“’I took a hack to her house from the station, and sent up my card. She received me quite kindly. After a few inquiries and commonplaces I thanked her as I had intended doing. She smiled and made light of it; then I spoke of the house and the garden, and the blacksmith shop, and how grateful we all were to her.
“’"Why,” said she, “what on earth are you talking about? I never gave you a house, or a garden, or a blacksmith shop.”
“’You may imagine my surprise.
“’"Why,” said I, “did you not give Mr. Frank Montgomery the money to purchase it, and tell him to have the deed made out to my father?”
“’"My dear,” said she, “you bewilder me; I never in all my life heard of such a person as Mr. Frank Montgomery; and I certainly never gave him any money to buy a house for anybody.”
“’"Why,” said I, “do you pretend you do not know Mr. Frank Montgomery, who brought me your deed of gift?”
“That,” she said, “was not Mr. Frank Montgomery, but Mr. Arthur Phillips.”
“’"No, no,” I said, “you are mistaken; it was Frank Montgomery, a printer by trade, who owns the house we used to live in, at 1252 Seward Street. I am well acquainted with him.”
“’"Well,” said she, “this is certainly astonishing! Mr. Arthur Phillips, whom I have known for years, a young gentleman of large fortune, a lawyer by profession, comes to me and tells me, the very day you said my son was not the man who assaulted you, that unless I settled fifty dollars a week on you for life, by a deed of gift, he would have Nathan rearrested for an attempt to murder you, and would prove his guilt by your mother; and now you come and try to make me believe that Arthur Phillips, the lawyer, is Frank Montgomery, the printer; that he lives in a little house on Seward Street, and that I have been giving him money to buy you houses and gardens and blacksmith shops in the country! I hope, my dear, that the shock you received, on that dreadful night, has not affected your mind. But I would advise you to go home to your parents.”
“‘And therewithal she politely bowed me out.’
“’I was very much astonished and bewildered. I stood for some time on the doorstep, not knowing what to do next. Then it occurred to me that I would go to your house and ask you what it all meant; for I had no doubt Mrs. Brederhagan was wrong, and that you were, indeed, Frank Montgomery, the printer. I found the house locked up and empty. A bill on the door showed that it was to rent, and referred inquiries to the corner grocery. They remembered me very well there. I asked them where you were. They did not know. Then I asked whether they were not agents for you to rent the house. Oh, no; you did not own the house. But had you not lived in it for years? No; you rented it the very morning of the same day we moved in. I was astounded, and more perplexed than ever. What did it all mean? If you did not own the house