Her cogitations were interrupted by the entrance of Ralph.
“I say, Edna,” said he, throwing himself into an easy-chair, and placing his hat upon another near by, “was that a returned manuscript that Cheditafa brought you this morning? You haven’t been writing for the magazines, have you?”
“That was a letter from Captain Horn,” she said.
“Whew!” he exclaimed. “It must be a whopper! What does he say? When is he coming here? Give me some of the points of it. But, by the way, Edna, before you begin, I will say that I think it is about time he should write. Since the letter in which he told about the guano-bags and sent you that lot of money—let me see, how long ago was that?”
“It was ten days ago,” said his sister.
“Is that so? I thought it was longer than that. But no matter. Since that letter came, I have been completely upset. I want to know what I am to do, and, whatever I am to do, I want to get at it. From what the captain wrote, and from what I remember of the size and weight of those gold bars, he must have got away with more than a million dollars—perhaps a million and a half. Now, what part of that is mine? What am I to do with it? When am I to begin to prepare myself for the life I am to lead when I get it? All this I want to know, and, more than that, I want to know what you are going to do. Now, if I had got to Acapulco, or any other civilized spot, with a million dollars in solid gold, it would not have been ten days before I should have written to my family,—for I suppose that is what we are,—and should have told them what I was going to do, and how much they might count on. But I hope now that letter does tell?”
“The best thing to do,” said Edna, taking up the letter from the table, “is to read it to you. But before I begin I want to say something, and that is that it is very wrong of you to get into these habits of calculating about what may come to you. What is to come will come, and you might as well wait for it without upsetting your mind by all sorts of wild anticipations; and, besides this, you must remember that you are not of age, and that I am your guardian, and whatever fortune may now come to you will be under my charge until you are twenty-one.”
“Oh, I don’t care about that,” said Ralph. “We will have no trouble about agreeing what is the best thing for me to do. But now go ahead with the letter.”