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The other tale of the Ugly Duckling... revisited

It all started in a small town, one just like many others, where neighbor knows neighbor, prices are fair, and all are good, law abiding people ... for they all know their place.

In such a town was born young Thomas, apparently a well adjusted child; over all well behaved even if a little too curious, asking too many questions... and even daring to pester the local Pastor with questions that no young boy had the right to ask... [and if his father was a touch too strict, and at times had to spank the boy... well, it was for his own good now, wasn’t it... after all, if the boy was not quite so boisterous then he wouldn’t need to be punished, now would he !?!]

And so in this idyllic little town the young boy grew up into a young man, and gave up his sassiness, learned how to be respectful of his wiser elders, learnt his place, he did.

“Smart”, many said “and even handsome” others murmured... “So, let’s make him a deal... Let’s offer him a position in our Bank... after all, he’s one of us, and we need a ‘good’ manager”

And so the elders approached young Thomas with what was obviously a sweet deal

“Tommy-boy you look well... Certainly grew up out of your rambunctious nature... Have come to appreciate the good life w’all have here... Want you to take your place in our community... Make us proud of you, now”.

They all talked at once, so overwhelming they were that ‘Tommy-boy’ agreed without really knowing what it was all about...

The following Monday he found himself bright and early being ushered into his new office [dressed in his best collar and tie, he did... and so impressed everyone, that the elders all congratulated themselves on their good judgment... and even the young female tellers spruced themselves up, and shyly introduced themselves]

And so young Thomas-Thom-Tommy-boy found himself having to learn what the bank was all about... and what better way then to review past transactions... y’know, who lent money to whom, who defaulted on their payments, who lost their land... who bought them out at a profit... y’know, just 'normal' bank business.

Well now, young Thomas considered himself a man of integrity, a man who really wanted to live the good and proper life of a God-fearing man... so he studied deeper... and deeper... and found that only a few families were allowed to grow rich and prosperous, only a few families ruled the town, only a few families were untouched by grief and famine...and look’it here, they owned the bank... and yes, they were the wise elders... Interesting...

So now, what’s a young man to do... was he certain of his findings... or was he just seeing coincidences where no fault truly lies... did he really think that he, in his ever so short a career, had enough information to even know what he was looking at, and - the greatest of all questions - was it really his place to do anything about it.

And so young Thomas-Thom-Tommy-boy sat for many a day, ruminating, thinking, considering his options... and even looking back to his youth, at the times when he was so certain that he dared question....

The day came for the quarterly report, and he decided that he would simply present the information, and ask for clarity... and ... see what would happen....

This time the meeting was not held in the bank’s conference, apparently this was a ‘special occasion’, and so it was to be held in the wealthiest mansion in town, and for a proper dinner too...

So, dressed in his best attire, the young man presented himself at the proper time... and was greeted by the daughters of the elders, who quite demurely led him into the parlor, where, chaperoned by their mothers, proceeded to ask him his opinion on family, and marriage, and children... and if he thought that he would be a good provider... and asked if his position in the bank would be enough... or if he would consider investing in some properties that may come available...

The girls were all quite pretty, and well mannered too... they knew just how to treat a man, a man who had so much potential, so much to offer to a proper wife... his whole life opened before him... riches and respect in the community... or... who knows what... and at that point he knew exactly what the right thing to do was...

“May I introduce you to our new mayor, the Honorable Thomas Truss, and his lovely wife, Grace...”

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