CHAPTER XII
A NEW ENGLAND WINTER AND A EUROPEAN SUMMER

I RECALL an amusing incident on a sharp evening in December soon after our return to Hanover. We had invited Foster and Moore and a few others in for a formal dinner. After dinner we were gathered around the fireplace, with a blazing fire of white birch which we always kept on hand. There was a sudden ominous roar in the chimney and I hastily left the room. Moore and Foster followed. We were putting in a hardwood floor in the room overhead and the whole floor was covered with shavings. I got there just in time to see the burning soot coming down the flue into that fireplace and some of the shavings in the room on fire. Moore attended to this while I pulled off my dress-suit and got into my outfit as a member of the volunteer fire brigade. Rushing up to the third floor, I found the chimney and thimbles at white heat. So much burning soot was falling upon the shingled roof that it seemed best to call the fire department. They sent up a stream of water which froze as it fell on the roof, leaving our friend Foster astride the ridgepole in his dress-suit, with an icy descent to safety. There were no further consequences.

One of the features of the winter in Hanover was the great blanket of snow which usually came soon after Thanksgiving and sometimes provided as much as a hundred and twenty days of good sleighing. It was always customary to have bells attached to the sleigh, presumably in order to warn other sleighs to watch for a place to turn out. It was rare for the snow to drift in this section of the country where on account of many hills the wind had little chance to gather force. The white flakes usually fell quietly and often for many hours together leaving no trace of the previous tracks along the road. I have sometimes driven in the early morning in light snow so deep that it broke over on the seat of the sleigh. I remember well the great snowfall of March 11-14, 1888. It had fallen during the previous afternoon and the whole night. I was almost afraid to go to

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