"I fear she is on her last legs."
The major spoke solemnly, with quite a rueful expression of countenance. Badly though he wanted the money his sister's death would bring, and estranged from him though she was, he could not and did not think of it in any spirit but a sad one.
"I have heard from London two or three times lately, Edina, from my lawyer: John Street, you know. And in each letter he has given me a very poor account of Mrs. Atkinson. Her death, poor soul, must be very near."
It had been nearer than the major, or even his lawyer, anticipated. She was dead even then. At the very moment the major was talking of her she was lying dead at Eagles' Nest. Had been dead three or four hours.
The news reached them in the morning. A letter was delivered at Spring Lawn, and was carried up, as usual, to the major in bed. No one took any particular notice of the letter; as a rule, the major's letters were only