Oh, Money! Money!
Stanley Fulton, an eccentric millionaire, is curious to see if his distant cousins, the middle-class Blaisdells, are worthy inheriting his money. He decides to test them by giving them each dollar 100, 000, to see how a sudden windfall would affect their lives, how it would help or harm them. They are Jim, who wants to spend more time with his children, Hattie, who lives beyond her means, Frank, who only cares for his grocery store, Jane, who scrimps and saves even when she doesn't need to, and Flora, who worries. Then there are the children: college-bound Frank, fun-loving Bessie, level-headed Mellicent, and playful young Benny. Disguised as John Smith, a genealogist researching the Blaisdells, Stanley gets to know his cousins, their loves and fears, strengths and weaknesses, and watches as they rejoice in their sudden windfall, and the consequences thereof. The events play out in a more low-key way than you might expect. The self-centered do not instantly become ogres. The unselfish do not instantly become saints. The moral of the story is, of course, that money cannot exactly buy happiness, but it is not as gooey a lesson as I thought it would be and not nearly as preachy as it could have been.