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Epinetus informed George that his father Horace had related the following.

 

“The first twenty miles from Salem Township to Peekskill-on-the-Hudson should have been covered in one day. However, because the wagons shook and rolled, the rope ties had loosened, hooks became loose, and wagon bolts required frequent tightening. This extra effort took time and the family did not reach Peekskill that first day.”

 

“After getting permission from a farmer, we slept in a pasture that night. Rolled up in woolen or feather quilts we slept on straw filled mattresses beneath the wagons. This kept the spring frost off most of us.”

 

Epinetus informed George Parks about what more his father had told him.

 

“My father, Horace, told me that the remaining six miles to Peekskill were covered well before noon the next day. Through a stroke of luck and the late arrival of important cargo, their transport ship, heading north up the Hudson River, was still tied at the wharf. Grandfather had made reservations on the packet brig ‘Mary Louise,’ which was sailed by Stephen Tanner; ‘Master.’ The advertisement had been posted in the town square in North Salem.”

 

“Would you like to see the hand printed advertisement – – Mr. George Parks Esquire – –  ?”

 

Epinetus arose and once more started rummaging around in his box of treasures.

 

George took the opportunity to speak and addressed a completely different matter.

 

“Epinetus, this is my second trip to see you. Please call me by my first name”

 

Epinetus was still hurt by something George had done on the first visit. George had rather pointedly informed Epinetus that he was a lawyer. Epinetus, realizing that he was the senior of the two men was quite disturbed by Georges attempt to place himself above him. Some of the Epinetus’ hurt was self-inflicted; he was embarrassed that he had to live in the poor house.

 

“Oh, – – – I don’t have to call you by your full name and title? I thought that was what you were fishing for when you told me you were a lawyer.” Epinetus continued in mock reverence, “Well then, how about if I call you Georgie?”

 

George’s patience had not been strained. After all, he was a lawyer and had encountered many instances of being insulted.

 

“Why not settle on ‘Mr. Parks’?” George asked. He still wanted some formality used when being addressed.

 

Epinetus responded with some sarcasm in his voice. “I must have been confused – – – , Mr. Parks. Yes, ‘Mr. Parks’ will do just fine. But you can simply call me Epinetus.”

 

The sarcasm was not lost on George. He realized that old Epinetus still had one leg up on him. Silence surrounded the two men as the emotions ebbed to a level where decent conversation could be had.

 

Returning to the previous subject Epinetus stated, “I saved the advertisement along with my other keepsakes in my leather case. Did I mention that I had a few daguerreotypes there also?”

 

George, once more, used the gap of a question to remind Epinetus of the intent of the visit. “Do you have anything in that trunk about Jean Guillame DeBesse?”

           

Epinetus attempted, once more, to gain the upper hand by trimming down the way George always employed hegemony to establish his superior position.

 

“Jean Guilliame DeBesse? –   –   –   Oh yes, Mr. Bessac, your Frenchman. You wanted to discuss what I might know about him. Why yes, Mr. Parks, I will. But first I must finish Grandfather’s story. Here is the advertisement my father took as a souvenir from North Salem.”

 

Epinetus unrolled the old paper and, as best he could, attempted to hold it flat against the wall.”

 

Packet Ship Ad

 

 

© wtomosky