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further from his thoughts than to play Gascoigne gasped as hi end of it, eh ?" the spy; in fact he had scarcely been cluding words, which maly recovering conscious of what he was doing. Nor, was absolutely heir to his 2 indeed, even when the uplifted lid re- wealth. He was glad on higigne half vealed the contents of the box, which account too, for the art treası consisted of a number of documents queathed to her were of considobliged neatly docketed, did he experience the value. But to know that he hilharsh least sensation of curiosity. But, un- was the possessor-practically the p luckily, just as he was closing the lid sessor-of the remainder of the of," again, after releasing that fatal slip of man's fortune, was a revelation which paper, his eye was caught by a promis caused his pulses to thrill with excitenent inscription:

ment, and made the sunlight dazzling.

Perhaps because he was momentarily WILL

carried away by the pleasurable exOF

citement of the discovery, the young WILLIAM BARKER, ES Q., Q.C.

man's vigilance was relaxed; or perWithout making excuses for the haps, old Barker intentionally burst in young man's next action, it should at upon him unawares. At all events, least be recorded that it was entirely without a moment's warning, while he unpremeditated. There, to his hand, still held the will in his hand, the door lay the solution of all his doubts and of the room was opened, and Gascoigne difficulties. If he was his uncle's heir, had barely time to thrust the document well and good; his present negligent into the side pocket of his coat before mode of life need trouble him no more. his uncle, with his hat on, and muffled But if he had only been left an insig- up for going out, suddenly stood before nificant legacy, and his cousin-or some him. other person-was destined to inberit

"Hullo!" growled the old man, blinkthe fortune, then it behoved him at once ing in the sunlight, "so you are here?" to set about making up for lost time, “Yes, uncle," replied Gascoigne tremby applying himself assiduously to his ulously; "didn't Rogers tell you?" profession. This reflection passed like "He never tells me anything, the lazy a flash through Gascoigne's mind, and scoundrel,” grumbled old Barker, shufwade the opportunity for enlightenment Aling in, and giving his nephew a disso irresistible, that he seemed to rush torted forefinger to shake. "What do upon temptation rather than yield to you want?”' it. One second of anxious listening, "I called to inquire_I was sorry to during which the only sound he heard hear you have been so unwell,” said was the tumultuous beating of his Gascoigne, thanking his stars that he heart, and then he had seized the mo- had not left the lid of the tin box open. mentous document and was eagerly "So I have; but you are disappointed, scanning its contents.

you see. I'm nearly right again. I was Though brief, it was, unluckily, in his just going out,” snarled his uncle, aduncle's crabbed handwriting, and Gas- vancing to the tin box as he spoke. coigne was compelled to carry it away Gascoigne's heart stood still, as the from the box a little nearer to the light. old man lifted the lid of the box. He A hasty glance was sufficient to convey apparently remembered that he had left to his trained mind its full purport. it unlocked, and the action was eviA paltry legacy to the long suffering dently designed to assure himself of the valet, a picture or two to himself, all fact. Had he laid a trap for his nephew, the rest of the contents of the testator's and entered the room abruptly with the chambers, with the cash at the bank, idea that he would find him prying? to the niece, Mrs. Marsden; and the Such a project would not have been forresidue “to my nephew, Charles Grant eign to the old gentleman's disposition, Gascoigne, whom I appoint sole execu- and Gascoigne trembled lest his uncle tor to my will."

might open the box. But apparently this suspicion was groundless, or else while the porter carried the tin box. If Gascoigne's position at the window had his uncle had been in an observant been suggestive of innocence. At all mood, he would bave remarked that the events, old Barker proceeded to lug out young man submitted, with much better his keys from his breeches pocket, and grace than usual, to his jokes and locked up the box with a shaky hand. sarcasms. This was hardly surprising,

"Can I do that for you, uncle?" in- for it is not difficult to be long-suffering quired Gascoigne, prompted by a wild with an elderly relation when one Hope of be.ng able to slip in the will knows he has manifested his benerunobserved.

olence in the most effectual manner. “No; you stay where you are!" said On the other hand, the awkward fact his uncle over his shoulder. “This is that he was carrying off, clandestinely, where I keep my will. You would like the old man's will was sufficiently disto see it, I dare say?".

