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The Case of the Troubled Trustee By

The Case of the Troubled Trustee By

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Published by beautyf
THE CASE OF THE TROUBLED TRUSTEE by Erle Stanley Gardner

Foreword Whenever people who are familiar with the outstanding figures in the fie ld of legal medicine get together for informal shoptalk, the name of Dr. Leopold Breitenecker, of Vienna, will probably be mentioned. My close friend, Dr. LeMoyn
THE CASE OF THE TROUBLED TRUSTEE by Erle Stanley Gardner

Foreword Whenever people who are familiar with the outstanding figures in the fie ld of legal medicine get together for informal shoptalk, the name of Dr. Leopold Breitenecker, of Vienna, will probably be mentioned. My close friend, Dr. LeMoyn

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THE CASE OF THE TROUBLED TRUSTEEby Erle Stanley GardnerCopyright 1965 by Erle Stanley GardnerAll rights reserved.Published simultaneously in the Dominion of Canada by George J. McLeod Limited,Toronto.Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 65-1 1487ForewordWhenever people who are familiar with the outstanding figures in the field of legal medicine get together for informal shoptalk, the name of Dr. LeopoldBreitenecker, of Vienna, will probably be mentioned.My close friend, Dr. LeMoyne Snyder, who is both an attorney at law andan M.D., who has specialized in the field of forensic medicine and whose book, _ Homicide Investigation_ is one of the most authoritative books on the subject, spent quite a bit of time working and studying with Dr. Breitenecker in Vienna. He has told me much about the man's ability.Too few people appreciate the importance of legal medicine and very fewpeople appreciate the ramifications of the subject.The average individual thinks of legal medicine in terms of the investigation of murders; legal medicine not only covers a wide scope but the field is constantly being enlarged.The expert in legal medicine is being called upon daily to answer questions upon which important issues depend.A man is smoking in bed. The house burns and the body is charred beyondrecognition: Did the man have a heart attack, drop a cigarette and so cause thefire; or was he intoxicated when he met his death through suffocation or from the flames?The medicolegal expert can give the answers, and where there is a certain type of insurance the answer may be important.A body is found in bed: Was the body moved from some other place after death and placed in the bed?The medicolegal expert can usually answer that question.Were injuries inflicted before death or after death? What was the direction of the bullet wound? Which is the wound of entrance and which the wound of exit? How far was the gun from the body when it was discharged? 'Was the death murder or suicide?Many, many times in cases when medicolegal experts were not called in, these questions have been answered erroneously. But the expert in the field of forensic medicine not only gives answers to these questions, he is able to demonstrate that his answers are correct. The international recognition of Dr. Breitenecker was expressed when he was sent by U Thant (UNO) into the Congo in 1962 to clarify the circumstances of the death of three members of the International RedCross, and again, in 1964, when U Thant called him in to investigate the murderof an English officer in the Cypriot conflict.And, since he is one of the world's oustanding experts in this importantfield,I dedicate this book to my friend,LEOPOLD BREITENECKER, M.D.Professor and present Dean of the Facultyof Medicine, University of Vienna.ERLE STANLEY GARDNER
 
