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    #1

    A bill ...

    Hello,

    Can anybody explain to me the meaning of the word bill in the sentence below?

    "All day there was coming and going of mumbling functionaries at Mordance Hall; there was a deputy from the sheriff´ s office who crept into Miriam´s hand and with many a wink and guffaw accepted a drink and a bill."

    Leonard Cline, The Dark Chamber, 1927

    Thanks

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: A bill ...

    Well, ducks have bills, but I don't think that this is that kind of bill. That he got a bill suggests that he was expected to pay for the drink. But I am not sure it it was that kind of bill either.

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    #3

    Re: A bill ...

    It's not at all clear from that excerpt what it is that he is being expected to pay for. But it is a "bill" in the sense of an amount due for purchases or service rendered.

    I don't know how you creep into a hand.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: A bill ...

    If I "accept" a drink do I have to pay for it?

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    #5

    Re: A bill ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    If I "accept" a drink do I have to pay for it?
    If you are a female accepting a drink from an unknown male at a bar, he often will expect you to "pay" for it somehow.....perhaps with Nature's credit card.

    As far as the original question goes, the "bill" might refer to paper money, like she slipped him (or vice versa) a single or a fin.... Hard to tell without more context.

  4. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: A bill ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jill Dorchester View Post
    Hard to tell without more context.
    Exactly!

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    #7

    Re: A bill ...

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Johny:

    I do not have THE answer either, but here is my (educated?) guess:

    1. I assume that you are a young dude, so you may not know that in 1927 (the year of that novel), the United States of America had something called Prohibition. It was not legal to make or sell liquor.

    2. Your sentence mentions a wink (which often means: You and I know that we are doing something wrong).

    3. It also mentions a drink, which would have been against the law. (And he was a police officer who was supposed to enforce the no-drinking law!)

    4. Instead, he accepted "liquid refreshment" and a bill, which probably means some money as a bribe. That is, so long as he received "bills" ($50 bill? $100 bill?), he would not close down the place. (I have read that during Prohibition, there was a LOT of such corruption.)



    James

    I also found this sentence in a novel in the "books" section of Google:

    "I didn't want anybody to see my little bag. I gave a bill to [name of person] and he promised to talk to a guard at lunchtime." -- The Tale of the Ring (1993) by Frank Stiffel.
    Last edited by TheParser; 02-Jan-2015 at 23:58. Reason: punctuation

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