There was a pause after he told the story.
"I'm afraid you don't believe me," he added.
"Why not?" said Norman. "I did the same thing once in a foreign capital. So I can understand you very well."
"I'm glad you do," the young man said with a pleasant smile. "And now I must go. I hope by the time it gets quite dark I'll have found a man who'll believe me like you did, and will agree to lend me some money."
"Of course," said Norman slowly. "The weak point of your story is that you can't produce the soap."
The young man put his hand into his pocket and suddenly got up.
"I've lost it," he said angrily.
"It's too much to lose a hotel and a piece of soap on the same day," said Norman.
But the young man did not hear him. He was running away.
"It was a good idea to ask him about the soap, and so simple," Norman thought as he rose to go. But at that moment he noticed a small packet lying by the side of the bench. It could be nothing but a piece of soap, and it had evidently fallen out of the young man's coat pocket when he threw himself down on the bench. Turning red, Norman picked it up.
"I just can't allow him to go away like this," he thought, and started running after the young man.
"Stop!" cried Norman when he saw him at the Park gate. The young man obeyed.
"Here's your piece of soap," Norman said. "I found it under the bench. Don't lose it again, it's been a good friend to you. And here's a pound, if it can help you".
"Thanks," said the young man, and quickly put the money into his pocket.
"Here's my card with my address," continued Norman. "You can return the money any day this week."
The young man thanked him again and quickly went away.
It's a good lesson to me," Norman thought, and went back to the Park. When he was passing the bench where the little drama had taken place, he saw an old gentleman looking for something.
"Have you lost anything, sir?" Norman asked.
"Yes, sir, a piece of soap".