|Paper||Iron County News|
|Rights||No Copyright - United States (NoC-US)|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Article Title||The Disputed Will|
|Paper||Iron County News|
THE DISPUTED WILL. "There aro somo things tho multiplication multipli-cation tnble can't estimate, Dnclor.and I calculate this case is ono of them." Tho speaker was a Texan alcalde of half a century sgo.n maif with n grave, handsome fnrc, nntl one of thoso gigantic gigan-tic antediluvian llgnres only found in the bracing atmosphere of the prnirlo, or the lush freedom of the woods. Tho scnorita will help you to n fair settlement; sho knows her own mind. Satifa Jose! few women knowas much." Tho doctor gave his opinion decidedly, decided-ly, and In very good English, nlboit his small, yellow person und courtly, dig-nilled dig-nilled manner fully proclaimed his Mexican Uncage. "Then ho calmly helped himself to an olive and n glass of chnmbertiu, and watched the alcalde as he smoked, and waited for tho expected ex-pected amtnlamieuto, or jury. In half tut hour, the twelve men had dropped in by twos nnd threes, nodded coolly to the alcalde, nnd helped themselves them-selves to tho liquors und cigars on tho sideboard. Now nnd then, thoy spoko in monosyllables; and the confposure, gravity, and utter absence of hurry gave a kind of dignified, patriarchal earnestness to tho proceedings that were eminently American, and which quite made up for tho lack of ceremony. ceremo-ny. After a lapso of live minutes, tho alcalde touched a little bell, and said to the negro who answered it: "Zip, tell tho gentlemen wo aro waiting, and scud Tainar for Miss Mary.'7 "The gcntlemou," who wcro sitting under a gigantic arbor-vita) oak In tho garden, in close conversation, rosu at Zip's message, nnd sauutered slowly into tho presence of the alcalde, who nodded rather stiffly to thorn, and motioned mo-tioned toward two chairs. They wore evidently men of ctilttirc.nnd brothers; somo of tho jurors leaned toward them with courteous salutations, others simply sim-ply Ignored their presence. lint overy ono's interest was aroused when tho doctor, hearing a footstop, roto. oponcd tho door, and offered his 'land to a lady who entered. A calm-browed calm-browed woman with largo, steadfast eyes a woman who It was easy to seo could bo a law unto herself. Sho looked inquiringly nt tho two gentlemen, who wcro evidently her brothers, but (hiding no response to tho tinuttercd lovo in hor pleading oyos, dropped them, und calmly took tho scat her friend led her to. There was another pause; thon tho alcalde laid down his cigar, and said: "Men!" "Squire!" "Y o havo got a littlo business to sot-tlo sot-tlo between Uavid and George Forsyth and their sister Mnry. You are to judge fairly between them, and thoy aro willing will-ing to stand by whnt you say. I cai-culato cai-culato they'll explain their own business busi-ness best. David Forsyth, will you Bpenk for your side?" David was u keen, shrewd lawyer, nnd knew how to stalo his caso very plausibly. Ho said that his father, unduly un-duly influenced by Doctor Zavala who hail dcslgtiH on their slstor's hand had loft, not only tho homestead, but thirty thousand dollars in gold, to Mary Forsyth, and that thoy claimed their share of tho money. Tho men listened gravoly.with keon, sidelong glances. When ha had finished, fin-ished, ono of them said: "Vory good, stranger; now, what do you moan by 'unduly influenced?'" "I mean that this Moxicau passed wholo days with my father, reading to him, talking to him, and in othor ways winning his affection, in order to influence influ-ence him in thq making of his will." "How much did old Forsyth loave Doctor Zavala?" "Ho left him porsonnlly nothing, but-" "Ohl" tho men nodded gravely at ono another. "Hut," said David, nngrlly, "ho had a deeper scliemo than that. Ho In dticcd my futhor to turn ovorythlngbut ' his homestead into monoy, nud to place tho wholo cum in the Sail Antonia llnnk to Mary's cretlit. Wo havo no objections objec-tions to Mary having hor stmro, but wo do not sco why our share should go to that Mexican whom bIio intends to marry." Tho doctor smiled sarcastically, nnd Mary blushing with ludignntlon, half rosu as if to speak, but n slight movement move-ment of Zavala's oyelldj was sufliclont to check tho Impulse "Thon Mnry Forsyth isgolngto marry mar-ry Dctor Zavala?" "Of course, she Is." "And you aro willing that Jhe should have the homestead mul ton thousand dollnrs?" "Wo aro willing sho should havo tho hjo of the homestead for a moderate roov Wo nro not willing to glvo- up all claim to it. Why, thoro aro two hundred ncres of thu tiipjjt cotton land in tho world that go with it. If sho had tho onttro right to tho homestead, she ought to glvo up tho money." "Mr. Georgo Forsyth, what havo you to