A Woman Named Smith eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 231 pages of information about A Woman Named Smith.

The young man’s glance came back to me.  I should hate to be untruthful, and have to meet so straight a glance!

“Why, yes.  It is impossible, and, like all impossible things, perfectly true,” he agreed, with the golden flecks dancing in and out of his eyes and a slow and lazy smile, a sort of secret smile, curving his beautiful, mocking mouth.  “Fancy finding Love, of all things, in Sophronisba’s garden!” A fine black line of eyebrow went up whimsically.  “And now that you have found him,” said Mr. Jelnik, “hadn’t you better let me help you set him up?”

CHAPTER IV

THE HYNDSES OF HYNDS HOUSE

When the fine weather had taken the kinks out of Judge Gatchell’s joints, he came to see us—­a tall, thin, punctilious, saturnine old gentleman with frosty Scotch eyes and the complexion of a pair of washed khaki trousers.  Chaos reigned in Hynds House then, and he was forced to pick his way, like an elderly and cautious cat, between piled-up chairs, tables, and rolls of carpet.  In the most stately manner he parted the tails of his skirted coat, seated himself upon the sofa, placed his hat beside him, drew up the knees of his black broadcloth trousers, took off and wiped his spectacles with great thoroughness and deliberation upon a large silk handkerchief, replaced them upon the middle of his Roman nose, cleared his throat, pursed his lips, and drily but clearly talked business.

Great-Aunt Sophronisba would have left a much larger fortune had she been less addicted to lawsuits.  You wouldn’t think an old soul of almost a hundred could find very much chance to brew mischief, would you?  You didn’t know Great-Aunt Sophronisba!

I was informed that the case of Scarlett vs.  Geddes had been automatically closed by the death of the plaintiff; but I had inherited along with Hynds House: 

The case of Scarlett vs.  The Vestry and Pastor of St. Polycarp’s Church, from whom Mrs. Scarlett sought to recover three paintings—­“Faith,” “Hope,” and “Charity”—­which her father had commissioned a visiting artist to paint, and had then presented to St. Polycarp’s, with the stipulation that they should “forever hang in the sacred edifice, reminding the brethren of the Cardinal Virtues of the Christian Religion.”

They did hang in the church for a century.  Then, when the Ladies’ Missionary Society was helping “do over” the parsonage, a faded Faith, a dulled Hope, and a fly-specked Charity were transported thither.  Whereupon suit was immediately brought by the donor’s daughter, who averred that the church had lost all right and title to the paintings by an action directly contrary to her father’s will, and insisted that they should be turned over to herself as sole heiress.  It was a nice little case, and called forth an imposing array of counsel.  Mrs. Scarlett had added a codicil to her will, leaving me her claim to the three paintings “fraudulently withheld by the pastor and vestrymen of St. Polycarp’s Church.”

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A Woman Named Smith from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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