The next day, we headed out on the Pike road toward our next destination, a city called Columbia. We came to five more toll gates. George paid the first gate keeper fifteen cents to let us pass.
“I hope we don’t have any more gates because we don’t have any more money,” he told the short, plump woman who took his money.
“There be four more gates before ya’ll reach Columbia,” she said.
“Four!” George exclaimed.
By the time we reached the next gate, George had come up with a plan.
“Hello there, Gate Keeper,” he said as we approached.
A kind-looking, young man stepped out of the shack.
“Today is your lucky day,” George said, his voice filled with enthusiasm.
“Oh, is it now? Why would that be?” said the young man, a friendly smile on his face.
“Today is the day you get to meet the famous Overland Westerners,” said George as he jumped off my back and shook the man’s hand, pumping it up and down vigorously.
The young man looked a little surprised and stammered out a “Please ta meet ya, I’m sure.”
“You actually get to be one of the many people who will get to help us on our journey. We are riding to every state capital in the whole dang country,” George said, still pumping the man’s hand. “Today we’re on our way to Columbia, having just met with your Governor Hooper.”
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