"He returned home with the letter, and started for L----; went there the
same day, some forty miles; found sleigh and harness safe, with no
encumbrance. The landlord informed him that, a few nights before, at
twelve o'clock, a man calling himself John Cotton came to his house,
calling for horse-baiting and supper; would not stay till morning, but
wished to leave the sleigh and harness for Mr. S.--- P.--- of
Marshfield, Vt. He said he could not write himself; and requested the
landlord to write for him, saying he took them on a poor debt for Mr.
P., in one of the towns below! He started off at two o'clock at night,
on horseback, with an old pair of saddle-bags and a horse blanket, on a
saddle with one stirrup and no crupper, on one of the coldest nights of
that or any other year. He took the road leading through the Notch in
the mountains, left nothing for either of those he owed, and we have
never since heard from him."