Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Re-reading (and Spoilers)

Walking very bad at the moment - Captain B is having to do the shopping on his own.  Therefore I am doing a lot of re-reading.  I have just re-read Agatha Christie's "Death Comes as the End" - her murder mystery set in ancient Egypt.  Once again, I fell for the double red-herring.  And, if I leave it long enough before I read it again, I expect I will next time.

I have also re-read Mrs Henry Wood's "George Canterbury's Will".   George C, a wealthy (and elderly) widower, marries a very young and beautiful girl. She is really in love with the noble hero, but is persuaded by George C's wealth.  He makes a will disinheriting his daughters, and leaving all his vast estates to the lovely new wife, with most of it in trust for the little son of his new marriage.  Should  the little son die before majority, the vast estates would become all hers

When George C pops his clogs, which happens fairly soon, she believes upright hero will marry her.  But he can't because of the money - he can't be party to the disinheriting of the daughters.  He warned her before the will was signed that it was an unjust will that would bring her no good.

He also warned that it carried with it a great danger that should she re-marry the Wrong Sort of Person, then it might dawn on the new husband that the only person standing in the way of him getting all this money is the small son of his wife's first marriage.   Small son is frail, with blonde curls, and given to talking wistfully about angels (no Just William he).  

After noble hero has turned the beautiful young widow down, a carpetbagger with black moustachios turns up and proposes. She marries him hastily with no marriage settlement. He gets through her fortune like a dose of salts and becomes surrounded by creditors. He thinks longingly of the fortune that will come to him through his wife should the small son cease being around.  Small son talks more and more of angels.  Need I say more?

Oh, except that the noble hero marries one of George Canterbury's daughters, who gets her share of the family fortunes anyway.

I don't know what to say about Mrs Henry really, beyond how strongly the idea of going to heaven when you die is propagated. The Bible says simply that the dead "are conscious of nothing at all", and that the hope for the dead is that Jehovah remembers them and that they will wake from the dreamless sleep of death when the time comes.

And, for most of us, the Bible tells us, that awakening will be right here, on the earth.  As Jesus famously said, the meek will inherit "the earth" - not heaven.

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