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"Oh, they didn't suggest exactly this, I'll admit; but they did suggest that, if you were fearful as to the way your heirs would handle their inheritance, you could create a trust fund for their benefit while you were living, and then watch the way the beneficiaries spent the income, as well as the way the trust fund itself was managed. In this way you could observe the effects of your gifts, and at the same time be able to change them if you didn't like results. That gave me an idea. I've just developed it. That's all. I'm going to make my cousins a little rich, and see which, if any of them, can stand being very rich."

"But the money, man! How are you going to drop a hundred thousand dollars into three men's laps, and expect to get away without an investigation as to the why and wherefore of such a singular proceeding?"

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"That's where your part comes in," smiled the millionaire blandly.

"Besides, to be accurate, one of the laps is—er—a petticoat one."

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"Oh, indeed! So much the worse, maybe. But—And so this is where I come in, is it? Well, and suppose I refuse to come in?"

"Regretfully I shall have to employ another attorney."

"Humph! Well?"

"But you won't refuse." The blue eyes opposite were still twinkling. "In the first place, you're my good friend—my best friend. You wouldn't be seen letting me start off on a wild-goose chase like this without your guiding hand at the helm to see that I didn't come a cropper."

"Aren't you getting your metaphors a trifle mixed?" This time the lawyer's eyes were twinkling.

"Eh? What? Well, maybe. But I reckon you get my meaning. Besides, what

I want you to do is a mere routine of regular business, with you."

"It sounds like it. Routine, indeed!"

"But it is—your part. Listen. I'm off for South America, say, on an exploring tour. In your charge I leave certain papers with instructions that on the first day of the sixth month of my absence (I being unheard from), you are to open a certain envelope and act according to instructions within. Simplest thing in the world, man. Now isn't it?"

"Oh, very simple—as you put it."

"Well, meanwhile I'll start for South America—alone, of course; and, so far as you're concerned, that ends it. If on the way, somewhere, I determine suddenly on a change of destination, that is none of your affair. If, say in a month or two, a quiet, inoffensive gentleman by the name of Smith arrives in Hillerton on the legitimate and perfectly respectable business of looking up a family pedigree, that also is none of your concern." With a sudden laugh the lawyer fell back in his chair.

"By Jove, Fulton, if I don't believe you'll pull this absurd thing off!"

"There! Now you're talking like a sensible man, and we can get somewhere. Of course I'll pull it off! Now here's my plan. In order best to judge how my esteemed relatives conduct themselves under the sudden accession of wealth, I must see them first without it, of course. Hence, I plan to be in Hillerton some months before your letter and the money arrive. I intend, indeed, to be on the friendliest terms with every Blaisdell in Hillerton before that times comes."

"But can you? Will they accept you without references or introduction?"

"Oh, I shall have the best of references and introductions. Bob Chalmers is the president of a bank there. Remember Bob? Well, I shall take John Smith in and introduce him to Bob some day. After that, Bob'll introduce John Smith? See? All I need is a letter as to my integrity and respectability, I reckon, so my kinsmen won't suspect me of designs on their spoons when I ask to board with them. You see, I'm a quiet, retiring gentleman, and I don't like noisy hotels."