PSULc

PSULc

As for myself—you should see me! I eat whatever I like. (The man who says health biscuit to me now gets knocked down—and I've got the strength to do it, too!) I can walk miles and not know it. I've gained twenty pounds, and I'm having the time of my life. I'm even enjoying being a genealogist—a little. I've about exhausted the resources of Hillerton, and have begun to make trips to the neighboring towns. I can even spend an afternoon in an old cemetery copying dates from moss-grown gravestones, and not entirely lose my appetite for dinner—I mean, supper. I was even congratulating myself that I was really quite a genealogist when, the other day, I met the REAL THING. Heavens, Ned, that man had fourteen thousand four hundred and seventy-two dates at his tongue's end, and he said them all over to me. He knows the name of every Blake (he was a Blake) back to the year one, how many children they had (and they had some families then, let me tell you!), and when they all died, and why. I met him one morning in a cemetery. I was hunting for a certain stone and I asked him a question. Heavens! It was like setting a match to one of those Fourth-of-July flower-pot sky-rocket affairs. That question was the match that set him going, and thereafter he was a gushing geyser of names and dates. I never heard anything like it.

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He began at the Blaisdells, but skipped almost at once to the Blakes—there were a lot of them near us. In five minutes he had me dumb from sheer stupefaction. In ten minutes he had made a century run, and by noon he had got to the Crusades. We went through the Dark Ages very appropriately, waiting in an open tomb for a thunderstorm to pass. We had got to the year one when I had to leave to drive back to Hillerton. I've invited him to come to see Father Duff. I thought I'd like to have them meet. He knows a lot about the Duffs—a Blake married one, 'way back somewhere. I'd like to hear him and Father Duff talk—or, rather, I'd like to hear him TRY to talk to Father Duff. Did I ever write you Father Duff's opinion of genealogists? I believe I did.

I'm not seeing so much of Father Duff these days. Now that it's grown a little cooler he spends most of his time in his favorite chair before the cook stove in the kitchen.

Jove, what a letter this is! It should be shipped by freight and read in sections. But I wanted you to know how things are here. You can appreciate it the more—when you come.

You're not forgetting, of course, that it's on the first day of November that Mr. Stanley G. Fulton's envelope of instructions is to be opened.

As ever yours,

JOHN SMITH.

It was very early in November that Mr. Smith, coming home one afternoon, became instantly aware that something very extraordinary had happened.

In the living-room were gathered Mr. Frank Blaisdell, his wife, Jane, and their daughter, Mellicent. Mellicent's cheeks were pink, and her eyes more star-like than ever. Mrs. Jane's cheeks, too, were pink. Her eyes were excited, but incredulous. Mr. Frank was still in his white work-coat, which he wore behind the counter, but which he never wore upstairs in his home. He held an open letter in his hand.

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It was an ecstatic cry from Mellicent that came first to Mr. Smith's ears.

"Oh, Mr. Smith, Mr. Smith, you can't guess what's happened! You couldn't guess in a million years!"

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"No? Something nice, I hope." Mr. Smith was looking almost as happily excited as Mellicent herself.

"Nice—NICE!" Mellicent clasped her hands before her. "Why, Mr. Smith, we are going to have a hundred thousand—"

"Mellicent, I wouldn't talk of it—yet," interfered her mother sharply.

"But, mother, it's no secret. It can't be kept secret!"

"Of course not—if it's true. But it isn't true," retorted the woman, with excited emphasis. "No man in his senses would do such a thing."

"Er—ah—w-what?" stammered Mr. Smith, looking suddenly a little less happy.

"Leave a hundred thousand dollars apiece to three distant relations he never saw."

"But he was our cousin—you said he was our cousin," interposed