The House of a Thousand Candles (Chapter 1, page 1 of 18)

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Chapter 1

Pickering's letter bringing news of my grandfather's
death found me at Naples early in October. John
Marshall Glenarm had died in June. He had left a
will which gave me his property conditionally, Pickering
wrote, and it was necessary for me to return immediately
to qualify as legatee. It was the merest luck
that the letter came to my hands at all, for it had been
sent to Constantinople, in care of the consul-general
instead of my banker there. It was not Pickering's
fault that the consul was a friend of mine who kept
track of my wanderings and was able to hurry the
executor's letter after me to Italy, where I had gone to
meet an English financier who had, I was advised, unlimited
money to spend on African railways. I am an
engineer, a graduate of an American institution familiarly
known as "Tech," and as my funds were running
low, I naturally turned to my profession for employment.

But this letter changed my plans, and the following
day I cabled Pickering of my departure and was outward
bound on a steamer for New York. Fourteen
days later I sat in Pickering's office in the Alexis Building
and listened intently while he read, with much
ponderous emphasis, the provisions of my grandfather's
will. When he concluded, I laughed. Pickering was a
serious man, and I was glad to see that my levity pained
him. I had, for that matter, always been a source of
annoyance to him, and his look of distrust and rebuke
did not trouble me in the least.

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