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JUST LIKE A WOMAN
By Olive Atterbury
(Copyright, 1916, W. G. Chapman.)
I had known Jenny Anderson since
she was a tiny thing, but she had not
confided in me the strange terms of
her grandfather's will until she came
into my office to ask me to defend
the suit that Cousin Francis was
bringing against her.
Jenny handed me the document
The essential clause ran as follows:
"Twenty thousand dollars to my
granddaughter, Jenny, on condition
that she marries before the fifth an
niversary of her birthday.
The will was drawn in 1911, and
five years and a little more had
elapsed. Jenny, having been born on
Feb. 29, 1896, it was clear that the
income had been forfeited.
"But Cousin Francis promised me
he would not take the money if I
married or not," said Jenny.
"A promise is no good in law, even
if there is proof of it, unless an equiv
alent is given," I returned. "Cousin
Francis has the game."
"But I'm you see, Mr. Allerton, I
was born in leap year, on February
29," said Jenny. "I only have a birth
day every four years. Grandfather
always used to joke me about it. He
said I'd never grow old."
I reckoned up. "Anyway, you've
had five birthdays, Jenny," I said
"Even if by miracle the courts could
see that point you have had five
"But not five next birthdays," per
"No, my dear, it won't go," I said.
"Why didn't you marry Tommy
Cowles while there was time? You
played with that young man until
you lost the legacy, and you'll lose
him, too, if you aren't careful."
"But I haven't lost the legacy!"
cried Jenny. "And I want you to sue
Cousin Francis, the hateful old thing,
on the ground of his promise."
"All right," I said, "but you can't
win. However, we might plead that
your grandfather was of unsound
"How dare you?" cried Jenny, an
grily. "All right the promise, then," I
said penitently. "I'll see what I can
do for you. But it won't work, my
"Well, Cousin Francis is going to
"But Not Five Next Birthdays,'
get the fight of his life, " said Jenny,
as she wnt out.
It looked to me that Cousin Francis
had clinched his $20,000. Even if a
court could have been gotten to view
favorably Jenny's contention of her
four-years birthday, still she bad
had five birthdays already, and no
court could possibly interpret the will
as meaning five birthdays after the
will was signed, op 20 years longer.
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