Page:Audubon and His Journals.djvu/78

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48
AUDUBON

and being industrious both by nature and habit I produced a great number of those black-chalk sketches."[1] This carried him on for some months, but the curse, or blessing, of the "wandering foot" was his, and as soon as money matters were a little ahead, off he went again to the forests. It was during these years, that is from 1811 to 1819, that many months were passed hunting with the Indians, the Osage tribe being the one whose language Audubon spoke. Late in life he wrote: "Of all the Indian tribes I know, the Osage are by far the superior." With them he delighted to track the birds and quadrupeds as only an Indian or one of like gifts, can; from them he learned much woodcraft; with them he strengthened his already iron constitution; and in fearlessness, endurance, patience, and marvellously keen vision, no Indian surpassed him.

He had a wonderful gift of making and retaining friends, and even in these days of poverty and depression he never seemed too poor to help others; and certainly from others he received much kindness, which he never ceased to remember and acknowledge. Through one of these friends - I believe a member of the Tarascon family - he was offered a position in the Museum at Cincinnati. Without delay, or any written agreement, Audubon and his family were again (1818) in new surroundings, and the work being congenial, he entered heartily into it with Mr. Robert Best. The promised salary was large, but being never paid Audubon began drawing classes to support his modest household. In Cincinnati he first met Mr. Daniel Mallory (whose second daughter afterwards married Victor G. Audubon) and Captain Samuel Cummings. This latter gentleman had many tastes similar to Audubon's, and later went with him to New Orleans.

The life at Cincinnati was one of strict economy. Mrs. Audubon was a woman of great ability and many re-

  1. Of these many sketches few can be traced, and none purchased.