to neighbors of the woman but escaped her notice, but he saw her several times at night through the window.
The diary he kept had one pitifully interesting entry. Under the date of March 16 was entered "my birthday." It was his 66th birthday and doubtless it wasnít a very happy one.
Concerning this entry Sylvester said, "Well I suppose Iíll go to Stillwater and I wonít have many more birthdays. I donít suppose Iíll hunt deer anymore either."
Shabby and seedy looking and nervously chewing gum, Sylvester was at first reluctant to say anything, but he grew more loquacious as he got interested in the story and finally the whole tale came out with a rush of words.
"It all started twenty years ago. Even before we organized the bank as a state bank, there was a shortage and we never managed to catch up after that. I honestly thought at one time that I would make it up, but it kept getting worse and worse and when the crash came I had all those land deals on hand and everything went bump."
"Some people think Iíve got money. I havenít got a cent." I had about four hundred dollars when I left Plainview and I had that used up pretty soon after I got to Biloxi. In jail here and other jails Iíve been in since I got caught the other prisoners and I talk together and they say to me: "Well what you in for? What did you do?" I tell them Iím charged with embezzling a hundred thousand dollars and they say "have you got the money?" and I say No, and they say, "Well, youíre a crazy fool, if Iíd stole that much Iíd have planted some of it somewhere."
"Why I was so hard up down south that I went back to Hoffstetter Ė the man who gave me away Ė just to get thirty dollars I had coming from him for work I did. If I hadnít gone back there for that thirty dollars I might not have been caught."
Sylvester admits his wife knew conditions before he left Plainview and knew that he was running away. He had no difficulty in corresponding with his family but was reluctant to disclose how it was done. After he quit working on Hoffstetterís farm and went to work in the hotel, Mrs. Hoffstetter used to bring him mail at the hotel.
When he stared out from Plainview last February he didnít know where he was bound, Sylvesterís only though was to get away. He went to Cincinnati and then down south. It wasnít until he was in the south that he thought of Biloxi and he happened to think of that because he had heard a Mrs. John Burnham of Plainview tell about the place. She spends her winters there.
"Mrs. Burnham was down there this winter," Sylvester said, "and I found out her address at Biloxi and when I delivered milk and butter I made sure to keep away from where she was staying. But I saw her, even if she didnít see me. I used to see her sometimes at night through the window."
* SOURCE: Manzow, Ron (compiler), "The Sylvester Family of Plainview, Minnesota - a collection of information taken from the Plainview News, other newspapers, letters, and diaries beginning in 1884": Plainview Area History Center, 40 4th St. S.W., Plainview, MN 55964. Compiled in 2001.
NOTE: from Ron Manzow, December 2001: "Feel free to reproduce the pages for anyone who wants a copy. It was
compiled to be shared... All I ask is that they consider sending a check to the [Plainview Area] History Center to help us out. That
should be enough."
NOTE: from Ron Manzow, December 2001: "Feel free to reproduce the pages for anyone who wants a copy. It was compiled to be shared... All I ask is that they consider sending a check to the [Plainview Area] History Center to help us out. That should be enough."
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