The young man could never bear the thought of taking second place to anyone ... dead or alive. Overcome somewhat by a tendency to brag, he was one day explaining to his neighbor the awful risks he had taken while riding his horse near the sea:
"The tide rose so suddenly," said he, "that I would surely have drowned had I not been the very best horseman in the county. Never was a man in such danger."
"My boy," replied his elderly neighbor, "there was someone else who was obviously in more peril--a poor man actually drowned there that very morning."
"Well," proclaimed the fellow loudly, "I could have drowned, too ... if I had chose ..."