I. T. Hopkins.

Judge Havisham's will online

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at last; my own, as I had no doubt it was. A
slight one, but very careless, and upsetting a good
many things, of course."

Lee watched his father's face as he heard what
was said, while his own reflections ran thus:
' c Very good ! And it was near upsetting one
thing more than the book-keeper thought of too,
I rather think. There's been a burning shame
somewhere, and Warnock's at the bottom of it,
I 'm more than sure."

Mr. Brainerd would have been ready to agree
with Lee if he had spoken aloud. There had
been u a burning shame somewhere," and he
could only reproach himself mercilessly that he
had been so easily blinded, allowing himself to
be prejudiced where not a single fact could be
made to stand as foundation for a charge.

And as if that was not enough, here was Lee !
Havisham had been doing and sacrificing every-
thing for him, and what was Lee saying? That


Brainerd and Gray were to have no more trouble
with him?

"Lee, you are quite sure you are right?
There is no mistake in all this? in what you
think you know about Havisham?" Mr. Brain-
erd asked, turning towards his son as the book-
keeper closed the door.

"None, except that I don't know half the
high soul there's in him! I can't, it's so far
above mine. But I 'm going to fight along after
it, as well as in me lies, and see if I can make
myself fit to fasten his shoe. Don't say a word
to me about it, though. Wait till I can show you
some proof."

Mr. Brainerd hesitated. The mere words
without the proof gave him greater happiness
than he had felt for many a disheartened day.
Still, if Lee wished it, perhaps it was better not
to touch him with even a congratulation just

"I'll watch for your proof then thankfully,
Lee," was accordingly all he said. "Now go,
and send me Mr. Warnock, if you '11 be so

The summons was quickly answered.

"Warnock, go and bring Mr. Havisham here;
I will see you together, if you please."

The clerk obeyed instantly; his moment had
come at last ! But there was one thing that had
struck his ear very strangely, nevertheless that


transposing of the u Mr." that belonged before
his name.

"Now for it !" thought Wynt, as the face he
always liked to avoid seeing looked into the office
with a hidden triumph in its smile. "I hope
neither of them will say anything that self-respect
can't pass unnoticed; that's all. I shall never
answer that question, whatever comes."

Warnock had slipped out of sight again hast-
ily after delivering his message, and was standing
by Mr. Brainerd's chair when Wynt reached the
room. Wynt met his eyes steadily for an instant
and then turned to the head of the firm.

u You wished to see me, I believe?"

Mr. Brainerd rose, came forward, and held out
his hand. "Yes, Mr. Havisham, I do. I wish
to beg your pardon for any unjust suspicion or
unkindness I may have held towards you or
made you feel. I have done you great wrong,
while you were sacrificing yourself for a noble
service to my boy and me. I regret it extremely,
and I wish to tell you so and to thank you most
earnestly for what you have done. It is not ne-
cessary to explain. Lee has done that for us.
And I wish also to say that the error in the books
proves to be no responsibility of yours, and that if
you will do us the favor to remain with us, I will
see that you are treated as you and your services

"And I wish to beg of you, sir," Mr. Brainerd


went on, turning to Warnock, whom he had left
quite at the rear, "that in future you will be
kind enough, if you wish to serve as tale-bearer,
to bring me no insinuations that you cannot
sustain with facts; especially where facts enough
might have been discovered, had you chosen, to
call for highest praise. I have found it difficult
to reconcile your views with the value every one
else in the store sets upon Mr. Havisham's work.
I hope," turning to Wynt again, "you will over-
look all this and go on as if it had not oc-

The little speech to Warnock had given Wynt
time to recover himself from the utter astonish-
ment the first moment had brought, while War-
nock stood livid with suppressed sensations and
without a word.

" You are very kind, Mr. Brainerd too kind,
I am afraid. I do not quite understand all you
have been so good as to say, except that you
begin to feel that you can trust me, and that is
all I ask. As to remaining, I will do so with
pleasure if that is to say, I can give my
decision better in a few days, if that will be
quite convenient to you."

But the next moment an absurd feeling came
over him. If he said that and nothing more, Mr.
Brainerd might suspect he was getting on his
stilts and holding off for injured dignity. "And
my dignity feels more hurt at hearing him apolo-

Judc* lUrtilum'i WOL I


gize to me than at almost anything else," he
exclaimed to himself.

