Miss Milray went from Clementina to call upon her sister-in-law, and found her brother, which was perhaps what she hoped might happen.
“Do you know,” she said, “that that old wretch is going to defraud that poor thing, after all, and leave her money to her husband’s half-sister’s children?”
“You wish me to infer the Mrs. Lander—Clementina situation?” Milray returned.
“I’m glad you put it in terms that are not actionable, then; for your words are decidedly libellous.”
“What do you mean?”
“I’ve just been writing Mrs. Lander’s will for her, and she’s left all her property to Clementina, except five thousand apiece to the half-sister’s three children.”
“I can’t believe it!”
“Well,” said Milray, with his gentle smile, “I think that’s safe ground for you. Mrs. Lander will probably have time enough to change her will as well as her mind several times yet before she dies. The half-sister’s children may get their rights yet.”
“I wish they might!” said Miss Milray, with an impassioned sigh. “Then perhaps I should get Clementina—for a while.”
Her brother laughed. “Isn’t there somebody else wants Clementina?
“Oh, plenty. But she’s not sure she wants anybody else.”
“Does she want you?”
“No, I can’t say she does. She wants to go home.”
“That’s not a bad scheme. I should like to go home myself if I had one. What would you have done with Clementina if you had got her, Jenny?”
“What would any one have done with her? Married her brilliantly, of course.”
“But you say she isn’t sure she wishes to be married at all?”
Miss Milray stated the case of Clementina’s divided mind, and her belief that she would take Hinkle in the end, together with the fear that she might take Gregory. “She’s very odd,” Miss Milray concluded. “She puzzles me. Why did you ever send her to me?”
Milray laughed. “I don’t know. I thought she would amuse you, and I thought it would be a pleasure to her.”
They began to talk of some affairs of their own, from which Miss Milray returned to Clementina with the ache of an imperfectly satisfied intention. If she had meant to urge her brother to seek justice for the girl from Mrs. Lander, she was not so well pleased to have found justice done already. But the will had been duly signed and witnessed before the American vice-consul, and she must get what good she could out of an accomplished fact. It was at least a consolation to know that it put an end to her sister-in-law’s patronage of the girl, and it would be interesting to see Mrs. Milray adapt her behavior to Clementina’s fortunes. She did not really dislike her sister-in-law enough to do her a wrong; she was only willing that she should do herself a wrong. But one of the most disappointing things in all hostile operations is that you never can know what the enemy would be