The road that winds down the hills to the covered bridge, or crosses the green fields of the intervale, is white with dust and lined with bramble-covered stone walls and elm trees or maples. Always, as it draws near, it runs up a little incline to the bridge (perhaps just after you have paid your toll at the toll gate); and warned by a large sign over the entrance you pull your horses down to a walk or reduce the speed of your motor. You pass at once out of the hot sunshine into the dusty dimness of the long, telescope-like shed, and the planks rumble beneath your wheels. What a curious smell there is in the old covered bridge! It is like no other smell in the world, and quite indescribable to one who has never sniffed it—not the smell of a country barn, nor of a circus ring, yet reminiscent of both, with a new quality entirely its own. It always brings back my childhood to me with a sudden, startling vividness, and I recall the covered bridge across the Androscoggin at Bethel, with ancient circus posters flaring from the dusty walls, with tin placards on every beam proclaiming some magic spavin cure, with bits of hay hanging from the cobwebs, pulled from a towering load recently passed through, and finally with exquisite landscapes of the great curve of the river, the green fields, and the far blue peaks of the Presidential, framed through the square windows—for every covered bridge is lighted by square windows at orthodox intervals. The road on either side of that bridge is as vague in my memory as yesterday's breakfast; but the entrance—a shadowy cave where dust motes danced in the rays which streamed from cracks between the boarding—and every detail of the interior, including the smell, are so clear and vivid that I have only to shut my eyes and be five years old again.