A true wife and home, at last.
Where were all my wives?-Sense
of security-an imprudent
acquaintance-moving from Maine-my property in Rensselaer county-how
I lived-selling A recipe-about buying A carpet-nineteen law-suits-
sudden departure for the west-A vagabond for two years-life in
California-return to the east-divorce from my first wife-A genuine
marriage-my farm-home at last.
I remained in Maine nearly two years, hardly ever going out of the State, except occasionally to Boston on business. Making Augusta my residence and headquarters, I practiced in Portland and in nearly all the towns and cities in the eastern part of the State. During all this time, I behaved myself, in all respects better than I had ever before done in any period of my life. I began to look upon myself as a reformed man; I had learned to let liquor alone, and was consequently in far less, indeed, next to no danger of stepping into the traps in which my feet had been so often caught. I may as well confess it—it was intoxicating liquor, and that mainly, which had led me into my various mad marrying schemes and made me the matrimonial monomaniac and lunatic lover that I was for years. What my folly, my insanity caused me to suffer, these pages have attempted to portray. I had grown older, wiser, and certainly better. I now only devoted myself strictly to my business, and I found profit as well as pleasure in doing it.
What had become of all my wives in the meantime, I scarcely knew and hardly cared. Of course from time to time I had heard more or less about them-at least, a rumor of some sort now and then reached me. About my first and worst wife, at intervals I heard something from Henry, who was still with her, and who frequently wrote to me when he was well enough to do so. Margaret Bradley and Eliza Gurnsey were still carrying on the millinery business in Rutland, and in Montpelier, and were no doubt weaving other and new webs in hopes of catching fresh flies. Mary Gordon, as I learned soon afterwards, was married almost before I had fairly escaped from New Hampshire in my flight to Canada, and she had gone to California with her new husband. Of the Newark widow I knew nothing; but two years of peace, quiet, and freedom from molestation in Maine had made me feel quite secure against any present or future trouble from my past matrimonial misadventures.
I was living in Maine, prudently I think under an assumed name, and as the respectable, and, to my patients and customers, well-known Doctor Blank, I was scarcely liable to be recognized at any time or by any one as the man who had married so many wives, been in so many jails and prisons, and whose exploits had been detailed from time to time in the papers.