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WHERE
THERE'S

4



WILL



MARY
ROBERTS
RINEHART





t '




Not not Dicky Carter ! " she cried.



WHERE THERE'S
A WILL

BY MARY ROBERTS R1NEHART



Author of "The Window at the White Cat," "The Man
in Lower Ten," "When a Man Marries," etc.




WITH FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS
BY F. VAUX WILSON



A. L. BURT COMPANY

PUBLISHERS NEW YORK



COPYRIGHT 1912
THE BOBBS-MERRILL COMPAMT



CONTENTS



CHAPTER
I
II
III

IV


I HAVE A WARNING .

Miss PATTY ARRIVES . M . .
A WILL . . M *


PAGE

1

. 12
. 20
30


V


WANTED AN OWNER ....


. 43


VI




54


VII


MR. PIERCE ACQUIRES A WIFE


. 62


VIII


AND MR. MOODY INDIGESTION .


. 77


IX


DOLLY, How COULD You?


. 96


X


ANOTHER COMPLICATION ....


. 115


XI


Miss PATTY'S PRINCE ....


. 126


XII




140


XIII


THE PRINCE PRINCIPALLY . .-, .


. 152


XIV


PIERCE DISAPPROVES ....


. 161


XV


THE PRINCE, WITH APOLOGIES


. 170


XVI


STOP, THIEF !


. 177


XVII


A BUNCH OF LETTERS ....


. 187


XVIII


Miss COBB'S BURGLAR . . * ..


. 198


XIX


No MARRIAGE IN HEAVEN


. 205


XX


EVERY DOG HAS His DAY . . .


. 218


XXI


THE MUTINY ......


. 228


XXII


HOME TO ROOST .


. 241


XXIII


BACK TO NATURE . . . .


. 253


XXIV


LIKE DUCKS TO WATER . . ,


. 265


XXV




282


XXVI


OVER THE FENCE Is OUT . . , :


. 297


XXVII


A CUPBOARD FULL OF RYE


. 310


XXVIII


LOVE, LOVE, LOVE


. 321


XXIX


A BIG NIGHT TO-NIGHT ....


. 330


XXX


LET GOOD DIGESTION ....


. 344



WHERE THERE'S A WILL



WHERE
THERE'S A WILL

CHAPTER I

I HAVE A WARNING

WHEN it was all over Mr. Sam came out to
the spring-house to say good-by to me be-
fore he and Mrs. Sam left. I hated to see him go,
after all we had been through together, and I sup-
pose he saw it in my face, for he came over close
and stood looking down at me, and smiling. "You
saved us, Minnie," he said, "and I needn't tell ..you
we're grateful; but do you know what I think?" he
asked, pointing his long forefinger at me. "I think
you've enjoyed it even when you were suffering
most. Red-haired women are born to intrigue, as
the sparks fly upward."

"Enjoyed it !" I snapped. "I'm an old woman be-
fore my time, Mr. Sam. What with trailing back

I



2 WHERE THERE'S A WILL

and forward through the snow to the shelter-house,
and not getting to bed at all some nights, and my
heart going by fits and starts, as you may say, and
half the time my spinal marrow fairly chilled not
to mention putting on my overshoes every morning
from force of habit and having to take them off
again, I'm about all in."

"It's been the making of you, Minnie," he said,
eying me, with his hands in his pockets. "Look at
your cheeks ! Look at your disposition ! I don't be-
lieve you'd stab anybody in the back now!"

(Which was a joke, of course; I never stabbed
anybody in the back.)

He sauntered over and dropped a quarter into the
slot-machine by the door, but the thing was frozen
up and refused to work. I've seen the time when
Mr. Sam would have kicked it, but he merely looked
at it and then at me.

"Turned virtuous, like everything else around the
place. Not that I don't approve of virtue, Minnie,
but I haven't got used to putting my foot on the
brass rail of the bar and ordering a nut sundse.
Hook the money out with a hairpin, Minnie, and
buy some shredded wheat in remembrance of me."



I HAVE A WARNING 3

He opened the door and a blast of February wind
rattled the window-frames. Mr. Sam threw out his
chest under his sweater and waved me another
good-by.

"Well, I'm off, Minnie," he said. "Take care of
yourself and don't sit too tight on the job; learn to
rise a bit in the saddle."

"Good-by, Mr. Sam!" I called, putting down
Miss Patty's doily and following him to the door;
"good-by; better have something before you start to
keep you warm."

He turned at the corner of the path and grinred
back at me.

"All right," he called. "I'll go down to the bar and
get a lettuce sandwich !"

