Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

PAGE 5

Squire Toby’s Will
by [?]

"He was a good man, sir, in his way," repeated old Cooper, returning his gaze with awe. "He was a good master to me, and a good father to you, and I hope he’s happy. May God rest him!"

"Well," said Squire Charles, "it’s only this: the whole of that time I was with him, or he was with me  I don’t know which. The upshot is, we were together, and I thought I’d never get out of his hands again, and all the time he was bullying me about some one thing; and if it was to save my life, Tom Cooper, by  from the time I waked I never could call to mind what it was; and I think I’d give that hand to know; and if you can think of anything it might be  for God’s sake! Don’t be afraid, Tom Cooper, but speak it out, for he threatened me hard, and it was surely him. "

Here ensued a silence.

"And what did you think it might be yourself, Master Charles?" said Cooper.

"I hadn’t thought of aught that’s likely. I’ll never hit on’t  never. I thought it might happen he knew something about that d   humpbacked villain, Scroope, that swore before Lawyer Gingham I made away with a paper of settlements  me and father; and, as I hope to be saved, Tom Cooper, there never was a bigger lie! I’d a had the law of him for them identical words, and cast him for more than he’s worth; only Lawyer Gingham never goes into nothing for me since money grew scarce in Gylingden; and I can’t change my lawyer, I owe him such a hatful of money. But he did, he swore he’d hang me yet for it. He said it in them identical words  he’d never rest till he hanged me for it, and I think it was, like enough, something about that the old mast
er was troubled; but it’s enough to drive a man mad. I can’t bring it to mind  I can’t remember a word he said, only he threatened awful, and looked  Lord a mercy on us!  frightful bad. "

"There’s no need he should. May the Lord a mercy on him!" said the old butler.

"No, of course; and you’re not to tell a soul, Cooper  not a living soul, mind, that I said he looked bad, nor nothing about it. "

"God forbid!" said old Cooper, shaking his head. "But I was thinking, sir, it might ha’ been about the slight that’s bin so long put on him by having no stone over him, and never a scratch o’ a chisel to say who he is. "

"Ay. well, I didn’t think o’ that. Put on your hat, old Cooper, and come clown wi’ me; for I’ll look after that, at any rate. "

There is a by path leading by a turnstile to the park, and thence to the picturesque old burying place, which lies in a nook by the roadside, embowered in ancient trees. It was a fine autumnal sunset, and melancholy lights and long shadows spread their peculiar effects over the landscape as handsome Charlie and the old butler made their way slowly toward the place where handsome Charlie was himself to lie at last.

“Which of the dogs made that howling all last night?" asked the squire, when they had got on a little way.

” ‘Twas a strange dog, Master Charlie, in front of the house; ours was all in the yard  a white dog wi’ a black head, he looked to be, and he was smelling round then’ mounting steps the old master, God be wi’ him! set up, the time his knee was bad. When the tyke got up atop of them, howlin’ up at the windows, I’d like to shy something at him. "