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[p. 63] avenue to the Somerville line, there were only two or three houses.

To sum the matter up, the bulk of the population of the town lived within half a mile of the square, including Ship and Park streets, Union street,—then called Back street,—and a portion of South street as far as the Winthrop-street bridge. There were but three houses on the Medford turnpike, now called Mystic avenue.

I think I have given you a pretty accurate account of the distribution of the population of Medford in 1836. With boyish enterprise I soon made myself acquainted with the topography of the town. Let me tell you of a little incident which happened to me the first time I crossed over to the south side of Cradock bridge— then a wooden drawbridge. I had just got over when a great hulking boy stepped up to me, looked me in the face, lifted his fist and straightway knocked me down—all this without saying a word. He was probably influenced by the feeling illustrated in a story of ‘Punch.’ Two cads are standing on the street. One says to the other, ‘Bill, who is that fellow over there?’ ‘Don't know,—a stranger, I guess.’ ‘Heave half a brick at him, Bill!’

The fighting spirit was rife among Medford boys in that day—fostered, I think, by the immemorial feud which had existed between the boys of Medford and Charlestown, and which had found its field of action on the canal in skating time every winter. They fought some pretty stiff battles at those times, not without bloodshed. Our town boys used, in Homeric fashion, to taunt their opponents with this doggerel:

White cockade and peacock feather,
     Medford boys will fight forever;
Charlestown pigs stay in their sties,
     Afraid of getting bunged — up eyes!

Just the same, the Charlestown ‘pigs’ did not acquit themselves ingloriously. It is dangerous to call your adversaries pigs, as the Spanish have found out.

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