concerting to render Gascoigne a trifle "No, indeed, sir," said Gascoigne absent. hastily, dreading that his uncle might When he had deposited his uncle and be disposed to gratify him.

his tin box at the bank-after duly pay"Not curious enough, eh?" snarled old ing his moiety of the cab fareGasBarker. “Well, that's a good thing. coigne had leisure to reflect upon the You would be disappointed, I can tell predicament he had placed himself in. you. Don't expect anything from me.” Needless to say that he bitterly repented

"Very well, sir," said Gascoigne, too of his unpardonable curiosity; it would much overwhelmed by the conscious- be more just to dwell upon his honest ness of having the will in his pocket shame at what he had done. It seemed to appreciate the humor of the situa- to him that only two courses were open tion.

to him; one, the more honorable, was to “Quite disinterested, eh? Mark my return the document frankly to his words, young man; not one farthing uncle; the other, to keep it carefully will you get from me till you are mak- and say nothing. The latter plan was ing five hundred pounds a year by your the one which he finally adopted, not so profession. Do you hear?” cried the old much from self-interested motives, as gentleman, cocking his eye at him. because he could not bring himself to

“Yes, sir," answered Gascoigne, with face the old man's wrath. The more tolerable composure.

he thought about the matter, the more “Then you had better set about it. bitterly ashamed and humiliated he Not but what you have plenty of time,” felt. As for the fortune, he regarded he added hastily. "I'm good for twenty that as absolutely and forever forfeited, years yet-the doctor says so.'

whichever course he took. If he con"I'm glad to hear it," said Gascoigne fessed his fault, he knew that his uncle dutifully.

would ruthlessly strike out his name. “No, you're not. All the same, it is as The same thing would happen if he kept well for you that you should have a few his own counsel, for it was inevitable years to work up a practice in, for if I that the old man must, sooner or later, were to die to-morrow, you would get miss his will, and it would be quite nothing."

natural and easy to conjecture how it "Ar: you going out, sir?" inquired båd disappeared. In Gascoigne's view, Gascoigne, puzzled what to say to this he had only a choice of evils and he enigmatical utterance.

simply elected to spare himself the "Yes; I'm going to take that box to scourge of his uncle's tongue. my bank. You can come with me, and There are natures which need the pay half the cab fare," replied his uncle, stimulus of some unforeseen event or chuckling at this characteristic joke. misfortune to awake their slumbering • He rang the bell, and sent his man for energies. This was the case with Gasa cab, to which, in due course, Gascoigne, for being firmly convinced that coigne escorted his amiable relative, the result of what he had done would

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be to deprive him of his looked-for in- “And that is to be the end of it, eh?" heritance, he applied himself from that sneered the old man, slowly recovering day forward to the drudgery of earning from his amazement. his livelihood. He had many friends “I expect not,” said Gascoigne half and some influential connections, but, defiantly. more important still, he possessed “Your cousinought to be much obliged talent to which he had never hitherto to you," said old Barker, with a harsh attempted to do justice. A lucky laugh. chance, the absence of a learned leader "She needs the money more than I," in a notorious case, afforded him an said Gascoigne. opportunity of making a name, and al- "By Jove! sir, she shall have it too. most without effort-so great a lottery What is more, it shall come to her from is success at the bar!-he found himself your own hand,” roared the old man, in a position which was envied by his purple in the face. contemporaries.

“I don't understand,” said Gascoigne The process occupied nearly three quietly. years, and during this period he avoided “I'll make a fresh will on the spot." the society of his uncle as much as “Very well, sir." possible. He was haunted by a con- “You shall take it down from my dicstant dread of the discovery of his tation." secret, and was more than indifferent “As you please. It is rather like signabout offending him. Old Barker, on in; my own death-warrant,” said Gashis part, grudgingly acknowledged his coigne, with a nervous laugh. success, and was disposed to be more "So it is; so much the better; serves gracious; until, at length, having invited you right. There's a sheet of paper and his nephew to dinner one evening, and a pen over yonder. Sit you down,” said entertained him royally, he said, quite the old man excitedly. good-humoredly:

Poor Gascoigne obeyed silently, and “I suppose you are making five hun- not without an uncomfortable pang. dred pounds a year now?"

