Exile from Space
"My mother gave it to me. A long time ago. I wouldn't sell it, except.... Look," I said, and didn't have to work hard to sound desperate, because in a way I was. "Look, it must be worth something?"
He picked it up again. "Well ... what do you want for it?"
That went on for quite a while. I knew what it was supposed to be worth, of course, but I didn't hope to get even half of that. He offered seventy dollars, and I asked for five hundred, and after a while he gave me three-fifty, and I felt I'd done pretty well--for a greenhorn. I put the money in my purse, and went back to the car, and on the way I saw a policeman, so I stopped and asked him about a hotel. He looked me up and down, and started asking questions about how old I was, and what was my name and where did I live, and I began to realize that being so much smaller than the other people was going to make life complicated. I told him I'd come to visit my brother in the Academy, and he smiled, and sai