Cursed by a Fortune

Cursed by a Fortune
О книге

Книга "Cursed by a Fortune", автором которой является George Fenn, представляет собой захватывающую работу в жанре Зарубежная классика. В этом произведении автор рассказывает увлекательную историю, которая не оставит равнодушными читателей.

Автор мастерски воссоздает атмосферу напряженности и интриги, погружая читателя в мир загадок и тайн, который скрывается за хрупкой поверхностью обыденности. С прекрасным чувством языка и виртуозностью сюжетного развития, George Fenn позволяет читателю погрузиться в сложные эмоциональные переживания героев и проникнуться их судьбами. Fenn настолько живо и точно передает неповторимые нюансы человеческой психологии, что каждая страница книги становится путешествием в глубины человеческой души.

"Cursed by a Fortune" - это не только захватывающая история, но и искусство, проникнутое глубокими мыслями и философскими размышлениями. Это произведение призвано вызвать у читателя эмоциональные отклики, задуматься о важных жизненных вопросах и открыть новые горизонты восприятия мира.


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Chapter One

“Yes, James; this is my last dying speech and confession.”

“Oh, papa!” with a burst of sobbing.

“Be quiet, Kitty, and don’t make me so miserable. Dying is only going to sleep when a man’s tired out, as I am, with the worries of the world, money-making, fighting for one’s own, and disappointment. I know as well as old Jermingham that it’s pretty nearly all over. I’m sorry to leave you, darling, but I’m worn out, and your dear mother has been waiting for nearly a year.”

“Father, dearest father!” and two white arms clung round the neck of the dying man, as their owner sank upon her knees by the bedside.

“I’d stay for your sake, Kitty, but fate says no, and I’m so tired, darling, it will be like going into rest and peace. She always was an angel, Kitty, and she must be now; I feel as if I must see her afterwards. For I don’t think I’ve been such a very bad man, Will.”

“The best of fellows, Bob, always,” said the stout, florid, country-looking gentleman seated near the great heavily-curtained four-post bed.

“Thanks, James. I don’t want to play the Pharisee, but I have tried to be an honest man and a good father.”

“Your name stands highest in the city, and your charities – ”

“Bother! I made plenty of money by the bank, and I gave some away, and I wish it had done more good. Well, my shares in the bank represent a hundred and fifty thousand; those are Kitty’s. There’s about ten thousand pounds in India stock and consols.”

“Pray, pray don’t talk any more, papa, dear.”

“Must, Kitty, while I can. That money, Will, is yours for life, and after death it is for that boy of yours, Claud. He doesn’t deserve it, but perhaps he’ll be a better boy some day. Then there’s the lease of this house, my furniture, books, plate, pictures, and money in the private account. You will sell and realise everything; Kitty does not want a great gloomy house in Bedford Square – out of proceeds you will pay the servants’ legacies, and the expenses, there will be ample; and the residue is to be given to your wife for her use. That’s all. I have made you my sole executor, and I thought it better to send for you to tell you than for you to wait till the will was read. Give me a little of that stuff in some water, Kitty.”

His head was tenderly raised, and he drank and sank back with a sigh.

“Thank you, my darling. Now, Will, I might have joined John Garstang with you as executor, but I thought it better to give you full control, you being a quiet country squire, leading your simple, honest, gentleman-farmer’s life, while he is a keen speculative man.”

James Wilton, the banker’s brother, uttered something like a sigh, muttered a few words about trying to do his duty, and listened, as the dying man went on —

“I should not have felt satisfied. You two might have disagreed over some marriage business, for there is no other that you will have to control. And I said to myself that Will would not try to play the wicked uncle over my babe. So you are sole executor, with very little to do, for I have provided for everything, I think. Her money stays in the old bank I helped to build up, and the dividends will make her a handsome income. What you have to see to is that she is not snapped up by some plausible scoundrel for the sake of her money. When she does marry – ”

“Oh, papa, dear, don’t, don’t! You are breaking my heart. I shall never marry,” sobbed the girl, as she laid her sweet young face by the thin, withered countenance on the pillow.

“Yes, you will, my pet. I wish it, when the right man comes, who loves you for yourself. Girls like you are too scarce to be wasted. But your uncle will watch over you, and see to that. You hear, Will?”

“Yes, I will do my duty by her.”

“I believe you.”

“But, papa dear, don’t talk more. The doctor said you must be kept so quiet.”

“I must wind up my affairs, my darling, and think of your future. I’ve had quite enough of the men hanging about after the rich banker’s daughter. When my will is proved, the drones and wasps will come swarming round you for the money. There is no one at all, yet, is there?” he said, with a searching look.

“Oh, no, papa, I never even thought of such a thing.”

“I know it, my darling. I’ve always been your sweetheart, and we’ve lived for one another, and I’m loth to leave you, dear.”

“Oh, father, dearest father, don’t talk of leaving me,” she sobbed.

He smiled sadly, and his feeble hand played with her curls.

“God disposes, my own,” he said. “But there, I must talk while I can. Now, listen. These are nearly my last words, Will.”

His brother started and bent forward to hear his half-whispered words, and he wiped the dew from his sun-browned forehead, and shivered a little, for the chilly near approach of death troubled the hale, hearty-looking man, and gave a troubled look to his florid face.

“When all is over, Will, as soon as you can, take her down to Northwood, and be a father to her. Her aunt always loved her, and she’ll be happy there. Shake hands upon it, Will.”

The thin, white, trembling hand was placed in the fat, heavy palm extended, and rested there for some minutes before Robert Wilton spoke again.

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