of Mentor Graham
, a pedagogue of local renown whose name is frequently met with in these pages, and who flourished in and around New Salem from 1829 to 1860.
fell deeply in love with the school-girl — she was then only seventeen--and paid her the usual unremitting attentions young lovers of that age had done before him and are still doing today.
His partner in the store, Samuel Hill
, a young man of equal force of character, who afterwards amassed a comfortable fortune, and also wielded no little influence as a local politician, laid siege to the heart of this same attractive maiden, but he yielded up the contest early.
Anne rejected him, and he dropped from the race.
had clear sailing from this time forward.
He was acquiring property and money day by day. As one of the pioneers puts it, “Men were honest then, and paid their debts at least once a year.
The merchant surrounded by a rich country suffered little from competition.
As he placed his goods on the shelf he added an advance of from seventy-five to one hundred and fifty per cent over cost price, and thus managed to get along.”
After “managing” thus for several years, McNeil
, having disposed of his interest in the store to Hill
, determined to return to New York, his native State, for a visit.
He had accumulated up to this time, as near as we can learn, ten or possibly twelve thousand dollars. Before leaving he made to Anne a singular revelation.
He told her the name McNeil
was an assumed one; that his real name was McNamar