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count Jack was giving of a political dispute at the Hound-and-Horn club.
“ He is defunct," said the man of law.
“ It was sudden, then, after all! and Mary?” asked Evelyn
“ I left the poor damsel wailing over him, as if-"
“ He had been a better man,” said Careless; “ she was always a good girl.”
“ And the will ?” questioned Tremaine.
" I shall have a right to charge the estate," observed Vellum.
“ I don't understand," said Tremaine.
• For my time and trouble," returned the steward; “it was his own appointment, as I can prove-nevertheless I won't;” added he, “ and so I told the poor girl.”
“ I dare say she never thought of it," said Evelyn ; " but that does not diminish your kindness, Vellum."
“ Your worship is always good,” replied the lawyer. “ We indeed are not always so rapacious as we are thought; and for my part, I should scorn to take advantage merely because I had the power.”
“ Your name shall be chalked up, my old Vellum,” cried Careless; “ well ! and the will was not made ?
“ He was, as I said, in articulo," answered Vel
lum, 66 and could not have made even a nuncupative, when I was admitted ;-besides which, he waved his hand when he saw me, as much as to say, get out of the room, which I thought very uncivil, after all my pains; however, I excused the illbreeding at such a moment."
66 Were you with Giles when he died ?” asked Evelyn.
“ Why no!" answered the man of business; finding he was scarcely compos, and recollecting I had a couple of leases to get executed in the village I thought I would just step out, and return again, in case the old man should resuscitate ; but he was then quite gone."
“ Mary Christmas, then, succeeds of course to all. her father's property," said Tremaine.
“ Your pardon, good sir, for you know she is a femme couverte ;” and he was going to explain, when Jack told him that was all unnecessary, know,” said he, “ Mr. Tremaine was a limb once, as well as yourself:” an observation, as well as an association, with which Mr. Tremaine seemed to be by no means flattered.
Jack added (for he was fond of having what he called a wipe at the attorney) that his two leases were lucky, as, with the will that was not made, he would have a right to charge three journies to his different employers, instead of one; an accusation
66 for you
which Vellum was going into some length to disclaim, when Evelyn proposed they should walk up to the little inn, and see Mary and her husband put quietly in possession.
This was instantly done.
Mary's grief, which was in truth by no means deserved by the deceased, was consoled by many of her old companions coming over to her. Some told her not to take on so, for a father who had never been a father; a thing which she would never allow, such was the natural meekness of this good creature's heart. Her older neighbours reminded her too (though they scorned to speak ill of the dead), that the will would have been made, if it had not been for the gentlemen, and that therefore, as they phrased it, she had no right to grieve for him. But all this, she said, could not excuse her, if she did not shew duty to his memory: a point which, while we record merely her feelings upon it, we leave the village casuists to settle.
As for the rest, very little settlement was neces-, sary; for there being no will, Christmas and his innocent wife were established at once in the inn. Tremaine arranged every thing with him as landlord, and added some fields which it was material for him to have; for all which good work he was more than rewarded, by the sight of Georgina walking arm in arm with Mary in the garden; or
rather by the hearing her,--for that was the sense most gratified by the scenes which we are to record in the next chapter.
"Oh! the world hath not so sweet a creature!
“ No, my dear. Mary,” said Georgina, as they walked together in the little garden—while Tremaine, was passing by the hedge that divided it from the field:-“ no, I do not mean to say you should not grieve; for we must feel for a father, although he may sometimes have been unkind. But you have a kind husband and many friends, and me, you know at their head; for I assure you I never shall forget my old playmate."
“ You have always been goodness itself, Miss," returned Mary, and she almost laid her head
upon the offered shoulder of Georgina; for the. poor girl had been nearly sinking under her various emotions.
“ If my poor mother was alive now,” said Mary, with a sigh
“ You would make her very happy,” replied Georgina. “ But,” she continued, after a pause, “ you have been very much obliged, I find, to Mr. Tremaine?”
“ They say he is very good,” answered Mary, “ and has a deal in his power, as for that, and would have used it for us; but he is not like Dr. Evelyn to us poor folks, for all that," added Mary.
“ He will, I dare say, when he has lived longer among you," returned Miss Evelyn.
Tremaine drew his breath shortly.
" People say he is too fine to care for us, or indeed for any body,” continued Mary.
66 That I am sure is a mistake," said her friend.
“ If he was but younger," observed Mary, wiping away her tears, and almost smiling at the thought as she uttered it, “ we have been thinking how fine it would be if such a lady as you was at Woodington !"
Nay, that is quite nonsense,” replied Miss Evelyn.
“ I suppose it is,” said Mary, a little frightened; “ but we wish it for all that, if-"
“ If what ?” asked Georgina, not discouragingly.
“ If he was not so cold and so solemn," answered Mary