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She Kind Of Coaxed Him
by [?]

I said if I could get time I would go over and talk with her and see what she said. So I did. I got along pretty well, too. I found the young woman at home, and told her the legal aspects of the case. She wouldn’t admit any of the charges, but after a long parley agreed to execute the deed and save trouble. She came to my office an hour later, and signed the instrument I got two witnesses to the signature and had just put the notarial seal on it when the girl’s mother came in. She asked her daughter if she had signed the deed and was told that she had. She said nothing, but smiled in a way that made my blood run cold. If a woman were to smile on me that way every day, I should certainly commit some great crime.

I was just congratulating myself on the success of the business, and was looking at the two $20 gold pieces and trying to get acquainted with them, as it were, after the two women had gone away; when they returned with the husband and son-in-law at the head of the procession. He looked pale and careworn to me. He asked me in a low voice if I had a deed there, executed by his wife. I said yes. He then asked me if I would kindly destroy it. I said I would. I would make deeds and tear them up all day at $40 apiece. I said I liked the conveyancing business very much, and if a client felt like having a grand, warranty deed debauch, I was there to furnish the raw material.

I then tore up the deed and the two women went quietly away. After they had gone, my client, in an absent-minded way, took out a large quid that had outlived its usefulness, laid it tenderly on the open page of Estey’s Pleadings, and said:

“You doubtless think I am a singular organization, and that my ways are past finding out. I wish to ask you if I did right a moment ago?” Here he took out another $20 and put it under the paper weight. “When I went down stairs I met my mother-in-law. She always looked to me like a firm woman, but I did not think she was so unswerving as she really was. She asked me in a low, musical voice to please destroy the deed, and then she took one of them Smith & Wesson automatic advance agents of death out from under her apron and kind of wheedled me into saying I would. Now, did I do right? I want a candid, legal opinion, and I’m ready to pay for it.”

I said he did perfectly right.