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A Canadian Bankclerk

A Canadian Bankclerk

Series: Heritage
Copyright Date: 1973
Pages: 366
Stable URL:
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  • Book Info
    A Canadian Bankclerk
    Book Description:

    My object in publishing "Evan Nelson" history is to enlighten the public concerning life behind the wicket and thus pave the way for the legitimate organization of bankclerks into a fraternal association, for their financial and social (including moral) betterment.

    (From the Prologue).

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-3275-2
    Subjects: History, Language & Literature
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Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations
  1. Front Matter (pp. 1-8)
  2. PREFACE (pp. 9-10)
    The Author
  3. Table of Contents (pp. 11-12)
  4. CHAPTER I. OUR BANKER. (pp. 13-27)

    The Ontario village of Hometon rested. It had been doing for so many years. There, in days gone by, pioneers with bushy beards—now long out-of-date, but threatening to sprout again—had fearlessly faced the wolf-haunted forests, relying, no doubt, upon the ferocity of their own appearance to frighten off the devourer.

    A few old elm trees still remained in the village, to protect it from, the summer sun; and still lived also an occasional pioneer, gnarled and rugged like the old elms, to sigh and shake his head at the new civilization, and shelter whom he might from the...

  5. CHAPTER II. SWIPE DAYS. (pp. 28-42)

    When Nelson was able to take out the collections Porter found himself in line for the savings ledger. It never occurred to the Bonehead that elevation was apt to bring added responsibilities; he thought only of the promotion. Nothing now mattered except the fact that J. Porter Perry was a ledger keeper. He managed to drop the information in every store on his last trip round with the bills, and proclaimed his successor in a tone that was very irritating to the new “swipe.”

    Evan ground his teeth—but thought of Frankie. He spoke respectfully to all the bank’s customers,...

  6. CHAPTER III. A MAN OF THE WORLD. (pp. 43-57)

    Miraculous as it seemed to Evan, the ledgers were finally made to balance. Porter lengthened his stride a foot and walked once more well back on his heels—just as if his bad work had not been responsible for a three days’ dizzy mixup. A certain Saturday afternoon came round.

    “I guess we can do without you till Monday noon,” said the manager, over Nelson’s shoulder, as the latter pondered over an unwritten money-order.

    It was welcome news to Evan. He had come to feel, however, that his presence was indispensable to the well-being of the collection register and other...

  7. CHAPTER IV. BEING A SPORT. (pp. 58-73)

    A SICKENING sensation took possession of Evan as lie boarded the train Monday forenoon for Mt. Alban. He found it hard to banish from his thoughts the invitation his father had given him, to return to school and the pleasant experiences that made up a school education.

    The two young girls waved him good-bye from the platform of Hometon station, and it afterwards became known that a tear had stood for a second in the bankclerk’s eye.

    “You needn’t have come till night,” said the manager, as Evan walked solemnly into the office.

    The words made Evan more homesick than...

  8. CHAPTER V. MOVED. (pp. 74-90)

    While Evan and Julia ate their candy and put their digestive organs out of tune, Frankie Arling sat reading stray poems from her French reader. She repeated to herself, in the little nook she called her study, a verse of De Musset’s:

    “J’ai perdu ma force et ma vie,

    Et mes amis et ma gaieté;

    J’ai perdu jusqu’à la fierté

    Qui faisait croire à mon genie.”

    That was about how she felt. She had cried considerably when Our Banker first went away. Now she did not yield to the temptation of tears, but she was miserably lonesome and sad—the...


    Months had passed. Western Ontario was turning brown; heaps of leaves had already fallen. The village of Creek Bend was sleeping through the Indian Summer day. So was Evan Nelson—he lay sprawled on a hammock swung between two apple-trees behind the bank.

    It is not to be inferred, however, that Evan was lazy, or that he had spent the summer lazily. Every morning before seven he had been out for a three-mile run, and every evening it had been football with the village team or a ride on the bicycle. He knew that physical exercise was necessary to health,...

  10. CHAPTER VII. A BANK HOLIDAY. (pp. 107-123)

    Christmas had come—again. A year had gone by.

    Evan Nelson was preparing to go home for a two days’ visit.

    “Here, Henty,” he said, “put your finger on this money parcel while I tie it.”

