The Chief Legatee eBook

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

The miserable bridegroom looked up from the bag into which he was still staring and, glancing slowly around him, finally pointed at a chair upholstered in brown and impulsively said: 

“The veil was like that; I remember now.  Brown, isn’t it? a dark brown?”

“Yes.  And the dress?”

“I can’t tell you a thing about the dress.  But her gloves—­I remember something about them.  They were so tight they gaped open at the wrist.  Her hands looked quite disfigured.  I wondered that so sensible a woman should buy gloves at least two sizes too small for her.  I think she was ashamed of them herself, for she tried to hide them after she saw me looking.”

“This was in the cab?”


“Where you didn’t speak a word?”

“Not a word.”

“Though she seemed so very much cut up?”

“No, she didn’t seem cut up; only tired.”

“How tired?”

“She sat with her head pressed against the side of the cab.”

“And a little turned away?”


“As if she shrank from you?”

“A little so.”

“Did she brighten when the carriage stopped?”

“She started upright.”

“Did you help her out?”

“No, I had promised not to touch her.”

“She jumped out after you?”


“And never spoke?”

“Not a word.”

Gerridge opened the door, motioned for the manager to follow, and, once in the hall, remarked to that gentleman: 

“I should like to see the boy who took her bag and was with them when she slipped away.”



The boy was soon found and proved to be more observing in matters of dress than Mr. Ransom.  He described with apparent accuracy both the color and cut of the garments worn by the lady who had flitted away so mysteriously.  The former was brown, all brown; and the latter was of the tailor-made variety, very natty and becoming.  “What you would call ‘swell,’” was the comment, “if her walk hadn’t spoiled the hang of it.  How she did walk!  Her shoes must have hurt her most uncommon.  I never did see any one hobble so.”

“How’s that?  She hobbled, and her husband didn’t notice it?”

“Oh, he had hurried on ahead.  She was behind him, and she walked like this.”

The pantomime was highly expressive.

“That’s a point,” muttered Gerridge.  Then with a sharp look at the boy:  “Where were you that you didn’t notice her when she slipped off?”

“Oh, but I did, sir.  I was waiting for the clerk to give me the key, when I saw her step back from the gentleman’s side and, looking quickly round to see if any one was noticing her, slide off into the reception-room.  I thought she wanted a drink of water out of the pitcher on the center-table, but if she did, she didn’t come back after she had got it.  None of us ever saw her again.”

Project Gutenberg
The Chief Legatee from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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