, a town about nine miles distant, where a newspaper was published, to make inquiries.
He went to the printing office, saw the printer, and learned that his father was right.
too young, the printer said; and so the boy trudged home again.
A few months after, he went on another and much longer pedestrian expedition.
He started, with seventy-five cents in his pocket and a small bundle of provisions on a stick over his shoulder, to walk to Londonderry
, a hundred and twenty miles distant, to see his old friends and relatives.
He performed the journey, stayed sevral weeks, and came back with a shilling or two more money than he took with him—owing, we may infer, to the amiable way aunts and uncles have of bestowing small coins upon nephews who visit them.
His re-appearance in New Hampshire
excited unbounded astonishment, his age and dimensions seeming ludicrously out of proportion to the length and manner of his solitary journey.
He was made much of during his stay, and his journey is still spoken of there as a wonderful performance, only exceeded, in fact, by Horace
's second return to Londonderry
a year or two after, when he drove over the same ground, his aunt and her four children, ill a “one—horse wagon,” and drove back again, without the slightest accident.
As a set-off to these marvels, it must be recorded, that on two other occasions he was taken for an idiot—once, when he entered a store, in one of the brownest of his brown studies, and a stranger inquired, ‘What darn fool is that?’—and a second time, in the manner following.
He was accustomed to call his father ‘Sir,’ both in speaking to, and speaking of him. One day, while Horace was chopping wood by the side of the road, a man came up on horse-back and inquired the way to a distant town.
Horace could not tell him, and, without looking up, said, ‘ask Sir,’ meaning, ask father.
The stranger, puzzled at this reply, repeated his question; and Horace again said, ‘ask Sir.’
‘I am asking,’ shouted the man. ‘Well, ask Sir,’ said Horace, once more.
I asking, you—fool,’ screamed the man. ‘But I want you to ask Sir,’ said Horace.
It was of no avail, the man rode away in disgust, and inquired at the next tavern ‘who that tow-headed fool was down the road.’
In a similar absent fit it must have been, that the boy once attempted,