Old Cladgett, President of the First National Bank of Collegeburg, scowled across the mahogany table at the miserable young man. He was all hunched up into great rolls and hanging pouches, and he scowled till the room grew gloomy and the ceiling seemed to lower.
“I’m running a bank, not a charity club,” he growled, planting his fist on the table.
Bookstrom winced, and then controlled himself with a little shiver.
“But sir,” he protested, “all I ask for is an extension of time on this note. I could easily pay it out in three or four years. If you force me to pay it now, I shall have to give up my medical course.”
Harsh, inchoate, guttural noises issued from Cladgett’s throat.
“This bank isn’t looking after little boys and their dreams,” he snarled.
“This note is due and you pay it. You’re able-bodied and can work.”
Mechanically, as in a daze, Bookstrom took out a wallet and counted out the money. When the sum was complete, he had ten dollars left. The hope that had spurred him on through several years of hardship and difficulty, the hope of graduating as a physician and having a practice of his own, now was gone. He was at the end of his resources. Once the medical course was interrupted, he knew there was no hope of getting back to it. Nowadays the study of medicine is too strenuous; there is no dallying on the path to an M.D. degree.
He went straight over to the University to apply for an instructorship in Applied Mathematics that had recently been offered to him.
In the movies and in the novels, an ogre like Cladgett usually meets with some kind of retribution before long. The Black Hand gets him
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Publication information: Book title: The Man with the Strange Head and Other Early Science Fiction Stories. Contributors: Miles J. Breuer - Author, Michael R. Page - Editor. Publisher: University of Nebraska Press. Place of publication: Lincoln, NE. Publication year: 2008. Page number: 12.
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