+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error




[Chronicle for June.]

9th.—I RETURNED yesterday with my information.
Here it is, privately noted down for convenience
of future reference:

Mr. Noel Vanstone left Brighton yesterday;
and removed, for the purpose of transacting
business in London, to one of his late father's empty
houses in Vauxhall Walk, Lambeth. This
singularly mean selection of a place of residence, on
the part of a gentleman of fortune, looks as
if Mr. N. V. and his money were not easily

Mr. Noel Vanstone has stepped into his
father's shoes under the following circumstances.
Mr. Michael Vanstone appears to have died,
curiously enough, as Mr. Andrew Vanstone died
intestate. With this difference, however, in
the two cases, that the younger brother left an
informal will, and the elder brother left no will
at all. The hardest men have their weaknesses;
and Mr. Michael Vanstone's weakness seems to
have been an insurmountable horror of
contemplating the event of his own death. His son, his
housekeeper, and his lawyer, had all three tried, over
and over again, to get him to make a will; and
had never shaken his obstinate resolution to put
off performing the only business-duty he was ever
known to neglect. Two doctors attended him, in
his last illness; warned him that he was too old
a man to hope to get over it; and warned him
in vain. He announced his own positive
determination not to die. His last words in this
world (as I succeeded in discovering from the
nurse, who assisted Mrs. Lecount) were, "I'm
getting better every minute; send for the fly
directly and take me out for a drive." The same
night, Death proved to be the more obstinate of
the two; and left his son (and only child) to
take the property in due course of law. Nobody
doubts that the result would have been the same
if a will had been made. The father and son had
every confidence in each other; and were known
to have always lived together on the most friendly

Mrs. Lecount remains with Mr. Noel Vanstone,
in the same housekeeping capacity which
she filled with his father; and has accompanied
him to the new residence in Vauxhall Walk.
She is acknowledged on all hands to have been a
sufferer by the turn events have taken. If Mr.
Michael Vanstone had made his will, there is no
doubt she would have received a handsome
legacy. She is now left dependent on Mr. Noel
Vanstone's sense of gratitude; and she is not at
all likely, I should imagine, to let that sense fall
asleep for want of a little timely jogging.
Whether my fair relative's future intentions in this
quarter, point towards Mischief or Money, is
more than I can yet say. In either case, I
venture a prediction that she will find an
awkward obstacle in Mrs. Lecount.

So much for my information to the present
date. The manner in which it was received by
Miss Vanstone showed the most ungrateful
distrust of me. She confided nothing to my private
ear, but the expression of her best thanks. A
sharp girla devilish sharp girl. But there is
such a thing as bowling a man out once too
often; especially when the name of that man
happens to be Wragge.

Not a word more about the Entertainment:
not a word more about moving from our present
quarters. Very good. My right hand lays my
left hand a wager. Ten to one, on her opening
communications with the son, as she opened
them with the father. Ten to one, on her writing
to Noel Vanstone before the month is out.

23rd.—She has written by to-day's post. A
long letter apparentlyfor she put two stamps
on the envelope. (Private memorandum,
addressed to myself. Wait for the answer.)

22nd, 23rd, 24th.—Private memorandum
continued. Wait for the answer.

25th.—The answer has come. As an ex-military
man, I have naturally employed stratagem to
get at it. The success which rewards all genuine
perseverance, has rewarded meand I have got
at it accordingly.

The letter is written, not by Mr. Noel
Vanstone, but by Mrs. Lecount. She takes the
highest moral ground, in a tone of spiteful
politeness. Mr. Noel Vanstone's delicate health and
recent bereavement, prevent him from writing
himself. Any more letters from Miss Vanstone
will be returned unopened. Any personal application,
will produce an immediate appeal to the