It was, as he had said, uncommonly “Yes," replied Gascoigne.

like signing his own death-warrant; but "Then I shall have to alter my will. after all, it was only what he had anYou would like to know what is in it, ticipated, and he felt a certain sense I expect?"

of relief at having unburdened his con"I do know, sir," said Gascoigne im- science. pulsively.

I suppose you had better have the “What!" exclaimed the old man. pictures and the things here," said the "Your will is at my chambers, sir. Do old man grudgingly. “She wouldn't you recollect that day when you left appreciate 'em." your tin box unlocked upon the table “Thank you, sir,” said Gascoigne here? In your absence I opened it, saw meekly. your will, and was unable to resist the “There may be a few pounds at my temptation of reading it. You returned bank-not worth speaking of. In fact, suddenly, before I was able to replace this will may as well be in similar terms it, so I have kept it ever since," ex- as the last, with your name and Marclaimed Gascoigne, very pale and garet's reversed," said old Barker, with shamefaced.

his malevolent old eye glistening. There was a painful silence for full "Margaret is to be residuary legatee, a minute; the old man's evil eye seemed in fact," said Gascoigne, with a sinking positively to glare upon the offender, heart. who looked precisely as he felt; and “Yes. How much do people say I'm then Gascoigne said:

worth." "It was a mean trick, but I'm heartily "£100,000 at least," answered Gag. ashamed of myself, and I beg your par-coigne, with assumed indifference. don."

"Ah! a good round sum to lose for a

are

little curiosity, isn't it?" sneered old, away. His will was nowhert to be Barker.

found, but in searching for it, Gas"It can't be helped,” said Gascoigne coigne came across a pote addressed to philosophically.

him by the deceased, stating that the "Indeed it can't. Now

you document was in the custody of his ready?”

solicitor, and requesting Gascoigne to “Yes," said Gascoigne, grasping his see this gentleman at once, before compen firmly.

municating with his cousin. The young The old man dictated, and the sight man naturally lost no time in calling of his nephew's ill-concealed discom- upon Mr. Bush, of Lincoln's Inn, an old fiture was evidently so amusing to him, friend and client of his uncle's, and he that he paused at frequent intervals to was perhaps, a trifle disappointed when chuckle and laugh. At length, however, the lawyer placed in his hands the Gascoigne's penance was ended; wit. identical document which he had himnesses were procured; and the will was self assisted to prepare. duly signed. Old Barker took posses- “I thought, perhaps, my uncle might sion of it, and when his nephew de have made a subsequent will,” he obparted-for naturally the evening soon served half involuntarily. flagged after this exciting episode-the "He could not have made a will more old man said:

favorable to you," said old Mr. Bush. "Good-night. What a fool you have “His pictures and things must be worth been! Those pictures and things are £10,000 at the very lowest estimate, and not worth a quarter of what I gave for how bank balance-which he leaves you them. Still I suppose you will get a also-amounts to rather more, as I hapcouple of thousand clear."

pen to know. I should think you will "More than I had any right to expect,” | take altogether £30,000 when the effects said Gascoigne, as heartily as he could. are realized."

“More than you deserve, you mean. "It is an agreeable surprise,” murShake hands!"

mured Gascoigne. "Still, my cousin is "You've forgiven me?"

residuary legatee, which means, I sup"Yes, but you'll never forgive your pose, £150,000." self! You were a fool to look at the "Nothing of the kind, my dear sir,” will, but you were a worse fool to tell. exclaimed Mr. Bush. “The lady will If you hadn't, I should very likely never only get the proportion of his annuity have missed it," said the old man, leer- due at the date of his death-perhaps ing at him.