" I beg your pardon," he added hastily, "it is
better to be frank. I'm not quite sure what is
due to other people yet. I've been leaving that
brother of mine too much, for one thing, I've
been afraid; and a new discovery as to my uncle's
plans for us makes that quite unnecessary now.
And I believe Mr. Wilkie has some wish that I
should study the next year; but if I go on with
work anywhere, I will do so here, with pleasure,
since you are kind enough to think I can be of

Warnock's eyes were wide open upon Wynt
now and his face almost beyond his power of con-
trol. He made some confused murmur about
being needed outside; Mr. Brainerd said, "Cer-
tainly;" and he disappeared.

" Then I have more to congratulate you upon
than I thought for, Havisham," said Mr. Brain-
erd as he watched Warnock out of sight. "I
found I had to do so upon being a man and keep-
ing yourself one under trying times; but if all
those matters are going to turn out happily and
give you a few years' respite to catch up with
yourself, I shall do so doubly and with all my
heart Now go and find Lee somewhere. You
can have all the talks in the packing-room you
may like."




WYNT did not feel that he wanted to do as
Lee's father suggested. "I don't know what
the fellow can have been going on about in
there," he said to himself as he walked towards
his own work. "If he's been praising me, or
talking of anything he thinks I've tried to do for
him, as he's big-hearted enough to do, why, I
can't go and follow him up about it, of course.
That's what it would look like. But I should
like to have him tell me that he knows I did not
give him away."

He did not have long to wait Lee watched
his opportunity, when the book-keeper had
stepped out, and came rushing up to Wynt's
stool, almost dragging him round upon it, until
he could look into his face.

" Wynt," he said, as he stood before him with
his head erect, "you '11 never see me skulking off
where you can't follow me again, nor pretend-
ing to myself or any one else that a contemptible
life is an endurable one. I knew all the time
that I was acting abominably, but I would not
tell myself so. But you 've got the whip hand


of me now ! You 've just broken me up at last.
I'm ashamed to the depths of my soul, but I 'm
proud of myself for being ashamed. It puts the
breath of a man into me already. And as for
what I think of you, you wouldn't let me say a
hundredth part of it if I could. But if you can
forgive me and endure me while I'm trying to
straggle after you,. fifty miles off, it 's all I ask."

Wynt looked at him, confused between what
he understood and what he made nothing of.
Was Lee declaring himself " broken up " at last ?
Was that one more great happiness coming into
this strange day ?

But the rest of it all how he could have any-
thing to do with it that he did not comprehend.

U I don't know what you are talking about,
Lee, as far as I am concerned; but for your own
part of it I thought this day was about as full as
it could be, but you are putting the best and the
biggest drop into the cup. And you mean it;
I'm sure of that."

" Yes, I mean it; but if you don't know what
I 'm trying to say about you, I '11 tell you. I 'm
talking about what you've done, and been, and
tried to do for me ever since I began to make a
fool of myself, and what I ' ve seen you making of
yourself, ever since you got thrown on your own
feet; and there was no 'soft thing ' about that, as
everybody knows. And I'm talking about your
taking your chance, and a heavy one, of a bounce


from Brainerd and Gray, rather than give me

"How did you know anything about that?"

"Never mind; I knew it, and I don't forget
it while I live. And now, if you can stand it,
I 'm going to hang to you till I see if I can learn
the #, , c of what I admire with all my soul in

" Don't, Lee. I can't take that kind of talk
from you. Do you think I can't see what 's noble
and good on your side, if you '11 only let it come
to the top? As to Brainerd and Gray it would
have made no difference with me, anyway, as it
proved; so that doesn't count And as to 'learn-
ing' from me, there's nothing to learn, that I
know of, unless it 's the very shadow of what I
ought to have learned myself a hundred times
better than I have from your Lord and mine.
Why don't you 'hang' to him? There's no
other help like it; and if you want anything
really worth worshipping, there's where you have
to look."

Lee shook his head. " He could n't stand it !
I haven't got the stuff in me that He wants to see
coming to Him. It 's all I can do to brace up and
believe you're going to take any stock in me
after this. I do believe it, but I '11 have to stop
there. And I don't go into things of that kind,
anyway, you know."

