William promised to follow his uncle’s wish and went straight to his club. He looked for Bryson, a calm wise man of about forty, who was sitting in a corner reading a book. When William told him about the contents of the will, Bryson did not seem at all surprised. He only remarked that the uncle was worth about half a million.
William told Bryson that his uncle had left a lot of money to charity while his servants had received only ten dollars each. There was one more person mentioned in the will, Miss Hayden, a distant relative who lived in the uncle’s house. She was a quiet, musical girl and the dearest woman in the world to William. William had been in love with her for two years but he had never told her about his feelings.
William had no idea how to spend a thousand dollars and he hated making the report. He had a feeling that his uncle was making fun of him.
In the street William saw a blind man selling pencils. William went up to him and asked him what he would do with the money. The blind man shrugged his shoulders and said that he had never seen such a huge amount of money and therefore had never had the problem of spending such a sum. William bought all his pencils and gave him ten dollars above the asking price.
William was walking down the empty street when he had an idea.
He got into a cab and went to his uncle’s house where Miss Hayden lived. He found her, sad and beautiful, writing letters in the library. William knew that like the servants she had received nothing from his uncle but ten dollars. So he said that there was an addition to his uncle’s will that allowed her to have a thousand dollars and he gave her the money there and then. Miss Hayden turned white, took the banknotes and put them in the drawer of the writing desk. Then she quietly thanked William and gave him a shy smile.
In excitement William went back to the lawyer’s office, ready to hand over the report. Suddenly the lawyer took out another document which had been given to him by William’s uncle and started reading. It said that in the case that William spent the money wisely, he was to receive another fifty thousand dollars. On the contrary, if he had spent it in a foolish way, the fifty thousand would go to Miss Hayden.
Smiling brightly, William destroyed the report and said he had lost a thousand dollars on the races. William realised that he was going to lose much more than that, but he felt happy about it.