it on the table. Two sealed parchments lay within it.

"Ay, this is it," said the major, selecting one of them. "See, here's the superscription: 'Will of Mistress Ann Atkinson.' And that is my own will," he added, nodding to the other. "See, Charley: you'll know where to find it in case of need. Not that any of you would be much the better for it, my lad, as things are at present. They will be different with us when Eagles' Nest falls in."

Frank had taken the packet from the major's hand, and was looking at the seal: a large red seal, with an imposing impression.

"I suppose you would not like to open this will, uncle? Would it be wrong to do so?"

The major shook his head, slowly but decisively. "I can't open it, Frank. Although I know its contents—at least, I knew them once—to open it would seem like a breach of confidence. Your aunt Ann sealed the will herself in my presence, after I had read it. 'Don't let it be

← Page-268 p.269 Page-270 →