In an office the boy owed one of the clerks threepence, the clerk owed the cashier twopence, and the cashier owed the boy twopence. One day the boy, having a penny, decided to diminish his debt, and gave the penny to the clerk, who in turn paid half his debt by giving it to the cashier, the latter gave it back to the boy, saying, ‘That makes one penny I owe you now;’ the office boy again passed it to the clerk, who passed it to the cashier, who in turn passed it back to the boy, and the boy discharged his entire debt by handing it over to the clerk, thereby squaring all accounts.

— John Scott, The Puzzle King, 1899