Page:A New England Tale.djvu/113

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
102
A NEW-ENGLAND TALE.

after we got to our journey's end; there was a distemper among the cattle the next winter, and we lost the other ox and our cow. In the spring, Rufus took the long ague, working out in the swampy ground in wet weather, and that held him fifteen months; but he had made some clearings, and we worried through; and for three years we seemed to be getting along ahead a little. Then we both took the lake fever; we had neither doctor nor nurse; our nighest neighbours were two miles off; they were more fore-handed than we, and despot kind, but it was not much they could do, for they had a large sick family of their own. The fever threw my poor husband into a slow consumption, and he died, ma'am, the 20th of last January, and that poor baby was born the next week after he died. It seemed as if nothing could kill me, though I have a weakness in my bones 'casioned by the fever, and distress of mind, that I expect to carry to my grave with me. Sometimes my children and I would almost starve to death, but Providence always sent some relief. Once there was a missionary put up with us; he looked like a poor body, but he left me two dollars; and once a Roman Catholic priest, that was passing over into Canada, gave me a gold piece, and that I saved, till I started on my journey. While my husband was sick, be had great consarn upon his mind about Squire Elton's note; we had heard rumours like that he had broke; but Rufus nor I could not believe but what there would be enough to pay the note, out of all his grandeur,