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Ronald A Knox

Footsteps at the Lock

Methuen 1928
Jacket artwork by Frank Marston

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PAGE ONE

IT is an undeniable but a mystifying fact of natural ethics that a man has the right to dispose of his own property at death. They can do him no good now, those ancestral acres, those hard-won thousands, nor may any of the trees he planted, save the grim cypress, follow their ephemeral master ; yet, before the partnership of hand and mind is altogether dissolved, a brief flourish at the tail of a will may endow a pauper or disinherit a spendthrift, may be frittered away in the service of a hundred useless or eccentric ends. No good to him—at least, there was once a theory that a man might be happier in the after state for the use of his means here, but we have abolished all that long since; no good to him, but much to expectant nephews and nieces, much to life-boat funds and cats' homes, much to the Exchequer, wilting for lack of death-duties. Of all this he is the arbiter. Yet we have it on the authority of all the copy-books that money does far more harm in the world than good; why, then, do we leave the

Ronald A Knox     Frank Marston

Classic Crime Fiction

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