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as poor as a church mouse, and mar
riage would have been out of the
question but for the money.
"You must take it, Tom," insisted
the girl. "Take it as a loan, if you
like, to help you in your profession.
You will have clients galore in a few
years. Don't make us both unhappy
by refusing, Tom."
Before Tom Claflin had decided Jim
Maine produced a will written by the
old woman a month before she died,
and signed by witnesses. It left all
Miss Martha's money to him, stating
that, on account of her ingratitude,
Annie was to get only the cottage.
That was worth two or three thou
sand but it was only a small share
in the comfortable estate.
Tom came to Annie. "That will is
a forgery, my dear," he said. "Those
witnesses are men who owe Maine
money. They are in his power, and
are of disreputable character. We
' shall fight it tooth and nail."
Annie protested. She did not want
to fight about the money, she said.
Maine was welcome to It. And she
hated scandal. Besides that, she knew
her aunt had borne her no love.
But Tom persuaded her. He knew
that the girl's life had been an un
happy one, though she had never told
him so. He knew that the will was
forged. And he meant to send Maine
The case came up before the surro
gate's court. Maine had defied and
threatened Tom, but the- young law
yer saw that the man was in a frenzy
of fear. Still, he could not keep his
fingers off the nine thousand dollars.
And his witnesses were staunch to
On the day before the trial the
young lawyer received a visit from a
fellow lawyer in the next town.
"I heard about your case, Claflin,"
he said. "I think this puts a new
light on the transaction, doesn't .it?"
And he threw a document upon the
table. Tom picked it up. It was an
other will of Miss Martha's.
"She, made that about a month 1
-.J -J.. - JJE t sH 4-
ago", said the visitor. "Came over to
Stapleton to do it, I guessL so that
nobody in this town should knoifc. Of
course, it antedates the will you are
fighting over, but "
Claflin sat long in thought that
"Tom, won't you withdraw at them
last moment?" pleaded Annie in court T
the next morning. "Dear, we havera
the cottage and, after all, that will
may be genuine." ji''
Tom said nothing but clasped her1
hand in his. And Annie resigned her-
self to her lover's will in the matter.
When the case was called, however,
he amazed the court and spectators
"We do not accept this will as gen- .
uine, Your Honor, but, in deference
to the wishes of my client we are
willing to accept the sworn state
ment of Mr. Maine and hisgitnSs to
the effect that the .willisijenuine' and
And the will was admitted to pro
bate. Maine was flushed with triumph.
He was not the man to let well
enough alone. The revulsioh from his
fears of prison proved too strong t o'r
his gdod sense. He came up to Tom,
m the court room, after the court
had adjourned. Vs
"Wall," he sneered, "I guess you
did the wise thing in withdrawing,
young man. You'd haye lost your
case, and I'd have had yoU driven out
of town, too. It takes a big man to
cross my will." .
"I hope you'll enjoy your property,"
said Tom. "But why didn't you take ,
the cottage, too, while you were
about it? You threw away two or
three thousand dollars there. And
you might just as well have had it ifd
you had had the" nerve. 6
"What do you mean?" bellowed.
"I mean," said Tom, thrusting his-7
face forward and looking the other
squarily in the eye, "that if you1!)
hadn't been a thief and a rogue your
would Tiave got everything. Here W"
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