Almost everybody in the neighborhood had “troubles,” frankly localized and specified; but only the chosen had “complications.” To have them was in itself a distinction, though it was also, in most cases, a death warrant. People struggled on for years with “troubles,” but they almost always succumbed to “complications.”
Edith Wharton (1862–1937), author
Here is a momentary conundrum, because once you think about it, it’s really a no brainer. You hire a contractor to remodel your house, who also happens to be an old high school classmate. As he is tearing down a bathroom wall he finds $182,000 in cash that is wrapped in newspapers dating from 1938 and 1939.
As the Wall Street Journal reported:
...the money was carefully wrapped in Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper pages dating from 1938 and 1939 and tucked inside boxes contractor Bob Kitts found while working on a client's bathroom. He found one box, containing $25,200 in what the Plain Dealer called "pristine bills," behind the medicine cabinet. Another metal box, which was attached by a wire to a stud, held more than $100,000 in bills. The words "P. Dunne" were written on the bundles of dough, and the ownership of the house during the Depression was traced to a businessman by the name of Peter Dunne. "Dunne apparently died unmarried and childless, leaving behind a mystery [and a lot of cash].
I believe without a doubt that the money belongs to the owner not the contractor. However, the owner should be generous and give the contractor a nice bonus, if he finishes the job on time.