Crazy indeed! How mad and how miserable that poor girl was made by her own family, I did not know till months afterward, and then I had the terrible story from her own lips. It seems that when her father and his gang returned from pursuing me, as they did a little way up the road towards Belvidere, they found her almost frantic. They locked her up in her room that night with no one to say so much as a kind word to her. How she passed that night, after the scenes she had witnessed, and the abuse with which her father and brothers had loaded her before they thrust her into her prison, may be imagined. The next day she was wrought up to a frenzy. Her parents pronounced her insane, and called in a Dutch doctor who examined her and said she was “bewitched!” And this is the remedy he proposed as a cure; he advised that she should be soundly flogged, and the devil whipped out of her. Her family, intensely angered at her for the trouble she had made them, or rather had caused them to make for themselves, were only too glad to accept the advice. The old man and two sons carried a sore bruise or two apiece they got from me the night before, and seized the opportunity to pay them off upon her. So they stripped her bare, and flogged her till her back was a mass of welts and cuts, and then put her to bed. That bed she never left for two months, and then came out the shadow of her former self. But the Dutch doctor declared that the devil was whipped out of her, and that she was entirely cured. A few months afterward the family had the best of reasons for believing that they had whipped the devil into her, instead of out of her.
After staying in New York a few days, I went to Dover, N.H., where I had some acquaintances, and where I hoped to get into a medical practice, which, with the help of my friends, I did very soon. I lived quietly in that place all winter, earning a good living and laying by some money. During the whole time I never heard a word from Sarah. I wrote at least fifty letters to her, but as I learned afterward, and, indeed, surmised at the time, every one of them was intercepted by her father or brothers, and she did not know where I was and so could not write to me. I left Dover in May and went down to New York. I had some business there which was soon transacted, and early in June I went over to New Jersey-to Oxford, a small place near Belvidere.
This place I meant to make my base of operations for the new campaign I had been planning all winter. I “put up” at a public house kept by a man who was known in the region round about as the “Boston Yankee,” for he migrated from Boston to New Jersey and was doing a thriving business at hotel keeping in Oxford. What a thorough good-fellow he was will presently appear. I had been in the hotel four days and had become pretty intimate with the landlord before I ventured to make inquiries about what I was most anxious to learn; but finally I asked him if he knew the Scheimers over the river? He looked at me in a very comical way, and then broke out: