‘My Financial Career’ by Stephen Leacock

My Financial Career by Stephen Leacock, 1910

The magic trick:

Focused storytelling, amusing results

This is a famous story, I’m told.

Having read it, I must admit that’s surprising to me. It’s pretty silly. But silly is fine!

I admire its focus. There isn’t a stray moment. No stray sentences.

It tells a story and makes you laugh.

And that’s quite a trick on Leacock’s part.

The selection:

He had gathered from my mysterious manner that I was a detective. I knew what he was thinking, and it made me worse.

“No, not from Pinkerton’s,” I said, seeming to imply that I came from a rival agency. “To tell the truth,” I went on, as if I had been prompted to lie about it, “I am not a detective at all. I have come to open an account. I intend to keep all my money in this bank.”

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