Page:Audubon and His Journals.djvu/61

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33
AUDUBON

on what he was pleased to call "his Safe Guard." I listened, it is true, but looked more at the heavens than on his face, and in the former found so much more of peace than of war that I concluded not to accompany him.

When our boats arrived at Henderson, he landed with me, purchased many horses, hired some men, and coaxed others, to accompany him, purchased a young negro from me, presented me with a splendid Spanish dagger and my wife with a ring, and went off overland toward Natchez, with a view of there gathering recruits.

I now purchased a ground lot of four acres, and a meadow of four more at the back of the first. On the latter stood several buildings, an excellent orchard, etc., lately the property of an English doctor, who had died on the premises, and left the whole to a servant woman as a gift, from whom it came to me as a freehold. The pleasures which I have felt at Henderson, and under the roof of that log cabin, can never be effaced from my heart until after death. The little stock of goods brought from Louisville answered perfectly, and in less than twelve months I had again risen in the world. I purchased adjoining land, and was doing extremely well when Thomas Bakewell came once more on the tapis, and joined me in commerce. We prospered at a round rate for a while, but unfortunately for me, he took it into his brain to persuade me to erect a steam-mill at Henderson, and to join to our partnership an Englishman of the name of Thomas Pears, now dead.

Well, up went the steam-mill at an enormous expense, in a country then as unfit for such a thing as it would be now for me to attempt to settle in the moon. Thomas Pears came to Henderson with his wife and family of children, the mill was raised, and worked very badly. Thomas Pears lost his money and we lost ours.

It was now our misfortune to add other partners and petty agents to our concern; suffice it for me to tell you, nay, to assure you, that I was gulled by all these men. The new-born Kentucky banks nearly all broke in quick succession; and again we started with a new set of partners; these were your present uncle N. Ber-