An older man plays a posthumous "joke" on his much younger wife
Marcel Amphoux had been living scarcely and simply for years. The farmer had neither electricity nor water in his home.
His frugal lifestyle actually allowed him to save an enormous amount of money. Not to mention his land in the Swiss Alps — which he'd inherited — found itself located between two luxury ski resorts and was hugely increasing in value over the years.
He may not have looked like it, but he was a very wealthy man.
He wanted to share his good fortune, so he built places on his property for friends and family to live without paying rent.
At 67 he wasn't particularly interested in women, but then he met Sandrine Devillard, a pretty Parisian 25 years his junior. She seemed quite taken with him and — naturally — he with her.
Neighboring villagers warned Marcel. They believed she was after his money. After all, Sandrine worked in real estate and was only in the Alps to manage clients' properties. So she knew exactly how much Marcel was worth.
People noticed the odd couple, a stylish younger woman with a gruff-looking, almost gnarled old man.
It seemed foolish to get ripped off so obviously. But Marcel didn't care. He was enjoying himself too much.
In 2011, despite the disapproval of his whole community, they got married.
Sandrine was apparently offended at the suspicion, but after the wedding she appeared to give them even more reason to doubt her sincerity.
She continued to live and work in Paris, only visiting Marcel when she had time.
Then, a year into their marriage, Marcel and two friends were in a terrible car accident. The others survived but Marcel was killed. Villagers even thought Sandrine might be behind the accident.
At the funeral, she wept.
But the moment it was over, she began requesting that Marcel's tenants move out. It turned out, however, that Marcel's will had some surprises in store.
He left all the chalets he had built to the tenants who lived in them. He left his money and belongings to his family and friends. And to Sandrine, he left nothing.
It looks like — whether or not he believed them all along — Marcel felt some mistrust after all and defended himself (and his desired heirs) accordingly.
You don't want to accuse someone without grounds, and it's impossible to know what's really going on in other people's relationships. But it's hard to read this and not cheer Marcel's decision.
After all, if she did marry him out of affection, then it's wonderful that they got to spend their brief time together… no amount of inheritance would bring him back. But if not, thank goodness Marcel wasn't as vulnerable as everyone thought and thwarted someone's effort to take advantage of him!