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Yet he did not shut out the shiver, nor distance the uneasiness. Some importunate Cassandra of the depths still insisted upon its clearness of vision, in respect to impending calamity. Troubled in spite of himself, he passed his recent operations in careful review, to see if he had left any loophole open to invite detection or impediment. None. On the contrary, all seemed safe and propitious. The Major was dying, or dead, in consequence of his own self-will and folly. Bergan Arling would shortly be disabled, or killed,鈥攂ut by another man's hand, and ostensibly鈥攔eally, even, in part鈥攖o gratify another man's thirst for revenge. The Major's will had been found and destroyed; and another鈥攊ts exact counterpart, except for the omission of a few absurd conditions and restrictions鈥攈ad been put in its place. A few days more, and the vast and valuable Bergan estate would be his own, and available to his ends. If his road to its possession had not been what men accounted straight and clean, whose fault was it? Had he not, in virtue of his marked talents and abilities, a better right to wealth and fame than most men?鈥攁nd was he to blame for the fatality which always placed some other life or heart between them and him? Had he not done his best to escape from it? Had he not tried more legitimate means to gain them, and failed?

"It is true," said the doctor, answering the look. "I studied law, and practised it for about two years. But it did not suit me.".
Hard questions these,鈥攄emanding for their consideration a clear head, and a heart at once tender and strong. Carice, being now fully herself, had both; yet she might well delay coming to a decision so momentous. She was glad when her father's arrival broke the thread of her meditations; albeit, it was only to give her a fresh subject of anxiety. He looked so strangely old and worn,鈥攊t struck her with new wonder, new alarm, at every sight of him! How was it possible for him to change so much in the two or three days that she believed her unconsciousness to have lasted, even though weighed down by the anxiety consequent upon his interview with Bergan?鈥攁n interview which could not have been without definite result, since she saw nothing of Doctor Remy. Indeed, his name had been mentioned to her but once, and then in terms of manifest constraint, though of apparent excuse for his absence. No doubt her father had taken the thought of his possible guilt very sorely to heart; no doubt, too, he blamed himself severely for his advocacy of the marriage. She must not let him do that! She knew so well that he had meant it for the best,鈥攖hat he had erred in judgment only, never in intention,鈥攖hat pure, strong, unselfish love for her had been the deep motive of his every act. Her heart was very tender, very pitiful, toward him as he came up the gravel-walk, with that slow, stooping gait, and those sudden gray hairs, which made her feel, every time that she saw him, as if she must have been dreaming for years, or was dreaming now..
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"H'm; there have been some recent discoveries of great value in the treatment of typhoids, when they run long and low, as they are apt to do. Suppose I write down a few suggestions, which, if there is grave need, you can commend to Doctor Trubie's favorable consideration. Otherwise, don't interfere.".
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He bewildered himself with conjectures, until all the sunset tints had faded from the sky, and darkness was fast gathering under the oak boughs. Then he rose, and went his solitary way homeward.
At the Hall, Doctor Remy was a little startled to find Major Bergan in the clutch of so severe an attack of delirium tremens that death was likely to be the speedy result. It did not suit his plans that the Major's decease should follow so quickly upon the completion of the forged will; he wanted a little more time to mark out and make smooth his future course, and obliterate his more recent track. He therefore set to work, with right good will, and science considerably in advance of the times, to strengthen and quiet his patient, and so prolong his life; certain that, whenever the strong hand of medical authority was withdrawn, he would immediately drink himself into a relapse, which could be allowed to prove fatal. His efforts were not without a measure of success; in three hours, he had so far reduced the fever and excitement that he ventured to leave Rue in charge, while he paid a brief visit to another patient, who had sent for him four or five times during the evening. This desertion of his post was fatal to him. In spite of Rue's best endeavors, Major Bergan succeeded in getting possession of the brandy bottle, and draining it to the last drop. When Doctor Remy returned, it was to find him once more a raving maniac, and to learn to his consternation, that Bergan had been sent for. The Major would die, there was no help for that; but something must be done to prevent the arrival of his nephew until after the true will鈥攁nd all other wills鈥攈ad been found and destroyed, and the false one put in its place;鈥攅ven, if possible, until after the funeral was over, the will read, and the property put into his own hands. Once in possession, he had reason to believe that he could not, or would not, be disturbed.
21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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21 August, 2019 - 13:08
The best!