My father was a man of honour, Sir!
- Geoffrey Charles, in Poldark, Winston Graham
An interesting thing happened yesterday. We went to view some decorative pieces that an elderly couple had for sale, and ended up agreeing to buy a few, and take a few on consignment, and so forth.
It was a really pleasant interlude, and the conclusion was that Martin and the other gentleman agreed on an amount, we made a deposit, the gentlemen shook hands, we said our goodbyes, and we left.
Sans merchandise, sans receipt, sans a few hundred dollars.
Now the cynic in me was saying, (as I'm sure you are, too) are you mad? Say something!
I kept my trap shut.
You had to have been there. It just didn't seem appropriate to suggest to this elderly gentleman that there was anything wrong with taking his word.
I fully expect that we will arrive later in the week, be greeted with smiles, and pay the balance of our account; at which point we'll formalise things, pick up our goods and go along on our way.
That, or they'll pretend they've never seen us before and set the dogs loose.
This might sound strange, but it felt really good for a person my age to be a party to this. It harked back to a time when people really had a 'word of honour', and took it seriously. In this jaded age, it was a pleasure to take the risk. Could I have done so in Sydney or New York? Probably not; but here in our sheltered little corner of the Southern Highlands, I was able to feel, just this once, what it must have been like in an elegant age, long gone.