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0100_005E True Riches T.S. Arthur

Chapter XI

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"I can see that in my understanding, Edith," replied her husband; "but, it is hard to feel that it is so."

"Very hard, Edward. Yet, it is something--a great deal--to have the truth to lean upon, even though it seems to bend under our weight. Oh! without this truth, it seems as if I would now fall to the ground helpless. But, let us try and view this painful subject in its brightest aspect. It is our duty to the child to keep her, if we can, until she passes her twelfth year."

"Clearly," replied the husband.

"And you think we can do so?"

"We have two advantages--possession and a written contract guaranteeing the possession."


"These on our side, I think we have little to fear from Jasper. The great trial will come afterward."

To this conclusion, that is, to retain Fanny until her twelfth year, if possible--they came, after once more carefully reviewing the whole subject; and, resting here, they patiently awaited the result.

With what a new interest was the child regarded from this time! How the hearts of Claire and his wife melted toward her on all occasions! She seemed to grow, daily, more and more into their affections; and, what to them appeared strange--it might only have been imagination--manifested a more clinging tenderness, as if conscious of the real truth.

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Weeks elapsed and nothing further was heard from Jasper. Claire and his wife began to hope that he would make no attempt to separate Fanny from them; at least not until her twelfth year. Let us turn to him, and see what he is doing, or proposing to do, in the case.

Two or three days subsequent to the time when Claire received the notification from Jasper, just referred to, two men sat, in close conference, in the office of an attorney noted for his legal intelligence, but more noted for his entire want of principle. For a good fee, he would undertake any case, and gain for his client, if possible, no matter how great the wrong that was done. His name was Grind. The two men here introduced, were this lawyer and Jasper.

"Do you really think," said the latter, "that, in the face of my guardianship, he can retain possession of the child?"

"He has, you say, a copy of this contract?" Grind held a sheet of paper in his hand.

"Yes. To think that I was such a fool as to bind myself in this way! But I did not dream, for a moment, that things were going to turn up as they have."

"It is a contract that binds you both," said the lawyer, "and I do not see that you can go round it."

"I must go round it!" replied Jasper, warmly. "You know all the quirks and windings of the law, and I look to you for help in this matter. The possession of that child, is, to me, a thing of the first importance."

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True Riches
T.S. Arthur

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