The two old gentlemen were brothers. For several days, they argued about a very strange subject. They decided to end their argument with a bet,
as the English usually do. The following was the subject of the bet. The Bank of England issued two banknotes of a million pounds each for a public transaction with a foreign country. England used one banknote and the other remained in the bank. At this point, Brother A said to Brother B,
"If an honest and intelligent stranger arrives in London without a friend and without money, except for the ￡1,000,000 banknote, he will starve to death." Brother B answered, "No! I don't agree." Brother A said, "If he goes to the bank or anywhere else to change this big note, the police will put him in prison. Everyone will think he stole it." They continued arguing for days, until Brother B said, "I'll bet ￡20,000
that the stranger will live for thirty days with the banknote and not go to prison."
Brother A accepted the bet. He went to the bank and bought the ￡1,000,000 banknote. After, he returned home and prepared a letter. Then the two brothers sat by the window and waited for the right man for the bet. They saw a lot of honest faces go by, but they were not intelligent enough.
Several faces were intelligent, but they were not honest. A lot of faces were honest and intelligent, but they were not poor enough. Other faces were honest, intelligent and poor, but they were not strangers. When they saw me from the window, they thought I was the right man. They asked me questions, and soon they knew my story. Finally, they told me I was the right man for the bet. I asked them to explain the bet. One of the gentlemen gave me an envelope. I wanted to open it, but he said, "No, don't open it now. Wait until you are in your hotel room. Then read it very carefully." I was confused and I wanted to discuss the subject with them. But they didn't. I felt hurt because I was the subject of a joke. When I left their house, I looked for the pear on the street. It was gone. I was quite angry with those two gentlemen. Far from their house, I opened the envelope. I saw that there was money inside! I didn't stop to read their letter. I ran to the nearest eating place. I ate and ate and ate. At last, I took out the envelope with the money, to pay for my meal. I looked at the banknote and almost fainted. It was a banknote worth five million dollars! I was speechless. I stared at the banknote. The two gentlemen had made a big mistake.
They probably wanted to give me a one-pound banknote. I saw the owner of the eating place staring at the banknote, too. We were both surprised. I did not know what to do or say, so I simply give him the note and said, "Give me the change, please." The owner apologised a thousand times. ''I'm very sorry, but I can't change this banknote, sir." "I don't have any other money. Please change this note." The owner then said, "You can pay for this food whenever you want, sir. I understand that you are a very rich gentleman. You like playing jokes on people by dressing like a poor man. You can come here and eat all you want, whenever you want. You can pay me when you want."