Hannah looked up at her pitifully: “O Ann, don’t go!”
“I’m coming right back, and it is the only way. You must get home. Only think how your father and mother are worrying!”
Hannah said no more after that mention of her parents, and Ann started.
She was not gone long. When she came in sight she was laughing, and Hannah, weak as she was, laughed, too. Ann had torn her blue apron into strips, and tied it together for a rope, and by it she was leading a red cow.
Hannah knew the cow, and knew at once what the plan was.
“O Ann! you mean for me to ride Betty!”
“Of course I do. I just happened to think our cows were in the pasture, down below here. And we’ve ridden Betty, lots of times, when we were children, and she’s just as gentle now. Whoa, Betty, good cow.”
It was very hard work to get Hannah on to the broad back of her novel steed, but it was finally accomplished. Betty had been a perfect pet from a calf, and was exceedingly gentle. She started off soberly across the fields, with Hannah sitting on her back, and Ann leading her by her blue rope.
It was a funny cavalcade for Captain Abraham French and a score of anxious men to meet, when they were nearly in sight of home; but they were too overjoyed to see much fun in it.
Hannah rode the rest of the way with her father on his gray horse; and Ann walked joyfully by her side, leading the cow.
Captain French and his friends had, in fact, just started to search Bear Swamp, well armed with lanterns, for night was coming on.
It was dark when they got home. Mrs. French was not much more delighted to see her beloved daughter Hannah safe again, than Mrs. Polly was to see Ann.
She listened admiringly to the story Ann told.
“Nobody but you would have thought of the wool or of the cow,” said she.
“I do declare,” cried Ann, at the mention of the wool, “I have lost the cards!”
“Never mind the cards!” said Mrs. Polly.
The “Horse House” Deed
Know all Men By These Presents, that I Seth Towner of Braintree, in the County of Suffolk & Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, Gent. In Consideration that I may promote & encourage the worship of God, I have given liberty to Ephriam, and Atherton Wales, & Th’o:s Penniman of Stoughton who attend Publick worship with us to erect a Stable or Horse House, on my Land near the Meeting House, in the South Precinct in Braintree afores:d, to serve their Horses, while attending the service of God—and to the intent that the s:d Ephriam, Atherton & Thomas, their Heirs or assignes shall and may hereafter So long as they or any of them incline or Desire to keep up & maintain a Horse House for the afores:d use and Purpose; have s:d Land whereon s:d House Stands without mollestation: I the said Seth Towner for my Selfe,