The Adventures of Captain Horn eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 376 pages of information about The Adventures of Captain Horn.
no relatives, except a few second cousins somewhere out in the Northwest, and I don’t want them to have anything to do directly with my property, for they would be sure to make trouble.  Here, as you see, I leave to you, Miss Markham, and Ralph all the property, of every kind and description, of which I may die possessed.  This, of course, would cover all treasure you may be able to take away from this place, and which, without this will, might be claimed by some of my distant relatives, if they should ever chance to hear the story of my discovery.

“Besides this, I have written here, on another page of this note—­book, a few private directions as to how I want the treasure disposed of.  I say nothing definite, and mention no exact sums, but, in a general way, I have left everything in the hands of you two ladies.  I know that you will make a perfectly just and generous disposition of what you may get.”

“That is all very kind and good of you,” said Mrs. Cliff, “but I cannot believe that such a will would be of much service.  If you have relatives you are afraid of,—­and I see you have,—­if Edna Markham were your widow, then by law she would get a good part of it, even if she did not get it all, and if Edna got it, we would be perfectly satisfied.”

“It is rather a grim business to talk about Miss Markham being my widow,” said the captain, “especially under such circumstances.  It strikes me that the kind of marriage you propose would be a good deal flimsier than this will.”

“It does not strike me so,” said she.  “A mere confession before witnesses by a man and woman that they are willing to take each other for husband and wife is often a legal ceremony, and if there is any kind of a religious person present to perform the ceremony, it helps, and in a case like this no stone should be left unturned.  You see, you have assumed a great deal of responsibility about this.  You have stated—­and if we were called upon to testify, Miss Markham and I would have to acknowledge that you have so stated—­that you claimed this treasure as your discovery, and that it all belonged to you.  So, you see, if we keep our consciences clear,—­and no matter what happens, we are going to do that,—­we might be obliged to testify every cent of it away from ourselves.  But if Edna were your wife, it would be all right.”

The captain stood silent for a few moments, his hands thrust into his pockets, and a queer smile on his face.  “Mrs. Cliff,” said he, presently, “do you expect me to go to Miss Markham and gravely propose this scheme which you and that half—­tamed African have concocted?”

“I think it would be better,” said Mrs. Cliff, “if I were to prepare her mind for it.  I will go speak to her now.”

“No,” said he, quickly, “don’t you do that.  If the crazy idea is to be mentioned to her at all, I want to do it myself, and in my own way.  I will go to her now.  I have had my talk with you, and I must have one with her.”

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The Adventures of Captain Horn from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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