"The trouble," says the Honorable Socrates Potter, who tells the story, "began when the grocer started to make a queen of his daughter Lizzie." The pace set by her corrupted the simplicity of the little Connecticut town, and the new houses, "with towers on them," the automobiles, university tuition, and foreign tours jeopardized the financial stability of the community. The story is a shrewd commentary on American life, and has both humor and humanity.
"'I can't,' says he.
"'It costs so much to die,' he says. 'Why, it takes a thousan' dollars to give a man a decent funeral these days.'
"'Wal,' I says, 'a man that can't afford either to live or die excites my sympathy an' my caution. You've taxed the community for yer luxuries, an' now ye want to tax me for yer notes. It's unjust discrimination. It gives me a kind of a lonesome feelin'. You tell your boy Dan to come an' see me. He needs advice more than you need money, an' I've got a full line of it.'
"Bill went away richer by a check for a few hundred dollars. Oh, I always know when I'm losin' money! I'm not like other citizens o' Pointview.
"Dan came to see me the next Saturday night. He was a big, blue-eyed, handsome, good-natured boy, an' dressed like the son of a millionaire. I brought him here to the office, an' he sat down beside me.
"'Dan,' I says, 'what are your plans for the future?'
"'I mean to be a lawyer,' says he.<