We have been placed in possession of the outlines of a strange story, which has almost too much Munchausen
about it to seem true, yet, we are informed, it is substantially correct. --In the summer of 1853, John Hardwick
, a poor mechanic of Pittsburg
, was induced, by the gold excitement then raging, to try his luck in the mines of California
He accordingly left his wife and two children behind and took passage around the horn for the El Dorado
.--On arriving there his money had given out, and he was obliged to go to work at a more pittance, to keep from starving.
He made his way, however, as fast as he could, and, having entered into partnership with another man, commenced the working of a claim.--Hardwick
prospered, and began to think that, at the end of the year, he would be able to go home with a large pile of dust.
Human calculations are sometimes wrong.
's calculations were wrong — for he was taken sick and came near death's door.
When he got well his partner had departed, and taken with him the earnings of both.
The poor man was almost discouraged.
He had been away from home eighteen months, and had sent nothing back to his family.
He wrote to his wife, giving her a true statement of his condition.
She never received the letter, and consequently he never received any letters, from her. Hardwick
went to work again, but the times grew hard and he earned but little.
He frequently wrote to his wife, but she, strange to say, never received a single line from him. It is needless to go through every particular of his history — suffice it to say, that, hearing nothing from his wife, he concluded that she was glad to get rid of him, and would not trouble herself to write to him. He therefore determined to stay in California
till he was rich, and then return to the Atlantic States
He set himself to work assiduously, and made money.
His business relations were such after a few years that he could not leave California
, but stayed and accumulated a handsome fortune.
In the meantime, Mrs. Hardwick
, thinking her husband was dead, after three years, married another and emigrated to St. Louis
Her name became Mathews
Her two children, of whom John Hardwick
was father, died, and all traces of John were obliterated, except from a very remote corner of her heart.
was a good wife to her second husband, so far as we can learn, and bore him two children.
was in the grocery trade, and throve well; but about a year ago he was taken sick with a fever and died, leaving Mrs. Mathews
and the children without a protector, as she thought, but with a snug income.
, tired of California
life, and tired of business, too, collected together his effects — which amounted to a nice fortune — and started for home by the overland route.
He arrived in this city two weeks ago, and remained a few days to rest before taking the cars for Pittsburg
One morning, while walking through Broadway market, Mr. Hardwick
saw a familiar face.
It was the first familiar face he had seen since he had left San Francisco
— and that face belonged to a woman.
He quickened his pace and came up to a stall where the lady was about to purchase a beefsteak.
's heart beat wildly beneath his waistcoat.
Could it be possible?
No. "What should Jane be doing in St. Louis
?" thought he. He was about to turn away, when the lady raised her head, and their eyes met.--"John Hardwick
, as sure as I am living!" exclaimed she. "Jane, is it you?" said John.--It proved to be both of them, and after mutual explanations, Mr. Hardwick
accompanied the lady home, carrying her market-basket for her. Two children met them at the door.
They were blue-eyed and rosy-cheeked — just like those John had left behind, and just as large — but they did not have features like John's.-- "What matters it," thought our hero--"my two children are dead, and these are sent to take their places — I will be a farther to them." Mr. John Hardwick
was as good as his word.
He helped Mrs. Mathews
"formerly Mrs Hardwick
, and destined to be again --to dispose of her property; then calling a clergyman, they had the matrimonial link tied again strong and fast.
In two days they started for the East
, where, we hope, in Pittsburg
or some other delightful town, they are enjoying at the meridian of life, another honeymoon as pleasant as the first.--St. Louis Bulletin,