" Well now, Lee, what 's the use of a lot of


talk that don't hang together better than that?
You believe I'm ready to 'take stock in you,'
because your faults never spoiled my friendship,
because I've 'preached to you,' as you've been
pleased to call it, half a dozen times, and because
I tried to drag you off a flight of stairs. And
when our Prince became our Elder Brother, and
went through a long thirty years of it here, strug-
gling against everything, to show us what a life
might be, and finally laid down his own to re-
deem us and to give us a fresh start, you talk
about not having the right kind of stuff in you to
bring to him! I wouldn't like you to treat me
like that; and he doesn't. If you want to get rid
of the evil that's in you, as something you hate
and despise, and if you begin to see the good and
glorious he has shown us, and want to get hold of
it, that's the very kind of 'stuff' he's been wait-
ing and watching for you to bring to him all this
time, and you know it as well as I. Why don't
you go and talk to him about it ? You '11 find out
for yourself then."

Lee hesitated. " Oh, come, Wynt ! You 're
getting way ahead. I don't think I care about
all that."

"Yes, you do care about it, too; or if you
don't, the more reason still to tell him so. You
wont be a true man and a thorough one while
you 're thankless to the Prince that became one to
show you how; and if you want to be one, you 'd


better ' hold on ' to him, to make sure of it, and
to have him show you a hundred times higher
places in it than you or I have found out yet
And as to 'standing it,' he's had forgiveness
piled up in his heart waiting for you longer than
you seem to think of, many a time. I don't see
how the same fellow that comes here and gives
me a hundred times more than any little service
I 've been able to do him deserves, can finish by
saying he does n't care about Hint! I wish you 'd
go and talk to Him about it, I say, and see where
you 'd find yourself then. There 's enough there
to 'break you all up,' if there isn't anywhere
else, and he '11 open your eyes if you want him
to. And now don't say I've been preaching. I
want you along with me where I am; and he
wants you along with him too."

The morning passed at last; it seemed to
Wynt it had packed a whole year into its hours;
but the thing now was to go and tell Cyp. He
must come next; and it would pay up for a thou-
sand hard pulls to see him when he heard he was
to go back into the old house !

But he did not come next, after all. Wynt
met Bent as he turned into the yard, and in two
minutes more Mab's heart stood actually still as
she saw her father come hurrying in with a quick,
unsteady step, and throwing his arms and head
down upon the table, sit by it sobbing and crying
like a little child.


" Don't mind me, Mab !" he managed to say,
with a little gesture to put her away as she tried
to come to him; " let me have it out. It's all
joy, and don't shorten it. I shall never cry for
joy again while I live."

Mab stood, tremulous with excitement, beside
him without a word; but she could not bear it
long. "But I never saw you this way, father,
before," she ventured to say at last.

Bent looked up suddenly. "No, nor ever will
again, Mab, not even when I see you well and
married to Jem. See !" and he caught her in his
arms and carried her back to her chair with a
sweep; "am I an 'old man' now? I could carry
you round this room a thousand times, for a feath-
er's weight ! I ' ve gone back twenty years. It 's
the first will that 's to stand, Mab ! It 's a second
one, promised to Miss Vivian, that 's to be tipped
over with a breath. You '11 see our young gentle-
men back in the house they were born to, with
inheritance proper to keep it, before one week
has gone over our heads ! You '11 see Havishams
in the Havisham House, Mab; and no one can
say that the last who went out of it did those left
behind a wrong. Miss Vivian may bring her new
butler when she likes. With you and Jem made
up, and all this set right, I can die in peace."
And Bent began to walk the floor excitedly.

Mab had listened from beginning to end of
his rapid outpouring without a word, the pink


color coming up more and more strongly into her
cheeks and her eyes shining unutterable things.

