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Cattle Rustlers

A family of 25 cattle rustling brothers meets once a year to divide up their ill-gotten gains. Each brother brings in all the cattle he has stolen over the past year. Then the brothers evenly divide up the total herd among themselves, giving the remainder to the cook at the end of the roundup.

On the day they arrive, the cattle are divvied up, and there are 3 cows left over.

That night an argument among the brothers turns nasty, and seven of them are killed. In the morning, they re-distribute the cattle, this time having seven cows left to give to the cook at the end of the roundup.

That night, the bunkhouse collapses, killing another seven brothers.

The following morning, they re-allocate the cattle among themselves, leaving 10 cows for the cook at the end of the roundup.

On the third night, the cook poisons the remaining brothers, taking the cattle for herself

How many cattle did the cook get?

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This page revised   March 31, 2004
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