but he survived, miraculously. "By the way," he said, looking over
her list of deductions, "what's this computer you donated to Good
Will? We'll need to see the records for all donations of more than
$500." He simpered again.
Carmen groaned: she had gotten $600
for her old computer and thought it was a deal.
Her records were badly scattered and, as
luck would have it, she had lost the receipt. So she went down to
Good Will, hoping against hope they might have kept a record for such
as herself. This sort of thing must happen all the time.
"Sure, I remember that machine," the clerk
said after she explained her plight. "It drove us crazy~it was really
fast, but so erratic. It was sulky, and then it would crash six times
in an hour. It was like it was having a nervous breakdown. It seemed
to have a mind of its own!"
"That's it," Carmen sighed.
"We cannibalized it for parts. Oh, here's
the record. Got all the info you should need~I'll make copies if you
want. It's got your name, the make, the model, the donation figure,
even the serial number . . ."
Carmen looked over the record, nodding absently,
then stopped, the color draining from her face, and she felt faint.
The clerk came back with the copies.
"You all right?" He touched her elbow, with
a startled look.
"I'm fine, really," Carmen said quickly.
"I'm just fighting a bug." She turned to him and said, her voice shaky,
"You wouldn't have any of it left, would you? It had . . . a lot of
"Well, as for any relics, I think we just
may," he continued. He opened a drawer and rummaged a bit. "Here we
go." And he withdrew a small square of shiny,