But a few days went on and I saw and heard nothing of Henry. At last word came to me one day that some one down stairs wanted to see me and I told the servant to send him to my room, hoping that it might be Henry. But no; it was my young man, of whom I instantly demanded:
“Where is your brother, whom you were to bring to me a week ago? What have you done with the money I gave you for his bills?”
“I hadn’t been near Henry; sister has gone home; and I’ve spent the money on a spree, every cent of it, here in Boston, and I want more.”
“Want more!” I exclaimed in blank amazement:
“Yes, more; and if you don’t give it to me, I’ll follow you wherever you go, and tell people all I know about you.”
“You scoundrel,” said I, “you come here and rob, not me, but your poor, sick brother, and then return and attempt to black-mail me. Get out of my sight this instant.”
He sprung on me, and made a desperate effort to get my money out of my pocket. We had a terrible struggle. He was younger and stronger than I was, and as I felt that I was growing weaker I called out loudly for help and shouted “Murder!”
The landlord himself came running into the room; I succeeded in tearing myself away, from the grasp of my assailant, and the landlord felled him to the floor with a chair. He then ran to the door and called to a servant to bring a policeman.
“No, don’t!” I exclaimed; “Don’t arrest the villain, for I can make no complaint against him—he is my son!”
But the landlord was bound to have some satisfaction out of the affair; so he dragged the young man into the hall and kicked him from the top of the stairs to the bottom, where, as soon as he had picked himself up, a convenient servant kicked him out into the street. I have never set eyes on my young man since his somewhat sudden departure from that hotel.
And when I went to visit my poor Henry a day or two afterwards, I can hardly say that I was surprised, though I was indignant to learn that his brother and sister had never been near him at all since he had been in Massachusetts. They knew where and how he was from his letter’s to his mother; they knew, too, from the same letters-for I had notified Henry-at what time I would be in Boston, and with this information they had come on to swindle me. I have no doubt, when the young man came the second time to rob me, he would have murdered me, if the landlord had not come to my assistance. And this was the youngest son of my first and worst wife!!
I found Henry in better condition than I expected, and I took him back with me to Augusta. I did not tell him of his brother’s attempt to rob and kill. Me-it would have been too great a shock for him. He stayed with me only a few days and then, complaining of being homesick, he went to visit his mother again.