The Corner House Girls' Odd Find Part 44

"He didn't," sighed Agnes, "more's the pity. Oh, no, Ruthie. I am not sorry Mrs. Eland and Miss Pepperill are going to be rich. But we could have made good use of some of that money."

"Buying an automobile, for instance?" suggested Neale, chuckling.

"Be careful, young man," Agnes warned him. "If you carry a joke too far, you shall never be allowed to run the Corner House automobile when we _do_ get it."

"I'll be good," said Neale, promptly. "For I have a sneaking sort of idea that maybe you _will_ have one, Aggie, before long."

"Oh, Neale!"

"Fact. Somebody's going to get a bunch of money for finding that alb.u.m.

And _you_ are the one who really made the find, Aggie Kenway."

"Now I know I shall faint!" gasped the next to the oldest Corner House girl.

"We wouldn't want money for giving Mrs. Eland what belongs to her," Ruth said quietly.

"Maybe not," said Neale, grimly. "But I guess Mr. Howbridge knows his business. He is your guardian. He will apply to the court for the proper reward for you, if it isn't forthcoming from the beneficiaries themselves."

"Goodness, Neale O'Neil! How you talk," said Agnes, in wonder. "You talk just like a lawyer yourself."

"Maybe I will be one some day," said the boy, diffidently. "But Mr.

Howbridge talked a lot to me about the matter on He said of course the real owners of the money and bonds must be hunted up. Perhaps he has some shrewd suspicion as to who they may be.

"But you girls have got rights in any treasure trove found in the old Corner House-"

"Gracious mercy me! I hope I shall find a lot more money and bonds,"

declared Agnes. "I'm going right up to the attic to-morrow and hunt some more."

But of course she did not. There were too many things happening on the morrow. Mr. Howbridge came from Tiverton and the girls found him at the Corner House when they came home from school.

He brought with him a statement showing how much money there was in that treasure trove found in the garret, and the value of the railroad bonds and the dividends due on them.

He was quite ready to believe Ruth's discovery regarding the true ownership of the treasure, too.

"I have heard Peter Stower often say that he wondered what Lemuel Aden did with his money. He stuck to it that Lem was a wealthy man, but the very worst kind of a miser.

"And that he should bring his wealth here and hide it in the old Corner House is not at all surprising. As a boy he played about here with your Uncle Peter. He knew the old garret as well as you children do, I warrant."

Later Mr. Howbridge went with Ruth to call on the matron of the Women's and Children's Hospital. Mrs. Eland produced the diaries and Mr.

Howbridge read the notes referring to the old miser's "Beautiful Book."

It was decided by the Courts, at a later time, that the money and bonds all belonged to the two sisters, sole remaining heirs of Lemuel Aden.

Mr. Howbridge acted for both parties in the transaction and nothing was said about any reward due the Corner House girls for making the odd find in the garret.

That is, there was little said about any reward just then. But Agnes went about with such a smiling face that everybody who knew her stopped to ask what it meant.

"Why, don't you know?" she said. "Just as soon as we can have it built, there will be a garage in our back yard. And Neale O'Neil is studying at the Main Street Garage every day after school, so he can run a car and take out a license like Joe Eldred. And-"

"But you haven't a car, Aggie Kenway!" cried Eva Larry, who was one of the most curious.

"Oh, no; not yet," drawled Agnes, with fine nonchalance. "But we're having one built for us. Mr. Howbridge himself ordered it for us. And it's going to be big enough to take out the whole Corner House family."

It was not that the other Corner House girls had no interest in this forthcoming pleasure car; but there were so many other things, to take up their attention.

Ruth was interested in getting Barnabetta and her father settled in two very nice rooms on Meadow Street for the winter. There they would remain until the circus season opened in the spring.

Barnabetta had secured a position for a few months that would support her and the clown; and Neale had written to his Uncle Bill Sorber and obtained a contract for the Scruggs' for the next season.

Miss Pepperill was back from the State Hospital and her sister and she were all ready to go across the Continent to remain a year at least.

Milton people who knew her work, were sorry to see Mrs. Eland go. Her friends, however, were glad that never again would the little gray lady and her red-haired sister have to worry about ways and means.

As for the little girls, their interests were as varied as usual. But they were rejoicing that Sammy Pinkney was well on the road to health, Dr. Forsyth having brought him safely through the scarlet fever.

"And for a boy that's had quarantine and epidermis, too, all at the same time, it's quite wonderful," Dot said. "And-and there's a chance for him yet to grow up and be a pirate!"


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