The Student Vagabond

The Vagabond had found many things to admire in New England, but until recently the excellent qualities of its rural postmen had escaped his attention. But now his enthusiasm for that portion of its population is unbounded, and the reason may be found in the events of the last week-end.

While living up to his title in the literal by investigating some of the remoter recesses of the New Hampshire hills from behind the wheel of an aged but still active automobile, the Vagabond was called upon to navigate a narrow passage between a car parked on one side of the road and a large mudhole on the other. But a winter's inactivity must have impaired his driving eye, for with a lurch and a slither the front wheel buried itself in the mud, and when the Vagabond got out to see the damage only a few grimy spokes emerged from the depth. Always helpless where mechanical resourcefulness is needed, the Vagabond made a few futile attempts at digging with a jack handle and then sat down on the running board to await in patience the arrival of a lift to the next town.

Just then he noticed that the car that had caused his misfortune was occupied. A benign old lady leaned out the window and informed him that if only her husband were there he would be very glad to help him. Next it developed that her husband would not be back until dark, for he had left her there while he fished a nearby brook. She was going on to quote statistics about the length of time various friends of hers had been stuck in that same mud-hole when down the hill clattered a Ford bearing the local representative of the R.F.D. Out he jumped, surveyed the situation, and then attacked a road-side sapling with an axe he carried in his car. With the aid of this and a few flat stones to serve for what he called a "bait" but what the Vagabond's physics professors would have termed a fulcrum, the errant auto was soon back on the road.

The resourceful carrier explained that he was called on to do this sort of thing pretty often and knew just what was needed. Filled with a renewed scorn for the intelligence of "fool tourists", he clattered on his way, while the Vagabond said good-by to the trout widow and likewise resumed his, resolved to buy at least a dozen tickets the next time the solicitor for the postman's ball comes around.