Herbert Penfold, being desirous of benefiting the daughter of an intimate friend, and Ralph Conway, the son of a lady to whom he had once been engaged, draws up a will dividing his property between them, and places it in a hiding-place only known to members of his own family. At his death his two sisters determine to keep silence, and the authorized search for the will, though apparently thorough, fails to bring it to light. The mother of Ralph, however, succeeds in entering the house as a servant, and after an arduous and exciting search secures the will. In the meantime, her son has himself passed through a series of adventures. The boat in which he is fishing is run down by a French privateer, and Ralph, scrambling on board, is forced to serve until the harbour of refuge is entered by a British frigate. On his return he enters the army, and after some rough service in Ireland, takes part in the Waterloo campaign, from which he returns with the loss of an arm, but with a substantial fortune, which is still further increased by his marriage with his co-heir.
fold Hall when its owner's sudden announcement that he had invited young Ralph Conway to come to stay there had fallen like a bombshell upon his sisters.
The invitation had caused almost as much surprise to Mrs. Conway as to the Miss Penfolds. Her father had died a few months after her marriage, and at the death of her husband she found herself left with an income of about a hundred a year--the interest of the sum for which he had insured his life.
To her surprise she had a month or two later received an intimation from the lawyer who managed her business that a friend had arranged to pay the sum of a hundred pounds every quarter to her account, on condition only that no inquiry whatever should be made as to his or her identity. Mary Conway had thankfully accepted the gift, which had, however, caused her intense wonderment and curiosity. So far as she knew neither her father nor her husband had any relations who could have afforded so handsome a gift. She knew that Colonel Vernon had been most p
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