Statement of George Edward Rochester, 1:15 pm, November 3
Mr. Rochester, did your Aunt Julia ever discuss the contents of her will with you?
No. I really didn't consider it my business.
Were you surprised to find she'd left one of her ostrich farms to you, as well as her house and such a large sum of cash?
Well, I'm pleasantly surprised. To be honest, the only odd thing about the will is that she left the old family ostrich farm to me, and even that isn't that strange. She wanted the farm to stay in the family, I know, which is why it upset her that I opposed growing the birds in captivity and butchering them for meat and leather. I think she was less than happy about the slaughter aspect of the farms, and would have preferred to run them for the old product of plumes, but that just isn't practical anymore. Aunt Julia was a very practical woman, and very conscious of money. She wasn't stingy, but she knew you had to have it to do anything and she didn't want to lose the farm again.
What are you going to do with the ostrich farm she left you?
I'm not sure yet. Out of respect for her I may try to keep it; maybe I can convert it to a museum or something. I'll have to think about it.
Did your aunt suffer from any health problems you knew of?
Nothing that I thought was particularly serious. Sometimes she'd feel under the weather, of course. When Aunt Beatrice and Uncle Simon visited she tended to suffer from stomach complaints. Uncle Simon thinks it's nothing, Aunt Beatrice doesn't really seem aware of it. I never knew quite what to think. Once I found one of Aunt Beatrice's bottles of that taxidermy chemical she gets up here left out in the kitchen, of all places, open. For all I know she could be absent-mindedly poisoning us all.
Well, not really, I guess; she wouldn't mean to. But if I had to pick which of my aunts was getting vaguer I would have said Aunt Beatrice. I would have thought the rest of us would have caught an accident like that, though.