"you disgust me, jasper. " jasmilda drew herself up to her full height. "you disgust me beyond description."
"come, jasmilda," cousin bartholomew protested with the best show of affability he could muster, "this is no time for histrionics" he waved his eternal unlit pipe in the air. "this is the time we should all pull together. yes, indeed. pull together."
cousin gerontia snorted contemptuously.
cousin gwyneth echoed her.
73. no further enquiry
"so, doctor, you see no need to further enquire into the unfortunate death of my aunt?" (although she had always been referred to as "grandmother" the old woman had been in fact an aunt or great-aunt of many of the family members, such as arboreta.)
doctor wilson seemed surprised by the question, and looked curiously at arboreta.
"why no, what would you have? she was old, now she's dead. there really isn't anything else to say."
"thank you, doctor."
74. the residents
fotherintons from all over the empire, and the world, would have been invited to grandmother's funeral, and the reading of her will ,if any such persons had been known to exist, and could be located.
but the fact was, there were no known fotherintons except those in permanent residence at madwood.
all of whom now looked forward to the reading by the will, by mr garwood, the family solicitor, in whose keeping grandmother had let the only copy of that mysterious document.
"excuse me, i would like to go to hambley square."
the cabbie, who had seemed asleep, looked up.
the orphan thought he looked familiar.
76. the doctor departs
no one had come near hartley rogers since he had seated himself in the shadow of the verandah.
the doctor now came out of the house, followed by cousin arboreta. after a few murmured words to her, he walked down the driveway to his car, turned it around , and drove off past hartley's car.
cousin arboreta watched the car disappear.
hartley cleared his throat. arboreta turned and regarded him with a vacant expression.
he stood up.
"i am sorry to have to have witnessed such a terrible event, "he offered.
arboreta merely nodded.
"may i ask if the police will be called?"
"they will not."
77. new resolution
just what i wanted to hear, thought hartley.
he had only wanted to get clear of the house, so that he could take stock of the changed situation.
but suddenly he was filled with new resolution. why not play the man, and press onward?
this woman standing before him, who appeared to have taken charge, was apparently the formidable "grandmother's" successor.
the police were apparently not to be involved.
arboreta interrupted his musings. "was there business you had with my aunt, sir?"
"yes, but i am sure it can wait."
"wait for what, sir?"
78. a change of heart
on an impulse, the orphan turned away.
"i am sorry, i will not be needing you after all."
chapters 79 - 85
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