Eric, who had traded his life for the success of the Company, who knew it as well as his father, was hurt beyond words to learn that his father had left the company in equal shares to all four sons.
He, who had worked since he was fourteen and David, who never worked a single day in his life, had equal say. Since that was how his father wanted it, he sold his shares to his mother, and walked away.
He left his brothers Sam and John and David to scuttle about trying to figure out what came next. He knew they would make a hash of it, but shrugged. That was his father’s choice.
With Eric gone, Sam and John were clueless so ran to their Daddy who had to take on various responsibilities Eric had handled. Nancy felt hastened his death.
For Edward died less than a year after Eric left. Nancy would soon follow.
With Edward dead and Eric gone, the company began to dip. The sons ran about confused and hired a manager, at a huge wage, to keep it from tanking.
As the company had veritable monopolies in a few of their endeavours, survival was possible with some cutting back.
Once the company seemed viable, the brothers fired the manager because he was making too many changes and getting too much money..
While the financial existence of the family was in a tailspin, the grandchildren of Edward, who took no interest in business, no interest in anything but things; had little idea how close to disaster they had come.