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How Uncle 'dad Found It Out

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Richard Gosselt was making morry with aome friends under oircunwtances well ti t, ted to put the party in tlie best of' Bpirits. It's a jolly tbing to be put down as so!e legatee in a rich rnan's will - a jolly thing not only for the fortúnate individual hitnself, but for his i'riends, also, if they know how to play their carda properiy. "ByGeorge, you're alucky dog, Dick !" oried an enthusiasticyouth serosa the table. "Why haven't uijore of' us got úneles like Medad Whistler- nice old parties, who go off about their business, gain fortunes, and come back to leave theui to their nephews, instead of hanging round home to scold and fiud fault, and cutting you off in the end with their bleseing and a lot of trunipery good advice?" "The drawback is," sighed Kiehard Gossett, "that úneles with fortunen to leave, as a class, are proverbially tough. There's Uucle ' Dad' Whistler, now- he's past sixty ; but he looks good for cvery day of ninety ; and, as for toughness, old Joe B;:,'stock was notliing to him." 'Still," replied the other, "the prospeot is far from discouraging. Your uucle is a man of plethoric habit and a sumptuous liver ; so there is a fair eontingeney of apo plexy to count on." A round of app'aase and bumpers greeted tliis speech. "But you've never told us, Gossett, how your old nabob cauue to cut off his other nephew, your cousin, Oliver Lambert, whom everybody thought his prime favorite, and leave everything to you." "A family secret," said Dick, witli a wise shake of the head. "Come, out with it like a good fellow," urged an inquisitive youth with a goslingdown mustache; "we're all friends here." "But I promised Uocle 'Dad never to teil it, and if he hcard I had leaked, it would be worth my place in his will." "Pshaw! it's as safe with us as with yourself ; you ought to know that." " You'll never mention it then?" "Never!" they all answered in chorua. "Ton honor?" " Honor bnghtl" Had Dick had less wine and more wit aboard, he might have hesitated to impart a family secret to half a. dozen boon co tupanions under the belief that it would go no further. But he had taken just champagne enough to mako him oonfidential and coin munieative. Ïhi8 was the secret as Dick divulged it : "On Oliver's last birthday, Únele 'Dad inclosed him a check for a handsome sum. Afterward, when (Jncle 'Dad's account was balanced at the banks and his checks returned, it was discoyered that this particular one had been ' raised' to doublé the original aniount, whicbinercasedthe sum Oliver had drawn; though on being questioncd, ho had no knowlcdge of the alteración. "But Únele 'Dad was not, a man to be easily deceived. It was plain that a for gery had been committed ; and as the check had been inclosed to Oliver directly and pre sented by himself, who else could have comuiitted the offense? " Uncle 'pad was as prompt to act M U) decide. Oliver was given his choice be tween going to prison and leaying the country, Uucle 'Dad engaging, if he chose the lalter course, to furnish hun with themeans of living till an opportonity offered of eurning his own support." "Which explains, no doubt," struck in he of the callow mustache, "iMr. Lambert's late mysterious departure, and his perfidious deseition of Selina Jasmyn, to whom they fay he wasengaged. " " Exactly," said Dick. " Why don'tyou cut in again for the lady yourself, now that the coast's clear?" suggested one. Dick gave a knowing wink, which as good as said: "Do you take me for a fooi not to have thought of that before?" Just then a meMeOKM entered aod placed a note in Dick's hand. lle glanced at the contents and started up wildly. " Listen to this, boys!" heexelaimed, in a tone and manner which left bis l'riend.s in doubt whether it was good 'fit bad news their attention was inviUd to. "Listen to this?" - and then hc read: "A man'H body taai iust been lound lylngon the siilewalk and IdeBtlflad Ui i! Ol your Uncle whosehousult has been taken. 1 advlse you to repair thither at once, aa man cuiiiiiig into nuil a fbrtuneoan uoi lo'k alter his interMta t' promptly, Your sincere friénd, Khank Wimijk." Dick Gos.sett without waiting to hcar the congratulations which poured in from every ride, snatched his luit and was off. The doublé pull he gave his uncle's doorheil, was answered by the house-keeper. "Un - uncle - 'Dad!" he panted, out of broath. "They carried him up to his own room, I believe," snapped the house keeper, curtly, with the air of one who had do pa tience with such carryings on as a sudden death in the family. Dick hurried to hi.s unele'l chamber, which he wassurprised to find untenanted, save by the bjdy, which lay opon the bed covered by the counterpane. He advanced as if to remove the covering from llie face, but stayed his hand without doing so. He had always a horror of looking at a corpse, especially when alone with it. Turning his back on the body he flung himself into au easy-cbair, rubbing liis hands glecfully. "So you'rc dead at last, are you, you would be old Metlmselah !" he said, with a jerk of his head toward the remains. "This is ui ii property now, and it's not long you'll siay here a trespasser. 111 cali in tho andertaker at once, and pay him extni to make a quick job of' you." Dick starled and looked back quiekly. Ho was ahnest eure be had heard a low grunt in the direction of the corpse, and a slight rustle of the counterpane. But no ; everything looked as betore, and perfect silence reigned. Ilis ears must have deceived him. " You're a smart f'ellow, Dick," he said, cotnniendingly, tapping his not over welldeveloped forehead - " you're a smart fellow, there's no denying it. It's not every ono who would have thought of altering that check as I did when I found it lying on Unclc 'Dad's desk, trusting to the old fool's sealing it up without notieing the change." ''his time there was no doubt as to the moveuients of the corpse. Springing up, itcaught Dick by the collar and shook till his teeth chattered. "You thought I was dead, did you!" roared Tncle 'Dad, in a tone that made Dick tiemblo. "A fine story, indeed, if, at my time of life, a man meeting some friends and taking too uiueh wine in honor of' the occasion, can't tumble over his own doorstep, and be quietly carried to his room to sleep off his pree, without some greedy nephew prowüng around to order his f une ral and t;ike poBoessioo of his property ! So it, was you, you scoundrel, who altered the check, was it? " And without furthor ceremony Richard Gossett was ignoiuiuiously kicked into the street. "A pretty lie you wrote me!" he exclaimfid, aa he turned the corner and met Fninlílin Wimple. " What lie?" '¦ Wliy, that Tnelo 'Dad was dead." " I never said so. " '' Weñ, that his body had been found, thi'ti. " "And so it was, lut I didn't say it was dead. My dear fellow, you shouldn't take tilines too trustingly on the first of April." Dick ooraed bil own stupidity for not thinking of the date of Frank'a note. The up.-liot of it was that Mr. Whistler made another will, in which Richard Gossett's name was rcplaced by that of üliver Lambert, who returued as my.steriously as he had disappeared, and soon made it all right with Salina Jasmyn.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News