Просмотр задания №423
How did David Kingsley learn about the unclaimed money in the Texas bank?
1) He found the information in church records.
2) His great-great uncle wrote to him about it.
3) He learned it from his mother’s relatives.
4) He found the story in a magazine.
In 1840, times were hard for Bentley Harcourt. He had a farm in Yorkshire, but it didn’t make money. He wanted to marry but decided to wait until better times came along. Better times did not come along. One day, he saw a newspaper article about the American West. It sounded like the land of milk and honey. He thought about it. He had no family. Nobody cared if he lived or died. Why not make a new life in the New World? He sold his farm and immigrated to America. After a year of drifting he found himself in Texas. He loved it. He loved the fact that you could travel for days and not meet another soul. He used his savings to buy some land. That year he died.
In 1910, an oil company moved on to his land and found oil. They took millions of barrels of oil out of the ground, all the profits due to the owner of the land were paid into a bank account in Houston, where they waited for a relative to claim them. The money sat in the bank for years. By 1975, the amount stood at two billion dollars.
In 1975, in Bradford, England, a man called David Kingsley took up a new hobby – tracing his family tree. He studied church records, visited museums, checked every reference to families called Kingsley. He also checked on his mother’s family. They were called Harcourt. He discovered one day that his mother’s great-great uncle, a man with the splendid name of Bentley Harcourt, had sailed from Liverpool to America.
In the same year, shortly after learning about his great-great uncle, Kingsley read a magazine article about a fortune that lay unclaimed in a Texas bank. This article told the story of a lonely immigrant called Bentley Harcourt, and about how he had died shortly after buying his dream ranch in Texas. The magazine promised to pay the legal expenses of anyone who could claim to be a descendant and who might be entitled to the fortune. Kingsley read the story with mounting excitement. Surely, this must be the same Bentley Harcourt that he had come across during his research into his family tree! He talked the matter over with his wife and then wrote to the magazine.
As it turned out, Kingsley was not the only one who claimed to be a descendant. By the end of 1977, over 60 people were claiming they were entitled to the fortune. The arguments, the quarrels, and the court cases went on, and on, and on. In the end, Kingsley did not get the money, but, funnily enough, he didn’t mind. He had found something much more important. He had a great-great uncle named Bentley Harcourt, there was no doubt about that. But, amazingly, it was a different Bentley Harcourt. It seemed impossible that there could be two people with such an unusual name, but it was true. This Bentley Harcourt had settled in Orange Country, California, and had made his fortune in fish canning. He married a hardworking Swedish girl, and they had thirteen children. David Kingsley had found a different treasure: a branch of his family across the Atlantic. The two families wrote to each other. Later, they visited each other. They became the best of friends.
And the fortune of the other Bentley Harcourt? It is still unclaimed. As I write this, the sum stands at 2.3 billion dollars. This may be a good moment to start tracing your family tree!
Решение: In the same year, shortly after learning about his great-great uncle, Kingsley read a magazine article about a fortune that lay unclaimed in a Texas bank.
Источник: Реальные задания (ЕГЭ, ФИПИ, Вербицкая)