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How Mr. Mustell Paid His Note

by Judge Clark

“Darrell!”

It was Mr. Leatherwood’s voice from the inner office. The name called was my own; and, with the alacrity of an under clerk ambitious of promotion I responded to the summons.

“Jonah Mustell’s note fell due yesterday,” said Mr. Leatherwood, looking up as I entered. “I want you to ride over to Beechdale and present it. Of course, it won’t be paid, for, by his construction of the law-merchant, a debtor has the right to at least three distinct duns in addition to the days of grace. So the sooner we begin the better. Here’s the note, and an order on Trotter, the liveryman, for a horse.”

Mr. Leatherwood turned to his writing-desk after these instructions, and left me to follow them.

Beechdale was a country village about a dozen miles from the youthful Western city of which Mr. Leatherwood was the leading merchant.

The road had so many “forks” and turns that my head got turned at last, and in spite of my stock of itinerary information being kept replenished at regular intervals, I had the consolation, at the end of several weary hours, of finding myself many miles out of the way. Owing to which mishap it was late in the afternoon when I alighted at Mr. Mustell’s gate.

I cannot say I was won by that gentleman at first sight. There was a look of sinister cunning in his ferrety little eyes, when he met me at the door, neither agreeable nor trust-inspiring.

After an exchange of distant salutations, and on intimation from… Read More