The firm of Deeds, Chancery and Deeds, of Gray’s Inn Lane, the Solicitors employed by Horace Barton, on behalf of Miss Effingham, and who had caused to be inserted in the Times newspaper the advertisement alluded to in a previous chapter, had not long to wait for the information sought after. For on the following morning Mr. Septimus Jones, Mr. Crowquill and the firm clerk, presented themselves at the office in Gray’s Inn Lane. The rough draft was produced, and the will of the late Sir Jasper Coleman, brought to London by Arthur Carlton, and now in the hands of the Gray’s Inn lawyers, compared with it, and after careful scrutiny it was declared to be the identical will drawn by the Hammersmith lawyer, and witnessed by his two clerks several years ago; this was duly sworn to, and certain other documentary evidence taken down, and the three gentlemen returned to their homes in Hammersmith, each twenty guineas richer than when he had left it in the morning.
Now, although there was no one to contest the will, yet there were certain legal technicalities and forms to be gone through before Edith could take formal possession of Vellenaux, besides these same lawyers had been empowered to draw up the marriage contract, settlements, etc., between her and Arthur, the doing of which would take a considerable time, much longer perhaps than the ardent lover might think necessary. Edith would not hear of her dear Arthur remaining in the service after their marriage; so arrangements were made for the selling of his commission; this sum, together with the amount bequeathed to him by the late Sir Jasper, would put him in possession of seven thousand pounds.
It was planned that the wedding should take place at the old fashioned church at Vellenaux. There was to be no wedding tour, but the bridal party and a large number of friends were to proceed to Castle Audly, the seat of Lord De Belton, who had served in Arthur’s regiment, and had been intimately acquainted with him for a few years in India. Castle Audly was a very ancient and romantic pile, and quite the show place of the country, here there was to be a magnificent Fete Champetre, Dejeuner a la fourchette, with archery and other amusements provided by the noble owner; the whole party were to return and dine at Vellenaux, and wind up the entertainment by a grand ball at night.