The contractor who had been
building the house took posses-sion of the property in settlement of Mr.
Davey's obligations to him, but he did nothing about completing
the work and finally swapped the whole place — some two hundred acres —
for a large motor boat. The ex-yachtsman, who became the new
owner of the house, made the kitchen wing habitable, but the
front section remained untouched until Mr. Hamlen of Wayland bought the
property in the late 1920s, roughly twenty years
after the first sod had been turned for Mr. Davey.
We owned the adjoining property to the south, which was
once the Lemuel Smith farm. There is a high hill on the place
that my father called Mount Lemuel, and he maintained that he could see
the dome of the Rhode Island State House from its summit on a clear day.
A quarter of a mile further brought us to Winter Street, a long
and sparsely populated road that led to the Loker farm at the town's
southern boundary. One summer the Lokers rented their barns and pastures
to a Mr. and Mrs. Green who brought a lot of wild horses from the west
and several cowboys to train them. The Sunday rodeos
there became popular immediately and drew a large crowd. We
often rode over to watch the excitement, and finally bought a horse that
had been broken to the saddle.
One day Miss Bridge, headmistress of Pigeon Hill School,
em-barassed me greatly by calling me up before the class and telling
me to stand beside her desk.
"I understand you bought one of the wild horses," she said
I told her that we had.
"And what's its name?"
"Casey Jones," I replied with enthusiasm.