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"Chocolate Kid"

“Yes, sir.” Each man looked to Mr. Pantywaste.

George C. Pantywaste was a collector and trader of rare coins, jewels, and he dealt in gold bullion. Stepping briskly along the cool corridor of the bank, George was a famous bookworm. He kept his nose in news of financial networks of the world. Forbes, Fortune, various stock exchanges, brokerage houses and sometimes-dubious agents of financial information all kept him occupied eighteen of twenty-four hours a day, six days a week. Slight-of-build, balding, with huge eyebrows, rather pale, he wore glasses. Roughly six-foot tall, rather demanding and impatient, he was a genius with a nose for making transactions: knowing when and what to trade. Making a great deal of money at his craft, outside of work, his one true pleasure, besides having an affinity for chocolate, like Kannapolis, was to see a good song and dance routine. He was a regular at great showplaces of the world. Las Vegas, Branson, Broadway, and Myrtle Beach were a few famous sites he had been to with fine attractions.

“George is a world traveler. He’s been to famous concert halls of Paris, London, Rome, Boston, and Tokyo, ladies.” Last month Tank talked with his teller girls about Pantywaste’s adventures. “He’s visited Constantinople, Sidney, Mexico City, Barcelona, and even Lucerne.”

“It’s true,” Portia commented with Tank and the girls. “As a world traveler and a lover of great music, Mr. Pantywaste requires great sums of money to finance his expensive tastes. Sometimes he returns and gives Gracie Allen and me gifts from his trips.”

The girls nodded. Tank smiled.

But then, Mr. Pantywaste couldn’t afford to lose his 98 million. Depending on circumstances insurance coverage might not take care of all the loss; and Tank said he surely wouldn’t enjoy paying a higher premium for such coverage in the future.

George Pantywaste strode forward. “Tank,” he cried in his usual high-pitched voice. At Tank’s desk, Pantywaste bristled. “Br,” he mumbled and cheeks shook like Jell-O. “What the Sam Hill is going on with my shipment? I’m perturbed as a peacock waiting on her brood.”

“George,” Tank started. “Please sit down.”

Mr. Pantywaste took a seat in a soft-leather, burgundy chair at Tank’s desk.

“Hello, Bill,” Mr. Pantywaste said gruffly to Bill Penny. Three men looked at one another and took seats.

“Hello, Mr. Pantywaste.” Bill blinked.

With legs crossed, Mr. Pantywaste wore khaki pants, a yellow polo sweater, and expensive, imported shoes. Made of shiny, tough crocodile hide, he recently picked the loafers up from Milan. But, George Pantywaste fidgeted and fumed like firecrackers sizzle on the Fourth.

“My money, Tank,” he continued. “I," he groaned. "Then that boy, Kannapolis. Where is he? Find my money and that cub scout, Tank! Stock market crash, string your bow and arrow, find the bandits, or I'll scalp!"

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