“True. And it is hard to injure a poor fellow creature by blazoning her faults about. But I had no idea that Jane was such a wretch!”
“We knew that she would steal, and that she was unkind to children; and yet, we agreed to recommend her to Mrs. Campbell.”
“But it was purely out of kind feelings for the girl, Ella.”
“Yes. But is that genuine kindness? Is it real charity? I fear not.”
Mr. May was silent. The questions probed him to the quick. Let every one who is good-hearted in the sense that Mr. May was, ask seriously the same questions.
“You’d better take the whole case. These goods will sell as fast as they can be measured off.”
The young man to whom this was said by the polite and active partner in a certain jobbing house in Philadelphia, shook his head and replied firmly—
“No, Mr. Johnson. Three pieces are enough for my sales. If they go off quickly, I can easily get more.”
“I don’t know about that, Mr. Watson,” replied the jobber. “I shall be greatly mistaken if we have a case of these goods left by the end of a week. Every one who looks at them, buys. Miller bought two whole cases this morning. In the original packages, we sell them at a half cent per yard lower than by the piece.”
“If they are gone, I can buy something else,” said the cautious purchaser.
“Then you won’t let me sell you a case?”
“You buy too cautiously,” said Johnson.
“Do you think so?”
“I know so. The fact is, I can sell some of your neighbors as much in an hour as I can sell you in a week. We jobbers would starve if there were no more active men in the trade than you are, friend Watson.”
Watson smiled in a quiet, self-satisfied way as he replied—
“The number of wholesale dealers might be diminished; but failures among them would be of less frequent occurrence. Slow and sure, is my motto.”
“Slow and sure don’t make much headway in these times. Enterprise is the word. A man has to be swift-footed to keep up with the general movement.”
“I don’t expect to get rich in a day,” said Watson.
“You’ll hardly be disappointed in your expectation,” remarked Johnson, a little sarcastically. His customer did not notice the feeling his tones expressed, but went on to select a piece or two of goods, here and there, from various packages, as the styles happened to suit him.
“Five per cent. off for cash, I suppose,” said Watson, after completing his purchase.
“Oh, certainly,” replied the dealer. “Do you wish to cash the bill?”
“Yes; I wish to do a cash business as far as I can. It is rather slow work at first; but it is safest, and sure to come out right in the end.”
“You’re behind the times, Watson,” said Johnson, shaking his head. “Tell me—who can do the most profitable business, a man with a capital of five thousand dollars, or a man with twenty thousand?”