    The junior at Banfield branch had a large finger, just the sort for holding down a thong, although it guided a pen badly. He was a big, red-faced, shaggy-haired fellow, born to the physical strain of a practical agriculturalist.

    “Henty,” said the teller, as he waxed the money parcel, “how did you ever get into the bank?”

    “Why?” grinned the junior.

    “Oh, I don’t...

  11. CHAPTER VIII. A SPORT GONE TO SEED. (pp. 124-140)

    The manager at Banfield sighed in relief when Evan entered the office. An afternoon rush was on.

    “Can you take this over, Nelson?” he asked, edging away from a cackling woman-customer.

    Without a word the teller threw his overcoat on a stool and entered the cage with his hat on. Before the wicket farm-folk stampeded, struggling to get their noses against the iron railing and to blow their breath on the weary-looking teller. A heap of germ-laden money lay temptingly within reach of the rustics, only separated from those grimy, grasping fingernails by plate glass.

    A shudder passed over Evan...

  12. CHAPTER IX. THE SEED MULTIPLIES. (pp. 141-155)

    Henty was accessible by telephone. He answered Evan’s excited summons. Between them the boys got Penton home and in bed. It was no simple task, either. The manager was obstreperous, but at the same time he showed the white feather. Drink could not have made him so ridiculous: there must have been something ridiculous in his nature.

    “Why don’t you let me alone?” he whined.

    “Because,” said Evan, “you’re disgracing the bank. If you don’t come home I’ll report you to head office.”

    They were on the street. Penton shuddered and went with them more willingly when the threat had...

  13. CHAPTER X. TROUBLE COMES. (pp. 156-173)

    By quarrelling with his wife and kicking the pups Penton managed to entertain himself, apart from the keg, for over a month. Then he went and did it again. He took some money to a place called Burnside to cash cattle tickets for a drover who did business at the Banfield branch. When he got back he was in a boisterous state of intoxication.

    “Hello, old kid!” he said to Henty, whom he met at the door of the bank.

    Henty backed up and went in the office again, to consult with the teller.

    “This is getting monotonous,” said Nelson....

  14. CHAPTER XI. JOYS OF BANKING (pp. 174-190)

    The Banfield teller shivered an instant, but, on sudden thought, braced himself and began to say:

    “You came in answer to my—”

    “I came to inspect the branch,” said Castle, quickly, looking Evan in the eye as he pushed past him into the office.

    The teller’s hopes fell. He thought the inspector was going to take him aside and ask him all the particulars of his loss. He would have had to tell them—and he wanted to. It flashed across his mind that had Castle come in answer to his (Evan’s) letter, it would have been sooner. Why...


    It was the rule in Evan’s bank that the branch to which a clerk was moved should stand the expense of transportation. Evan was, therefore, obliged to borrow ten dollars from the Banfield branch to buy a railway ticket. There was no account, though, to which the voucher could be charged, so the manager agreed to hold a cheque in the cash for a week; that would give the transient clerk time to find a lodging in the city and to put through his expense voucher on the Toronto office.

    “Are you really serious about quitting, Henty?” asked Evan, as...


    Castle turned his head and sneered, just as he used to do in Mt. Alban.

    “You must come up and s-see me,” said Robb.

    “I will,” replied Evan.

    Watson came along for the draft register, winked at Robb, and returned to his desk, followed by Nelson.

    “Is Mr. Robb one of the clerks here, Bill?”

    “Yes—liability ledger. I had it on my mind to-day to tell you, but you were not around when I remembered what it was that bothered me. Sam’s been here several months. They took his job away from him because of letters Alfy wrote.”



    A night or two after “Sam’s souse,” as the staff called it, four of the boys came back to the office and found Evan working, as usual, on the cash-book.

    “Still at it?” asked Levison, the paying teller.

    “Just struck a balance,” replied Nelson.

    “Good,” said the teller, “we want another man to take a hand in poker. Come up when you’re through.”

    “I don’t know how to play,” said Evan.

    “You’ll soon learn.”

    “I don’t think I want to learn.”

    Sid grinned and Brower, the ledgerman, called:

    “Aw, Nelsy, be a sport; we need some of this outside money.”...

