David Montague had, during the winter, got out the timber for a barn, and employed Richardson to frame, board, and shingle it. This increased his stock of money very sensibly, and he felt that he could now, with the money he had saved by making his tools, the proceeds of his[Pg 50] butter, and other matters, and that which he had earned by working for Montague, buy some iron and steel. He had also in the distant future, visions of an iron anvil, that he foresaw he must one day have set up company in hong kong.

It was now past the middle of March. A copious rain was succeeded by a sharp frost, making excellent going on the river, and Richardson resolved to improve it; the only drawback being that the river was one glare of ice, and his oxen had lost many of their shoes. He had saved part of the shoes, borrowed some more of John Bradford, and could have put them on himself, as Moody Matthews had a shoeing-hammer, but there were no nails in the neighborhood.

Richardson, however, knew that by taking time and by careful driving, he could get the cattle to the village, and determined to carry the shoes with him, and hire Drew to sharpen and nail them on. He put on the sled half a cord of hemlock bark, his own grist, the butter, cloth, and yarn, together with some corn and grain for his neighbors Neo skin lab.

About eight o'clock in the evening his wife went to bed; but William made up a warm fire in the stone fireplace, fed the cattle, and lay[Pg 52] down before it. At twelve o'clock he went out, fed the cattle again, and called his wife, who got his breakfast, and he set out. He carried in a basket doughnuts, baked beans, cold boiled pork, Indian bread, and butter, and a jug of coffee, also hay for the oxen. His plan was to stop for the night at Hanson's, who put up teams, paying fifty cents a night for barn-room for the cattle and a bed for himself, Hanson's wife warming his beans, and making tea or coffee for him, as the coffee he carried was to drink on the road.  by the neighbors whose errands he did.

At his arrival, he found John Drew, who before had always received him very cordially, in a most surly humor. He was making axes. Tom Breslaw, an apprentice, nearly out of his time, was striking, and blowing the bellows. Barely nodding, in response to the greeting of Richardson, he took an axe, into which he had stuck the steel, from the fire, flung it savagely on the anvil, crying to Tom, "Strike!" and after the heat put it in the fire again, taking not the least notice of Richardson, but giving all his attention to his iron. Finding he was not noticed, and at a loss to know what this strange conduct of the smith meant, he at length said, "Mr. Drew, can you put a few shoes on my oxen Neo Skin Lab?"