Then he was gone, and happy as I was, I knew
I would miss him terribly. I got a wire hairpin and
went over to the slot-machine, but when I had finally
dug out the money I could hardly see it for tears.
*******

It began when the old doctor died. I suppose you
have heard of Hope Sanatorium and the mineral
spring that made it famous. Perhaps you have seen
the blotter we got out, with a flash-light interior of



4 WHERE THERE'S A WILL

the spring-house on it, and me handing the old doc-
tor a glass of mineral water, and wearing the em-
broidered linen waist that Miss Patty Jennings gave
me that winter. The blotters were a great success.
Below the picture it said, "Yours for health," and
in the body of the blotter, in red lettering, "Your
system absorbs the health-giving drugs in Hope
Springs water as this blotter soaks up ink."

The "Yours for health" was my idea.

I have been spring-house girl at Hope Springs
Sanatorium for fourteen years. My father had the
position before me, but he took rheumatism, and as
the old doctor said, it was bad business policy to
spend thousands of dollars in advertising that Hope
Springs water cured rheumatism, and then have fa-
ther creaking like a rusty hinge every time he bent
over to fill a glass with it.

Father gave me one piece of advice the day he
turned the spring-house over to me.

"It's a difficult situation, my girl," he said. "Lots
of people think it's simply a matter of filling a glass
with water and handing it over the railing. Why,
I tell you a barkeeper's a high-priced man mostly,
and his job's a snap to this. I'd like to know how a



barkeeper would make out if his customers came
back only once a year and he had to remember
whether they wanted their drinks cold or hot or
'chill off'. And another thing: if a chap comes
in with a tale of woe, does the barkeeper have to
ask him what he's doing for it, and listen while he
tells how much weight he lost in a blanket sweat?
No, sir ; he pushes him a bottle and lets it go at that."

Father passed away the following winter. He'd
been a little bit delirious, and his last words were:
"Yes, sir; hot, with a pinch of salt, sir?" Poor fa-
ther ! The spring had been his career, you may say,
and I like to think that perhaps even now he is sitting
by some everlasting spring measuring out water with
a golden goblet instead of the old tin dipper. I said
that to Mr. Sam once, and he said he felt quite sure
that I was right, and that where father was the wa-
ter would be appreciated. He had heard of father.

Well, for the first year or so I nearly went crazy.
Then I found things were coming my way. I've got
the kind of mind that never forgets a name or face
and can combine them properly, which isn't com-
mon. And when folks came back I could call them
at once. It would do your heart good to see some



6 WHERE THERE'S A WILL

politician, coming up to rest his stomach from the
free bar in the state house at the capital, enter the
spring-house where everybody is playing cards and
drinking water and not caring a rap whether he's
the man that cleans the windows or the secretary of
the navy. If he's been there before, in sixty seconds
I have his name on my tongue and a glass of water
in his hand, and have asked him about the rheuma-
tism in his right knee and how the children are.
And in ten minutes he's sitting in a bridge game and
trotting to the spring to have his glass refilled during
his dummy hand, as if he'd grown up in the place.
The old doctor used to say my memory was an asset
to the sanatorium.

He depended on me a good bit the old doctor
did and that winter he was pretty feeble. (He was
only seventy, but he'd got in the habit of making it
eighty to show that the mineral water kept him
young. Finally he got to being eighty, from think-
ing it, and he died of senility in the end. )

He was in the habit of coming to the spring-house
every day to get his morning glass of water and read
the papers. For a good many years it had been his
custom to sit there, in the winter by the wood fire



I HAVE A WARNING 7

and in the summer just inside the open door, and to
read off the headings aloud while I cleaned around
the spring and polished glasses.

"I see the president is going fishing, Minnie,"
he'd say, or "Airbrake is up to 133; I wish I'd
bought it that time I dreamed about it It was you
who persuaded me not to, Minnie."

And all that winter, with the papers full of ru-
mors that Miss Patty Jennings was going to marry
a prince, we'd followed it by the spring-house fire,
the old doctor and I, getting angry at the Austrian
emperor for opposing it when we knew how much
too good Miss Patty was for any foreigner, and
then getting nervous and fussed when we read that
the prince's mother was in favor of the match and
it might go through. Miss Patty and her father
came every winter to Hope Springs and I couldn't
have been more anxious about it if she had been my
own sister.

