gentleman had the village of Moultonborough named for him; then he
went broke and sent for the Devil, for he had made up his mind to
sell his soul for gold.
one evening while he was drowsing over his final nightcap, he was
aroused by a curious sound. He glanced toward the huge chimneypiece
and there on a corner bench sat the Devil. He was dressed in his
Saturday night best, black velvet and all, with an orchid stuck
through his buttonhole.
the devil are you? asked General Moulton.
answer the visitor reached for the bowl of rum, tossed into it a
live coal and, as the flames leapt upward, he threw back his
handsome head and drained the searing liquor to the last drop.
flaming onions! exclaimed the general in evident awe and admiration.
favorite drink, explained the Devil. A Salamander.
he ran his transparent hands through his wig, and to the floor
clattered and clinked a great pile of golden guineas.
Ill be jiggered! breathed General Moulton as he clamped and
unclamped his new store teeth in avaricious astonishment, but just
then one of the rolling coins came to rest against his boot and
scorched his foot.
flaming bunions! shouted the general.
cool them off, apologized the Devil as he picked them up, one by
one, and laid them on the table.
can use them all and more, sighed the New Hampshireman forgetting
about his foot.
here, said the Devil and pushed toward him a black parchment
document inscribed in crimson ink. On the last night of each month,
he instructed the general, you must leave your boots at the chimneys
side, and before morning they will be filled with gold. Your soul
for my money!
getting the thin end of the deal, chuckled the New Hampshireman, and
scrawled his name on the black parchment.
next day the general went to the village store and bought the
biggest pair of boots he could find.
fool the old buzzard! he muttered gleefully.
he got home he cut away a good portion of the sole of each, and then
nailed the boots to the floor, after which he knocked a hole through
them into the cellar; then he pretended to go to bed. Actually, of
course, he went down into the cellar.
the Devil arrived and started to pour his gold into the boots, but
there seemed no end to his greed. He poured and poured until he got
his black velvet suit into a frightful mess, and the orchid broke
off and fell from his buttonhole.
a thought struck him.
ran up to the generals bedroom, and as he was not there he knew he
must be in the cellar. Quickly he dashed back to the boots, and
through them poured such quantities of gold that presently he heard
puling sounds from beneath.
Stop-stop! Leave off! and other such protestations arose from the
the Devil gave no quarter, and went right on filling the cellar
until there was only room left between his gold and the ceiling of
the basement for the generals head.
the Devil mixed and drank a Salamander, and with its flaming dregs
he set the house afire. The next morning nothing was left of the
general, the gold nor the house save a molten mass of brass into
which the Devil had changed his gold before departing, and on top of
the heap lay General Moultons new store teeth where his head had