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Phantom Fortune, a Novel
written by "Braddon, M. E. (Mary Elizabeth), 1835-1915"
...Jack? No gems were needed to give your mother's portrait value in my eyes.' 'I know that, dearest, but I wanted to make the locket worth wearing. And now for the other cases. The locket is your lover's free gift, and is yours to keep and to bequeath to your children. These are heirlooms, and yours only during your husband's lifetime.' He opened one of the largest cases, and on a bed of black velvet Mary beheld a magnificent diamond necklace, with a large pendant. He opened another and displayed a set of sprays for the hair. Another contained earrings, another bracelets, the last a tiara. 'What are they for?' gasped Mary. 'For my wife to wear.' 'Oh, but I could never wear such things,' she exclaimed, with an idea that these must be stage jewellery. 'They are paste, of course—very beautiful for people who like that kind of thing—but I don't.' She felt deeply shocked at this evidence of bad taste on the part of her lover. How the things flashed in the sunshine—but so did the crystal drops in the old Venetian girondoles. 'No, Molly, they are not paste; they are Brazilian diamonds, and, as Maulevrier would say, they are as good as they make them. They are heirlooms, Molly. My dear mother wore them in her summer-tide of wedded happiness. My grandmother wore them for thirty years before her; my great grandmother wore them at the Court of Queen Charlotte, and they were worn at the Court of Queen Anne. They are nearly two hundred years old; and those central stones in the tiara came out of a cap worn by the Great Mogul, and are the largest table diamonds known. They are historic, Mary.' 'Why, they must be worth a fortune.' 'They are valued at something over seventy thousand pounds.' 'But why don't you sell them?' exclaimed Mary, opening her eyes wide with surprise, 'they would give you a handsome income.' 'They are not mine to sell, Molly. Did not I tell you that they are heirlooms? They are the family j...

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