Page:Audubon and His Journals.djvu/65

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35
AUDUBON

much injured in the wheels of the steam-engine), I stabbed him and he instantly fell. Old Mr. Berthoud and others, who were hastening to the spot, now came up, and carried him home on a plank. Thank God, his wound was not mortal, but his friends were all up in arms and as hot-headed as himself. Some walked through my premises armed with guns; my dagger was once more at my side, Mr. Berthoud had his gun, our servants were variously armed, and our carpenter took my gun "Long Tom." Thus protected, I walked into the Judiciary Court, that was then sitting, and was blamed, only,—for not having killed the scoundrel who attacked me.

The "bad establishment," as I called the steam-mill, worked worse and worse every day. Thomas Bakewell, who possessed more brains than I, sold his town lots and removed to Cincinnati, where he has made a large fortune, and glad I am of it.

From this date my pecuniary difficulties daily increased; I had heavy bills to pay which I could not meet or take up. The moment this became known to the world around me, that moment I was assailed with thousands of invectives; the once wealthy man was now nothing. I parted with every particle of property I held to my creditors, keeping only the clothes I wore on that day, my original drawings, and my gun.

Your mother held in her arms your baby sister Rosa, named thus on account of her extreme loveliness, and after my own sister Rosa. She felt the pangs of our misfortunes perhaps more heavily than I, but never for an hour lost her courage; her brave and cheerful spirit accepted all, and no reproaches from her beloved lips ever wounded my heart. With her was I not always rich?

Finally I paid every bill, and at last left Henderson, probably forever, without a dollar in my pocket, walked to Louisville alone, by no means comfortable in mind, there went to Mr. Berthoud's, where I was kindly received; they were indeed good friends.

My plantation in Pennsylvania had been sold, and, in a word, nothing was left to me but my humble talents. Were those talents to remain dormant under such exigencies? Was I to see my beloved Lucy and children suffer and want bread, in the