by a fence, which they alternately repaired.
But when there was feud between them, neither of them was willing to mend the other's fence.
So each one built a fence for himself, leaving a very narrow strip of land between, which in process of time came to be generally known by the name of Devil's Lane
, it allusion to the bad temper that produced it. A brook formed another portion of the boundary between their farms, and was useful to both of them.
But after they became enemies, if a freshet occurred, each watched an opportunity to turn the water on the other's land, by which much damage was mutually done.
They were so much occupied with injuring each other in every possible way, that they neglected their farms and grew poorer and poorer.
One of them became intemperate; and everything about their premises began to wear an aspect of desolation and decay.
At last, one of the farms was sold to pay a mortgage, and John Tatum
, who was then about to be married, concluded to purchase it. Many people warned him of the trouble he would have with a quarrelsome and intemperate neighbor.
But, after mature reflection, he concluded to trust to the influence of a peaceful and kind example, and accordingly purchased the farm.
Soon after he removed thither, he proposed to do away the Devil's Lane
by building a new fence on the boundary, entirely at his own expense.