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the Reverend Dr. Parkman, the brother of the
deceased. "On Sunday," said the reverend gentleman
at a later period, "after my brother's
disappearance, we were in great perplexity and
distress. None of us went to church. I passed the
morning with my poor brother's family; and
after my return home, about four o'clock in the
afternoon, Dr. Webster came to my house. On
entering the parlour, almost without the
customary salutations, he said, 'I come to tell you
that I saw your brother at half-past one o'clock
on Friday, and paid him some money.' 'Then
you are the person,' said I, 'who called at my
brother's house on Friday morning, and made
the appointment to meet him in the afternoon?'
He replied that he was, and that he would have
come to us sooner, but that he had not seen the
notice of my brother's disappearance until the
evening before. I then said what a relief it was to
us all to know who it was that came on Friday
morning, as we feared that some one who meant
him ill had called and beguiled him away. Dr.
Webster said that he was the person. Dr. Parkman,
he added, came to the Medical College at
half-past one, when he paid him four hundred and
eighty dollars. My brother, he told me, went
out rapidly from the room where they met;
whether he took the road to Cambridge Dr.
Webster could not tell, but he intended to go
there himself and ascertain."

Although this voluntary disclosure had the
natural effect of concentrating attention on Professor
Websterwho was thus shown to have been
the last person in whose company the missing
gentleman was known to have beensuspicion
did not for a moment attach to one so eminent
and so intimate with the deceased. As a matter
of course, search was made for the body at
the Medical College; but, although this was
thoroughly and narrowly carried on in all the
other parts of the building, the gentlemen by
whom it was conducted apologised with a smile
to Dr. Webster for such a mere formality as an
examination of his rooms. Dr. Webster, on his
part, was frank and communicative with all who
spoke on the subject; but it was remarked as
extraordinary, by some who conversed with
him, that his manner in alluding to Professor
Parkman was cold and even testy, and that he
offered no expressions of sympathy with the
family under so awful and mysterious a bereavement.
The story which Dr. Webster told
varied in some minor details as he repeated it
to different persons; but substantially it was to
the effect that Dr. Parkman came to the Medical
College by appointment on Friday to receive
payment of a sum lent by him to Dr. Webster,
secured by a mortgage of his mineralogical
and other collections; that, on receiving the
balance due to him, Dr. Parkman was about to
retire without cancelling the deed, or leaving
any evidence of its discharge; that, on Dr.
Webster reminding him of this, he turned back,
dashed his pen across the signature, and said
in the course of the week he would have a
formal release registered at Cambridge; and that
he then went away, ascending the stairs by two
steps at a time, and Dr. Webster saw him no

The fact being thus made public that there had
been pecuniary relations between them, a more
minute investigation of Dr. Parkman's accounts
disclosed a state of the affair, which, as regarded
Dr. Webster, was not altogether satisfactory.
It appeared that, for some years, Dr. Webster's
financial circumstances had been painfully
complicated, that he had been repeatedly relieved
by loans of money from Dr. Parkman at no
exorbitant rates. In the payment of these, Dr.
Webster had all along manifested his habitual
want of punctuality; but his irregularities were
treated leniently by Dr. Parkman, so long as he
believed them to be occasioned by absolute
inability to pay. Thus, a debt of four hundred
dollars, contracted in 1842, remained unpaid
five years after, when Dr. Parkman made him a
further advance of two thousand dollars, on
the security of personal property, including his
cabinet of minerals. So far, however, from
emerging out of his difficulties, Dr. Webster,
in 1849, while still indebted for a considerable
balance of this loan, applied to Mr. Shaw, a
brother-in-law of Dr. Parkman, to raise a further
sum, to save, as he said, his furniture from
seizure, and, with this view, he sold to
him the very minerals which were still under
mortgage to his other creditor. Justly
incensed at this breach of faith, Dr. Parkman, on
learning the deception that had been practised
on him, avowed his determination to compel
Dr. Webster to discharge his debts to him.
From this period he pursued him as a man
would who felt his confidence had been
misplaced and his trust violated, and who regarded
his debtor as a dishonourable man. This
resolution he caused to be communicated to Dr.
Webster; but even then he consented to further
delay, under a promise that the professor would
wipe off the debt, on a certain day, out of the
proceeds of the tickets about to be issued to
his class for lectures at the Medical College.
Here a fresh breach of faith occurred. Dr.
Webster received the money for his lectures,
but, instead of paying Dr. Parkman, he used it to
appease other and more importunate creditors.
Indignant at this fresh and flagrant breach of
faith and honour, Dr. Parkman appears to have
importuned Dr. Webster with determined
perseverance; he threatened to commence law
proceedings, to seize his furniture, and to
deprive him of his professorship. He called at
the Medical College, and, to be certain of
finding the professor, seated himself in his classroom,
and when the class was dispersing asked
for his money. He dunned him in the streets;
he rode over to Cambridge, and repeated
his demands there. At length, on Monday,
19th of November, Parkman left Dr. Webster
at the college, in high indignation at his
repeated subterfuges. On Tuesday, Dr. Webster
made fresh overtures for pacification; and on
Thursday, the day before his final disappearance,
Dr. Parkman rode over to Cambridge, and had
an interview with him at his own residence.