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Elizabeth Rose Pike sat across from Mr. Pierce, President of the Rocky Mountain National Bank of Central City, Colorado. She nervously looked around, noticing the nautical theme that decorated his office. She sensed his hesitation as he shuffled the papers on his desk. Betty Rose, as she preferred to be called, twisted her handkerchief and waited for him to speak.
"Betty Rose, since Tom's death, I've been putting off talking to you. I wanted to give you time to catch your breath but I can't wait any longer. We have to discuss how to handle your finances."
"Yes, Mr. Pierce. I need to know what to do and where I stand."
"Tom was a good friend. It pains me to have to tell you this. We both know Tom's weakness, his fondness for strong spirits and cards. I don't suppose you know he put a mortgage on your house some time ago. He made a payment from time to time but not enough to bring the balance owed down much, what with the interest added periodically ... I guess I knew more about his business than anyone."
"What are you trying to tell me, Mr. Pierce?"
"I'm trying to tell you, Betty Rose, if we don't get regular payments on this mortgage, you're going to lose the house."