Жанр книги: Научная Фантастика
Robert A Heinlein To Sail Beyond The Sunset

‘I've heard of him, haven't met him. George, can he be seduced? '

‘Maureen! '

‘George, if I can keep fifty-odd innocent people from being killed in an industrial accident, I'll do considerably more than offer this old body as a bribe. Is he susceptible to women? If I am not the woman he is susceptible to, perhaps I can find her. '

Dixon didn't cotton to me at all (nor I to him, but that was unimportant) and he did not seem to have any cracks in his armour. After the Power Syndicate voted to shut down the Paradise plant ‘in the public interest' I was successful only in getting George and Mr Harriman to vote against reactivating that giant bomb in orbit - theirs were the only dissenting votes. The death scenario rolled on and I could not stop it: power satellite and spaceship Charon blew up together, all hands killed - and I stared at the ceiling for nights on end, reflecting on the bad side of knowing too much about the future.

But I did not stop working. Back in 1952, shortly after I had given George my earliest predictions, I had gone to Canada to see Justin: 1) to set up a front to handle business for my ‘Prudence Penny' column, and 2) to offer Justin the same detailed predictions I was giving George.

Justin had not been pleased with me. ‘Maureen, do I understand that you have been holding all these years additional information you got from Sergeant Bronson - or Captain Long, whatever - the Howard from the future - and did not turn it over to the Foundation? '

Justin had shown an expression of controlled exasperation. ‘I must confess to surprise. Well, better late than never. Do you have it in writing, or will you dictate it? '

‘I'm not turning it over to you, Justin. I will continue to pass on to you, from time to time, data that I have conserved, item by item, as you need to know it'

‘Maureen, I really must insist. This is Foundation business. You got these data from a future chairman of the Foundation - so he claimed and so I believe - so I am their proper custodian. I am speaking not as your old friend Justin, but as Justin Weatheral in my official capacity as chief executive officer of the Foundation and conservator of its assets for the benefit of all of us. '

‘No, Justin. '

‘I must insist'

‘Insist away, old dear - it's good exercise. '

‘That's hardly the right attitude, Maureen. You don't own that data. It belongs to all of us. You owe it to the Foundation. '

‘Justin, don't be so tediously male! Data from Sergeant Theodore saved the Foundation's bacon on Black Tuesday, in 1929. Stipulated? '

‘Stipulated. That's why -‘

‘Let me have my say. And that same data also saved your arse and made you rich - and made the Foundation rich. Why? How? Who? Old busy-bottom Maureen, that's who! Because I'm an amoral wench who fell in love with this enlisted man and kicked his feet out from under him - and got him to talking. That had nothing to do with the Foundation, just me and my loose ways. I'll hadn't cut you in on it, you would never have met Theodore. Admit it! True? False? Answer me. '

‘Well, when you put it that way -‘

‘I do put it that way and let's have no more nonsense about what I owe the Foundation. Not until you've counted up what the Foundation owes me. I still promise to pass on data as needed. Right now, the Foundation should get heavily into Douglas-Martin Sunpower screens, and if you don't know about them, see your files of The Economist or the Wall Street Journal or the Toronto Star. After that, the hottest new investment as soon as it opens up will be rolling roads and real estate near them. '

‘Rolling roads? '

‘Damn it, Justin, I know Theodore mentioned them in that rump meeting of the board on Saturday 29 June, 1918, as I took notes and typed them out and gave you a copy, as well as the original to Judge Sperling. Look it up. ' So clear back in 1952 I showed Justin where the principal roadtowns would be, as told to me by Theodore. ‘Watch for them, get in early. Enormous profits to the early birds. But get rid of all railroad stock. '

At that time I decided not to bother Justin with my ‘Prudence Penny' venture - not when he was feeling bruised on his macho bump. Instead, I had taken it up with Eleanor. Entrusting a secret to Eleanor was safer than telling it to Jesus.

‘Prudence Penny, The Housewife Investor' started out as a weekly column in country newspapers of the sort we had had in Thebes, the Lyle County Leader. I always offered the first six weeks free. If a trial period stirred any interest, a publisher could continue it for a very small fee - those small-town weeklies can't pay more than peanuts; there was no sense in trying to make money on it at first.

In fact my purpose was not to make money. Or only indirectly.

I set the format in 1953 with the first column and never varied it:


TODAY'S DEFINTTION: (Each column I gave at least one definition. Money people have their own language. If you don't know their special words, you can't play in their poker game. Some of the words I defined for my readers were: common stock, preferred stock, bonds, municipal bonds, debentures, margin, selling short, puts and calls, living trust, joint tenancy, tenants in common, float, load, points, deficiency judgement, call money, prime rate, gold standard, flat money, easement, fee simple, eminent domain, public domain, copyright, patent, etc. , etc.

(Trivial? To you, perhaps. If so, you did not need ‘Prudence Penny'. But to most people these elementary terms might as well be ancient Greek. So I offered one definition each column, in one-syllable Anglo-Saxon words that could be misunderstood only by a professor of English. )

Next I offered a discussion of something in the news of the day that might affect investing. Since everything, from weather to elections to killer bees, affects investing, this was easy. If I could include a little juicy gossip, I did. But not anything hurtful, or cruel, and I was most careful not to offer anything actionable.

My next item each week was TODAY'S RECOMMENDED INVESTMENT. This was a sure thing, based directly or indirectly on Theodore's predictions. The same recommendation might be repeated many times, alternated with others from the same source.

I always closed with Prudence Penny's Portfolio:

Ladies, we started this portfolio with one thousand dollars ($1000) in January 1953. If you invested the same amount and at the same time, investing and changing investments just as we did, your portfolio is now worth $4823. 17.

If you invested $10. 000, your portfolio is now worth $48. 231. 70.

If you invested $100. 000, today your portfolio is worth $48217. 00.

But it is never too late to start prudent investing with Penny. You can start today with $4823. 17 (or any multiple or fraction), which you then place as follows: