Books > Old Books >The Elson Readers Book Six (1910)


Page 365

GREAT AMERICAN AUTHORS
MR. HIGGINBOTHAM'S CATASTROPHE

I. THE PEDDLER MEETS THE TRAVELER
A young fellow, a tobacco-peddler by trade, was on his way from Morristown to the village of Parker's Falls, on Salmon River. He had a neat little cart, painted green, with a box of cigars depicted on each side, and an Indian chief, holding a pipe and a golden tobacco-stalk, on the rear. The peddler drove a smart little mare, and was a young man of excellent character. As will be seen in the course of my story, he was inquisitive and something of a tattler, always anxious to hear the news and to tell it again.
After an early breakfast at Morristown the tobacco-peddler, whose name was Dominicus Pike, had traveled seven miles through a solitary piece of woods, without speaking a word to anybody but himself and his little gray mare. It being nearly seven o'clock, he was as eager to hold a morning gossip as a city shopkeeper to read the morning paper. An opportunity seemed at hand when he looked up and perceived a man coming over the brow of the hill at the foot of which the peddler had stopped. Dominicus noticed that he carried a bundle over his shoulder on the end of a stick, and traveled with a weary, yet determined, pace. He did not look as if he had started in the morning, but as if he had footed it all night and meant to do the same all day.
" Good morning, mister," said Dominicus, when within speaking distance. "You go a pretty good jog. What's the latest news at Parker's Falls?"
The man pulled the broad brim of a gray hat over his

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