But I must have something to do for my daily support, and so I went to work and very soon sold some medicines and recipes, and secured a few patients. I also visited the adjoining villages, and in a few weeks I had a very good practice. I might have lived here quietly and made money. Nobody knew anything of my former history, my marriages or my misfortunes, and I was doing well, with a daily increasing business. And so I went on for nearly three months, gaining new acquaintances, and extending my practice every day.
Then came the old tempter in a new form, and my matrimonial monomania, which I hoped was cured forever, broke out afresh. One day, at the public house where I lived, I saw a fine girl from New Hampshire, with whom I became acquainted—so easily, so far as she was concerned—that I ought to have been warned to have nothing to do with her; but, as usual, in such cases, my common sense left me, and I was infatuated enough to fancy that I was in love.
Mary Gordon was the daughter of a farmer living near Keene, N. H., and was a handsome girl about twenty years of age. She was going, she told me, to visit some friends in Bennington, and would be there about a month, during which time, if I was in that vicinity, she hoped I would come and see her. We parted very lovingly, and when she had been in Bennington a few days she wrote to me, setting a time for me to visit her; but in business in Brattleboro was too good to leave, and I so wrote to her. Whereupon, in another week, she came back to Brattleboro and proposed to finish the remainder of her visit there, thus blinding her friends at home who would think she was all the while at Bennington.
Our brief acquaintance when she was at the house before, attracted no particular attention, and when she came now I told the landlord that she was my cousin, and he gave her a room and I paid her bills. The cousin business was a full cover to our intimacy; she sat next to me at the table, rode about with me to see my patients, and when I went to places near by to sell medicine, and we were almost constantly together. Of course, we were engaged to be married, and that very soon.
In a fortnight after her arrival I went home with her to her father’s farm near Keene, and she told her mother that we were “engaged.” The old folks thought they would like to know me a little better, but she said we were old friends, she knew me thoroughly, and meant to marry me. There was no further objection on the part of her parents, and in the few days following she and her mother were busily engaged in preparing her clothes and outfit.