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Only in our wildest dreams do we see money floating across the landscape.
Robyn Barbour had such an experience recently. Her subsequent actions prevented a nightmare for a fellow human.
An employee of the Bedford ABC store, Barbour was gazing out the shop's front window, on a blustery day, along with store manager Pansy Edwards.
Suddenly, she turned to Edwards and stated, "I thought I saw some money fly by." Barbour had seen a bill zip across the parking lot, in the direction of Cato's women's apparel shop.
Barbour scooted outside where she quickly recovered the wayward bills. "At first, I thought it was just a single," she recalled.
Edwards asked her, "Are you having fun?"
Barbour's response as she looked at the five crisp bills in her hand: "Honey, this is five hundred dollars."
Rather than keep the money, the women put the word out that some money had been recovered, hoping that the person who lost it might come forward. "What if it was someone's Social Security (money) and they needed it for food?" reasoned Edwards.
Said Barbour, "I thought it might have been somebody's whole check."
"Robyn comes from the old school where you were raised to be honest," stated Edwards.
A couple days later, a gentleman called the store and was able to identify the amount and denomination of the money. Those details had been omitted so that no one might falsely claim the cash.
The man came by to claim the money when Barbour and Ronnie Howell were manning the store.
He explained that he had just borrowed the dough from the Cash Advance store. Somehow it had worked its way out of his jacket pocket.
It turned out that the loss of the money was potentially a severe blow to the man. The borrowed money, he had explained to Howell and Barbour, was to go toward his monthly house payment.
"He was very appreciative," said Howell. "He offered a cash reward to Robyn, but she wouldn't take it."
"I knew he didn't have extra," said Barbour. "I'm just glad he found his money."
When asked if he'd have kept the money, Howell strongly stated that he would not have done so. "I learned a long time ago that it's better to be honest," he said.
And if nobody had come along to claim the money? The three had agreed to turn it over to the police or to donate it to charity.
Legend has it that Diogenes, the lamp-carrying Greek philosopher, spent his entire life in search of one honest person. It's too bad for him that he hadn't taken a side trip to the Bedford ABC.