Morgan thought the man looked somehow familiar. "Who's Mr. Franklin?"
"Why, he's the one who publishes that Poor Richard's Almanac every year." From a nearby table Prudence picked up a tiny book that had the date "1752" in big letters on the cover. "Mr. Smith just purchased the current edition. He reads it faithfully and relies quite heavily on Poor Richard's weather predictions. He wouldn't think of planting his crops without it." Prudence laughed and her chins shook.
"Did you say Benjamin Franklin?" Morgan asked, staring out the window at the disappearing horseman.
"Well now, in the Almanac the man claims to be Richard Saunders, but in truth it's Benjamin Franklin. I don't know why he insists on using that other name," she said thoughtfully. "Of course, he is rather eccentric. My goodness, just think, a man his age running around the countryside trying to catch thunderstorms."
As the children looked at each other over their nearly-empty porridge bowls, Prudence leaned toward them and whispered, "Rumor has it that he's doing some kind of weather experiments. Oh, dear me, I just don't understand it at all. Do you children know him?"
"We've heard about him," Morgan said, glancing at Courtney and Collin. "I bet he's the reason we're here."
"Maybe we should go after him," Courtney said, setting down her spoon.
Morgan nodded. "Thanks for the breakfast, Mrs. Smith, but we really need to run."
"I'm not ready to run," Collin mumbled as he stuffed his mouth with warm bread and jam. I'm still wet ... "
"Tell me about it later," Morgan interrupted, grabbing Collin's arm. "We have to hurry."
"Here, dear," Prudence said, stopping Collin and handing him several thick slices from the loaf of bread. "You might get hungry again. I wouldn't want you to starve."
"Thanks, Mrs. Smith," Collin called out as he ran out the door after Courtney and Morgan.