Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Prosperity (05/11/06)
TITLE: Maybe You Can Take It with You
By Dave Kissling
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What disturbed the rich man most was the proverb he had always heard, that he couldn’t take it with him, and he wanted to keep as much of it as he could. Therefore, he set his businesslike mind to work to prove the adage false. He made arrangements to be buried in one of his limousines as his coffin, dressed in his best finery and gaudiest jewelry, with a Havana planted firmly in his mouth. Then he called his butler, his chauffeur and his personal tailor—his three most trusted servants—to his bedside for special instructions.
"Now listen," the rich man said. "They keep saying I can’t take my money with me when I die, but I’m going to prove them wrong. I’m going to give each of you $500,000 to store away until I die. At my funeral, you put the money in my limo with me. That way I’ll have a million and a half of my wealth with me, even in death."
The butler, chauffeur and tailor all agreed. They each received $500,000 in large bills in a leather bag, and they all stored the bags in their respective safes.
Months later, the old man finally died, and all three servants attended the funeral. There was their former employer, propped up in his usual seat of the sleek limousine, dressed in his finery and jewelry with a cigar between his teeth. The funeral itself was a lavish affair, true to the way he had lived, and when mourners were allowed to past by the casket before the crane lowered it into the elongated grave, each of the three servants bent into the seat to deliver their leather bags of money.
After the funeral, the three were dining together when the tailor’s conscience began to bother him. "Listen, I have a confession to make. I didn’t put all $500,000 in the limousine. I took $100,000 out for myself."
The chauffeur grimaced and gave a small shrug. "Well ... don’t feel too bad. I must confess that I took out $200,000 for myself and left the rest."
The butler was shocked, his harsh accusing eyes alternating between the men. "Why ... I’m surprised at both of you! You should be ashamed of yourselves for stealing from the master, as good as he has been to you. Why, I put in a check for the full amount!"
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