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Job Quigley’s Lesson

by Judge Clark

“Beg pardon, sir; but you’ve dropped your pocket-book.”

Job Quigley clapped both hands on his pantaloons pockets, and then thrust them both in.

“N-no, I haven’t,” he stammered excitedly, as his dexter fist reappeared with the article in question tight in its grasp, “but, confound it, if you didn’t frighten me.”

“I thought this might be yours,” said the first speaker, a serious-looking young man in second-hand mourning, with crepe on his hat, and a dilapidated carpet-bag in his hand.

Job could have bit his tongue off as his eye fell on a plethoric-looking wallet, which the stranger stood ready to deliver had he said the word, or rather if he had not said it so quickly.

“I was almost certain it was yours,” the serious-looking young man resumed. “I saw it just after you passed, and such things are not apt to lie long here.

“I tell you it ain’t mine,” Job surly growled, out of humor with himself, and, of curse, with everybody else.

“It’s a serious loss to somebody,” mused the other, as he opened the pocket-book and displayed a roll of greenbacks with figures on the corners that made his listener’s eyes water.

“Well, you’re in luck anyhow,” the latter curtly answered, and was about to pass on.

“Of course, I must endeavor to find the true owner,” answered the other; “but it happens most unfortunately, that I am just setting out in answer to a distant summons to the bedside of a dying mother. (He winked his eyes very hard, but his grief was too deep for tears.)

Mastering his emotion, he continued:

“I feel, however, as though I could confide in you. You have the appearance of an honest man; besides, had you been otherwise, you would certainly have claimed this property as your own.”

“Of course I would,” was the gruff response, followed by the mental query, “Why the deuce Read More