Beulah eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 629 pages of information about Beulah.

CHAPTER XXX.

Mr. Graham sat by his daughter’s bed, with his elbow resting on her pillow and his head drooped on his hand.  It was noon, and sunshine sparkled out of doors; but here the heavy curtains swept across the windows and cast a lurid light over the sickroom.  His heart ached as he looked upon the wreck of his once brilliant and beautiful child, and he shaded his face to conceal the tears which stole down his furrowed cheeks.  The restless sufferer threw up her arms over the pillow, and, turning toward him, said in a voice sharpened by disease: 

“Has mother gone?  I want to say something to you.”

“We are alone, my child; speak to me freely.”

“There are a few things I wish to have arranged, and my time is short.  You have never refused me any gratification I desired, and I know you will grant my last request.  Father, if I were a bride to-day, what would be my portion of the estate?  How much would you give me?”

“I would give every cent I possess to purchase you a life of happiness.”

“You do not understand me.  I have always been considered an heiress, and I want to know how much I would be entitled to, if I should live?  Of course Eugene has an equal share.  How much is it?”

“About eighty thousand dollars apiece, I suppose, leaving as much for your mother.  Why do you ask, my daughter?”

“Eighty thousand dollars.  How much good might be done with it, if judiciously distributed and invested!  Father, I shall not live to squander it in frivolous amusements or superfluous luxuries.  Are you willing that I should dispose of a portion of it before my death?”

“Yes, Cornelia, if it will afford you any gratification.  My poor, afflicted child; how can I deny you anything you choose to ask?”

She put up one arm around his neck, and, drawing his head close to her, said earnestly: 

“I only wish to use a part of it.  Father, I want to leave Beulah about five thousand dollars.  That sum will enable her to live more comfortably, and labor less, and I should like to feel, before I die, that I had been the means of assisting her.  Will you invest that amount in stocks for her, or pay the money into her own hands?  Will you see that it is arranged so that she will certainly receive it, no matter what happens?”

“Yes, I promise you that she shall have five thousand dollars, to dispose of as she thinks proper.”

“She is proud, and will not receive it willingly; but you must arrange it so that she will be benefited by it.  Father, can you do this for me?”

“Yes, without difficulty, I think.”

“Let it be kept secret, will you?”

“Rest assured it shall have no unnecessary publicity.”

“See that it is conveyed to her so securely that no quibbles of law can wrest it from her at any future day, for none of us knows what may happen.”

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Beulah from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.