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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 669 pages of information about Man and Wife.

“He is not even mentioned in it.”

“Have you got the will?”

Mr. Marchwood unlocked a drawer, and took it out.

Sir Patrick instantly rose from his chair.  “No waiting for the lawyer!” he repeated, vehemently.  “This is a matter of life and death.  Lady Holchester bitterly resents her son’s marriage.  She speaks and feels as a friend of Mrs. Glenarm.  Do you think Lord Holchester would take the same view if he knew of it?”

“It depends entirely on the circumstances.”

“Suppose I informed him—­as I inform you in confidence—­that his son has gravely wronged Miss Silvester?  And suppose I followed that up by telling him that his son has made atonement by marrying her?”

“After the feeling that he has shown in the matter, I believe he would sign the codicil.”

“Then, for God’s sake, let me see him!”

“I must speak to the doctor.”

“Do it instantly!”

With the will in his hand, Mr. Marchwood advanced to the bedroom door.  It was opened from within before he could get to it.  The doctor appeared on the threshold.  He held up his hand warningly when Mr. Marchwood attempted to speak to him.

“Go to Lady Holchester,” he said.  “It’s all over.”

“Dead?”

“Dead.”

SIXTEENTH SCENE.—­SALT PATCH.

CHAPTER THE FORTY-EIGHTH.

THE PLACE.

EARLY in the present century it was generally reported among the neighbors of one Reuben Limbrick that he was in a fair way to make a comfortable little fortune by dealing in Salt.

His place of abode was in Staffordshire, on a morsel of freehold land of his own—­appropriately called Salt Patch.  Without being absolutely a miser, he lived in the humblest manner, saw very little company; skillfully invested his money; and persisted in remaining a single man.

Toward eighteen hundred and forty he first felt the approach of the chronic malady which ultimately terminated his life.  After trying what the medical men of his own locality could do for him, with very poor success, he met by accident with a doctor living in the western suburbs of London, who thoroughly understood his complaint.  After some journeying backward and forward to consult this gentleman, he decided on retiring from business, and on taking up his abode within an easy distance of his medical man.

Finding a piece of freehold land to be sold in the neighborhood of Fulham, he bought it, and had a cottage residence built on it, under his own directions.  He surrounded the whole—­being a man singularly jealous of any intrusion on his retirement, or of any chance observation of his ways and habits—­with a high wall, which cost a large sum of money, and which was rightly considered a dismal and hideous object by the neighbors.  When the new residence was

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