“She’s mad, crazy, silly, insane,” murmured the lawyer, then his eyes lighted up with curiosity. “Now I shall know the name of the person in the sealed letter who inherits,” and he forthwith proceeded to his safe.
On the trail.
Great was the excitement in society when it became known—through the medium of a newspaper paragraph—that Lady Agnes Pine had surrendered two millions sterling to become Mrs. Noel Lambert. Some romantic people praised her as a noble woman, who placed love above mere money, while others loudly declared her to be a superlative fool. But one and all agreed that she must have loved her cousin all the time, and that clearly the marriage with the deceased millionaire had been forced on by Garvington, for family reasons connected with the poverty of the Lamberts. It was believed that the fat little egotist had obtained his price for selling his sister, and that his estates had been freed from all claims through the generosity of Pine. Of course, this was not the case; but the fact was unknown to the general public, and Garvington was credited with an income which he did not possess.
The man himself was furious at having been tricked. He put it in this way, quite oblivious to his own actions, which had brought about such a result. He could not plead ignorance on this score, as Agnes had written him a letter announcing her marriage, and plainly stating her reasons for giving up her late husband’s fortune. She ironically advised him to seek out the person to whom the money would pass, and to see if he could not plunder that individual. Garvington, angry as he was, took the advice seriously, and sought out Jarwin. But that astute individual declined to satisfy his curiosity, guessing what use he would make of the information. In due time, as the solicitor said, the name of the lucky legatee would be made public, and with this assurance Garvington was obliged to be content.
Meanwhile the happy pair—and they truly were extremely happy—heard nothing of the chatter, and were indifferent to either praise or blame. They were all in all to one another, and lived in a kind of Paradise, on the south coast of Devonshire. On one of his sketching tours Lambert had discovered a picturesque old-world village, tucked away in a fold of the moorlands, and hither he brought his wife for the golden hours of the honeymoon. They lived at the small inn and were attended to by a gigantic landlady, who made them very comfortable. Mrs. “Anak,” as Noel called her, took the young couple for poor but artistic people, since Agnes had dropped her title, as unsuited to her now humble position.
“And in the Colonies,” she explained to her husband, during a moorland ramble, “it would be absurd for me to be called ‘my lady.’ Mrs. Noel Lambert is good enough for me.”
“Quite so, dear, if we ever do go to the Colonies.”