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He Had a Thirst at First

A person goes to a tavern with a certain sum of money in his pocket, where he spends 2 shillings; he then borrows as much money as he had left, and going to another tavern, he there spends 2 shillings also; then borrowing again as much money as he has left, he went to a third tavern, where likewise he spent 2 shillings and borrowed as much as he had left; and agin spending 2 shillings at a fourth tavern, he had nothing remaining. What had he at first?


Source: Charles Daviesí First Lessons in Algebra, 1838