say?" "My brother David has spoken for mo." Then thcro was a pause. Tho pro-eurador pro-eurador stopped to tho sideboard, and filled his glass; sercral of the jury followed fol-lowed him. nud tho others chewed away with silent thoughtful Intentno.ss. "Doctor Lorenzo Zavala, will you speak for tho defendant?" The doctor turned his chair so as to , face both tho brothers and the jury.btit ' did not rise. "Men," Im said, "I havo known tho lato Dvid Forsyth for twenty years. I havo been his physician nnd beoti his friend. I saw his wlfo die. nnd watched Ills children grow to what thoy are. Whon tho good mother left them", Mary was twolve years old, David ten, and Georgo eight. For tier father ami brothcrs.Mnry sucrillcad nil that makes tho vniilh to other women." I "Will you bo plainer, Doctor?" I "If you desire. It is known to mo how they were thon poor, hor father a trader lit silks nnd lacn and Indies' line i goods, between San Antonio und tho outlying settlements. Hut ho was a good man, industrious and ambitious. For his two sons, he had great hopes, and saved and saved and saved by day and by night. Tho littlo girl at "homo helped him bravely, hiring out tholrono servant, and doing cheerfully the work with her owu hands. Sho plaited tho straw, antl made hats, also, which sold for much; and she worked up tho remnants rem-nants of incc antl ribbons into one 1 thousand pretty trifles for the fair women in San Antonio." I "Alcalde, theso details arc Irrclovant und Imnertliicnt," said David, angrily. , "Every man tells his story in his own wav. Arc you willing to listen, mon?" There was n universal articulation which evidently meant "yes;" for the doctor smiled graciously, and went on, "For hor two brothers, tho littlo Mary worked, antl always worketl with a glad heart. They had boon sent to tho Northern States to school, and David was educated for a lawyer, nnd George for an architect aud" builder. For eight years, this fatlior and slstor worked together, solely for thoso bo- i loved boys, sparing nil comforts to thoin- ' selves. So thoy paid all their expouses liberally, aud saved besides about ten thousand dollars. "Hut when tho young mon caino back, there was great sorrow und disappointment. dis-appointment. Thoy had bcon educated beyond tho simplo trader, the solf-dony-Ing sister, und, tho log-houso on the Wachlla prairie. So much sorrow and disappointment that tho sister nt last begged for thorn that thoy should go to tho capital, and divide tho ton thous-sand thous-sand dollars betweon them." "How tlo von know such n thing? It is a lie!" said George. "I have tho father's letter which says so. Will tho alcalde anil tho jury read it?" J Tho alcalde read tho document, and nodded to tho jury. "You havo forgotten, Mr. Goorge," ho said; "it is easy to forget such nonov. Tho doctor Is right." "After this, tho father heard littlo from his sous. .They innrried, and forgot for-got the self-deuial, tho hard labor and tho lovo of so many, many years. The old man worked on. with fulling health; but now that ho had lost his ambition, nnd cared littlo for monoy, . came on ovory venture. Ho did not Ivy to make it, but it camo and came. Ho made on silk nnd cotton and land; whatever ho touched was fortunate. 'Hlit as money enmo, health went; ho was sick antl suffering, and could not bear his daughter away from him. Ho was jealous of hor love, also, and ho suffered her not a lover. This is one thing I allow- not myself to speak about. I toll you, alcalde, this woman showed through manv years one great, sublimo sacrllico. Upon my honor, stttorjl" und tho littlo gentleman laid his hands upon his heart, and bowed to Mary as if sho had been a queen. "Not for myself; that is ono infamy, ono scandal too great to bo beliorod. As my sister, as my wife, I honor Miss Mary Forsyth. As my wife? Impossible! Impossi-ble! Docs not all San Antonio know that I adore alono tho incomparable Dolores Honriquoz? "Ono day, as I sat reading by my friend's bed, ho said to mo: "'Doctor, Unit is a pitiful story, and, too truo. We think it a griovous wrong not to glvo our sons a trade or a profession, but wo never think what is to becomo of tho poor girls.' "I said: 'Oh, wo oxpect them to marry ' "Hut thny don't, doctor,' ho said; 'thoy don't doctor; nnd thu most that do are left by death, ill-usage, or misfortune, mis-fortune, to light thu world noma time or other, with no weapon but a needlo, doctor. It is n sin ami a shame!' "It's tho way of tho world, ray friend,' I said. ''I know. I spent thousands of dollars dol-lars on my hoys, and thun divided nil I had between them. If Providence had not blessed my work extraordinarily, or It I had died five years ago, what woultl havo becomo or Mary?'" "So, gentlemen, I said: "'Sqiiiro.yotir sons do not know that you havo mado more