Anyway, after a bit of discussion, we decided to leave the trifling matter of communication for the moment. We took the cheque and went to the window, where the light was better, and took a good look: on it there was a “5”, written in Arabic numerals, followed by eight noughts.
It really was 500 million! And it was in American dollars. In front of the string of figures was a symbol any idiot could understand: $.