The first visitor to the White household was Sergeant-Major Morris, who told the little family about the monkey's paw and ended up selling it to Mr. White, whose first wish was for two hundred pounds to pay off the mortgage. The second visitor arrives in Part II. He is a stranger described as being well dressed and ill at ease. His name is not given in the text. He tells the Whites he is there on behalf of Herbert's employers.
"I--was asked to call," he said at last, and stooped and picked a piece of cotton from his trousers. "I come from 'Maw and Meggins."
The fact that he picks a piece of cotton from his trousers is an interesting touch. It shows what kind of a factory Herbert worked at. It must have been a textile manufacturing plant. The stranger is evidently an executive and not used to being down among the men, women and children working on the noisy machines. No doubt there would be many bits of cotton floating around in the air, and that would have been how he got a piece of it on his trousers. He must have been commissioned to go down and examine the scene of the accident. He is very polite, but his purpose is to dispose of the problem created by Herbert's death. He tells Mr. and Mrs. White:
"They admit no liability at all, but in consideration of your son's services, they wish to present you with a certain sum as compensation."
When the stranger tells them that the "certain sum" being tendered by Maw and Meggins is two hundred pounds,
Unconscious of his wife's shriek, the old man smiled faintly, put out his hands like a sightless man, and dropped, a senseless heap, to the floor.