Page:Twice-Told Tales (1851) vol 2.djvu/152

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

seems loth to make good, put up his cards, secreted his treasure bag, and began to converse with the other occupants of the wagon.

'Well, old friend,' said the show-man, 'you have not yet told us which way your face is turned this afternoon.'

'I am taking a trip northward, this warm weather,' replied the conjuror, 'across the Connecticut first, and then up through Vermont, and maybe into Canada before the fall. But I must stop and see the breaking up of the camp-meeting at Stamford.'

I began to think that all the vagrants in New England were converging to the camp-meeting, and had made this wagon their rendezvous by the way. The show-man now proposed, that, when the shower was over, they should pursue the road to Stamford together, it being sometimes the policy of these people to form a sort of league and confederacy.

'And the young lady too,' observed the gallant bibliopolist, bowing to her profoundly, 'and this foreign gentleman, as I understand, are on a jaunt of pleasure to the same spot. It would add incalculably to my own enjoyment, and I presume to that of my colleague and his friend, if they could be prevailed upon to join our party.'

This arrangement met with approbation on all hands, nor were any of those concerned more sensible of its advantages than myself, who had no title to be included in it. Having already satisfied myself as to the several modes in which the four others attained felicity, I next set my mind at work to discover what enjoyments were peculiar to the old 'Straggler,'