A piece of soap
Norman Gortsby was sitting on a bench hidden behind the bushes in Hyde Park. It was a warm May evening. The sun had already set and it was rather dark, but he could still make out the faces of the people who were walking past him and hear the sound of their voices. He was a philosopher, and liked sitting in the Park watching people whom he didn't know. While he was wondering who they were and where they were going, a young man came up to the bench, gave a quick look at him and threw himself down by his side. The newcomer was well-dressed and looked like a gentleman. His face was sad and he sighed deeply.
"I came to London this afternoon," the young man went on. "I had a meal at the hotel, sent a letter to my people, giving them the address and then went out to buy a piece of soap. They are supposed to give you soap at the hotel but it's always so bad that I decided to buy some for myself. I bought it, had a drink at a bar, and looked at the shops. When I wanted to go back to the hotel, I suddenly realized that I didn't remember its name or even what street it was in. Of course I can write to my people for the address, but they won't get my letter till tomorrow. The only shilling I had on me when I came out was spent on the soap and the drink and here I am with twopence in my pocket and nowhere to go for the night."
"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."
"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.