the cider.

Supper over, we all neared the fire, and engaged in conversation. At length our kind host addressed his wife as follows:—"Eliza, the gentlemen would like to lie down, I guess. What sort of bed can you fix for them?" Eliza looked up with a smile, and said: "Why, Willy, we will divide the bedding, and arrange half on the floor, on which we can sleep very well, and the gentlemen will have the best we can spare them." To this arrangement I immediately objected, and proposed lying on a blanket by the fire; but neither Willy nor Eliza would listen. So they arranged a part of their bedding on the floor, on which, after some debate, we at length settled. The Negroes were sent to their own cabin, the young couple went to bed, and Mr Flint lulled us all asleep, with a long story intended to shew us how passing strange it was that he should have lost his way.

"Tired nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep,"—and so forth. But Aurora soon turned her off. Mr Speed, our host, rose, went to the door, and returning assured us that the weather was too bad for us to attempt proceeding. I really believe he was heartily glad of it; but anxious to continue our journey, I desired Mr Flint to see about his horses. Eliza by this time was up too, and I observed her whispering to her husband, when he immediately said aloud, "To be sure, the gentlemen will eat breakfast before they go, and I will shew them the way to the road." Excuses were of no avail. Breakfast was prepared and eaten. The weather brightened a little, and by nine we were under way. Willy on horseback headed us. In a few hours, our cart arrived at a road, by following which we at length got to the main one, and parted from our woodsman with the greater regret that he would accept nothing from any of us. On the contrary, telling Mr Flint with a smile, that he hoped he might some time again follow the longest track for a short cut, he bade us adieu, and trotted back to his fair Eliza and his happy home.