She put out her hands at last and got hold of
Bent's coat-sleeve, and he came within reach.
"Aren't you glad you 'held on the tighter the
harder things pulled'?" she asked with an arch-
ness that Bent used to delight in, but that sor-
rowful days had almost put out of sight

"Glad! There's only shame to me if there
was ever a moment when I let go. And now, do
you understand me, Mab? you'll not see one of
those boys carrying burdens heavy for a strong
man's back, and the other breaking down with
what 's too much for the heart of any child, not to
mention a sensitive soul like Mr. Cyp's. I don't
know how we're ever to thank the Lord for this
day, with all it has brought us between daylight
and now; and we have him to thank; that is one
thing settled and sure."

There was a sound at the door, and Barbie's
tall figure stood before them, erect, almost majes-
tic, her eyes beaming like stars and the white
head-handkerchief once more in stately folds about
her head, while her brown hands hung before her
clasped and motionless.

"Yes, for He seeth the end from the begin-
ning," she began, as if echoing Bent's last words,
in the slow, half-chanting tones she had learned
in her childhood's land. " Darkness may endure
for a night, but joy cometh in the morning, and


clouds and shadows shall flee away. For He
will not suffer us to be tempted beyond what
we are able to endure ; and afterward it yield-
eth the peaceable fruits of righteousness. Bless
the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his ben-
efits 1"




CYP had not taken the news at all as Wynt
imagined he would. After his first start of sur-
prise he stood still for one instant, as if to get
hold of himself, and then covered everything
with the same little swell that had amused Mr.
Wilkie so much.

" Yes; I told you uncle never meant to throw
us over. I said no one could ever make me be-
lieve he did. If he had, I could have stood it as
well as you. I do n't need to have a soft thing of
it, of course. But I could n't stand it to have
them say it was uncle's fault, all the same!"

And "all the same," too, when Wynt went
up stairs that night, he found Cyp asleep with
red rings showing just a trifle under his eyes. He
and Bent had both had their little season of tem-
pestuous crying for joy.

The next thing was to write to Vivian.

"I want to march you into that house without
a day lost," Mr. Wilkie said to Wynt, "on that
youngster's account McPherson has been work-
ing himself up a good deal about him of late.
But I don't wish to do it till I've had the pleas-
ure of announcing you to Mrs. Adriance, and Cyp


can make something out of anticipation, mean-
time. And I call writing to Mrs. Vivian a 'pleas-
ure' deliberately, I want you to understand. I'll
not pretend to myself, even, that it is not. To
show her exactly how near she came to getting
what she wanted, and missed it ! that is all. I '11
write her a copy of that ' last will,' if she wishes;
or what would you say to letting her have the
original, Wynt?"

But Wynt shook his head at Mr. Wilkie.
Vivian had always been very kind in her manner
to him, he said; at which Mr. Wilkie' s moustache
showed some peculiar little contortion going on
under it, and he sat down to his letter forthwith.

Vivian's reply came immediately, the first
return mail bringing it, sealed, square-lettered,
and elegant, and written in all graceful apparent

She was very glad, she said, that anything
had occurred to induce Wynt to lay aside his prej-
udice against remaining in the Havisham House.
She hoped he and Cyp would return at once and
feel quite at home there, especially as she intended
to sail, within a few days, for a two or three
years' stay abroad. The old servants being so
faithful and at home in their duties, she did not
doubt her young cousins would find themselves
so well taken care of as scarcely to miss her until
her return; and with an airy little message of
farewell to them the letted closed.


Mr. Wilkie threw the letter down upon his
desk and leaned back in his chair with a little
shout, half merriment, half satisfaction.

"Well, if there isn't a consummate little
piece of letter- writing for you!" he exclaimed.
"Vivian has outdone herself this time, certainly.
And she could not have pleased me better if that
had been her first object in life. If I had put
those boys in there with her, they would have
found her exactly the charming company she was
before. And they could not have asked any one
else to come and do the thing differently. Going
abroad for two or three years, is she ? Then I '11
just send and see if Mrs. Lewyn can be persuaded
to come and warm the old house up for the young-
sters for that time. Just about the measure her
husband has given to Manilla, if I don't mis-

He wrote the letter, as his custom was, close
on the heels of his decision. Matters were not
apt to cool, very often, on Mr. Wilkie's desk.
But now that the first excitement of his pleasure
in the conclusion of Wynt's affairs was past the
recollection of his own began to rise again in a
troublesome way. Even between the lines he
was writing Mrs. Lewyn, mixed with his satis-
faction at Vivian's doing just the right thing, ran
suggestions of dark times coming and trouble
that he was nearing every day.

