Land of Goshen, Part Three
7 November 1905
Excerpt from the daily records of Dr. Harold Price, of Allegheny City, Penna. (now part of Pittsburgh)
My first visit after lunch was the Reverend Liam Halzberg, and the nature of the case was so bizarre that I feel it deserves special consideration. It seems he had received concerns about Miss Joanna Wozniak and her strange visitor. I confessed to the Reverend that I had heard of this affair, and was quite under the impression the Injun fancied himself a suitor, though I had no knowledge of the lady’s opinion on the matter and liked to think she was above such foolish notions.
The Reverend, of course, felt it his duty to appraise the lady’s fidelity, and to ensure the lad had no aims at abusing her charity. She confided to the Reverend, and he in myself, that she had had no improper relations with the man, that she was trying to help him recover from some unknown trauma, and that she would appreciate the faith and assistance of those who feel more comfortable speaking about her than to her. I do not know the wording she used, but it is clear that it was delivered in a manner the Reverend found distasteful.
But then came the injury. Concerned that Miss Wozniak was keeping something of the matter, he went in search of the Injun, who was taking a rest at a creek running through the estate. He reports that the man appeared to be in something of a trance, and when he attempted to speak with him in a level tone, he did not answer. The Reverend recounts that he then raised his voice and repeated his concern, that the man be not misguided about any lasting benefits from his situation, and appeared to have won the man’s attention. But when the man started muttering in some dark, unknown language at the Reverend, the latter grew afraid that he was responding with a curse.
The Reverend tells me he then grabbed the man’s shoulders and demanded consideration of his words, whereupon the latter threw the Reverend across the creek! When I met with the Reverend, who left the estate quickly and in a daze, his arm was broken, his side and leg bruised, and his clothing torn from the rocks. I set his arm, of course, and praised his efforts to protect the young lady from such a beast, even at his own peril. Neither I nor the Reverend know whether it was the fall or the man who broke the arm, but we are convinced that Miss Wozniak is entertaining a dangerous savage, and will be spending the morrow ensuring that our neighbors keep a safe distance until this matter can be resolved.
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