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The Tenants of Malory, Volume 3
written by "Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan, 1814-1873"
..." "She was good to me—a proud woman—hard, they used to say; but she was good to me—yes, sir—and so she's gone, at last. She was frightened at them—there was something in them—my poor head—you know—I couldn't see it, and I did not care—for the little child was gone; it was only two months old, and she was ninety years; it's a long time, and now she's in her shroud, poor thing! and I may speak to you." "Do, ma'am—pray; but it's growing late, and hadn't we better come to the point a bit?" She was sitting in the chair he had placed for her, and she had something under her cloak, a thick book it might be, which she held close in her arms. She placed it on the table and it turned out to be a small tin box with a padlock. "Papers, ma'am?" he inquired. "Will you read them, sir, and see what ought to be done—there's the key?" "Certainly, ma'am;" and having unlocked it, he disclosed two little sheaves of papers, neatly folded and endorsed. The attorney turned these over rapidly, merely[Pg 208] reading at first the little note of its contents written upon each. "By Jove!" he exclaimed; he looked very serious now, with a frown, and the corners of his mouth drawn down, like a man who witnesses something horrible. "And, ma'am, how long have you had these?" "Since Mr. Sedley died." "I know; that's more than twenty years, I think; did you show them to anyone?" "Only to the poor old lady who's gone." "Ay, I see." There was a paper endorsed "Statement of Facts," and this the attorney was now reading. "Now, ma'am, do you wish to place these papers in my hands, that I may act upon them as the interests of those who are nearest to you may require?" She looked at him with a perplexed gaze, and said, "Yes, sir, certainly." "Very well, ma'am; then I must go up to town at once. It's a very serious affair, ma'am, and I'll do my duty by you." "Can you under...

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