“I left behind me in New York,” he said, “my parents and brothers and sisters.
They are poor, and were in more or less need when I left them in 1829.
I vowed that I would come West
, make a fortune, and go back to help them.
I am going to start now and intend, if I can, to bring them with me on my return to Illinois
and place them on my farm.”
He expressed a sense of deep satisfaction in being able to clear up all mysteries which might have formed in the mind of her to whom he confided his love.
He would keep nothing, he said, from her. They were engaged to be married, and she should know it all. The change of his name was occasioned by the fear that if the family in New York had known where he was they would have settled down on him, and before he could have accumulated any property would have sunk him beyond recovery.
Now, however, he was in a condition to help them, and he felt overjoyed at the thought.
As soon as the journey to New York could be made he would return.
Once again in New Salem he and his fair one could consummate the great event to which they looked forward with undisguised joy and unbounded hope.
Thus he explained to Anne the purpose of his journey — a story with some remarkable features, all of which she fully believed.
“She would have believed it all the same if it had been ten times as increditible.
A wise man would have rejected it with scorn, but the girl's instinct was a better guide, and McNamar
proved to be all that ”