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VIII 


From Mr. Loscombe to Mrs. Noel Vanstone.

"Lincoln's Inn Fields, May 24th.

"DEAR MADAM -- After a whole fortnight's search -- conducted, I am bound to admit, with the most conscientious and unrelaxing care -- no such document as the Secret Trust has been found among the papers left at St. Crux by the late Admiral Bartram.

"Under these circumstances, the executors have decided on acting under the only recognizable authority which they have to guide them -- the admiral's own will. This document (executed some years since) bequeaths the whole of his estate, both real and personal (that is to say, all the lands he possesses, and all the money he possesses, at the time of his death), to his nephew. The will is plain, and the result is inevitable. Your husband's fortune is lost to you from this moment. Mr. Georg e Bartram legally inherits it, as he legally inherits the house and estate of St. Crux.

"I make no comment upon this extraordinary close to the pr oceedings. The Trust may have been destroyed, or the Trust may be hidden in some place of concealment inaccessible to discovery. Either way, it is, in my opinion, impossible to found any valid legal declaration on a knowledge of the document so fragmentary and so incomplete as the knowledge which you possess. If other lawyers differ from me on this point, by all means consult them. I have devoted money enough and time enough to the unfortunate attempt to assert your interests; and my connection with the matter must, from this moment, be considered at an end.

"Your obedient servant,

"JOHN LOSCOMBE."

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