Post by dangerouslydapper on Sept 27, 2007 1:13:25 GMT -5
If i'm not mistaken, in The Ersatz Elevator, Esme was legally the guardian of the baudelaire children. Therefore she was to inherit their money if anything happened to them. So why didn't she just push them down the elevator shaft for real (no net), say it was an accident, then get the fortune and run away with Olaf? Thoughts?
If that was the case, why didn't Olaf simply kill them in TBB? Perhaps inheritance law doesn't work that way, or perhaps he simply didn't want the hassle of a police investigation. The wedding plan, although more trickier, was legal, and so would have worked without any problems.
Later on Olaf wants to kill the Baudelaires and hold one of them for ransom, which is a different plan altogether.
Yeah, as noted, it seems the inheritance law doesn't work that way - the guardians don't get the fortune if the Baudelaires die. Normally it would be their closest living relative, I guess, which Olaf never was, and Esmé isn't even related. Several relatives have turned the Baudelaires down, too, such as their nineteenth cousin Mr. Fagin in TVV, so we know that Olaf hasn't butchered enough of them to get the fortune directly and doesn't appear to be bothering. At the end of TGG, Mr. Poe says that, if the Baudelaires were never found, the fortune "would just sit in the bank, gathering interest and dust!", which would indicate that there would probably be no future for it unless the Baudelaires themselves made wills, and we don't know if they can go leaving the Baudelaire fortune to anyone before they even have it. The legal principles in aSoUE's setting appear different from ours, and more... convenient to the plot.
Whoever's appointed to handle the fortune can't just snatch it, either - TSS reveals that Esmé Squalor is the executor of the Quagmire estate, and yet she and Olaf don't just butcher the Quagmires or steal the Quagmire sapphires straight off; Olaf's plan in TEE was to leave the Quagmires on an island until they were of age, and only then could he steal the sapphires from them (although whether Handler had already decided by then that Esmé was the executor of their estate is unknown, and I think unlikely). Some people think the stolen Mulctuary Money Management money that Mrs. Bass had in TPP was the Baudelaire fortune, so maybe Olaf's just making things too hard for himself. It's not like TEE's plot actually makes sense, anyway.
Post by fordxprefect on Oct 2, 2007 10:40:20 GMT -5
Your thoughts about the inheritance law make sense. It seems kind of paradoxical that Olaf, seen as the ultimate criminal, and would NEVER keep the law. . .uses the law itself to work to his advantage. Just goes to show how much he knows about good and evil.
You don't think the fact that the Baudelaires somehow managed to accidentally open an empty lift shaft and fall down it would be viewed as suspicious? Even assuming that the Baudelaires' legal guardian does inherit the fortune in case of death, there's the question of why there was a false lift shaft in the apartment to start with and how the Baudelaires tried to enter it, despite knowing that the elevator was shut down, and then apparently failed to realise the lift car was not there and entered the lift to fall to their deaths. That could take months, if not years, of deliberation.
Then there's the matter of proving the Baudelaires are dead in the first place; if they just went missing, would Esme still get the fortune? Proving they were dead would involve revealing the ersatz elevator and possibly revealing the secret passageway to where the Baudelaires lived, which could prove highly incriminating. If she spends time moving the bodies, she has no alibi for being there at the time of death, and she certainly needs to hang around to get the fortune, if she is entitled to it.