money; thoy thought thoy hntl got all you had, nnd havo not visited you.or written to you, lest you should ask anything of them. Do justlco at once to your loviug.falth- fili -' a . . t BHHHBBBiBBBUMLBBfl -is . fill "daughter; scctiro' her now from want and dependence, and glvo her, at length, lclsuro to lovo nnd rest.' , "Aud my friend, bolug a good man, did as I advised that iio should do. For that ho died in good pcuco with his own conselouce, nntl mado mo for once, sewn, very happy that I gavo good advice, free, gratis, for nothlug at all." "So von did not profit at all by this wlllPJ' "Not ono dollar in monoy, but vory miiuh In my conscience. iJanta Jose I urn well content." "Miss Mary," said thoafcaWe.klodly, "hRVO you anything to say?" v Mary raised hor clear, grey oyea,and looked with yearning tondornoss Into tier brothers' faces. David pretondod to bo reading. Goorgo stooped over nnd spoke to him. With a sigh, sho turned to the alcalde. "Ask my brothers what they valuo tho homestead at." "Two thousnnd dollars," promptly atisworcd David. "Too nr'oh too much," grumbled nil tho jury. Two thousand dollars," reasserted David, and Goorgo added: "Uaro . "I will buy it at two thousand dol- j lnrs. Will you ask my brothers If thoy yBBfl have any daughters, alcaldcV BBBBJ "Gontlemon, you hoarP Havo you B, MBBBBfl David said surlily that lto had no H children nt nil, and ono of tho Jurymen PJBBvfl muttered, with a quocr laugh, that ho - BBB wassorry didn't see how his Bin wat Bl "a-golng to find him out." Bfl , Goorge said ho bad two daughtors. VJ "Ask their name, alcalde." H I "Mary anil Nellie." BJ Tho poor sistor's oyos filled as sho H looked in Gcorgo's faco and said: BJ "Alcalde, I glvo to my nicco Mnry ten thousand dollars, nnd to mv nicco H Nellie ten thousand dollars, nntl I hopo BJ you and the good men present will al- BJ low tho gift to stand. I know my BJ brother D.ivld will nover want n dollar I while ihcro is ono lu tho country ho BJ lives in. Georgo is extravagant, and BJ will havo always a ten-dollar road for I a five-dollar pleco; but his boys can. BJ learn his own or their unclo'a trade: BJ thorn nro plenty of ways for them. I BJ would lfko to put tho girls boyond do- pomlcnce und beyond thu necessity of BJ marrying for u living." H David rosu in a fury antl Raid ho H would listen no longer to biic!i none- I scne. BJ "You forget, Mr. Forsyth, that you I have put this caso into our bauds. I BJ think you will havo moro senso than I ' mnko onomles of thirteen of tho best BJ mon In tho neighborhood. Gentlemen, fl would you llko to re tiro and consider fl this matter?" AiBS "Not tit all, alcalde. I am for glv- afHyBfl ing Miss Forsyth till her father gave MBBVBvLl BBBH "And I," "And I." And I." cried the !"B1 wholo twelve almost simultaneously. Bfl "I shall contest this affair before" the San Antonio Court," cried David, passionately. pas-sionately. 4 "You'll think bottorof it.Mr. Forsyth. Do you mean to say you brought twolvo mini here to help you rob vour sister, sir?" "I mean to say that that Moxicau Zavala has robbed me. I shall call him j to nccoiint." I Tho doctor laughed good-naturedly, und answered. I "Wo havo oaeli our own wcnpons.my ' friend. I cannot light with any other. . Ucsides.I innrry mo a wifunext week." ' I And tho doctor leaned pleasantly on the alcalde's chair, nnd, with a joko, bade friend nfter friend "Good-bvu." I Mary Forsyth carried out hor Intentions. Inten-tions. Shn settled, strictly and carefully, care-fully, ten thousand dollars on each of her nieces, bought her homosload, nud thon sat down to consider what sho should do with her eight thousand dollars. dol-lars. I "If I were a Frenchwoman and San I Antonio woro Paris," alio Bald; "I would rent u store and go to trading. ' I know how to buy and sell by Instinct; und if I wcro n born farmer, I could plant corn nnd cottou, and turn them Into gold; but I am not a farmer I nover mado a garden and got a decent meal out of it. I calculate 'twill bo best to get John Doyle for hoad-man, und put my money In cattle." Just as sho camo to this decision; Doctor Zavala drovo hurriedly up to tho door. "Mary! Marvl" ho cried, "como quickly! Thoro Is an old friend of yours in thu timber too ill with thu donguo fovor to inovo." "Whnt do you need. Doctor?" "Ncud? 1 need you nnd a couplo of men to carry blm here. Do you know that It is Will Morrison?" Oh, Doctor! Doctor!" "Fact. Heard of your father's death' In Arizona, and camo straight homo to look after you. Poor fellow! he's pretty pret-ty bad." Woll.Mary did not uccd to hire Join Doylo as head man; lor Will, who hiu' loved her faithfully for fiftoen Ion, years, was the finest stock-man in th State; nud within three months, th doctor and his beautiful Dolores dance, n fandango nt Mary uud Will's wod ding.