Hardscrabble; or, the fall of Chicago. a tale of Indian warfare eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 210 pages of information about Hardscrabble; or, the fall of Chicago. a tale of Indian warfare.
where, within five years, and by dint of mere exertion and industry, he amassed money enough to enable him to repair to Charleston, in South Carolina, and espouse a lady of considerable landed property, with whom he had formed a partial engagement, prior to his entering on that adventurous life.  The only fruit of this union was a daughter, and here, as far as fortune was concerned, they might have enjoyed every comfort in life, for Mrs. Heywood’s property was principally situated in the neighborhood, but her husband was of too restless a nature to content himself with a sedentary life.  He had at the outset embarked in commerce —­the experience of a few years, however, convincing him that he was quite unsuited to such pursuits, he had the good sense to abandon them before his affairs could be involved.  He next attempted the cultivation of the estate, but this failing to afford him the excitement he craved, he suddenly took leave of his family, and placing every thing under the control of a manager, once more obeyed the strong impulse, which urged him again to Kentucky.  Here, following as a passion the occupation of his earlier years, he passed several seasons, scarcely communicating during that period, with his amiable and gentle wife, for whom, however, as well as for his daughter—­now fifteen years of age, and growing rapidly into womanhood —­he was by no means wanting in affection.  Nor was his return home then purely a matter of choice.  Although neither quarrelsome nor dissipated in his habits, he had had the misfortune to kill, in a duel, a young lawyer of good family who had accompanied him to Kentucky, and had consequently fled.  Great exertions were made by the relatives of the deceased to have him arrested on the plea that the duel, the result of a tavern dispute, had been unfair on the part of the survivor.  As there was some slight ground for this charge, the fact of Mr. Heywood’s flight afforded increased presumption of his guilt, and such was the publicity given to the matter by his enemies, that the rumor soon reached Charleston, and finally, the ears of his family.

Revealing, in this extremity, his true position to his wife, Mr. Heywood declared it to be his intention either to cross the sea, or to bury himself forever in the remotest civilized portion of their own continent, leaving her however, to the undisturbed possession of the property she had brought him, which would of course descend to their child.

But Mrs. Heywood would not listen to the proposal.  Although she had much to complain of, and to pain her, all recollection of the past faded from her memory, when she beheld her husband in a position of danger, and even in some degree of humiliation, for she was not ignorant that even in the eyes of people not over scrupulous, ineffaceable infamy attaches to the man, who, in a duel, aims with unfair deliberation at the life of his opponent; and anxious to satisfy herself that such a stain rested not on the father of her child, she conjured him to tell her if such really was the case.  He solemnly denied the fact, although he admitted there were certain appearances against him, which, slight as they were, his enemies had sought to deepen into proofs—­and in the difficulty of disproving these lay his chief embarrassment.

Project Gutenberg
Hardscrabble; or, the fall of Chicago. a tale of Indian warfare from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook