Beautiful Dreamer

by Allen Morgan


no illustrations

nine chapters - 107 pages

Chapter Seven (part 3)

It turned out that there was a bank branch that would take the ticket right on 4th Avenue. Katie and Gale went down first thing on Monday morning.

"Let's get a hundred dollar bill," said Katie eagerly. "I've never seen one of them close-up before."

"Let's get two fifties," said Gale. "One for each of us."

"Why don't we get all ones?" said Katie. "It'll look like more."

But when they got to the bank they didn't get anything.

"Oh I can't cash that, little girl," the teller said to Katie.

"Little what?" exclaimed Katie.

"Why not?" asked Gale.

"You're just not old enough, dear," said the teller.

"Not old enough?" echoed Katie.

The teller nodded. "Now move aside dear, there are other customers waiting," she said.

Katie refused to budge. She waved her ticket at the teller. "It's a winner, so you have to cash it." But the teller wouldn't discuss it. Katie got so mad she kicked the counter. "I want my money; it isn't fair," she shouted.

Katie made so much noise that the teller called for the manager. He came gliding up a few moments later, very neatly dressed and smelling of after-shave. He had a neat little moustache carefully placed under his nose so it didn't disturb the rest of his face. "Young lady, this is a bank," he told Katie. "We do not yell in banks."

Katie took one look and knew there was no hope. "I want to cash my lottery ticket," she said.

"Oh you can't do that ' " said the bank manager with a polite little smile that hardly touched his moustache. "You're too young."

"Too young?" said Katie. "I was old enough to buy one, wasn't I?"

"We do not sell lottery tickets," the bank manager explained. "We only cash them, and you have to be eighteen for us to do that."

"Who says?" demanded Katie.

"My dear young lady, nobody says," said the bank manager. "It's the policy, so there's nothing we can do, is there? There are some things in life we just have to accept. Please don't take it personally."

Katie tried to get the bank manager to change his mind but he just kept smiling and saying the same things over and over again. Katie and Gale finally left the bank without having cashed their ticket. Gale was depressed. Katie was furious.

"Every time you want to do something, someone comes along and tells you you're not old enough," Katie complained. "What does he know about anything? He's just a dumb man in a dumb bank that has a dumb policy about what dumb things it wants to do."

"What'll we do with the ticket now?" asked Gale.

"We'll have to find someone to cash it for us."

They were in luck. Just then Mr. Waverly came around the corner with his puppy. Katie was after him in a flash.

"Mr. Waverly, Mr. Waverly, are we ever glad to see you." She told him all about the trouble they were having getting the bank to cash their ticket.

Mr. Waverly was sympathetic. "Why certainly I'll help you get your money. You won it fair and square and you have every right to it," he told her. "The old folks and the young people have to stick together you know. Those people in the middle ages are always trying to push us around."

Katie gave him a big hug and handed over the ticket. Mr. Waverly gave her the puppy's leash and they all marched into the bank.

There was a long line of customers and Mr. Waverly had to wait for quite awhile to get a teller. But Katie and Gate didn't mind. They took the puppy on a guided tour of the bank and he enjoyed it immensely. He left muddy tracks up and down the carpet and hair all over the chairs. Every few minutes or so, Katie patted him on the head and told him what a nice puppy he was. The puppy peed on cue every time she said it. He was just nibbling the large plant by the front door when the manager came gliding up.

"This is a bank and we do not bring our dogs into a bank."

"I do," Katie told him, "And he isn't mine anyway. He belongs to my grandfather over there." She pointed to Mr. Waverly and then turned back to the bank manager and smiled. "He's my very rich grandfather you know, the one with the chauffeur and the fancy limousine. He's just moved here from Edmonton. He's opening his account now."

The manager blinked and then smiled at Katie. He gave a little bow to Mr. Waverly and Mr. Waverly bowed right back.

"Perhaps we can make an exception this time," said the bank manager to Katie and he reached down to pat the puppy on the head. "Nice little doggie," he cooed. "How do you like our little bank?"

The puppy, of course, peed all over the bank manager's trousers.

The manager's smile froze. "Young lady, your puppy just piddled on me."

"There's nothing we can do about that, is there?" Katie said sweetly. "It's the puppy's policy you know. There are some things in life we just have to accept. Please don't take it personally." She gave the bank manager a thin little smile and then turned to go.

The timing was beautiful. Mr. Waverly arrived at the door just as the girls did and held it open for them. Katie and Gale glided grandly through and in a moment they were all out on the sidewalk. Mr. Waverly handed each of them a fifty dollar bill. He wouldn't take anything in return although Katie and Gale both wanted to give him something for his trouble. He just waved goodbye and continued on his walk. Gale caught a bus for downtown. She didn't want to waste any time buying her ticket for Calgary.

"I'm not going until the end of summer but I want to get the ticket now," she said. "I've been planning this for ages and I can't wait."

Katie knew just what she was going to do with her money too. It was going right into the cookie jar on Friday night. She folded up her fifty dollar bill and put it carefully into her shirt pocket. Throughout the day she patted it every once in awhile just to make sure it was there, and smiled. Everything was working perfectly for a change, and Katie decided that being rich really was everything it was cracked up to be. She vowed she'd be rich for the rest of her life and always carry a fifty dollar bill in her pocket.

When she was getting ready for bed, Katie even put the money in the pocket of her pajamas. She didn't want to be separated from it for a single moment. She got into bed and turned out the lights. Then she lay on her back in the dark for awhile just imagining what it would be like when Friday came around.

"It'll probably be even worse than last week," Katie thought as she drifted off to sleep. " I'll be the one putting in most of the money this time. They'll see I'm not just a little kid any more. They'll see all right."


Max got the cookie jar from the kitchen cupboard and put it on the table. He was frowning. Susie was frowning too. They both just stared at the cookie jar in silence for awhile and then Max sighed. He took out his wallet and looked through it. He didn't find much.

"This is the worst Friday I can remember," he said. "I've been driving a cab for over ten years now and I've never seen it like this. Bills, bills and more bills, it's a wonder we ever have enough money left to buy food. I'm afraid I've spent most of my tip money," he said as he pulled a crumpled two dollar bill out of his wallet. He shook his head as he dropped it into the cookie jar. Then he looked at Susie.

"I spent most of my tips too," she said. "I got short-fared today and lost the rest." She reached into her purse and brought out two quarters. She dropped them into the cookie jar. They echoed as they hit bottom. Susie winced at the sound.

"Two dollars and fifty cents," said Max sadly. "You can't buy much with that."

Katie smiled and picked up her money. She held the fifty dollar bill up to the light. It seemed to shine. The parade of mounted policemen on the back looked alive and ready to ride off. Katie winked at her father as she dropped the money into the cookie jar.

"Don't worry Max," she told him, "Everything's going to be all right."

continue on to part one of Chapter Eight

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