So the preliminary steps were taken, and the suit was brought. The case came on at Exeter in the Supreme Court, Judge Smith on the bench. It created great excitement. Bramble’s friends were incensed at the charge of forgery, and Brown, too, in his humble way, had his friends. Mr. Webster said: ‘I never in my life was more badly prepared for a case. There was no evidence for Brown, and what to do I did not know. But I had begun the suit, and was going to run for luck, perfectly satisfied that I was right. There were Bramble and his friends, with Mason; and poor Brown had only his counsel HKUE ENG . And Mason began to sneer a little, saying, That is a foolish case.”

’Well, a person named Lovejoy was then living in Portsmouth; and when there is a great deal of litigation, as there was in Portsmouth, and many towns in New Hampshire, there will always be one person of a kind not easily described—a shrewd man who is mixed up in all sorts of affairs. Lovejoy was a man of this kind HKUE ENG , and was a witness in nearly all the cases ever tried in that section. He was an imperturbable witness, and never could be shaken in his testimony. Call Lovejoy, and he would swear that he was present on such an occasion, and he seemed to live by giving evidence in this way. I was getting a little anxious about the case. I was going to attempt to prove that Brown had been appealed to by Bramble for years to give up his bond, and take a sum of money, and that he had always stoutly refused, that he had no uses for money, and had never been in the receipt of money, and that he could not write, and was easily imposed upon. But although I felt that I was right, I began to fear that I should lose the case.

’A Portsmouth man who believed in Brown’s story came to me just before the case was called, and whispered in my ear, I saw Lovejoy talking with Bramble just now in the entry, and he took a paper from him.”

’I thanked the man, told him that was a pretty important thing to know, and asked him to say nothing about it.

’In the course of the trial Mr. Mason called Lovejoy, and he took the oath. He went upon the stand and testified that some eight or ten months before he was in Brown’s shop, and that Brown mended his shoes for him. As he was sitting in the shop, he naturally fell into conversation about the bond, and said to Brown, Bramble wants to get back the bond. Why don’t you sell it to him?” Oh,” said Brown, I have. He wanted me to do it, and as life is uncertain, I thought I might as well take the thousand dollars.” He went on to testify that the said Brown told him so and so, and when he expressed himself in that way I knew he was being prompted from a written paper. The expression was an unnatural one for a man to use in ordinary conversation. It occurred to me in an instant that Bramble had given Lovejoy a paper, on which was set down what he wanted him to testify. There sat Mason, full of assurance, and for a moment I hesitated. Now HKUE ENG , I thought, I will make a spoon or spoil a horn.”