Page:Audubon and His Journals.djvu/76

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46
AUDUBON

knew, who had come to purchase salt. I felt no fatigue, ate heartily, slept soundly without being rocked, and having come forty miles had only forty-seven more to walk to reach my home. Early next morning I pursued my way; the ferry boat took me from Illinois to Kentucky, and as night came I found myself with my wife beside me, my child on my knee."

The time from now till 1819 was the most disastrous period of Audubon's life, as regarded his finances. With his brother-in-law, Thomas W. Bakewell, he engaged in various ventures in which, whatever others did, he lost money at every turn. The financial affairs of Kentucky were, it is true, not on a very sound basis, but Audubon frankly acknowledges the fault in many cases was his own. Thomas W. Bakewell was often in New Orleans, where they had a mercantile establishment, and Audubon spent not only days, but weeks and months, at his favorite pursuits. On his journeys to Philadelphia to procure goods he wandered miles in all directions from the main route; when in Henderson he worked, at times, very hard in the mill, for, indeed, he never did anything except intensely; but the cry of the wild geese overhead, the sound of the chattering squirrel, the song of the thrush, the flash of the humming-bird with its jewelled throat, were each and all enough to take him from work he hated as he never hated anything else.

When first in Henderson he bought land, and evidently had some idea of remaining there permanently; for, "on March 16, 1816, he and Mr. Bakewell took a ninety-five years' lease of a part of the river front between First and Second Sts., intending to erect a grist and saw mill, which mill was completed in 1817, and yet stands, though now incorporated in the factory of Mr. David Clark. The weather-boarding whip-sawed out of yellow poplar is still intact on three sides, the joists are of unhewn logs, and the foundation walls of pieces of flat broken rock are four