"I know you've been thinking," interrupted the widow, "but it won't do an atom of good, for my mind was made up long ago, and I shan't do it, and if you've any kind of feeling for Matty, which you haint, nor never had, you wouldn't think of such a thing, and I know, as well as I want to know, that it's my property, and nothin' else, which has put such an idee into your head!"
Here, overcome with her burst of indignation, she began to cry, while the doctor, wholly misunderstanding her, attempted to smooth the matter somewhat by saying: "I had no intention of distressing you, Mrs. Blodgett, but I thought I might as well free my mind. Were you a poor woman, I should feel differently, but knowing you have money--"
"Wretch!" fairly screamed the insulted Janet. "So you confess my property is at the bottom of it! But I'll fix it--I'll put an end to it!" and in a state of great excitement she rushed from the room.
Just across the way a newly-fledged lawyer had hung out his sign, and thither that very afternoon the wrathful widow wended her way, nor left the dingy office until one-half of her property, which was far greater than anyone supposed it to be, was transferred by deed of gift to Maude Remington, who was to come in possession of it on her eighteenth birthday, and was to inherit the remainder by will at the death of the donor.
"That fixes him," she muttered, as she returned to the house; "that fixes Old Maxim good; to think of his insultin' me by ownin' right up that 'twas my property he was after, the rascal! I wouldn't have him if there warn't another man in the world!" and entering the room where Maude was sewing, she astonished the young girl by telling her what she had done. "I have made you my heir," said she, tossing the deed of gift and the will into Maude's lap. "I've made you my heir; and the day you're eighteen you'll be worth five thousand dollars, besides havin' the interest to use between this time and that. Then, if I ever die; you'll have five thousand more. Joel Blodgett didn't keep thirty cows and peddle milk for nothin'."
Maude was at first too much astonished to comprehend the meaning of what she heard, but she understood it at last, and then with many tears thanked the eccentric woman for what she had done, and asked the reason for this unexpected generosity.
"'Cause I like you!" answered Janet, determined not to injure Maude's feelings by letting her know how soon her mother had been forgotten. "'Cause I like you, and always meant to give it to you. But don't tell anyone how much 'tis, for if the old fool widowers round here know I am still worth five thousand dollars they'll like enough be botherin' me with offers, hopin' I'll change my will; but I shan't. I'll teach 'em a trick or two, the good for-nothin' Old Maxim."
The latter part of this speech was made as Janet was leaving the room, consequently Maude did not hear it, neither would she have understood if she had. She knew her nurse was very peculiar, but she never dreamed it possible for her to fancy that Dr. Kennedy wished to make her his wife, and she was greatly puzzled to know why she had been so generous to her. But Janet knew; and when a few days afterward Dr. Kennedy, determining upon a fresh attempt to remove her from his house, came to her side, as she was sitting alone in the twilight, she felt glad that one-half her property at least was beyond her control.