The Gold Standard (Feghoot LXXXII)

By Thomas C. Gutheil, M. D., based on a character by Reginald Bretnor. This won First Prize in a Feghoot contest sponsored by the Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction in 1973.

When the Galactic Senate announced, in 2366, that all planets would vote on whether or not to abandon the silver standard, no one was as alarmed as W. J. Bryan Rothschild of New Comstock, a world known as the financial hub of the universe. He at once summoned Ferdinand Feghoot.

“Please save me!” he wept. “My financial empire is based entirely on silver. If we go over to gold, I, who have arranged half the loans in the Galaxy, will be ruined. My signature will never again appear on writ, contract, or even promissory note! Never will I have another occasion to write it. Oh, Ferdinand, it is too terrible to contemplate!”

Feghoot agreed to assist him, and he spent weeks making speeches, writing articles, lobbying, and touring the back-planets. At the last moment, he returned to watch the results in Rothschild’s company. They left no doubt as to his effectiveness. Gold was defeated by fourteen to one.

“Saved!” shouted Rothschild, hastily scribbling a check in six figures. “Feghoot, I can hardly believe it-you have triumphed once more! ”

“Hi-yo!” replied Feghoot as he took his departure. . . . “This silver ballot means that the Loan Arranger writes again!”

(© Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, 1973)

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