At the end of 1906 I went to N.Y. to be a big shot on Wall Street and found that to be a big shot I had to have a butler.
So I got one. He was well-trained and the meekest man I ever knew.
One weekend I found that, on a visit to the country, he had forgotten to pack my toilet case. At home after the visit he told me how grateful he was that I did not get angry with him.
He said that he was a valet to an Englishman and went with him to India. That, when his master would get mad at him, he would throw things at him and when they would hit him it would hurt.
Well, the big shot day had arrived and I was telling your mother about paying $63,000 for a stock exchange seat. When I arrived for dinner, this butler of mine said, “Beg pardon, sir, but that $63,000 chair was not delivered. I have been expecting it all day, sir.”
Editor’s Note: The proceeding slightly edited story, written by J.E. Thompson (1875-1950), was taken from a collection of letters, the so-called “Deathbed Letters,” written to his son, William Boner Thompson, shortly before J.E.’s death.