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First published in Dime Show Review.

With the stature of a tin soldier granted life, he walked with purpose through the dark, snowy streets, his shoulders in secure command within a snug overcoat. Yet up until a month ago, his days found him hunched under focused light, his eyes keen on the numbers he’d inked into a bound ledger.

He’d been characterized by others around him as a desiccated vulture atop a stool, a permanent fixture in the bookkeeping room of a vast enterprise. A recent incident brought this all to naught. His position was now held by a youthful fellow who twitched and squirmed and surely appeared ill-suited for the job at hand.

No, this job belonged to a steady hand, a patient disposition, and a mind acquainted with the meticulous care of numbers. And Mr. Peeples, the moniker everyone had addressed him with since day one, had assumed that role with flawless aplomb and dignity. That is, until an error had been discovered….

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