The Chief Legatee eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 230 pages of information about The Chief Legatee.

A young girl sitting on a low stool by the window mending a rent in her skirt (Frontispiece)

“I cut them letters there fifteen years ago.  Now I’m to cut ’em out”

“A slight, dark form steals from the shadows and lays a hand on the stooping man’s shoulder”

“Cormorants!” escaped his lips.  “They look for a feast of death, but they will be disappointed”

[Illustration:  Facsimile Page of Manuscript from the Leavenworth case

“Yes, sir,”

Might even have entered his room late at night, crossed it and stood at his side, without disturbing him sufficiently to cause him to turn his head?

“Yes,” her hands pressing themselves painfully together.

“Miss Leavenworth, the key to the library door is missing.”

She made no answer.

“It has been testified to, that previous to the actual discovery of the murder, you visited the door of the library above.  Will you tell us if the key to the door was there in the lock?”

“It was not.”

Anna K. Green Rohlfs]

THE CHIEF LEGATEE

PART I

A Woman of Mystery

CHAPTER I

A BRIDE OF FIVE HOURS

“What’s up?”

This from the manager of the Hotel ——­ to his chief clerk.  “Something wrong in Room 81?”

“Yes, sir.  I’ve just sent for a detective.  You were not to be found and the gentleman is desperate.  But very anxious to have it all kept quiet; very anxious.  I think we can oblige him there, or, at least, we’ll try.  Am I right, sir?”

“Of course, if—­”

“Oh! it’s nothing criminal.  The lady’s missing, that’s all; the lady whose name you see here.”

The register lay open between them; the clerk’s finger, running along the column, rested about half-way down.

The manager bent over the page.

“‘Roger J. Ransom and wife,’” he read out in decided astonishment.  “Why, they are—­”

“You’re right.  Married to-day in Grace Church.  A great wedding; the papers are full of it.  Well, she’s the lady.  They registered here a few minutes before five o’clock and in ten minutes the bride was missing.  It’s a queer story Mr. Ransom tells.  You’d better hear it.  Ah, there’s our man!  Perhaps you’ll go up with him.”

“You may bet your last dollar on that,” muttered the manager.  And joining the new-comer, he made a significant gesture which was all that passed between them till they stepped out on the second floor.

“Wanted in Room 81?” the manager now asked.

“Yes, by a man named Ransom.”

“Just so.  That’s the door.  Knock—­or, rather, I’ll knock, for I must hear his story as soon as you do.  The reputation of the hotel—­”

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The Chief Legatee from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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