Two of my patients in Paris, Maine, had each given me a good horse in payment for my attendance upon them and their families, and for what medicines I had furnished, and I took these horses with me to sell in Boston. I drove them down, putting a good supply of medicines in my wagon to sell in towns on the way, and when I arrived in Boston sold out the establishment, getting one hundred and twenty-five dollars for the wagon, three hundred dollars for one horse, and four hundred dollars for the other-a pretty good profit on my time and medicine for the two patients-and I brought with me besides about eighteen hundred dollars, the net result, above my living expenses, of about three months’ business in Maine, and what I had done on the way down through Massachusetts. I am thus minute about this money because it now devolves upon me to show what sort of a family of children my first and worst wife had brought up.
Of these children by my first marriage, my eldest son Henry, since he had grown up, had been with me nearly as much as he had been with his mother, and I loved him as I did my life. Since he became of age, at such times when I was not in prison, or otherwise unavoidably separated from him, we had been associated in business, and had traveled and lived together. I knew all about him; but of the rest of the children I knew next to nothing. Shortly after I sold my horses, one day I was in my room at the hotel, when word was brought to me that some one in the parlor wanted to see me.
I went down and found a young man, about twenty-one years of age, who immediately came to me addressing me as “father,” and he then presented a young woman, about two years older than he was, as his sister and my daughter. I had not seen this young gentleman since the time when I had carried him off from school and from the farmer to whom he was bound, and had clothed him and taken him with me to Amsterdam and Troy, subsequently sending him to my half-sister at Sidney. The ragged little lad, as I found him, had grown up into a stout, good-looking young man; but I had no difficulty in recognizing him, though I was much at loss to know the precise object of this visit; so after shaking hands with them, and asking then how they were, I next inquired what they wanted?
Well, they had been to see Henry, and he was a great deal better.
I told them I was very glad to hear it, and that I was then on my way to visit him, and hoped to see him in a few days, as soon as I could finish my business in Boston; if Henry was as well as they reported I should bring him away with me.
“But if you are busy here,” said my young man, “we can save you both time and trouble. We will go to Henry again and settle his bills for board and other expenses, and will bring him with us to you at this hotel.”
This, at the time, really seemed to me a kindly offer; it would enable me to stay in Boston and attend to business I had to do, and Henry would come there with his brother and sister in a day or two. I at once assented to the plan, and taking my well-filled pocket-book from the inside breast pocket of my coat, I counted out two hundred and fifty dollars and gave them to the young man to pay Henry’s board, doctor’s and other bills, and the necessary car fares for the party. They then left me and started, as I supposed, to go after Henry.