Pride in family and in their home, Bracton Manor, was the most notable feature of successive generations of Jerrods, and the Colonel John Jerrod, present head of the family, was no exception to this rule. His dearest wish was to see his only son, Grant, safely installed at Bracton, and so, in order to escape death duties, which threaten to bankrupt the estated, he made it over under the five-year law of "necessary survival". A doctor's report soon upset this arrangement, however; the Colonel has cancer, fatal within six months. To meet this threat to his ambitions Grant Jerrod devises a complicated fraud to which his father reluctantly agrees. The working out of this fraud and the conflict of personality between father and son which it precipitates provide the plot of one of Henry Wade's most exciting stories.
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