  18. CHAPTER XV. FIRED. (pp. 242-258)

    The month with Robb was nearly up, and Evan was beginning to look for another lodging. He had a suspicion that his old friend was putting himself out by entertaining another at four dollars a week. He knew it would be useless to mention the matter to Robb; he decided that the only thing for him to do was to vacate, then watch his chance to serve the ex-manager a good turn some day. He really believed Robb was paying Mrs. Greig extra on account of the accommodation.

    As they sat, now, talking over trivialities, Evan told his friend that...

  19. CHAPTER XVI. BLACKBALLED. (pp. 259-276)

    During the progress of the drama in which Nelson played so conspicuous a part and which he regarded as a tragedy, Sam Robb was at the Receiver-General’s exchanging money for the paying-teller. He had not returned before Evan was gone from the office for good.

    “What am I to do, Mr. Charon?” Nelson asked the accountant, after Inspector Castle’s insult.

    “Grin and bear it,” repeated the accountant, thinking, no doubt, that he had hit upon a very happy phrase.

    Evan felt that it would take all his moral valor to “bear it” without the “grinning.” He fulfilled that latter half...

  20. CHAPTER XVII. A BANKCLERK’S GIRL. (pp. 277-293)

    After three days’ sickness Evan realized, and the doctor emphasized it, that he had been near to nervous collapse.

    “The country and outside work for you now, young man,” said the physician; “leave offices to men with broad shoulders, like Mr. Robb’s.”

    “Yes,” observed Robb, present at the consultation,” let them kill the man who wants to die. I think you’re right, doctor; Nelson needs a dose of farming. I have it, Evan! …. I know a fine fellow on a fruit and vegetable farm near Hamilton. He’ll be tickled to death to have you, as long as you want...


    Hall’s lawn was decorated with Japanese lanterns. The little Mt. Alban boys who passed in the dusk wondered if the time would ever come in their lives when they should be eligible for a real garden-party. Such a wondrous condition seemed very far off, like Heaven. And the little girls who passed peeked through the hedge, like fairies seeking admittance to a nymph gathering. There was no music as yet, for the evening had scarcely set in, but the tables were set and the lanterns threw a glimmer over the flower-beds and through the trees.

    The party was, ostensibly, a...


    A germ began to work in Evan’s mind. It must have been some relation to the garden-grubs that had infested Jim Japers’ vineyard, for it showed a predilection for fresh air and outside work. Two incidents—the firing by the cashier of a clerk ahead of Nelson, and the receiving of a letter from A. P. Henty—did not help matters any.

    Henty’s handwriting had such a substantial appearance it seemed to indicate that some men were blessed with big fists to fall back on in case their fingers lost employment. A. P.’s composition, too, was solid and matter-of-fact; there...


    It took Evan some time to recover from the shock association of Bill Watson’s name with a real-estate syndicate naturally produced. Then he asked Henty bewilderedly:

    “Are you going to accept the sixty thousand?”

    “AmIgoing to?”


    “Not unless my partner is willing,” replied Henty. “Isn’t one of these quarter-sections your own?”

    “Yes, but you’re manager of both; I don’t know whether they’re worth $60,000 or not. Would half of it look good to you?”

    “You bet,” said A. P. “I’d take a trip around the world, then come back and get married; I believe I’d settle down...


    It was Labor Day morning. Massey Hall bad been rented for the afternoon and evening to accommodate a mass meeting of bankclerks. The newspapers of Toronto, Montreal, Hamilton, London and Guelph, as well as the other big towns within a radius of four hundred miles from Toronto, had printed the news.

    Notices had come in from over four hundred out-of-town clerks, promising attendance. Evan and A. P. were busy. Girl-friends of Toronto clerks had formed themselves into a club for the making of badges and pennants with which the boys and the assembly room, respectively, were to be decorated.


  25. CHAPTER XXII. SHE WAITS FOR US. (pp. 362-366)

    Early next morning Evan was at Henty’s hotel. “A. P.,” he said, “all aboard for Hometon.” The old man looked up.

    “Take him with you if you like, Mr. Nelson,” he said; “but mind you bring him back, and come along yourself. I’ve got a cook down home I want you to taste.”

    Evan accepted the invitation and expressed hope that the cook was not from Western Canada. A. P. jumped into his clothes.

    “I’m ready,” he said, soon; “have I time for breakfast?”

    “No; get a banana on the way down town. Our folks will meet us at Union...