A strange and curious story is this, about a banker whose only fear was that he might be buried alive, like his grandfather before him...
ea about this malady than you or I. The average physician is just a guesser. He guesses you have a fever and prescribes a remedy, hoping that it will hit the spot. If it doesn't he looks wise, wags his head--and tries something else on you. Maybe it works and maybe it doesn't. The only thing my guesser is absolutely sure of is that if I live or if I die, he will collect a princely fee for his services."
Biggs remained statuesque during the pause.
"Gad," McMasters broke out again testily, "if I fiddled around in my business like that I'd be a pauper in a month."
"But the doctor says you're coming on," ventured Biggs.
"Sure he does," answered the banker with a sneer. "That's his stock in trade. I know that line of palaver. Secretly, he knows I am as liable to be dead as alive when he comes again."
"Oh, sir, you aren't going to die!"
"That's what I'm afraid of, Biggs. But they'll call me dead and go ahead and embalm me and make sure of it."
"Oh, sir, I wish----"
A rich old banker is afraid of being buried alive, so he has a secret buzzer installed in his coffin, just in case.
Told from the point of view of the pious and faithful butler, who is supposed to listen for the buzzer, the story is predictable, except for the idiotic trap door at the end.
The butler was a good character, he deserves a better story.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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