SPRINGHILL MANOR -
presume that you're Mr. Davis?" Mrs. Preston asked as she looked at
Douglas. She turned towards
Sara and furrowed her brow
slightly. "And who, prey tell, are you? What are you
"I...um...worked as your
husband's assistant right before he died," Sara muttered as she quickly
turned to see her husband's reaction. "I'm Sara Manchester and this
is my husband Dane."
whatever," Mrs. Preston sighed before returning her focus on Douglas.
"Can we just get this over and done with?"
yes, Mrs. Preston. We were actually just waiting for you to get here
before we started." Douglas took a deep breath, cleared his throat,
and carefully began to read Thornton's will. "I, Thornton Preston,
being of sound mind and body..."
"Well, that remains to be
seen," Mrs. Preston muttered as she rolled her eyes. "The only
thing sound about my husband was his bank account. Mr. Davis, can we just
skip all of this legal mumbo jumbo and just get to the point? I really
don't have all night."
alright." Douglas cleared his throat again as he looked at Thornton's
widow curiously. It was clear that he hadn't exaggerated in his description
of her demeanor in the slightest. "Okay, well...." Douglas
carefully scanned the will until he got to the appropriate place. "To
my faithful and loyal housekeeper, Helga
Grimm, I bequeath $20,000..."
my lord!" Helga gasped as she covered her mouth in shock and then began to
provisions," Douglas continued. "To receive this sum, Helga must
remain in the employ of the recipient of my home in Albanyville."
"Well, Helga, I'm sure
you're going to love working for me!" Mrs. Preston flashed Helga a
wicked grin. "I just know we'll get along famously. You really
won't have much choice!"
"I wouldn't count on
that," Helga muttered through clinched teeth.
Douglas, how can he leave this house to anyone?" Sara asked
curiously. "I thought he was only renting it while he was in
"Actually, Mr. Preston
purchased this house a couple of weeks before he died," Douglas
revealed. "This house is included in his estate."
"Yes, yes, I already know
all of that!" Mrs. Preston snapped. "Can we just get on with
"Ahem, um, yes,"
Douglas took a deep breath as he got to the next passage in the will.
"All of my residences, excluding the home in Albanyville, are to be sold
and the proceeds included in my remaining estate. This estate, including
the home in Albanyville, all of my authorship rights, money, and business
holdings, I leave to Dane and Sara Manchester..."
gasped. "Douglas, what in the world are you talking about?"
"Mr. Preston has left
both you and Dane everything," Douglas explained as his eyes darted form
Sara to Dane and then to Mrs. Preston. "Mr. Preston has left his
entire estate to you!"
Mrs. Preston shouted as she jumped to her feet. "What about me?
What did he say about me? I'm his wife!"
"Actually, Mrs. Preston,
there is a section dealing with you," he took another deep breath and
began to read. "To my wife, I leave not a penny. You are a
lying, manipulative witch who deserves nothing. Find some other
rich sucker to marry."
my god, I cannot believe this!" Rage burned in Mrs. Preston's
eyes as she turned her furious gaze on Dane and Sara. "Why you?
Why do you deserve my husband's money? What did you
anything!" Sara insisted as she quickly looked at Dane who was still
clearly in shock.
"Apparently, Mr. Preston
was not as fooled by your shenanigans as you thought he was," Helga
muttered with a touch of glee as she looked at Mrs. Preston. "But, I
can't fathom why in the world he'd leave his estate to you, of all
people!" She turned to focus on Sara. "You lied to him and
betrayed him! What did you do to deserve any of this?"
"I...I don't know!"
"I'll tell you what
this little tramp did!" Mrs. Preston snapped. "She was
having an affair with my husband! That's what she did!"
Sara's jaw dropping in shock
from the accusation. "N-no! I did not!"
"Why else would my
husband leave you a cent? You were sleeping with him and you conned him
out of his fortune!"
Sara didn't know what to say
in her defense. She knew the truth. She knew that she and Mr.
Preston had not been having an affair. She quickly turned to Dane, but was
stunned to find him looking at her with curiosity. Surely, he didn't
believe Mrs. Preston's rantings. Surely, he didn't think that what she was
claiming was true.