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150 CHAPTER XXII. In which we all get to the end of the journey. the history of my adventures draws to its conclusion . I have not much more to tell, and that I will dispatch quickly. It was natural enough that the love which had its rise in my mind toward the young Quakeress, should take a course usual in such matters. But I forego the infliction of a courtship, on whoever has travelled with me thus far.—My attachment was returned; and, in a few months after the last of the events already recorded, Violet, much to her satisfaction , gave my wedding supper to a few choice friends. The investigations of Wigglesworth had been so thorough , and he had so completely noted down, with date and volume and page, and every other particular, the links in the chain of evidence to substantiate the truth of Martha’s rights, and of the history, as far as was needed in law, that has been narrated in the foregoing chapters—of the father and his death, together with his will and disposition of his property—all these were so minutely detailed, and substan- 151 tiated by references to authentic records of the courts, and other unquestionable data, that we found no difficulty in settling the whole matter to our satisfaction. Martha had no near relative; and the few distant ones of whom she had heard, after her being taken charge of by Mrs. Covert, who seems to have been the very antipodes of her husband,—even those far-away connections had lost sight of her, and she was left to depend much upon the good lady who, through her most helpless years, acted as her best friend and protector. The very means which the lawyer had hit upon to carry out his own wicked designs, proved ultimately to be in our favor. I allude to the turning of so much of Martha’s property into bonds and paper, as more convenient for transportation or concealment. The valuable bills and documents we had, in the manner before stated, secured possession of. That Covert made no attempt against his former ward, after her flight, is not perhaps surprising. He knew that she now had devoted friends; and that a legal investigation would result in an unavoidable exposure not at all to his credit. Besides, this would in all likelihood draw in its train other investigations and exposures, involving his schemes in conjunction with Ferris. To dismiss him here, I will add, that from his distant Canada residence we never had any positive intelligence of him; and were satisfied best that it was so. Inez, for the few days that Martha staid with her, showed 152 all her natural goodness and generosity. Was it stopped a little, when she saw, with female quickness, the sentiment that had grown up between Martha and myself? If so, it made no difference in her treatment of the Quakeress; and she was one of the liveliest of the merry company at my wedding supper.—Whether Mr. Thomas Peterson consoled the excellent and really fine-hearted girl, I cannot aver of my own knowledge; but it was evident that they rapidly became great friends with one another. With the advance of the season, too, Inez was busy in her preparations for a professional tour; she having engagements that way. This tour engrossed her time and attention, and proved, I understand, a very profitable one. Tom Peterson’s friendship—the noble and always welcome young man!—has not been lost to me by marriage. He is much engaged in his trade as a machinist, which he is enthusiastically fond of; and he has become invaluable to the proprietors of the large establishment where he was foreman. The establishment is now merged in the property of a company, with far greater capital, and the business much enlarged and perfected; Tom being advanced to a station of still greater confidence and trust, with a handsome salary to back it. Although this responsible post fills up his time pretty well, Tom finds leisure of a Sunday to come out in the stage to the cottage where we—for I cut any further connection with the law—have settled ourselves, at a little distance from the city—and where we spend the summer. 153 May your life be sunshiny, Tom Peterson, and the end of it a long while away! Ephraim Foster and Violet are well satisfied with all these developments; as, indeed, they are...


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