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About Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 1, 1876)
The , Unknown Heirs, or 2 he Contested Inheritance.
the route, so Unit more tlinu two weeks
elapsed before he nrriveil at the principal
village of the town of Meredith.
Il'Wiis on tle day following the trial of
Richard and Stephen, and this, as might
be supposed, was a prominent subject of
conversation with the townpeople.
As the old man was weary by reason
of broken slumbers on the previous night,
lie determined to look up quarters in the
best hotel in town, and then to take a
square meal before searching out his
grandsons. While he was doing justice
to the viands that were set before him at
the hotel, his attention was drawn to the
conversation of the landlord and a towns
man. II had turned upon the subject of
"So this Richard Bennct, book agent
and thief, was sent to his close quarters
this morning," rcmaikcd the later worthy.
'Yes, so it seems," was the reply.
"They had covered up their tracks admir
ably to bo sure, but were at last found out.
It is astonishing that two boys, outwardly
so uncommonly promising as they, should
stoop so low. I would us soon have be
lieved that the President had been found
guilty of dealing in oak hams and wood
en cucumber seeds."
At the beginning of the colloquy, MrJ
Uennet dropped his knife and fork, mut
tering to himself:
" Then they have turned out as badly as
Isabel's cast-away of a boy. They were
all destined to ruin on account of the dis
obedience of their parents. I might as
well let Dudley have the property and
think no more about it."
As the landlord finished speaking, how
ever, be whirled his chair around and
sharply questioned him.
""What is that you were talking about,"
The landlord, in reply, willingly fur
nished him with a complete account of
the affair from beginning to end.
"It was hard for us to believe," he said
in conclusion, " but their guilt was made
"Then why was not the younger brother
convicted V" asked the old man.
"Well, there were several reasons," re
plied the landlord. "One was that ho
was constantly in the village, while his
brother was absent most of the time; ho
wus consequently better known to us.
Again, lie seemed to be far dillerent trom
his brother in disposition; more frank
and honest appearing, lint the chief rea
son was, of course, that nothing could
be proved against him one way or thu
other One would have supposed that ho
would have purloined from Mr. Sykes,
but he did not. There was nothing to show
that Richard was not the only guilty one
and that he concealed his doings from his
The old man silently pondered this re
ply for several minutes, and then arose
without llnlshing his breakfast. He soon
after left the hotel, his conduct suggesting
many theories to the two men.
"It will not do for me to leave the mat
ter thus," thought Mr. Bonnet, as ho
found himself upon the street. " There
seems to mo a possibility that the young
er boy was not guilty, and, perhaps, the
older one also. Such things have hap
pened. I will examine the wholo matter
and satisfy myself." -
He lirst sought Mr. Sykes. As he neared
the cotton mill belonging to the latter, his
attention was again drawn to a remark of
one bystander to another.
41 There goes that young Stephen Hen-'
net. I guess he has come after his things
and is now leaving fo; good. He looks
By following their gaze, Mr. Bennct saw
a boy crossing tlio street and going in
nearly the same direction as himself. He
scrutinized him until he was out of sight
as a cat watches a mouse.
' Now I can't say that he has a dishon
est face," thought the old old man. " He
seems to have Richard's self-reliant, go.
ahead way. I shall see what can be done
The old man felt even more remorse
. . qouuuvo..,. ., -,
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