“That is your plan, then?”
“Of course. First I shall substantiate all that this will sets forth. When I am assured that there can be no possibility of mistake in the extent of this fortune and my undisputed claim, I’ll take steps to get rid of my grandfather’s million in short order.” Brewster’s voice rang true now. The zest of life was coming back.
Mr. Grant leaned forward slowly and his intent, penetrating gaze served as a check to the young fellow’s enthusiasm.
“I admire and approve the sagacity which urges you to exchange a paltry million for a fortune, but it seems to me that you are forgetting the conditions,” he said, slowly. “Has it occurred to you that it will be no easy task to spend a million dollars without in some way violating the restrictions in your uncle’s will, thereby losing both fortunes?”
THE MESSAGE FROM JONES
A new point of view gradually came to Brewster. All his life had been spent in wondering how to get enough money to pay his bills, and it had not occurred to him that it might be as difficult to spend as to acquire wealth. The thought staggered him for a moment. Then he cried triumphantly, “I can decline to accept grandfather’s million.”
“You cannot decline to accept what is already yours. I understand that the money has been paid to you by Mr. Buskirk. You have a million dollars, Mr. Brewster, and it cannot be denied.”
“You are right,” agreed Montgomery, dejectedly. “Really, Mr. Grant, this proposition is too much for me. If you aren’t required to give an immediate answer, I want to think it over. It sounds like a dream.”
“It is no dream, Mr. Brewster,” smiled the lawyer. “You are face to face with an amazing reality. Come in to-morrow morning and see me again. Think it over, study it out. Remember the conditions of the will and the conditions that confront you. In the meantime, I shall write to Mr. Jones, the executor, and learn from him just what he expects you to do in order to carry out his own conception of the terms of your uncle’s will.”
“Don’t write, Mr. Grant; telegraph. And ask him to wire his reply. A year is not very long in an affair of this kind.” A moment later he added, “Damn these family feuds! Why couldn’t Uncle James have relented a bit? He brings endless trouble on my innocent head, just because of a row before I was born.”
“He was a strange man. As a rule, one does not carry grudges quite so far. But that is neither here nor there. His will is law in this case.”
“Suppose I succeed in spending all but a thousand dollars before the 23d of next September! I’d lose the seven millions and be the next thing to a pauper. That wouldn’t be quite like getting my money’s worth.”
“It is a problem, my boy. Think it over very seriously before you come to a decision, one way or the other. In the meantime, we can establish beyond a doubt the accuracy of this inventory.”