Page:Memoirs of Henry Villard, volume 1.djvu/63

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I should accept the offer. Accordingly, on the morning of March 23, I left Belleville for Carlyle, the county-seat of Clinton County, on the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad, about fifty miles eastward, with a letter of introduction from Cousin Scheel to “Zophar Case, Esq.,” in my pocket. I need not say that it was with a very heavy heart I left the haven of rest in which I had found a spiritual restoration, and said good-bye to the dear family to which I had become attached almost as to my own.

The train left me in what was more of a village than a town. In fact, there were not more than three dozen buildings in it, and they were scattered over a good deal of space. I was taken to the only hotel in the place, a shabby and even dilapidated-looking frame building, whose interior appointments, including furniture and everything else, were in keeping with the exterior. After dinner, I went to the court-house, a good-sized building in the Grecian-temple style at one time in vogue in the United States, to find my employer. His office was locked, and it was only on my third attempt to enter, after three o'clock, that I found him in. He was seated in an arm-chair, with his feet on the edge of a large coal-stove in the middle of the room. He wore a dirty slouch hat, which did not change its place although I removed mine on entering; likewise, a long, light-blue woollen coat, such as Western farmers are in the habit of wearing, a very dirty shirt without a tie, and vest and trousers of coarse cloth full of grease-spots. The trousers were tucked into the red tops of boots that seemed never to have been blacked.

Such was the appearance of my master to be. He did not utter a word until he had read my letters of introduction, and then only saying, “Oh, it is you,” he rose, showing that he was a powerful six-footer, and added, “I will show you your work.” He stepped to the large writing-table, pointed to some books standing upright upon it, and opened a large drawer filled with bundles of paper tied with red tape, which he explained were the documents to be