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Tuesday, 15 September, 1830

Have rode much today and have felt quite unpleasant. Last night, about eleven o'clock, I was out in a severe thunderstorm. Whoever has had no experience under such circumstances are ill able to form an adequate idea of the sensations produced when enveloped in darness in the depth of thick woods which seem to dread the approaching storm and appear standing motionless listening to low rumbling and melancholy sound of the distant clouds. Not a motion, not even a leaf moves. All stand in apparent dread, meditating on the chances of escape from the dreaded grasp of the coming enemy. Even my horse appeared sensible that something unpleasant was near at hand. Yet how patient and faithful, steady, moving toward home amid the darkness not once losing the gloomy path. I now can discover by the more distinct sound and sooner after each vivid flash of lightning that the storm is fast gaining on me. Seven miles from home. No shelter. No hope of escape, but must be content to take my chance amidst the forest. I now hear the distant roar as the storm sweeps among the distant trees, and now can see the clear white streak below the dark black that hangs over my head.

I descend into a vale, dark and most horrid, dependent entirely on the noble animal to conduct me in the road. I cannot even see the least thing, and the sound of my horse's feet on the flinty pavement gives me pleasure, as it indicates I am yet in the road. Now the leaves begin to move in hollowed mourning and here and there a few large drops are heard falling. I am now surrounded by high hills on every side and the darkness can almost be felt. The wind has now reached within a few rods of me. I hear the tornado. Now it had reached the dark vale in which I am. Gladly moving toward that dear place, home.

Now and then a few large drops can be heard touching some pendent limbs. How fast they increase, and each moment bigger with destruction. Now the sharp peals of thunder instantly follow each flash of the electric fluid. Nothing can now be heard but the roar of the wind as it rushes furiously among the branches of the trees, many of which are unable to stand the violence and are hurled to the ground.

I feel myself surrounded by danger and unable to move to a place of more apparent safety. Such are the moments when the mind must resort to Him who made and directs the tempests. We then apply to the only source of help, the Omniscient Being who can protect as well in the wilderness and amid the storm as in the palace and free from any ostensible danger.

The storm has now abated in its violence. I am drenched with rain; feel thankful that I have escaped unhurt and at last have arrived "dear hut, home."