IF THINE ENEMY HUNGER
number of a man’s friends, there will be times
life when he has one too few; but if he has only one enemy, he is
lucky indeed if he has not one too many.”
The blow struck by David had stunned the doctor, but had not killed him. He lay in the road until a slave, passing that way, picked him up and carried him to a neighboring plantation, where he fell into the hands of people who in the truest sense of the word were good Samaritans. Their hospitality was tested to the utmost, for he lay for weeks in a stupor, and when he recovered consciousness his reason had undergone a strange eclipse. For a long time he could not recall a single event in his history and when at last some of the most prominent began to re-present themselves to his view it was vaguely and slowly, as mountain-peaks and hill-tops break through a morning mist. This was not the only result of the blow which his rival had struck him; it had left him totally blind. Nothing could have been more pitiful than the sight of this once strong man, more helpless than an infant, sitting in the sun where kind hands had placed him. Months elapsed before he regained anything that could be called a clear conception of the past. It did at length return, however. Slowly, but with terrible distinctness he recalled the events which preceded and brought about this tragedy. And as he reflected upon them, jealousy, hatred and revenge boiled in his soul and finally crystallized into the single desperate purpose to find and crush the man who had wrecked his life.
He kept his story to himself; but made furtive inquiries of his new-found friends and of the slaves and neighbors, none of which enabled him to discover the slightest clue to the fugitives. So far as he could learn, the earth might have opened and swallowed them, and so when he had exhausted the sources of information in the region where the accident occurred, he determined to go elsewhere.
Refusing the kind offers of a permanent refuge in the home of these hospitable Kentuckians, he made his way back to Cincinnati, where he hoped not only to find traces of the fugitives, but to recover the jewels which Pepeeta had left behind her on the table, and which in his frantic haste he had forgotten to take with him.
He learned the history of the jewels in a few short hours. Not long after his own sudden disappearance and that of David and Pepeeta, the judge had called at the hotel with an order for his property. The unsuspecting landlord had honored it, and the judge not long afterward left for parts unknown.
This discovery not only turned his rage to frenzy, but increased his difficulties a hundred fold. Without friends and without money, he set himself to attain revenge. Before a purpose so resolute, many obstacles at once gave way, and although he could find no traces of David and Pepeeta, he discovered that the judge had fled to New York City, and thither he determined to go.