'I can't promise,' she simply repeated.

'You are very obstinate,' said the Doctor.' I don't think you understand.'

'Please explain, then.'

'I can't explain,' said Catherine;' and I can't promise.'

'Upon my word,' her father exclaimed, 'I had no idea how obstinate you are!'

She knew herself that she was obstinate, and it gave her a certain joy. She was now a middle-aged woman.

About a year after this, the accident that the Doctor had spoken of occurred: he took a violent cold. Driving out to Bloomingdale one April day to see a patient of unsound mind, who was confined in a private asylum for the insane, and whose family greatly desired a medical opinion from an eminent source, he was caught in a spring shower, and being in a buggy, without a hood, he found himself soaked to the skin. He came home with an ominous chill, and on the morrow he was seriously ill.' It is congestion of the lungs,' he said to Catherine;' I shall need very good nursing. It will make no difference, for I shall not recover; but I wish everything to be done, to the smallest detail, as if I should. I hate an ill-conducted sick-room, and you will be so good as to nurse me on the hypothesis that I shall get well.' He told her which of his fellow-physicians to send for, and gave her a multitude of minute directions; it was quite on the optimistic hypothesis that she nursed him. But he had never been wrong in his life, and he was not wrong now. He was touching his seventieth year, and though he had a very well-tempered constitution, his hold upon life had lost its firmness. He died after three weeks' illness, during which Mrs Penniman, as well as his daughter, had been assiduous at his bedside.

.On his will being opened, after a decent interval, it was found to consist of two portions. The first of these dated from ten years back, and consisted of a series of dispositions by which he left the great mass of his property to his daughter, with becoming legacies to his two sisters. The second was a codicil, of recent origin, maintaining the annuities to Mrs Penniman and Mrs Almond, but reducing Catherine's share to a fifth of what he had first bequeathed her.' She is amply provided for from her mother's side,' the document ran,' never having spent more than a fraction of her income from this source; so that her fortune is already more than sufficient to attract those unscrupulous adventurers whom she has given me reason to believe that she persists in regarding as an interesting class.' The large remainder of his property, therefore, Doctor Sloper had divided into seven unequal parts, which he left, as endowments, to as many different hospitals and schools of medicine in various cities of the Union.

To Mrs Penniman it seemed monstrous that a man should play such tricks with other people's money; for after his death, of course, as she said, it was other people's. 'Of course, you will immediately break the will,' she remarked to Catherine.

'Oh no,' Catherine answered,' I like it very much. Only I wish it had been expressed a little differently!'

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