Well, as I say, it all began the very day the old
doctor died. He stamped out to the spring-house
with the morning paper about nine o'clock, and the
wedding seemed to be all off. The paper said the
emperor had definitely refused his consent and had



8 WHERE THERE'S A .WILE

sent the prince, who was his cousin, for a Japanese
cruise, while the Jennings family was going to Mex-
ico in their private car. The old doctor was indig-
nant, and I remember how he tramped up and down
the spring-house, muttering that the girl had had
a lucky escape, and what did the emperor expect if
beauty and youth and wealth weren't enough. But
he calmed down, and soon he was reading that the
papers were predicting an early spring, and he said
we'd better begin to increase our sulphur percentage
in the water.

I hadn't seen anything strange in his manner,
although we'd all noticed how feeble he was grow-
ing, but when he got up to go back to the sanatorium
and I reached him his cane, it seemed to me he
avoided looking at me. He went to the door and
then turned and spoke to me over his shoulder.

"By the way," he remarked, "Mr. Richard will be
along in a day or so, Minnie. You'd better break it
to Mrs. Wiggins."

Since the summer before we'd had to break Mr.
Dick's coming to Mrs. Wiggins the housekeeper,
owing to his finding her false front where it had
blown out of a window, having been hung up to dry,



I HAVE A WARNING 9

and his wearing it to luncheon as whiskers. Mr.
Dick was the old doctor's grandson.

"Humph!" I said, and he turned around and
looked square at me.

"He's a good boy at heart, Minnie," he said.
"We've had our troubles with him, you and I, but
everything has been quiet lately."

When I didn't say anything he looked discour-
aged, but he had a fine way of keeping on until he
gained his point, had the old doctor.

"It has been quiet, hasn't it?" he demanded.

"I don't know," I said; "I have been deaf since
the last explosion !" And I went down the steps to
the spring. I heard the tap of his cane as he came
across the floor, and I knew he was angry.

"Confound you, Minnie," he exclaimed, "if I
could get along without you I'd discharge you this
minute."

"And if I paid any attention to your discharging
me I'd have been gone a dozen times in the last
year," I retorted. "I'm not objecting to Mr. Dick
coming here, am I? Only don't expect me to burst
into song about it. Shut the door behind you when
you go out."



io WHERE THERE'S A WILL

But he didn't go at once. He stood watching me
polish glasses and get the card-tables ready, and I
knew he still had something on his mind.

"Minnie," he said at last, "you're a shrewd young
woman maybe more head than heart, but that's
well enough. And with your temper under control,
you're a capable young woman."

"What has Mr. Dick been up to now?" I asked,
growing suspicious^

"Nothing. But I'm an old man, Minnie, a very
old man."

"Stuff and nonsense," I exclaimed, alarmed.
"You're only seventy. That's what comes of saying
in the advertising that you are eighty to show what
the springs have done for you. It's enough to make
a man die of senility to have ten years tacked to his
age."

"And if," he went on, "if anything happens to
me, Minnie, I'm counting on you to do what you can
for the old place. You've been here a good many
years, Minnie."

"Fourteen years I have been ladling out water at
this spring," I said, trying to keep my lips from
trembling. "I wouldn't be at home any place else,



I HAVE A WARNING n

unless it would be in an aquarium. But don't ask
me to stay here and help Mr. Dick sell the old place
for a summer hotel. For that's what he'll do."

"He won't sell it," declared the old doctor grimly.
"All I want is for you to promise to stay."

"Oh, I'll stay," I said. "I won't promise to be
agreeable, but I'll stay. Somebody'll have to look
after the spring; I reckon Mr. Dick thinks it comes
out of the earth just as we sell it, with the whole
pharmacopoeia in it."

Well, it made the old doctor happier, and I'm
not sorry I promised, but I've got a joint on my
right foot that throbs when it is going to rain or I
am going to have bad luck, and it gave a jump then.
I might have known there was trouble ahead.



CHAPTER II

MISS PATTY ARRIVES

IT was pretty quiet in the spring-house that day
after the old doctor left. It had started to snow
and only the regulars came out. What with the old
doctor talking about dying, and Miss Patty Jennings
gone to Mexico, when I'd been looking forward to
her and her cantankerous old father coming to Hope
Springs for February, as they mostly did, I was de-
pressed all day. I got to the point where Mr. Moody
feeding nickels into the slot-machine with one hand
and eating zwieback with the other made me nerv-
ous. After a while he went to sleep over it, and
when he had slipped a nickel in his mouth and tried
to put the zwieback in the machine he muttered
something and went up to the house.

I was glad to be alone. I drew a chair in front
of the fire and wondered what I would do if the old
doctor died, and what a fool I'd been not to be a
school-teacher, which is what I studied for. I was

12



MISS PATTY ARRIVES 13

thinking to myself bitterly that all that my experi-
ence in the spring fitted me for was to be a mermaid,
when I heard something running down the path, and
it turned out to be Tillie, the diet cook.

