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American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
The New York Ledger, January 30, 1858.
 
The Colonel’s Will
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A Lawyer’s Story
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by Sylvanus Cobb, Jr.
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  medical profession. He threw himself into a chair with a deep sigh, and then gazed into my face with one of the most woebegone expressions I ever saw.

“Mercy on me! Hal, what’s the matter?” I cried, for I had never seen such a cloud on his genial face before.

“Matter enough,” he replied, mournfully. “The old colonel’s will has been opened.”

“And Julia comes in for the bulk of the property,” said I.

“Not so,” he rejoined. “It all goes to Allan Aubrey—nearly every pound of it! Only think, Charley, how kind the old man was to me, even up to the last moment; and think how Julia waited upon him, and nursed him, and attended to his every want. It’s too bad!”

For some moments I was too much astonished to speak. I had known Colonel Aubrey well, having visited there often with Harry. He was an old man, and had been failing for some years, having contracted a fatal disease in . . .

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    I sat in my office one morning, engaged in making out a brief. I was young in the profession, and was bestowing the utmost care upon the preparations for my virgin efforts. I had been in practice only a year, but yet I flattered myself that I knew as much law as many who were older in the work. I was just leaning back in the endeavor to find the most fitting arrangement for a succession of brilliant ideas which had flashed upon me, when I heard a step upon the stairs. I wished the intruder to Guinea, on in the Crimea with a knapsack on his back and a score of Russians after him. My ideas were all scattered, and the half-formed arrangement knocked into pi, as the printer’s say. But when the door was opened, and I saw the face of Harry Topham, my ill feelings were blown to the winds.

Harry had been my schoolmate in boyhood, and my classmate in youth. We graduated at Oxford together, and when I went into the practice of law he turned his attention to the

   

 

 


 

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