A Dead Man’s Clothes

They have an unspoken policy of sharing the spoils that fall across their feet, which can be summed up in two words: “Absolute fairness”. And in their business, that’s a pretty good deal.

There are three sentenced men this time, so he hauls some wood and starts hammering away, only looking up when several pieces of cloths are shoved in his line of sight. He usually shrugs and takes his share of the dead man’s clothing, but this time seems different when his colleague beckons at him to follow.

The four at them gather around the ‘problem’ – one last piece of clothing, to be divided between the four of them. But when he touches it and holds it up close, he can feel the smoothness of the fabric’s quality despite being well-used, and turning it over a few times, he sees that this undershirt has been made to be seamless.

High quality then, which is unusual to see on the dead men they come across. Unusual, but not unheard of. He glances at one of his coworkers and nods, and they all scramble to retrieve their “lots”.

Seamless clothing are considered high quality mostly because it’s seamless, so trying to cut one up, no matter how good the fabric is, will diminish its value greatly. So during such situations, they gambled.

He retrieved the “lot pot”, and everyone threw their lots inside; one per person. He shakes the pot a few extra times for good measure, and when one falls out, he cheers.

He’s pretty sure everyone will be in a grumpy mood for the rest of the day, but he doesn’t really dwell on it as he snatches his prize and tucks it away in his bag.

He’s not above wearing the clothes of a dead criminal, but the first thing to do is to get rid of the smell that tends to linger in every pore of the fabric. Sometimes he will come across a scrap of cloth that will make him wonder about the man that wore it, but after a few good washings, he finds that the clothes never make a man, because it is the man who takes everything he is to the grave.


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