my life and times

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: CHAPTER III. APPRENTICE LIFE IN PORTLAND. OUR first visit after breakfast and prayer was of course to the stable. We were delighted to find the old mare in good order, and she saluted us with a whinny, as much as to say, " I 'm glad to see you, boys." We took our load and our orders to Mr. Burbank, a true and honest man, and the business part of my brother's visit was soon disposed of. Mr. Burbank had failed twenty years before, owing my father $17. He now brought up the matter so long forgotten, and never known to my mother, and said she could draw upon him for that amount. He was again prosperous. The message affected my mother deeply. It seemed to come from her departed husband; for Mr. Bur- bank said he was such a kind, just, and honorable man that he enjoyed paying this debt to his widow. She exclaimed: " A score of known debts remain unpaid, but here the payment of an unknown debt is freely offered." Our business done, and the horse returned to the stable, we sallied out to see the wonders. Of coursewe made our way to the wharves to see the ships. We could pick out the ship, with three masts and square rigged, and we could distinguish the brig, the schooner, and the sloop. But what interested us above all things was a vessel on "the ways." At high water, a man told us, it had been floated on to the cradle, and kept there while the sea retired- Then the cable from the cradle was wound round the capstan, and a horse was set agoing to draw the vessel up on those rails called " the ways." We watched it for along time; the horse went round and round, a boy following at his heels, and the vessel moved so slowly that we despaired of the operation. The horse must walk miles to move the vessel a rod. But then there was no noise and no hurry. There was a lazy boy whistling...
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