"And have someone live at her house to take care of her," said Nancy.
"That old lady gets ten thousand dollars?" Ada Topham said harshly. "What did she ever do for Cousin Josiah?" Angrily she turned to her mother. "We took care of him for years—she didn't!"
"I'll say not," Isabel echoed, her voice tart.
" 'To my cousins, Fred and William Mathews, a sum equal to twenty per cent of my estate, share and share alike,' " Mr. Drew read.
"We didn't expect that much," Fred Mathews declared in genuine surprise. "Josiah was very kind." Fred smiled. "Now we can take a trip like we've always wanted to do, William."
"That's right. I just can't believe it. A long trip on an ocean liner or a plane."
" 'To my cousins, Edna and Mary Turner, twenty per cent of my estate, share and share alike.' "
"Oh, how generous!" Edna murmured. "Now little Judy can have the things we've always wanted to give her."
"Yes," said Mary Turner. "Oh, I feel so relieved."
"Aren't we mentioned at all?" Mrs. Topham broke in sharply.
Mr. Drew smiled. "Yes, you are mentioned. I'm coming to that now. 'To Richard Topham, five thousand dollars. To Grace and Allison Hoover—' "
"Hold on!" cried Mrs. Topham. "What about me and the girls?"
"No money was left to you," the lawyer stated simply.
Isabel gave a shriek. "Oh, no! Oh, no! Oh, Mother, all those bills! What'll we do?"
Ada too had cried out. "I'll have to go to work! Oh, I can't bear the thought of it!"
When the furor died down, Mr. Drew read on, " 'To Grace and Allison Hoover my household furniture now in the possession of Mrs. Richard Topham.' "
There was a gasp of surprise from everyone in the room, and Mrs. Topham half arose from her chair. It was generally known in River Heights that she had practically confiscated Josiah Crowley's furniture at the time he had been induced to make his home with the Tophams.
"How insulting!" the woman cried. "Does Josiah Crowley dare hint that I took his furniture?"
"I'm sure I don't know what was in his mind at the time he wrote the will," Mr. Drew told her with a smile.
Grace Hoover interposed quickly, "We have enough furniture without Josiah Crowley's."
Allison nodded. "We'll not take any of it from you, Mrs. Topham."
Mr. Drew carefully folded the document he had been reading, and after placing it in his pocket, he said to the people in the room:
"That is all, except that there is a proviso for the executor to pay all Mr. Crowley's just debts, including his funeral expenses, and that what balance is left in the estate goes to the Manningham Old Men's Home. I understand Josiah Crowley kept his assets in a liquid state. It will not be difficult to convert the estate into cash. For that reason I should think it would be possible to draw on your inheritances at once."
Ada wheeled upon Nancy, her face convulsed with anger. "You engineered this whole thing, Nancy Drew!" she accused bitterly.
"Any good I've done I'm happy about," Nancy answered.
"We'll break the will!" Mrs. Topham announced firmly.