“Exactly so,” replied his employer, “you will be good enough to put on your hat and go and request him to do me the favor to step up here for a few moments.” Nicholas did his master’s bidding, and returned shortly, accompanied by Mr. Crowquill. Mr. Jones, after requesting him to be seated, and directing his clerk to pay attention, took up the newspaper, and read, in a clear voice the following advertisement: “To Lawyers and otters.—If the party who drew the will of the late Sir Jasper Coleman of Vellenaux, Devonshire, and those who witnessed the same document some ten years ago, will call at the office of Messrs. Deeds, Chancery, and Deeds, Solicitors, Gray’s Inn Lane, they will be handsomely rewarded for their trouble.” “Now, gentlemen,” continued he, “I drew this will, and you both witnessed it. Do you both remember the circumstance.” After a little reflection they both recollected the circumstance.
“Oh! since you have not forgotten the occurrence, I will show you a rough draft of the will which I made at the time, and by reading this it will refresh your memories, and you will be better able to swear to the real will if it should be produced.”
“When do you purpose calling upon the Solicitors?” enquired Crowquill.
“To-morrow morning we will call for you on our road to town,” replied Mr. Jones, politely bowing his visitor out of the office.
Of the early history of Sir Lexicon Chutny very little was known. He was of Dutch extraction that was obvious, had served for a time in the Madras Civil Service, but on acquiring a large property by the death of a distant relative, he retired from that service and settled on one of his plantations in Pallamcotta. How he obtained his title no one knew or enquired, his relative, now deceased, was so called, and in his will he directed that his heir should assume his name and rank. He was thoroughly Indian in his tastes and habits, sensual and self indulgent; saw very little European society, and report said that he had several native mistresses, and was reputed very wealthy. He had never married, for European ladies at that period were rarely to be met with in Pallamcotta. It must have been business of no ordinary importance to induce him to leave the land wherein he had been born, to visit Hamburg, where he made his stay as short as possible. He was not favorably impressed with the Frauleins and fair-haired daughters of Holland, and was now returning home in the “Great Mogul,” a Dutch Indiaman bound to Madras.
“Wreck on the lee bow!” shouted a look out from the mast-head. This excited quite a commotion on deck, from whence the object was soon discernable through the telescope, and soon after by the naked eye. The ship’s course was altered and she bore down upon the unfortunate craft to render such assistance as might be necessary. She proved to be the ship “Kaffir Chief,” from Cork,