David Souter is a novelty in Washington: a man who doesn't know how much he makes.

It seems the New Hampshire bachelor jurist who joined the U.S. Supreme Court this month couldn't tell the landlord his salary when he went to sign a lease on an apartment. Luckily, the owner was willing to accept Chief Justice William Rehnquist as a credit reference.During the hearings on Souter's confirmation, some complained about his narrow experience - the small-town life, the penchant for solitary hiking, the black and white TV. But there's something refreshing about this specimen of unworldliness deposited amidst the capital's whirling ambitions.

Besides, there's no doubt his credit is good. With his austere tastes he'll get along fine on $118,600, scheduled to rise to $148,300 on Feb. 1.