After I had been in Port Jervis three or four days I matured a plan that had long been forcing in my mind, and that was, to try and see Sarah Scheimer once more, or at least to find out something about her and about our son. The boy, if he was living, must be about ten years of age. I had never seen him; nor, since the night when I was taken out of bed and carried to the Easton jail had I ever seen Sarah, or even heard from her, except by the message the Methodist minister brought to me from her the day after I was released from jail. In the long interval I had married the Newark widow, and had served a brief term in the New Jersey State prison for doing it; I had married Mary Gordon, in New Hampshire, and had run away, not only from her, but from constables and the prison in that state; the mock marriage with the Rutland woman at Troy, and the altogether too real marriage with the Montpelier milliner had followed; I had spent three wretched years in the Vermont prison at Windsor; and numerous other exciting adventures had checkered my career. What had happened to Sarah and her son during all this while? There was not a week in the whole time since our sudden separation when I had not thought of Sarah; and now I was near her old home, with means at my command, leisure on my hands, and I was determined to know something about her and the child.
So long a time had elapsed and I was so changed in my personal appearance that I had little fear of being recognized by any one in Pennsylvania or the adjoining part of New Jersey, who would molest me. The old matters must have been pretty much forgotten by all but the very few who were immediately interested in them. It was safe to make the venture at all events, and, I resolved to make the venture to see and learn what I could.
I had the idea in my mind that if Sarah was alive and well, and free, I should be able to induce her to fulfil her promise to come to me, and that we might go somewhere and settle down and live happily together. At any rate, I would try to see her and our child.
I did not communicate a word of all this to my son Henry. I told him I was going to New Jersey to visit some friends, to look for business, and I would like to have him accompany me. He consented; I hired a horse and carriage, and one bright morning we started. I had no friends to visit, no business to do, except to see Sarah-the dearest and best-loved of all my wives.
When we reached Water Gap I found an old acquaintance in the landlord of the hotel, and I told him where I was going, and what I hoped to do. He knew the Scheimers, knew all that had happened eleven years before, and he told me that Sarah had married again, seven years ago, and was the mother of two more children. She lived on a farm, half a mile from Oxford, and her husband who had married her for her money, and had been urged upon her by her parents, was a shiftless, worthless, drunken fellow. The boy-my boy-was alive and well, and was with his mother.