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Beads of sweat rolled down Tyler’s face. He wished he could leave the factory early, but he needed money for the new polio treatment. His daughter, Kay, had developed it when she was an infant, and her prognosis without treatment was grave. Fortunately for Tyler, however, it was almost time to receive his paycheck, which would give him enough money for treatment.

His job wasn’t any less monotonous than the next. It was the same motion over and over again from nine to five: Put the clothes into the boxes. They were nice, leather vests that he thought looked dignified. His boss, Johann, wore them. It gave him a sense of entitlement. Tyler, on the other hand, was a middle-class American working in a drab, gray factory. He was standing on his grave, he thought.

He spotted a mysterious man across the room. He seemed to be striding discretely over to Tyler. He was somewhat concerned. He never got visitors, and he hoped he wasn’t being penalized for anything. He concluded that he was to be fired and that his daughter was doomed to death. As the man reached his station, he dropped off an envelope that read “Enclosed: $1000.”

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