The Leavenworth Case HTML version

16. The Will Of A Millionaire
"Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie, Which we ascribe to Heaven."
All's Well that Ends Well.
THE next morning's Tribune contained a synopsis of Mr. Leavenworth's will. Its
provisions were a surprise to me; for, while the bulk of his immense estate was,
according to the general understanding, bequeathed to his niece, Mary, it appeared by a
codicil, attached to his will some five years before, that Eleanore was not entirely
forgotten, she having been made the recipient of a legacy which, if not large, was at least
sufficient to support her in comfort. After listening to the various comments of my
associates on the subject, I proceeded to the house of Mr. Gryce, in obedience to his
request to call upon him as soon as possible after the publication of the will.
"Good-morning," he remarked as I entered, but whether addressing me or the frowning
top of the desk before which he was sitting it would be difficult to say. "Won't you sit?"
nodding with a curious back movement of his head towards a chair in his rear.
I drew up the chair to his side. "I am curious to know," I remarked, "what you have to say
about this will, and its probable effect upon the matters we have in hand."
"What is your own idea in regard to it?"
"Well, I think upon the whole it will make but little difference in public opinion. Those
who thought Eleanore guilty before will feel that they possess now greater cause than
ever to doubt her innocence; while those who have hitherto hesitated to suspect her will
not consider that the comparatively small amount bequeathed her would constitute an
adequate motive for so great a crime."
"You have heard men talk; what seems to be the general opinion among those you
converse with?"
"That the motive of the tragedy will be found in the partiality shown in so singular a will,
though how, they do not profess to know."
Mr. Gryce suddenly became interested in one of the small drawers before him.
"And all this has not set you thinking?" said he.
"Thinking," returned I. "I don't know what you mean. I am sure I have done nothing but
think for the last three days. I----"
"Of course--of course," he cried. "I didn't mean to say anything disagreeable. And so you
have seen Mr. Clavering?"