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Windfall.

On March 19th, Clyde and Kathy Wilson of Chiloquin, Oregon, decided to run some errands after work. He is a high school music teacher; she owns and manages an Internet and computer-games club. At around 7:30 p.m., as they headed home in separate cars traveling in tandem, they both noticed something that looked like a briefcase lying beside the road. Since the three children they adopted last August were with them (they also have four grown children), they did not stop. But as the March 26th Klamath Falls Herald and News reported, when they "arrived at their mailbox, they decided that Clyde, who had one child with him, would check out the briefcase. Kathy took the remaining two children to their house," located about two miles from where the briefcase was spotted.

When Mr. Wilson located the case, it appeared to have been run-over by one or more vehicles. A checkbook and a white envelope were lying beside it. "I didn't know it had money," he told the Herald and News. "My intention was to take it home and call the owner."

When Mr. Wilson scrutinized the case's contents, he found a checkbook, some identification, and a number of small envelopes inside a larger envelope. Each small envelope contained $10,000 in cash. Wilson told the Herald and News that he and his wife had recently prayed for a financial windfall, but finding someone else's money was not exactly what they had in mind. "Next time," he quipped, "I'll be more specific."

The Wilsons wanted to return the money to its rightful owner, but, on the outside chance that it was drug-related, decided to call 911 rather than undertake the sleuthing themselves. Initially, they reported finding five envelopes ($50,000), since they had only counted that many. A sixth was discovered after a Klamath County sheriff's deputy arrived at their home and carefully inventoried the contents of the case.

Authorities soon located the man who had lost the case. He was, he said, unaware that it was missing. He had cashed in a $60,000 certificate of deposit at a bank in Klamath Falls, placed the cash-laden case atop his pickup, became momentarily distracted, and drove off without bringing it inside the truck. The case stayed put for some time before falling off in the area of Chiloquin where the Wilsons found it, some 20 miles north of Klamath Falls. The grateful beneficiary of the Wilsons' honesty called to thank them and to arrange to pay them a visit.

The Wilsons have had no second thoughts about returning the money. "We know that God is watching over all of us," Mr. Wilson told the Herald and News, "so we wanted to be part of helping someone find something they lost."
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Title Annotation:returning lost money; The Goodness Of America
Author:Lee, Robert W.
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 11, 2003
Words:462
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