Down at his office, his chief clerk, Mr. Fowler, approached him with his morning smile.
“Looking fine, Mr. Jackson. Nice day if it hadn’t rained.”
“Yeah,” agreed John Jackson cheerfully. “Clear up in an hour. Anybody outside?”
“A lady named Mrs. Ralston.”
Mr. Fowler raised his grizzled eyebrows in facetious mournfulness.
“Tell her I can’t see her,” said John Jackson, rather to his clerk’s surprise. “And let me have a pencil memorandum of the money I’ve given away through her these twenty years.”
Mr. Fowler had always urged John Jackson to look more closely into his promiscuous charities; but now, after these two decades, it rather alarmed him.
When the list arrived—its preparation took an hour of burrowing through old ledgers and check stubs—John Jackson studied