Gillian is left an inheritance of one thousand dollars by his late Uncle. He is required to report to the lawyer, Mr. Tolman, how he spends this inheritance. Gillian is at his wits end on what to do with the money. He thinks that his inheritance is a “confoundedly awkward amount.” The fact that he has to write a report on how he has used the money worries him even more. He states that writing a report will need “extra expenses, and perhaps the services of a secretary, as he is not good with account-keeping.” He even tells old Bryson that he intends to use the money all at once, “to chuck the money in a lump,” as he has to record his expenses, and he does not want to “itemize.” Gillian, thus, comes across as somewhat simple-minded. For, as old Bryson states, there are many things that a person can do with one thousand dollars. The fact that Gillian cannot think of a single constructive thing to do with the money, and that he has to go around town asking various people what he can do with the money, points to his lack of imagination.
It could also be said that Gillian is a respectful young man. Throughout the story, he speaks to people respectfully. When he gives Miss Hayden the one thousand dollars, he bows. Also, he is polite to Mr. Tolman when he meets him to take his share of the inheritance. Gillian is also a kind young man, for he decides to give his share of the inheritance to Miss Hayden. When the lawyers tell him that he is bound to get a further fifty-thousand inheritance in bonds based on how wisely he has spent his one thousand dollars, he tears up his report of accounts so that the whole amount goes to Miss Hayden. At this point, it appears that money no longer interests Gillian much.