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T wondered why in thunder Tommy
hadn't got Jenny before, and I was
still wondering when he came in.
"Miss Anderson was here just
"She was, and you young fools
have let $20,000 slip through your
hands into the capacious fist of Cous
in Francis," I answered. "Why didn't
you marry her?"
"Why," he answered, "a penniless
doctor isn't going to have it said he
married a girl for her money. I want
ed to get rich before "
"Before you married her," I inter
rupted. "And meanwhile you've
made her a pauper."
"Oh, it isn't as bad as that," said
Tommy cheerfully. "See here! That
four-year proposition "
But Jenny is five anyway," I said
with some asperity, for the fool idea
"No, she isn't," said Tommy, grin
ning in his idotic way. "She's four."
"How do you make that out?"
He eyed me knowingly. "Because
the year 1900 wasn't a leap year," he
I started in my seat Then Tommy
went on to tell me that he and Jenny
had just thought of that, and they
were going to give Cousin Francis
the fight of his life. It Interested me,
too. I knew that Judee HItt was a
bit of a crank; still, I hardly dared
to hope that he would fall for the
"Anyway, Jenny wants a fight and
we must insist, on retaining you,"
- were Tommy's parting words as he
I tried several times to induce the
young people to give up the battle,
but they were obdurate. I was even
willing to propose a compromise to
Cousin Francis, though I knew he
thought he had the case too firmly
clinched to do anything but laugh at
me. But I wanted to save Jenny's
pocket I wasn't going to charge
get off for less than twp hundred
absolutely thrown away.
Well, the case came on in court
Cousin Francis was there, smiling
and bland. Judge Hitt wanted to
know where the document was, and
we confessed that it was a verbal
promise. Judge Hitt glared at us as
if he thought we were trifling with
the court. As for Cousin Francis, he
mildly denied that he had given any
Then I put in my famous Leap
Year argument I could see that the
Judge bad been suffering from dys
pepsia,J and the way he received it
sent down my spirits pretty low.
Balder, Cousin Francis' counsel, in
tervened. "AssumingvWe grant that Miss An
derson has only reached the mature
age of five, still, she has had her five
birthdays, you know," he said, shak
ing his finger at me.
"What have you to say to that,
Mr. Allerton? rasped out the Judge,
while the Court Stenographer gig
gled. , r
"This, Your Honor," I answered.
"The year 1900 was not a Leap
Year. Consecpiently my client is only
"But we don't grant the assump
tion," shouted Cousin Francis' coun
sel hastily, while, the Court Stenog
rapher crammed her handkerchief
into her mouth.
"Mr. Allerton, said Judge Hitt se
verely, "if I did not know you to be
a strictly temperate man, I might
found unwarranted assumptions
upon your argument It will not be
.necessary to reserve judgment on
that Is that all you have to say?"
Tommy was nudging me. "Show
him that," he whispered, thrusting a
paper into my hand. I opened it. It
was a marriage certificate between
Thomas Cowles, bachelor, and Jane
Anderson, spinster, and the marriage
had taken place six months before.
I handed it to the judge. He read
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