“Mr. Strafford had been some little time on the island before he saw me. I had seen him, however, and I dare say you will understand how the expression of his face, the honest, manly, kindly look you have often admired, filled me with indescribable consolation, for I felt that there would be near me, in future, a countryman on whose counsel and help I could rely, if I should be driven to extremity. I waited without any impatience for the visit which he was sure to pay me. Mary, my best friend, had lately married a young Indian, who had spent much of his life among Europeans, and who was now employed by Mr. Strafford to teach him the Ojibway language, and, in the meantime, to act as interpreter for him. Through Mary and her husband, Henry Wanita, I knew he would hear of me and be sure to seek me out. I was right; he came one day when I was, as usual, alone, and before he left I had told him as much of my story as I could tell to any one, except to you. I expected that he would pity me, and that his pity would have a little contempt mixed with it, and I had made up my mind to endure the bitterness of this, for the sake of establishing that claim upon his advice and aid, which I was certain, after the first shock of such a confession, my wretchedness would give me. But he had not one word of reproof to say; either he had heard, or he guessed that my fault had brought its full measure of punishment, and that what I needed was rather consolation than reproach. He went away and left me, as he often left me afterwards, with courage and patience renewed for the hard struggle of my life.
“My husband had lately been more than ever away; and though in his absence I had often the greatest difficulty to obtain food, or any kind of necessaries, yet I was thankful for the peace in which I could then live. I learned to embroider in the Indian fashion, and was able to repay the kindness I received from Mary, and some of the other squaws, by drawing patterns for them, and by teaching them how to make more comfortable clothes for themselves and their children. After Mr. Strafford had been a little while on the island, he proposed to establish a school for this kind of work, and I became the mistress. The women and girls came to me more readily than they would have done to a stranger, and I soon had a good number of pupils.
“Several months passed, after Mr. Strafford’s coming, without anything new occurring. Then Christian returned from the States, where he had been for a longer time than usual. He came late at night, and so intoxicated that I was obliged to go myself and fasten the canoe, which would have floated away before morning. When I followed him into the house he was already fast asleep, and it was not till the next day that I knew what had brought him home. Then he told me. What I understood—for he said as little as possible on the subject—was, that he had been for the last few weeks in the company of a party of gamblers, to whom he had lost everything