A Thinking Man

What Men May Want to Know

Money – Chapter 1, “Peanuts”

Note; This is a first chapter of the novel, Found Money, which is now available on Amazon at this link,
Author; Donald A. Wright Jr.

Vince Taglierri, an Atlanta detective, has become disillusioned with his career and is now content to coast towards retirement. But, he’s just learned some upsetting news. Troy Bronson is back at large and the Feds are asking for Vince’s help in catching him – again.

But Vince finds himself continually knocked off-balance on this case. An unbelievable offer from a beautiful woman has him questioning his values, questioning his entire life and then when Vince learns how his own government is involved, his foundation is rocked like never before.

Unusual characters, misleading information, two approaching storms and a talking bird influence this fast paced adventure through the world of high stakes thievery that will challenge your own value system.

One thing remains constant; when given a choice, people will usually look out for their own self interests – and they always will when it comes down to, “Money.”

Author Donald A. Wright Jr. lives in Florida with his beautiful, witty, and also-talented wife, Barbara, and their two Dachshunds, Maggie and Noiri.



  • “You kids listen to me now. Ya’ll running around here playing with them toy guns – dreaming of being a big time crook one day? All you going to find is it’s hard work and your little asses end up in jail. Ya’ll pay attention in school. Learn to be a politician, a banker or a lawyer. Then you can steal all you want from the public and they’ll never lay a hand on ya.”

Grandma Toliver


Chapter One


Jimmy Carter, the 39th President, was this rural area’s only reason to be on any map. The brick jailhouse had a faded picture of him and Roselyn on the wall, smiling and waving from the rear of the 1970’s presidential railroad car.

Beside the picture hung a crooked corkboard. Pinned on it were the serious countenances of those wanted for murder, rape, fraud; many long forgotten or apprehended.  The back of the one room sheriff’s office divided by iron bars; the only detainees being a three legged chair and two water stained file boxes. Near the front door, a beaten oak desk and cast stove were original furnishings.

Sitting behind the desk was a t-shirted black man of about twenty years, his head hanging low, arms outstretched on the desktop. Two officers stood in front of the desk, one busy cleaning his nails with a penknife. The other pulled his cap off, wiped his brow with his shirtsleeve and took a deep breath. He leaned forward on the desk.

“Now, George, you don’t expect me to believe that story do you?”

“That’s the story, it’s my money.”


“I don’t give a damn what you believe, it’s mine.”

“George, there ain’t no way this money belongs to you. We’re both from here and I’ve never known you to be one to seek, how shall I say, gainful employment. Matter of fact, any time that you did have any money either Billy here or myself had to scrape your black ass up off the sidewalk, shit-faced drunk.”

“Well I ain’t drunk now. That’s my damned money. I’ve been saving it – for a long time.”

“Hell George, you could save for two lifetimes and never save that much. Billy, how much did you count?”

Billy closed his knife, “Twenty six thousand, five hundred, or thereabouts.”

The Sheriff leaned closer to George, “Twenty six thousand?”

“Yeah, twenty six thousand, and Sheriff, you really need to do something about that breath, smells like you been eatin’ dogshit or something.”

The sheriff moved back and adjusted his ever-tightening service belt. He felt like a sausage that was slowly being pinched in half. He looked back at Billy. Billy reminded him of Don Knotts; skinny, could eat all he wanted, service belt buckled in the smallest hole and he was still constantly pulling it up.

“Billy, tell me again what happened this morning.”

“Well, Sam, I mean, Sheriff. I was patrolling down Route 30 past the peanut warehouses and coming up on the first irrigation pumping station. I’m looking around and I see George here out in the middle of the field picking something up. The peanut fields are plowed under so I thought it a little strange him being there all by himself, not another soul around and all. I stopped the cruiser and walked up on him, he didn’t even know I was there until I was right up on him.”

“Scared the piss out of me too.”

“Shut up,” said the sheriff, “go on, Billy.”

