"I say, I'm pleased to see you," said the little man standing by the letter-box.
"Oh, hallo," I said, stopping. "Simpson, isn't it?"
The Simpsons were newcomers to the town, and my wife and I had only met them once or twice.
"Yes, that's right," answered Simpson.
"I wonder if you could lend me some money". I put my hand into my pocket. "You see," he continued, "my wife gave me a letter to post, and I've just noticed it isn't stamped. It must go tonight - it really must! And I don't think the post-office will be open at this time of night, do you?"
It was about eleven o'clock and I agreed that it wouldn't.
"I thought, you see, I'd get stamps out of the machine," explained Simpson, "only I find I have no small change about me."
"I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I haven't either," I said.
"Oh, dear, dear," he said.
"Maybe somebody else has," I said.
"There isn't anyone else."
We both looked up and down the street, but there was nobody to be seen.
"Yes, well," I said, intending to move off. But he looked so unhappy standing there with the blue unstamped envelope, that I really couldn't leave him alone.
"I'll tell you what," I said, "You'd better walk along with me to my place - it's only a few streets off - and I'll try to find some change for you there."
"It's really very good of you," said Simpson.
At home, we managed to find the money he needed. He thanked me and left. I watched him take several steps up the street and then return to me.
"I say, I'm sorry to trouble you again," he said. "The fact is we're still quite strangers round here and - well, I'm rather lost, to tell you the truth. Will you tell me the way to the post-office?"