“What’s this from a Dr. Gupta, love?” Mr. Williams asked his wife. “We don’t know anyone by that name.”
“It’s a beautiful thank-you card and note, addressed to Tess and me. She’s thanking us for our honesty in returning her lost cash. She says we restored her faith in people and brightened her day.”
“Wow! That’s quite a compliment, What happened?”
“Last Friday afternoon, Tess and I were leaving the building where our dermatologist has his office. As we were getting into the car, Tess saw an envelope by the front tire. It was addressed to the bank down the street and was filled with cash.”
“It looked like a lot. At first we didn’t count it, but we decided we should. There was no question we would try to find who lost it so we could return it.”
“I love detective stories,” Mr. W. replied.
“We figured it came from one of the offices in the professional building we had just left. Besides our dermatologist, they have a dentist, a lawyer, and accountant, and a few others.”
“We went from office to office, asking whether anyone reported losing an envelope filled with cash.”
“How would you know the person was telling the truth?”
“I’m coming to that.”
“I think it was in the third office that we went into that the receptionist said that they had lost a deposit for the bank, and had looked high and low for it without success. It was a dentist’s office, not our dentist, and I said I wanted to speak with her boss.”
“Did you have to wait long?”
“Are you kidding? As soon as the dentist heard what we had, she put her drilling or extraction or whatever on hold and came to talk with us.”
“I told her we found an envelope filled with cash and wanted to return it to its owner. She said they had lost a deposit. I asked her to describe it to me. She thought for a moment and checked her books and said it was for $440 and had a couple of one-hundred-dollar bills in it. I knew she was right and gave her the envelope, for which she was obviously very thankful.”
“Well done. I’m proud of our women!”
Tess came in, slightly out of breath for some reason, but that wasn’t unusual.
“Tess, we got a lovely thank-you note from that dentist, Dr. Gupta, whose money we returned last Friday.”
“That’s nice, Mom. What did she say?”
“Not only that she was very grateful, but that we had made her day and restored her faith in humanity. I guess she thought she’d never see that money again.”
“You two are terrific. You are the apple of my eye, sweetie,” Mr. W. said as he gave Tess a big hug. Then he kissed Mrs. W., adding, “And as they say, ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.’”
One of our series of fifty instructive short stories for young readers.