The only beneficiary? That certainly couldn’t be right. But Mr. Roth was the executor of the will, he should know. “I’m sorry?” Wilson replied, confused.

“It seems so, Mr. Pool.” Roth stated, again so matter of factly. “As far as we can tell, Mr. Feris had no living relatives, and if he did he certainly did not consider them for his will. I’m afraid the scribe that dictated the will with us a few weeks ago is currently traveling on personal business, when she returns she may be able to tell you more. Regardless the will as it is is fully legal and binding.”

“I see.” Wilson replied. This event continued to shock him, he was beginning to get used to it. Just now he was awash with concern for Tooth. He had never mentioned family to him, but people you casually pass in life rarely do, in his experience. It was hard to fathom that the kind old man had apparently been as lonely as Wilson was. If he had known, he may have taken more time to truly get to know Tooth, as it was he had never wanted to take too much of the man’s precious time.

“If I may begin?” Roth gestured slightly with the papers he had pulled from his smart leather case. “The will reads: I, Thomas ‘Tooth’ Feris, being of sound mind and sound body, do hereby bequeath the entirety of my estate and worldly possessions, primarily consisting of the book shop on Iron Lane known by the name ‘Read it and Weep’, the apartments above the shop, and the items within, as well as my account at the bank of Barnaby and Yak, to one Wilson Pool, a friend of merit currently performing the esteemed public duty of refuse removal. May it serve him well.”

“Everything?” Wilson stuttered. He realized he was beginning to cry. “I’m, I’m sorry, I just… I knew the man, we spoke. He had always been generous to me, and had always seemed pleased to see me, but this… this is too much. I’m sorry, I just, it’s a lot to consider just now.”

Roth took all of this in stride, solid, unflappable. He had likely been in this or similar situations far to many times to be flapped by this sort of display. “I’m sorry for your loss” he said, and solid as he was, Wilson could tell that the sentiment was genuine.

“To conclude matters,” he continued, “I regret to say that due to the nature of Mr. Feris’ departure from this world his property is currently under the prevue of the local Peace, however I have been informed by the lead investigator of the case, one Officer Davies, that the site has been cleared from the investigation and may be claimed by the new owner. It is currently locked down, and the keys may be obtained from him at the station at your convenience. I believe that you have met Officer Davies?”

“Yes” Wilson replied.

“Very good. One other thing, Mr. Pool. Mr. Feris made one additional request of our office, which was to deliver this letter upon execution of the will, should it become necessary.” Roth reached back into his case to pull out a crisp white envelope and handed it across the table to Wilson. “I believe it may answer some of your questions. Now, if you will excuse me, I will bid you good day.”

Roth extracted himself from the armchair and was polite enough to at least pretend we wasn’t relieved to be done with it, shook Wilson’s hand perfunctorily, and made his exit, leaving Wilson staring at the envelope in his hand.

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