A gold digger convinces a trusting, wealthy older man to marry her, but things don't work out as she had planned.
Sally Bernhart was looking for the good life. Her two sisters had gone to college and were now pursuing successful careers, but Sally had decided that her looks were her biggest asset.
So after high school, she started working as a model, but her ambition was to find herself a rich man to marry so she wouldn't have to work at all. She found her dream man, but she never imagined it would all turn into a nightmare...
People at a funeral | Source: Shutterstock
Sally met Royce Vere III at a charity function. In his fifties, Royce was a handsome man with a kindly, gentle disposition, but for Sally, his great attraction was the $675 million he'd inherited.
Royce told Sally he was in New York to settle some business affairs, and that he'd soon be flying back to his ranch in Kentucky. "Kentucky!" cried Sally, "A ranch? I love country life!"
Royce immediately invited Sally to come with him to Kentucky for a visit, and before long he was besotted with her. Sally was sweet, loving, and supportive. She was the perfect woman -- or at least she convinced Royce that she was.
A beautiful girl in a bikini | Source: Unsplash
She did such a good job that three months later Royce got down on his knees and presented her with a humongous 10-carat diamond ring and asked her to marry him. Sally accepted of course.
Royce's family were far from thrilled, and his sister Anne made no secret of her suspicions about Sally. One morning she showed up at Royce's ranch with an envelope in her hand.
"Royce," she said, throwing Sally a venomous glance. "You have the right to know who you're marrying. I hired a private detective and your little bride has quite a history!"
An older man | Source: Unsplash
Sally felt her blood freeze in her veins. This could be the end of her dream! But she hadn't counted on Royce's loyalty and honor. He took the envelope from his sister's hands and tore it into pieces.
"I don't care about Sally's past, Anne, I want to be part of her future," he said. "Sally, pack a bag, we're going to Las Vegas to get married."
Sally, now Mrs. Royce Vere III, had to drink a toast to Anne. She'd made things so much easier! Royce's lawyers would have insisted on a prenup, but now she was free and clear...
A marriage proposal | Source: Unsplash
Sally settled into her life with Royce. He was devoted to his ranch and rarely was he ever willing to go anywhere interesting. Before long, Sally was sick of country life, cows pigs, and horses.
Royce was adoring to Sally and gave her everything she wanted, but he refused to move to New York or Los Angeles. "I'm a Kentucky boy, darling," he'd say and kiss her.
Sally bound herself to the terms of the trust fund without knowing the conditions because she was blinded by greed.
Sally's ordeal lasted for a year, and then one day poor Royce fell over dead. Sally cried prettily and immediately dived into her wardrobe to pick out a becoming black dress.
Las Vegas wedding chapel sign | Source: Unsplash
Royce's whole family came to the funeral as well as several of his very wealthy friends and Sally kept an eye out for any opportunities. After the funeral, Royce's lawyer, Morton Shapiro, called her, his sister Anne, and her son Dean in for the reading of the will.
"Mrs. Vere, your husband changed his will two months ago, making you the designated heir of the Vere trust fund. Anne, you and Dean inherit $10 million each..."
Sally turned to look at Anne, smiling, but instead of looking angry at losing $675 million, Royce's sister looked relieved and her son was smiling happily. The lawyer continued: "Ms. Vere and her son already know the conditions of the trust, Mrs. Vere, so let me explain..."
Flowers on a casket. | Source: Unsplash
Sally interrupted him rather rudely: "How much is it?" she asked.
"The trust comprises of assets in the value of $675 million, but you are not obliged to accept the legacy, Mrs. Vere. If you refuse you will receive..."
"I want it," said Sally. "Where do I sign?" The lawyer handed her the papers that transferred the trust to her and she signed eagerly, with a triumphant smile on her face. "There!" she said, smirking at Anne.
Last will and testament | Source: Unsplash
"Mr. Shapiro," Anne said with a sweet smile, "Why don't you explain to Mrs. Vere the conditions attached to the legacy she has just accepted?"
"Yes indeed! As you probably know, Mrs. Vere, the trust was set up by Royce's great-grandfather and had very stringent conditions for beneficiaries. According to the trust, you only have access to the money at the age of 50."
Sally gasped. "But...but...I'm only 25! What will I live on until then?"
Angry woman | Source: Unsplash
"Well, the trust also specifies that the beneficiary has to spend eight months of the year at the family ranch. Until your fiftieth birthday, you will be living from the income generated by the ranch, which is quite adequate."
"But...but..." Sally felt tears flood her eyes. She was going to spend the best years of her life stuck on a ranch, living on a pittance. She'd thought Royce would make her dreams come true, but it had all turned into a nightmare!
What can we learn from this story?
1. Greed impedes good judgment. Sally bound herself to the terms of the trust fund without knowing the conditions because she was blinded by greed.
2. What you want may not be what you need. We set out hearts on dreams or ambitions, but we don't always realize the consequences of achieving them.
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