Summer Reading: The Story of Jane Lathrop Stanford (5)

This is the story of Jane Lathrop Stanford and the mysterious circumstances surrounding her death in the early 1900s.

Part 5

And what was the true nature of the relationship between Bertha Berner and the “shrewd” butler Albert Beverly?

Albert Beverly was an experienced traveler; he had escorted many wealthy families on globe-trotting adventures, and now he accompanied Mrs. Stanford and Bertha Berner around the world.

“Never mind me, is Mrs. Stanford comfortable? the butler inquired while traveling always willing to give up his own comforter and pillow for his elderly employer.

But there was another side to Albert Beverly. He often complained he did not earn enough wages to support his wife and two children. To compensate, he allegedly engaged in “household graft,” taking rake-offs” or commissions from certain high-priced items purchased by Mrs. Stanford

Bertha Berner also created another serious enemy in the maid Elizabeth Richmond, “a cold, formal type” who believed the private secretary exerted too much control over Mrs. Stanford. Eizabeth Richmond had witnessed a bitter argument between the butler and Bertha Berner at the “Palo Alto Farm,” following an outdoor fete hosted by Mrs. Stanford. The maid hinted that the argument was over money.

Intrigue and jealously ruled Mrs. Stanford’s Nob Hill mansion.

Could this bitterness cause someone to poison the mineral water Jane Stanford sipped?

Could the famous philanthropist’s ife be in jeopard?