His new girlfriend demanded that they live in Jake and Edith’s multi-million dollar home and since the man’s lawyers were a little better he prevailed.
He gave Edith his now ex-wife just 3 days to move out. She spent the 1st day packing her belongings into boxes crates and suitcases.
On the 2nd day she had to movers come and collect her things.
On the 3rd day, she sat down for the last time at their beautiful dining room table by candlelight put on some soft background music and feasted on a pound of shrimp a jar of caviar and a bottle of Chardonnay.
When she had finished she went into each and every room and stuffed half-eaten shrimp shells dipped in caviar into the hollow of all of the curtain rods. She then cleaned up the kitchen and left.
When the husband returned with his new girlfriend all was bliss for the first few days.
Then slowly the house began to smell. They tried everything cleaning mopping and airing the place out. Vents were checked for dead rodents and carpets were cleaned. Air fresheners were hung everywhere.
Exterminators were brought in to set off gas canisters during which they had to move out for a few days and in the end, they even replaced the expensive wool carpeting. NOTHING WORKED.
People stopped coming over to visit. Repairman refused to work in the house.
The Maid quit.
Finally they could not take the stench any longer and decided to move.
A month later even through they had cut their price in half they could not find a buyer for their stinky house.
Word got out and eventually even the local realtors refused to return their calls. Finally they had to borrow a huge sum of money from the bank to purchase a new place.
The ex-wife called the man and asked how things were going. He told her the saga of the rotting house. She listened politely and said that she missed her old home terribly and would be willing to reduce her divorce settlement in exchange for getting the house back.
Knowing his ex-wife had no idea how bad the smell was he agreed on a price that was about 1/10th of what the house ha been worth, but only if she were to sign the papers that very day. She agreed and within the hour his lawyers delivered the paperwork.
A week later the man and his girlfriend stood smiling as they watched the moving company pack everything to take to their new home.
This story is based on a short story that was written by an anonymous author in an 1899 edition of the Illinois State Dispatch News. A newspaper that has been out of business since 1907.