She slammed the door behind her and threw the
Finleyville evening paper at me.

"There !" she said, "I've won a cake of toilet soap
from Bath-house Mike. The emperor's consented."

"Nonsense!" I snapped, and snatched the paper.
Tillie was right; the emperor had! I sat down and
read it through, and there was Miss Patty's picture
in an oval and the prince's in another, with a turned-
up mustache and his hand on the handle of his
sword, and between them both was the Austrian em-
peror. Tillie came and looked over my shoulder.

"I'm not keen on the mustache," she said, "but
the sword's beautiful and, oh, Minnie, isn't he ar-
istocratic? Look at his nose!"

But I'm not one to make up my mind in a hurry,
and I'd heard enough talk about foreign marriages
in the years I'd been dipping out mineral water to
make me a skeptic, so to speak.

"I'm not so sure," I said slowly. "You can't tell
anything by that kind of a picture. If he was even



14 WHERE THERE'S A WILL

standing beside a chair I could get a line on him.
He may be only four feet high."

"Then Miss Jennings wouldn't love him," de-
clared Tillie. "How do you reckon he makes his
mustache point up like that?"

"What's love got to do with it?" I demanded.
"Don't be a fool, Tillie. It takes more than two
people's pictures in a newspaper with a red heart
around them and an overweight cupid above to make
a love-match. Love's a word that's used to cover a
good many sins and to excuse them all."

"She isn't that kind," said Tillie. "She's she's
as sweet as she's beautiful, and you're as excited as
I am, Minnie Waters, and if you're not, what have
you got the drinking glass she used last winter put
on the top shelf out of reach for?" She went to the
door and slammed it open. "Thank heaven I'm not
a dried-up old maid," she called back over her shoul-
der, "and when you're through hugging that paper
you can send it up to the house."

Well, I sat there and thought it over, Miss Patty,
or Miss Patricia, being, so to speak, a friend of
mine. They'd come to the Springs every winter for
years. Many a time she'd slipped away from her



MISS PATTY ARRIVES 15

governess and come down to the spring-house for a
chat with me, and we'd make pop-corn together by
my open fire, and talk about love and clothes, and
even the tariff, Miss Patty being for protection,
which was natural, seeing that was the way her fa-
ther made his money, and I for free trade, especially
in the winter when my tips fall off considerable.

And when she was younger she would sit back
from the fire, with the corn-popper on her lap and
her cheeks as red as cranberries, and say : "I don't
know why I tell you all these things, Minnie, but
Aunt Honoria's funny, and I can't talk to Dorothy ;
she's too young, you know. Well, he said " only
every winter it was a different "he."

In my wash-stand drawer I'd kept all the clippings
about her coming out and the winter she spent in
Washington and was supposed to be engaged to the
president's son, and the magazine article that told
how Mr. Jennings had got his money by robbing
widows and orphans, and showed the little frame
house where Miss Patty was born as if she's had
anything to do with it. And so -now I was cutting
out the picture of her and the prince and the article
underneath which told how many castles she'd have,



i6

and I don't mind saying I was sniffling a little bit,
for I couldn't get used to the idea. And suddenly
the door closed softly and there was a rustle behind
me. When I turned it was Miss Patty herself. She
saw the clipping immediately, and stopped just in-
side the door.

"You, too," she said. "And we've come all this
distance to get away from just that."

"Well, I shan't talk about it," I replied, not hold-
ing out my hand, for with her, so to speak, next
door to being a princess but she leaned right over
and kissed me. I could hardly believe it.

"Why won't you talk about it?" she insisted,
catching me by the shoulders and holding me off.
"Minnie, your eyes are as red as your hair!"

"I don't approve of it," I said. "You might as
well know it now as later, Miss Patty. I don't be-
lieve in mixed marriages. I had a cousin that mar-
ried a Jew, and what with him making the children
promise to be good on the Talmud and her trying to
raise them with the Bible, the poor things is that
mixed up that it's pitiful."

She got a little red at that, but she sat down and
took up the clipping.



MISS PATTY ARRIVES 17

"He's much better looking than that, Minnie,"
she said soberly, "and he's a good Catholic. But if
that's the way you feel we'll not talk about it. I've
had enough trouble at home as it is."

"I guess from that your father isn't crazy about
it," I remarked, getting her a glass of spring water.
The papers had been full of how Mr. Jennings had
forbidden the prince the house when he had been in
America the summer before.

