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Hobo Sam's Lucky Day
They say that one man's trash is another man's treasure. In Hobo Sam's case, this statement couldn't be more true.

The day started early for Hobo Sam. As he was folding up his ratty sleeping bag and gathering his few meager possessions, the sounds of Britain waking up to a new day filtered through the air. Shopkeepers opened their doors to business, and there were already a few people making their way to the bank where they, no doubt, were about to deposit (or withdraw) large sums of gold. At least that's what Sam always imagined they were doing. With a sigh, he packed his belongings into his backpack and then headed for the bank himself.

Panhandling has never been an easy means of making money for Sam, but he's always managed to scrape up a few coins here and there thanks to the kindness of strangers. And while he may be a master at the art of begging, he's never relied on the skill as his main source of income. After all, why should he spend his energy on begging when people all over Britannia freely toss out items on a daily basis? Weapons, armor, clothing, and even miscellaneous household items can get you a nice stack of coins if you know where to sell them.

When he finally reached the bank, Sam quickly surveyed the area and was pleased to see that a good handful of adventurers had already started their day and were busy loading and unloading supplies from their bank boxes. It would only be a matter of time before they would start littering the streets with the items they no longer needed. All Sam had to do was be patient.

Shifting his backpack to his other shoulder, he decided to head inside the bank where the chill of the morning was blocked by the solid stone of the bank's walls. Once inside, he nosed around a few of the chairs and tables, careful not to disturb any of the bankers within. He wasn't looking for anything in particular, just something that might fetch a few coins at the local Provisioner's. He wasn't disappointed. Partially hidden beneath one of the tables was a small pouch. Trying not to draw too much attention to himself, he quietly crept towards the pouch, ducked beneath the table to open the container, and then peered inside: 2 gems! He quickly pocketed the two jewels - he would sell these to Fairfax, the jeweler, who was always good about making him a fair deal on pretty little baubles.

Just as he was about to crawl out from beneath the table, Sam spied another bag within the small pouch. He hadn't noticed it at first because it was dyed black and the shadows concealed it well. Peeking above the table, so that just his eyes and the top of his head could be seen, he glanced around the immediate area and was relieved to find no one watching him. Ducking back down, he opened the black bag and found a rather nice looking lady's frock within. And just because it wasn't Sam's color, it didn't mean he couldn't get a few coins for it at the Tailor Shop. He carefully tucked the garment into his backpack, and when he turned back to the black bag, his eyes fixated on the only other object in the container - a check.

Sam couldn't believe his eyes! It's not everyday that you find a check just lying around! But how much was it for? Plucking it from the bag, he held it up close to his face, so that he could read the fancy print. He stared at the parchment for a long moment, as if he didn't trust what his eyes were seeing. The check was for 500,000 gold coins! A sudden thump could be heard as Sam fainted and slumped heavily to the floor.

When he came to, Sam was staring into the eyes of a rather burly guard. "Are you okay?" the guard asked, as he extended a hand to help Sam to his feet. The beggar merely nodded as he struggled to straighten his legs and stand on his own. As he smoothed out the wrinkles in his worn shirt, he glanced down at his hands and a sudden realization dawned on him - where was the check?

Sam immediately dropped back to the ground on his hands and knees, mindless of the guard who still loomed over him, watching him curiously. With a grunt, he dived under the table in search of the mysterious black bag. It was there, but the check wasn't in it. Had it all just been a cruel dream? Slowly, he backed out from beneath the table and sighed, but before he could stand, the guard leaned over and held something out to him - a piece of parchment. "I believe you dropped this," the guard said.

Sam nearly choked on his tongue in his haste to reply, "Th-thank you!" The guard offered him a brief smile and then headed back to his post once he was sure the older man was okay. Sam hugged the check to his chest and jauntily stepped up to the nearest banker and presented it to him. "I would like to deposit this, kind sir!" The banker looked him over from head to foot, but deposited the money into his account without question. Sam offered an exaggerated bow before leaving the bank with a bright smile and a happy little swagger to his step.

Sam's motto:

Stop and smell the roses, and should you happen to see a pouch lying around - open it! You never know what you might find inside.

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Published: February 2003
Please Note: Some dates are estimates as exact dates were unavailable.
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