£1,000 or so." This was not exactly consolatory to "What!" gasped Gascoigne. "His Gascoigne, who, though he realized the annuity!" satisfaction of having relieved his con- "It will surprise many people," replied science, experienced the natural disap- the lawyer. "He was supposed to be pointment of a man who has wantonly very wealthy, and so he was, in a sense. thrown away a vast fortune. It is true But he sunk his fortune many years ago that he had always expected this, and at in the purchase of an annuity of £5,000 least h: had saved something out of the a year, and a precious good bargain he fire. But it was a bitter pill, and it was made of it. It is a good thing for you fortunate that his professional engage that you are not his residuary legatee." ments prevented him from brooding "I was once," exclaimed Gascoigne, over his disappointment. He was also marvelling at his narrow escape, and at spa red any further discussion on the his uncle's peculiar method of show. subject with his uncle, for within a ing resentment, week the old man had an apoplectic “Yes; that was before your success at seizure, from which he never rallied. the bar, on which I congratulate you," Gascoigne was of course summoned to replied Mr. Bush. “The fact is that our his uncle's bedside, but the patient was departed friend was fond of a joke. unconscious, and in that state he passed Fortunately, as your cousin expects nothing, she won't be disappointed at / shell-fish. There was the small, lank getting only £1,000. If his old will had sand-shark, of no more dignity than a stood anıl you had found yourself in her dog-fish, whom I noticed too little to be position—"

able to describe him after so many “That would have been a sell cer- years. tainly,” said Gascoigne, who felt that he I have also taken casually several of could now afford to laugh.

the hammer-headed species, though not enough to be able to weak, with any certainty, of the size which they may attain. I should not, however, from all

I could see or hear, credit them even at From Badminton Magazine. their full growth with very large diTHE WOBBEGONG OF BOTANY BAY.

mensions. Lastly in the deep water The shark fishing which I really en- about the rocky heads lurked a large joyed—the tiger-lunt, as it were, of the and formidable sort of ground-shark, sea-was systematically pursued, al- called by the Aborigines (vulgo "Blackways with a fair measure of success, fellows") a wobbegong. This ugly and occasionally with grand results wretch in many respects diverges altoafter an exciting campaign. My thea- gether from the ordinary shark type. tre for these performances was Botany Instead of the conical snout with the Bay, no longer then a place of deten- cruel mouth far overlapped by the protion for the unruly patriots who “left jecting nose—an arrangement which their country for their country's good," somewhat hinders the fish's onset by but teeming with those greedy sea- forcing him to turn on his side-he has monsters whom I easily persuaded my- a square-cut head, the upper and under se?f that I did the public a service by jaws level, and displaying rows of pursuing and destroying. Why this strong teeth accurately interlocked. carnivorous population swarmed so in He can thus secure his prey without that bay I could only conjecture, for leaving the ground, and, in order to swarm they certainly did, not here and “take them in" more easily, his lips are there, but everywhere, from the Heads garnished with a fringe of wattles all round the sandy sweep of the shore. closely resembling filaments of seaIt was probably due to the abundance of weed, the wavy vibration of which food; the flathead alone, to say nothing doubtless lures inquisitive little fishes of larger fish, mustering in prodigious to their own undoing. This species is numbers; perhaps also to the gradual happily rare. I caught one over ten feet stoaling of the water, which made it a long outside Botany Head, and had a secure anchorage for the tendrilled egg horror of his tribe ever after. When I cases of sharks and a nursery for their had hooked him, I thought for some young. Whatever the cause, they time that I was foul of the rock, and seemed to have made that bay their when he stirred at last in answer to headquarters. And though the shark | resolute tugging, it seemed as if I had fishing which I shall attempt to de- moved some heavy inanimate object. scribe was directed against one only, He showed no fight-sedentary habits and that the largest and fiercest kind, not being conducive to activity-and yet there were sundry other species was soon floating helpless alongside. which deserve

ng mention. Two or three well-aimed thrusts of the There was found, though rarely, its lance seemed to finish him, and as the proper habitat being Port Jackson, that boat was a large and strong one we curious survival, oldest of existing ver- actually contrived to heave him aboard, tebrate forms, the “Cestracion Phil. though the slightest resistance on his lipsii,” its mouth armed, not with teeth, part might have rendered this impossibut with beautifully adjusted rollers, ble. But when I had placed a stout ridged and knobbed with the most mop-stick between his jaws he stuck to finished regularity for the crushing of it with such desperate tenacity that

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