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Page:Ornithological biography, or an account of the habits of the birds of the United States of America, volume 1.djvu/210

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MEADVILLE.


The incidents that occur in the life of a student of nature, are not all of the agreeable kind, in proof of which, I shall present you, good reader, with an extract from one of my journals.

My money was one day stolen from me by a person, who perhaps imagined that to a naturalist it was of little importance. This happened on the shores of Upper Canada. The affair was as unexpected as it well could be, and as adroitly managed as if it had been planned and executed in Cheapside. To have repined when the thing could not be helped, would certes not have been acting manfully. I therefore told my companion to keep a good heart, for I felt satisfied that Providence had some relief in store for us. The whole amount of cash left with two individuals fifteen hundred miles from home, was just seven dollars and a-half. Our passage across the lake had fortunately been paid for. We embarked and soon got to the entrance of Presque Isle Harbour, but could not pass the bar, on account of a violent gale which came on as we approached it. The anchor was dropped, and we remained on board during the night, feeling at times very disagreeable, under the idea of having taken so little care of our money. How long we might have remained at anchor I cannot tell, had not that Providence, on whom I have never ceased to rely, come to our aid. Through some means to me quite unknown, Captain Judd of the United States Navy, then probably commandant at Presque Isle, sent a gig with six men to our relief. It was on the 29th of August 1824, and never shall I forget that morning. My drawings were put into the boat with the greatest care. We shifted into it, and seated ourselves according to directions politely given us. Our brave fellows pulled hard, and every moment brought us nearer to the American shore. I leaped upon it with elated heart. My drawings were safely landed, and for any thing else I cared little at the moment. I searched in vain for the officer of our navy, to whom I still feel grateful, and gave one of our dollars to the sailors to drink the "freedom of the waters;" after which we betook ourselves to a humble inn to procure bread and milk, and consider how we were to proceed.

Our plans were soon settled, for to proceed was decidedly the best. Our luggage was rather heavy, so we hired a cart to take it to Meadville, for which we offered five dollars. This sum was accepted, and we