Make your own free website on Tripod.com

 

Sign My Guestbook

View My Guestbook

E-mail

   



A Time to Kill
Firm
Pelican Brief
Client
Chamber
Rainmaker
Runaway Jury
Partner
Street Lawyer
TESTAMENT
Brethren
Painted House

Misc
Shop
Links

  
THE TESTAMENT

Published: 1999
Pages (Paperback): 544
Pages (Hard Cover): 435
Rating: 8
Movie: No

READ REVIEW!


      Stafford slides the will to me and hands me a pen. I say, "This is the last will and testament of Troy L. Phelan, revoking all former wills and codicils." It's ninety pages long, prepared by Stafford and someone in his firm. I understand the concept, but the actual print eludes me. I haven't read it, nor shall I. I flip to the back, scrawl a name no one can read, then place my hands on top of it for the time being.
      It'll never be seen by the vultures.
      "Meeting's adjourned," Stafford says, and everyone quickly packs. Per my instructions, the three families are hurried from their respective rooms and asked to leave the building.
      One camera remains focused on me, its images going nowhere but the archives. The lawyers and psychiatrists leave in a rush. I tell Snead to take a seat at the table. Stafford and one of his partners, Durban, remain in the room, also seated. When we are alone, I reach under the edge of my robe and produce an envelope, which I open. I remove from it three pages of yellow legal paper and place them before me on the table.
      Only seconds away now, and a faint ripple of fear goes through me. This will take more strength than I've mustered in weeks.
      Stafford, Durban, and Snead stare at the sheets of yellow paper, thoroughly bewildered.
      "This is my new testament," I announce, taking a pen. "A holographic will, every word written by me, just a few hours ago. Dated today, and now signed today." I scrawl my name again. Stafford is too stunned to react.
      "It revokes all former wills, including the one I signed less than five minutes ago." I refold the papers and place them in the envelope.
      I grit my teeth and remind myself of how badly I want to die.
      I slide the envelope across the table to Stafford, and at the same instant I rise from my wheelchair. My legs are shaking. My heart is pounding. Just seconds now. Surely I'll be dead before I land.
      "Hey!" someone shouts, Snead I think. But I'm moving away from them.
      The lame man walks, almost runs, past the row of leather chairs, past one of my portraits, a bad one commissioned by a wife, past everything, to the sliding doors, which are unlocked. I know because I rehearsed this just hours ago.
      "Stop!" someone yells, and they're moving behind me. No one has seen me walk in a year. I grab the handle and open the door. The air is bitterly cold. I step barefoot onto the narrow terrace which borders my top floor. Without looking below, I lunge over the railing.





 

 



Copyright 1999 John Grisham