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[p. 7]

‘It's the women are the fules!’ he commented. ‘Here ye've come thrampina out to a place where ye've no business, to find the bones of a man that's been rotten for fifty years, and that nobody remembers? Well, and what would ye do if ye found 'em? Tell me that!’

I could not tell him, and our conversation ended. I returned to Boston that afternoon, but I was n't satisfied. There was something about the atmosphere of Medford that appealed to me, and the following week I packed my carpet bag and went back, this time by train. I found a boarding place in the square, in the house on the corner of Forest and Salem streets, where Timothy Cotting afterward erected his brick block. A baker named Richardson occupied one half, while the other was lived in by Mr. Gibbs, the worthy watchmaker, whose store was just opposite. On the opposite corner of the same streets stood an ancient building, the Tufts house, I think it was called, with one or two immense trees in front. At that time it was occupied—the lower half, at least—by a Mr. Peak, whose family later toured New England as the ‘Bell Ringers.’

Mr. Peak was a skilful barber, as well as a hustling periodical dealer. He was a slender, active man, with a face that showed the traces of smallpox. He was a good talker, as well as a good walker, and seemed to do a thriving business.

Just below, and only separated from the Cotting bakery by an alley, was a big wooden tenement building, far gone in decay, which was fortunately swept out of existence some years ago. Its site is now covered by the brick block already referred to. On the opposite side of High street and near the City Hall was the residence of James M. Usher, the latest historian of Medford, and the first, I believe, to establish a newspaper in town.

Just above Mr. Usher's, in a modest little store, kept by a Mr. Winneck, was the postoffice. It may be that I was a trifle impatient at times, but it used to seem to me that Mr. Winneck took his duties too seriously.

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