Everything happened in Alabama. Bill Driscoll and Old Hank thought they needed more money. They decided to kidnap a child. People in small towns love their children very much. In such places you can find lazy fat sheriffs who do not like investigating crimes. They found a boy in one of the courtyards. First thing the child threw a stone in the Bill’s eye. With great difficulty, they managed to grab the boy, even though he fought like a bear. The child was taken to a cave, not far from the town. There was already a small supply of food. When Bill returned to the cave, he saw a fire in front of it and the boy with feathers in his hair. Old Hank said they were playing Indians. And that was just the beginning. Bill realized that this child could cause more problems than any adult.
“One thousand dollars,” repeated Lawyer Tolman. “And here is the money.” His voice was formal and distant.
Young Gillian laughed as he touched the small package of money. “It’s such an awkward amount,” he said to the lawyer. “With ten thousand dollars you can really have fun. Even fifty dollars are less of a problem.”
“You heard your uncle’s will,” continued Lawyer Tolman. “Did you listen carefully? Remember that you must tell us exactly HOW you spend the $1,000, as soon as you spend it. It is best that you write a list for us. These were Mr Gillian’s last wishes.”
“Of course I will,” said the young man politely. “Perhaps I’ll need a secretary to help me write the list.”
Gillian put the small package of money into his coat pocket and went to his club. At his club he looked for Old Bryson, who was forty years old and calm. He was reading a book and took off his glasses when he saw Gillian.
“Wake up, Old Bryson,” said Gillian. “I have a funny story to tell you.”
“Why don’t you tell it to someone else,” said Old Bryson. “You know I hate your stories.”
“This one is better than usual,” said Gillian. “It’s sad and funny. My uncle left me one thousand dollars in his will. Now what can a man do with a thousand dollars?”
“I thought your uncle was a very rich man with about half a million dollars,” said Old Bryson, showing very little interest.
“He was,” said Gilllian happily. “That’s why it’s so funny. He left one part of his money to the scientist who will discover a new germ. And the other part to build a hospital that will destroy the germ! Then the butler and the housekeeper got a special ring and $10 each. And I got $1,000.”
“You have plenty of money to spend,” said Old Bryson.
“Oh yes, plenty,” said Gilllian. “My uncle was very generous with me.”
“Are there any other heirs?” asked Old Bryson.
“None, except for Miss Hayden, a ward of my uncle who lived in his house. She’s a quiet girl, the daughter of one of his friends. Now tell me, Old Bryson, what can a man do with a thousand dollars.”
Old Bryson cleaned his glasses and smiled. Gillian knew that when Old Bryson smiled he was going to be very offensive…