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"Well, my dear," said the old lady,
taking in the situation instanly, "I
must say -that I admire those orna
ments upon your mantel greatly. I
fear my own poor efforts -to please
you and George must have been sin
gularly unsuccessful And then
she stopped. FoTiucy had run into
her bedroom when the old lady was
announced to get the china vase; but
she had not had time to place it upon
the mantel and stood guiltily hiding
ii ueneam ner apron.
"You may tell George," she contin
ued, "that since he nas seen fit to
quarrel with me, who always-supposed
that he cared for me since my
endeavors to make his home, happy
and beautiful are so unappreciated, I
shall waste no further time on him.
And, incidentally, I shall bestow my
money where it will be likely to pro
mote greater service."
And with these words she stalked
out of the apartment, leaving Lucy in
She told George of the happening
when he returned from his studio.
"Give me that infernal vase," he
shouted. "I'm going to break it to
pieces and send her the fragments by
parcel -post. Old tyrant! Does she
thing she is going to doom us to a life
of artistic misery?"
But Lucy hid the yase from him.
"You know, dear,"-she said, "Aunt
Mary will take you back into .favor
agajn if only you give hep time to for
get She is very'fond of yot really-"
"She wanted to see how. far she
could go," said .GeorgelStrang gloom
ily. "It was a test She Couldn't real
ly have liked that vase: Well, let her
do'her worst t V
And Aunt Mary' did her "worst
speedily, for she took it into ten"
""crabbed old mind to have a sudden
seizure a week later and die. But she
had had time to carry her threat into
"To my nephew George," the will
read, "I had intended to leave the
bulk of my property. But inasmuch
as his Ipve for me could not survive
a little trial that I made of it, I be- .
queath to him instead the china vase
which is now in his wife's posses- J
sion." . '
Yet, after all, it seemed that Aunt'
Mary had had singularly little to i
leave. For whdt she did leave to her -
dozen nephews and nieces amounted
to exactly ninety-seven 'dollars and
eighteen cents apiece.
"George," said Lucy, in tears, when
tthey got home from the funeral, "if
Aunt Mary has any knowledge of
what, is happening now, don't you .
thinktt. would please her if we kept
the'vase on our mantel after all?" ?
"I tell you what we'll do," said
George. "We'll put it on the mantel r
each anniversary of her death as a
peace offering. The rest of the. year 1
please keep it out of 'my sight"
"Yes, dear," said Lucy. "Suppose
we keep it there just fortoday, toJ2
show we have no hard feeljng."
She brought it out of its place of r
concealment and deposited it beside
the Pompeiian jars. George looked at i
it then suddenly; overcome by pas
sion, he dashed it to the floor. The
vase broke into a thousand pieces. i
"George!" exclaimed his wifep
wretchedly. "How could you have the
Hheart to do that? Dear .Aunt Mary!
Why there's paper inside! ,
There was indee'd, forthe vase was
iiollow, and on the floor lay a long,
thin, folded package.
, "Bills!" shouted" George Strang, as
lie unfolded it. And he shook out, one
after another, nine bills of the value
of a thousand dollars apiece.
"LookTThere's a letter!" saichLucy
Strang, pickingTup..a piece of paper
covered with Aunt Mary's queer,
My- aear, nowreaaea nepnew,
George read aloud. "Forgive a cranky
old woman who loves you with all her '
heart I know how you will hate this!
vase. If you are hypocrite enough to
keen it or unkind enough to eive It ,l
away, ypuwill never Tread this note, j