The fine old house stood on Jumping Tom Hill, above the town. It had stood there before there was a town, when only a cabin or two fringed the woods below, nearer the shore. The weather boarding had been brought in ships from England, ready sawed; likewise the bricks of the chimney. Indians used to come to the house in the cold of winter, begging shelter. Given blankets, and food, and drink, they slept upon the kitchen floor; and when Joel Shore's great-great-grandfather came down in the morning, he found Indians and blankets gone together. Sometimes the Indians came back with a venison haunch, or a bear steak ... sometimes not at all.

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