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What Came Of Calling A Genuine Bill Counterfeit

What Came Of Calling A Genuine Bill Counterfeit image
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" Wnat is the pnce of this dressing 2;ovn, sir ?" asked a sweet-faced young ïirl entering the elegant storo of Mefsrs Htintly & Warner in a city and the street of a city that shall bc nameless. It was a cloudy day. Tho clerks lounged over the counters, read papers and yawned. The man to whom Alice Loeka addrossed hereelf, was jannly and middle aged. He was head cierk of the extensive establishment of Hiintley & Warner, and extremoly consequential in bis manner. "That dressing gown - we vnlue it at six dollars - you shall havo t for five, as tri'.de is dull to day." Five dollars ! Alice looked at the dressing gown longingly, and the clerk looked at her. He sa w that her clothes, though made and woro genteelly, were JOffimoD enough in texture, and that her fiice was very much of the com;non line. IIow it changed ! now shaded, now lightened by the varied play of her emotions. The clerk could ilmost havo sworn that she had no mare than that very suin, fiye dollars, in her purso or pocket. The gown was a very good ono for lbo price. It was of a comrnon abade, i tolerable merino, and lined with tho jame matetial. "I think" - she hesitated a moment - 'I think I'U take it," she said ; then seeing in the face before her an expression she did not like, sho bhished as she :ianded out tho bilí the clerk had made up his mind to take. ''Jennis," cried Torrent, the head sterk, in a quick pompous tone, ' pass up the bank detector." Up ran a toiv-headed boy with the detector and up and down ran tho ülerk's eyes from column to column. Ihen he looked over with a sbarp flanee, and esclaimed - "That's a countóreït bilí, Miss." Oh, hovv pale the sweet face grew ! "Counterfeit ! Oh, no - it cannot be! The man who sent it could not have been so carelu ss ; you must be mis;aken, sir." "I'm not mistaken; I'in nover mislaken, Miss. Tho bill is a counterfeit. [ must presume, of course, tbat vou did iot koo'w it, although so much bad [noney lias been oilered us of late that ve intend to secure such persons as lass it. AYlio did you say sent it ?" "Mr. C , sir, of New York. He conld not scod me bad monev," said the .rembhng frightened girl. "Humph ! humph !" said the clerk. 'Well thore's no doubt aboutthis; vou can look for yourself. Now, don't et me see you here again until you can jring good money, for we always ex3ect such persons as you, that como on dark days with a woll-made story." But, sir " " You need mako no explanations Miss," said the man insultingly. "Take our bill, and the next tiine you want o buy a dressing gown, don't intend ;o pass counterleit money, "and, as he banded it, the bill feil from his hands. Alice cauffht it from the floor and lurried into tbe street. Such a shock tho girl had never receivod in her life bef'ore. It was the first insult she had ever koovvn, and it burned her cheek aud pained her heart. Straightway, indignant and grieving, she hurried to a banking establishment, found her way in, and presonted the noto to a noble looking man with gray hair, falteriug out - Is tuis bilí a bad one, sir ?" The cashier and his son happened to be tho only persons present, Jioth noticed her extreme youth, beauty, and agitatijn. Tho cashier looked at it closely and handed it back, as with a polite bow and somewhut prolonged look, he said : lIt is a good bill, young lady." "I knew it was,"criod Alice with a quiveriflg lip - ''and he to dared " Sbe could go no further, but entirely overeóme, she bent her head, and tho hot tears had their way. ''I beg pardon, have you had trouble about it ?" átfked the cashier. "Oh, sir, you will excuso me for giving way to my feelings - but you spoke so kindly, and I feit sosureitwaí good! And I think, sir, such men ae one of these clerks in Jiuntley & Waruer's sbould be removed. He to!d n.e it was counterfeit and added sornething which I ara glad my father did not hear. I knew tho publisher would not send me bad money." '"Who is your futher, young, lady ?" askod the cashier, becorniog much ïnterested. ;Mr. Benjamin Locke, sir." "Benjamin - Ben Lockc - was he ever a clerk in the Navy Department in Washington ?" "Yos sir we removed trota there," replied Alico. "Since then" - sho hesitated - "he has not been well - and - we arosomewhat reduced. Oh, why do I teil you these things, sir ?" "Ben Locke - reduced !" murmured thu cashier; "the man who was the making oí me ! Give mo his number and etreet my child. Your father was once the best, perhaps the only friend I had. I have not lbrgottcn hi-n. 4 Liberty strect. I will cali this evening. Meantime let me have the bill - lot me see - Pil give you auother. Come to look, I haveii't a five- here's a teu ; we'H make it all right." That evening the inmatea of a thabby-gunteel house received the cashier oí the M - - bank. Mr. Locke, a man of gray hair, thougti numbering bat tifty years, rose from his arm cbair, and, tnucp affected, greeteq the fataüiar faces. The son of the cushier accompanied him, and while the eldora talked together, Alico and the young man grew quito chatty. ''Yes, sir, I have been unfortunate," said Mr. Locke Ui alow tono. "I havo but just rocovered, as yoii seo, frorn a rhüurnatio fevor, caused by undue exertion - aud had it not been tor that s vreet girl of mine, I know not vrbat 1 ahould have done. She, by giving lessons in ïnusic and Frcnch, and writing for poriodicals has kept me su lar, above want." ''You shall novyr know want, my o'd friond," said the cashier. ' It was a kind Proridence that sent your daughter to me. ïhero is a place in the bank just made vacant by the death oí a valuablo clerk, and it is at your dis posal. It is my gift, and valued at twelve hundred a yoar." Pen can not describo thejoy with which thia kind offer was accepted. The day of deliverence had come. On the following morning the cashier entered the handsome store of Huntley & Warner and nsked for thehead clerk. Hecame, obsequious. "Sir," said the cashicr sternly, "ia that a bad note?" "I - I think not, sir," replied tho clork stamtnering. The cashier went to the door. From his handsome carriage stspped a young girl in oompany with his daughter. "Did you not teil this young lady, my ward, that the note was counterfeit? and furthermore, did you uot so far forget self-rospect and the interests cf your emvloyers, as to offer her in insult ?" The man stoode.onfounded - he dared not deny - he could say nothing for himself. "If you employers keep you, sir, they will no longer havo my cus torn," said the cashior sternly. "You deservo tobe hoisewhipped, sir." The firm parted with their unworthy clerk that very day, and he lelt tho btore disgraced, but rightlv puniahed, Alice Locke became the daughter of the good cashier. All oí which gievv out oí calling a genuino bilí counterfeit.