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that I can't entertain his proposal. It is only wasting your time and mine to talk about it.”
“We are not come to you professionally, Mr. Chaffin,” said Trimmer. “I have a strong opinion of my own, of course, as to the merits of the case, but I do not intend to trouble you with that. We want to avoid trouble and expense and legal proceedings."
“I am not particular about the expense,” said Chaffin, “and the law is on my side.”
“It is impossible to say on which side the law is until the case has been tried, and I am quite of opinion that it is worth trying. I shall not tell you what I think about it, but your conveyance, I feel sure, will not hold water. A Court of Chancery would set it aside; but I shall say nothing about that. Mrs. Dean, the widow, has a lien upon the property, as the will clearly shows; but I won't refer to that. You would lose your purchase and your money too if you were to go into court; but that I won't touch upon. Our object is, as I said before, to come to a friendly understanding."
“You mean to say, then," said Chaffin, “that your client here has sold me what was not his to sell ?”
Inadvertently, my dear sir : inadvertently.” “A man who sells what does not belong to him would hardly like, I should think, to stand up in court and say what he has done.” “Inadvertently, Mr. Chaffin; by mistake and for want of a
2 proper understanding."
“Why could he not understand ?”
“You know why, Mr. Chaffin,” said Dean, stoutly; "you know as well as any man.”
"I don't,” said Chaffin ; "it's not my place to know. I only know that I have your conveyances written down-in black and white."
*19 te Tot ther," saj: Dean; “I was fuddled. I had been C:Eng week after week, more shame for me. ini ticated when I see the & Teement."
* Is that poc ples! Is that what you are going into court wit? I don't eT TOD I nerer was intoxicated in my life, and should not be any one to say I was; much less to publish it in court with Irown Eps."
* That is not ou ples," said Mr. Trimmer, interrupting his client, who was about to rent; “bat if it were, I assure you we should not stuk from the consequences."
“No," said Dean, Ermals.
* But it is not our plea Our plea is that Dean had no power to sell this property."
* If a man seils what is not his own, he must take the consequences. What do they call such fellows at the Old Bailey?”
“ And what do they call a man who buys under such circumstances, knowing all about it?" Dean interrupted.
* Nerer mind that," said the contractor. “I am all right. I am not afraid about myself; but you would cut a poor figure in a court of justice." “ I know it,” said Dean ; "but I mean to stand there all the
I shall tell the truth word for word, from beginning to end; yes, sir, I will if I never look an honest man in the face again."
“There is no accounting for tastes," said Chaffin; “but what is the object of all this? I am busy; always am; I can't spare time for idle talk."
“We want you to take a friendly view of the case," said Mr. Trimmer; "to make a compromise."
“I wish I had never seen the property,” said Chaffin; " but now I have got it I shall keep it."
“It will never do you any good, you may be sure,” said Trimmer; "it was a bad investment."
Mr. Trimmer had never seen it, but he thought he could not do any harm in saying this; he might have remembered that neither was it likely to do any good.
“But you see,” he continued, “my client has a romantic attachment to the place. You gain nothing, Mr. Chaffin, by keeping it; while he loses everything. Cancel the sale, my dear sir, and save all further trouble.”
“What do you mean by 'cancelling'?”
Mr. Chaffin made difficulties, but he did not repudiate the idea as strongly as it had been feared he would do. To tell the truth, he had lost confidence in the Sandy Frith Company, and would not have been sorry to put an end to his connection with it altogether.
“Where's the money to come from,” he asked, “if I were willing ?”
Dean had brought it with him, and, to Mr. Chaffin's surprise, took a roll of bank-notes from his pocket. He would pay in cash, he said, all that he had received in cash. The greater part of the purchase-money had been given him in bonds of the company; these also he had with him, and would return.
“I thought so," said Chaffin. “Those bonds were worth something when I handed them to you. Nobody knows what their value is now. I don't want them, at any rate; I have too many already. Pay me in cash, and I may, perhaps, agree to it.”
“I can't,” said Dean ; "not till I have sold the bonds, at all events. You persuaded me to take them, Mr. Chaffin ; you said they were of more value than Bank of England notes.”
“ So they were at that time. But what is the use of talking ? Give me cash, and I'll settle with you now, this minute. There's the conveyance," he said, taking it from a tin box and