“Goodbye, Peggy,” says Fred.
“Goodbye,” says Peggy. She drives off.
At the bank, Al is meeting with his boss, Mr. Milton, and an auditor.
“We were discussing this loan to this man, uh…” begins Mr. Milton “What’s his name? Novak.”
“Yes,” says Al. “Yes, I approved it.”
“Well,” says Mr. Milton, “May I ask, Al, on what basis?”
“On the basis of my own judgment,” says Al. “Novak looked to me like a good bet.”
“But the man has no collateral,” says the auditor. “No security!”
“Evidently, you saw something in this man,” says Milton.
“Yes, Mr. Milton,” says Al.
“Well, what was it?” asks Milton.
“Security,” says Al. “Collateral. You see, Mr. Milton, in the Army, I’ve had to be with men when they were stripped of everything in the way of property except what they carried around with them and inside them. I saw them being tested. Some of them stood up to it, and some didn’t. But you got so you could tell which ones you could count on.”