Back then four quarters was a lot of money for the work he did. Cade was only 10 when he got the job of hauling a dolly full of newspapers from the post office to the convenience store a block away. Before school each weekday, he’d pick up the dolly at the store and wheel it to the post office to wait for the daily newspaper truck to arrive. Most days the job was fairly easy, but on the days the newspaper contained holiday coupons and inserts, the job was tougher.
Cade had the routine down pat, except for the two curbs he had to navigate with the dolly. Barely taller than the dolly itself, Cade easily wheeled it to the curb before taking his time to go off the curb and onto the next curb. He managed it by unloading the dolly and reloading it on the other curb. It took him several trial and error tries to figure that out. Normally, he could judge whether the load was easy enough to strong arm. Only once did someone older than him help him strong arm the dolly over the curb.
“Thanks, Mister,” Cade said to the man. “I’m sure I can’t pay you…”
“Oh, no. Don’t think anything of it, Son,” said the man as he dusted his suit off. “Wouldn’t look good for me anyhow.”
Cade tilted his head, wondering what it meant, and said, “Oh, ok, but thanks a lot.”
When Cade arrived at the store, Mrs. Lambert informed him he should have more help on days like this in the future.
“It’s okay. I can manage by myself, Mrs. Lambert. A kind man helped me today.”
“I know, I know,” she said. “Do you know who that kind man was?”
“That was the District Judge. Works over there at the courthouse.”
“Oh really?” Cade said. “That’s pretty cool. I offered to pay…Wait a second. That’s why he didn’t want my money. He already has a job.”
“Something like that, Cade. Just get help next time, and hopefully not from the Judge. It doesn’t look good for us either.”
Wise man, that judge. And Cade will learn in good time who to just thank for the help or to offer money for the help.