On Horseback By Charles Dudley Warner

 -  Long
before we reached it, the Holston River which we followed had become
the Laurel, a most lovely, rocky, winding - Page 10
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Long Before We Reached It, The Holston River Which We Followed Had Become The Laurel, A Most Lovely, Rocky, Winding Stream, Which We Forded Continually, For The Valley Became Too Narrow Much Of The Way To Accommodate A Road And A River.

Eagerly as we were looking out for it, we passed the great Ramsey's without knowing it, for it was

The first of a little settlement of two houses and a saw-mill and barn. It was a neat log house of two lower rooms and a summer kitchen, quite the best of the class that we saw, and the pleasant mistress of it made us welcome. Across the road and close, to the Laurel was the spring-house, the invariable adjunct to every well-to-do house in the region, and on the stony margin of the stream was set up the big caldron for the family washing; and here, paddling in the shallow stream, while dinner was preparing, we established an intimacy with the children and exchanged philosophical observations on life with the old negress who was dabbling the clothes. What impressed this woman was the inequality in life. She jumped to the unwarranted conclusion that the Professor and the Friend were very rich, and spoke with asperity of the difficulty she experienced in getting shoes and tobacco. It was useless to point out to her that her alfresco life was singularly blessed and free from care, and the happy lot of any one who could loiter all day by this laughing stream, undisturbed by debt or ambition.

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