Fantastic Fables

by Ambrose Bierce

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The Eligible Son-in-Law

A TRULY Pious Person who conducted a savings bank and lent money to his sisters and his cousins and his aunts of both sexes, was approached by a Tatterdemalion, who applied for a loan of one hundred thousand dollars.

"What security have you to offer?" asked the Truly Pious Person.

"The best in the world," the applicant replied, confidentially; "I am about to become your son-in-law."

"That would indeed be gilt-edged," said the banker, gravely; "but what claim have you to the hand of my daughter?"

"One that cannot be lightly denied," said the Tatterdemalion. "I am about to become worth one hundred thousand dollars."

Unable to detect a weak point in this scheme of mutual advantage, the financier gave the promoter in disguise an order for the money, and wrote a note to his wife directing her to count out the girl.

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