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Eleven Possible Cases
written by "Thompson, Maurice, 1844-1901"
...p! Help!" Making a desperate effort, the men tore open first the outer and then the inner doors of the fire chamber. As the air rushed in, the lid of the metal chest burst silently open. Again the cry of "Help!" rang out, and two hands quivered for an instant above the edge of the chest, then with a loud and defiant roar the flames closed in upon it, and began to lick it up ravenously. The doors were banged shut, and John Winkletip had his way. But the Dingee million seemed to draw back instinctively from the touch of the worthless Cy Winkletip. With loud cries of joy, the various beneficiaries under Martha Delury's will now discovered that Cyrus Winkletip was born on the 11th day of August, and that as his father had departed this life on the 10th day of August, the son was not of full age when his father died. But the law put an end to this short-lived joy by making known one of its curious bits of logic, which so often startle the layman. It was this: The law takes no note of parts of a day, and therefore as Cyrus Winkletip was of age on the first minute of his twenty-first birthday, he was also of age on the last minute of the day before—consequently on the first minute of the day before he was twenty-one! This gave the Dingee million to Cy Winkletip! Under constant and stringent surveillance and tutelage, Cy Winkletip was, after several years of as close application as was deemed safe in view of his weak mental condition, admitted to the ministry in accordance with the provisions of Miss Delury's will. At last the wicked Dingee million seemed safely launched upon its task of undoing the wrong it had done; but Cy Winkletip's mind ran completely down in five years and he died a wretched slavering, idiot. Mrs. Timmins was inclined to warn off the Dingee million with a gesture of horror; but, yielding to the solicitation of her friends, she consented to take title in order that she might create a trust with it f...

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