A QUESTION OF HANDWRITING. 255
duke looked sold and foolish, I tell you, to see how the lawyer had took them in), "and here's this old gentleman's handwriting, and anybody can tell, easy enough, he didn't write them—fact is, the scratches he makes ain't properly writing, at all. Now here's some letters from------"
The new old gentleman says:
" If you please, let me explain. Nobody can read my hand but my brother there—so he copies for me. It's his hand you've got there, not mine."
" Well! " says the lawyer, "this is a state of things. I've got some of William's letters too; so if you'll get him to write a line or so we can com------"
" He can't write with his left hand," says the old gentleman. " If he could use his right hand, you would see that he wrote his own letters and mine too. Look at both, please—they're by the same hand."
The lawyer done it, and says :
" I believe it's so—and if it ain't so, there's a heap stronger resemblance than I'd noticed before, anyway. Well, well, well! I thought we was right on the track of a slution, but it's gone to grass, partly. But anyway, one thing is proved— these two ain't either of 'em Wilkses "—and he wagged his head towards the king and the duke.
Well, what do you think ?—that muleheaded old fool wouldn't give in then! Indeed he wouldn't. Said it warn't no fair test. Said his brother William was the cussedest joker in the world, and hadn't tried to write—he see William was going to play one of his jokes the minute he put the pen to paper. And so he warmed up and went warbling and warbling right along, till he was actuly beginning to believe what he was saying, himself—but pretty soon the new old gentleman broke in, and says :