But there was one trouble that could never


face him again ; it was left dead and for ever
behind the temptation to put upon Hugh Wil-
kie's name a possible stain or upon Hugh Wilkie
himself the possibility of self-reproach and shame.

The last / in his signature to Mrs. Lewyn had
just got its dot when the door opened and Dr.
McPherson stepped inside.

"Ah, how are you, Wilkie? I've been out
of town and just come in, so that I hadn't heard
the lively news about those wards of yours till
half an hour ago. I could n't keep off with my
congratulations and took a moment to run in. So
that young stickler is satisfied about the 'last
will,' is he, after this? And Mrs. Vivian has
found out how it happened that they 're not her
wards instead of yours? It's the best thing I've
heard ! Clears Judge Havisham up a little, too,
in my mind, to tell the truth. A momentary
yielding to a daughter like that, but left incom-
plete, and wiped out with his last words, we can
excuse without lowering him from that high
round in the ladder where we like to keep him,
you know.

"By the way, I haven't heard you mention
that lead-mine of yours of late. I was thinking
of it the other day. I expected to hear great
things from it before now. If it turns out a big
fortune, you'll let me know, I hope. I shall want
to be in with my congratulations."

Mr. Wilkie changed color almost impercepti-


bly. "It will not turn out a fortune, large or
small, McPherson, thank you all the same. I'll
accept your interest in it as the best dividend it

"Why, what 's the matter?"

"Nothing, only that it wants a few thou-
sand that I can't put in to bring the fortune out
It 's there, I have no earthly doubt, but there it
will have to stay."

"Whew ! Do you mean it really ? That 's a
nuisance, certainly; but after all, a few thousands
do n't amount to much."

"They did not once to me; but you don't
know, perhaps, that luck has gone against me a
good many times of late."

" I did hear something of the kind, I 'm sorry
to say. In fact I was thinking of it as I came in
and wondering if it could bother you at all in
connection with the mine. So I thought I 'd find
out, and if it were so it might give me just the
opportunity I want to get a worry off my mind.
I wonder if you knew that your father lent me a
few hundreds when you and I were digging into
our professions at the same time? He did, and
they were more to me than twice as many thou-
sands could be now. I paid them back, but I 've
carried principal and interest on my heart ever
since, and I 'd like to get rid of them if I can.
I 've had two or three legacies tumble over on to
me since then and several strokes of luck besides,


to say nothing of steady work; so a sum that
came in the other day I 've no earthly use for. If
you'll take it and pitch it into that mine of
yours, I '11 be obliged to you, that 's all."

Mr. Wilkie felt his breath come and go for a
minute with a quickened pulse. U I can't do it,
McPherson," he said. "There's a risk, you
know. It might not come back. "

"I don't believe there's a bit of it. And
besides, your father risked on a mighty unprom-
ising claim when he took his chances on me.
Nobody thought then I'd 'pan out' very much,
if you recollect So I '11 just send in that little
amount, if you will allow me, and it will be off
my mind, whether it ever comes back or not. By
the way, I 'm as glad for that youngest Havisham
shaver as for any of the rest of that thing. It is
time he was set back in his native soil, if you
want to see him growing anywhere very long.
As for the real invalid of the place though, that
daughter of Bent's, I believe Pve hit the right
thing with her. I compliment myself on that
She 's coming right up."





IT was a "white day" on the Havisham Place
when its rightful owners, as all the old retainers
considered Wynt and Cyp quite equally with
Vivian, returned to their inheritance.

Mrs. Lewyn had come the day before and got
the sunshine and the first crocuses into the house
and her own cheery little belongings scattered
about Covers were taken off furniture; Jnic-a-
brac, silver, and linen were brought out again;
the horses came in from their winter quarters,
Blackwing among them Tom Adriance, hoping
for better days, having contrived, by ways best
known to himself, to keep him back from sale.

Waite had to come back when the horses did,
and he was "off his base," Bent declared, with
triumph and satisfaction at what was going on.
It was "the lightest lifting he ever did," he an-
swered as he brought back the furnishings that
he had carried in rebellious spirit to the gate
cottage not so many months before.

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