Now just across the Delaware river, nine miles above Easton, Penn., lived a wealthy Dutch farmer, named Scheimer, who heard of the cure I had effected in Harmony, and as he had a son, sixteen years of age, afflicted in the same way, he sent for me to come and see him. I crossed the river, saw the boy, and at Scheimer’s request took up my residence with him to attend to the case. He was to give me, with my board, five hundred dollars if I cured the boy; but though the boy recovered under my treatment, I never received my fee for reasons which will appear anon. I secured some other practice in the neighborhood, and frequently visited Easton, Belvidere, Harmony, Oxford, and other near by places, on either side of the river.
The Scheimer family consisted of the “old folks” and four sons and four daughters, the children grown up, for my patient, sixteen years old, was the youngest. The youngest daughter, Sarah, eighteen years old, was an accomplished and beautiful girl. Now it would seem as if with my sad experience I ought by this time, to have turned my back on women forever. But I think I was a monomaniac on the subject of matrimony. My first wife had so misused me that it was always in my mind that some reparation was due me, and that I was fairly entitled to a good helpmate. The ill-success of my efforts, hitherto, to secure one, and my consequent sufferings were all lost upon me—experience, bitter experience, had taught me nothing.
I had not been in the Scheimer family three months before I fell in love with the daughter Sarah and she returned my passion. She promised to marry me, but said there was no use in saying anything to her parents about it; they would never consent on account of the disparity in our ages, for I was then forty years old; but she would marry me nevertheless, if we had to run away together. Meanwhile, the old folks had seen enough of our intimacy to suspect that it might lead to something yet closer, and one day Mr. Scheimer invited me to leave his house and not to return. I asked for one last interview with Sarah, which was accorded, and we then arranged a plan by which she should meet me the next afternoon at four o’clock at the Jersey ferry, a mile below the house, when we proposed to quietly cross over to Belvidere and get married. I then took leave of her and the family and went away.
The next day, at the appointed time, I was at the ferry—Sarah, as I learned afterwards, left the house at a much earlier hour to “take a walk” and while she was, foolishly I think, making a circuitous route to reach the ferry, her father, who suspected that she intended to run away, went to the ferryman and told him his suspicions, directing him if Sarah came there by no means to permit her to cross the river. Consequently when Sarah met me at the ferry, the ferryman flatly refused to let either of us go over. He knew all about it, he said, and it was “no go.” I had two hundred dollars in my pocket and I offered him any