On November 14th, 1910, peacefully in his bed, passed away the well-respected graduate of Eton, the Queen’s faithful subject, Dr Nicolas Robert Hunter. For all of his long life, Dr Hunter had practiced his vocation in a humane way, skillfully and honorably. The people who had known him for all of his eighty-four years, which he had spent with dignity, could see the real meaning of the phrase, a decent gentleman. When his private safe was opened, beside the envelope containing his will, another envelope was found. It had been duly sealed with red wax that bore the stamp of a London notary, one Silenius Harvey. Dr Hunter’s close relatives broke the seal, and several leaves written over in the deceased man’s hand fell out of the envelope. Nobody, however, took further interest in them after it was ascertained they had nothing to do with the will itself. Nobody, that is, except the last surviving of Dr Hunter’s seven cousins. His name was Richard Emerson. A London magazine obviously overheard something or other about that envelope’s contents. One of their executives offered Mr. Emerson a generous fee in exchange for his consent to place it at their disposal to publish. He squarely refused. The lines that follow have not been perused by any but Dr Hunter’s closest friends. They are a true transcript of the pages found in the dead man’s safe.
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