The morning train from Benton, rumbling and puffing along its way through outlying farmland, and sending its billows of smoke like sea rollers across the pastures, drew up, ten miles from the city, at a little station that overlooked a pond, lying clear and sparkling at the base of some low, wooded hills. An old-fashioned, weather-beaten house, adjacent the station, and displaying a sign-board bearing the one word, Spencer's, indicated that Spencer, whoever he might prove to be, would probably extend the hospitality of his place to travellers. Here and there, widely scattered across the fields, were a few farmhouses.

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