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Page:Memoirs of Henry Villard, volume 1.djvu/115

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CHAPTER VI


The Lincoln-Douglas Debates.—1858


MAN is the creature of habit, and though the experiences through which I had passed at Jonestown were anything but congenial, I was almost loath to change my peaceful, careless existence for the more active life I really desired. It was evident that I had made many friends who were sorry at my departure, and I did not part from them without sincere regret. The Umberger family all cried when I took leave. I promised them and others to visit Jonestown again soon; but, alas! though I have all along intended to do so, circumstances have always prevented my revisiting the scene of my first and last attempt at teaching up to this writing — that is, during the thirty-eight years that have elapsed since I left. I suppose I should now hardly find any of my acquaintances among the living.[1]

I departed from Jonestown just twenty-three years old, with a moderately replenished wardrobe, about sixty dollars in my pocket, and fifty more due me from the Staats-Zeitung. This was all I had in the world except splendid health, eagerness for work, and fully regained and unbounded confidence in myself. I went directly to New York, determined to try once more for regular journalistic employment. I was more fortunate this time than in the previous fall. On calling at the office of the Staats-Zeitung and sending in my name to the publisher, Oswald Ottendorfer, I was at once invited into his private office. He received me very cordially, complimented me on my

  1. Jonestown was revisited by Mr. Villard in company with his son Oswald in the spring of 1897. All, in fact, whom he had known had disappeared.