THE FLAW IN THE TITLE
By H. M. Egbert.
'(Copyright by W. G. Chapman.)
Cephas Merritt was dead Mer
ntt, the rich, eccentric, philan
thropic old merchant.of Grand
boulevard, whose name had been
a synonym of integrity in Mar
tinsville for forty years. And the
big store and the bank and the in-
"No, Miss Mary, It's Mine."
numerable pieces of real estate
that he had pwned here and there
in the state capital had fallen t6
his miserly nephew, Hamilton
Hamilton spent five days with
his lawyer, and at the end of that
period discovered that one-fourth
of Cephas' tenants had been liv
ing rent free for years. For much
of the property was in the poorest
part of the city and Cephas had
never turned a poor tenant out
of doors in his life.
But not all of Cephas' tenants
had been poor. One of them, Miss
Sidonia Travers, occupied the old
Travers mansion on Hurland
Heights, which had come to her
on the death of her father twenty
years previously. When Hall read
this name he whistled; and when
the lawyer told him -that she too,
lived rent free, he whisteld again.
"You see, it's this way, Mr.
Hall," said the lawyer, "Miss Si
donia believes that the property
is hers. She's got only a tiny m
come of six dollars a week outside
it, and if she lost it she'd be prac
tically a beggar she and her
niece, Mary Travers."
"Never mind about Mary; go
on," said Hamilton Hall, wetting
"Well, sir, the property isn't
hers at all. The title's faulty. It
belonged to Mr. Merritt. But he
was an old friend of hers they
say he was once her suitor and
he'd have cut off his right hand
rather than let her know she was
his-4enant. If that old lady lost
Travers- house .she'd not survive
it many weeks, Mr. Hall. So all
this time she's lived in your
uncle's house rent free, and
thought it hers. And I know he
meam to deed it to h,er in his will,
only he couldn't bear even to let
her know the truth, and then he
expected to survive her!"
"Then I have the right to it?"
exclaimed Hamilton eagerly.
His lawyer looked him up and
down. He knew what.was pass
ing through his mind. He knew.
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