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|The Voice of the City||O Henry|
One Thousand Dollars
|Page 3 of 4||
Eight blocks down Broadway Gillian poked up the trap with his cane and got out. A blind man sat upon a stool on the sidewalk selling pencils. Gillian went out and stood before him.
"Excuse me," he said, " but would you mind telling me what you would do if you bad a thousand dollars?"
"You got out of that cab that just drove up, didn't you? " asked the blind man.
"I did," said Gillian.
" guess you are all right," said the pencil dealer, "to ride in a cab by daylight. Take a look at that, if you like."
He drew a small book from his coat pocket and held it out. Gillian opened it and saw that it was a bank deposit book. It showed a balance of $1,785 to the blind man's credit.
Gillian returned the book and got into the cab.
"I forgot something," be said. "You may drive to the law offices of Tolman & Sharp, at - Broadway." Lawyer Tolman looked at him hostilely and inquiringly through his gold-rimmed glasses.
" I beg your pardon," said Gillian, cheerfully, "but may I ask you a question? It is not an impertinent one, I hope. Was Miss Hayden left anything by my uncle's will besides the ring and the $10?"
" Nothing," said Mr. Tolman.
" I thank you very much, sir," said Gillian, and on he went to his cab. He gave the driver the address of his late uncle's home.
Miss Hayden was writing letters in the library. She was small and slender and clothed in black. But you would have noticed her eyes. Gillian drifted in with his air of regarding the world as inconsequent.
I've just come from old Tolman's," he explained. They've been going over the papers down there. They found a - Gillian searched his memory for a legal term - they found an amendment or a postscript or something to the will. It seemed that the old boy loosened up a little on second thoughts and willed you a thousand dollars. I was driving up this way and Tolman asked me to bring you the money. Here it is. You'd better count it to see if it's right."
Gillian laid the money beside her hand on the desk. Miss Hayden turned white. "Oh! " she said, and again "Oh !"
Gillian half turned and looked out the window. "I suppose, of course," be said, in a low voice, that you know I love you."
"I am sorry," said Miss Hayden, taking up her money.
" There is no use? " asked Gillian, almost light-heartedly. " I am sorry," she said again.
" May I write a note? " asked Gillian, with a smile, I-re seated himself at the big library table. She supplied him with paper and pen, and then went back to her secretaire.
Gillian made out his account of his expenditure of the thousand dollars i;i these words:
Paid by the black sheep, Robert Gillian, $1,000 on account of the eternal happiness, owed by Heaven to the best and dearest woman on earth."
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