The Mayor's Wife eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 250 pages of information about The Mayor's Wife.
Turning on the nurse, she looked her full in the face.  The woman was gazing at the empty wallet.  ’You know what was in that?’ queried Miss Thankful.  A fierce look answered her.  ‘A thousand dollars!’ announced Miss Thankful.  The nurse’s lip curled.  ‘Oh, you knew that it was five,’ was Miss Thankful’s next outburst.  Still no answer, but a look which seemed to devour the empty wallet.  This look had its effect.  Miss Thankful dropped her accusatory tone, and attempted cajolery.  ’It was his legacy to us,’ she explained.  ’He gave it to me just before he died.  You shall be paid out of it.  Now will you call my sister?  She’s up and with my nephew, who came an hour ago.  Call them both; I am not afraid to remain here for a few moments with my brother’s body.’  This appeal, or perhaps the promise, had its effect.  The nurse disappeared, after another careful look at her patient, and Miss Thankful bounded to her feet and began a hurried search for the missing bonds.  They could not be far away.  They must be in the room, and the room was so nearly empty that it would take but a moment to penetrate every hiding-place.  But alas! the matter was not so simple as she thought.  She looked here, she looked there; in the bed, in the washstand drawer, under the cushions of the only chair, even in the grate and up the chimney; but she found nothing—­nothing!  She was standing stark and open-mouthed in the middle of the floor, when the others entered, but recovered herself at sight of their surprise, and, explaining what had happened, set them all to search, sister, nephew, even the nurse, though she was careful to keep close by the latter with a watchfulness that let no movement escape her.  But it was all fruitless.  The bonds were not to be found, either in that room or in any place near.  They ransacked, they rummaged; they went upstairs, they went down; they searched every likely and every unlikely place of concealment, but without avail.  They failed to come upon the place where he had hidden them; nor did Miss Thankful or her sister ever see them again from that day to this.”

“Oh!” I exclaimed; “and the nephew? the nurse?”

“Both went away disappointed; he to face his disgrace about which his aunts were very reticent, and she to seek work which was all the more necessary to her, since she had lost her pay, with the disappearance of these bonds, whose value I have no doubt she knew and calculated on.”

“And the aunts, the two poor old creatures who stare all day out of their upper window at these walls, still believe that money to be here,” I cried.

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The Mayor's Wife from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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