Returning to Sidney I learned that my first and worst wife was then living with the children at Unadilla, a few miles across the river in Otsego County. I had no desire to see her, but I heard at the same time that my youngest boy, a lad ten years old, had been sent to work on a farm three miles beyond, and that he was not well taken care of. I drove over to see about it, and after some inquiry I was told that the boy was then in school. Going to the schoolhouse and asking for him, the school-mistress, who knew me, denied that he was there, but I pushed in, and found him, and a ragged, miserable looking little wretch he was. I brought him out, put him into the carriage and took him with me on the journey which I was then contemplating to Amsterdam, N. Y., stopping at the first town to get him decently clothed. The boy went with me willingly, indeed he was glad to go, and in due time we arrived at Amsterdam, and from there we went to Troy.
I had not been in Troy two hours before I was arrested for stealing my own horse and buggy! My turnout was taken from me, and I found myself in durance vile. I was not long in procuring bail, and I then set myself, to work to find out what this meant. I was shown a handbill describing my person, giving my name, giving a description of my horse, and offering a reward of fifty dollars for my arrest. This was signed by a certain Benson, of Kingston, Sullivan County, N.Y. I then remembered that while I was traveling with my insane patient from Montgomery through Sullivan County, I fell in with a Benson who was a very plausible fellow, and who scraped acquaintance with me, and while I was at Kingston he rode about with me on one or two occasions. One day he told me that he knew a girl just out of the place who was subject to fits, and wanted to know if I could do anything for her; that her father was rich and would pay a good price to have her cured. I went to see the girl and did at least enough to earn a fee of one hundred dollars, which her father gladly paid me. Benson also introduced me to some other people whom I found profitable patients. I thought he was a very good friend to me, but he was a cool, calculating rascal. He meant to rob me of my horse and buggy, and went deliberately to work about it. First, he issued the handbill which caused my arrest in Troy, where he knew I was going. Next, as appeared when he came up to Troy to prosecute the suit against me, he forged a bill of sale. The case was tried and decided in my favor. Benson appealed, and again it was decided that the horse belonged to me. I then had him indicted for perjury and forgery, and he was put under bonds of fourteen hundred dollars in each case to appear for trial. Some how or other he never appeared, and whether he forfeited his bonds, or otherwise slipped through the “meshes of the law,” I never learned, nor have I ever seen him since he attempted to swindle me. But these proceedings kept me in Troy more than a month, and to pay my lawyer and other expenses, I actually sold the horse and buggy the scoundrel tried to steal from me.