My Ride with Aunt Esther I was a proud miss of seventeen, and a pupil at Lockhart Seminery [seminary] , when Aunt Esther, an eccentric old lady, one day came to my Uncle Lyman's where I was boarding, and proposed that she and I, the following Saturday should take a ride to Norton Hollow where we both had relatives living. I made a number of excuses, finally telling her it would be next to impossible for me to go; but she would not take no for an answer. Still I hoped that after she went away I should hear no more about the ride. I should have liked very much to go if I could have gone in good style; but of all the old turn-outs that were ever gotten up, I think my aunt's capped the climax. The vehicle was the remains of an old "shay" used in the eighteenth century. It had been broken times without number, and every time mended with rough boards, while the seat and top were flapping with rags, and the spokes of the wheels had been broken and mended until very little of the original remained. The old nag, too, was a perfect "rack o' bones," with hair standing on end, and a mane and tail that had been sheared by roguish boys. My aunt's attire corresponded with the rest. She usually wore, when she dressed for a jaunt like this, an old faded [line unreadable]bonnet, and a shawl which had been a prey for moths the last fifty years. This was her best [unreadable] and she called herself very much "dressed up" when she wore it, no matter what others might think. Well, in this very suit and turn-out she drove up in front of my Uncle Lyman's door on the appointed Saturday morning. "Now, what am I to do?" I asked my Aunt Olive. "I cannot go with her. Oh, I hate(bare?) it! I will pretend I am about dead with tooth-ache!" So I drew a handkerchief from my pocket, and , after tying it around my head, began to groan most fearfully. "What is the matter now, I wonder? It's allus jus' so if I set my heart on your goin' anywhere with me!" "Oh, aunt," I cried, "such a dreadful toothache!" "Law! If that's all," she said, " ‘taint much, I can cure that in no time I didn't know but you had the mumps, or quinsy, or something of that sort. Here, get me some [unreadable] and salt, Olive, and then get her things, and we'll put ‘em on to her and start in no time, for it is a pretty good day's journey to go to the Hollow and back." "I am not going - I cannot go!" I said. "Why, what do you mean, Lizzie Canning? After all the trouble I've took to get ready for such a journey, you won't go with me?" "Can't you get some one else to go, as I am quite unable?" "No, I don't know of a single person, and if you won't go, then I've got to go hom (home) agin (again) and all unrig for nothin'!" "Are you afraid to go alone?" I asked. "You know, Lizzie, she might be taken with a fit, she is so subject to them; perhaps it would not be safe for her to go alone," my Aunt Olive said. "My sympathies were always easily awakened, and my aunt could have said nothing else that would have been so likely to cause me to change my mind. "sure enough," I reasoned; "the poor old woman might be taken in a fit; I will go." So I pulled the bandage from my head and began to prepare for the dreaded jaunt. Before I got into the "Kerridge,"[Carriage] as Aunt Esther called it, I wound a heavy veil around my head and face, hoping no one would recognize me, but, to my great discomfort, all the village acquaintances we met saluted me with a bow and a smile. After we were out of the village I raised my veil, and for a few moments rather enjoyed being in the open country, when nature was so lavish of her gifts. But soon I was to meet another trial to my pride. The observatories and spires of ---college were in sight, so I drew my veil over my face again, and prepared for the miseries that awaited me. When we drew up in front of the college, and in view of the surrounding buildings, I submitted as quietly and patiently as possible to the hootings of the students and others who openly ridiculed me. It seemed as if a hundred college boys were on the grounds, and I think we attracted the attention of every one of them. From that place we passed on quickly quietly until we arrived at Norton Hollow, it then being about eleven o'clock. There we visited our relatives and dined. Aunt Esther [unreadable] contracting for a small "porker," which, after much squealing, and many demonstrations of obstinacy, was placed in a box and strapped on the back part of our vehicle. The box was a curious piece, of roughness, and the pig partly visible? so, as will be readily seen, another attractive feature was added to our turn-out. After we stared, the pig, weary with fruitless efforts to escape, remained very quiet for some time, until it was aroused from its lethargy by a traveler whom Aunt Esther called upon for that purpose. "Won't you see if that ‘ere pig is dead?" She asked of him. "What pig?" he replied. "I'm sure I don't see no pig." "Why, the pig's in the back end of the kerridge," she said, upon which the man began to poke about the box with his cane, finally arousing the sleeper. "Now, ain't that the likeliest pig you ever did see?" continued my aunt, as the little fellow became noisy. "Well, it'll dew," he said, casting a glance at me and passing on. Soon after, my aunt called at a very stylish farm-house, for the purpose, she said, of getting a bit to eat, as she felt rather faint. Four or five well-dressed people were playing croquet on the lawn when she drove up, but they all retreaded to the rear of the house, apparently exploding with laughter. I entreated her to drive on, but she cared for none of them, and alighted, hitched the "nag," and then stood and pleaded some time with me to go into the house with her. Fearing she would go into one of her fits if I did not gratify her, I stepped out of the vehicle and followed her. She was slightly acquainted with the lady of the house, who, probably to get rid of us as soon as possible, set some food on a table, and my aunt was soon eating. I kept my veil over my face the whole time, refusing to eat a morsel, while Aunt Esther ate heartily and talked very glibly. I could now and then overhear a word, and knew very well she was telling most marvelous stories of the smartness of her niece who went to the seminary at [unreadable], making me more and more ashamed every moment. Before we started, our host and hostess were called to the "kerridge" to look at the wonderful pig, who, on being looked at, squealed very loudly again, adding greatly to the merriment of the young people, who had resumed their croquet. When we passed the college again the students nearly exploded with laughter, and I was glad when we were out of their sight. As we neared our village I said to aunt, "Now the horse is tired, and I will get out and walk the rest of the way home." "No you don't!" the shrewd old lady said; and she whipped up the old creature, whereupon he started on faster than I ever had seen him go before. Upon this the pig set up a squealing that startled the inmates of every house we passed. I drew my veil tighter if possible, feeling I never could survive this mortification. I made very little conversation with her the rest of the way home, but gave her to understand this was the last ride [unreadable line]. "Oh, you are so [unreadable]and said "What's the use [unreadable], any way? A few months after, Aunt Esther died; and although her memory is cherished, very little respect was ever paid to her old horse and "kerridge."