But Miss Farish could not pause over the legacies; she broke into a larger indignation.
Did she think that only the payment of the legacies had been delayed?
And she is very poor—you know Mrs. Peniston cut her off with a small legacy, after giving her to understand that she was to have everything.
"You show such an intimate acquaintance with my affairs that I suppose you mean—till my aunt’s legacy is paid?"
"But Gerty does not happen to know," Miss Bart rejoined, "that I owe every penny of that legacy."
But I understood you got a legacy from her——
I got ten thousand dollars; but the legacy is not to be paid till next summer.
Unfortunately I had spent the money before I discovered my mistake; and so my legacy will have to go to pay it back.
But to Lily herself, aware that the legacy could not be put to such a use, the preliminary training seemed a wasted effort.
And the realization of this fact brought her recurringly face to face with the temptation to use the legacy in establishing her business.
The legacy, then, had been paid sooner than Gerty had led him to expect.
That she was living alone like this because there was no one else for her to go to, and that she really hadn’t more than enough to keep alive on till the wretched little legacy was paid?
The need of discharging that debt had reasserted itself with increased urgency since her return to America, and she spoke her first thought in saying to the anxiously hovering Gerty: "I wonder when the legacies will be paid."
In Gerty Farish’s sitting-room, whither a hansom had carried the two friends, Lily dropped into a chair with a faint sound of laughter: it struck her as a humorous coincidence that her aunt’s legacy should so nearly represent the amount of her debt to Trenor.
In her ignorance of legal procrastinations she had supposed that her legacy would be paid over within a few days of the reading of her aunt’s will; and after an interval of anxious suspense, she wrote to enquire the cause of the delay.
That obligation discharged, she would have but a thousand dollars of Mrs. Peniston’s legacy left, and nothing to live on but her own small income, which was considerably less than Gerty Farish’s wretched pittance; but this consideration gave way to the imperative claim of her wounded pride.
The cheque represented the full amount of Mrs. Peniston’s legacy, and the letter accompanying it explained that the executors, having adjusted the business of the estate with less delay than they had expected, had decided to anticipate the date fixed for the payment of the bequests.
A rapid glance at the stubs of the last cheques, all of which bore the date of the previous day, showed that between four or five hundred dollars of the legacy had been spent in the settlement of bills, while the remaining thousands were comprehended in one cheque, made out, at the same time, to Charles Augustus Trenor.
There was another interval before Mrs. Peniston’s lawyer, who was also one of the executors, replied to the effect that, some questions having arisen relative to the interpretation of the will, he and his associates might not be in a position to pay the legacies till the close of the twelvemonth legally allotted for their settlement.
The strangeness of entering as a suppliant the house where she had so long commanded, increased Lily’s desire to shorten the ordeal; and when Miss Stepney entered the darkened drawing-room, rustling with the best quality of crape, her visitor went straight to the point: would she be willing to advance the amount of the expected legacy?
She knew that to Gerty and Mrs. Fisher she was only passing through a temporary period of probation, since they believed that the apprenticeship she was serving at Mme. Regina’s would enable her, when Mrs. Peniston’s legacy was paid, to realize the vision of the green-and-white shop with the fuller competence acquired by her preliminary training.
If I inherit, I shall have to be careful of my figure," she mused, while the lawyer droned on through a labyrinth of legacies.
"My dear Gerty, you wouldn’t have me let the head-waiter see that I’ve nothing to live on but Aunt Julia’s legacy?
"Of course, you know, it hasn’t come to the employment agencies and the painted blotting-pads yet; but I’m rather hard-up just for the moment, and if I could find something to do—notes to write and visiting-lists to make up, or that kind of thing—it would tide me over till the legacy is paid.
There are no more uses of "legacy" in the book.
Show samples from other sources
I had a heatstroke and that’s why I zoned in forensics and Chinese and didn’t rise to the bait when Diaz asked me what I thought about the legacy of Andrew Jackson.
Laurie Halse Anderson -- The Impossible Knife of Memory