THE OLD TIMER’S MONEY FIELD!
By Norris Chambers
The junk yard was one of the best we had seen and it became more interesting when we opened a large cardboard box and discovered that it was half full of playing cards and other small trash. Why would anyone throw away that many cards? They appeared to be in new condition and the cartons that held them were in the box with the cards.
sort them and put them back in the boxes and have a lot of cards/”
be able to sell them. They look new enough.”
Clifton emptied the big box on the crude table that occupied one side of the shed. We began stirring the large pile. There were hundreds of cards and many card boxes. Among the other items in the trash collection the presence of a five dollar bill dominated the view. Although we had not seen very many bills of such large denomination we recognized it as a valuable contribution to a puny money fund. We both reached for the prize about the same time. I was a little slow and Clifton stood by the table, holding the reward in his hand and exclaiming, “Gosh, a five dollar bill. I wonder how it got in the trash!”
“That is a good question,” I assured him. “I also wonder why they are throwing all those new looking cards away.” Clifton became more practical and wondered if we should take the treasure back to the garage. After all, we considered ourselves to be honest, conscientious citizens! I suggested that we ask his dad, my brother, if it would be honest to keep the newfound riches. My brother’s garage and station was a short distance south of the big garage on the main street. The milk house where we had inspected our treasure was just around the corner. We were soon telling our tale and asking for advice. We hoped his answer would be, “Keep the useable trash. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!” Instead of a simple answer he gave us a lengthy explanation concerning the operation of a gambling business.
“Men who gamble seriously,” he began, “often call for a new deck of cards to be sure the deck used in the game is not marked or otherwise corrupted. A new package is brought out and the seal is broken for all of the players to see. The replaced cards are thrown in the trash, usually without being returned to the carton. The money that you found with the trash got there accidently, probably in a hurried clearing of the table. Gambling is illegal and no gambler would want to get caught with the evidence. In most cases an effort should be made to find the owner of lost money or anything of value. In this case, however, I doubt if the rightful owner could ever be found and I’m sure the five dollars is looking for a new owner. I think you’ll be able to find a good place to invest it!”
We did find a good place. We started by visiting the little town’s only drug store and ordering triple-dip ice cream cones for the two of us and one of Clifton’s younger brothers, Carl.
Carl thanked us and walked hurriedly down the street toward the friendly junk yard. It was obvious that he had been duly impressed with our good fortune.
headed in such a hurry?” I casually asked