Pages 1 and 9 of Barks' 9-page script which accompanied his initial letter to the Disney Studio.


This is a transcription of Barks' fairly detailed synopsis from the letter:

It opens on Don in his bed, surrounded by every modern convenience. When the alarm rings, he simply presses a few buttons, and his breakfast is cooked for him at his bedside. He doesn't even have to get up to eat.

He rides to work (while a narrator points out that he is covered by insurance if he gets sick, and that another insurance will care for him if he loses his job. He is well fed, well scrubbed. Secure). He works at Scrooge's money bin, operating a money-sorting machine that runs by power, so that all the duck has to do is sit on a seat and whistle a merry tune. The coins, dropping out of the various pipes in the machine, plop into their respective kettles with a musical tempo.

Scrooge is a stern but busy boss who keeps to his ledgers. Also he keeps an ear cocked on the off-stage plunking of coins to make sure Donald maintains a steady clip of production. Scrooge also makes sure that Donald doesn't leave his work one second before the noon bell.

To show how plush is the working man's life, Don collects his morning wages as he leaves for lunch, and pays part of the money to a dealer in autos at a shiny salesroom down the street. In three more weeks Don will have paid down enough for the down payment, and he can drive a shiny little red sport car out of the place.

Don eats lunch in a dining car cafe, crowded, noisy, with a jukebox that jumps a foot off the floor. A happy place, full of smiles and laughter, and has a cook that philosophizes that happy, unworried people have good digestions. Another point in the working man's favor.

By contrast, Scrooge's frugal lunch of crackers and cheese, which he bought someplace for wholesale prices, seems somber indeed. But Scrooge has his reasons for eating so frugally. He's the saving kind. He was young once, too, like Donald. But he saved his money, and look at what it's got him - three cubic acres of the stuff.

Before Scrooge has a chance to eat his cheese, he has to listen to the radio ... Big shots must keep abreast of the news ... The radio announces a plague of rats is loose in the city. Scrooge goes nearly frantic. The greatest fear he knows is that rats COULD get into his money bin and eat up billions of dollars in greenbacks.

Scrooge closes and shutters all of his windows and bolts his door. He sits down terrified to eat his cheese sandwich. But before he can begin he is besieged by a determined rat who has smelled the cheese from afar. The rat rattles the shutters, bangs the door, and tries by various gag means to get inside. Meanwhile Scrooge gulps his sandwich as best he can, showing the contrast between his harried lunch hour and that of his fortunate employee down the street bouncing on his stool to the tune of the jukebox.
The rat gets in (by gag means) and then begins a battle of personalities between him and Scrooge. Scrooge corners the rat, and is going to shoot him, but the rat picks up a big bill and holds it in front of him for protection. Scrooge cocks the gun. The rat looks at the denomination of the bill, throws it away, and grabs a bigger one. Scrooge sights down the gun barrel, sees the figure $10,000, and goes chicken.

He can't shoot a ten-thousand dollar bill to pieces, so he clubs the gun, poises to clonk the rat, but the wily rodent sticks the bill between his teeth and threatens to bite it if Scrooge gets tough. Scrooge is stymied. The rat senses the tremendous power the possession of his bill gives him over Scrooge. He merely has to gesture that he wants cheese, and Scrooge hastens to order him some.

But the rat overuses his power. He makes Scrooge bring him cheeses after cheeses, the choice of Roqueforts, Camemberts, fine Swisses, all of which he refuses as being too cheap for his refined tastes. Scrooge finally has to order the most expensive cheese in the world, ODORA DE PUNGENTO, which is brought from its mountain cave in an armored car, and served to the rat on a velvet cushion accompanied by a flourish for trumpets. This satisfies the rat. He prepares like a gourmet to eat this fine cheese in style.

Scrooge gets his adding machine, adds up how much all this is costing him. So much for the cheese, so much rent for the armored car, rent for the velvet pillow, fee for the trumpeteers, etc. It totals ten thousand dollars and ONE CENT! He snatches the cheese from under the rat's nose. "Take it back," he says to the cheesemen. "It's cheaper to let him eat the money."

Scrooge goes berserk. Spouting duck talk, he routs the rat, who goes back to his garbage can, glad to escape with his life.

Donald comes back to work unworried, cheerful, with his stomach in fine fettle. Scrooge, bilious, hiccupy, drinks a bicarbonate of soda, and eyes him enviously. As the narrator comments, the working man certainly has it made.
   Date 2008-04-24