The heirloom, an antique timepiece was the family’s prized possession. It had been given to their distant ancestor in recognition for gallantry by Empress Catherine the Great herself. He had been a Cossack in the royal guard. It was also a reminder of their Russian bloodline. Names like Nicholas, Peter, Ivan, Anton and Alex were often given to their newborns either as first or second names.
The revered heirloom had to be kept within the family and not sold. The four brothers had no solution for the only condition in the will. This became a real headache as they lived world’s apart managing the family’s vast foreign holdings. How to meet this condition?
Their beloved housekeeper came up with an ingenious solution.
She said, “Each of you should keep it for a year and a week before the time runs out, you should gather here in this family home for a vacation and then hand it over to next in line. This will keep you all closely connected, even your children. Consider it as a yearly family vacation.” Everyone loved the idea and it was at once agreed upon
The Cossack patriarch beamed in satisfaction from his portrait above the fireplace.