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True Riches T.S. Arthur

Chapter XVI

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"Nothing, personally."

"What was it Jasper paid for the tract of land?"

"One thousand dollars."

"Paid it into his own hands as the child's guardian."

"Yes; that was the simple transaction."

"Has the public never made a guess at the real truth of this matter?"

"Never, so far as my knowledge goes. There have been some vague whisperings--but no one has seemed to comprehend the matter."

"The purchase was made in your name, was it not?"


"That is, you bought from Jasper as the child's guardian; and afterward sold it back to him."


"Why didn't you hold on to it when it was fairly in your hands? I only wish I had been in your place?"

The lawyer shrugged his shoulders, but did not commit himself by acknowledging that he had, more than once, regretted his omission to claim the property while legally in his hands, and defy Jasper to wrest it from him.

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Leaving these two men, whose relation to Jasper is sufficiently apparent to the reader's mind, we will return to the merchant, whom we left half-stupefied at the bold demand of an associate in wrong-doing. A long time passed ere his activity of mind returned. While he sat, brooding--dreamily--over what had just passed, a little daughter came into the parlour, and seeing him, came prattling merrily to his side. But in attempting to clamber upon his knee, she was pushed away rudely, and with angry words. For a few moments she stood looking at him, her little breast rising and falling rapidly; then she turned off, and went slowly, and with a grieving heart, from the room.

Jasper sighed heavily as the child passed out of sight; and rising up, began moving about with a slow pace, his eyes cast upon the floor. The more he dwelt upon the visit of Martin--whom, in his heart, he had wished dead--the more uneasy he felt, and the more he regretted having let him depart in anger. He would give twice ten thousand dollars rather than meet the exposure which this man could make.

Riches was the god of Leonard Jasper. Alas! how little power was there in riches to make his heart happy. Wealth beyond what he had hoped to obtain in a whole lifetime of devotion to mammon, had flowed in upon him in two or three short years. But, was he a happier man? Did he enjoy life with a keener zest? Was his sleep sweeter? Ah, no! In all that went to make up the true pleasure of life, the humble clerk, driven to prolonged hours of labour, beyond what his strength could well bear, through his ill-nature and injustice, was far the richer man. And his wealth consisted not alone in the possession of a clear conscience and a sustaining trust in Providence. There was the love of many hearts to bless him. In real household treasures few were as rich as he.

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True Riches
T.S. Arthur

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