Page:Twice-Told Tales (1851) vol 2.djvu/183

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177
PETER GOLDTHWAITE'S TREASURE.

'The sooner we have it all down the better,' said Peter Goldthwaite. 'I am tired to death of living in this cold, dark, windy, smoky, creaking, groaning, dismal old house. I shall feel like a younger man, when we get into my splendid brick mansion, as, please Heaven, we shall, by this time next autumn. You shall have a room on the sunny side, old Tabby, finished and furnished as best may suit your own notions.'

'I should like it pretty much such a room as this kitchen,' answered Tabitha. 'It will never be like home to me, till the chimney-corner gets as black with smoke as this; and that won't be these hundred years. How much do you mean to lay out on the house, Mr. Peter?'

'What is that to the purpose?' exclaimed Peter loftily. 'Did not my great-grand-uncle, Peter Goldthwaite, who died seventy years ago, and whose namesake I am, leave treasure enough to build twenty such?'

'I can't say but he did, Mr. Peter,' said Tabitha, threading her needle.

Tabitha well understood, that Peter had reference to an immense hoard of the precious metals, which was said to exist somewhere in the cellar or walls, or under the floors, or in some concealed closet, or other out-of-the-way nook of the house. This wealth, according to tradition, had been accumulated by a former Peter Goldthwaite, whose character seems to have borne a remarkable similitude to that of the Peter of our story. Like him, he was a wild projector, seeking to heap up gold by the bushel and