r stamped paper?"
"Who shall say? Much can--"
Walter Neal did not conclude the sentence, for at that instant two men passed, and a signal, so slight as not to be observed by his companion, was given by one of the new-comers, causing the young man to hasten away without so much as a word in explanation of his sudden departure, while Stephen Kidder stood gazing after him in blank amazement.
The two friends whose conversation was so suddenly interrupted were natives of the town of Portsmouth, in the Province of New Hampshire; and, had either had occasion to set down the date of this accidental meeting, it would have been written, October 26th, 1765.
As has been suggested, Walter Neal's ambition was to erect a grist-mill a certain distance up the Pascataqua River, where was great need of one, since land in that portion of the province was being rapidly settled; and, although without capital, he believed it might be possible for him to accomplish his desires.
He was favourably known to the merchants