So she made herself ready, got into the buggy, and we started for Scheimer’s. When we were well on the road I said to her:
“Now, Mary, attend carefully to what I say: you will need to be very cautious in breaking the news to Sarah that I am here; she has already suffered a great deal on my account, and may be very timid about my being in the neighborhood; but if she still loves me as you say she does, she will run any risk to see me, and, if I know her, she will be glad to go away with me. Now, this is what you must do; you must see her alone and tell her my plan; here, take this diamond ring; she knows it well; manage to let her see it on your finger; then tell her that if she is willing to leave home and marry me, I will be in the woods half a mile above her house to-morrow afternoon at 5 o’clock, with a horse and buggy ready to carry her to Belvidere. If she will not, or dare not come, give her the ring, and tell her we part, good friends, forever.”
It was a beautiful afternoon as we drove along the road. We talked about Sarah and old times, and I made her repeat my instructions over and over again and she promised to convey every word to Sarah. We neared Scheimer’s house about six o’clock, and when we were a little way from there I told Mary to get out, so as to excite no suspicions as to who I was; she did so, and I waited till I saw her go into the house, and then drove rapidly by towards the Belvidere bridge, and was safely at Oxford by nightfall. I told my friend, the landlord, what I had done, and he said that everything was well planned. He also promised to go with me next day to assist me if necessary, and, said he:
“If everything is all right, do you carry off the girl and I’ll walk up to Belvidere; but don’t bring Sarah this way-head toward Water Gap. When you’re married fast and sure, you can come back here as leisurely as you’re a mind to, and nobody can lay a hand upon you or her.”
We arranged some other minor details of our expedition and I went to bed.
The next afternoon at four o’clock I was at the appointed place, and Boston Yankee was with me. I did not look for Sarah before five o’clock, so we tied our horse and kept a good watch upon the road. An hour went by and no Sarah appeared. I told Boston Yankee I did not believe she would come.
“Don’t be impatient; wait a little longer,” said my friend.
In twenty minutes we saw emerge, not from Scheimer’s house, but from his eldest son’s house, which was still nearer to the place where we were waiting, three women, two of whom I recognized as Sarah and Mary, and the third I did not know, nor could I imagine why she was with the other two; but as I saw them, leaving Boston Yankee in the woods, I drove the horse down into the road. As Sarah drew near she kissed her hand to me and came up to the wagon. “Are you ready to go with me?” I asked. “I am, indeed,” was her reply, and I put out my hand to help her into the buggy. But the third woman caught hold of her dress, tried to prevent her from getting in, and began to scream so as to attract attention at Sarah’s brother’s house. I told the woman to let her go, and threatened her with my whip. “Get away,” shouted Boston Yankee, who had come upon the scene. “Drive as fast as you can; never mind if you kill the horse.”