Max was a bit different kind of guy. He often called me for advice on one thing or another. When he came to give me the deposit on the farm he nearly bought, he drove it over. I had suggested that he could just mail the check, but he wanted to deliver it in person. When he got here, I discovered why. Max didn't do checks. His ex-wife had got him into some difficulties with them and, after that, it was cash only from then on. I think the ex-wife situation was why the girl friend was not a wife - he'd learned several lessons from the ex-wife. Imagine that (the cash-only, not the wife) today - no credit cards, no checks, just cash. That doesn't fly on the internet. And darned unhandy when you pay the monthly bills. But that's how he did it.
A few years later, he showed up at my door, with long hair. Now Max was in his late forties at least and was not the long hair type, so why the long hair? It was to cover an ear mangled in the accident. Anyway, he was ready to buy again. The girlfriend was now a wife, but he acted like he didn't trust her too much. And the son still wanted to dairy. So, I showed them a bunch more places.
He ended up buying a place, not from me, but from a competitor. We also had it listed, too. That didn't sit well with me as you might expect as I'd invested many, many hours and maybe a thousand miles with him over the years. But I didn't say anything. All that would do would make me sound like sour grapes (which I was) and wouldn't change anything except maybe someone's attitude toward me (to the worse). So, I grinned and bore it, hoping that eventually it would pay off in good will or something.
It did, for me, not for Max. Here's what happened over the next few years. Max would call every so often, still needing advice on one thing or another. His life became a roller coaster. First he kicked the new wife out - said she drank to much. "Just terrible" he said. I remained quietly skeptical about that. Sounded too much like an excuse, not a reality. Then he took her back. The relations with the son were the same way, on again, off again. So maybe it was good that I hadn't sold him the place. Some folks would blame me in those circumstances.
Time passed. Out of nowhere, I got a call from the new wife. She wanted me to sell the farm. How did she get to sell it? As the (estranged) wife, she was Max's heir. It seems that Max had kicked both the new wife and the son off the place (again), sold the cows to a dealer, who gave him cash, long greens. He then called the son on the phone, ranting and raving, ending with the statement, "This is the last you are going to hear from Max Helderman". There was a loud "bang" and then silence. The son hopped in the car and sped the 30 miles to the farm.
He found his father dead, from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. And there was this pile of ashes near him. That took them a bit of time to figure out - he got paid in cash for the dairy herd. When he decided to commit suicide, hating his family, he burned it thoroughly, all $80000 that he had received. Yes, you might say, he took it with him.