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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 86 pages of information about The Mystery of Monastery Farm.

“London, May 25, 18—.

Mr. C.A.  Marmion, New York, U.S.A: 

“Dear Sir:  A few days since I received an express package containing fifty thousand pounds.  The signature was to us unimportant, as we felt sure it was not the name of the writer, but your paper bears the imprint (water mark) of your name, and I concluded that you are interested in the matter, so I take the liberty of addressing you.

“Inclosed find an announcement we have made in many papers.  The directors of the Bank of England have now received two thirds of the amount stolen April 11, 18—­, and hereby announce that the persons who have the remainder of the stolen money, if they return it, will not be prosecuted.

Stephen Bone.”

CHAPTER IX

HOME BANKING—­A FAILURE

In the upper suburb of Montreal, Canada, stood an unassuming cottage, in the midst of a spacious and well-kept lawn and garden.  A young man was seen carrying a rake on his shoulder and with the other hand drawing a lawn mower toward a shed in one corner of the lot, where he was to deposit them for the night.

“Hiram, I never saw the lawn look better.”  These words were spoken by a venerable-looking old gentleman with cheery voice, as he came around the corner of the garden, smoking a cigar.  The speaker was a large and well proportioned man of perhaps fifty-five years of age.  He looked through large brown eyes, kindly but resolute.  His square jaw and firm mouth denoted will power, his face was ruddy, and his head was crowned with an abundance of curling hair as white as snow.  This was Abram McLain, the retired member of the firm of McLain, Shaw & Co., the originators and organizers of the first steamboat line running between Liverpool and Montreal.  From this investment and an interest in building the great Victoria bridge across the Saint Lawrence, Mr. McLain had accumulated a large fortune, which, promptly invested in real estate and safe stocks which were continually enhancing in value in this rapidly growing municipality, soon placed him among the accredited millionaires of Canada.

The cottage which he owned and in which he lived was built of gray stone, one tall story in height, and crowned with a French roof.  It was beautified by a wide door in front with colonial pillars and porch.  The windows were tall, to which iron shutters were attached.  The ground on which this building stood had been bought immediately after the conflagration of 1852, when Saint Mary’s Ward was almost obliterated.  From that date each year had increased the value of all property in this part of the city, so that this property alone, having five acres, would have placed its owner among the well-to-do citizens of the community.  But this property was only a small portion of the holdings of Abram McLain.  A unique building was this cottage.

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