This story was first published in the Civil and Military Gazette on 14 April 1887, and collected in the first edition of Plain Tales from the Hills in 1888 and in subsequent editions of this collection.
Reggie Burke is a local bank manager, sound, practical, combining competence in business with a lively social life, and much liked and respected. He is sent an assistant, Riley, newly out from England, a self-important Yorkshireman, arrogant, critical, and humourless. The two men don’t get on. But Riley falls seriously sick with a terminal illness, and soon after a letter comes from the Directors, ending his appointment. Reggie, knowing that Riley is doomed, conceals the letter, pays his salary out of his own pocket, and puts up with his endless complaints and criticisms until the end comes.
©John McGivering 2004 All Rights Reserved