"Certainly he's crazy about it almost insane!"
she said, and smiled at me in her old way over the
top of the glass. Then she put down the glass and
came over to me. "Minnie, Minnie," she said, "if
you only knew how I've wanted to get away from
the newspapers and the gossips and come to this
smelly little spring-house and talk things over with
a red-haired, sharp-tongued, mean-dispositioned
spring-house girl !"

And with that I began to blubber, and she came,
into my arms like a baby.

"You're all I've got," I declared, over and over,!
"and you're going to live in a country where they
harness women with dogs, and you'll never hear an
English word from morning to night."



1 8 WHERE THERE'S A WILL

"Stuff !" She gave me a little shake. "He speaks
as good English as I do. And now we're going to
stop talking about him you're worse than the news-
papers." She took off her things and going into my
closet began to rummage for the pop-corn. "Oh,
how glad I am to get away," she sang out to me.
"We're supposed to have gone to Mexico ; even Dor-
othy doesn't know. Where's the pop-corner or the
corn-popper or whatever you call it?"

She was as happy to have escaped the reporters
and the people she knew as a child, and she sat down
on the floor in front of the fire and began to shell
the corn into the popper, as if she'd done it only the
day before.

"I guess you're safe enough here," I said. "It's
always slack in January only a few chronics and
the Saturday-to-Monday husbands, except a drum-
mer now and then who drives up from Finleyville.
It's too early for drooping society buds, and the
chronic livers don't get around until late March,
after the banquet season closes. It will be pretty
quiet for a while."

And at that minute the door was flung open, and
Bath-house Mike staggered in.



MISS PATTY ARRIVES 19

"The old doctor!" he gasped. "He's dead, Miss
Minnie died just now in the hot room in the bath-
house! One minute he was givin' me the divil for
something or other, and the next I thought he
was asleep."

Something that had been heavy in my breast all
afternoon suddenly seemed to burst and made me
feel faint all over. But I didn't lose my head.

"Does anybody know yet?" I asked quickly. He
shook his head.

"Then he didn't die in the bath-house, Mike," I
said firmly. "He died in his bed, and you know it.
If it gets out that he died in the hot room I'll have
the coroner on you."

Miss Patty was standing by the railing of the
spring. I got my shawl and started out after Mike,
and she followed.

"If the guests ever get hold of this they'll stam-
pede. Start any excitement in a sanatorium," I said,
"and one and all they'll dip their thermometers in
hot water and swear they've got fever!"

And we hurried to the house together.



CHAPTER III

A WILL

WELL, we got the poor old doctor moved back
to his room, and had one of the chamber-
maids find him there, and I wired to Mrs. Van Al-
styne, who was Mr. Dicky Carter's sister, and who
was on her honeymoon in South Carolina. The Van
Alstynes came back at once, in very bad tempers,
and we had the funeral from the preacher's house
in Finleyville so as not to harrow up the sanatorium
people any more than necessary. Even as it was a
few left, but about twenty of the chronics stayed,
and it looked as if we might be able to keep going.

Miss Patty sent to town for a black veil for me,
and even went to the funeral. It helped to take my
mind off my troubles to think who it was that was
holding my hand and comforting me, and when,
toward the end of the service, she got out her hand-
kerchief and wiped her eyes I was almost overcome,

20



A WILL 21

she being, so to speak, in the very shadow of a
throne.

After it was all over the relatives gathered in the
sun parlor of the sanatorium to hear the will Mr.
Van Alstyne and his wife and about twenty more
who had come up from the city for the funeral and
stayed over on the house.

Well, the old doctor left me the buttons for his
full dress waistcoat and his favorite copy of Gray's
Anatomy. I couldn't exactly set up housekeeping
with my share of the estate, but when the lawyer
read that part of the will aloud and a grin went
around the room I flounced out of my chair.

"Maybe you think I'm disappointed," I said, look-
ing hard at the family, who weren't making any
particular pretense at grief, and at the house people
standing around the door. "Maybe you think it's
funny to see an unmarried woman get a set of waist-
coat buttons and a medical book. Well, that set of
buttons was the set he bought in London on his wed-
ding trip, and the book's the one he read himself to
sleep with every night for twenty years. I'm proud
to get them."

Mr. Van Alstyne touched me on the arm.



22 WHERE THERE'S A .WILL

"Everybody knows how loyal you've been, Min-
nie," he assured me. "Now sit down like a good
girl and listen to the rest of the will."

"While I'm up I might as well get something else
off my mind," I said. "I know what's in that will,
but I hadn't anything to do with it, Mr. Van Al-
styne. He took advantage of my being laid up with
influenza last spring."

They thought that was funny, but a few minutes
later they weren't so cheerful. You see the sanato-
rium was a mighty fine piece of property, with a


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