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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, December 21, 1947, Image 90

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1947-12-21/ed-1/seq-90/

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The guy’s eyes bug out*like a frog's, and he stares at the bill and turns pale. "You — you wait right here, lady!” he cries. “I'H find a cop!”
away money. Once a woman said she didn’t
need it, and he said, ‘Why, that’s wonderful!
Then you can have the fun of giving it to
someone else. That’s the general idea, you
see, at Christmastime.’ And I thought then,”
sighs the old dame, “that I’d like to do that
sometime before I die.”
She pauses, a little out of breath, but her
eyes glowing. "And now I can do it!” she
cries out softly. “I can stop people and say,
‘Merry Christmas, young man or young lady.
Here’s a thousand-dollar bill — ’ ”
“Now wait a minute!” yells the Inspector.
“ * — and God bless you!’ ” goes on the
little old dame. “I never thought I could do
it, and now, just in time — Oh, maybe just
in the nick of time! — the dream’s come
true, and — ”
She’s so overcome with her idea that she
starts to cry, and pretty soon she’s so happy
she is sobbing and shaking all over. Dan has
to put his arm around her to steady her.
He leads her out and helps her into a cab,
and when he comes back the Inspector and
Lieutenant Hudson are looking at each other
glumly.
“A grand at a time she’s going to hand it
out!” sighs Hudson. “She’ll be mobbed.
There’ll be a hell of a night’s work for the
Riot Squad!”
“We’ll have to keep it quiet,” says the
Inspector. “There’s no law against her giving
away money, provided she realizes fully
what she’s doing.” He turns to Dan.
“McGarry, check up with this Dr. McFin
ney. Find out what you can about her.”
Dan tracks Dr. McFinney down in his
office. He’s fat and redfaced, and he sits be
hind his desk bobbing his head all the time
Dan tells him how Mrs. Dusenberry wants
to be a pint-sized Mrs. Santa and shower
thousand-dollar bills around and disturb the
peace generally on Christmas Eve.
“A great old girl if ever there was one!”
the Doc says when Dan finishes. “What a
kick she’ll get out of it!” And suddenly he
frowns. “If she can only make it,” he adds.
“Is it — is it that bad?” Dan asks.
The Doc spreads his hands. “There’s noth
ing much I can do,” he says. “She won’t even
try. She threw in the towel last July.”
“The Inspector sort of wants to be sure,”
explains Dan, “that the old lady’s got all her
buttons.”
Dr. McFinney jumps in his chair. “She’s
as mentally competent as the Inspector!” he
barks. “And a lot more so, if he’s crazy
enough to try to keep her from this final
satisfaction!”
Then he starts in telling Dan about the
old dame. It seems he knows her for years
and is very fond of her. Ten years back she
takes over her grandson Tommy, when he’s
left an orphan at the age of two. She brings
him up, and skimps and saves to put enough
aside so Tommy can go to college when he’s
older. But the kid is counted out when he
reaches the eighth grade, and the Doc tells
Dan how it happens. After this, the Doc says,
Mrs. Dusenberry cracks and goes all to
pieces. This coming Christmas will be her
first Christmas without Tommy, and if she
can get a thrill out of spreading twenty grand
around to various characters, maybe Christ
mas will still mean something to her...
Dan tells all this to his mouse Kitty as they
sit in Wurtzenburger’s restaurant. “So I go
back and give the Inspector the lowdown,”
he says, pushing away his second plate of
pie, “and he agrees with the Doc that the
old girl should have her fun on Christmas
Eve if she wants it. Personally, I do not mind
either, except that she may slip a grand to
some of the more obnoxious guys I know
around town. But the Inspector orders me
Continued on page 20

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