day that a neighbor stoked to take dinner with the family, and, as a matter of course, the bottle of rum was brought out for his entertainment.
Horace, it appears, either tasted a little, or else took a disgust at the smell of the stuff, or perhaps was offended at the effects which he saw it produce.
An idea struck him. He said, ‘Father, what will you give me if I do not drink a drop of liquor till I am twenty-one?’
His father, who took the question as a joke, answered, ‘I'll give you a dollar.’
‘It's a bargain,’ said Horace.
And it was
a bargain, at least on the side of Horace, who kept his pledge inviolate, though I have no reason to believe he ever received his dollar.
Many were the attempts made by his friends, then and afterwards, to induce him to break his resolution, and on one occasion they tried to force some liquor into his mouth.
But from the day on which the conversation given above occurred, to this day, he has not knowingly taken into his system any alcoholic liquid.
, Horace incurred the second peril of his life.
He was nearly strangled in coming into the world; and, in his thirteenth year, he was nearly strangled out of it. The family were then living on the banks of the Hubbarton river, a small stream which supplied power to the old “Tryon Sawmill,” which the father, assisted by his boys, conducted for a year or two.
Across the river, where it was widened by the dam, there was no bridge, and people were accustomed to get over on a floating saw-log, pushing along the log by means of a pole.
The boys were floating about in the river one day, when the log on which the younger brother was standing, rolled over, and in went the boy, over head and ears, into water deep enough to drown a giraffe.
He rose to the surface and clung to the bark of the log, but was unable to get upon it from the same cause as that which had prevented his standing upon it—it would roll.
Horace hastened to his assistance.
He got upon the log to which his brother was clinging, lay down upon it, and put down a hand for his brother to grasp.
His brother did grasp it, and pulled with so much vigor, that the log made another revolution, and in went Horace.
Neither of the boys could swim.
They clung to the log and screamed for assistance; but no one happened to be near enough to hear them.
At length, the younger of the drowning pair managed, by climbing over Horace
, and sousing