BeeOasis Step 2
People did not travel very much. There were no broad, smooth highways as there are now. The roads were crooked and muddy and rough.
If a man needed to go from one city to another, he often rode a horse. Instead of a suitcase for his clothing, he carried a pair of saddlebags. Instead of sitting at his ease in a car, he went bouncing along through mud and rain, exposed to the wind and the weather.
One day some men were sitting by the door of a hotel in Baltimore. As they looked down the street, they saw a man on a horse. He was riding very slowly, and both he and his horse were covered with mud.
“Here comes an old farmer,” said one of the men. “It looks like he’s just come from the back woods.”
“It looks like he’s had a hard time,” said another. “I wonder where he’ll stay for the night.”
“Oh, he’ll stay anywhere,” answered the landlord. “He’s one of those country men who can sleep in the barn and eat with the horses.”
The traveler was soon at the door. He was dressed in simple clothing. With his reddish-brown hair and mud-covered face, he looked like a hard-working man after a hard day of work.
“Do you have a room for me?” he asked the landlord.
Now the landlord prided himself upon keeping a first-class hotel. He was afraid that his guests would not like the rough-looking traveler. So he answered, “No, sir. Every room is full. The only place I could put you would be in the barn.”
“Well, then,” answered the stranger, “I will see what they can do for me at the Planters’ Tavern, around the corner.” And then he rode away.
This story is adapted from Fifty Famous People by James Baldwin.