Chapter OnePerry Mason, entering his office, grinned at Della Street and said, "What's in the mail, Della, anything startling?"She indicated the pile of letters on Mason's desk. "Tile usual, people who want.""Want what?""People who want you to make talks; write letters of endorsement, donatesome intimate article for a celebrity auction.""What else is new?" Mason asked.Della Street rolled her eyes in an exaggerated pantomime of passionate interest."If," she said, "you want any efficiency whatever out of Gertie, your romantic receptionist, you had better get Kerry Dutton out of the office.""And who is Kerry Dutton?" Mason asked."He is a youngish gentleman whose clothes are quietly elegant. He has acameo-like profile, brown, wavy hair, steel-gray eyes, a very nice mouth; probably a thirty-six chest and a thirty waist. He is driving Gertie half crazy. She can't take her eyes off him.""What does he want?" Mason asked."That," she said, "is the mystery. The man's card says that he is an investment counselor. He wants to see you about a matter that is very personal andexceedingly urgent."Mason said, "I don't want to make any investments. I don't--""A professional matter," she interrupted.Mason said, "My specialty is murder cases and trial work. What the devilwould I want with an investment counselor?""I intimated as much," Della Street said."He wouldn't tell you what it was all about?""No, only that it was a highly personal matter involving something whichmust be handled in complete confidence and with the greatest of tact."Mason said, "I'll take a look at him, at any rate that will get him awayfrom Gertie's romantic gaze."How old is he, Della?""I would say thirty-one or thirty-two.""And," Mason said, "I suppose his shoes are polished, his nails well manicured, his tie faultless, his appearance impeccable.""Isn't all that supposed to go with an investment counselor?" Della Street asked.Mason suddenly became thoughtful. "Hang it," he said, "I may have been doing the guy an injustice. Show him in, Della, and we'll find Out what he Wants."Della Street nodded, left the office, and a few moments later returned,leading Kerry Dutton into the office."Mr. Dutton, Mr. Mason," she said.Mason met the unflinching gray eyes, gave the man a brief appraisal fromhead to foot, then got up to shake hands. "How are you, Mr. Dutton?" he said."This is a great honor," Dutton said. "I am sorry I had to come withoutan appointment, Mr. Mason, but the matter is one of extreme urgency.""Tell me generally what it's about," Mason invited. "I take it you're consulting me professionally?""Yes, indeed.""My work," Mason said, "is largely in other fields. I doubt that I can help you. You're probably wasting time for both of us.""You defend criminals, don't you?" Dutton asked."Yes.""That's what I want you for."
 
"Who's the criminal?" Mason asked.Dutton touched his breast with his left forefinger.Mason studied his visitor with eyes that were steady and penetrating."You're been arrested and are out on bail?" he asked.Dutton shook his head. "I haven't been arrested. That's why I came to you. I would like to keep from being arrested.""You have perhaps embezzled money?""Yes.""From whom?""From the account of one Desere Ellis.""How much have you embezzled?""Looking at it one way it's a quarter of a million dollars."Mason shook his head. "Every man," he said, "is entitled to his day in court. Every man is entitled to a lawyer to represent him, but a lawyer is not apartner in crime. From the facts as you tell them, you not only cannot escape arrest but, if I were to represent you, I would pick up that telephone and call the police.""Wait a minute. You don't know the facts.""I know enough of them from your own admissions.""May I tell the story my way?"Mason looked at his wrist watch. "I'll give you two minutes," he said, "but I'm busy. Your case doesn't appeal to me and your type doesn't appeal to me."Dutton flushed.Mason gave him no invitation to sit down, and Dutton remained standing."Templeton Ellis, the father of Desere Ellis, was one of my clients," hesaid. "He died four years ago. At the time of her father's death, Desere was twenty-three and was mixed up with a lot of people of whom her father didn't approve."He left a will containing a spendthrift trust. I was the trustee. Desere was to have the income as I saw fit to give it to her for her needs. She couldhave as much of the principal as I felt was advisable. I was given sole discretion in handling the funds; the right to invest and reinvest. I was to serve without bond.""I see," Mason said. "He left you with absolute power.""Yes. He did that to protect his daughter from herself.""And what did he do," Mason asked pointedly, "to protect his daughter from you?""Nothing," Dutton said.Mason's silence was eloquent."Now then," Dutton went on, "the amount of money that he left was aroundone hundred thousand dollars. In the four years since his death, I have given his daughter approximately a hundred and ten thousand dollars."Mason frowned. "I thought you said you had embezzled a quarter of a million.""In a way, I have.""I don't understand.""Desere's father wanted me to keep intact the securities he had left, but I had the _power_ to buy and sell."All right. I bought and I sold."One of her father's favorite stocks was a dog, the Steer Ridge Oil andRefining Company. I sold that stock without letting anyone know I had done so. Isold some of the other no-goods in the portfolio, stocks the father had held onto more for sentimental reasons than for sound business reasons." Dutton said. "I divided the money I received into three approximately equal amounts. One thirdI invested in blue-chip securities; the other I invested in securities which Ifelt had a strong opportunity for gain; and the remaining third, I used in realestate speculation in communities where I felt there would be development. I turned these properties over at a profit, put them in my own name, pyramided profits, and have netted a quarter of a million dollars."

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