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The Clever Tramp

A tramp came to a merchant and purchased a pair of blankets for $8, and gave the merchant a 50-dollar bill. The merchant, not being able to change the bill, took it to the bank and got it changed. After the tramp had gone with his blankets and change, the banker called and informed the merchant that the bill was counterfeit, and he would have to make it good with the bank. What was the total loss of the merchant?


Source: W.W. Rankin etalís Applications of Mathematics, 1940.