I must refuse to do anything that might lay me open to suspicion."
"I tell you, I'm in my right mind. Shan't I do as I like at the last? I made two wills on purpose. Take the key, I say."
"No, sir, I will not," said Mary, more resolutely still. Her repulsion was getting stronger.
"I tell you, there's no time to lose."
"I cannot help that, sir. I will not let the close of your life soil the beginning of mine. I will not touch your iron chest or your will." She moved to a little distance from the bedside.
The old man paused with a blank stare for a little while, holding the one key erect on the ring; then with an agitated jerk he began to work with his bony left hand at emptying the tin box before him.
"Missy," he began to say, hurriedly, "look here! take the money—the notes and gold—look here—take it—you shall have it all—do as I tell you."
He made an effort to stretch out the key towards her as far as possible, and Mary again retreated.
"I will not touch your key or your money, sir. Pray don't ask me to do it again. If you do, I must go and call your brother."