"I have come for your help . . . "
When he confessed what he had done and that he was greatly in debt, Theodore asked for the exact amount of liability he had incurred, including the loan from the Mafia. The total was in excess of twenty million dollars, but if Theodore could lend him even half of that, it would give him some respite. Without hesitation, Theodore called for Grace, gave her a key and quietly spoke into her ear.
A few moments later, she appeared holding a check. Jerry noticed that her hand was trembling as she gave it to him. He whispered,
"Thank you," then glanced at the amount. He couldn't believe what he saw. The check was for the entire amount of the debt. He didn't expect them to lend him anything, let alone the full amount. He had an idea what these people were worth and knew that this check represented their entire fortune. This display of kindness was utterly undeserved. He felt humbled, and at the same time unspeakably grateful. This payment represented his very life. The loan would mean that he wouldn't be publicly humiliated and thrown into prison. It would mean that the Mafia would leave him alone, and that he could stand up once again and look his friends in the eye. The loan meant that suicide was no longer an option.
He looked into the eyes of the man he once despised and thought of as his enemy and said,
"You had every right not to lend me this money and throw me off your property." Theodore smiled and said,
"Oh, Jeremiah. It's not a loan. It's a gift."
To be continued.