Online Money Money Project is over 10,000

Online Money Money Project is over 10,000

The lawyer laughed.

"I know; but, my dear fellow, what would you have? Surely, UNorganized charity and promiscuous giving is worse—"

"Oh, yes, I've tried that way, too," shrugged the other. "There was a time when every Tom, Dick, and Harry, with a run-down shoe and a ragged coat, could count on me for a ten-spot by just holding out his hand, no questions asked. Then a serious-eyed little woman sternly told me one day that the indiscriminate charity of a millionaire was not only a curse to any community, but a corruption to the whole state. I believe she kindly included the nation, as well, bless her! And I thought I was doing good!" "What a blow—to you!" There was a whimsical smile in the lawyer's eyes.

"It was." The millionaire was not smiling. "But she was right. It set me to thinking, and I began to follow up those ten-spots—the ones that I could trace. Jove! what a mess I'd made of it! Oh, some of them were all right, of course, and I made THOSE fifties on the spot. But the others—! I tell you, Ned, money that isn't earned is the most risky thing in the world. If I'd left half those wretches alone, they'd have braced up and helped themselves and made men of themselves, maybe. As it was—Well, you never can tell as to the results of a so-called 'good' action. From my experience I should say they are every whit as dangerous as the bad ones."

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The lawyer laughed outright.

"But, my dear fellow, that's just where the organized charity comes in.

Don't you see?"

"Oh, yes, I know—Case number twenty-three thousand seven hundred and forty-one! And that's all right, of course. Relief of some sort is absolutely necessary. But I'd like to see a little warm sympathy injected into it, some way. Give the machine a heart, say, as well as hands and a head."

"Then why don't you try it yourself?"

"Not I!" His gesture of dissent was emphatic. "I have tried it, in a way, and failed. That's why I'd like some one else to tackle the job. And that brings me right back to my original question. I'm wondering what my money will do, when I'm done with it. I'd like to have one of my own kin have it—if I was sure of him. Money is a queer proposition, Ned, and it's capable of—'most anything."

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"It is. You're right."

"What I can do with it, and what some one else can do with it, are two quite different matters. I don't consider my efforts to circulate it wisely, or even harmlessly, exactly what you'd call a howling success. Whatever I've done, I've always been criticized for not doing something else. If I gave a costly entertainment, I was accused of showy ostentation. If I didn't give it, I was accused of not putting money into honest circulation. If I donated to a church, it was called conscience money; and if I didn't donate to it, they said I was mean and miserly. So much for what I've done. I was just wondering—what the other fellow'd do with it."

"Why worry? 'T won't be your fault."

"But it will—if I give it to him. Great Scott, Ned! what money does for folks, sometimes—folks that aren't used to it! Look at Bixby; and look at that poor little Marston girl, throwing herself away on that worthless scamp of a Gowing who's only after her money, as everybody (but herself) knows! And if it doesn't make knaves and martyrs of them, ten to one it does make fools of 'em. They're worse than a kid with a dollar on circus day; and they use just about as much sense spending their pile, too. You should have heard dad tell about his pals in the eighties that struck it rich in the gold mines. One bought up every grocery store in town and instituted a huge free grab-bag for the populace; and another dropped his hundred thousand in the dice box before it was a week old. I wonder what those cousins of mine back East are like!"

"If you're fearful, better take Case number twenty-three thousand seven hundred and forty-one," smiled the lawyer.

"Hm-m; I suppose so," ejaculated the other grimly, getting to his feet.

"Well, I must be off. It's biscuit time, I see."

A moment later the door of the lawyer's sumptuously appointed office closed behind him. Not twenty-four hours afterward, however, it opened to admit him again. He was alert, eager-eyed, and smiling. He looked ten years younger. Even the office boy who ushered him in cocked a curious eye at him.

The man at the great flat-topped desk gave a surprised ejaculation.