“Well, like I said, when I got there I couldn’t hardly believe it myself. The damn ground was covered with money, everywhere, and George here was picking it up and stuffing it in this here grocery bag as fast as he could.” He pointed to large wrinkled bag sitting on the desk. Beside the bag the money was neatly stacked and rubber banded. There were a couple of apples and a piece of ham wrapped in white butcher’s paper as well.

“And what did he say when you walked up?”

“At first he didn’t say nothing, we just looked at each other, and then he yelled at me to help him pick up his money. So I did.”

“You didn’t ask him where he got it or anything?

“Sure I did, but all he said was that he was walking to his momma’s house for Saturday morning breakfast, when the bag broke and the wind blew his money around. Hell, I didn’t know what to think, so I told him that we better go in and let the sheriff, meaning you, have a listen to this.”

“Was the wind blowing?” The sheriff looked though the window, no limbs were moving on the bushes or anything.

“A little, I guess – them dust devils come up all of a sudden and swirl around.”

The sheriff picked up the grocery bag. “Is this the bag, George? The bag that had all this stuff in it?”

George nodded – hesitantly.

“There’s no hole in the bag! Look. Do you see a hole in the bag, George?”

“Must have been my other bag broke.”

The sheriff looked at Billy, Billy shrugged his shoulders, “I didn’t see any other bag, but there could have been one I guess.”


“We had any reports of robberies, burglaries, anybody report missing anything like this?”

“Not that I’m aware of, Chief.”

“Shit, we got no reason to hold him.”

“That’s right you. . .”

“Shut up. Where were you going with all that money anyway?”

“Like I told Barney here, I was going to my mom’s to surprise her for breakfast. I was taking my money over because I was going to help her knock out some of that back rent. I was going to give my sister some so she could get that broke down car her husband left her running again.”

“Ain’t that sweet? George, you could put a new damn roof on your mother’s house, paint the whole thing and buy your sister a Cadillac and you would still have a shit pot left over. What were you going to do with the rest?”

“Well, Sammy, I was thinking of spending some quality time with Mr. Jim Beam, as long as things held out anyway.”

“Don’t call me Sammy. Yeah I figured you would piss the rest away.”

“Hey, now wait a minute Sheriff, everybody knows your cruiser spends a lot of nights in Shorty’s parking lot. Don’t pull that stuff on me.”

Billy was starting to get restless. “What are we going to do here, Sheriff? I got Kate and the kids waiting on me for breakfast.”

“Go ahead on, Billy, I think we’re just about done here.”

The Sheriff waited until he heard the crunching of Billy’s cruiser on the gravel. He pulled a chair up to the front of the desk and sat down, reached under his badge and pulled out a pack, shook two out and offered one to George. They pulled the smoke in deeply and blew it toward the tin covered ceiling.

“Okay, George, it’s just you and me now. True, you were walking towards your mom’s; you were carrying this bag with these apples and ham, but, there wasn’t any money was there? I know there wasn’t because this money’s wet.”

George looked around, gazed off through the window, pulled on the cigarette and said, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

“Try me.”

“You’re going to take this money.”

“Maybe we can work something out, now let’s have it.”

George took another pull, “I was walking to momma’s, like I said with the apples and ham. She loves ham. I’m in the middle of Carter’s field when I see something shiny about fifty yards away. I started running, shit I don’t know why, instinct you know. And when I got there I saw the most beautiful sight. The ground was covered with money, all hundreds. Hell, I damn near pissed myself. I was gathering it up quick as I could when Barney snuck up on me.”

“You think there’s any more out there?”

“No, it ain’t like pickin’ cotton, we made damn sure we got it all. Right there in the middle of the field! Man, it was a sight – talk about a crop of lettuce.”

“I want half.”

“Half, my ass, you got a job. I got shit.”

“Yeah I have a job, but child support is eating me alive, and I’m behind on that.”

“Stop it, you’re going to make me start crying. Ten thousand.”


“And what happens if people start asking about some missing money.”

“As long as you’re telling me the truth. . .”

“And I am, so help me God.”

“Well then, negroe – I don’t know nothing.”

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