4. CHAPTER IV
The signing of the Will was a much shorter matter than I had anticipated.
It was hurried over, to my thinking, in indecent haste. Samuel, the footman,
was sent for to act as second witness--and the pen was put at once into my
aunt's hand. I felt strongly urged to say a few appropriate words on this
solemn occasion. But Mr. Bruff's manner convinced me that it was wisest
to check the impulse while he was in the room. In less than two minutes it
was all over--and Samuel (unbenefited by what I might have said) had gone
Mr. Bruff folded up the Will, and then looked my way;
apparently wondering whether I did or did not mean to leave
him alone with my aunt. I had my mission of mercy to fulfil,
and my bag of precious publications ready on my lap.
He might as well have expected to move St. Paul's Cathedral
by looking at it, as to move Me. There was one merit about him
(due no doubt to his worldly training) which I have no wish to deny.
He was quick at seeing things. I appeared to produce almost
the same impression on him which I had produced on the cabman.
HE too uttered a profane expression, and withdrew in a violent hurry,
and left me mistress of the field.
As soon as we were alone, my aunt reclined on the sofa, and then alluded,
with some appearance of confusion, to the subject of her Will.
"I hope you won't think yourself neglected, Drusilla," she said.
"I mean to GIVE you your little legacy, my dear, with my own hand."
Here was a golden opportunity! I seized it on the spot.
In other words, I instantly opened my bag, and took out
the top publication. It proved to be an early edition--
only the twenty-fifth--of the famous anonymous work (believed to
be by precious Miss Bellows), entitled THE SERPENT AT HOME.
The design of the book--with which the worldly reader may not
be acquainted--is to show how the Evil One lies in wait for us
in all the most apparently innocent actions of our daily lives.
The chapters best adapted to female perusal are "Satan
in the Hair Brush;" "Satan behind the Looking Glass;"
"Satan under the Tea Table;" "Satan out of the Window'--
and many others.