Page:Audubon and His Journals.djvu/71

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
41
AUDUBON

into the ocean, captured the bonnet, and had the good fortune to be picked up himself by the yawl. On reaching the deck he presented the bonnet with a graceful obeisance and perfect sang froid, while the rival looked at him as black as a raven. No more was heard of the matter till dawn, when reports of firearms were heard; the alarm was general, as we feared pirates. On gaining the deck it was found that a challenge had been given and accepted, a duel had positively taken place, ending, alas! in the death of the rescuer of the bonnet. The young lady felt this deeply, and indeed it rendered us all very uncomfortable."

The voyage ended, Audubon returned to Mill Grove, where he remained some little time before his marriage to Lucy Bakewell. It was a home he always loved, and never spoke of without deep feeling. His sensitive nature, romantic if you will, was always more or less affected by environment, and Mill Grove was a most congenial spot to him.

This beautiful estate in Montgomery Co., Pa., lies in a lovely part of the country. The house, on a gentle eminence, almost a natural terrace, overlooks, towards the west, the rapid waters of Perkiomen Creek, which just below empties into the Schuylkill river, across which to the south is the historic ground of Valley Forge. The property has remained in the Wetherill family nearly ever since Audubon sold it to Samuel Wetherill in 1813. The present owner[1] delights to treasure every trace of the bird lover, and not only makes no changes in anything that he can in the least degree associate with him, but has added many photographs and engravings of Audubon which adorn his walls.

The house, of the usual type of those days, with a hall passing through the centre and rooms on either side, was built of rubble-stone by Roland Evans in 1762, and in

  1. Mr. W. H. Wetherill, of Philadelphia.