overnight. Charlie Merriam, a grandson
about my age, and whose family shared the house with Grampa, often drove
up with his parents to call on us on a Sunday afternoon. They came in a
four-seated carriage drawn by a pair of fine horses, and as soon
as they arrived I always took Charlie to the garage to look
around and admire our automobiles and tell me how much he wished his
family owned one. I particularly remember showing him
our 1912 Chalmers. He lost an eye for it immediately, and kept
repeating, "Gee, what a peachable car !"
Who ever would have suspected the impending fate of the `peachable'
car? When we were in Wareham that summer my mother decided to teach our
boatman, Captain Jennings, to drive.
Lesson number one started off with the children in the
back seat and my mother and the captain in front. He, took hold
of the wheel like an old pro and we started off towards the
village. All went smoothly until we came to a sharp corner.
"Blow the horn, Captain," my mother ordered, and the captain reached out
to squeeze the black rubber bulb. There was no response, so he tried
using both hands. At that point the un- guided automobile
darted into the woods and wound itself around a
The peaceful woodland suddenly became a roaring inferno. Steam
belched from the radiator and broken hose connections. Anna flung
herself about in terror and shouted at the top of her lungs. Mary tried
desperately to stop a nosebleed she got from bashing her head against
the front seat, while poor Captain Jennings paced helplessly back
and forth repeating, "I don't see how it ever happened." I think I was
the only one who main- tained equilibrium during the crisis. "Wait
till I tell Teddy about