It’s galling too, of course, for a young man of gifts and overweening pride to know that if he had, for instance, a paltry three thousand, his whole career, his whole future would be differently shaped and yet not to have that three thousand.
There are no more uses of "paltry" in the book.
Show samples from other sources
I lick my lips, already thirsty, and hunch beneath the paltry shade of the Jack tree to consider my predicament.
Sabaa Tahir -- An Ember in the Ashes
There was no way an eighty-six-year-old man could have stopped them from getting away with their paltry loot.