The Universe is a Pretty Smart Place
Please make sure that you have read Money, Money, Money! before continuing.
George found himself back in 1998 so he returned to his car, changed and drove home. The next day he set off for the Bank feeling quite comfortable that he was soon to find out just how rich he had become in the last 24 hours. He managed to get to see the Manager who was a bit surprised to find someone wanting information on an account that was opened way back in 1924. George managed to convince the Manager with the help of some family documents he had brought with him that the account was connected to George's family and that he was acting on behalf of the family. The Manager told George that it was going to be difficult to trace an account that old and would take some time. Records were kept in the archive vault in the basement and several records would need to be looked at. He suggested that George returned tomorrow when he would have had time to research the account. Oh well, thought George, another 24 hours wouldn't make that much difference.
After a sleepless night George returned the next day to the Bank and was shown into the Manager's office. George noticed the Manager had a large leather bound record book on his desk with 1929 printed clearly on the spine. George sensed something was wrong. The Manager explained to George that there was indeed such an account opened in 1924 with the sum of 95 pounds 10 shillings. However it appeared that this was the only transaction that had taken place and records showed that no trace of the account holder could be found. Five years later the Bank had transferred all the money to another account and the original account was then closed. Unfortunately the records only showed an account number and the Manager told George that it was either an incomplete number or at a different Bank. It would be very difficult to find out about this account without a great deal of research.
George thanked the Manager for his time and trouble and left the Bank feeling down. What had happened? Where had that money gone in 1929? And more importantly who had it? After all George was nearly 100 pounds out of pocket! Well there was no time to find out now as he had to go and visit his parents for a family get together that weekend. Things could wait until Monday.
The family were getting together to see how Georges brother was getting on with researching the family history. All his brothers and his grandparents would be there. After lunch his brother produced a large piece of paper with the family tree on it going back to the early 1800's. George studied it in great detail especially around the 1920's and 30's. He found his grandmother and saw that she had a brother who was called George just like he was. His grandmother told him that her brother had decided to leave England in 1924 and make a new life for himself in Canada. But the voyage ended in disaster with the ship being caught in a storm and breaking up on the rocks off Newfoundland. All hands were lost and his body was never found. So many people lost their lives in the tragedy that a memorial was placed at the top of the cliffs overlooking the rocks where the disaster took place. George he learnt was named after him.
What his grandmother said next came as much more of a surprise to George. She told the family how she had sold her mother's favourite ring so that he had enough money to buy a ticket across the Atlantic and a bit left over to help set up in Canada. She remembered how much the sale was as well - 95 pounds 10 shillings. If this wasn't enough she went on to recall how surprised she was to have been contacted by the jewellers some five years later in 1929. They had then put her in contact with a bank. She went on to say it seemed that George hadn't used the money to buy tickets. Instead he had placed it in an account. She thought this had been because he was ashamed at having taken money from his sister and probably intended to return the money to her sometime later after he was well set up in Canada. Since he was dead and she was the only living relative the money was indeed returned to her and transferred into her account. She recalled how she and her husband had used the money later that year to buy tickets to travel across the Atlantic and see the memorial to her brother. So now everything was clear to George. That was where his money had gone. He had paid for his grandparents trip to Canada!
His grandmother asked George if he was OK. He looked a bit white it seemed. His only reply was "the universe is a pretty smart place!"......
Well that was one possible ending but what if instead George found himself in a parallel universe rich but without friends or the family he remembers.
Or if you have already seen the alternative ending please go to the summary page.
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Anthony Edwards - December 1996