Adventures in Friendship eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 131 pages of information about Adventures in Friendship.

“After all,” I said to myself, “this is a large world, with room in it for many curious people.”

I waited in excitement.  When he came near me I straightened up just as though I had seen him for the first time.  When he lifted his hat to me I lifted my hat as grandiloquently as he.

“How are you, neighbour?” I asked.

He paused for a single instant and gave me a smile; then he replaced his hat as though he had far more important business to attend to, and went on up the road.

My next glimpse of him was a complete surprise to me.  I saw him on the street in town.  Harriet pointed him out, else I should never have recognized him:  a quiet, shy, modest man, as different as one could imagine from the singer I had seen so often passing my farm.  He wore neat, worn clothes; and his horse stood tied in front of the store.  He had brought his honey to town to sell.  He was a bee-man.

I stopped and asked him about his honey, and whether the fall flowers had been plenty; I ran my eye over his horse, and said that it seemed to be a good animal.  But I could get very little from him, and that little in a rather low voice.  I came away with my interest whetted to a still keener edge.  How a man has come to be what he is—­is there any discovery better worth making?


After that day in town I watched for the bee-man, and I saw him often on his way to town, silent, somewhat bent forward in his seat, driving his horse with circumspection, a Dr. Jekyll of propriety; and a few hours later he would come homeward a wholly different person, straight of back, joyous of mien, singing his songs in his high clear voice, a very Hyde of recklessness.  Even the old horse seemed changed:  he held his head higher and stepped with a quicker pace.  When the bee-man went toward town he never paused, nor once looked around to see me in my field; but when he came back he watched for me, and when I responded to his bow he would sometimes stop and reply to my greeting.

One day he came from town on foot and when he saw me, even though I was some distance away, he approached the fence and took off his hat, and held out his hand.  I walked over toward him.  I saw his full face for the first time:  a rather handsome face.  The hair was thin and curly, the forehead generous and smooth; but the chin was small.  His face was slightly flushed and his eyes—­his eyes burned!  I shook his hand.

“I had hoped,” I said, “that you would stop sometime as you went by.”

“Well, I’ve wanted to stop—­but I’m a busy man.  I have important matters in hand almost all the time.”

“You usually drive.”

“Yes, ordinarily I drive.  I do not use a team, but I have in view a fine span of roadsters.  One of these days you will see me going by your farm in style.  My wife and I both enjoy driving.”

I wish I could here convey the tone of buoyancy with which he said these words.  There was a largeness and confidence in them that carried me away.  He told me that he was now “working with the experts”—­those were his words—­and that he would soon begin building a house that would astonish the country.  Upon this he turned abruptly away, but came back and with fine courtesy shook my hand.

Project Gutenberg
Adventures in Friendship from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook