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The Folktale Project

Aug 27, 2018

Early in this century a man named Ainsley appeared at Holyoke, Massachusetts, and set up a forge in a wood at the edge of the village, with a two-room cottage to live in. A Yankee peddler once put up at his place for shelter from a storm, and as the rain increased with every hour he begged to remain in the house over night, promising to pay for his accommodation in the morning. The blacksmith, who seemed a mild, considerate man, said that he was willing, but that, as the rooms were small, it would be well to refer the matter to his wife. As the peddler entered the house the wife—a weary-looking woman with white hair—seated herself at once in a thickly-cushioned arm-chair, and, as if loath to leave it, told the peddler that if he would put up with simple fare and a narrow berth he was welcome.