Autobiography, with Letters

By William Lyon Phelps | Go to book overview
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9
EARLY FRIENDSHIPS, MARK TWAIN, AND BILLIARDS

WHEN my parents in the Spring of 1876 decided to move to Hartford, they unconsciously arranged my marriage, which was to take place nearly seventeen years later. I first met my wife when I was eleven years old.

At the West Middle School in Hartford there was a boy two years older than I whose name was Frank Watson Hubbard. We became friends and there has never been a cloud on our friendship during sixty years.

His father, Langdon Hubbard, was living in Huron County, Michigan, whither he had gone originally from Connecticut as a pioneer, and was engaged in an extensive lumbering business. There were no facilities out there for education; hence he had sent his three children, Frank, Richard, and Annabel to Hartford, where they lived with three maiden aunts, and had entered the West Middle School.

Frank and I became inseparable. We were both fond of outdoor games and especially of shooting. He owned a long, single-barrel, muzzle-loading shotgun, and equipped with this primitive implement, we spent entire Saturdays in the pursuit of robins, meadowlarks, yellowhammers, and other songbirds, which, I hasten to add, we always brought home, cooked, and ate with relish. I remember one winter day, when we were out in the fields and woods, we became very hungry, and made an excellent meal off English sparrows. The wild country over which

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