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Date: Fri, 18 Oct 2002 08:17:36 -0500
Subject: Re: (urth) PEACE: Smart
From: Adam Stephanides 

on 10/14/02 4:37 AM, Roy C. Lackey at rclackey@stic.net wrote:

> What if that letter, which Weer obviously has knowledge of, implicated Smart
> in Olivia's death, whether before or after the fact?
> What if Weer
> had read that letter? What if the choice not to speak to one another after
> the funeral was Weer's? That he despised Julius, but with his father's
> wealth being sapped by the Depression, he took advantage of the situation to
> make Julius an offer he couldn't refuse? In a Faustian twist, Weer agreed to
> a fixed term of silent service--say twenty-five years--at the end of which
> Julius would hand over the company to him and fade away--maybe to join the
> circus or live on the beach in Florida. Smart would have accumulated a
> handsome personal fortune by then, enough to live out his days in comfort.
> Smart would have only been in his early sixties when Weer took over his
> company. People just assume that Smart had to die in order for Weer to gain
> control of the company, and that he did die. But the text doesn't ever say
> that Smart died, or even hint at it. And during those twenty-five years Weer
> would be guaranteed a living wage.

An interesting speculation; but it strikes me as unlikely that, had Weer
been in a position to blackmail Smart in his youth, he would have chosen to
live in poverty for twenty-five years and collect only in his fifties,
rather than ensure a comfortable living now.  (Not to mention that your
scenario would provide Smart ample time to dispose of the Weer "problem" in
other ways.)  I'm inclined to agree with mantis: Smart was president and
Weer a lowly engineer, they hadn't hit it off at Olivia's, and once Olivia
was dead, there was no reason for them to stay in contact.  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.

(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



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