Early in the morning, when the newsboys were already crying the Post upon the streets, young Henry Surface came at last upon the will. It was very brief, but entirely clear and to the point. His father had left to him without conditions, everything of which he died possessed. The will was dated in June of the previous summer—he recalled a two days’ absence of his father’s at that time—and was witnessed, in a villainous hand, by Timothy Queed.
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There were many formalities to be complied with, and some of them would take time. But within a week matters were on a solid enough footing to warrant a first step; and about this time Sharlee Weyland read, at her breakfast-table one morning, a long letter which surprised and disturbed her very much.
The letter came from a well-known firm of attorneys. At great length it rehearsed the misfortunes that had befallen the Weyland estate, through the misappropriations of the late Henry G. Surface. But the gist of this letter, briefly put, was that the late Henry G. Surface had died possessed of a property estimated to be worth two hundred thousand dollars, either more or less; that this property was believed to be merely the late trustee’s appropriations from the Weyland estate, with accrued interest; that “our client Mr. Henry G. Surface, Jr., heir by will to his father’s ostensible property,” therefore purposed to pay over this sum to the Weyland estate, as soon as necessary formalities could be complied with; and that, further, our client, Mr. Henry G. Surface, Jr., assumed personal responsibility “for the residue due to your late father’s estate, amounting to one hundred and seventeen thousand dollars, either more or less, with interest since 1881; and this debt, he instructs us to say, he will discharge from time to time, as his own resources will permit.”
So wrote Messrs. Blair and Jamieson to Miss Charlotte Lee Weyland, congratulating her, “in conclusion, upon the strange circumstances which have brought you, after so long an interval, justice and restitution,” and begging to remain very respectfully hers. To which letter after four days’ interval, they received the following reply:
Messrs. Blair & Jamieson,
Our client, Miss C.L. Weyland, of this city, instructs us to advise you, in reply to your letter of the 4th inst., directed to her, that, while thanking you for the expression of intention therein contained anent the property left by the late Henry G. Surface, and very cordially appreciating the spirit actuating Mr. Henry G. Surface, Jr., in the matter, she nevertheless feels herself without title or claim to said property, and therefore positively declines to accept it, in whole or in any part.
AMPERSAND, BOLTING AND BYRD.