Fantastic Fables by Ambrose Bierce: The Patriot and the Banker
The Patriot and the Banker
A PATRIOT who had taken office poor and retired rich was introduced at a bank where he desired to open an account.
"With pleasure," said the Honest Banker; "we shall be glad to do business with you; but first you must make yourself an honest man by restoring what you stole from the Government."
"Good heavens!" cried the Patriot; "if I do that, I shall have nothing to deposit with you."
"I don't see that," the Honest Banker replied. "We are not the whole American people."
"Ah, I understand," said the Patriot, musing. "At what sum do you estimate this bank's proportion of the country's loss by me?"
"About a dollar," answered the Honest Banker.
And with a proud consciousness of serving his country wisely and well he charged that sum to the account.