Dressed as a priest (“Father Harris”), he concocted his most daring ruse. An astute judge of character, he would carefully select his mark, then “find” a wallet stuffed with hundred-dollar bills (but lacking identification) outside a supermarket and invite his victim to share his good fortune. ★But first, to establish her credibility, he stipulated that his victim had to put up a sum of money as a testimonial to her probity.

note: Father Harris is scoundrel

I cannot understand sentence of ★ well. What does put up mean? does it mean Donate money ?

Addittonal : The continuation of the above sentence is as follows.

Mrs.Emma Schultz, age 72, tearfully told the police that she had withdrawn $14,000 from her bank and placed it in a shopping bag supplied by the helpful priest, He told her to hold on to the bag while he went next door to a lawyer's office to make the sharing of their good fortune legal.

Note: The stage of this story is USA.

I couldn't understand your answer well. In short, was she going to pay money to lawyer for sharing money of wallet with Father Harris?

Does American people usually use a lawyer to legally own the money they pick up ? I'm Japanese. this is a little strange. In Japan, if people want to own the money they pick up, they own it without telling anyone. We don't have the idea of consulting a lawyer.

  • 3
    One of Oxford's definitions is 'provide money as backing for an enterprise'. Presumably the victim was asked to pay a sum in the expectation of receiving a much larger sum in return. Commented Jul 21, 2022 at 13:57
  • 2
    Merriam-Webster has 11a: contribute, pay // put up bail money. Commented Jul 21, 2022 at 14:00
  • 1
    Legally speaking, "theft by finding" can occur if you take a lost item for yourself without attempting to find the owner, although it would be quite rare to be arrested or prosecuted in such a case. But even if you did want to document your efforts to find the owner to avoid the possibility of such a charge, you wouldn't need to pay a lawyer tens of thousands of dollars to do it. Commented Jul 22, 2022 at 14:55
  • Nuclear Hoagie Thanks for the very helpful comments
    – MaggieIto
    Commented Jul 23, 2022 at 11:08

1 Answer 1


Very often when one "puts up" money, it means that one provides money as security. That's the intended sense in which the word is used here. It's like collateral for a loan; the bank takes the collateral if the loan isn't repaid. There's no loan here but the idea is the same - the amount of money is provided to give someone a certain assurance (albeit feigned in this case).

  • I could understand it. In this case, put up meant providing money as securiy not donate
    – MaggieIto
    Commented Jul 23, 2022 at 11:22

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