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The Dark House

George Manville Fenn

Book Overview: 

An extremely wealthy but reclusive man has died, leaving an eccentric will which hints at great riches hidden somewhere in the house. Most of the people at the reading of the will did not know the deceased in person, but had received kindnesses from him, for instance by the payment of school and university fees. The principal beneficiary, a great-nephew, also did not know him. The only two people who really knew him were the old lawyer who dealt with his affairs, and an old Indian servant. Yet when the will had been read, and they all went to where the treasure–gold, jewels and bank-notes–were supposed to be hidden, nothing could be found.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .He told me himself,” continued the old lawyer, “that he had never seen either Miss Lawrence or Mr Paul Capel.”

Lydia murmured an assent.

“No,” said Capel, who felt a curious oppression at the chest, “I never saw my great uncle. I never even heard from or wrote to him.”

“May I ask why?”

“I knew he was reported to be immensely rich, and—well, I felt that he might think I was trying to curry favour.”

“Let me see, Mr Artis, I think the deceased did pay your debts?”

“Is this meant for an insult, sir?”

“No, sir; it was a business-like defence of my old friend’s memory. To proceed:—

“To Lydia Alicia Lawrence, my grand-niece, twenty-five thousand pounds, free of duty, the same to be invested in Consols, and if she marries, to be secured by marriage settlements to herself and children.”

There was a b. . . Read More