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"And to my niece, Geraldine Coneybear, I leave my house, The Maples, and all the contents therein, except those previously mentioned, as well as the sum of fifty thousand dollars to assist her in its maintenance."
Gerry jerked upright. Andrew was shaking her hand as the other relatives crowded around. "Wow, Gerry! Fantastic! Good for you."
"Yes, Gerry. Lucky you." Margaret, Andrew's older sister, named for their aunt, loomed, her three glum-looking sons flanking her. Gerry had no more than a second to get the impression of grinding teeth before her Aunt Mary, Maggie's sister and Margaret's mother, replaced her.
"Gerry!" She threw her arms around her niece then held her at arm's length. "More like Deborah every day! She was so glamorous, your mother. That red hair and creamy skin. And that fabulous figure." Here she raked Gerry head to toe with a critical glance.
Her husband, Geoff looked embarrassed, but then, Gerry reflected, he'd had a lot of practice. "How are you, Gerry? Good to see you." He pecked her on the cheek. "Are you surprised to be Maggie's heir?"
"Totally, Uncle Geoff," Gerry replied, rubbing at the lipstick she knew Aunt Mary had pressed onto the side of her nose. She leaned forward and quietly asked, "Did I get it all?"
Unfortunately, her query coincided with a lull in the general conversation.
"Weren't you paying attention, Gerry?" Margaret said coldly. "You get it all. Everything. The house, land, furniture, the paintings." She seemed to choke on this last word, and everyone stood still, very embarrassed.
Gerry, now fumbling for a tissue in her pocket, replied, "I meant the lipstick Auntie left on my nose. Have I removed all of it?"