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THE CATCH IN THE DRAWER
By George Munson
"I believe in youJim," Myra had
said, and she was the dhiy nieriiber of
the bank staff that did.
The situation was this: Jim Flem
ing's accounts were three thousand
dollars short at the end of the day.
Three bills of the denomination of a
thousand dollars apiece were missing.
Fleming said he had put them in the
drawer. But they were not in the
drawer and could not be found.
The president accepted Fleming's
explanation. Fleming retained his
position as assistant paying teller.
He was earning $750 a year just
enough to support a single man in the
little town. There was no hope of
marrying Myra until he was getting
at least $500 more. That would have
ment only a couple of years to wait,
for promotion was fairly rapid. Jim's
$750 represented a first year's salary.
Jim had shown so much aptitude he
had been made assistant paying tel
ler without the salary corresponding
to the ppsition. It was the policy of
the bank never to pay more than $750
to a first-year man, and it is a policy
not uncommon. However, the next
year Jim would have gotten a thou
sand. Jim not only retained his position
but was promoted to be paying teller
the second year still at $750. Ordin
arily the position would have started
at $1,250. Then Myra, the manager's
stenographer, and Jim could have
been married. Now marriage was
impossible. The fellows in the bank
grinned and wondered where Jim had
"salted" the money away. Everybody
that he had simply, by an audacious
conception that amounted to genius,
taken the $3,000 and brazened it out.
Old Moss, the president, was as
hard as nails. He never let up on a
man. He had seen at once Fleming's
idea and determined to checkmate
the man whom he regarded as a
brazen thief. Out of his own jocket I
he paid the hire of the detectives for
the first six months, but at the an
nual meeting it was decided to spend
the money which would normally,
have gone to Jim's salary in having
Year after year the watch kept up.
Jim knew about it It was impossible
for him not to know. His past was
investigated and found to be clean;
then they followed him, pried into his
affairs, resolved that if he had placed
Stood Staring at Them Speechlessly.
the money anywhere it could not but
be discovered. Nothing was ever dis
covered. "With that fellow's genius for se
crecy he would make a. first-rate pol
tician or criminal," said old Moss
grimly, at the second annual meeting
of the directors.
"Or a bank president," said Jones,
"Talent misapplied," growled the
manager. "My stenographer is still
engaged to him.'