From: "Roy C. Lackey"
Subject: Re: (urth) PEACE: Smart Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 16:46:40 -0500 Adam wrote: [snip] > As for why Weer >inherited, Smart did have other relatives, but they were distant; and he may >have preferred to leave the factory to someone who knew the business, though >related only by marriage, rather than a distant relative by blood who might >wreck the business through ignorance. Perhaps; it's just that I have a hard time believing that a man would willingly leave his estate to someone he wouldn't even speak to. I wouldn't allow it to happen; it strikes me as "contrary to everyday experience". >(It just occurred to me, though: is it certain that Weer did in fact receive >the company from Smart, by inheritance or otherwise? Is it possible that he >was simply chosen president by the board after Smart's death or retirement, >and got rich through his salary (and stock options)? Perhaps he had worked >his way up to head of research by that time, and so been in a position to be >considered for the presidency; and his connection by marriage to Smart might >have also worked in his favor. A quick look at the book didn't turn up >anything to rule this out, though I may be forgetting something obvious. At >any rate, I have no attachment to this idea; I just throw it out as another >possibility.) Neither am I attached to the idea that Smart didn't necessarily die in order for Weer to inherit. It just seems to me that Weer had to have had a good reason for sticking with that dead-end job for twenty-five years. After W.W.II, jobs for a college-educated man in his early thirties shouldn't have been hard to find. So why did Weer stay there? The theory that Julius was, in effect, blackmailing Weer (in the wake of the coldhouse prank) to get him to work for slave wages, if true, might have given Julius some vindictive satisfaction, but it would have had little impact on the bottom line. One cheap laborer, more or less, was insignificant, given the large number of employees at the plant. Also, if Julius was that petty, that's all the more reason to doubt he would willingly leave the company to Weer. And the company _was_ Weer's. He wasn't just president; he was also "board chairman and chief stockholder" (108). The board of a corporation is not in a legal position to bequeath a majority of its stock to an employee, even if the board were inclined to do so, which isn't likely. If Smart died intestate, which I doubt, the courts could have and probably would have found a closer relative. And those relatives would have been clamoring for a chunk of the pie. No, Smart had to have passed the company to Weer legally. While writing about the construction of his memory mansion, Weer says: "Furthermore I made the mistake, when the company at last came into my hands and I had funds enough to build, of duplicating, or nearly duplicating, certain well-remembered rooms whose furnishings had fallen to me by inheritance." (35) It's that "at last" which makes me inclined to believe that he had reason to believe that he would someday get his hands on Smart's company. That's why I was looking for a reason for him to believe that, and to have stayed with the company for twenty-five years. When Aaron asked if Weer would "come into some stock when Uncle Julius kicks off", Weer's answer isn't an answer. "Do I look like a fair-haired boy?" is just a rhetorical brush off, and the part about Smart not speaking to him for twenty-five years tells me, at least, that Smart wouldn't have put Weer in his will if he could help it. -Roy --