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Funny Fairy Tales by Ambrose Bierce

A Hasty Settlement

'YOUR Honour,' said an Attorney, rising, 'what is the present
status of this case - as far as it has gone?'

'I have given a judgment for the residuary legatee under the will,'
said the Court, 'put the costs upon the contestants, decided all
questions relating to fees and other charges; and, in short, the
estate in litigation has been settled, with all controversies,
disputes, misunderstandings, and differences of opinion thereunto
appertaining.'

'Ah, yes, I see,' said the Attorney, thoughtfully, 'we are making
progress - we are getting on famously.'

'Progress?' echoed the Judge - 'progress? Why, sir, the matter is
concluded!'

'Exactly, exactly; it had to be concluded in order to give
relevancy to the motion that I am about to make. Your Honour, I
move that the judgment of the Court be set aside and the case
reopened.'

'Upon what ground, sir?' the Judge asked in surprise.

'Upon the ground,' said the Attorney, 'that after paying all fees
and expenses of litigation and all charges against the estate there
will still be something left.'

'There may have been an error,' said His Honour, thoughtfully -
'the Court may have underestimated the value of the estate. The
motion is taken under advisement.'


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