| Her blonde hair reflected the rays of sun streaming through the window. She raised her head and smiled at me for the second time.
‘So, you see, Mr. Arrowsmith, there really was no reason for my uncle to make a will. I was his only relative and would inherit whether I was specifically named or not. He was very laid back, disliked lawyers or anything to do with administration.’
She stopped speaking and smiled at me again.
‘ How old are you Miss Weston?’ I asked.
‘I’ll be twenty-six next Thursday,’ she answered.
I looked down again at the document in front of me.
‘Well, you see, there does seem to be a problem.’
Her face changed. Her eyes narrowed slightly and seemed to dart out at me.
‘What kind of problem?’ she asked, icily.
‘Well, Mr. Weston may have another heir. Apparently, he had a son. Or at least that is the information I have been given. I spoke to him yesterday on the telephone. He was in California, but I understand that he’ll be in London tomorrow.’
She did not speak, but sat, unsmiling now, her eyes focused in front of her.
I continued speaking.
‘If what he says is correct, then, in the absence of a will, he inherits everything, I’m afraid.’
She stood up and picked up her coat which was on the chair beside her.
‘Mr. Arrowsmith. My uncle had no children. He frequently lamented that he had never had a son, but comforted himself that I, his only relative, would inherit his fortune. He never mentioned a secret child in California.’
‘Well, Alfred Weston is the same age as you, so can no longer be described as a child. And, according to him, there was no secret about it. He says that his father frequently visited him and his mother in Santa Monica.’
She had entered my office so full of poise. Tall with long, blonde, straight hair, dressed in a skirt and blouse, simple but expensive. Young, attractive and confident that she was on the point of receiving an inheritance.
Now, as she prepared to leave, she looked older and the confidence which she exuded when she came in had been replaced. There was now suppressed anger in her expression. And her movements suggested imminent danger.
‘I will consult with my lawyers and you’ll be hearing from them shortly. Good morning, Mr. Arrowsmith.’
She turned and left.
I waited a moment, moved towards the open door and closed it. There was still an intoxicating scent of perfume in the air as I walked back to my desk. I picked up my telephone and dialed a number.
‘Hi,’ I said. ‘It’s me. She’s on her way to see a lawyer. I’ll ring you when I know something.’
I walked over to the window and looked down. She was striding determinedly across the street.
This was not going to be easy.
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