RUMANIA: Money Devil

In the village of Palmagyu, Rumania, in the Transylvanian Alps, peasants stood in idle groups last week and talked in proverbs of the devil and money. Had they not just seen what the money devil could do to a strong man? Ion Gerghuta, their neighbor and a thrifty farmer, had come back from the town of Kronstadt with his crop money—25,000 lei ($15,000 ).

He had spread the bills on the kitchen table to gloat over them. Then he went to get a drink. His six-year-old son,...

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