246 AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF JOHN FRITZ
the practice of this pretending engineer to roll up his low pants and wade in the tail-race and watch the big water- wheel go round.
It was not clearly proven to the jury whether it was in watching the movement of the big water-wheel or Ustening to the merry rattle of the damsel as it fed the corn into the eye of the mfllstone, or in gazing at the wooden cog wheels as they roUed together, or Ustening to the knocking of the revolving reels, that the idea first came to him to wish to be an enguieer; but there is no doubt it was then and there he was first filled with ambition to the extent that he said to himself, " If I ever grow up to be a man, I will make the wheels go round too." The jury being weU informed as to the education of engineers, as they are annually being turned out in great numbers from our coUeges, each one having a long roU of parchment paper, tied up with blue ribbon, they investigated as to the coUege from which this man graduated, and they found that his entire education had been obtained in his attendance at a red schoolhouse on the hill, about two miles away from his home. That he spent there several winters in terms of three months' school¬ ing, for the reason that at that time of the year the business of plowing was rather duU. In adcUtion to this splendid opportunity for procuring an education, he also attended several evening spelling bees, and was assessed, as all the rest were, to occasionally bring a candle. While it is possible that he may have graduated from this institution with high honors, he cannot now prove it, because the master he once helped to " lock out" is dead, and his diploma (if he ever had one) has been mislaid. It was also ascertained that the education of this pretending engineer received some extra poUshing touches at a " night school " which he attended (whenever he could get a chance), which was situated at the cross-roads down near the creek.