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[p. 70] the grand old stage-coach, with its four smoking horses, roll up to the steps of the Medford House!

The proprietorship of the Medford House has passed through many hands, but of no one of the landlords will people who are old enough retain a more vivid recollection than of Augustus Baker. He was an Italian by birth, and a barber by profession. I could never understand where he got his English name, but he had probably adopted it. Entirely without education, he was gifted with native shrewdness, and at one time became possessed of considerable means. He had the peculiar physiognomy of natives of the Mediterranean shores— brown-eyed, crisp-haired, olive-tinted. He had a peculiar way of cutting off the last syllables of words, and used to say he kept a hotel for ‘prof’ (profit) and not for ‘accommodaish’ (accommodation). When twitted of watering his liquor, he answered, ‘Why, yes, the more water, the more consh’ (conscience). He possessed a grim kind of humor, as this story told of him will show: He owned a piece of land in the rear of the hotel premises, and one of his apple trees overhung the fence of a neighboring proprietor who, being a very ‘close’ man, was jealous of the encroachment, and availing himself of what he believed to be his legal rights, cut off the limbs of the tree close to the fence. Baker said nothing, but one day going into his orchard he saw that his neighbor, working in his own field, had thrown his coat upon the fence. The vengeful Italian, creeping up stealthily, took out his knife and cut off that portion of the garment which hung over his own land. He was not addicted to poetry; if he had been, he might have applied to himself the words of Byron:

Time at last makes all things even,
And if we do but wait the hour,
There never yet was human power
Which could evade, if unforgiven,
The patient search and vigil long
Of him who treasures up a wrong.

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