When I left the eating place, I hurried to the house of the two gentlemen.
I wanted to correct the mistake they had made. I was very nervous.
When I arrived, the same servant opened the door. I asked for the two
"They are gone," the servant said.
"Gone? Gone where?"
"Oh, on a journey."
"But, where did they go?"
"To the Continent, I think."
"When will they return?"
"In a month."
"A month! Oh, this is awful! How can I talk to them? It's extremely
"I can't help you. I don't know where they are, sir."
"Then I must see a member of the family."
"All the family are away. They're in Egypt and India, I think."
"Before leaving, the two gentlemen made an enormous mistake. They will
certainly return home tonight. Tell them that I came here to correct the
mistake. I will return tomorrow."
"I'll tell them if I see them. But I won't see them! Sir, you must not worry
because everything is all right. They will be here on time, and they will see
you then. Good-bye."
I was confused. My head was in a fog. I did not understand what the
servant told me. The letter I remembered the letter! This is what it said:
You are an intelligent and honest man. You are also poor and a stranger.
In this envelope you will find some money. It is yours only for 30 days. At
the end of 30 days, return to this house, I have a bet on you. If I win this
bet, you can have any job with any salary that you want.
There were no signature, no address, no date on the letter. How strange! I
didn't know what to think. I went to a park, sat down and thought about what
to do. After an hour, I reached the decision that follows.
The two old gentlemen are playing a game that I don't understand. They
are betting on me. (But, at that time, I didn't know anything about the details
of the bet.)
If I go to the Bank of England to return the banknote, the bank will ask me
lots of questions. If I tell the truth, no one will believe me. They will put me
in an asylum. If I tell a lie, the police will put me in prison. I can't even
give it to anyone, because no honest person will want it.
I can do only one thing: I must keep the bill for a whole month. And, I
must not lose it. If I help the old man to win his bet, he will give me the job I
want. The idea of an important job with a big salary made me happy. With
this exciting idea in mind, I began walking down the streets of London.